Best Belt Grinder for Knife Making in 2020 (Review & Buying Guides)

Fact Checked By Luna L. Rusk | Last Updated on August 14, 2020

Knives making is neither a popular form of crafting nor a hobby that people usually practice. But from hunting to cutting vegetable, the necessity of a sharp, durable knife can’t be denied.

There are still some people who would love to forge their knives. Maybe it is their hobby, or they know that knives made by their own hand are the most reliable one.

No matter what the reason is, if someone is into making knives on their own, they need the best belt grinder for knife making.

But why you need a belt grinder for forging knives? Let’s take a look at that reason at first.

The necessity of a belt grinder for knife making:

A knife forging has become one of the rarest forms of craft these days. But once upon a time, custom made knives were special demands. In ancient times, having a sharp and robust knife was a matter of life and death. But that part of the memory is a picture from another life.

If you are looking for some heavy-duty DIY projects, you can choose knife making. It will make you feel powerful, and you will be able to explore a new area of art. And to forge knife with ease, you will need a belt grinder. 

A knife making belt grinder sharpens material and turn it into a beautiful blade. You can find some portable grinder that will help you to do your “Blacksmith” works without much trouble.

You can also turn your knife making hobby into a professional job. Many knife collectors would pay a decent amount of money for a unique knife.

Or you can personalize a hunting knife according to the hunter’s preference. And in performing all these works, having a belt grinder will come in handy.

But not all the belt grinders are good enough for knife making. In addition to that, there are so many belt grinders available out there which can make anyone bamboozled. 

So, to help those people who want to get the perfect belt grinder for themselves, we have made a list of the best belt grinders to make knives.

Top-10 Belt Grinders To Make Knives

Top Picks

Best Seller
WEN 6502 Disc Sander

WEN 6502T 4.3-Amp 4 x 36 in. Belt and 6 in. Disc Sander with Cast Iron Base

Editor's Choice
Kalamazoo Industries 2FSM Belt Grinder

Kalamazoo Industries 2FSM 2" X 48" Abrasive Belt Sander W/ Motor

Budget Picks
Grizzly H6070 Belt & Disc Sander

Grizzly Industrial H6070 - 1" x 30" Belt/5" Disc Combo Sander

Top-10 Best Belt Grinders to Make Knives

Jet Tools - J-4002 1 x 42 Bench Belt and Disc Sander (577003)

This excellent belt grinder comes with a 1” by 42” inch belt which is narrower than any other belt grinder. Therefore, it allows you to work with more precision. 

The Jet J-4002 comes with easy assembling and belt changing process. The handle of the grinder possesses enough power to forge a sturdy knife effortlessly with less noise. 

This grinder can sand and cut different materials with perfection.

The incredible feature of this grinder is the disc sander. It can rotate very fast and complete the sanding process in a few minutes. The other components of this disc are made with highly durable materials.

This versatile power tool can also be used as a coping saw, jigsaw, and hand file remover. And don’t worry about wearing the belt out. The belt of this machine is very inexpensive.

If you are looking for the best knife grinder for beginners, you can check out this belt grinder.

Pros

Cons

Porter-Cable PCB420SA Belt with 8" Disc Bench Sander, 4" x 36"

The Porter-cable PCB420SA is a versatile belt grinder with ¾, 5 amp motor. It means that this grinder can work with various materials without any trouble.

This grinder comes with a cast iron base. This iron base reduces the vibrations while working with it. So, you can work with more stability which is quite essential while forging knives.

The Porter-cable PCB420SA uses a 4” by 36” belt which is quite bigger. Therefore, if you are willing to work with smaller knives, this grinder isn’t ideal for you.

The disc diameter of this grinder is 8”. The combination of the size of this disc and the bigger belt offers more surface area to work and comes with a dust bag. 

The cast-iron disc and aluminum tables make this grinder highly durable. The belt removing and assembling is a very quick and simple process.

Pros

Cons

WEN 6502T 4.3-Amp 4 x 36 in. Belt and 6 in. Disc Sander with Cast Iron Base

If you are looking for a grinder in a small price range, the 6502 Disc sander by WEN is the best option available for you.

