Which is better: the belt or the disc sander? Ask this question on a handyman forum and you are bound to find nearly a fifty-fifty split on which is better. Some people really love the easy-to-use belt sander, while others prefer the precision work that can be done with a disc sander. You may find that mechanics prefer the disc sander while carpenters stick with the belt sander, but this is not always the case. The type of sander you will prefer is really more dependent on project and material combined than anything else.
A belt sander is really the sander of choice when it comes to removing large amounts of stock from your project. The belt is a huge surface that allows you to get your project filed down to size quickly, especially if you have a lot of filing to do. This is why woodworkers typically prefer the belt sander; it can get a lot of wood shaved off in a short amount of time. Belt sanders are available to cut down metal pieces, but they are a little bit harder to find and many metalsmiths prefer other methods for making straight cuts into metal.