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Types of drive belts

Drive belts come in all shapes and sizes. Some very common and others that are rarely used. Solent Tools offer a complete range of drive belts but identifying the belt you require can be tricky if you don't have a belt number or you may just be unfamiliar with the terminology given to different drive belts. On this page we have tried to cover most of the drive belts that you are likely to come into contact with but this is by no means an exhaustive list. As you read down you will see links which will take you do pages dedicated to each type of belt and some of their uses.


These are fairly easy to reconise because they look as they are described. The top surface of a vee belt is wider than the bottom drive surface. Some Vee belts will have an inside that looks like they are toothed. These are known as cogged but will still only be found running on a smooth pair of pulleys and not on a toothed or grooved pulley. For a list of sizes and types of vee belts please click here


These belts are flat to look at with raised ribs running along the inside in the direction that they run or drive. Poly V belts are sometimes called  poly vee, multi v, multi vee, multi ribbed or even micro v. Metric sizes are normally prefixed with the belt rib type before the belt number and imperial belts will normally have the size first followed by the belt type. For a list of types and uses please click here


These belts are easy to identify with a series of raised teeth laying across the belt on the inside. The outside of the belt will be normally smooth but double sided toothed belts do exist with teeth on the inside and the outside. A common name for this type of belt is a timing belt. The tricky bit is trying to identify which type you need. They can be metric or imperial. They come in many many tooth pitches( the distance between the centre of one tooth to the centre of the next tooth) some of which to the eye can look almost the same. They also come with a whole range of different tooth shapes such as round or trapezoidal. For more information on toothed drive belts please click here


As you might guess these are round belts. They do however come in quite a wide range of materials and unlike most belts can be stretchy or semi rigid. Included in this type of belt range are O rings. The great thing is that most round belts are made from open material and then joined so length range is almost unlimited. O rings can also be of different shapes such a flat or rectangular. For further information on round belts please click here


There are probably three main types that you may come across. The most common tend to be stretchy rubber and are found on many power tools and vacuum cleaners. They are also very tricky to obtain in non standard sizes. This is because they are generally only made for OEM and then only in large quantities. Solent Tools carry a wide range of stretchy rubber belts including many specially made for band saw tyres, lathes and planer thicknessers. The next most common type of flat drive belt are the non stretchy flat range of belts which offer very smooth drive properties and should anything jam will allow slip to avoid damage. These belts can be made to measure but where possible Solent Tools will try and obtain premade sizes to meet your requirements. They are normally quite thin but any thickness can be produced. The last type of flat drive belt is less common in the domestic market and are always made to measure. These tend to be very long and made from fabric. Originally made from leather but now fabric these belts are quite often joined with a metal clip system after fitting. Solent Tools are always pleased to quote for these belts. For more information on our range of flat belts please click here.


These can be taken from pretty well any of the above styles. Solent Tools offer the widest range of power tool drive belts in the Uk. We are a manufacturer of power tool drive belts in polyurethane and rubber in all styles including ribbed, toothed, flat and round. For more information on our range or power tool belt please click here.

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