Making knives is not an easy task as it needs the right skills and the right equipment to make the best there can ever be. It doesn't matter if you make knives as a hobby or as a professional but getting the appropriate belt grinder can make the real difference in creating a perfect sleek blade. You can choose from different machines where some are suited to specific knife-making processes than others.
What is a 2×72 Belt Grinder?
A belt grinder is a machine that uses a belt made from leather or fabric to do the grinding, and it has several advantages over using the traditional wheel. These belt grinders can be used for different tasks, from grinding metal to knife sharpening, and they are quite easy to use once you get the hang of them.
2x72 belt grinders are compact yet pack a high performance, and they are built to support different accessories for various processes. Professional knife makers prefer them, and the 2x 72 belt grinder is the standard in the professional knife-making industry.
However, it can be laborious to find the best 2x72 belt grinder for knife making, and that's why we have put together a list of the best 2 x 72 belt grinders on the market. These options will allow you to review all of your top options before purchasing.
Which is the best 2x72 belt grinder for knife making?
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1. Grizzly Industrial G1015 - Knife Grinder, Sander, and Buffer
- Motor speed: 1725 RPM
- Belt size: 2" x 72"–76" range
- Belt speed: 3600 FPM
Grizzly Industrial G1015 is a great tool for any home workshop, and it allows a user to be creative with their work. It is a 10-inch wide belt sander that you can use to refinish and bring your cabinets, furniture and other places like floors, tables and walls.
Grizzly Industrial G1015 has become a versatile tool for knife sharpening and carving other projects powered by a 1HP motor that spins the 72-inch belt up to 1725 RPM. This is important for any knife maker, whether making a serrated, straight edge or a hunting knife. The belt can also be used to buff, polish, remove rust and grind metal, plastic or wood.
Grizzly Industrial G1015 has a unique design of a sturdy base and a vertical design, and the belt sander is 2 inches wide and 72 inches long. It includes a dust collection port to offer convenience and is ideal for metalworking and woodworking. Notably, if you struggle with tracking, you can use a tap and add two wraps of electrical tape to the center of whatever size contact wheel you may have.
2. Shop Fox W1843 Knife Grinding Machine
- Motor: 1 HP, 110V, single-phase, 14A, 1725 RPM
- Belt size: 2" x 72"-76" range
- Belt speed: 4500 FPM.Power Cord Gauge:16 AWG
Shop Fox W1843 is one of the best knife-making belt grinders in the market if you are looking for an option to polish your knives without wasting your time, thanks to the belt speed. In addition, it is quite easy to assemble, and all you need is the manual to carry you through the installation since the knife-making process may take some time to master.
Shop Fox W1843 has a motor that reaches 1725 RPM, which will perform exceptionally well, making it a suitable choice for knife makers. If you intend on knife-making in the long run, this will make a suitable choice.
Shop Fox W1843 allows you to use the sanding arm horizontally depending on what you want to get with the grinder, and this feature allows a knife maker to have more flexibility. In addition, you can sand more metal, and you can also use a knife grinder for sanding wood. Even though it doesn't have all features, the model packs enough features as it is.
3. JET J-4103 2 x 72 Square Belt Grinder
- Platen setting is the perfect angle for high speed, precision flat and level grinding
- For grinding, and refinishing cylindrical shapes. Yoke surface conforms to shape of the surface to...
- Serrated contact wheel is used for removing heavy stock, cleaning up a weld or snagging a casting
JET J-4103 2 x 72 2 x 72 belt grinder is a heavy-duty tool from the JET company, and it's an easy-to-use tool that gives you the highest control level and feedback during the knife grinding process. In addition, the knife-making belt grinder has a 120-volt motor designed to offer you the speed and power you need.
JET J-4103 belt grinder for knife making weighs about 120 pounds and features a 2 x 72-inch belt grinder that smoothly grinds down materials such as glass, wood, metal and plastic, among other materials. In addition, it has serrated contact wheels that are useful for removing heavy stocks and reaching tight spaces.
JET J-4103 2 x 72 belt grinder is one of the best grinders in the market today, and even though its weight is above what you would normally see, it will offer you great value for your purchase.
4. WKM 2″ x 72″ Belt Grinder with a Flat Platen
- 2HP Knife Making Machine with Flat Platen Grind tooling arm and work table * rest table
- Quick 72" x 2" Belt Change with Precision Belt Tracking and Adjustable Belt Tension
- Heavy Duty High Precision Knife Maker Machine With Excellent Performance And Reliability
WKM 2″ x 72″ Belt Grinder is a great tool for any knife-makers for sharpening any tool you can think of, from knives to axes to plane blades and also tools you may have made yourself. It is a new generation of the traditional knife grinder, and the belt grinder generates 2850 RPM.
