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  1. #1
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    I find that the more I DIY stuff (not just speakers), the more that I can really use a good combo sander. I've seen a few like the one in the picture, but the reviews on these are not good....at least for the budget ones.



    Does anyone have experience with these? Are there decent ones for under $200? It has to be a combo belt/disc sander. Seems to be a great idea, especially with the side table and miter adjustment.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2008
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    Brooklyn NY
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    short answer is No.
    Also, most of the new machines are made in China and very very very, you get the idea budgety made.
    The good news is that you can find similar machines from 40years ago on Craigs or local auctions for probably less. Rusty tables are not a problem.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2011
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    Tulsa, OK
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    For under $300 there are some very decent Chinese made combo sanders being sold under different brands. One being sold under a couple of brands in a couple of places here are orange and cream colored, have positive stops at the usual angles and sell for about $275. Much better than Harbor Freight's versions every way around. The one's I've seen you can remove the belt and attach an inflatable sanding drum to also, and are four speed (belt drive selected). "Industrial Machinery" is one brand (really original), which is the same as my drill press...Down here, a 35 year-old Craftsman contractors table saw will still go for $350 if it runs, $300 with no motor if it has cast-iron wings, because real contractors would rather have a ratty looking used saw that won't get stolen, as a newer saw that will, and if it will give one guy a hernia loading it into a pick-up, so much the better. One of my train customers who's a contractor has poured concrete in the legs and body of his saw to make it heavier and harder to steal. He takes the lug nuts off his trailer every night he leaves it at a construction site and screws on lock nuts on the lugs. The crooks will pour liquid nitrogen in a hitch lock and shatter it to steal your trailers.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2011
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    Londonderry, NH
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    http://www.mdna.org/machinery/

    That is the Machinery Dealers National Association. We use Brother Machine out of Lawrence MA to source all of our machines for work.
    We purchased a $2400 Delta unit for $400 and it came with a fresh rebuild. The prices are amazing in this economy. I know you mentioned a $200 budget, and I HATE making assumptions to raise your budget... though if you can squeek out 300-400 for a top shelf tool- you decide.

    Aside from that, anything for less than $300 was probably made at the same factory overseas anyways. That doesnt imply junk product, just that shopping should be easy because they are all the same. Check out some local used tool liquidation centers near you....they list prices that are out of this world too high- for the suckers- but you can always talk them down considerably because those shops are essentially pawn shops for working class guys.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2011
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    Tulsa, OK
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    Rotech, down here, you try and haggle with used machine tool dealers and they go UP on the price. No kidding. Pawn shop chains won't budge a penny because they know if they do, they're tantamount to admitting to buying and selling stolen property (which is how the cops bust them!). But we only have four used machine tool dealers left in OK, and they only handle things like CNC milling machines or 24' turret lathes or 200 ton punch presses (one's sitting a half mile from my house on a low-boy). When I drove a semi in '90 and the oil related industry started leaving Tussa, I hauled lots of machine tools out of here (metal working). Ain't no awl bidniss left in da' US so Norris, CE Natco, CE Invalco, Orbit Valve Co., etc. all moved south of the Rio Grande. Where all those places used to be just north of downtown looks like Hiroshima that day after. Look at Google maps and find the new downtown baseball stadium and look just to the north and west of it between the highway and the railroad tracks at all that nothing. Nearly 3000 acres of dirt that used to be industry that paid BIG money. Some of it's the new jail. That's progress....

  6. #6
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    Apr 2011
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    Londonderry, NH
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    Whitney,

    Guess there is still some differences this side of DC still huh? There is no haggling on high-tech up here...Tools dealers are simply happy to see a mechanical type of guy still exists here- let alone walking in their store to buy used tools- thus haggling is welcome. I would venture to guess Chicagoland is more similar to the market in my neck of the woods.


