Top 2 Best 3 x 24 Inch Belt Sanders

What Real People Are Saying About The Makita 9920

35 Years of experience Belt Sanding

I am a professional full time woodworker. I have 35 years experience behind a belt sander.

A good belt sander can make for fast smooth sanding in the right hands, or more fuel for the wood stove in the inexperienced ones.

The important consideration in choosing a belt sander is: what am I going to be using the tool for 90% of the time.
This tool by Makita 3 x 24 (9920) is best suited for this 90% use criteria.
Most of the time I am doing sanding of solid stock before assembly, as well as sanding assembled work.

NOTE: If your using this tool to sand floors or other large surfaces, this is not the sander. Purchase the appropriate sander.

This sander comes in 3 x (18)(21)and(24). The 24 is the best choice as it has a larger sole plate that makes it easier to sand flat. Also belts last longer. Note - Makita also makes a similar 4" wide model in this style. Belts are about 40% more for this extra inch.
Avoid this. If you really need a 4 x 24 then purchase the HD model by Makita. (11 amp)

Good Points of this sander include.
1) This belt sander tracks very well.
2) The cord length at 15 feet is an important because you don't always need a extension cord.
3) Light enough to use with one hand when needed. Light is less fatiguing with prolonged use.
4) Dust bag collects dust well enough.
5) Power is adequate for most work.
6) Made in Japan which has higher quality standards than most.

Over all. I think this is truely the best belt sander available on the market and will give you years of production.
With over 1000 hours behind all brands of belt sanders, I have the experience to know what I'm talking about.

Gutsy and well balanced
  • LCB - September 22, 2013

I had a DeWalt belt sander that was hard to control and that I finally ditched. Based on the reviews I ordered the Makita 9920 3x24 sander and have used it on a few projects. I find this one to be a vast improvement over the DeWalt. Although it has a relatively narrow footprint, it is well balanced and is very easy to control. The variable speed function is an essential plus. Changing belts is a snap and the tracking adjustment is reliable. It is heavy enough to track well on horizontal surfaces, but is balanced and light enough to use on vertical surfaces. I even used it upside down to even out some cabinet doors that were still attached to the frame, something I wouldn't dare attempt with my DeWalt. Its extra-long cord is another plus.

Makita has an optional, but pricy, sanding shoe that is supposed to provide more control on large surfaces. But I find this sander easy to use by itself, as long as you start out with the speed at its lowest setting and avoid excessively coarse abrasives.

My only minor complaint is that the clasp that keeps the dust bag shut tends to slip off if you are not careful. I fixed that with a couple of small binder clips, one at each end of the clasp. With that it does a pretty good job of trapping dust.

A1 All Around-- Solid, Quiet, Powerful, Easy to Use, Well Priced

There are lots of belt sander choices in 9920's price range. I seriously considered sanders with higher amp ratings from Porter-Cable and Bosch. Everything I read about Makita belt sanders, though, convinced me to look at this unit. I still am not sure why the 9920's 21" little brother, the Makita 9903 8.8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag, costs more. It appears to be identical; excepting its shorter belt. I wondered (and still wonder why) the 9920 has so few reviews compared to the 9903. Now that I've seriously put the 9920 to the test, though, I don't care about the 9903.

Here's why: This "Made in Japan" masterpiece, at about 10.5 pounds, has the heft needed to grab stock but is light enough to sand vertical surfaces with ease. Its 8.8 amp motor is easy on ones hands and ears. It has plenty of get up and go but is incredibly smooth and relatively quiet. I used it for hours on end, stripping paint off 130 year old boards, with great results. The belts track true and last much longer than my experience with other belt sanders would have led me to believe.

The 9920 really showed it mettle, though, removing stock. Replacing windows on an old house can present lots of issues. Varying window opening sizes comes to mind. The Makita, though, makes short work of openings not quite big enough. For the most part, I simply left the boards in place in the opening. Sanding upside down and vertically was easy and effective. It's design allows one to operate the sander virtually flush against a right angle.

Obviously, there are dust collection issues in those situations but I would not expect otherwise. Overall, dust collection was good. The manual recommends an accessory vacuum to improve collection. I have no plans to purchase the vacuum, though, because because the Makita's dust collection met my expectations.

The 9920 is great sander. I have no second thoughts about this purchase. If you need a tough, strong belt sander, the 9920 is an excellent choice.

