With the right tools, even the most tedious of jobs can be done well – and quickly!
If you asked yourself what your favorite tool in your toolbox is, it’s so unlikely you’re going to say that you would mention a knife grinder or a belt grinder.
Grinding and sanding isn’t the most popular option in the bag, but if you are an avid follower of all things do it yourself, then you’re always going to be sanding wood or metal at some point.
Finding the best belt grinder for knife making can be a difficult task. There are so many to choose from and most of them seem to have good reviews.
This article will help you find the best belt grinder for your needs. But before going to further details, let’s find out why you need to use a belt grinder in knife making.
Let’s get started!
Why Use A Belt Grinder In Knife Making?
A knife belt grinder is an electric device that is used for smoothing materials like metal to make knives. They can be stationary or portable and they consist of two drums that roll out the belt as well as a motor to power it.
Bladesmithing is one of the hardest do-it-yourself tasks around, but forging your own knife from metal and wood can give you that blacksmith feeling, (think “Gendry” from the Game of Thrones).
And if you’re not a GOT fan, one of these knife grinders should pique your interest and change all that.
Knife making is one of the world’s oldest crafts, and while man started out with sharpened stones to get the job done, over time knife making has evolved into an art form of supreme caliber.
Modern technology has introduced machinery that mass-produces general knives in their thousands, so hand-making knives remains a rare art.
You may not find the qualities that you want from a knife in the hardware store, so making your own can make a difference. Plus, making your own hunting knives using a knife grinder allows you the opportunity to personalize your knives to your needs.
With all of that in mind, it’s a crucial thing to get a good idea of the products on offer for your knife making projects. For that reason, we’ve got five products that will give you more of an idea of what is out there for you to use.
In the H8192, Grizzly offers a combination benchtop sander that offers a 1″ wide by 42″ long belt sander, and 8″ disc sander in one solid yet portable unit. A perfect match to your bandsaw or scroll saw this Combination Belt/Disc Sander will shape and smooth right to the line.
The 1/3 Horsepower, 110V, single-phase, 1725 RPM, capacitor-start induction motor powers the 1″ x 42″ belt and 8″ disc. With that power, it makes easy work of any sanding chore and the cast-iron tilting tables give you the flexibility you demand.
It also includes single-knob tracking and two 2″ dust ports. Weighing 63lb and easily assembled, it’s ideal for larger part contouring and dry sharpening jobs, even of intricate detailing. This sander does it all.
- Belt sander table size: 6″ x 7″
- Disc sander table size: 4″ x 10″
- Both the belt and the sanding tables tilt at 45 degrees.
- ⅓ HP Motor 110V single phase 1725 RPM
The Pros and Cons
- Highly versatile sanding belt, suitable for both woodworking and metalworking.
- Very well-made and durable, thanks to its high-quality materials
- Able to handle both belt and disc sanding tasks. This is a good option for lighter-duty users too
- You can easily set it up
- Comfortable grip handle with variable belt speed control
- The belt grinder is narrow with a limited surface area too
- A perfect match to your bandsaw or scroll saw this Combination Belt/Disc Sander will shape and smooth right to the line. A 1/3-HP TEFC capacitor start
- Includes single knob tracking and two 2-Inch dust ports
- Approximate shipping weight is 63 lbs
The sanding belt and disc of the Bucktool BD4801 Bench Belt Sander are directly driven by the motor shaft and are now maintenance-free.
Because the sander doesn’t use a belt or have geas, you don’t have to adjust the cog belt tension or change a damaged cog belt like before with other sanders.
Its motor direct-drive design increases sanding efficiency by 25% over the traditional sander design. The 3/4 Horsepower induction motor is enclosed, supplying powerful yet silent output.
The belt can work at 0-90 degrees depending on the needs of your project, with the driven drum allowing for sanding of curved work-pieces.
The sturdy cast aluminum base with rubber foot provides great stability and prevents vibrations.
