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Thread: Recommend a hand held belt sander?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    718

    Recommend a hand held belt sander?

    Anyone care to recommend a good hand held belt sander? Looking at the 4x24 variable speed ones. Bosch, Makita, etc. They're probably pretty much the same. I probably won't use it very often so the budget is less than $250.

    Thanks, Perry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Easthampton, MA
    Posts
    986
    I'd have to recommend the Makita. In our commercial shop the Makita tools last longer than the Bosch for some reason. Also the Makita takes a sanding frame which is kinda like training wheels for a belt sander. Most folks don't even know what they are but it's a worthwhile option. Typically certain accessories are only available from Makita and won't be found on most discount tool sites. Wehave the Makita and sanding frame in our shop and it's been well received.

    Just so you know the next level up in my opinion is a srtoke sander which is a big belt sander.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    223
    It depends on what you're going to use it for.

    If it's for heavy duty contractor type work, a big Porter Cable belt sander works well.

    But if it's for woodworking, I agree with the other poster that a belt sander with a frame is very advantageous. I used one in a class to quickly level some dovetails, and was very impressed. Much less of a risk of you accidentally rocking the belt sander, and ruining your fine craftsmanship. I don't remember what brand it was, perhaps Makita or Bosch.

    Todd

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Collin County Texas
    Posts
    2,417
    The Bosch 3x21 variable speed does a good job for me, sometimes, too good.
    Best Regards, Ken

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Trinidad, West Indies
    Posts
    400

    Bosch 4x24

    I have the Bosch 4x24 and I very happy with it. Amazon has had it on sale for $125 twice in the last 2 months. If weight is a concern look at the 3x21 sanders.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,997
    I opted for a 3"x21" (Bosch) when I bought one, but my uses at the time were simple and infrequent. (the same holds true today) If I were working large stuff frequently or needed a lot of power, one of the 4"x24" machines would have been a better choice. I do like the Bosch I own and it has reasonably good dust collection considering the port is tiny...
    --

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Alpharetta GA ( Metro Atlanta GA )
    Posts
    171
    Rick,

    Which Makita model are you buying... There are a bunch of different models
    Bartee Lamar

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    660
    I've had a Makita for over 20 years.

  9. #9
    As you can see, Makita and Bosch are going to get the most votes. They are very close in quality and although I lean toward the Bosch, it is probably more personal preference. As to which sander you need, it's really going to depend on what you will be doing most. For "flat" work (table tops and such) a 4X24 is, obviously going to be better. But these are generally heavier machines and if you need to "take the tool to the work", you might want a smaller, lighter sander. My "favorite" is my Porter Cable 504 which looks to be discontinued (???) is (was?) over your stated budget and is anything but light weight! I also have a smaller Bosch and an older Makita which has not been used since I got the Bosch.
    David DeCristoforo

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    718
    Thanks, I thought those would be at the top of the list. Actually my application is out of the ordinary (as usual). I'm looking to add it as an attachment to my metal lathe. One of the boxes I make uses a steel hemisphere as part of the body. The steel has a ridge around the top which has too be sanded off. I've been doing it by hand on the edge sander, but I think I can get better quality by spinning it on the lathe and use a belt sander. I think I can attach it to the tool carriage. (Told you it was unusual).

    Thanks, Perry

  11. I have had the big dog Makita (4*21) for oh say 20 some odd years and it's still a bullet proof beast. I have done floors in three houses & furniture, used it on steel & to sharpen lawnmower blades My ex wife had a penchant for plugging it in while it was on and sitting on a high table and running it off to crash on the floor. It survived all of that and still tracks true and runs strong.

  12. When you need the feather touch.......

    When you need the feather touch application of a belt sander........

    I've been very well impressed with my recently acquired Porter Cable / model 371
    2 1/2 by 14 inch.

    .....be sure to check the dust exhaust fitting before you leave the store to make sure you have the right fitting to match whatever type of shop vac your using.

  13. #13
    You might look at the Dewalt DW433KT. I bought mine over a year ago and am very happy with it. The stand it comes with is very very handy - I've used it for a lot of woodworking(used it today actually) as well as for metalworking. It is going for $229 right now at the big giant online seller that sells lots of books. There may be others better suited for production work and the new small P/C seems to be great for smaller work, but for power, reliability, and versatility, I think the Dewalt kit is a fantastic deal.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    32

    Bosch 4x24 frame available

    I have both the bosch 3x21 and 4x24 - I also have the frame for the 4x24. Both units are excellent.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Putnam County, NY
    Posts
    3,086
    The new porter cable is pretty nice and pretty ergonomically pleasing to use.
    http://www.amazon.com/Porter-371K-14...2471305&sr=8-1
    I could cry for the time I've wasted, but thats a waste of time and tears.

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