No matter if you’re a hobbyist or a professional knifemaker, we believe that you know the importance of a belt grinder in the knife making process. It’s one of the indispensable tools for knifemakers.
There is a broad category of alternatives out there. And choosing the best belt grinders for knife making is a challenging task for the beginners. Today we will review the top-rated belt grinders (sanders) available on the market. So, let’s dive right into it.
Top 7 Belt Grinders/Sanders for Knife Making Comparison Chart
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Best Belt Grinders for Knife Making Reviews 2020 – Top Rated
1. Grizzly G1015 2 by 72 Belt Grinder – Top Pick
Our top pick among the seven favorite grinders is the Grizzly G1015. This is probably the best 2×72 belt grinder on our list. It uses 2” by 72” – 76” belt, which is the most commonly used belt by the professional knifemakers.
This machine comes with a powerful motor that offers excellent performance – no matter how rigid the material is, it would precisely handle the job.
The tool rest is large enough so that you can conveniently grind your knives. You would face less chattering due to its rigid cast-iron structure, that allows you to grind more accurately.
The tracking of this grinder works perfectly. With the 3600 SFM belt speed, you can even grind sturdy knives. As it’s a professional belt grinder, you may think the assembly is complicated. Not at all, the process is straightforward. If you’re really into knife making, you can get this grinder without any hesitation, and you’ll love it.
2. JET J-41002 – Best Knife Grinder for Beginners
The JET J-4002 is a beginner-friendly belt grinder. It uses 2” by 42” belt, which is the ideal size for the newcomers.
It comes with a less powerful motor than our top pick that makes this grinder more suitable for the beginners. In the beginning, you would like to use a lower HP motor to understand the grinding process better.
This machine is easy to assemble and operate, which makes this belt grinder more suitable for those who are just starting knife grinding. The design of this belt grinder is also intuitive, and anyone can change the belt very quickly.
The cast iron construction made this grinder more sturdy. It has an excellent tool rest, which allows you to grind more accurately. With all these factors, we must say this is the best knife grinder for beginners on our list.
3. Shop Fox W1843 2×72″ Belt Grinder
Next up, we have the Shop Fox W1843 Knife Belt Sander. It is another top of the line 2×72 belt grinder for knife making. It uses 2” by 72” – 76” belt, which is the perfect size for knife grinding works. The tool rest is large enough, and you can adjust the tool rest as you need.
With the 4500 SFM belt speed, you can become more productive. Most of the professional knife makers prefer powerful motor so that they can finish their grinding projects quickly and efficiently. This machine comes with a 1 Horse Power motor that is capable of providing exceptional performance.
The Shop Fox W1843 comes with a high-quality frame that can handle all kinds of loads. All ball-bearing construction made this grinder more rigid and durable. There would be less chattering due to its excellent construction. As a result you can make more accurate bevel on your knives.
4. WEN 6502T Belt Grinder – Best for the Money
If you’re looking for a belt grinder with best value for the money, then the WEN 6502T sander is the one. This machine uses 4″ by 36″ belt, which is wider than the size recommended by the professional knife makers. It’s not for professional usage, but a hobbyist can quickly start knife grinding with this machine.
The 1/2 HP motor would work fine for small knife grinding jobs. This grinder is lightweight and portable. If you want to learn knife grinding from scratch, this machine will help you to learn this craft.
The WEN 6502T comes with a dust port that allows you to keep your shop dust free. This machine is compact, which saves up space in your shop.
It offers 1900 SFM belt speed, which is not adequate for heavy uses. But for small knives and irregular usages, it’s a suitable machine. The assembly and operation of this belt grinder are effortless, which makes this sander an ideal option for the beginners.
5. Palmgren 81061 2″ x 42″ Belt Grinder
The Palmgren 81061 sander is another professional belt grinder on our list. It uses 2” by 42” belt, which is capable of grinding all kinds of knives with accuracy. If you’re concerned about the tool rest, this machine will not let you down.
This sander is a perfect fit for the mid-level knife makers. You can easily change the belt with less effort, which allows you to be more productive. The assembly is also simple, and you can set this machine up for grinding very quickly once you get it out of the box.
The Palmgren 81061 2” by 42” sander can perform all kinds of knife grinding operations with less chatter, thanks to its heavy-duty construction. With the 4400 SFM belt speed, you can finish your projects quickly. This grinder would serve you with an excellent performance every time you use it.
6. WEN 6515T – Best Budget Belt Grinder
The WEN 6515T is a budget-friendly grinder for the beginner knifemakers. This machine uses 1” by 30” belt that is suitable for the newcomers. In the beginning, you may make mistakes while grinding, and this cheap belt sander is a suitable choice for such trial and error tasks.
It has 3160 SFM belt speed, which is a reasonable level for the novice knifemakers. The tool rest of this grinder is large enough to make accurate grinding. If you’re looking for the best budget belt grinder on the market, this one from WEN is worth checking.
Surprisingly this grinder comes with two separate dust ports that help you to keep your workshop dust-free with minimal effort. The assembly and belt removal processes are uncomplicated, which drives the beginners to get this grinder for getting started.
7. Grizzly H8192 Belt Grinder
Last but not least, we are completing our list with the Grizzly H8192 that uses 1” by 42” belt. It can grind accurately, and the 1/3HP motor produces excellent power.