It has 2 dust ports that allow a dust-free operation with a dust collector, and for even better performance you can connect the two with Bucktool’s Y-Fitting Hose.
All of this makes it easy to polish all of the jagged edges and splinters on your wood and lumber and make it smooth and is ideal for fine wood sanding & polishing.
- 2-in-1 sanding machine with 4 x 36” belt and 8” disc
- 0-90 degrees angle adjustable work table with miter gauge for both sanding disc and belt
- Quick sander belt replacement design and humanized track control
- 3/4 HP Motor 120V single phase 3450 RPM
The Pros and Cons
- It delivers high performance with its powerful motor
- Highly versatile and can be used in a variety of applications such as sharpening knives, chisels, and cutting edges.
- Can be easily adjusted for different angles with its pivoting head. This can help in getting the best possible results.
- Has a variable belt speed control knob for various applications and allows you to work accurately.
- Equipped with a dust port that helps in keeping the workplace clean and tidy, as well as increasing the life of the belt grinder.
- A great choice for any woodworker, metal fabricator, or even hobbyist who wants to get the job done effectively.
- It’s available at an affordable price which makes it a great option for every user looking for belt grinders.
- The aluminum casting of this grinder is quite thin
- Sometimes the belt grinder may feel unstable
- POWERFUL MOTOR: The belt and disc sander is directly driven by the motor shaft, 3/4 HP High Power Motor and 3450 RPM Disc Speed provide efficient and stable output
- FLEXIBLE BELT: This belt of the benchtop belt sander is 4x36-inch and 80-grit, and it can be placed horizontally or vertically to meet various needs, the cast aluminum worktable can be tilted 0-45 degrees, this makes this machine better suitable for all kinds of woodworking jobs
- STABLE DISC: The diameter of the disk is 8-inch, a heavy steel cover is added to prevent the disc from shaking. There is a miter gauge appliable for fixing the angle of the wood, and the cast aluminum work table also can be adjusted
- PROFESSIONAL DESING: Combining decades of woodworking experience, we have created a machine that is more suitable for users. 2 work tables for both disc and belt, 2 dust ports allows a dustfree operation when connecting with a dust collector, and sturdy cast aluminum base with rubber foot prevents vibrations
- MAINTENANCE FREE: This sander use no belt, no gear, so you don't have to adjust the cog belt tension, change damage cog belt like before, but if you want to sharpen metal, change the sanding belt/disc then you will be good to go
The JET J-400 is a great belt and disc sander that has plenty of power to handle most knife-making jobs. It provides ample strength, thanks to its motor power, and has a very large work surface.
Precision-built and designed to last, this sander is capable of delivering a premium finish every time you use it.
It’s one of the most powerful, versatile belt grinders and performs the work of a jigsaw, coping saw, or hand file removing material and creating a superior finish all at the same time. This enables you to get into small openings while handling odd shapes.
This is made with reliable, quality engineering and it’s tested to tight tolerance standards to ensure the best quality available.
- There is a hinged idler wheel cover on this model
- Horsepower is 1/3HP, 115VAC 1PH
- Has a belt size (w x l ) of 1 x 42 in and a disc diameter of 8.
- Power take-off allows for mounting an optional flex shaft for carving, drum sanding, deburring and more.
- There is a deluxe miter gauge that turns and locks for common angles, 45 degrees left and right
- Abrasive belt unit does the work of a jigsaw, coping saw, or hand file while removing material and finishing at the same time.
- Removable platen allows for sanding, grinding, or finishing off outside curves or odd-shaped workpieces on the belt.
The Pros and Cons
- Comes with a dust collection bag that can be detached and emptied easily, which is a very nice feature.
- No complaints about vibration on this belt grinder.
- Has a safety switch on the top of it that will shut off the machine if you are not using both hands, which is a great safety feature that should be used by any belt and disc sanders.
- It is not very expensive, which makes it a good choice for new users.
