belt sander dust bag not working

4 Solutions to Your Belt Sander Dust Bag Not Working!

Sometimes the sander dust bag gets you into problems. It doesn’t collect any sawdust, leaving you all dusty and white.

What is the solution to the belt sander dust bag not working?

First, turn off the belt sander and remove the sander dust bag. Now blow through the back of the belt sander to remove clogged dust. There can also be broken pieces of sander belt. Make sure to remove the broken pieces. Turn on the sander belt and blow air through the ports to remove contamination.

Keep reading to find out how to solve your belt sander dust bag problem.

Let’s roll!


  • Check if the plastic frame or clasp has internal or external damages.
  • Try to clean the bag once a week to maintain the efficiency of the belt sander.
  • Replace the dust bag once in a while.

Belt Sander Bag Not Working: What to Check?

Before we proceed to solve the belt sander dust bag not working. Let’s make sure the dustbag is attached correctly.

  • Make sure the plastic clasp properly shuts the opening of the dust bag.
  • Make sure the dust bag is attached properly to the sander. 
  • See if the plastic clasp is completely closing the dust bag. 

The dust bag attached to your belt sander helps to collect dust when you’re doing sanding. 

If all of the above is okay. Then you indeed have a problem we need to solve. 

Collecting Dust From Sanders
Source: thewoodwhisperer

In the next section, you’ll find a few problems with dust bags and how to solve them. 

Don’t have much time on your hand? Just go through this troubleshooting table then-

Belt Sander Dust Bag ProblemsTroubleshooting Methods
Damaged plastic frame or Broken claspReplace it with a new one
Clogged belt sanderThorough clean up 
Worn of dust bagReplace the old dust bag (It’s best to replace the bag every 6-8 months)


The solutions discussed may not be applicable to your particular belt sander.

Problem 1: Damaged Plastic Frame 

The dust bag is attached properly but it doesn’t collect sawdust when working. One reason could be that the plastic frame of the bag is broken or cracked. 

This is why the sawdust is getting into the dust bag. So you have to replace the plastic frame.

Solution: Replace the Plastic Frame

The long, pipe-like plastic frame keeps the dust bag attached to the sander. Slide it out of the bag. And replace it with a new plastic frame. 

Attach the dust bag with the belt sander and you’re good to go.

So, if your Dewalt sander is not collecting dust, then try changing the plastic frame. You can also additionally troubleshoot your Dewalt 22 560 planar if it’s not working.


Make sure to get a frame that goes with your belt sander because there are many options available. 

Problem 2: Broken Plastic Clasp 

There’s a white plastic stick-like thing that keeps the dust bag closed. The plastic clasp can crack or break. 

That’s the reason why the sawdust is getting out of the bag. Or you can’t keep it in the bag. As a result, it’s gotten everywhere. 

Solution: Replace the Plastic Clasp 

In case of a broken clasp, there’s only one thing you can do actually. 

Take the clasp off the dust bag and find a new one. Replace the clasp with a new one. Shut the bag properly with the clasp. And the dust bag will collect the dust properly. 


It’s better to look for the clasp in brick-and-mortar stores as they offer better prices.

Problem 3: The Dust Bag Has Worn Off

Although reusable, the belt sander dust bag needs to be replaced after a certain time. So it could be that your dust bag is old and probably has a few holes. From where the sawdust is getting out without your knowledge.

Worn off dust bag
Source: carousell

So, what should you do in this case?

Solution 3: Replace the Dust Bag 

Get a new dust bag if you don’t have one in stock. Take the old dust bag off the belt sander. Put the new dust bag on. 

Speaking of the new belt sander dust bag, I think you should get a robust one if you plan on using it for a long time. Makita 122296-4 Dust Bag and Metabo 322955M Replacement Dust Bag are really good in that regard.

However, I personally use the Makita 166027-1 Dust Bag. It’s been almost 5 months and it’s still handling my abuse like a champ.

Properly attach the dust bag to the belt sander. Turn the plastic frame to firmly attach the dust bag. 

