How To Use A Stationary Belt Sander (Beginner’s Guide)

A belt sander is an essential tool for any woodworker. If you don’t know how to use it properly, then you’re in the right place. This will be a complete in-depth guide on how to use a stationary belt sander.

Knowing how to use all the essential tools helps you get things done yourself, so you won’t have to hire someone. You can go hands-on with the projects you want to work on. That’s an exciting feeling no one can quite explain.

Why Should You Own A Belt Sander

Just in case you don’t own a belt sander yet or are thinking of getting one but aren’t quite sure, there’re a ton of reasons to own one.

Belt sanders are powerful tools. They allow you to get a lot done. Besides, an air orbital sander for auto can be used to give the paint a nice polish. They’re truly versatile.

Here are some primary benefits –

  • Smoothing out Rough Surfaces

The biggest benefit is hands down, the ability to sand down rough surfaces to make them smooth. You don’t have to waste countless hours finding the perfect smoothness for your workspaces.

  • Scribing

Belt sanders are perfect for scribing. It lets you get at a curved line flawlessly.

How to Use Stationary Belt Sander: An Easy Guide

Just because we’re saying it’s an easy guide doesn’t mean we’ll skip over anything important. You’ll know all the important things about using a DA sander or a stationary belt sander. So, let’s get started.

Step 1 – Get Yourself Geared up

Before you even start the sander up, you’ll need to get yourself all geared up. Wearing protective gear is one of the most critical steps. It ensures you maintain the safety protocols, and of course, don’t hurt yourself.

You need to get all the essential safety gear for woodworking. Hand and eye protection are an absolute must. You should also wear ear protection and something to protect you from the dust.

Step 2 – Clamping the Workpiece

A clamp is pretty essential – a must-have tool indeed. Whatever wood piece you want to sand, you must secure it first. This can be done by clamping down. If you don’t clamp it down, the piece might fly off anywhere, and that can be a disaster.

Step 3 – Get the Motor Running

The next step is to get the motor running. By that, we mean to start the belt sander. Start your belt sander and make sure it runs at full speed.

Another thing you must note is to keep the workpiece away from the belt sander when you start it up.

Step 4 – Grip It Properly

The sander will have a handle at the back. That’s where you grip it. You don’t need to worry much about the workpiece itself. Since it’s clamped down, it isn’t going anywhere.

Make sure you grip the sander slowly and adequately bring it closer to the wood as it’s running at full speed. When you have the proper grip, you’ll have much higher control of the sander.

Step 5 – Move the Sander

Move the sander in a forward motion. Use straight and accurate movements to make sure the workpiece gets sanded equally.

If you aren’t careful in this step, there’s a chance you may mess up some things. That can be a problem later down the line. Since the sander’s job is to smoothen it, you need to move it forward in a straight motion to help you achieve just that.

In some cases, you might use a sander for paint removal. If you need to remove paint, going in the direction of the grain is your best bet.

Step 6 – Sanding

Now comes the actual work process. Move the sander in a backward and forward motion. Do this smoothly to ensure you get a perfectly smooth surface.

Use the front handle as sort of a guide for the sander. You’ll get even more control this way.


What is the best time to use a belt sander?

A belt sander is a versatile tool. They can be used in different cases. But the primary tasks they perform are sanding rough surfaces or trimming to scribe line.

Can a belt sander be used upside down?

Yes, you can. You’ll need a special tool to hold the sander down in the upside-down position, though. The good thing is you can even make the little tool yourself from wood.

Are belt sanders mountable?

Belt sanders can be mounted using a couple of bolts. You can have the sander operate horizontally, vertically, or flat when mounted.

Can you change the belt on a belt sander?

Fortunately, you can change the belt on a belt sander. But make sure you use the right belt and do it properly. There should be a release lever on the side of it.


By now, you should have a complete idea of how to use a stationary belt sander. As you can see, using it isn’t that difficult. What you need to make sure of is that you take all the necessary safety steps.

Things like wearing protective gear and making sure your clothes don’t come in contact with the sander are all critical.

Here’s another last belt sander tip before we wrap up. Don’t keep the sander in one place. Move it around; otherwise, it’ll tear through the workspace.

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