Makita 9903 Variable Speed Belt Sander Review

When talking about the most popular Belt Sanders, the Makita 9903 Variable Speed Belt Sander is surely one of them. This Belt Sander is very powerful and versatile. It might not be the cheapest among the Belt Sanders you can find in the market but this tool is definitely a quality piece.

It is also possible to use the tool upside down while being secured with the use of a bench vise. Another good thing about this tool is that its speed can be adjusted, plus it has an auto-tracking built system that can be adjusted easily and surely works fine for any user.


The ultimate complaint that I have heard from its users online and from some of my friends is that it is quite expensive compared to the other Belt Sanders available. This is the reason why I did not bother to look at its details in the past, not until my previous Belt Sander started going crazy. So when I was left with a broken Belt Sander, I decided to purchase a new one and got interested in buying the Makita 9903.

I almost went to a different model since I still did not have the budget during that time, but thanks to my brother who let me borrow some amount, I was able to successfully get the tool for myself. After the first time of using the tool, I was really happy with its performance and immediately thought that borrowing some money just to have it was a very good decision.

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Electronic Speed Control

The tool is armed with an 8.8 AMP motor which is still relatively powerful. But one feature of the tools that really stands out is its electronic speed control which enables the maintaining of constant speed under load. So basically, it will base on the amount of application, the speed can be adjusted to match it. This will also help in preventing the tool to undergo overheating especially if it will be utilized all day.

Less Noise

Most people want a Belt Sander that does not make a noisy sound when operated. This has been a common complaint among the different Sanders introduced in the market. However, the case with the Makita 9903 is different since it only produces less noise. It can only reach a maximum 84dB. There is no doubt that this Sander is definitely one of the quietest belt sanders in the market today.

Features and Specifications

  • 8 AMP motor – Its powerful motor allows the tool to efficiently tackle different woodworking jobs efficiently.
  • Front grip design – when talking about the comfort of use, this tool really stands out because of its front grip design so anyone can comfortably operate it when working.
  • 4-foot power cord – There is no need to worry when it comes to the maneuver of this tool when the user is working, especially when he or she has a very wide workplace, its 16.4-foot cord will take care of everything. Through it, the tool can easily be maneuvered for a more comfortable use.
  • Auto-tracking belt system – Some Belt Sanders become a hassle when the user needs to always check and adjust the belt when working. This tool takes that hassle off through its auto-tracking belt system that automatically tracks the belt.
  • Sanding shoe – It is also possible to control the sanding more precisely with its sanding shoe. Its use depends on the user since attaching it to the tool is just an optional feature.
  • Dust Bag – Most users want a clean environment every time they work, sawdust can really be a problem if there is no proper dust collection feature in a Belt Sander. This is not the case when it comes to the Makita 9903, its huge dust bag can collect a lot of sawdust which can easily be cleaned out.

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Makita 9903 Reviews and Ratings

The tool has an average rating of 4.8 out of a possible 5 from 162 customers in Amazon. With that numbers, one can conclude that almost every user is really happy with the tool. The number one praise they have for the device is it can be operated easily and quite powerful.

The built-in collection which is built in the tool is also one of the features that hooked most of its users. One customer said, “The tool is a pleasure to use and is also relatively quiet, which of course, is a real good thing for me”. Another customer said, “The tool belt tracks perfectly with adequate power, really a pleasure to use”. Overall, most of the reviews in Amazon belong to the 5-star range.

However, there are still some complaints from some customers but not really major ones. One customer said, “The tool sometimes gets off-balance when you are using it, it rolls toward the left”. Another customer said, “It is really expensive”.

In my case, I had a very good experience in using the tool but, of course, we have different opinions. Going back to the negative reviews, the issue that it sometimes gets off-balance and rolls toward the left can be prevented with the use of its optional sanding shoe which provides precise depth control when sanding. About its price, I think you get what you pay for with this tool.


To sum it all up, the Makita 9903 is no doubt an excellent belt sander. It is lightweight and relatively compact yet powerful. Like what I said, it is expensive but you definitely get what you pay for. Its dust bag feature also ensures a cleaner working environment for its user. Its 16.4-foot power cord is really just amazing; you can easily maneuver it and comfortably use the tool when you work.

If you are looking for a versatile and excellent belt sander, the Makita 9903 should definitely be included in your options list. This is a must-try product and I do not have any regret that I purchased this tool.

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