Does anybody else run anything longer than a 72 inch grinding belt?

Cliff Fendley

Well-Known Member
The other thread on belt seems got me wondering why knifemakers all run 72 inch belts.

I buy the 132 for less per inch than the 72, I'm told the reason is the seem is a larger part of the cost. Besides that the 132 belts seem to last probably three times longer even though they are less than half the length and the run cooler (probably why they last longer).

When I was talking with a Bader rep a while back about how much better I liked running the big machines and how much better the belts last I was told the 132 inch length is about the most cost effective length between cost of making a belt and how the abrasives last and that is why their industrial machines run that length. I believe that because when space isn't an issue and the machines are running 24/7 in a factory you can bet they are going to run the most cost effective thing.

I understand to buy a industrial machine is high dollar but for all the knifemakers that build their own machines it would cost no more to run a larger belt.

Is it mostly a belt availability, space, or what? I realize the 72 belts are more available in a good selection of abrasives in small quantity because that is what is popular so that's what the knife suppliers are carrying. The factories buy the 132 so many of them are only sold in larger quantities.

I only know of myself, Gil Hibben, and one other knifemaker that runs the 132 belts.

Cliff Fendley

Well-Known Member
It might be more trouble than it's worth to modify one, I don't know, but if building one from scratch it seems more people would go that route.

I bet most people don't realize the options out there and since knifemaking supply and knifemaking in general has adopted the 72 everyone follows the lead.

I might not have went that route if I hadn't seen Gil's machines and knew I wanted one so started looking. The thing is these big industrial machines are out there if your patient. I guess it was luck but one of mine I got for what it would cost me to build a grinder. It's my work horse one too, a five horsepower beast! You just have to be patient and find them in surplus factory stuff.
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Frank Niro

Hi Cliff.
The last time I stopped and figured the cost of belts by the square inch , all things being the same, the cost was the same.Has the pricing now changed and you will get a better price per square inch if you buy the longer belts? Frank

Mike Carter

Well-Known Member
Cliff is talking about the big floor model grinders like these.


Cliff Fendley

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure about all suppliers but it has always seemed a little cheaper, I checked my most recent invoice and it does figure up less. More on some belts than others. The big thing you have to watch out for is the places that carry the 132 belts are industrial supply that don't always have very good pricing.


Knife Dealer Extraordinaire
Think I read one of Bruce Bumps threads on him using a longer belt. i asked him because it was a very big contact wheel he had in a pic