How to make your belts last longer

The first question many people ask is, how long do belts last? The real question should be, what is the speed of your cutting and how fast can you remove material. 

We all want our belts to last as long as possible. The best practice is cleaning your grinder, wheels and platen on a regular basis. Cleaning will stop the grinding dust from building up on the back of your belts. The buildup of grinding dust on your wheels and platen will wear the back of your belt and the belt joint prematurely.

A sure telltale sign is looking at the back of your belt. If the writing is gone or your belt is black, your grinder dust is being transferred to the back of your belt. This can cause belt slip and also allow grinding dust to be deposited on your wheels and on your glass platen, which will impact your quality of flat grinding.

Enclosed are some quick simple steps to make your belts last longer.

  • use a dust extraction system with your grinder
  • if you don’t have an extraction system, ensure you clean your grinder, platen, and all of your aluminum wheels to remove the dust on a daily basis or more frequent if you are grinding a lot
  • clean your glass platen. The easiest way is to use Acetone to clean your glass. Second option is using a razor blade in a holder and lightly scrape the buildup on your glass platen at a 45-degree angle. Please use caution and scrap slowly and safely
  • store your belts in a dry environment
  • don’t leave your belts on your grinder when not in use

Always wear protective clothing and protective equipment when grinding.

Grinding Speeds Based On Material

Here are the industry standards that are recommended Surface Feet Per Minute (SFPM) based on work piece material.

Aluminum 4500 to 5000
Brass/Bronze 5000 to 6000
Grey Cast Iron 4000 to 5000
Nickel/Chrome 2500 – 3000
Mild/Carbon Steel 4000 to 5000
Titanium 2000 to 2500
Tool Steel 4000 to 5000

As a general rule, you will run 36 grit VSM Ceramic Plus belts at a higher RMP and 120 grit VSM Ceramic Plus belts at a slower speed. You can purchase VSM Ceramic Plus belts on our Nexus Grinders and Knife Supply website.

Surface Feet Per Minute
Here is a simple grid to determine your SFPM based on a 4″, 5″ or 6″ drive wheel for a 2 x 72 belt grinder.

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We sell 4″ and 5″ drive wheels for your grinding needs.