Are you still not sure about how to Attach a Dust Bag?

Clip the dust bag over the rib of the dust spout. Depress the dust bag’s spring clips. Empty the dust bag when it is around half full for the best performance.

Shake out the dust by removing the dust bag from the vacuum housing. And zipping up the back. Turn the bag inside out from time to time. And brush the dust that has accumulated within.

Problem 4: Belt Sander Clogged

The abrasive belt for belt sander can break and can get inside the sander. The material that you’re sanding can also get inside. As a result, the dust port gets clogged and the dust bag does not work.

If you’re specifically wondering how to remove dust bags for Makita belt sander, here’s the way-

Hence, you need to clean the belt sander. Makita belt sander troubleshooting follows a similar fashion as well.

Solution 4: Clean the Belt Sander

To start, take the dust bag off and turn the sander off. Blow through the tool anywhere there is an access hole. Fan area, dust port, and rear of the sander to clear stuck-on dust that blocked the system.

Cleaning the sander belt
Source: woodjunctions

In case your planar isn’t also taking in wood, try cleaning the channels. 

Additionally, look for broken belt fragments in the back of the sander. Blow through all the ports once again while running. Remove the belt to try to get rid of as many contaminants as you can. 

You might even need to change the abrasive belt for belt sander as well. 

Check if the air is not coming from the dust bag port when you are finished. If not then you still have a blockage that may require additional treatment.

Maintenance for Preventing Belt Sander Problems

While you might’ve learned the ways to solve belt sander problems, there is still something left to discuss. Here I’ve summarized some of the maintenance tips to make more out of your dust bag tools!

Clean the Tool Regularly:

Use dry compressed air to periodically blow all air channels clean. Use a gentle, wet cloth to clean all plastic components. Never clean plastic components with chemicals. They might disintegrate or harm the substance in different ways. 

To avoid clogging problems, make sure to choose the right abrasive belt

Failing to Start:

Check to see if the prongs on the cord plug are making good contact. In the outlet, if your tool won’t start. Additionally, examine the line for any blown fuses or open circuit breakers.

Also, try to be careful about the tension pressure while using your belt sander. If you’re not, you can face serious issues such as belt tearing, joint cracking, and so on.

So, keep that in mind as well.


Under typical operating conditions, this tool has been greased with an adequate amount of high-grade lubricant. No additional lubrication is required. 

Inspect the Brush:

Take or send your tool to your nearby repair shop after about 100 hours of use. Go to a permitted full cleaning and inspection of Porter-Cable Service Station.

Have new lubrication applied and worn components replaced. Use fresh brushes, install the tool, then check its functionality.

Any power outage before the maintenance check signals the necessity for prompt maintenance. 

Do not periodically use the tool under this circumstance. Return your tool if the necessary operating voltage is present.

For immediate service, to the gas station.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Finest Grit for a Belt Sander?

The best grit for the toughest task is between 40 and 60. You should use sandpaper with an 80 to 120-grain rating. When completing tasks like smoothing surfaces or erasing small defects. When finishing surfaces at the end of a project. Fine sandpaper with a grit of 350 to 600 is the best option.

What Can I Use As a Dust Bag for a Sander?

You can use disposable dust bags. These are the most effective, practical, economical, and secure ways to collect and dispose of floor sander dust. Traditionally employed in floor sanding, cloth bags can lose their effectiveness in collecting dust. As they can become clogged with use.

How Do You Clean A Clogged Sanding Belt?

You can clean a sanding belt using something called an ‘abrasive cleaning stick’. Cleaning the sanding belt is also pretty easy. Turn your belt sander on. When it’s running, press the abrasive cleaning stick on the belt. The stick will take off the wood residue that is stuck on the belt. 


That concludes our article on belt sander dust bag not working. The solutions to the problem were rather simple and very easy to apply. 

As a preventative measure, make sure you attach the dust collector bag properly. And clean the bag regularly. And always wear protective gear when you sand materials.

Stay safe!

Read also: How to disable milwaukee one-key

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