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Best Sanding Belt for Metal
Home » Top 5 Best Sanding Belt for Metal (2020 Review)

Top 5 Best Sanding Belt for Metal (2020 Review)

When it comes to smoothing metal, a good sanding belt is absolutely vital. Without one, the process is long and arduous, not to mention nearly impossible. Choosing one can be a tad difficult though, since there are so many different products and brands out there.

Top 5 Best Sanding Belt for MetalThis article will cover a variety of different belt sanders that are available, as well as what things you as a customer need to consider when shopping for a sanding belt for metal. If you’re looking to buy, this guide is where you should start.

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Red Label Abrasives 4 x 36 Ceramic Sanding Belts

Red Label Abrasives 4 x 36 Ceramic Sanding Belts

These are premium industrial grade ceramic metal sanding belts, making them ideal for heavy duty metal sanding, weld removal, and the deburring of ferrous metal. We feel that it is one of the best options because it is a product pack, meaning it comes with various grits; the pack includes 120, 180 and 220 grit belt sanders. This is notable because it means you have many options available for many different tasks. On top of this, the ceramic grain has special properties that extend its cutting life to greater lengths, and the top coat reduces heat buildup, and the X-Flex backing is extremely durable. Finally, it’s quite affordable, to be getting three belts.
Pros:

  • Comes with three belts of different grits
  • Ceramic belts last a long time
  • Less heat buildup while grinding

Cons:

  • Belts drift just slightly during use

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The Best Sanding Belts for Metal

If you are ready to get down to business regarding the selection of sanding belts for metal, this section is where we will go over some of the best products available online right now, from various brands and various materials.

The top best product [hide]

Red Label Abrasives Zirconia 6 x 48 Sanding Belts: 4-Pack


Red Label Abrasives Zirconia 6 x 48 Sanding Belts: 4-Pack
As stated before, zirconia sanding belts are excellent for working with metal, making them some of the best sanding belts for knife sharpening. Moreover, these belts in particular are from the reputable Red Label Abrasives company. These 6 x 4b inch belts come in a pack of four, with a 40, 60, 80 and 120 grit belts available to meet various needs. All of this is at a fairly affordable price. As for special features, bi-directional tape joints allow the belts to run in either direction, the premium top coat grinding allows for less heat buildup, and it can be used with any belt grinder that is compatible with 6 x 48 size belts. Ideal for grinding metal of almost any type, these zirconia belts from Red Label Abrasives last a long time and sharpen with ease.
Pros
Cons

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Red Label Abrasives Ceramic Sanding Belts


Red Label Abrasives Ceramic Sanding Belts
Ceramic sanding belts are the only ones that last even longer than zirconia in terms of longevity, making them ideal for heavy duty metal sanding like weld removal. Ceramic not only lasts longer, but it also grinds cooler than other materials, which is useful if you are working with something heat sensitive. This pack includes 120, 180 and 220 grit belt sanders. Naturally having more grits available means you can tackle a wider variety of tasks, and admittedly, some other products out there come with more belts in one pack, and a wider range of grits. However, there are plenty of benefits to offset this: the ceramic grain has special properties that extend its cutting life to greater lengths, and the top coat reduces heat buildup, and the X-Flex backing is extremely durable. Finally, it’s quite affordable, to be getting three belts of the longest lasting material.
Pros
Cons

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Abrasive Sanding Belts


Abrasive Sanding Belts
This pack of 4 x 36 metal sanding belts from Powertec is an alternative to Red Label Abrasives. 4 x 36 sized belts are a little harder to come across than other sizes, making these notable for that feature alone. But of course, they do have other qualities worth noting. As always, zirconia is self-sharpening, but these belts in particular are resin bonded, meaning they have excellent heat resistance and are great for both ferrous and nonferrous metals. With a combination of grit, abrasive material, y-weight backing and a closed coat design, these belts are excellent for a wide array of tasks, from weld removal to deburring and metal shaping. On the downside, all of the belts in this pack are the same grit: so, unlike some other packages, you aren’t getting multiple grits in one purchase. However, you can buy these belts in various grits, including 24, 36, 60, 100 and 120 grit.
Pros
Cons

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Combat Abrasives 2 x 72 Ceramic Grain 36 Grit Sanding Belts – 6 Pack


Combat Abrasives 2 x 72 Ceramic Grain 36 Grit Sanding Belts – 6 Pack
A somewhat more expensive option as far as this list is concerned, that is only because these ceramic belts come in a pack of six, which is much larger than most packs available for purchase. On top of that, they are all ceramic belts, which are the best material choice when it comes to metal. They last several times longer than zirconia and often run cooler as well, so a six pack of ceramic belts is sure to provide you with a great deal of working time. Granted, 2 x 72 isn’t a particularly popular size, but some people still need them, and if you are one of those people, these are very high-quality belts to use. They too are available in several grits, including 36, 40, 80 and 120. For the price, these are some high-quality belts that will last you quite some time, since you’ll be getting six of them.
Pros
Cons