GREAT belt sander

I was in the middle of finishing an oak floor when my 38 year old Black and Decker "Best" (actually made in USA)3 x 24 belt sander finally gave out. Having a quantity of new belts I went looking for a 3 x 24 sander and came across the Makita 9920. I had used other belt sanders like the Porter Cable, but always liked the low profile and balanced feel of my old B&D. Another advantage was I could clamp it in my old Workmate upside down and have a portable "bench" sander.
The Makita looked the most low profile of all the brands, and on receiving it (had it over-nighted from Amazon), I was impressed with it's feel and balance. I'm even more impressed with its power and variable speed control. All of the above came in very handy when doing rough to medium finish on a 6/4 Alder dado joined bookcase I recently built.

Pros: Low profile; nice balance; quiet (compared to my old B&D); exceptional dust collection; power (8.8 amp) and precise variable speed; clipped "nose" on the housing allows for close rolling sanding; flat top and lo-pro dust bag allows me to clamp it upside down on my Workmate using the bench dogs. This is huge...
Cons: Cheesy closure on dust bag (for 200+ bucks a zipper would be nice); non-ergo front handle (making a teak replacement that will fit my had better)

While this is not a 'cheap' sander by any means, (professional tools never are and this is truly a pro tool)and may be a bit pricey for the average DIY'r, I found it well worth the money and I actually find myself looking for excuses to use this sander. The few cons I noted don't detract enough to lower the 5 star rating in my book, and probably won't bother too many people. I'm handy enough to modify and improve the parts so no biggee.
Bottom line: if I lost this tool tomorrow would I spend the $$$ for a new one? Absolutely! And just for the record, I'm not partial to any particular brand of power tool; if it works well, I'll get it.

I wish I had purchased sooner

I had been reading reviews on larger belt sanders for about a year when I finally decided to purchase this one. I have been making due with an old and worn out cheapo brand with a tear in the dust bag for several years and decided I really needed a new and more powerful sander for rapid removal of stock and leveling sub-floor.

This unit was well packaged and arrived on time and undamaged. I pulled it out and made certain it worked before putting it on the shelf for a couple of weeks waiting for its first workout. When I was finally ready to use it I purchased 50 grit belts and started removing glued down chunks of underlayment on sub-floor for a renovation project. This machine powered through everything I threw at it and handled the 50 grit belts with ease.

The dust collection is amazing compared to what I was using before and with regular emptying most of the dust went where it was supposed to. I was a bit skeptical about the dust bag and how it is closed when it first arrived but it proved to be a non-issue. The bag is held closed by a piece of plastic that slides over the opening and at first I thought it would come off during operation.

The chord is plenty long and with a sub-10 amp motor you can hook it up to most construction extension cords.

The variable speed control is very nice as I can really dial in the best speed for what I am sanding on to ensure I am not removing too much material.

The belt tracking is easy to adjust and for most operations I keep it centered but when I need it to work right up against a wall it can be quickly adjusted to the far right and still stay on the machine.

I have been using this sander since late August 2013 and probably have 10-15 hours on it so far. The longest I have had it on was for about half-an-hour straight (there is a trigger lock to keep it running) and at no time did the motor seem like it was about to quit or lack power. Overall I am very happy with this purchase and hope to get many years of service from it.


People's Choice

These Are Some Of The Highest Rated 3 x 24 Inch Belt Sanders Available Today
Makita 9924DB featured image

2. Makita 9924DB Belt Sander

  • (25 Ratings)

The Makita 9920 was definitely our preferred 3 x 24 Inch Belt Sanders. That being said, there were a few other very premium quality 3 x 24 Inch Belt Sanders we wanted to show you here that barely fell short.

Next on our list is built by Makita known to be a very highly regarded tool brand. Makita's Belt Sanders are among their premier offerings. It was terrific to check out the 9924DB. I was very happy using this tool!

The model 9924DB Belt Sander by Makita, at $209.34 is an especially exceptional Sander for the price. The Makita 9924DB is definitely a solid option. Of you are unsure about our top pick, I'd suggest you pick this Sander.

Full Makita 9924DB Review

Makita 9924DB Features

Powerful 7.8 motor for fast material removal

Extended base to allow flush sanding

Innovative design for sanding flush to wall with nose and side of sander

Extra long cord for easier maneuverability

Easy-release belt lever for quick belt changes

All-ball bearing construction for longer tool life

Replaceable ceramic wear plate for easy maintenance

Low profile for balance and less gouging