It has an excellent tool rest table, which is very helpful to grind large knives. Two dust ports allow you to keep your shop dust free without making any mess. If you’re familiar with the knife sanding jobs for at least some time, you will be able to handle all kinds of grinding jobs with this belt sander.
Then Grizzly H8192 belt sander will serve you with satisfactory performance for years. It has an excellent construction that allows you to make more accurate bevel with less chattering effect. Even a beginner knife maker can also use this grinder for its easy assembly procedure and beginner-friendly design.
Belt Grinder for Knife Making Buying Guide
If you’re looking for the best belt grinders for knife making, you’ll have to know the things that you should consider before buying a belt grinder. We wanted to make the process easy for you, so we made a list of essential checklist to consider before choosing. We recommend you to read the belt grinder buyer’s guide below.
Ease of Assembly
Some belt grinders are easy to assemble, and some of them are hard and time-consuming. If you’re new in the grinding jobs, we recommend you to get a machine that is easy to assemble. In the beginning, you will not want to mess up with your belt grinder, and that will be very disappointing if you fail to bring together your machine accurately. An easy to assemble machine will save your time, and you can invest that time on learning the grinding job more accurately
A belt grinder with lower HP motor will not provide you with a satisfactory performance which is necessary for knife making. Belt grinders with more than 1 HP motor will offer better performance. The higher the horsepower is, the better the machine will perform. Chinese motors are just fine, but you should avoid them as they do not last long. Quality motors from known manufacturers will provide you with durability and better performance in your knife grinding jobs.
The belt size of a belt grinder is one of the most important things you need to consider when buying a belt grinder. A smaller machine cannot do the grinding job efficiently, and shorter belts wear out very fast. On the other hand, a bigger grinder with larger belt costs you more money and takes up more space, but you will be able to grind more efficiently. Besides, a substantial belt grinder has more options than the smaller ones. Most of the professional knife makers use 2” x 72” belt grinder for their jobs. If you are a beginner or in a budget, you can go for a sander with at least 1” x 42” belt size.
If you’re a professional knifemaker, you know belt grinder produces lots of dust while you’re grinding. There are many belt sanders available that have built-in dust ports to keep your shop dust-free with less effort. While choosing a belt grinder, you should consider this feature. Dust collection feature may not be essential to you if you’re a hobbyist and make knife occasionally. But if you’re a determined knife maker, then this feature is a must-have one.
Some grinders have only one speed, and some have variable speed settings. Speed control feature is going to cost you more money. However, if you are a beginner in knife making, variable speed feature will help you to learn the grinding job more accurately. If you have no problem with the extra cost for this feature, it’s always great to have a belt grinder with variable speed setting.
Tools rest is another vital aspect to consider. Some knife makers use Jig for their grinding jobs. If you’re one of them, you’ll need an ample tool rest. But if you’re a beginner or don’t use Jig for grinding then small tool rest will work fine. Make sure the tool rest isn’t that much little; otherwise, you will not be able to grind efficiently.
You should also look at the frame of the grinder. Grinder with low-quality frame will cause chatter. As a result, grinding will be inaccurate. The robust the structure is, the lower the chatter will be. A heavier structure will reduce this issue. Manufacturers add more mass to the frame in different ways which reduce the chattering effect. So make sure the frame is heavy and rigid to get accurate grinding performance.
Top Belt Grinder Brands
Grizzly – This brand is well known to the knife making pros. Grizzly makes a vast range of shop tools and machinery. For the professional knife makers, this brand offers 2×72 powerful knife grinder. They also have 2” by 42” belt sander for the beginners. All the belt sanders from Grizzly are easy to assemble and use.
JET – They offer great sanders for knife grinding jobs. Beginners to professionals, everyone can use JET belt grinder for excellent performance and accuracy. JET has a variety of woodworking, industrial tools and pieces of machinery.
Shop Fox – This brand offers professional belt sanders for the determined knife makers. Shop Fox is a known brand for knife-making professionals. Their machines provide excellent performance and durability.
WEN – They offer budget-friendly knife grinder for the beginners. WEN has to provide various range of belt sander for a very affordable price. These belt grinders work great for learning knife grinding.
Belt Grinder FAQs
Q. What are belt grinders used for?
A belt grinder is an electric device. You can use belt grinders for sanding or grinding different materials to give it a required shape. The general use of belt grinder is to grind metals for making knives.
Q. What is a good belt grinder for knife making?
A good belt grinder comes with minimum 1HP motor and 2” by 72” belt, that offers excellent performance and accuracy. All the professional knife makers prefer powerful sanders with at least 2×72 strap.
Q. Belt Grinder Vs. Belt Sander – What is the difference?
Belt grinders are also known as belt sanders. There is absolutely no difference between a belt grinder and a belt sander. Knife makers call it belt grinder instead of belt sander.
We incorporated everything you required to know in our belt grinder buying guide. Besides, you have our review on the best belt grinders for knife making. Now it’s your turn to pick a belt grinder according to your requirements.
Whether you’re an expert knifemaker or a beginner, you can choose from our top list as the distinct models are the top-rated belt grinders on the market today. As a beginner, you can get the JET J-41002 grinder. If you’re a more advanced knife maker, the Grizzly G1015 will be the perfect grinder for you.
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