- Easy to change out the belts on this professional knife making machine, even if you’re not very experienced with belt sanders
- The belt can be difficult to change out.
- VERSATILE: Hinged idler wheel cover and removable platen allows for sanding of outside curves or odd-shaped work pieces on the belt.
- STURDY: Main body consists of cast iron construction, while the base is constructed from heavy-duty steel.
- MITER GAUGE: Turns and locks for common angles, 45° both left and right.
- DUST COLLECTION: Two 1-1/4" ports can be hooked up to a dust collection system.
- EFFICIENT: Abrasive belt unit removes material and finishes at the same time, allowing the operator to get into small openings.
The WEN 1” x 30” Belt Sander comes with a 5” disc to sand, smooth, and deburr jagged edges and splinters on your wood and lumber. Despite being an affordable budget product, a 2.3-AMP motor deliver speeds of up to 3160 feet per minute on the belt and 3450 RPM on the disc.
Changing the spacious 1-inch-by-30-inch belt is a breeze, giving you the power to switch sand paper grits quickly and easily. The compact design makes transportation and storage easier than ever while the heavy-duty base prevents movement and wobbling during operation.
With all of this, you’ll have the capacity to sand whatever your heart desires. A sturdy beveling work table accompanies both the disc and the belt to provide a reliable source of support for your workpieces.
In addition to the 5” side disc, it comes with an 80-grit sanding disc, a 100-grit belt for sanding, a miter gauge for angled workpieces, and two separate dust ports for vacuum attachments.
And because this is a WEN Product, your purchase comes backed by a two-year warranty, a nationwide network of skilled service technicians, and a helpful customer phone line. Sand the tightest of corners and the oddest of shapes with the WEN 1 x 30-Inch Belt Sander with a 5-Inch Disc.
The WEN 6515T belt sander is one of the best belt grinding machines perfect for the person who needs to do some light sanding and has a limited budget.
- 2-in-1 sanding machine with 1 x 30” belt andv5” disc
- 2.3A motor for up to 3160 FPM for the belt and 3450 RPM for the disc
- Sturdy heavy-duty base v
- 2 separate dust ports for maximum vacuuming efficiency
The Pros and Cons
- The belt sander has excellent variable speed control. This way, you can adjust the belt speed to match your knife making needs
- Sturdy aluminum table with an adjustable belt that makes it easy to sand flat surfaces without hassle.
- It is a good choice for woods, metal, and other surfaces that need to be sanded with an aggressive belt sander.
- It is easy to use and has excellent features like the dust collection system and the size of the belt.
- It is loud and dusty, which can be a problem to regular knife makers.
- Two-in-one sanding machine includes both a 1-by-30 inch belt and a 5-inch disc
- 2.3A motor provides up to 3160 FPM for the belt and 3450 RPM for the disc
- Sturdy heavy-duty base prevents walking and wobbling during operation
- Features two separate dust ports for maximum vacuuming efficiency
- Includes a miter gauge, an 80-grit sanding disc, a 100-grit sanding belt and a 2-year warranty
With high-quality materials and a convenient design, you get the Goplus Belt and Disc Sander.
This is made of heavy-duty steel and is durable and usable for a long time. There is a strong base on the disc sander, preventing heavy vibrations when you operate it. The Goplus Belt is one of the knife belt grinders that you can use for heavy duties without worrying about machine breaking down.
The belt and table both tilt at 45 degrees, which enables you to work better.
- Intricate contour sanding and shaping to fast stock removal
- Features a tracking adjustment to keep the belt straight
- ⅓ horsepower motor
- 120V 60HZ
The Pros and Cons
- Convenient and easy to use
- Has a dust collection system making clean up a breeze
- Best belt grinder that is lightweight so you can do knife making for hours
- Simple and effective for doing many projects including knife sharpening
- It uses hand power
- Excellent belt sander for multi-site application
- The motor of this belt grinder hits up very fast
- 【High Quality Material】This disc sander is made of heavy duty steel. It is durable and can be used for a long time. There is also a strong base on the disc sander, which can prevent any heavy vibrations when you operate. It provides extra stability and safety.