WKM 2″ x 72″ Belt Grinder is fast and easy to operate and yet more durable and reliable than other traditional knife belt grinders. It is suitable for types of knife grinding such as sharpening, polishing, sanding, honing and grinding. However, since the grinder has 2850RPM, it may sometimes be underpowered depending on your application.
What are the Accessories the 2x72 machines Include?
2x72 machines usually have some accessories, including:
- Wheel attachments that range from a 1/4" to 16" size for the knife elements such as hollow grinds, fullering and many more
- Rotary platens are used with convex grinds to mitigate the dreaded "J weight belt bump."
- Some surface grinding attachments for cleaning and smoothing flat surfaces
Notably, the 72-inch belt length will reduce wear and heat build-up and therefore, it can be used in all blade creation stages from the initial knife development stage to finishing touches such as polishing and sharpening. In addition, since the machine has a large working surface and sometimes a variable speed motor, you can make knives quicker with a 2x72 belt grinder than you can with small belt grinders.
What Should Grit Belts be Used for Knife Grinding?
One of the essential steps in the knife-making process is grinding, and this step involves making the knife blade thin enough for cutting. With that in mind, the industry of knife-making belts can be confusing even for experienced knife smiths and knowing which grit to use might be a hassle.
To get the best grinding results, use a grit progression that starts with a coarser grit belt moving to the finer grits for finishing belts. First, however, start with 2x72 ceramic belts with a 36 grit for rough grinding.
With the right grinder speed, the grit will ensure it rips the steel off your blade while it generates less heat than the finer grit belts. A 36-grit belt removes 80-90% of metal, which you can then switch to other belts such as the 60-grit belt.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing the Best 2x72 Belt Grinder For Knife Making
When shopping for the best 2x72 belt grinder, there are some factors that you should
1. Motor Size
When deciding on the best belt grinders for knife making, the motor size is one of the most important factors to keep in mind. To grind steel effectively, you will need a high belt speed and apply high pressure on the belt.
You won't accomplish grinding well if you lack a large enough motor, and a rule of thumb is that you need 1 horsepower of motor power per inch of belt width at 72 inches in length. As the motor length reduces, you will need to reduce the demand for the motor as less power is needed for the small belt lengths.
2. Belt Speed
Steel grinding usually needs a high belt speed than wood, so that wood-focused grinders will have slow stock removal rates for the steel. The high speed, measured in surface feet per minute, needs to be somewhere between 4100 and 7000, depending on the metal type. You can calculate the belt speed using the following formula:
sfpm = (π x drive wheel diameter) x motor rpm
3. Variable Speed
Not all belt grinders feature variable speed options, and even though it's not necessary for knife making, it is beneficial. The grinders with variable speed options will allow professional knife makers to perform heavy steel hogging at full speed while handling the sanding at low speeds. The ability to control speed allow knife makers to craft their knives with a lot of ease and precision.
4. Ease of Assembly
If you are new to the 2 x 72 belt grinders or knife making, you should start with the straight or narrow designs. Narrow designs will give a user more control over straight or small objects and enable them to be compatible with big objects to give a smooth finishing.
No matter the job or project size, you will need to avoid spending a lot of time using these devices as they may cause back pain or hand strain. However, spending time will result in better learning of the knife craft.
Although it's not always true, easy to assemble tools, whether big or small, create an easy setup to replace the belts. If you are a regular user, do a little research and spend your money on a model that is not complicated and it should match your needs.
5. Cleaning Up
Belt grinders of two inches and one inch may differ when providing a value pack, but you cannot forget the cleaning factor created from your used belt grinders. In the current times, some of these dust ports and collectors will ensure you have a tidy working area.
When sanding, grinding, deburring or polishing wooden pieces, ensure the dust port face is opposite. Aside from that, 2 x 72 belt grinders use auto cleaning systems that enhance your device's lifespan.
Frequently Asked Questions on Belt Grinders
1. Why do some knife makers prefer ceramic belts over aluminum oxide?
They are preferred because they last for a long time, meaning one will save money in the future.
2. Is the 2 inch by 42-inch belt grinder a good size?
2x42 grinders are designed for the woodworking market, and they include a 6-inch disc sander on their side. It works well for knife making and is popular with hobbyists who are starting and are looking for an entry-level grinder.
However, these belts have a 1/3hp motor, and therefore it doesn't qualify as the only grinder to have if you are not a hobbyist. A good example is the Palmgren Finishing Machine, and it includes a belt arm that operates vertically and horizontally.
3. Is there a Difference Between a Belt Sander and Grinder?
Some reviews say they are the same for similar jobs simultaneously. However, even though both work as sanders, you can differentiate them with their attachments and basic speeds.
A belt sander is not good enough to handle metals when talking about speed. On the other hand, belt grinders with a 3500 to 8000 feet per minute speed and more than 3500 RPM can grind woods, metals and plastics in a single phase.
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