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Red Label Abrasives 6 x 48 Metal Ceramic Grinding Belts – 2 Pack


Red Label Abrasives 6 x 48 Metal Ceramic Grinding Belts – 2 Pack
Another Red Label Abrasives pair of belts, these aren’t too much different than the other ceramic belts we’ve mentioned so far. They last the longest amount of time, have the least amount of heat buildup, and it has heavy duty Y-backing for extra longevity. They are great for all types of metals, including cast iron, stainless steel, regular steel, carbon steel and a whole lot more. They’re also made in the USA, for what that’s worth. These belts are only available in 60 grit and 80 grit, and of course it is only a two-pack, so it’s not the most versatile product to buy, but if you only need a pair of ceramic belts in these grits, there’s no need to spend money on more than you really need.
Pros
Cons

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Sanding Belt for Metal: Buying Guide

Before we get into the actual products we are going to discuss, this buying guide will cover the things one should consider when shopping for a metal sanding belt in the first place. By taking these factors into consideration, you can make a more informed decision on which metal sanding belt will be most suitable for your particular needs.

What Are Sanding Belts?

Sanding belts are quite simple in design: by moving very rapidly across the surface of whatever you wish to grind, the abrasive belts wear down metal, wood, and numerous other materials. They are accelerated by the wheels and pulleys of a sanding device. Sanding belts come in many varieties, with different materials to use. Some use ceramics, and others use zirconia or aluminum oxide. They have different strengths and weaknesses, but they all achieve the same thing: they sand down the surface of whatever you are working with.

However, some are better for different materials, including metal. We’ll cover the different types of belts and which ones are best suited for metal.

What Types of Sanding Belts are Best for Metal?

There are four types of sanding belts out there: aluminum oxide, zirconia, ceramic, and silicon carbide. Most people are used to the typical zirconia sanding belts vs aluminum oxide, but each of these four options has strengths and weaknesses.

Aluminum oxide is an all-around choice that can be used for wood or metal, and it can be used with just about any type of belt sander. However, while it’s a jack of all trades, it’s also not the absolute best choice for metal. Zirconia is a better option. This material is self-sharpening, and is several times tougher than aluminum. It requires more pressure to sand effectively, but for heavy duty grinding like metal, that’s actually a given regardless.

Ceramic is self-sharpening, like zirconia. However, it is also a much cooler grinding material than zirconia, or any of the other options. This makes it the most suitable choice when you are working with very heat-sensitive materials. Ceramic is also the longest lasting material, so if you are looking for longevity, this is the way to go.

Finally, we have silicon carbide. These belts are very sharp and grind very well, but they are short-lived and wear down more quickly than the others. It’s not a good choice for metal grinding.

For metal grinding in particular, your best options are zirconia or ceramic belts, as they are self-sharpening, last a very long time, and perform well when being used for high pressure grinding.

What is the Difference Between a Belt Sander and a Belt Grinder?

Belt grinders and belt sanders both use sanding belts to grind down different substances. However, while they are both used for similar things, only one is suitable for metal. Put simply, a belt grinder is mounted on a desk, and applies more pressure to whatever is being grinded. A belt sander offers less pressure, and is generally not used for metals. In brief, you want a belt grinder if you are going to be working with metal.

This is not to say that you couldn’t use a belt sander, but it just wouldn’t be as effective as using a belt grinder. Thankfully, this information doesn’t have to be considered too heavily when shopping for sanding belts, because the vast majority of belts are useable on both belt sanders and belt grinders. That being the case, if you already have one of these tools but not the other, you can safely buy a sanding belt without fear of whether or not the belt will be compatible with the tool you currently possess.
A couple of sanding belt tricks are this video:

Sanding Belt for Metal: FAQs

Will these belts fit my tool?

Belts have different sizes, such as 4 x 36 or 6 x 38. If your tool is rated to fit belts of the same size, it is almost guaranteed that they will fit your tool.

Are these belts good for metal?

Zirconia and ceramic belts are the best choice for working with metal or very hard wood. Aluminum oxide is not suitable and won’t last long or work well with metal.

What grits are these belts available in?

Generally, you can order a belt in a specific grit, so long as it is offered by the provider. Descriptions will usually tell you what grit a belt is.

Verdict

When it comes to working with metal, zirconia and ceramic belts are the best choice. Thankfully, all of the products on this list are of those two materials. So long as you get the grit you think you need, the only other thing to consider is how many belts you are getting in one pack, as all belts of zirconia or ceramic material will function with roughly the same efficiency as one another.

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