Hitachi SB8V2 Belt Sander Review – Should You Buy It?

Please note: The SB8V2 model has now been discontinued by Hitachi, but it still available via some retailers. Find more portable belt sanders here.

A Quick Look

  • Variable speed dial adjusts speed from 820-1,475 ft/min for improved manageability during any operation
  • Soft elastomer grip surface on the main and auxiliary handles for a comfortable and secure hold
  • Tracking window improves visibility of sanding surface and sanding belt during use and belt size is 76 x 533mm(3 x 21 inches)
  • Left-side mounted dust collection bag improves corner sanding applications, while reducing airborne particles to keep work area clean
  • Wear-resistant V-belt drives the sander for double the service life
  • No-load speed of 820 to 1,475-feet per minute
  • Ideal for wood, steel and paint removal
Find the latest price on amazon here

Tool Design & Construction

The SB8V2 has a pretty standard belt sander design. The motor rests on top of the platen (the surface upon which the belt rests). There is a pistol grip style handle on the rear for the user’s dominant hand. It makes use of a trigger on/off switch. The pistol grip sits at about a forty-five degree angle, meaning it is useful for both pushing the tool forward and for applying downward pressure onto the workpiece.

Front grip handle – Like many belt sanders, the SB8V2 has a front grip as well so the user can rest the auxiliary hand there. It is also useful for applying extra downward pressure. The front grip on this tool is nice and chunky, which gives the user plenty of area to grip. A small front grip is almost useless.

Weight – The SB8V2 weighs 9.5 pounds. This is getting towards the upper end of the range of belt sander weights. Of course, with belt sanders, heavier is usually better. The added weight of the tool means the user does not have to apply much pressure when sanding on top of a workpiece. On the other hand, a heavier sander makes sanding upside down or on a wall much more difficult. This sander will probably work best in the horizontal position, but could be used intermittently upside down or on a wall.

Transparent panel – The most unique feature is definitely the transparent panel on the nose of the sander. Like many portable belt sanders, the nose is exposed for flush sanding. To make this function even better, a transparent plastic panel makes up the tool housing right above the nose of the belt. The user can actually look through this panel to see the nose of the sander and the nearby workpiece. This will help prevent accidentally sanding a perpendicular surface, such as a wall, or will help avoid gouging or uneven sanding.


9 amp motor – Like the weight, this is towards the upper end of the range of belt sander motor size. Some sanders have 11 or 12 amp motors, but many more models are outfitted with 5 or 6 amp motors. Nine amp is really a great size because it offers quite a bit of power but doesn’t carry all that added weight. Nine amps is plenty of power for almost all sanding projects.

Variable speed – A nice feature on the SB8V2 is the variable speed control on the motor. Some work surfaces can’t handle 9 amps of belt sander (like drywall or balsa wood). The variable speed adjustment allows the user to dial down the amount of power being generated by the electric motor. It’s like having a 5, 6, 7 and 9 amp motor all in one.

To make things even better, the SB8V2 has a particularly ergonomic variable speed dial. On many belt sander models the dial is on the side or the front of the tool. The SB8V2 has the dial near the back so it can be easily adjusted from the natural user grip, without setting the tool down or even turning it off.

Sanding Belt

This sander uses a 3”x21” belt. This is a fairly standard size. Some 4” belts are available but not widely used. A 3”x21” belt is plenty of surface area for large projects, and the common belt size means it will not be difficult to find replacements.

The 9 amp motor on the SB8V2 can get this belt running at almost 1,500 square feet per minute—again, plenty of power to categorize this tool as professional grade.

The nose on this tool is fully exposed, meaning it is great for flush sanding. The nose is so exposed that it would even be useful for contour or gouge sanding on woodworking pieces.


The average retail price of the SB8V2 is still around $190 – if you find anywhere less than that you’ve probably got yourself a great deal.

Find the latest price on amazon here


If you are looking for the same sort of power and reliability then we recommend taking a look at the Makita models:

Makita 9403 Belt Sander & 9903

Alternatively check out our belt sander guide for a wider range of options

Our Verdict

Although it’s an old model and has been discontinued, overall, the SB8V2 is still a great tool.

It has a simple design. Hitachi did not overload it with features to distract from a weak motor or from cheap components.

It’s a solid tool that will perform well for any type of project. Hitachi backs it up with a five-year warranty. At around $190 you won’t be disappointed.

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