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Abrasive Belts
16 March, 2015

Which Powerfile machine do I need?

Powerfiles come with air or electric power sources, then you can have fixed or variable speed motors and fixed or variable arm options as well; it adds up to almost 20 different machine options.  Below we have created a simple guide to help you through the range.


The first question we always ask if you are looking for a powerfile (also called Beltit or dynafile machines) is ‘do you need air or electric?’

BG Range Pneumatic1Question 1:  Air or electric?  If you have a powerful air supply in your workplace then air can be a great option.  They are economical to run, they have lots of torque and have relatively low maintenance costs ongoing.  But… and there is always a but, powerfiles are hungry on air usage and as soon as your air pressure drops they will lose power quite quickly.  Our SH Beltit machine machine for example needs 20cfm of air at 90 psi, not ridiculous but the average portable tank may struggle to maintain that volume of air.  Electric machines on the other hand are consistent.  Once they are turned on they will just work and the only question then is ensuring you have a machine designed to do the job you are doing.

BG30 ElectricQuestion 2:  What belt speed is best for my application?  You can have the best abrasives and powerfile machine in the world but if it is running at the wrong speed for your particular application then it just won’t work!!  In real terms there is little you can do to control belt speed with an air tool but with electric machines you have the option of looking at fixed speed or variable speed machines.

For a more detailed summary of recommended abrasive speeds please look at our article entitled ‘For Professional Grinding and Finishing:  Speed is Everything’ but in simple terms we would strongly recommend that if you are working on stainless steel or any non-ferrous metals than a variable speed option will make a big difference to the speed of working and the life of your abrasives.

SH11 Electric (2)Question 3:  Will I need to change the belt width at any point?  For working on car body panel work then it is likely that a single powerfile arm will be all that you need to deburr panels and get into the odd access hole but if you are building complex fabrications then the ability to change belt widths could make all the difference.

Question 4:  How aggressive is your application?  If you are wanting to grind aluminum castings all day then you will need a high powered motor (and we would also recommend you go with an air tool for that particular application becasue aluminum dust kills electric motors!) however, if you are shaping sheet metal profiles in among other work then a smaller and lighter tool will work just as well for you.  If you are at all unsure then please give us a call and we will be only to happy to help you select the right tool for you.

In Summary:

I only need a fixed speed powerfile machine for occasional work:  Look first at the Beltit BG range

We are working on general steel applications where a decent power machine will be needed:  Look first at the Beltit BF range

We are working with stainless steel or other more exotic materials:  The Beltit SH range is almost certainly the right choice for you.

Read More of our “How To Guides” and Related Posts Below:

Choose Your Powerfile Here


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