Keeping your knife blade sharp is essential for maintaining a solid performance and preserving the blade’s outline. And 2×72 belts provide the perfect balance between heavy-duty grinding and finer detail work that most knives need. It’s the most suitable size for profiling, detailed edge sanding, sharpening, and bevel grinding.
With over 15 years of experience in the knife manufacturing industry, I’ve used virtually all types of sharpening belts and stones, so I’ve created this shortlist based on a long history of trial and error with 2×72 belts.
Based on my expertise, the Sackorange 6 Pack sanding belts seem like the most well-rounded 2×72 belts on the market, with a grit range of 120-1000 grits, a silicon carbide finish, and a sturdy construction reinforced with resin over resin bonding.
But I’m not here to tell you to go buy that; I’m here to review the three best 2×72 belts out there, so you can make an informed buying decision based on your needs.
Here Are the Best 2×72 Belts – Tried & Tested
Alright, let’s explore three of the highest-rated 2×72 belt packs available on the market today. We’ll go through their specs, pros, and shortcomings to review them from multiple perspectives.
The Sackorange 6 Pack includes six pieces of sanding belts with different levels of grit assortments, those being 120, 240, 400, 600, 800, and 1000 grits.
The belts are made of waterproof material, meaning you can safely use them on wet knives.
What’s more, the silicon carbide grain belts are pretty durable thanks to their precision-engineered, bi-directional tape joint. Plus, the anti-clogging stearate, coupled with the resin over resin bonding, ensure an extended belt-life for long-term use and reliability.
The belts are quite strong with a closed coat and heavy-duty y-weight polyester cloth backing and should handle stainless steel blades pretty well.
It’s also worth mentioning that these belts aren’t only made for sharpening stainless steel knives. You can use them on granite, glass, stone, composite, cement, and plastic kitchen utensils as well as anvils.
My only complaint is that it can be hard to tell which belt is coarser than which. So, it’s recommended that you mark them after the first use to be able to identify them later on.
- Six grit levels
- Suitable for a wide range of materials
- Sturdy y-weight polyester cloth backing
- Poor identification of grit assortment
The Red Label Abrasives pack features 60, 80, 120, 220, 320, and 400 grit belts that work great for sharpening knife blades with chipped edges. In addition, they’re suitable for materials like rubber, leather, plastic, and non-ferrous metals.
The belts are made of open coat aluminum oxide and feature a grinding aid for minimal heat production.
There’s also a precision-built, bi-directional tape joint that adds strength for challenging jobs. In addition, the flexible j wet material works great when used on contours and curves.
The only downside of these belts is that the highest grit assortment is 400 grits, so if your knife’s blade has already gotten too dull, these belts might not be very effective in restoring its condition.
- Grinding aid minimizes friction-induced heat
- Sturdy bidirectional tape joint
- Great for chipped blades
- Works with several materials
- Not suitable for dull blades
The POWERTEC 111540 2 x 72 Inch belt features an open coat Aluminum Oxide (A/O) grain that can flawlessly sand wood, aluminum, rubber, fiberglass, plastic, and non-ferrous metals. In addition, it’s heat and moisture resistant, making it ideal for sanding wet kitchen tools.
Moreover, the X-Weight clothed backing and resin-on-resin bond boost the belt’s performance while also extending its lifetime.
With top-notch heat and moisture resistance properties, the POWERTEC belt can handle anything you throw at it.
However, unlike the two previous selections on this list, the POWERTEC belt comes in a single package with one grit assortment, not a full pack. It’s also worth noting that these belts are somewhat stiff, so they may not last that long if you’re not careful.
- X-Weight clothed backing adds strength
- Resin-on-resin bond for better performance
- Works with fiberglass, aluminum, and other materials
- Stiff design affects durability
- Comes in a one pack
What to Look For in 2×72 Belts?
Not all 2×72 belts suit everyone’s needs or offer the same performance. So, here are some of the factors you need to keep in mind when shopping for 2×72 belts:
The grit range is the number of grit assortments available in the 2×72 belt pack. As a general rule of thumb, belts with a grit range of 1000 or less are suitable for chipped blades, and packs offering grit ranges above 1000 can help restore the condition of dull blades.
Belts with a grit assortment of 3000 grits or higher, on the other hand, are finishing belts designed for refining the knife edge.
The longevity range is the number of grit assortments the 2×72 belt pack contains. Some belt packs have a 5 or 6 longevity range, while others are offered in a single grit assortment.
This primarily depends on what you need the belt for. But generally speaking, the more options you have, the better because chipped and dull blades often require different grit assortments.
Some 2×72 and 1×30 belts have a silicon carbide finish, while others use aluminum oxide. Silicon carbide is a more reliable material for heavy-duty sharpening, and it offers better performance for certain materials, while aluminum oxide is better for woodworking.
Sanding belts may wear out over time, but with a well-engineered belt construction, you should be able to get more usage time out of your belts.
In addition, many belts integrate bi-lateral cloth backings and resin on resin bonds for added strength, so make sure the belt has these before buying it.
How to Take Care of Your Belts?
The 2×72 belts are designed to help you take care of your knives and keep them sharp, but you still need to take care of the belts themselves, at least if you want them to last for as long as possible.
Closed-coat belts, in particular, may require more cleaning since they don’t let as much residue fall off as open-coat belts.
Lucky for you, I’ve listed down some of the best methods to help you keep your belts in top condition:
The Belt Cleaner Method
One of the best ways to maintain your belts is a simple tool called the belt cleaner.
Every time you use the belt, turn on your grinder and press the belt cleaner on the belt. This way, you’ll be able to get rid of all the sawdust and remove any dirt residue from the belt.
The whole process is pretty straightforward, and it won’t take you more than 10 to 20 seconds, and it’ll save you a lot of money by keeping your belts in good condition.
The Old Shoe Method
Alternatively, you can use the sole of an old shoe to clean your belts. It works pretty similar to belt cleaners.
And for the best results, look for a shoe with a crepe sole, one that’s made from multiple latex layers. These shoes collect dust and dirt pretty quickly, which is exactly why they’re suitable for cleaning sanding belts.
Of course, this will destroy the shoes, so only use this method if you’re planning to relieve these shoes of service!
Water-based alkaline cleaners can help you remove the stickiness and grime from your sanding belts. They’re also biodegradable and non-flammable, making them safe to use.
To apply the cleaner, all you have to do is loosen the tension on the belt, rotate it, and spray the solution. Then, get rid of the dust with an air hose.
And if your belt is waterproof, consider going for a non-toxic cleaner.
Store Your Belts Properly
After cleaning your belts, make sure that you store them properly to maintain their condition. Then, hang the belts on conditioning racks and let them dry thoroughly.
The racks must be at least four inches thick, and they should allow for some distance between each belt. It’s also essential to keep the first rack at least four inches away from the wall.
Also, make sure that you fixate the racks away from direct sunlight.
I hope choosing the best 2×72 belts has become an easier task for you now that you’ve read this guide.
And to recap, if you’re looking for an expansive grit range, opting for the Sackorange 6 Pack would be a good idea. This pack delivers excellent value for money, flaunting a grit range of 120-1000 grits. Not to mention, the silicon carbide finish makes it suitable for all types of materials.
Alternatively, you can go for the Red Labels Abrasives 2×72 belts if you prefer aluminum oxide belts. These do a great job at sanding wooden tools, too.