Top 10 Best 3 x 21 Inch Belt Sanders

What Real People Are Saying About The Craftsman CMEW213

Works great and the belts are easy to change

I used it for sanding a deck

Good belt sander for light to moderate use

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the manufacturer and always write from my true experience. But please note that I received this item for free in exchange for my honest review.
Review begins:

I have been using Craftsman products for years, and even though the power tools have been sold off, the product quality is still good, at least in my opinion.

This sander is also no exception to that rule. With 7.0 AMP and 800 FPM, it has the power to get the job done the first time. I used it last night to sand down a dining table we are restoring here. It only took me 15 minutes to get down to the bare wood on a 3 foot x 6 foot table top.

The box includes:
(1) 3 x 21 inch 60 grit belt. You can get more here on Amazon.
Dust Catcher Bag.

It does NOT include a case. And if you are going to keep it in the box it comes in, make sure the handle is all the way down. You can adjust the handle to 3 positions easily. Changing the belts is a toolless operation. Simply pull the red belt lever all the way out until the belt is loose and then place the new belt in, keeping the arrows on the belt in the same direction as the arrows on the sander.

It has an angled front, which makes it easier to see exactly where and what you are sanding. That is nice especially when you get to an edge.

We restore 4-6 pieces of furniture a year here at the house. This sander is suited for that kind of usage, and is worth it at this price point.

As always, when using power tools, make sure you have your PPE in place. For this, I used goggles and a dust mask to avoid inhaling dust or getting hit by any possible debris.

It's a recommended buy.

End of Review
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Ready to Sand

While I've had several power sanders, this is the first belt sander that I've had. In the past, there's always been an issue with getting the sandpaper on right or replacing sandpaper that has special shapes (I have a sander that is shaped like a laundry iron—great for nooks and crannies but difficult to find replacement sandpaper). Right out of the box, the sander is ready to go. All I had to do was to plug it in and start sanding—without having to wrestle the sanding belt on. My annual ritual of preparing my deck railing for re-finishing is much easier when the sander almost exactly the width of the railing (See picture—yes the nail has to be pounded down!) It's electric with a plug—just about all of my power tools now come with re-chargable batteries. The plug-in feature tethers it to an outlet, but it's much lighter and less bulky than the battery models. It comes with a dust-bag for catching the sand-dust and is small enough to easily store on my workbench. Now that Sears is winding down, it's nice to get CRAFTSMAN tools online—some of my CRAFTSMAN power tools are over 40 years old and still work just fine. For the money, this sander is hard to beat.

Gets the job done quickly! 4.5 stars

Sorry, this video is unsupported on this browser.
 We are using this belt sander to remove several layers of paint from the wooden slats of a weather-beaten porch swing with metal supports. In the video, all but one slat has been sanded. In the photo, the first and third slats from the left are what the slats looked like before sanding. The sixth slat from the right was hand sanded.

This belt sander has some great features: The sanding belts (3x21) are easy to change; the gripping handle position can be adjusted; the dust collecting bag is easy to remove and somewhat easy to empty; and the power button can be pushed to stay on without continuous pressure. The dust collector works pretty well in that the user does not need a face mask.

Some drawbacks to the sander: There is still some dust that falls downward (see photo), which will require sweeping up. The sander is too heavy for me to use on variable angled surfaces. Perhaps if I were just sanding a flat and horizontal surface, I wouldn't need to use much arm strength. However, the slats are attached at various angles; therefore, my hubby is the one using it in the video.

From the video, you can tell that the power cord can get in the way when sanding at different angles. Also, I'm not sure a left-handed person would be as comfortable using the sander as a right-handed person as the dust-collecting bag and motor are on the left side.

We needed to buy some sanding belts of varying grit, so the one in the video is NOT the one that came with the sander. It is an all-purpose coarse sanding belt. We found reasonably priced belts at a large hardware box store.

Overall, this is a great belt sander, and it definitely saves time over hand-sanding.

I received this product for free in exchange for this review.

Great for crafts and floors alike

I got this for two applications - first off my sons are building a dollhouse and they needed something to sand the plywood so it was smooth before getting some detailed painting and the like done. It was PERFECT for this and they had no problems, even as teens learning how to sand, using it. The second one is to touch up and refinish parts of our wood floors, and that worked just as well but obviously since it's smaller it took a while. Still well worth avoiding the cost of a huge rental.

My only complaint is that for some reason I thought it was battery; I should have looked at it closer since the pictures weirdly cut off the cord and don't show it. It's definitely corded. :)


People's Choice

These Are Some Of The Highest Rated 3 x 21 Inch Belt Sanders Available Today
BLACK+DECKER DS321 featured image

2. BLACK+DECKER DS321 Belt Sander

  • (367 Ratings)

The Craftsman CMEW213 was undoubtedly our favorite 3 x 21 Inch Belt Sanders. That doesn't mean there aren't a few other superb options when it comes down to 3 x 21 Inch Belt Sanders. We have a breakdown of them here.

BLACK+DECKER is yet another leading producer of Sanders. They build the tool that is next on our rundown. BLACK+DECKER's Belt Sanders are no exception. It was fantastic to try the DS321. I was very satisfied using this tool!

This Belt Sander is merely $48.48. That is a great deal for a premium Sander like the DS321 by BLACK+DECKER. If you unsure about our number one selection, I'd check out the BLACK+DECKER DS321 next. It's a high quality tool at a great price.

Full BLACK+DECKER DS321 Review


Included Components: (1) DS321 Sander, (1) Medium grit sanding belt, (1) Dust bag

Innovative front roller allows you to reach even the tightest corners with ease

Retractable, three-position handle for optimum control

Dust collector keeps work area clean for improved visibility

Dimensions: 15.4 x 6.2 x 6.1 inches (WxHxD); weighs 8.2 pounds; 2-year warranty

Includes medium grit sanding belt, dust bag, and instruction manual

The WEN 6321 and the 9903 by Makita are well worth a look also. Both WEN and Makita are considered two of the top manufacturers of superior Sanders. Each of these distinct selections enjoy very good user reviews as well. The 6321 advertises a score of 4.0/5 as contrasted against the 4.6/5 star rating for the Makita 9903.

The WEN 6321 gives several really premium features such as 7-amp motor rotates the belt at over 13 feet per second. The 9903 by Makita however, is tough to beat offering Powerful 8.8 AMP motor; only 85dB and even Variable speed control dial (690-1,440 ft./min.) enables user to match the speed to the application.

I wouldn't hesitate to suggest both of these 3 x 21 Inch Belt Sanders

Honorable Mentions

There are a handful more great 3 x 21 Inch Belt Sanders available. Below are a handful to pick from if the options rated above might not meet your needs. It's true that there are a plenty of excellent choices on the market to buy. Using exhaustive research and assessments, the tools we reviewed earlier are our preferred Sanders. However, these Sanders shown below deliver a few unique characteristics and are all top rated 3 x 21 Inch Belt Sanders.