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Here’s one unusual little belt sander: it’s designed for sanding/filing in tight spaces with a belt that’s as narrow as 1/4″.  With variable speed via a control dial — ranging from 980 to 5,600 feet per minute — this looks like an incredibly useful tool that’d dramatically simplify detail sanding work.

While the sander ships with a 3/8″ wide belt, Makita actually offers three arm assemblies, each of which supports a different belt size: 1/4″, 3/8″. and 1/2″.  It weighs just 3.3 pounds, and you can adjust belt tracking as well.

I realize that some tasks simply must be performed by hand, but any time you can electrify a heavy sanding task you’re going to save some serious time.  I’m just surprised that I didn’t run across one of these years ago!

Street pricing starts around $225.

3/8″ Belt Sander (Model 9032) [Makita]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]


7 Responses to A Belt Sander For Tight Spaces

  1. nrChris says:

    Harbor Freight has a similar one, although I believe it uses 1/2″ belts and runs for about $30. I bought one, it was very very loud, and very much overkill for the application that I had in mind–so I returned it the next day.

  2. These go by the name “Power Files”

    And they’re absolutely a god send for reaching into tight spaces, or doing precise file work quickly.

    I’ve used them for taking down burrs on steel tubing to making large holes through sheet metal more circular.


  3. l_bilyk says:

    How does the tiny belt track? I would think if the tracking is slighty off the belt would fly off

  4. Brau says:

    It does make you wonder what kind of witchcraft they are using to keep the belt in place. Looks more like a chainsaw than a belt sander.

  5. John Doe says:

    I’ve used a Harbor Freight attachment for an angle grinder that gives you (in effect) the same capability. (The attachment looks similar to the machinery attached to the left of the motor in the pic above.)

    It works very well for tight sanding (e.g., chair rails), some detail sculpting. Low $$ for the functionality.

    It tracks similarly to an ordinary belt sander. I haven’t had problems with tracking. The tip half is spring loaded as a tensioner, with a tip roller that’s slightly crowned to keep the belt on track there. There’s an adjustment knob to set the track, angles the tip left or right.

    Long term, I wonder about getting belts. Also, like a belt sander, you need to be careful about sanding marks in wood, crossgrain marks especially.

    If I were to ever upgrade, I’d look at this Makita unit.

  6. ba614 says:

    Quite a few years ago I used a similar tool called a Dyna-File durring a time that Kellogs was converting everthing in thier plant to stainless steel. I built staircase handrails, conveyers, electrical pannel boxes, sub-floors and alot of piping. All welds and materials had to be fully polished smooth. There are varouis sanding and scotchbrite belts availible for these tools. I never had problems with the belt coming off. I used the Dyna-File daily for about 2 years. For the metal fabricator this is an amazing tool. I’ve never used one on wood but I’m sure it would work just as well.

  7. T says:

    I second ba614. We used a Dyna-file two jobs ago incessantly. Lots of big metal acme threads subject to getting beat up and dinged around. They’ll smooth out at thread real quick and remove burrs before you can blink. Great tools for metal working. I don’t know about wood working. Never needed it for my applications.

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