This grinder is much similar to the porter-cable one that I mentioned before this. It also comes with aluminum tables and cast-iron base. This cast iron base reduces the vibration while working with it.

It also comes with a 4” by 36” belt, which is quite wider if you won’t work with more precision or delicate knives. But it is a powerful tool that can work with any material without much effort.

This resourceful grinder is one of the most hard-wearing grinders within this budget. But the motor of this grinder is not very powerful to work with. And the belt is also slower than any other belt grinder for knife making.

Though having a weaker motor is kind of disappointing, it is also an advantage for the beginners. The weaker motor allows you to work slowly; thus, there is less chance of making mistakes. But if you are an expert knife maker, the slow motor can be a drawback for you.

Another drawback is the belt changing process. It is quite complicated and time-consuming. So if you want to work fast and have an easy belt-changing procedure, choose any other models I reviewed here.

Pros

Cons

Kalamazoo Industries 2FSM 2" X 48" Abrasive Belt Sander W/ Motor

The Kalamazoo Industries 2FSM Belt Grinder has one of the most robust motors among the belt grinder. But this grinder can be used by the expert knife makers as this powerful machine works very fast. So, it can be hard for a beginner to adjust the speed while working with it.

As this grinder is very powerful, you need to work very carefully with this grinder. If you are into some sturdy knives making, this grinder is quite the best option for you.

The ½ Hp motor is excellent for making and sharpening a knife. Additionally, it comes with a removable platen also works efficiently in working with woods.

Pros

Cons

Goplus Belt and 5-Inch Disc Sander, 1 x 30-Inch, 1/3HP Polish Grinder Sanding Machine

This particular disc sander is made of highly durable heavy-duty steel. It can serve you for a long time. Moreover, the disc is made of high-quality materials, so the vibration is reduced while working with it.

The design of this disc is handy, which allows the belt and disc are standing tables to tilt 45 degrees. It also comes with an instant release belt tension lever to help with the process of changing the belt.

The assembly instruction is given with the packaging. It is very quick and simple assembling procedure. You do not require any tool or professional skill to arrange this grinder.

This grinder also comes with a dust port to collect all dust and remains which keeps your surrounding cleaner. It also makes your cleaning process more convenient. This versatile grinder can work with any kind of big or small knives with perfection. 

It also comes with a tracking adjustment to keep the belt straight while working with it. This grinder is one of the most stable and robust grinders available in the market.

So, if you are looking for the best belt grinder for knife making, you can try out this option.

Pros

Cons

Grizzly Industrial H6070 - 1" x 30" Belt/5" Disc Combo Sander

The Grizzly H6070 belt and disc sander is a potent machine that can get any job done without much effort. This sander uses 1” by 30” belt, which is very useful for knife making.

This versatile grinder can also be used in dry shaping and contour sanding. The disc sanding table and the belt can tilt to 45 degrees. It allows the knife maker to have a vast range of versatility while forging knives.

Because of the roller guards and detachable belt platen, working with knives becomes much easier for this grinder.

This grinder has a 1/3 Hp motor that makes it a quite powerful knife grinder. Additionally, this grinder comes with a dust port to collect all the dust and debris after working with this.

The Grizzly H6070 is one of the faster belt grinders you can find in the market. It comes with a tracking adjustor that helps you to keep the belt stable when you are working with it. This grinder’s belt also has a very easy to remove procedure.

But there are some drawbacks in this grinder such as the disc removal process is quite tricky and it makes a quite loud noise while working with it.

Pros

Cons

JET J-41002 2-Inch by 42-Inch 3/4-Horsepower Bench Belt and 8-Inch Disc Sander

It is another belt grinder by Jet which comes with a 2” by 42” belt and 8” disc. It is designed to forge and sharpen knives with perfection. It is constructed in a way that allows you to shape delicate curves with immense precision.

The base of this grinder is a heavy-duty one, which means less vibration and noise while working. Additionally, the tilting table is made of cast iron. That means, it is one of the most durable belt grinders you can get from the market.

There is a deluxe miter gauge in this grinder that turns and locks for necessary angles. With this grinder, you can work on the small openings with accuracy. Moreover, the rubber feet on the base make it more stable than most other grinders.

