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Thread: Belt Sander Recommendation.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Roseville, MN
    Posts
    325

    Belt Sander Recommendation.

    I need a good, solid belt sander what do you guys recommend?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    6,199
    Hand-held or stationary?
    Veni Vidi Vendi Vente! I came, I saw, I bought a large coffee!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Roseville, MN
    Posts
    325
    hand-held belt sander

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    2
    I am very happy with my hand held Porter Cable 4x24 belt sander. Mine is variable speed, but 99% of the time it is run at full speed, so that feature is ok, but is not a deal breaker. The dust bag works well. The belt adjustment is easy to use and stays on track well. I often flip it over, or on its side, clamp it down and use it more like a stationary sander. It is on the heavy side, it has a solid metal casing and it is large, 4" x 24". The weight is nice when sanding a large surface. It is not so great when having to hold it vertically, or on smaller pieces. Overall I am very happy with the sander. my .02

    -Roger

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Camas, Wa
    Posts
    3,598
    I have a Makita 3x18 and a 4x24 and love both of them

  6. #6
    I have a 4x21 DW433 seen here http://www.dewalt.com/us/products/to...productID=6362 and like it just fine. The kit includes a stand I find comes in handy on occasion.

  7. #7
    Used them all over the years. Prefer the BOSCH 4x24. PC would be equal if the bag was on the correct side...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,997
    I have a Bosch 3"x21" and find it to be a very good tool. That said, I rarely use a belt sander. This one has been used three times and two of them had it upside-down in the bench vice...
    --

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Laguna Beach , Ca.
    Posts
    7,201
    The bosch is really good 3x21
    "All great work starts with love .... then it is no longer work"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,178
    I've had a big (4x24) sander but would only now get any kind of hand held belt sander if it had a sanding frame; it presents the abrasive belt to the work absolutely evenly and allows the tool to act as almost a finishing sander, with the chance of a dig-in virtually eliminated. Once the initial set up is done, the sanding frame can be put on or taken off in maybe five seconds, with no loss of adjustment. My most recent one was a 3x21 (or 24?) AEG, I think.

  11. #11
    Bosch 4 x 24.

    Good power.

    Couldn't live without it on the jobsite or in the shop.
    I use it for everthing from counter tops to sharpening my pencils and chisels.

    If I was more agile, maybe even a pedicure.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    797

    Food for thought....

    I have used a couple different sanders, and they all seem to do well. I mainly just wanted to add this: it's all in how you use it. No, not all belt sanders are created equal, but here's some food for thought. I have been using an old, early 80's craftsman 3x21 belt sander. It has terrible balance, awful belt tracking, and runs like a jalopy. Yet, I am still able to get large panels very even and smooth with no dig-ins. This is not me trying to boast about sanding skills, I just want to illustrate that at a certain point it comes down to user experience. The first couple things I did with this sander got chewed up, but I soon learned how to get a good finish. So basically, get a DeWalt, Makita, Bosch, or PC. Read reviews to know which you might prefer, but unless you improperly use them you should be able to do fine work with any/all of them.

    Hutch

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Stephenville, TX
    Posts
    914
    I started using a Skil 3x18. Then I went to the Ryobi 3x21. I went through two Ryobi sanders and now have a Bosch 3x21 and a Porter Cable 4x24.

    The Ryobi and Bosch are designed the same way, having a flat top, which I highly recommend. I built a 'cradle' out of scrap and can flip the sander on it's back and use it for sanding small pieces and use it that way all the time. I really liked the Ryobi but for some reason kept having the switch go out on me. It must have been something in how I handled it, but no trouble with the Bosch. I don't know about Ryobi quality now and although I really liked the design I have been through two of them (bearings plus switches), and although the Bosch is more expensive it's been a better buy as it's lasted much longer. All have had variable speed, which is a lost cause.

    I also have a PC 4x24.....the 'Locomotive'. If you need material 'hogged' off it's a good machine but will really give you a workout as it's about twice as heavy.

    I find the 3x21 sanders to be more versatile from the standpoint of easier to handle. Anything finer than 80 grit is lost on the 4x24, and if you use the 4x24 a lot you can cancel your gym membership. A big belt sanding job (like sanding some solid wood 12 in square by 2 ft long live oak art stands not long ago) was starting at 36 with the 4x24 down to 80, down to 120 with a 3x21 and finish with a random orbit.

    Oh yeah, as an edit, I forgot to mention..... Never, under any circumstances, buy that $50 Craftsman 3x21. No, I take that back. Buy it and give it to your worst enemy for a Cristmas present.
    Last edited by Richard M. Wolfe; 06-15-2008 at 12:15 PM.
    And now for something completely different....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Roseville, MN
    Posts
    325
    right now I've narrowed it down to ether the PC,makita,dewalt or a Milwaukee I'm leaning toward the PC. to me the PC is the "king" of belt sanders but they are petty damn heavy.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    766

    I use a Bosch 4x24 with a sanding frame

    I use it for leveling panels after glue up. I used to use a Festool Rotex, but the Bosch is far faster than the Rotex and with the frame, pretty much no risk of damage. Whatever you get make sure you get a frame. I think all models of Bosch and most of Makita have a frame, not sure about PC though.

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