Knife making is best done with a belt grinder. A belt grinder is an essential tool for any knife maker. There are many different types of grinders, but the best ones are those that can do both flat and convex grinding. It’s best to get one with at least two speeds, one for rough work and another for finishing work. Different brands offer different warranties on their products so be sure you know what you’re getting before buying it! The best belt grinders for knife making will last a lifetime if taken care of properly.
Knife making is a hobby that requires precision and accuracy. It’s not easy to get the right angle on your blade, but with the help of a belt grinder it becomes much easier.
We’ve found 5 of the best belt grinders for knife making in this article. These are all high quality tools that will make your life easier when you’re crafting knives from scratch or sharpening old blades. All 5 have been tested by experts and come highly recommended!
Best Belt Grinder for Knife Making Reviews
This belt grinder is perfect for sharpening your knives. It’s heavy duty, with plenty of power to grind the toughest blade. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, these tools will meet your needs.
1. Bucktool Combo 2″ x 42″ Belt Sander and Bench Grinder
This is by far one of the best on the market. I first used this product when I was stripping all the paint off my deck, it was great for that kind of work because it didn’t take long to strip everything down to bare wood.
The Bucktool Combo BG2600 is a great value for the price out of all knife making belt grinders. It comes with a 2″ x 42″ belt sander and 6″ bench grinder, both of which perform well. The belt speed is adjustable, so you can get just the right amount of sanding or grinding power for your project. The belt size is also adjustable, so you can use it on projects of different sizes.
The grinder has a narrow head, as many belt grinders do. This makes it easy to use the grinder for small knife projects. For knife making, you can attach two laps (one coarse and one fine) to the grinder’s spindle.
The work tables are easy to adjust, so you can move them up and down as needed. Furthermore, the tool-free adjustable eyeshields have LED lights for improved visibility.
This sander has an adjustable fence which can be locked into place with screws so you don’t need clamps but if you do use clamps then there are holes for them built in.
The right belt grinder used right can get the job done right. This one comes with a red plastic cover that protects your hands from sparks. It also has two wire brushes that come in handy when cleaning it.
This is the best for professional knife making, but also for casual ones. Many professional knife makers chose this tool.
- The Bucktool BG2600 Belt Sander is a great tool with a lot of power at a relatively low cost
- The Bench Grinder has plenty of power
- Reservoir can be filled from the top or bottom
- It’s very easy to use and maintain
- The Bucktool Belt Sander utilizes a 4-wheel drive system
- This is the only belt sander in this price range with 6” of precision machining
- The BG2600 is made with the use of heavy duty material for durability and an instant start/stop switch
- This product is very lightweight which make it easy to maneuver around
- The belt size is 2″x42″, which is a good size for general purpose grinding.
- The belt speed is adjustable, so you can match it to the task at hand.
- 6″ bench grinder is a good size for smaller projects.
- It has a built-in light so you can see what you’re doing.
- It’s easy to assemble.
- You have to use an extension cord for this machine
2. Grizzly G1015 Knife Sander
The Grizzly G1015 Knife Sander is a power tool that’s been designed to sand down your knives. It has a very simple design, and it comes with a lot of features that make the process really easy. For instance, this knife sander has variable speed settings so you can choose how fast or slow you want to go while sanding down your blades.
Furthermore, there are two separate motors in the machine so one motor does not have to do all of the work – they share the load which means less wear and tear on each individual part.
This machine also includes an adjustable vacuum hose attachment for sucking up all of that sawdust from your project!
- It has a powerful 1 HP, 110V single-phase motor
- There are two knife grinding wheels: one for coarse and the other for fine grinding. The knives come preloaded on these stations which provides long run times
- The Grizzly G1015 Knife Grinder also comes with a safety guard and splash guard to prevent injury or damage to machine
- A work light illuminates the area below the grinder so you can see clearly what you’re doing
- This is a rugged tool that can withstand many hours of abuse
- The aluminum base plate means the machine will not topple over under pressure
- It is able to tolerate both small and large knives, which are dangerous for other knife grinders
- Grizzly provides great customer service if any problems arise with the product
- If you need additional help operating the machine, there are videos available on YouTube
- The machine is heavy and bulky
- It can be hard to angle knives into the grinder for some people
3. JET J-4002 1″x42″ Belt Sander
JET J-4002 Belt and Disc Sander is a power tool which allows you to sand surfaces in the home, office, or any other place. It has an easy-to-use belt sander with a 1″x42″ abrasive belt that can be replaced when it wears out.