The abrasive belt unit of this grinder work as a jigsaw or coping saw while eliminating the material and finishing. You can finish a large amount of work on the disc unit without any trouble.

Pros

Cons

RIKON 50-120 6-by-48-Inch Belt 10-Inch Disc Sander

The RIKON 50-120 is one of the best belt-disc combination sanders you can find out there. This sander comes with a ¾ Hp motor which can perform any sanding job with precision.

This particular belt sander can be positioned in any angle to get the work done. The cast iron table is highly durable, and the disc can be tilt to 45 degrees, thus making it an excellent power tool for sanding. 

The RIKON 50-120 is for someone who is going to use it regularly. But it isn’t for industrial use. If you are willing to do some knife making, wood sanding and other works daily at home, this sander is one of the best options for you. It is also the best knife grinder for beginners.

This sander provides a large surface area to work with. This well-constructed sander is highly durable and will serve you for a long time. It comes with a 6” by 48” belt and has an instant release belt tension lever. 

Though there aren’t many complaints about this sander’s performance, it said to be noisy and vibrates a lot while working with it. Moreover, you may need to tighten the screws after every session. 

Pros

Cons

Shop Fox W1843 Knife Belt Sander/Buffer

This belt sander is very popular among the knife makers. It is a 2×72 belt grinder with 1 Hp motor. Though most of the sanders of this brand used for woodworking with woods, it can also be efficiently used for making knives.

This sander comes with a long blade and detachable platen. It is a well-constructed and highly durable grinder that can work with any material with ease. 

The sander has lower power which is excellent for honing knife. But it will take more time for granulating and forming knife. Moreover, the belt changing procedure is very simple. 

Pros

Cons

Chef'sChoice 250 Diamond Hone Hybrid Sharpener Combines Electric and Manual Sharpening for Straight and Serrated 20-degree Knives Uses Diamond Abrasives for Sharp Durable Edges, 3-Stage, White

For a small amount of shop work, you can get this RIKON 40-112 belt disc sander. It is a very affordable sander that can be used for a long time. Additionally, the sander is made of cast iron steel for reduced vibration and noise.

The bench of the sander can be adjusted up to 0 to 90 degrees. In addition to that, it comes with ½ horsepower motor. This medium-duty motor can efficiently handle your DIY jobs. It would be better if you stick to light-weight jobs with this tool.

It comes with a 6” disc and 4” by 36” belt. Moreover, the belt tilts to 90 degrees. Though the base is made of robust cast iron, it is a light-weight machine and better for light shop works.

Though it doesn’t come with a powerful motor like other sanders, it is quite affordable, and it is eligible enough to for your leisure crafting. It is a very efficient tool to have in your house and is an excellent product for the money.

Pros

Cons

Tips for Using a Belt Grinder:

There are always some tips and tricks for specific jobs that make the job easier. So, let me tell you some tips that will help you to work with your belt grinder nice and neatly. 

Heat-resistant gloves:

Get a pair of heat-resistant glove for your knife making and shaping sessions. After using the machine for a few moments, the machine starts to get scalding. So, to save your fingers from blisters and burning get heat-resistant gloves.

Use your full power:

Do not depend only on your hands while working with a grinder or sander. Use your whole body; maintain a healthy elbow posture while doing your job. It will help you to maintain stability while working with your grinder.

And don’t rely on just one hand while shaping and honing your knife. Use your both hands to sharpen both sides of your knife for perfect finishing.

Keep water near you:

As the machine and blade both get hotter while working with them, you may need water more often to cool down the knife as well as the machine.

A Buyer’s Guide to the Best Belt Grinders for Making Knives:

Though some reputed brands sell some top-quality belt grinders, you need to look for some features that turn a grinder into the best one.

So, let me give you a brief idea about what to look for in a belt grinder for buying it.

Motor power:

Belt grinders for forging blades comes with 1 horsepower to 1/3 horsepower motors. The strength of the motor determines the workload that the machine can take.

Therefore, if you are planning to do some heavy-duty jobs on a regular basis, you can choose a grinder with a robust motor. Otherwise, you can get a light-weight medium duty machine for occasional crafting.

