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The Best Belt Grinders for Knife Making

When looking for the best belt grinder for a knife, knife makers will inevitably consider a number of factors. Alongside factors such as belt speed and belt size, professional knife making ultimately relies on a quality finish. In this article, we take you through the best belt grinders for knife making in 2022.


What factors do I need to consider when choosing a belt grinder for knife making?

There are a number of factors that you'll want to look at in-depth before choosing your knife grinder. Although knife grinders appear similar on the face of it, they all have different specifications and much depends on what sort of knives you are looking to produce. For instance, you might want to consider a different type of belt grinder if you are doing a lot of detail work, compared to if you are creating a heavy duty knife.

sharpening a knife with a belt grinder


Belt size

Belt size is one of the most important factors when choosing a sanding belt. It goes without saying that longer belts have more surface area of abrasive material and therefore do not wear out as quickly or build up significant heat. The width of the belt can also play an important part in considerations. A wider belt might be suitable for larger knives but may not be as suited to more intricate work.

As a general rule of thumb, it's best to choose a belt that is around 2 inch wide. This ensures that you have the best of both worlds. It's not too small for larger jobs, but is small enough to handle more intricate jobs.


Motor size

Motor size is also a key factor in deciding the best belt grinder for your project or business. The higher motor power will mean a higher belt speed and therefore plenty of power exerted and high pressure on your knife.

As an example, you need approximately 1 horsepower of motor power for every inch of belt width at 72 inch in length. Obviously, the smaller the belt, the less horsepower motor is required.


Belt speed

When grinding steel, you are going to need a belt speed that is suited to a grinder for knife making. For knife making, you should be looking at a belt speed of between 900 and 7,000 surface feet per minute.


Variable speed

A belt grinder with a variable speed option is useful to have when creating knives. You can increase speed for the less intricate jobs in order to process them quicker, whilst lowering speed for intricate jobs or crafting the handle of your knife.



Inevitably, the prices of knife grinders vary depending on their specifications. You should consider what you intend to use your belt grinding for. Are you knife making as a hobby, or is this a commercial venture, whereby you wish to sell your finished goods? If it is the latter, it is probably more cost-effective to invest in a grinder with a higher specification.

hands holding a knife


Variations on belt grinders

Although many knife makers would use a belt sander for knife making, there are other options. Disk grinders use a sanding disc rather than a belt grinder, spinning the abrasive surface to effectively grind the steel. They take up less room than a belt grinder and are a perfect alternative to making knives. A great example of a quality disk grinder is the Beaumont Metal Works Horizontal Disk Grinder, available at Soul Ceramics.


What are the best belt grinders available?

Here, we will look at 3 of the best belt grinders currently available on the market.


Beaumont Metal Works KMG 3-Speed Belt Grinder

The Beaumont Metal Works KMG 3-Speed Belt Grinder uses the industry standard 2 inch x 72 inch belts. The machine comes in 2 different versions, a 1.5 horsepower or a 2.0 horsepower engine. It also has 3 different belt speeds of 900, 1800 and 3600 surface feet per minute.



  • Compact and can be bought with mounting equipment

  • Can be used with a number of different belt types and attachments

  • A choice of wheel attachments



  • Lower horsepower than some other models

  • Speed is not fully variable and limited to 3 speeds


Beaumont Metal Works KMG Variable-Speed Belt Grinder

The Beaumont Metal Works KMG Variable-Speed Belt Grinder once again uses the industry standard 2 inch x 72 inch belts. The machine also comes in 2 different versions, a 2.0 horsepower or a more powerful 3.0 horsepower engine. It also has 3 different set belt speeds of 900, 1800 and 3600 surface feet per minute.



  • Good horsepower options

  • More control over speed

  • A choice of attachments



  • Small standard drive wheel (although can be upgraded)

  • Quite an expensive model if a beginner


Beaumont Metal Works KMG TX Belt Grinder

The Beaumont Metal Works KMG TX Belt Grinder is the most expensive in our comparison range, but has the necessary specification to befit this price tag. If you are a serious knife maker, then this is a real top-end model for knife sharpening and knife making. With a 2.0 horsepower variable speed motor and 6 inch drive wheel diameter as standard, it has the necessary power and flexibility for any needs. The 2 inch x 72 inch wide belt also has the ability to tilt using a quick release mechanism, which can then be tilted back into position with ease. The tilting enables you to make knives of any shape, size or detail with ease.



  • Good power and fully variable speed

  • Low wear and tear on axis system

  • A choice of steel wheel attachments

  • Flexibility and manoeuvrability of the belt



  • Horsepower not as high as some other models on the market

  • Price is quite high for beginners

using a disk grinder


What is the best belt grinder for me?

As with any new piece of equipment, the most important consideration is what is your purpose? If you are knife making as a hobby, then a slightly lower horsepower will be ample for your needs and you may not require variations on speed. If you are considering knife making as a commercial venture, then you may want to invest in a grinder that provides a better and more intricate finish.

We have a range of belt grinders available at Soul Ceramics, and can talk you through your needs if required.

Also take a look at all the other uses for a belt grinder.