April 9, 2021

Makita 9903 vs 9920 | Which Belt Sander Should You Choose

Pitting Makita 9903 vs 9920 is not easy. They are powerful belt grinders with different belt sizes. The power tools have remarkable similarities, as they come from the same manufacturer. However, the manufacturer tries to make them specific tools with unique features that differ from each other. This makes it difficult for users to make a random selection. A detailed breakdown of each product can be found below.

Overview of the Makita 9403

The Makita 9403 is a single belt sander that runs at 1640 feet per minute. That ensures a fast removal of unwanted material. The maximum speed is excellent and ideal for an effective and highly efficient machine. The overall performance is excellent.

It comes with a 4x 24inch belt that makes the machine spacious enough to accommodate large items. You may choose this product due to the fast removal rate it operates on, and you hardly hear sound when in use. The sound is rated 84 decibels which is close to total silence. The high-quality construction is impressive. 

It gives protection and seals the bearings and the motor. That makes it last longer. The front handle makes it comfortable and secure to use the tool without fear of damaging it. The 360-degree rotating dust bag makes the tool user-friendly. It becomes convenient since you do not turn it the traditional way. 


  • Heavy duty (no noise)
  • Comfortable grip
  • 360-degree rotating dust bag
  • Bearing and motor protection
  • Long power cord and wide belt size


  • It is a single-speed sander
  • It is less affordable

(See The Current Price)

Key Features of the Makita 9403 

Amp motor

The 11 amp motor has great power and speed. The electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load. That makes the removal of material faster. It comes with a cord that is on top of the machine. That makes it convenient.

Dust collection system

The dust bag that comes with the machine rotates up to 360 degrees. That makes the operation convenient. You do not have to use the dust collection bag manually but automatically. That saves time and allows you to multi-task hence accuracy.

Rotations per minute

The sander runs at a speed of 1,640 feet per minute. That is ideal for the fast removal of material. The 4inch belt makes the process faster and smoother. 

Safety features

The dust collection system keeps you safe from diseases caused by sawdust. The front grip is large, and the position allows you to operate the machine easily.

Overview of the Makita 9920 

The Makita 9920 is a powerful tool with a speed variance of 690 to 1,440 ft/min. The speed control is electronic. The auto-tracking belt system is not adjustable. The front grip gives you a comfortable experience when operating the belt sander. 

It is ideal for both amateurs and professionals. It is a budget-friendly sander that has a beautiful design. It comes with an abrasive belt and dust bag. You are allowed to attach a vacuum when you are working on heavy loads. Although the sander is durable, it needs regular check-ups and maintenance. The 8.8Amp motor allows the user to enjoy a peaceful experience with low noise. 

The sander weighs up to 9.9lb. The sander is ideal for woodworkers, carpenters, builders, and contractors.  The noise level is up to 84decibels, and that is low. Noise damages the hearing system, and Makita tries to make sanders with low noise. 


  • Value for money
  • Great build quality
  • Accurate
  • Innovative
  • Auto-tracking belt system


  • Difficult to keep the belt in place
  • The position of the dust bag interferes with the performance.

(See The Price)

Key features of the Makita 9920

Powerful motor

The powerful 8.8Amp motor turns the 3inch wide belt making 690 to 1,440 ft/min. That makes the sander machine fast in removing material. The combination of great speed and power makes it easy to use the sander. Although it is fast and efficient, there is less noise. The speed variance comes with electronic speed control. Consistency is key as you maintain a constant speed under load. What determines speed is the material you are working on.

Belt system

The belt system is an auto-track that is easy to use. The belt has no adjustments. It is secure and improves your safety. Combining a powerful motor and an auto-tracking belt system increases production and saves time. The belt life also increases, and the alignment process is made automatic. That means the belt stays in place throughout the process.


The front grip gives you a comfortable handling experience. The handle is easily accessible since it is at the front. Your sander tool is secure when you are carrying it. The chances are low that it will slip off your hands. You have the chance to work for longer hours since you can hardly fatigue. Your arms are not strained during the sanding process.

Dust collection system

The Makita 9920 comes with a dust bag that collects dust made during the sanding process. You have a clean and healthy environment. Some toxic particles are made during sanding, and they must be disposed of before the user inhales them. The bag does not have to be emptied regularly; it also depends on your workload.


  • They both have auto-tracking belt systems that are not adjustable.
  • They both have the same noise level, up to 85 decibels.
  • The power outlet is the same for both products.
  • They both have the same dust extraction system with a dust bag.
  • The power source is the same.


  • The Makita 9903 comes with a 21inch belt, whereas the 9920 comes with a 24inch sanding belt. 
  • The Makita 9920 has a variance in speed, whereas the 9903 has a fixed maximum speed rate.
  • The Makita 9920 has a smaller front handle than the 9903 model. 
  • The Makita 9903 is more affordable than the Makita 9920.
  • The Makita 9903 is a bit lighter than the Makita 9920.


The Makita 9920 belt sander comes at a steeper price than the Makita 9903. They are both under 300, and they only have a difference of 7.


In summary, both products have more in common than they have. They have the same belt system, the same noise level, and the same dust extraction system. However, the Makita 9920 belt sander is ideal if you want to work with a speed variance. If you are looking for a more affordable sander, the Makita 9903 is the perfect tool. It is also lighter in weight. I am confident that all the above information points to your best choice.

David D. Hughes

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