DeWalt Belt Sander Review

Sean Wright

WNY, Buffalo Area
This is my newest tool the DeWalt DW433 VS 3x21 belt sander. This is the 1st (hand held) belt sander that I have owned. Up to this point I have been severly beating on my DeWalt random orbit sander for almost everything.

I have only used it a few times, but up to this point, I have not been disappointed. Two things that make this sander unique are the "automatic" belt tracking and the low mounted dust bag.

When I first read about the "Automatic" Belt Tracking, I though, "Yeah right that will never work"...... Much to my suprise it actually works! :thumb:
After getting the sander, I used the toolless belt tension release knob (metal knob in the 5th pict) to remove the belt. When flipped it drops the upper roller down, releasing the tension on the belt. I put the belt back on, flipped the knob to re-tension it and fired it up. I had my hand on the manual tracking knob (black plastic knob in the 5th picture) ready to make a quick adjustment before it wrecked the belt. Some how it corrected itself and didn't need any adjustment. When I tried adjusting it, it only moved the belt out of alignment. I tried this again several times, and it always seemed to track the belt to the right spot.

The dust collection is ok, probably better than nothing. After all it is a belt sander....:dunno: Unlike the P-Cs on top dust bag, this dust bag sticks out the back on the left side, just below the handle. It is nicely placed as to not block your view on either side of the sander. There is a dust chute shut off, if you choose to not use the bag (in the 4th picture). This way the dust just gets dumped downward and not back all over you! The bag comes off fairly easily for emptying. You can also get an attachment for use with a shop vac or D-C system that connects where the bag is. I might be doing something wrong here, but where the bag attaches I have notices that it contacts the work piece somewhat. This hasn't proven to be a problem yet, but I haven't used the sander that much either.

Some other things about the sander.... It is rather heavy and the motor is mounted low helping to balance the weight over the platten. The front plastic handle is "adjustable", in that it can be moved from where it is to be mounted on the front of the sander, just ahead of where it is in the 2nd picture. I tried it there, but so far I seem to prefer where it is in the pictures. The Variable Speed adjustment is nice to have. The cord is fairly long and sticks up above the handle to help keep it out of the way. DeWalt makes a stand that it can be mounted in so it can be used as a stationary stander.... I already have one of those, so I didn't see the need to get the stand for this.

In researching belt sanders I heard lots of complaints about belts blowing out supposedly due to sander design. I did have a belt blow out (last picture), but that was user error on my end :doh: :doh: While sanding I accidently hit the edge of the work piece at an angle and it nicked the belt-- thus the blow out. I put a new belt on and it "automatically" tracked to the right spot :thumb:


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Greg Cook

Tokiwadai, Japan
Nice review, Sean.

Looks like you did a lot of homework first and got a nice sander. Look forward to some more pics of it "in action" on a project.

Thanks for posting.

Stuart Ablett

Tokyo Japan
Great review!

I hate the color..........and if that is the only bad thing I have to say about it, well then, it must be looking good! :thumb:

Those dust bag things rarely work much at all, I bet it would do a LOT better hooked up to a shopvac.

I need to get a belt sander, one tool I do not have, and I've found the need a few times for one, but just went with the ROS and some #60 grit :rolleyes:

I do not think DeWalt is available here, or not the full line anyways.

I will add it to my list.


Norman Hitt

Odessa, Tx
Thanks for the review Sean. I sure wanted to pull the trigger on one of those when there was a really great sale on them a while back, but something else came up more pressing, AND I had seen several not so great reviews. Keep us posted as to how it holds up, because it's STILL on my list.