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What Are the Different Types of Industrial Sander?

Belt sanders smooth wooden surfaces by spinning a roll of sandpaper in a continuous loop.
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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2014
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Industrial sanders are important tools for finishing a variety of wood and metal products. These machines are made to handle large-scale jobs and complete them quickly for mass production. The belt sander, disc sander, drum sander and floor sander all use the same principles of smoothing surfaces but in different ways and for different purposes. Anything from furniture to automobile parts and more have all seen an industrial sander before being completed.

When products still have rough wooden or metal sides and edges, a belt sander often is the first piece of industrial machinery the items see. This is a large, stationary tool with an electric motor that turns two drums and spins a roll of sandpaper in an endless loop. The industrial sander normally is fitted with a rough-grit sandpaper and is the first step in smoothing a surface. Belt sanders also are popular because of the cleanliness they promote with a dust collection system that captures most of the dust, keeping it from going into the air or creating a hazard on the floor.

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The disc sander is another popular form of industrial sander. This is smaller than a belt sander and often is used for more intricate work. This stationary grinder has a circular disc of sandpaper attached to a spinning motor, usually positioned vertically. This tool can be used for initial finishing, like a belt sander, but it also can have a finer grain of sandpaper on the wheel for smoother finishing. Another benefit of the disc sander is a foot pedal control that allows users to keep two hands on the material at all times.

The drum sander is a unique industrial sander used for finishing large pieces of wood that would not be practical with a smaller tool. This stationary machine combines technology from belt sanders, planers and pneumatic presses. Users feed a large plank of wood in one end of this machine, and it is ferried through a continuous sanding belt and comes out the opposite end. This tool is popular because it can be adjusted to sand material to a specific size and can provide precise results each time.

Floor sanders utilize many forms of industrial sander technology to complete different jobs. These sanders normally have a motor that runs along the ground with a control handle rising from it, much like a lawnmower or vacuum cleaner. Floor sanders come in different styles ranging from disc, belt, drum and orbital sanders. Each style creates a different type of finish for hard wood flooring.

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