The disc sander also has an adjustable speed control so you are able to choose between variable speed settings of 6500 RPM or 9000 RPM. This will allow you to use the right amount of pressure for your project. Additionally, this product includes a 100% cotton dust bag so there is no need for messy cleanup after every job!
- It has height adjustment that ranges from 3/4″ to 83/8″
- The table tilts up to 45 degrees for beveling surfaces, which is perfect for edge sanding, surfacing flat workpieces, accurately shaping door stock or cabinet backsplashes, and many other applications.
- The dust bag captures 47% of the dust generated by the tool so you won’t have to clean as often
- The JET J-4002 Sander is designed with a 1″x42″ belt and 6″ disc sander
- It features the ability to sand the edges of door panels, paneling worktops, floors, moldings, window casement frames
- This tool has variable width adjustment up to 3/16”
- The motor operates at 1750 RPM which gives it more power than other belt grinding machines in its class.
- It features a 1″x42″ belt and 6″ disc sander, but those with larger jobs might find that the tools are too small
- This device may be difficult to use on projects with uneven surfaces
4. WEN 6515T 1 in. x 30 in. Belt Sander with 5 in. Sanding Disc
The WEN 6515T Belt Sander is a powerful 1 inch by 30 inch sanding machine. It has an open frame design to allow for easy access to the sanding belt and other parts.
The 5 inch sanding disc offers excellent performance for any job, including finishing work on rough lumber, shaping wood floor edges or smoothing out rough surfaces. If you are looking for a heavy duty belt sander that can tackle job after job then this is the one!
- 5 Inch Sanding Disc
- Belt Size is 1 Inch by 30 Inches
- Powerful Vibration Absorption System
- The non-slip grip handle and on/off switch control make for a convenient sanding experience.
- Has an ergonomic design that provides comfort during long periods of use.
- Starts up quickly, saving you time before the job is complete so you can spend more time doing what matters most.
- 30 inch rubber backer pad helps to reduce vibration as well as kickback which protects not only your hands but also your work piece from damage.
- The sanding disc tends to clog quickly
- Combines poor quality control with lack of available tech support.
5. EX ELECTRONIX EXPRESS Mini 1 x 30 Belt Sander 3400 RPM
The EX ELECTRONIX EXPRESS Belt Sander is the beginner’s best friend. It’s perfect for sanding rounded surfaces, edges, and tight spaces. The belt sander produces a low noise level that won’t bother your family or neighbors. And it’s easy to use! You can get started with just the push of a button. With this beginner-friendly tool you can turn old furniture pieces into shiny new treasures in no time at all!
- The adjustable belt sander is perfect for shaping, smoothing, and finishing different types of materials including wood, metal, plastic, fiberglass, drywall, paint, rust, vinyl siding and light tile.
- It comes with a 1″ by 30″ sanding belt that can be removed when not needed for easy storage.
- The belt sander also has a built-in lock-off switch to prevent accidents.
- It is very lightweight
- The handle grip feels comfortable in the hand
- It’s easy to use and has an amazing power to weight ratio
- The handle grip position is not as good as other belt sanders
- The power cord could be longer
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What is Knife Sharpening and Belt Grinding?
Knife sharpening is the act of grinding or cutting off material from either side of a steel blade at an angle. A belt grinder’s abrasive surface is usually composed of emery cloth impregnated epoxy resin (a stick-resistant rubber).
When using a one for this process, you should always use emery cloth impregnated epoxy resin (a stick-resistant rubber) on the belt to prevent your knife’s edges from sticking to it. If they do get stuck, remove them with some careful wiggling and pulling.
The grit rating of an abrasive refers to how rough or smooth it feels when something slides across it. The finer the grit rating, the smoother the substance will feel under your hand.
Who should buy a belt grinder for knife making?
If you want to make your own knives, at least some of them, you’ll need a belt grinder.
Grinders are typically bought with the understanding that they’re intended for producing grinding wheels for other people who might use abrasives in their industries.
They’re not for individual use – it doesn’t make sense to buy one unless you know at least five people who intend on using an abrasive material ordinarily during their work hours each day.
A good rule of thumb is this: if the cost of the machine exceeds the potential income from being able to do business as a sharpener, it’s smarter not to invest in one. Of course, there are exceptions – but again, be sure that your return on investment will actually prove profitable.
