If you have handled metalwork in the past, you know that the most crucial part is finishing and detailing. However, you must start with proper sanding if you want a professional finish. You need the best sander for metal whether you are doing aircraft or automotive projects.
Choosing a high-quality metal sander is not an easy task. You need to consider a lot of different options in the market before making a final decision. Luckily, I have put together a comprehensive review and buyers guide to help you find a suitable sander for metal.
RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt Sander
Tilt the tables from 0-45 degrees, 2″ Dust Port
Astro Tools 3037 Air Belt
Industry leading 0.5HP, Variable speed control
WEN 6307 Variable Speed
Pivot the 1/2-by-18-inch belt up to 55 degrees
Here Are The 5 Best Sander for Metal – Reviews
1. Astro Tools 3037 Air Belt Sander
Are you looking to remove welds from hard-to-reach areas? Well, the Astro Tools 3037 Air Belt Sander is an excellent choice. It is among the best sanders market with high-end performance and at an affordable price. Note that this sander is an ideal choice for individuals looking to remove spot welds. However, it can also be used for metal preparation.
This belt sander comes with an adjustable speed setting to give you more control when working on your project. You get to quickly shift between five different speed settings depending on the type of project at hand. Note that this machine gives you an impressive maximum speed of 16,000 RPM.
What I love about the Astro Tools 3037 Air Belt Sander is the conveniently located 360-degree adjustable arm. Users get to easily adjust this machine by turning the included Allen bolt. You will find it quite easy to use and master this sander.
Air sanders are usually lightweight, and the Astro Tools 3037 Air Belt Sander does not disappoint. This sander weighs just 2.2 pounds which means you can work for longer hours without feeling fatigued. You will get to complete more tasks and work on large projects without any problems.
The Astro Tools 3037 Air Belt Sander comes with a powerful 0.5HP motor which gives your versatility. You can use this handy tool for various projects around the home or workshop. All DIY enthusiasts need a versatile tool for their different projects.
- Lightweight and compact design
- 360-degree adjustable arm
- Adjustable speed control
- Can be rather noisy.
2. 3M – 33575-case Belt Sander
The 3M – 33575-case Belt Sander is an excellent choice for finishing work and cutting in body repair. You get a compact and durable tool that will get you long-lasting services at a pocket-friendly price. You will never go wrong with this sander if you are a professional or regular DIYer.
The powerful 0.6 HP motor is perfect for those collision repair jobs. Notice that the small size of this sander gives you access to tight spaces. You can quickly carry out repairs in hard-to-reach places without a lot of strain. Understand that completing such projects is much faster when you have this tool in your workshop.
The 3M – 33575-case Belt Sander weighs 2 lb. which means you can work for longer hours without getting fatigued. You will also enjoy increased maneuverability due to the lightweight construction. When dealing with metal, you need a sander that doesn’t weigh you down, but rather makes work easier.
What I love about the 3M – 33575-case Belt Sander is the rotatable housing. You can, therefore, use this sander for various projects in your workshop. Understand that the rotatable housing increases comfort and versatility at the same time.
However, note that this device was specifically designed for the 3M Cubitron Abrasive Belts. You will find this tool much more practical when you get the recommended belts. It might be a hassle, but it is certainly worth the trouble.
- Affordable price when you are on a budget
- Compact and lightweight design
- Rotatable housing increases versatility
- Poor quality knobs
3. WEN 6307 Detailing File Sander
The WEN 6307 Detailing File Sander is a top-quality sander that comes with an auto-tracking belt system. Note that this new and improved belt system does not need any adjustments or tensioning. You will, therefore, find it quite easy to use this device even when you are a beginner. Note that this feature also saves you a lot of time and ensures you complete projects much faster.
Note that this sander also comes with variable speed control. You get to pick whatever speed you need between 1080 to 1800 feet per minute. You will, therefore, find this machine very useful when you love to work on different projects around your workshop.
What I love most about the WEN 6307 Detailing File Sander is the tool-free belt installation. You can easily and quickly change the belt while on a job. Notice that you will greatly reduce the downtime which means that you will be more productive.
