Best Sander For Metal Working – Reviews & Buyers Guide

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When it comes to metalwork, one of the most important things is finishing and detailing. To get the best results possible, you need the best sander for metal.

It doesn’t matter if you are doing automotive projects, aircraft, or anything else, you need a high-quality sander. Unless you have spent your whole life using sanders then choosing one for metalwork is going to be hard.

That’s why we have made a list of recommendations that you can choose from. We have also written a buyer guide that will help you make an easier choice.

Products
Product NameDetailsPrice

ZFE

  • Speed: 450-750 RMP
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TACKLIFE Belt Sander PSFS2A

  • Speed: 450-750 RMP
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1

  • Speed: 3600 RMP
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Astro Pneumatic Tool 3037

  • Speed: 0-16.000 RMP
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XtremepowerUS



  • Speed: 3600 RMP
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Types Of Sanders For Metal

As I said earlier, there are a lot of different materials that require different types of sanders. That’s why it is always important to know beforehand the material you will work on, and the type of job you need to do. Two of the most used sanders for metal are the belt sander and the orbit metal sander.

Belt Sanders

Belt Sanders are mostly used when you need to do polishing, if you need a good finish quality then belt sanders are your best friends. They are also good when dealing with difficult angles such as corners, their design allows superior angle control and they are also good at maintaining the shape of the material. So if you ask; can a belt sander be used on metal? Then yes it can.

When buying a belt sander you need to consider how long and how wide you want the belt to be. Usually, belts that are longer and wider tend to be better and stay cooler while working, but they are more expensive. Make sure to know the size of the project you will be working on because often you just need a 2-inch belt to do simple finishing work. Also, the belt sander is the best sander for aluminum

Orbit Metal Sanders

Orbit Metal Sander is mostly used when you need to shape metal. This type of sander is used when you are dealing with automotive projects, usually when you need to give an object a little finesse machining so it can perfectly fit.

Just like with belt sanders, you need to consider the diameter/surface area of the wheel before buying one. The bigger the diameter the cooler the tool stays while working. But again, you don’t always need a big sander to complete a project.

Reminder: There are a lot of sanders that can be transformed from a belt sander to an orbit sander. If you need to give the metal a good finish but also at the same time re-shape it then having a sander that is 2-in-one is your perfect choice.

Best Sander For Metal


1. ZFE Sander – Best Belt Sander for Metal and Wood

Best Features  Burnishing...

  • Variable Speed Settings
  • Usable
  • High-Quality

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

More detailed review ↴

I usually consider a lot of factors before buying a power tool. The thing that made me buy this sander is that it comes with adjustable speed settings. This means that I can use the same sander for different projects.

This ZFE sander comes with 6 different speeds that you can change based on your needs.  Thanks to this feature, I have used this polishing machine for different things, such as polishing, removing dust, scratches, getting a fine finish, etc. And I have used it on different materials such as steel, metal, cast iron, etc. and it did a very good job.

A thing that I like about this machine is that it is double isolated and that prevents the tool from having an electric shock structure. Except for that, it comes with a heat-dissipating hole, a replaceable carbon brush, and a motor switch.

The first time I used this sander I noticed that it’s very heavy. But, that’s a good thing, metal sanders should be heavy because of the way they touch metal, and that requires strength. This sander weighs approximately 11 pounds.

The tool is very comfortable, and the L-shaped handle allows you to handle and control the tool easier.

On the downside, we noticed that the brush wears out very fast, and the tool can get very hot while using it.

What We Liked;

  • Adjustable Speed – You can change the speed to match the project you are working on.
  • Usable – You can use it on any material, you just need the right drums
  • L-Shaped Handle – Since the tool is heavy, this handle makes it easier to hold the tool.
What We Didn’t Like:

  • Brush wears out fast.
  • The tool can get very hot while using.

2. TACKLIFE Belt Sander PSFS2A – Best Belt Sander Metal Finishing

Best Features  TACKLIFE Belt...