If you try to do massive works with a low­-powered machine, it may freeze or stop working. Even some accidents may happen while doing such things. So, choose the power of your motor very carefully.

Easy to maintain:

The machine creates a lot of dust and fragments while working with materials. Some grinders come with a dust bag to help you with collecting the rubbish. But there are a lot of grinders that come with the complicated cleaning process.

A machine with a complicated cleaning process will be messy. And if you don’t clean it appropriately, it will lose its efficiency in no time. So, you should get easy to maintain machine. It will save you time and keep your machine running for a long time.

Size of the belt:

Size of the belt is essential for a grinder or sander. Medium to narrow belts are suitable for working with accuracy. While buying a grinder for knife making, always try to get a 2×72 belt grinder. This particular belt size is right for making knives as well as sanding.

Speed:

The speed of the machine plays a crucial role in buying a grinder. With the one that has lower speed, it will take time to finish your work. But there are lesser chances for making mistakes. Low-speed grinders are best for beginners.

High-speed machines will work very fast and need an expert hand to control it. However, the belt of the high-speed machine wears out very quickly.

Considering all these, you should get a grinder with adjustable speed. It will make your knife making sessions trouble-free.

Easy to assemble and use:

Who wants to waste their time in reading complicated manuals and painful using procedure? So, get a machine that can be used easily. 

There are also some grinders with complicated belt and disc changing process. Avoid these types of machines with a problematic procedure to save your time and energy.

Size of the sander:

Do not choose a massive disc sander that is difficult to install in your workspace. Otherwise, it will be a very troublesome process to adjust it every time you are working with it.

Dust collection system:

As I revealed before, you need to keep your machine clean as appropriately as possible. So, get a machine with additional dust port or dust bag to have a cleaner surrounding and natural cleaning process.

Contact point of the machine:

The plate-like part of the grinder is the contact point of this machine. When you are forging a knife, this plate put a stop to the knife from hanging in the side. 

If you are buying a grinder for forging blades, check out if the plate can tilt up to 45 degrees or not. If it can, it is ideal for making blades.

Frequently Asked Questions About Making Knives with a Belt Grinder

Oiling isn’t a mandatory step in the grinder maintenance. If you dust off the machine and keep the inside of guard clean, you will not face any further problem.

Otherwise, you can select the Kitchellence kitchen knife sharpener for you. It provides robust sharpening action to provide razor-sharp edges.

Now you know about all the best grinders for knife making. But why you needed to make knives in the first place? So, without wasting any more moments, let’s take a look at those grounds.

There are so many knives making belt grinders available in the market. You can get an industrial belt sander, a portable belt grinder or a forged in fire belt grinder. Moreover, there are so many belt sizes to choose from. So how do you know that which belt grinder will fulfil your expectation?

Before you start looking for a belt grinder, make a list of things that will help you choose your perfect tool. The list should consist:

  • The level of your expertise in knife making.
  • How frequently you are going to use the machine.
  • What type of work are you going to perform? For heavy-duty shop works, choose a robust grinder.
  • Do you only need to shape metal or woods? You can get a combined one if you want to work with both.
  • Can you work with a fast grinder? If not, you can get the one with low or adjustable speed.

After figuring out all the things I mentioned above, take a look at our buyer’s guide section for the buying the best belt grinder for knife making.

If you own a tool, you must know how to maintain the quality of that product. Otherwise, you will fail to get the best out of it. To use your belt grinder for a long time, it would be better if you know how to clean it properly.

When you work with a belt grinder, the dust and debris get stuck inside the moving parts of the grinder. If you don’t clean it after every job, someday the grinder will stop working. 

Many belt grinders come with a dust bag to collect the wastage after working. It will make your cleaning process more manageable. You can get crepe rubber blocks or wax bars for cleaning your belt and machine.

Final Verdict

Hopefully, I have covered all the details regarding the best belt grinder for knife making. Making knives isn’t easy at all; it requires skill and determination. And it is a kind of craft that requires both creativity and physical labor.

As there are plenty of grinders to choose from, it is very common for you to get confused while shopping for a belt grinder. Therefore, I have mentioned all the tips and tricks and also reviewed all the best machines. So, you will be able to get the one that works for you perfectly.

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