When you purchase this sander, you also get a dust port attachment and three abrasive sanding belts. You will get more use from this device right from the box. It is a great buy for beginners who have no extra tools in their workshops.
The WEN 6307 Detailing File Sander also comes with a two-year warranty. Understand that warranty is a crucial consideration when buying any piece of equipment because it gets you peace of mind. You can comfortably use your tool without having to worry about breakdowns.
- Variable speed control
- Auto-tracking belt system]
- compact and durable design
- Tool-free belt installation
- A little heavy for some users
4. RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt Sander
At 18 pounds, the RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt Sander is the heaviest sander for metal works on our list. However, it provides high-end performance that makes it perfect for both professionals and regular DIYers. This impressive tool can be used for various tasks around the workshop, thus giving you value for your money.
The first thing that you will notice about the RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt Sander is the tilting belt table. You get to shift the table from 0-45 degrees depending on the project. Notice that this feature allows you to work on various projects and get to the hard-to-reach areas.
What I love about the RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt Sander is the belt tracking knob. Notice that you can quickly adjust and change the belt while working on a project. What this means is that the downtime is significantly reduced, thus boosting your performance.
The safety ON/OFF switch is conveniently located on the machine to give you an easy time while working. Understand that some projects will require you to switch the machine on and off while making a few adjustments.
The included 2-inch dust port is a nice addition that helps you keep the workplace clean. Understand that most people tend to spend a lot of time cleaning once they are done with a project. With this model, you will save a lot of time.
- Included 2-inch dust port
- Sturdy and compact design
- Tilting belt table
- A bit pricey for most users
5. XtremepowerUS Belt Sander
The XtremepowerUS Belt Sander is a 2-in-1 sander that provides high-end performance. Notice that this is both a disc and a belt sander that comes with variable speed on both options. You will enjoy working on both metal and woodworking projects with this handy device. It is, therefore, an excellent purchase for homeowners who love DIY projects.
Notice that the belt sander is suitable for big metal projects due to its heavy-duty steel construction. The XtremepowerUS Belt Sander features a strong base that significantly reduces vibrations. You will get more control and comfort when using this impressive machine.
Notice that the XtremepowerUS Belt Sander gives you more stability when working on metal projects. If you are looking for a smooth finish, then you will need a stable model. Understand that the more stable you are, the more accurate you will be during a project.
Both the sanders feature an adjustable built-in table that makes work so much easier. You can tilt the tables from 0-45 degrees to help you get a professional finish. When working with metal, you will need a little bit of wiggle room for some intricate projects.
The integrated quick-release tension level lets you quickly change the belt. You will reduce downtime and complete projects faster thanks to this handy feature. Notice that large projects will need you to change the belt after prolonged use.
What I love about the disc sander is the excellent dust collection system. You get a device with a vacuum port that allows you to connect this machine with other vacuums. Notice that the machine will help you keep the workshop clean when working on a project. You will, therefore, spend less time cleaning once you are done sanding a piece of metal.
- Fully adjustable built-in tables
- Two-in-one machine
- An excellent dust collection system
- Durable and compact design
- No dust-bag provided during the purchase
Best Sander for Metal work- buying guide
As stated earlier, choosing the most suitable sander for metal is not an easy task. You can’t simply buy the first sander that you come across in the market. However, knowing the factors to consider when choosing a sander for metalwork might help you make an informed decision.
In this next section, we will take an in-depth look at some of the features that you must consider when purchasing a suitable sander for metal. Note that the sander you choose has to give you long-lasting quality services since you will be spending a fortune.
Did you know that there are different types of metal? Am sure most people know this, but somehow, they always end up neglecting this fact when buying a sander. You need to carefully think about the type of metal that you often work with at home or in your workshop. Understand that the common types of metal include aluminum, carbon steel, steel, and so much more.
Note that all these metals will need a different type of sander. You must consider the type of metal that you work with before buying a sander. Sometimes, you might need a sander that can work with different types of metals.
If you are like me, then you love working on an assortment of projects. In such situations, what you need is a versatile model. What you need is a sander that can quickly be transformed from a bench sander to a disc sander or belt sander.
