Not too long ago, the idea of a cordless belt sander was inconceivable. It was believed that battery-powered tools simply didn’t have the power needed to make for an effective belt sander. Nowadays, cordless machines are capable of competing head-on with corded equivalents.
Hot on the heels of the Milwaukee M18 Fuel belt sander, DeWalt has recently launched their 20V XR DCW220B cordless belt sander. At this level, competition is tough. All the big brands are competing for the top-dog reputation for quality, power, and battery performance. DeWalt is definitely in the running for this prestigious title.
I’m not going to engage in an argument over which is better, DeWalt or Milwaukee. These are both incredible power tool manufacturers. For that matter, we could include Makita, Bosch, and a few others in the best cordless tool manufacturer race.
When it comes down to it, we all have our top power tool brand. Much like supporting your favorite team, we tend to choose a manufacturer and stick with them. This is especially important when heading down the cordless tool road. Buying a bunch of different batteries for all your tools is both impractical and expensive.
Whether you support red and white or yellow and black is basically irrelevant as both offer exceptional tools. If, like me, you’ve spent years collecting DeWalt 20V MAX tools, then then the DCW220B will be the cordless belt sander you desire.
This review will be unpacking all the details you need to understand before buying the wonderfully powerful and ultimately practical DeWalt 20V XR belt sander. A cordless machine set to rival any of the best corded or battery-powered machines.
DeWalt DCW220B 20V XR Belt Sander | Comprehensive Review
Specs & Features:
- Powerful and efficient DeWalt XR brushless motor.
- Large 3” X 21” platen.
- Variable speed trigger with 25 speed control settings.
- 650 to 1050 SFM
- Trigger lock-on.
- Dust collection port with a swivel adapter, compatible with 35mm and DeWalt Airlock dust extraction system.
- Wireless dust vacuum or dust extractor control system.
- Up to 95% dust removal.
- Quick-release belt changer.
- Over-molded auxiliary handle.
- Weight: 9.26 LBS.
- 3-year warranty, 1-year free service plan, 90-day guarantee.
I’m always quite excited when DeWalt introduced a new model to their lineup of 20V MAX tools. Even more so when I see the enticing DeWalt XR trademark. The technology inside these tools is simply amazing.
Naturally, I was delighted when I came across the DeWalt DCW220B 20V XR belt sander, which was launched around April 2023. I just had to review it, check what great things this model offers, and see if it really does live up to the DeWalt reputation for class-leading cordless tools. I have to say from the onset, I’m more than impressed.
Though I should admit that I’m usually in awe of DeWalt tools. The brand has earned my loyalty over many years of positive experiences. Nonetheless, I always do my best to remain objective and realistic in my expectations when reviewing any power tool, regardless of my feelings toward the brand.
So here we go, my best attempt at providing an informative, unbiased review of the DeWalt XR belt sander.
Power and Battery
Even skeptics cannot deny that DeWalt XR brushless motors are the bomb. They provide power that can rival any corded tool, combined with extreme durability and exceptional efficiency. The ends result is a cordless tool that can tackle tough situations, last for years, and provide you with longer working times.
The DeWalt DCW220B belt sander most certainly lives up to my expectations derived from all my experience using DeWalt XR battery-powered tools. It can chew through hardwood without missing a beat, maintaining the maximum 1050 SPM through thick and thin.
DeWalt claims that it is 22% more powerful than the PorterCable 352VS corded belt sander. This is quite a bold statement to make. A cordless tool, more powerful than many of the best corded models. Wow! Almost difficult to believe. Though, I’m sure it’s true. You can’t make a public statement of this nature without being able to substantiate what you’re saying.
For an exceptionally long working time, the DeWalt XR 8AH battery will be your best bet. Even better, using the 12AH FlexVolt battery. The only problem with using these bigger batteries is that it makes the tool heavier and bulkier. Without the battery, the XR belt sander already weighs a fairly hefty 9¼ pounds. While a heavier belt sander is not necessarily a bad thing, some may find it easier to use a smaller, lighter battery. There are many to choose from.
In the end, regardless of the battery size, the DeWalt 20V XR belt sander offers just about the best battery performance you can get.
Design and Features
The DeWalt DCW220B has great balance and a large, over-molded front handle to allow for excellent two-hand control over the beast. It has a wonderfully sensitive trigger switch for exacting control and a 5-position dial, making it even more versatile when it comes to speed control. This gives the DeWalt XR belt sander 25 speed settings from 650 to 1050 SFM (surface feet per minute).
One of the things that sets the DeWalt cordless belt sander apart from the pack is its larger sanding surface. The 3 X 21-inch patten allows you to accomplish more work in less time and it has the power to keep up the pace.
It has a nice, sturdy metal lever for a quick-release belt change and clips back into place with perfect ease. A dial at the side makes it just as easy to adjust the belt position. This is something we’ve come to expect and makes life much easier.
To deal with the inordinate amount of fine sawdust generated by a tool like this, DeWalt engineers have designed a fantastic dust extraction system The DCW220B is equipped with a 35mm dust port with the twist-lock function that makes it even more effective when paired with DeWalt Airlock dust extractors or shop vacs. A versatile swivel adapter is supplied with the belt sander.
When coupled to a dust extraction system, the DeWalt cordless belt sander removes up to 95% of the sawdust. Even when using the dust bag, it’s pretty impressive. A feature that many DeWalt tool owners have come to appreciate is the wireless tool control system. It will automatically switch your vacuum on when you engage the trigger and switch it off a few seconds after releasing the trigger. This really simplifies things when working with a belt sander.
The Final Word
I could continue to fill the page with my admiration of the DeWalt brand. But this would serve no real purpose. I love DeWalt tools but have a lot of respect for all the great power tool manufacturers.
In the end, the DeWalt DCW220B offers a wonderful solution for woodworkers, especially if you already own DeWalt 20V MAX tools and batteries. This would be a no-brainer if you want one of the most accomplished belt sanders around.
This is a wonderfully designed, ultra-tough machine with a stellar 3-year warranty from a brand that we all know and trust.