- 【Convenient Design】Both belt and disc sanding tables can tilt 45 degrees. And it is also equipped with the quick-release belt tension lever, which is easy and quick for you to change the belt. It makes your work more convenient.
- 【Dust Collection Port】This disc sander is equipped with a dust collection port, which can minimize clean-up of saw dust and debris. It can keep your work environment more clean.
- 【Easy to Assemble】All assembly hardware is included. Clear and brief instruction make it much easier to put together. And no professional tools are needed, which can save much time for you.
- 【Multifunctional Use】With a powerful motor, it can be used for small and large sanding operations on various materials. And it can intricate contour sanding and shaping to fast stock removal.
Why Make Your Own Knives?
Other than the benefits of using a proper belt grinder for knives, it can help to know why you would want to make your own in the first place – especially when there is a huge market for knives already on the market that you can choose from. So, we’ve put together some of the reasons that you need to consider for making your own knives:
- It’s An Art – Mass-produced knives all look the same, but cutting in your own knives allows you to aesthetically design it the way that you want. Producing your own gives you the chance to use your imagination.
- A Hobby – Some people paint, some people knit, others like to forge knives for hunting or for display.
- Honing Your Skills – If you’re a fan of metalwork, you’ll need to hone your skills. By making your own knives, you improve your craft and it’s a useful skill to have!
- It Can Be Cheaper – Making your own knives can be a lot cheaper than buying them, especially with large hunting knives.
- Quality – When you are in charge of the knives you are making, you get to choose the metals and wood in the quality that you want.
You get exactly what you want: By making your own knives you can make sure that they are exactly what you want or need them to be. This is great for people who have special needs when it comes to using a knife in their daily lives.
Features Of A Good Knifemaking Belt Sander
When you’re in the world of knife-making, you need reliable equipment and in some parts of the world, knives are still crafted by hand, so heavy-duty belt grinders are a must.
It’s the difference between making a regular garbage knife and having a beautiful product to be proud of at the end of your making session. There are plenty of good advantages of using a good knife grinder, and these are:
- Ease of Use – Belt grinders are easy to use and quickly give your materials the finishing touch you have been looking for.
They can give you the shape and smooth surface of your knives with minimal effort on your part, as long as you avoid tilts and use minimum pressure.
These aren’t gentle, silent devices, so it’s important that you are the person in control at all times. Belt grinders are indispensable to those who make knives for a living, as they can accomplish the tasks required of them with ease.
- Removes Unwanted Residue – Metal isn’t a material that’s always clean and clear. There is always the chance of unwanted paint or residue on a surface, and using a belt grinder will maintain the finish of the surface while getting rid of the residue.
This brings uniformity to your creations and saves you the job of trying to clean the residue by hand every time.
- Fast Action – Finding a belt grinder for knife making means that you are looking for something that is quicker than doing it all by hand.
You can remove material and shape material surfaces in very little time and that’s why people choose to use knife grinders. You can use them for the initial stages of sanding and shaping metal and especially where large amounts of material need to be removed quickly.
- Good Motor size: A good belt grinder should have a motor size that is large enough to provide you with all the power you need.
If your motor is too small, it will struggle to run everything smoothly and that can lead to difficulties when using tools or worse- breaking them.
You also should also make sure that the motor has a variable speed setting so that you are able to adjust the motor speed depending on what you are doing.
- High belt speed: Belt speed is an important factor to consider as it affects the quality of belt grinders.
A lower belt speed will generally produce a more coarse grit size and will only be able to remove material quickly on softer materials whereas a higher belt speed can give you a fine finish with less work required.
Knife Making Belt Sander Video
If you’ve never used a belt sander in knife making before, here is a good YouTube video explaining how to use one: