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Tools

Ryobi Belt Sander Review

UPDATED JUNE 2022

Thanks for taking your time to read our review on the Ryobi cordless belt sander. So far we have only been able to find two cordless belt sanders being sold on the UK market. One is this Ryobi model and the other is from the Ridgid brand.

Belt sanders are used mainly for sanding floors or larger areas. That usually means for a long period of time and also for removing a lot of wood quickly. That type of sanding is heavy duty sanding.

Almost always for bigger jobs people will use a tool that has an electrical cord and plugs into the main's electricity supply. However the drawback is that you will have the trailing electrical lead.

This Ryobi works well as long as you use a larger 5.0 Ah battery. Ideally if you have two of those, you can be using one, and charging the other ready for use. It takes an hour to fully charge a 5.0 Ah battery.

Should you already own a smaller Ryobi battery it will still work, but the work time of the sander will be greatly reduced. No lead to worry about though.

Ryobi Belt Sander Rating Summary

This belt sander uses a standard size 76mm x 457mm sanding belt, ideal for large areas such as floors and doors but still small enough to get into narrower areas as well.

Overall Rating: 
4.4/5 stars

Value for money

EASY to USE

sanding quality

How Buyers Rate the Ryobi Belt Sander

88%
Buyer Satisfaction
  • This belt sander has an overall buyer satisfaction rating of 88%
  • 68% of all online buyers give this a full 5 star rating
  • 4% of all online buyers give this a poor review

This is based on 300+ online buyers at the time of writing this review.

What Buyers Say

The fact that there are over 300 buyer reviews online is an indicator that this product sells well in the UK Market. We know now that is also has a good 88% buyer satisfaction rating which is also a good sign.

When we do our research, we also read as many reviews as possible. We then summarise those opinions into a Pros and Cons table, which we have shown below.

Pros

  • The vast majority of buyers said this is very easy to use
  • Buyers say this is great for sanding larger surfaces
  • Buyers say it is well designed for comfortable use
  • Buyers say it works really well as long as you have a large enough battery - the bigger the better

Cons

  • Buyers say this eats batteries

Main Review

If you really want to own a cordless belt sander, at this moment in time, you are not spoiled for choice in the UK market. We could only find two options as we have explained earlier.

Belt Size

You can buy belt sanding sheets in a few different sizes. The one that fits this Ryobi sander is the 76mm x 457mm sanding belt. The most popular size on the UK market is 75mm x 457 mm and these also fit the Ryobi sander. So you are not forced to buy Ryobi replacement belts and other cheaper options are available.

The other good this is that the sander has a simple lever for fast and east belt changing, unlike some other brands.

Belt Grit Sizes

Belt sander sheets also come in different grit sizes. Typically these are 80, 120, 150, 240 and 400. The higher the number the finer and smoother the finish. Typically you would start with a smaller grit size to remove a lot of wood and then use a higher grit size to get the finish that you want.

When buying a pack of belts they usually come in a pack that costs around £15-20. That pack will contain 3 belts in each size so really good vale for money. A very popular choice is the Stebruam set available at Amazon UK.

Dust Collection

This sander comes with a dust bag which is useful. There is not a belt sander on the UK market that really handles the removal of sawdust. If you are sanding a floor with a low grit paper a lot of wood is removed quickly. Dust bags are small and they fill quickly.

If you can, it is always better to hook a vacuum cleaner up to the dust port adaptor and remove the dust that way. This Ryobi sander does have an adaptor for that purpose.

Handle

It has a 3 position handle. The only difference this really makes is that it can be moved and that allows you to get really close to the skirting boards or walls when doing floors. In simple terms you can move the handle to an upright position and that allows you to get the sander really close to the wall.

How much can it sand?

You can sand an area of about 2.5 square metres with a full charge using a 5.0 Ah battery. This sander can remove up to 700 grams of material in an hour and that is a lot.

Which Battery Size & Charger Should you use with this belt sander?

94% buyer satisfaction based on 6,000+ buyers

96% buyer satisfaction based on 3,000+ buyers

Belt sanders need a lot of power and as such eat batteries quickly. We would recommend using the 5.0 Ah battery to get the longest work time from your sander. (Around 12 minutes)

The fast charger can then charge that battery fully in one hour.

Many of the complaints about the sander is that it runs out of battery too quickly.

That is because many users are using a smaller Ah rated battery which just will not last long enough. The 5.0 Ah battery isn't cheap but well worth it for the heavier jobs like belt sanding.

Battery Runtime by Battery Size

In the table below, we show you how much material can be removed and the average run time depending on which Ryobi battery you use.

Battery  Size

Minutes of Sanding

Square Metres

Average Price

Our Review

1.5 AH

3.5

0.6

£55

Read More

2.0 AH

5

0.85

£55

Read More

3.0 AH

9

1.6

£80

Read More

4.0 AH

9.5

1.6

£85

Read More

5.0 AH

12

2.5

£90

Read More

9.0 AH

24

4.8

£160

Read More

So for a sander we would recommend at least 5.0 AH of the 9.0 AH if you can afford it, otherwise you will struggles to get any decent amount of sanding done.

Our Verdict on the Ryobi R18BS-0 ONE+ 18V Cordless Belt Sander

The sander is very good quality and any of the complaints are about the battery not lasting. This can be avoided if you are willing to spend the money on a larger AH rated battery.

You can buy spares for this at anytime as they are available, and the sander comes with a very good warranty.

You can buy and stick with Ryobi sanding belts or make use of the cheaper sanding belts as they are a standard size.

88% buyer satisfaction based on 300+ online buyer reviews

If you have a lot of large area sanding to do then we would recommend a standard mains powered belt sander. The Bosch belt sander is one of the best on the market with an average price of around £85. (Available at Amazon UK)

This cordless one from Ryobi is only really of any use where you don't have a power source, and need to sand a larger area. Many people buy this as a complement to their main belt sander.

Even with a powerful 9.0 Ah rated battery, you will only get 25 minutes sanding time. The battery takes an hour to charge so a long waiting time.

This Belt Sander Compared to other Cordless Belt Sander Brands

You have to compare this with similar cordless belt sanders that are currently on the UK market to see how it compares in terms of cost and buyer satisfaction. We could only find two cordless belt sanders and these are all sold as tool only so you will also need a battery and charger.

RIDGID cordless belt sander

50+ reviews

92% buyer satisfaction

Ryobi cordless belt sander

iv>

300+ reviews

88% buyer satisfaction

The key differences with the Ryobi belt sander

FAQ

What is the best battery and charger for their belt sander?

Without any doubt you need a 5.0 Ah battery to be able to sand for a decent amount of time. Any battery smaller than that will run out very quickly.

Is this a brushless motor sander?

No. We have checked and can not find any cordless sander with a brushless motor.

Does the sander have a switch lock?

Yes it does have a switch lock which means once you turn the sander on, you can put the lock on and it will remain working without having to hold the trigger in.

Is a belt sander better than an orbital sander?

A belt sander is better for larger jobs such as sanding floors, tables, doors and pallets. Random orbital sanders are better for jobs such as sanding chairs, bannisters, rails as these are smaller areas and also more difficult to sand.

Ryobi Brand

The Ryobi brand is part of the Techtronic Industries Company Limited TTI Group. This group also owns brands such as Hoover, Milwaukee, AEG, Kango, VAX etc. The group is a world leader in Power Tools, Accessories, Hand Tools, and Outdoor Power Equipment. They are based in Hong Kong with world wide distribution.

Ryobi Make power tools, garden tools, hand tools, batteries and chargers and much more. They are best known for their 18V ONE+™ system where one battery can power a range of over 150 different power and garden tools.

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