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Thread: Belt Sanders

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Ma.
    Posts
    521

    Belt Sanders

    Anyone have a current model of belt sander they like? I need to replace my 30 year old 3x21 Craftsman. I use it as an all purpose sander, flatening panels and clamped to the bench for narrow material, don't have a stationary sander. Need it to be able to hook up to a shop vac on occation. I'm figuring a 3 or 4x24.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northfield, Mn
    Posts
    1,227
    If you can still find one the Porter Cable 504 is the best beltsander made. Once in a while one pops up on ebay.


    edit- there's actually 4 on ebay right now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    307
    I second the porter-cable belt sander. They made (key word) the best belt sanders, but I would definetly buy a later model as the newer ones in the past 5 years are cheaper and cheaper (in quality not price) than before.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Posts
    197
    I like my ridgid sander. i bought mine on ebay for less than half of retail. it was remanufdfactured but i havnt had 1 prob yet.

  5. #5
    "...504 is the best..."

    Yes... but note the lack of a dust bag. The 503 is just as heavy, just as hard to find and just as expensive but it also has a pretty good dust pickup system. The one thing it does not have is the cool "streamliner" look of the 504.
    David DeCristoforo

  6. #6
    Years ago one of the mags - think FW - did a review on palm sanders and they gave top marks to the porter cable. One of the reasons I remember is the lack of vibration due to metal vs plastic innards, so I purchased it and have loved it. Shortly thereafter, Consumer Reports did a similar review and completely panned the PC - but they were mainly judging wood removal. The interesting point is that the negatives were right on - mainly the two sides without the sandpaper would scratch the side of your workpiece.

    Since then, I have four other sanders from PC and very happy with them. They seem to be made sturdier than other companies and vibration is a minimum. I don't have their belt sander yet, my 25 year old craftsman has refused to die, but when it does, PC is my choice.

  7. #7
    I agree about the 504, and if you look at it from the front it looks like it is smiling at you.

    Brett- I bought the ridgid one as well and while I like design and feel of it the exhaust port for the motor blows right up into my face with all the dust not making it into the bag. I had to tape a cardboard baffle over the upper air port otherwise I am blinded on the backstroke. Maybe they changed the design, mine is from 2006.
    I take big parts, cut them into little parts, and glue back into big parts.

    The circle of life.

  8. #8
    Porter cable and Bosch are pretty close the same. The Bosch has the dust bag next to you (right handed) and the Porter Cable is on the outside. I'd buy the Bosch...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Beaver Falls, PA
    Posts
    435
    Two years ago I bought the Rigid at HD, and got a free 4" finishing sander with it (valued at $49) so it was a good deal.

    I have had zero problems with the rigid. It is very sturdy. It takes a moment to power up to full speed, but once it does it keeps on going.
    Trees. Tools. Time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    The Little Tennessee River near Knoxville.
    Posts
    1,227

    Porter Cable 4 X 14

    Its big, heavy and well balanced. Its the only belt sander I would take to a table top. Almost impossible to get the edges to 'dig in'.
    Retired, living and cruising full-time on my boat.
    Currently on the Little Tennessee River near Knoxville

  11. #11

    Belt Sander

    I have a Porter Cable 362 (4x24) and a Bosch of the same size. Both are good but the PC is heavier and cuts better. Also gouges better if you let it get away.

  12. #12

    makita 4x24

    A couple years ago, I bought the Makita 4x24 belt sander on Amazon.com. There were 2 models, I got the more expensive, something about the base. It had a dust bag, and I found it just needs a coupling to hook my shop vac up in place of the bag. Kind of a pain, dealing with a cord and a hose, so I wind the cord around the hose and throw it over my shoulder. Wish I had the model, it is a great sander, only depending how good your belts are as to the tracking. My first belt sander was a sears, lasted years, and bought another one and it was shot in a month. Looked just like the old one too.

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