  • Powerful
  • Easy Belt Installation
  • 2-in-one Sander

My Overall Rating

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

More detailed review ↴

I’m a very big fan of sanders that can be used for different projects. This TACKLIFE sander can be used for different materials such as metal, wood, tile, and even glass.  This is a 2-in-one sander, you will get a belt sander that can be transformed into a bench sander.

The reason I bought the TACKLIFE PSFS2A it’s because it comes with 2 screw clamps, the sander can be turned over and fixed on a table and it will act as a bench sander, this usually offers more flexibility.  It also comes with a trigger lock that helps you to free your hands while working (bench-sander mode only).

It features a very powerful 7.5 amp motor that comes with 13 different speed knobs. You can change the speed settings based on the material and project you are working on. The speed is from 450 to 750 RPM.

The thing we noticed about this sander is that it comes with a great dust system collector. The system is very effective and it features a big box.  The box can be easily detached and I find it very easy to clean. It also features 2 more vacuum ports that allow you to connect other vacuums.

Most of the sanders make the belt installation very hard. But that wasn’t the case for this one. We installed the belt within a few seconds. It has only one metal clamp lever that makes the whole process faster.

On the downside, from our tests, we are not sure if this sander is durable enough for everyday use.

What We Liked:

  • Powerful – Features a 7.5 amp, 900W motor.
  • Speed – It comes with 13 different speed settings. Speed is from 450 to 750 RPM.
  • Ergonomic Handle – It has a soft-rubber-wrapped handle.
  • Dust Collector – Effective and easy to clean.
  • Quick Sanding Belt Installation
What We Didn’t Like:

  • It doesn’t last if you overuse it.

3.  1″ X 5″ Belt Disc Sander – Best Belt Disc Sander for Metal Work

Best Features  1' X 5' Belt...

  • Adjustable Tables
  • Perfect For Hobbyists
  • 2-in-one Sander

My Overall Rating

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

More detailed review ↴

If you are a hobbyist or a “DIY” and just need a sander for small to medium projects then this one is the perfect choice for you. It is a 2-in-one sander that can be transformed from a belt sander to a disc sander.

It is a 1” Belt & 5” Disc Sander. So, no matter what materials you will be sanding, metal or wood, this sander has you covered. I have used this one for different things such as polishing, sharpening, etc. And I have got good results from it.

It features a powerful 2.5 Amp motor, that is more than enough for small to medium projects. The tables are also adjustable, meaning that you can change the in-built table from 0 to 45 degrees very easily. Once you get the right angle, the table will be securely locked into place.

Although this is a great sander, this one can be only used for small to medium tasks. The sander is too small for bigger projects.

What We Liked:

  • Powerful – It comes with a 2.5 amp motor.
  • Adjustable Tables – Tables can be changed from 0-45 degrees easily.
  • 2-in-one – This belt sander can be transformed into a disc sander too.
  • Perfect for Hobbyists.
What We Didn’t Like:

  • It can be used only for small-medium projects.

4. Astro Pneumatic Tool 3037 – Best Air Sander For Metal

Best Features  Astro Tools...

  • Air Sander
  • Adjustable Speed
  • 360° Adjustable Arm

My Overall Rating

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

More detailed review ↴

An air sander is the only choice you have when you need to remove welds from hard-to-reach areas, such as automobiles or corners. One of the best air sanders we have ever used is Astro 3037.  We used this sander mostly to remove spot welds, but it can be used to prepare metal too.

The Astro 3037 comes with adjustable speed settings. You have 5 different speed settings that you can easily change. The maximum speed of this tool is 16,000 RPM. The RPM adjustment button is located at the handle.

What I like about this air sander is that it comes with a 360° Adjustable Arm, you can easily adjust the arm angle by turning the Allen bolt in the supplied wrench.

Usually, sanders for metal are lightweight. But the lightest of them all are air sanders. This sander weighs 2.2 pounds, therefore this tool will be your best friend when it comes to portability. Moreover, you will be able to work longer without fatigue.

