Tom had a problem with his belt sander belt slipping. He thought it was a tracking problem and he corrected the tension on the belt. He thought it was all and the sander should work fine.
But to his surprise, the belt sander belt was still sliding off, and he didn’t know what else to do. We got a chance to take a look at his sander and saw that he installed the belt in the wrong direction. So, we corrected it and saw that the problem was gone.
Like that little mistakes or tiny issues, your belt sander belt will slip off. Here, we’ve listed and solved almost all probable belt slipping problems including belt sander won’t track. So, let’s get started with knowing all the reasons as a summary at first and the solution later.
Why is Belt Sander Belt Slipping? Reasons and How to Fix:
If your belt sander belt keeps coming off, you should expect the following reasons.
Belt sander tracking problem
Belt sander belt quality problem
Well-worn belt problem
Size mismatching problem
Tension lever problem
Consulting many professionals, we found out that those are the most common probable causes for the belt won’t stay on belt sander track. For the rest of the article, we’ll try to describe how these problems make your belt sander’s belt keep slipping. Also, we’ll tell you how you can solve those issues.
The first and the important as well as a common problem for belt sander belt sliding or skidding is the belt tracking problem. For Craftsman / Porter Cable / Dewalt belt sander tracking problems, the solution is the same. But we need to understand the root cause of the problem first. Belt tracking problems could occur due to problematic rollers. This is mainly an adjustment issue. But there can be more reasons, and we’ve discussed those below.
How to Fix Belt Sander Tracking Problem:
To solve the belt sander won’t track the problem, please follow the steps below.
Take the belt sander, and you’ll see the belt sander tracking knob on the side of the roller. Making it tight or loose will adjust the tension of the belt.
Now, use the right tool to make it tighter or looser. Too much typing can decrease the life of the belt. On the other hand, too much loose adjustment can make the belt glide. So, adjust just right so that the sander belt spins perfectly.
Finally, if you see that the belt is moving towards a particular side, it will mean that the side has the least resistance and you need to make that side tighter.
2. Belt sander Belt Quality Problem
Another problem arises due to poor belt quality. When you buy cheaper alternatives, you get the belts with short longevity and imperfect sizing even if you see the right number on the belt. That’s why you need to choose sandpaper quality carefully. At this point, you understand what the solution is for this problem.
How to Fix Belt Quality Problem:
Just buy the right product from the most reviewed brands, even if it costs more.
3. Well-Worn Belt Problem
You’ve guessed this issue right just by reading the title. After using the belt for some time, it is bound to get problematic. Craftsman belt sander belt slips or Makita belt sander belt slips, a well-worn belt causes the same issue for belt sanders of any brand. The solution to this problem is also not so complex.
How to Fix the Well-Worn Belt Problem:
Take out the old belt and install a new one and see if your belt sander’s belt is slipping In case it’s sliding again, troubleshoot with other given solutions.
4. Dust-on-Roller Problem
When you’re sanding, it is bound to deposit dust in anything near the sanding area. This also includes sanding devices. The rollers and the belt spin perfectly because of equal tension on both sides. But it can be out of balance and make the rollers slippery because of dust deposits. The solution to this problem is also very simple.
How to Fix Dust-on-Roller Problem:
Take the belt out and clean the rollers perfectly. While you’re cleaning the rollers, you can clean other parts of the sanders too.
5. Installation Problem
One common mistake while installing the belt on a belt sander is putting the belt in the wrong direction. Not every belt sander will take this as a problem, but many of them are. Also, you should make sure that you’ve assembled all the parts perfectly after cleaning.
How to Fix Installation Problem:
Take the belt in your hand and look at the inner side before you install it. You’ll see that there are directional signs.
The belt size is very important to keep it on track. If you buy cheaper belts, you’ll notice that there is a millimeter difference from the actual size it has printed on it. Even this millimeter difference can appear vital. Also, it can happen when you switch brands as it’s not possible for every brand to make them identical.
How to Fix Size Mismatching Problem:
The solution is to buy the good quality belts from renowned brands and once you’ve got excellent performance from the belts of a specific brand, stick with it.
7. Tension Lever Problem
The last cause for the belt sander belt keeps slipping problem is the tension lever problem of the sander. The tension lever is also responsible for perfect tracking of the belt. When it’s not working perfectly, you’ll see that the belt is getting loose no matter how many times you tighten the rollers. It happens because of the spring inside the lever getting worn out.
How to Fix Tension Lever Problem:
To solve this issue, remove the belt sander and then remove the screws located near the tension lever.
Next, pull out the cover, replace the lever’s spring with a new one, and reassemble everything. This will solve your tension lever issue.
We’ve presented the problems and solutions considering belt sanders in general. If you have the belt sanders of the following brands, you can apply the solutions mentioned above. As all sanders’ basic working principle is the same, the solutions will be effected to keep the belt on track.
Black and Decker
So, we’ve discussed almost all possible causes for belt sander belt slipping off. If the problem still exists, the problem might still be in the belt sander tracking mechanism. There is a solution, but it’s more like an experimental one. Many belt sander owners got it fixed using this trick. For this reason, you can try this hack for yourself as it is proven to be effective.
The solution includes increasing the diameter of the roller slightly using friction tapes wrapping in the opposite direction of the rotation. After everything fails, this might help you fixing your belt sander tracking problem. Also, try to keep the belt loose when you’re not using the sander. This increases the belt’s life and makes it more stable on the track. Finally, if you faced some other issues regarding belt sander belt slips off, you can tell us, and we’ll try to post the solution.
Hi, I am Rogers Weber, the man behind Solvesonic. I am a mechanical engineer. I use many kinds of tools almost every day at my workplace. I love to write about tools, painting, home improvement, and DIYs. I enjoy helping people to solve their problems through my website. => Follow me on Twitter