If you also love woodworking projects, then it would be better if you got a versatile device. You don’t want to end up buying two different types of sanders. Doing this will cost you more money which is counterproductive. Get a 2-in-1 sander that can handle both woodworking and metal projects.
Once you know the material that you require for a certain project, you can identify which type of sander is most suitable. However, the two commonly used sanders for metal work include orbit metal sander and belt sanders. Let us take a closer look at both of the two models to help you figure out which is best for your project.
Belt sanders are an excellent choice when you are looking to do a little bit of polishing. When you are looking for a smooth and professional finish, this is the right type of sander for you. Note that these sanders are also ideal for difficult angles including corners.
The design of the belt sanders gives you more control when working on your project. You also get to maintain the shape of the metal that you are working with at the time. A belt sander is a handy tool to have in your workshop.
However, when choosing a suitable belt sander, you need to consider how wide and how long the belt can reach. Longer and wider belts are more convenient and better than the short and narrow alternatives. Note that the belt sander wide and long belts are much more expensive. Also, consider the fact that belt sanders are ideal for sanding aluminum.
Orbit metal sanders, on the other hand, are used to shape a piece of metal. If you are handling automotive projects, this type of sander would be your ideal choice. The orbit metal sanders will get you a little bit of finesse when working on intricate projects.
With orbit metal sanders, however, you need to consider the surface area or diameter of the wheel before making a purchase. Note that a bigger diameter means that the tool will stay cooler for longer. You can, therefore, work on long projects without having to take breaks.
The good news is that you can always choose a sander that can be transformed from an orbit sander to a belt sander. These two-in-one models are a convenient buy when you are looking to save a lot of money. Note that having such a sander will also save you a lot of storage space since you won’t need two separate sanders.
Experts will tell you to use 50-grit sandpaper when handling any kind of metalwork. However, what most people don’t tell you is that you need to consider the sandpaper material. Well, let us take a closer look at the subject.
First, most metal works will require a standard aluminum oxide sandpaper. Although this sandpaper is ideal for some projects, it might not always be the best choice. Note that this sandpaper won’t last long, especially when you are working with hard metals.
Also, the aluminum oxide sandpaper generates a lot of heat. You will need to take several rest breaks between jobs which might not be ideal. Most people prefer using a coolant sprayer to ensure they get to work much faster.
When handling an aluminum project, you are better off using silicon oxide sandpaper. However, note that this sandpaper also overheats quickly. You will have to take several breaks before you can complete a project.
Cubic Zirconia sandpaper is an excellent alternative that doesn’t generate a lot of heat as the first two types of sandpaper. Note that the CZ sandpaper is much more durable than both the aluminum oxide and silicon oxide sandpaper. However, you will need to spend a few extra dollars to get the cubic zirconia sandpaper.
Although all the reviewed models will get you high-quality performance, my pick has to be the RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt Sander. Notice that this is a two-in-one sander that gets you more versatility in the workplace. You can work on different types of projects without having to rent or buy a second type of sander.
Understand that the RIKON Power Tools 50-151 Belt Sander includes great features such as adjustable tables, a dust collection system, and variable speed control. You can easily get a smooth and professional finish when you have this impressive sanding machine.
When looking for the best sander for metal, you need to consider customer reviews. Note that you will get first-hand information on the workings of the tool. Ensure you get a model that offers top-quality services at an affordable price.
Can I use an orbital sander for metal ?
Yes, you can use an orbital sander for metal workings. However, note that the orbital sander is best for ultra-smooth sanding since the vibrations move in tiny circles. You can also use this sander for plastic and wood since it is quite versatile.
Can sandpaper remove rust ?
Yes, you can use sandpaper to remove rust from a piece of metal. Use coarse-grit sandpaper to remove all the pockmarks. You can then use fine-grit sandpaper to get you a smooth and professional finish. However, you can always use steel wool to help you remove the rust from old pieces of metal; before sanding.
Should I sand metal before painting ?
It is important to sand metal before painting when you want a smooth and uniform finish. Note that sanding will only take a few moments when you use the right tool. Understand that sanding is an important part of restoring a metal surface before painting.
Note that you will need to sand off any residue or buildup on the piece of metal including rust. Ensure that you always begin with light sanding and slowly move to intense measures.