View Poll Results: Which would be more useful for you and why?

8. You may not vote on this poll
  • Powermatic DS20 20" Disc Sander

    3 37.50%
  • Powermatic 31A 12" Disc / 6x48" Belt Sander

    5 62.50%
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Powermatic Sanders - Which Would you Purchase?

  1. #1

    Powermatic Sanders - Which Would you Purchase?

    I'm looking to upgrade my Rigid belt sander. I make furniture, and never owned a stationary belt or disc sander. Which would get more use in your shop and why?
    a) Powermatic comination belt/disc sander 31A model 1791291K (
    b) Powermatic 20" disc sander DS20 model 1791276 (


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Wenatchee. Wa
    The combination sander. I find that I use the belt more than the disc, but both are useful.

  3. #3
    I find the combination sander to be more useful of the two. I don't use a stationary disc sander often, just for the odd shortening of end grain or cleaning up a radius that needs to be 90. I use the stationary belt sander all the time. It will depend on what you do and the scale of the things you need to sand. I make a lot of parts that the stationary belt sander is just the right size for. If most of your work was larger pieces, neither might be helpful. If you had to do a lot of things the disc sander did well, that would be the ticket.

    For what it is worth, I had a similar Delta version of the combination sander for a while. I actually preferred my old 70's vintage Craftsman stationary combination sander to it, because the platen was longer on the Craftsman, and it would sand slightly longer pieces. I ended up selling the Delta and still have the Craftsman.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Camas, Wa
    I say out of the 2 you listed the 20" disc sander. But......I say a oscillating edge sander is more useful then either of the 2 you listed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Center Valley, PA USA
    I have the combo (Jet version). I like it because when you really want a disc, it is there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Man, they are proud of that yellow paint .

    The combo would be more versatile in my shop. A disc sander is useful but, used seldom enough that a 12" is adequate for me. To qualify that, a 6" or 8" is practically useless, to me.

    The top down motion of the belt is also useful and I am not terribly concerned about the platen size being 10" or 14" or whatever as longer belt sanding operations are the job for your oscillating edge sander.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Northern Oregon
    When I was a pro I had neither type. For stationary sanders I had a small edge sander and a stroke sander. In my hobby shop I use a portable belt sander built into a table as an edge sander for small wood parts and aluminum.
    The sanders shown produce a cross grain scratch pattern on most parts. Very limited for most of the work I've done in wood.
    "Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t - you’re right."
    - Henry Ford

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Grassy Lake Alberta
    I would also vote for a edge sander,instead of the two choices you have proposed. It will do anything a disk sander does and you can sand angles on edge by tilting it,as well as square edges. As Andrew has already stated the'' scratch'' left by the sand paper is with the grain not perpendicular to it. I got lucky and bought this sander first,now that I have it I won't be buying the other two choices. YMMV,Mike.

  9. #9
    3rd vote for edge sander
    way more useful

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Despite the fact that I rarely use my 12" disk/4"x48" combo sander, that's what I'd recommend for general shop use as the two different types of setups on the machine make for more versatility. Do note that these things are a bear to collect dust from and you do need to collect it! These are also not "finishing" oriented tools...they are for shaping wood and aggressive work, even though you "can" buy relatively fine abrasive for them. I only use 100 grit on mine for that reason.This is actually my one Grizzly green tool in my shop...heavy beast, too.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    LA & SC neither one is Cali
    Outside of a drum or widebelt I find an edge sander is by far the most useful but of the two you listed I would choose the disc sander.
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  12. #12
    Put me in the oscillating edge sander camp. I bought a Vega last year and we use it fairly often.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    West Lafayette, IN
    Edge sander first, then disc sander. At least that’s my plan! Had a combo unit, barely used it because both sanders were small, and sold it.

  14. #14
    Neither, but a quality edge sander. I bought a used Minimax Unilev -- what an amazing machine!

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