How to Properly Use a Belt Grinder
Generally, you’ll need to properly tension the belt with a pulley system. Use the “Knife Blocking Technique” on your grinder’s flywheel housing to hold your knife securely so it doesn’t move around during sharpening.
Belt grinders are fairly immune to chatter–due, in part, to their large contact area which dissipates heat more efficiently than any other sharpening configuration–but that does not mean knives won’t get hot with long periods of use. Monitor them closely and let them cool completely before touching or packing away.
What You Need To Know About Knife Making
Knives are tools that can get the job done right, or they can be frustrating. The more you know about knife making the better equipped you will be to make a decision on what kind of knives are best for your needs.
Knife quality in general is judged by several factors: steel quality, edge sharpness/durability, blade shape and design, handle comfort and style, weight distribution and balance.
What you need to know about knife making can be broken down into what you need to know about steel, sharpening and knife construction.
Sharpening is the process of refining an edge by grinding and honing it. Knife making steels require different sharpening techniques – each with their own benefits and consequences. The two main kinds of sharpeners are waterstone and diamond.
Knife construction is broken down into blade type, the spine and the grind.
There are three main blade types – fixed blades, folding knives, and multi-tools. Fixed blades are not foldable and feature no moving parts between the handle and the blade.
Folding knives feature a foldable blade that is stored inside the handle and usually use an external mechanism to deploy and lock in place. Multitools usually feature multiple built-in tools such as pliers, wire cutters and screwdrivers.
The spine of a knife can be rounded or flat. It’s a matter of preference as to which you prefer.
The grind of a knife is the shape and thickness of it’s blade edge, which can vary from very thin at the cutting edge to thick behind the edge for strength and stability making it more difficult to sharpen.
How to Buy the Belt Grinders for Knife Making
When it is time to buy a belt grinder, you want to ensure that the motor power is enough, which can mean size is important. The bigger the better for most people.
The best grinders for knife makers are made of cast iron encased in aluminum, which allows them to run cooler and more efficiently without taking too much electricity or breaking down.
All belt grinders consist of a motor with a shaft connected onto an abrasive spinning wheel that moves along steel strips called “truing belts” producing the sharp edge on your blade as it moves forward and across the belts multiple times at different angles.
Diamond grinding wheels provide superior results because they create coarse grains for shaping and finishing-off edges better than cheaper silicon carbide or aluminum oxide belts, which also wear down at a slower rate.
A knife shaping jig can be used with diamond wheels to make consistent angles on blades, which allows for precise knife designs.
The variable speed feature allows you to power down the belt, for example when removing small metal chips or grinding softer materials like delicate metals. It requires a variable speed motor.
This will help protect the machine and maintain maximum life span. You can also control the speed of your grinder with this feature so it is easier to achieve the desired surface consistency across different types of material. It is worth noting that using a slow speed while running metal through a grinder will reduce burn marks on that metal’s surface.
What is Bevel Grinding?
Bevel grinding is a knife making technique that involves sharpening the knife so that the cutting edge is replaced with a new sharp edge after it has been dulled. The knife edge will be ground down to form a new knife edge using an angles grinder with a grinding wheel of appropriate shape and size.
The knife blade will be heated to a very high temperature by the friction of grinding which is why this knife sharpening technique is only used by knife makers on blades made from a suitable knife steel.
Belt Sander vs Belt Grinder
When it comes to making knives, there are a few different power tools that can be used: belt sanders and belt grinders. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, which will be explored below.
A belt sander is a power tool used to smooth and shape material, such as wood and metal. They are truly useful in the knife making world because they can be used to put a fine edge on the blade. Belt sanders are also faster than belt grinders which makes them more efficient.
The biggest downside to belt sanders is that they are not strong enough for edge polishing. This is where belt grinders come in. A belt grinder is a power tool similar to a belt sander, but it can put finer edges on your blades.
A belt grinder is a machine tool for sharpening the blade of an object. Belt grinders are best used for grinding knife blades, but they can also be used to sharpen other blades like chisels or plane blades.
When you purchase the best belt grinder for knife making, make sure it’s versatile enough to handle all types of knives and not just one type.
If your new best belt grinder only has space to hold two different grit sizes on its wheel then that would limit what kind of blade you could use with it. Make sure the belt grinder will do everything you need before purchasing.