On the downside, this sander can be very noisy after using it for a while. 

What WE Liked::

  • Adjustable Speed – Speed can be changed from 0-16,000 RPM.
  • 360° Adjustable Arm – You can change the arm angle.
  • Lightweight – Weighs 2.2 pounds.
What We Didn’t Like:

  • It can be noisy sometimes.

5. XtremepowerUS  – Best Belt Grinder for Metal Work

Best Features  XtremepowerUS...

  • Adjustable Tables
  • Durable
  • 2-in-one Sander

My Overall Rating

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

More detailed review ↴

This is another 2-in-one sander. The XtremepowerUS sander is a belt and a disc sander. This machine has a different speed on its belt and disc. The disc sander model is mostly used for woodworking and smaller projects.

The belt sander is mostly used for metals and bigger projects. The disc sander is made of heavy-duty steel and it has a strong base that prevents any heavy vibrations. This gives you stability and also keeps you safe while working.

The in-built tables on both of the sanders are fully adjustable. The tables can tilt up to 45 degrees. Moreover, it has a quick-release tension level that helps you to change the belt easier

Disc Sander comes with a dust collector system. It has a vacuum port that allows you to connect the sander to other vacuums to get rid of the dust easier.

What We Liked::

  • 2-in-one – This is a belt and a disc sander.
  • Durable – The disc sander is made of heavy-duty steel and a strong base.
  • Dust Collector System – It features a dust collector port.
What We Didn’t:

  • No dustbag.

Best Sander For Metal Working – Buyers Guide

All of the sanders we have listed are good, but if you don’t know which one to choose then here are some features that you need to consider before buying one.

If you are looking for the best sander for aluminum then you need to know the project you are working on. Aluminum is a rough material so you need a sander with a lot of power.

Material Type

If you work daily with metal, then you already know what type of metal you need to sand. There are a lot of different metal types such as high carbon steel, aluminum, steel, etc, all of these metals require different types of sanders. That’s why it is important to know the material before buying a sander.

There are people (including me) that want to buy a sander that isn’t only made for a specific material, we want a sander that we can use for different projects. As you have seen in the best sander for aluminum list I have listed a lot of sanders that can be easily transformed from belt sander to disc sander or bench sander.

These types of sanders are the ones you should buy if you want to use the same sander for different projects. A lot of people use sanders for woodworking, so it is always important to have a sander that can do both so you don’t have to buy an extra one.

Read also: Best Sander For Cabinets

Sandpaper Type

Most of the metalworkers recommend using 50-grit sandpaper when dealing with metals. I recommend 50-grit sandpapers too. But what you have to consider is the material of the sandpaper.

The standard sandpaper for most of the metalworkers is aluminum oxide. This one is pretty good, but sometimes it isn’t the best choice. This sandpaper doesn’t last long when dealing with metals that come with a higher hardness rating. Also, they are known to generate a lot of heat. So, if you use them you have to take a lot of breaks to wait for it to cool down or you have to use a coolant sprayer.

Silicon oxide is a good sandpaper when dealing with aluminum. But just the aluminum oxide, this one too tends to overheat a lot. You have to use a coolant spray or some lubrication with water to prevent the sandpaper from literally burning up.

Another good alternative is cubic zirconia. This sandpaper is mostly used by professionals, it doesn’t generate as much heat as the other two and you don’t need to use a lot of coolant spray or take any big breaks if you use this one. The CZ sandpaper is also more durable. You will have to pay more to get this sandpaper, but in the end, it’s worth every penny.

Final Words

This is all I had to share with you about sanders for metal. Keep in mind that you always need to know the type of material and the size of the project you will be working on before buying a sander.

If you don’t know it, then I recommend you choose a sander that is 2-in-one and allows you to change the speed. In this list, I have listed 3 sanders that are 2-in-one. Make sure to check them out.  Let me know in the comments which sander you will be picking and why.

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