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IWF Woodworking Today

Enhancing Small Business Sanding Efficiency


June 28, 2023 | Dan Wellens

In the world of woodworking, sanding is the essential step necessary to achieve a smooth and polished finish on various surfaces. Investing in the right sanding machine can significantly improve efficiency and productivity for your small business. Stationary sanders come in various forms, each designed to cater to different sanding needs. Two popular types—drum sanders and wide belt sanders—offer distinct advantages for different applications.

Drum sanders specifically made for hobbyists or small businesses are typically more compact. With an average price point of $2,000 – $3,000, these machines feature a drum covered in abrasive paper. The drum rotates and removes material from the sanded surface. For small businesses, drum sanders can significantly improve efficiency in several ways. Drum sanders are great for easily sanding smaller objects. They are available in both benchtop and floor-standing models, making them adaptable to different workspace sizes. This versatility allows small businesses to choose the right type of drum sander based on available space and specific project requirements. Whether the need is to level uneven surfaces, remove old finishes or paint, or reduce stock thickness, a drum sander can expedite the process and save time.

The wide belt sander is another type of sanding machine widely used in woodworking. These machines utilize a wide abrasive belt to sand wood surfaces—thereby delivering consistent and smooth finishes. The wide belt sander offers several advantages for small businesses and larger manufacturers. One key benefit of wide belt sanders is their ability to handle large surface areas—typically from 38” to 58” working surface. The wide belt abrasive distributes sanding pressure evenly, resulting in minimal surface irregularities. This makes wide belt sanders ideal for final sanding and fine-finishing applications. Generally made for industrial use, the Wide belt sanders require much more power. Most machines utilize a three-phase power source. However, you can find smaller units with single-phase power. The wide belt sander can vary in price from $15,000 to $300,000 depending on the unit’s size and specifications.

Prominent manufacturers specializing in wide belt sanders include:

  1. Timesavers: Timesavers is a well-known brand offering a wide range of high-quality wide belt sanders. Their machines are praised for their durability, precision, and ability to streamline sanding processes in small businesses.
  2. SCM Group: SCM Group manufactures wide belt sanders known for their efficiency and versatility. Their machines are designed to cater to the needs of both small-scale workshops and large-scale production facilities.
  3. Safety Speed: Safety Speed provides a variety of wide belt sanders that offer excellent value for money. These machines are popular among small business owners seeking reliable sanding solutions while considering their budgets.

Investing in the right sanding machine can significantly improve efficiency and productivity for your business whether you require a drum sander for light-duty sanding tasks or a wide belt sander to dramatically increase production for large surface areas. When considering specific manufacturers, visit and utilize the Product Finder Tool to help research the next sanding machine for your business. 


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