    But yes, one of our major machine manufacturers has sent the work to Mexico, and the quality and tolerance of the parts is evident of cheaper labor.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2011
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    Tulsa, OK
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    Tell me about it. I had a "built" small-block (318/5.2) 390 stroker in my '98 Dakota and stock it was a good engine (built in Canada). My '04 Heico en Mexico 4.7L rated for the same HP and torque doesn't get near the fuel economy or has the "grunt" despite the dyno curves. Chrysler has given up on the 4.7 in favor of the 5.7 Hemi, as the Hemi gives you 100+ more HP and better fuel economy. The Hemis are cast and machined up at Warren, MI where the Hemi was born.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2011
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    Londonderry, NH
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitneyville1 View Post
    Tell me about it. I had a "built" small-block (318/5.2) 390 stroker in my '98 Dakota and stock it was a good engine (built in Canada). My '04 Heico en Mexico 4.7L rated for the same HP and torque doesn't get near the fuel economy or has the "grunt" despite the dyno curves. Chrysler has given up on the 4.7 in favor of the 5.7 Hemi, as the Hemi gives you 100+ more HP and better fuel economy. The Hemis are cast and machined up at Warren, MI where the Hemi was born.
    Well, its Hecho de Mexico...

    Chrysler has not given up on the 4.7L. Up to 2006 it was a single spark plug 215HP turd. Trust me, I owned 3 of them 99 Grand Cherokee LTD, 2001 Grand Cherokee Ltd, and a 2006 Commander. All got like 11mpg. The Jeeps were fast, and ran consistent 15's. Yes, I was young and drag raced my Cherokees. The Commander couldnt get out of its own way for MY2006. But to my shagrin, for 2007 they re-did the 4.7L and ohhh boyyy it went to 310HP, dual plugs per cylinder and got great fuel mileage. This is the current 4.7L still used today.
    I now have a 2009 Dodge ram Quad cab Hemi....Yessssss Hemi all the way. 400HP from the factory, and I get 23mpg highway while towing a moderate sized boat

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Rochester, NY
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    My own two cents (and only mine and an opinion at that), is that I will never step foot into a harbor freight store again. Every time I buy some crap from China, I can't help but think three things. 1: it's gonna break after about 5 uses and will just get thrown into a landfill, mucking things up for my kids. 2: It probably won't work anyway and will cause me to have to rebuild things twice and thrice over because of misalignment. 3: That crappy thing I'm buying ultimately is there because someone lost their job in manufacturing 10 years ago when the whole factory was shipped off to China. The way I see it, the only thing that can save our country is ourselves. The government certainly isn't going to do so. If I can buy something made here in America that costs a bit more, then that's what I'm going to do. Many things still are, and if it's not, then I try to buy something used to at least not send more of my money overseas.

    End Rant... Sorry.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Chandler, AZ
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    Bkeane, if you're still monitoring this thread, I own the sander you show in your original post. I've been using it for at least seven years, possibly longer than that. It is one of the most used, and useful tools in my shop. I noticed the other day that the bearings are getting noisy, so'll I'll have to replace those. I don't anticipate that being much of a problem though. When I'm asked if there are tools at HF that I'd recommend, this is usually the first that comes to mind.

    As for the quality of the tool, it works well and has sufficient power. The table and miter gauge are not at all well made, but they've worked well enough for me. I've noticed that HF does tend to save money on their tools in this area.

    Regarding what my perspective is regarding tools, I own lots of them, from a variety of manufacturers. I have a variety of Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Delta, Skil, Craftsman, Rigid, Bosch, DeWalt, Makita, Rikon, Black & Decker, Ryobi, and Metabo. I prefer a professional tool, but don't consider them to be the wisest choice in all cases. It all depends on your personal selection and performance criteria.

    Duty cycle
    Frequency of use
    Workshop goals

    Whether there are better choices depends on what your purchasing criteria is. If nothing but the best is on your list, I'd look elsewhere. But if you're looking to purchase a decent tool at a good price, I'd consider the HF model pictured in your OP. I do like mine.
    Last edited by Soundslike; 02-09-2012 at 05:30 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    I was at the Depot today. They have the ryobi combo sander for $119. I mean, if your willing to set it up properly every dozen uses, how do you beat that price. At least buying from a big store, you know you will find the sanding belts/discs you need. Power may be lacking though, but your woodworking seems to be good enough that you wont need much sanding anyways Bryan!

  12. #12
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    Mar 2011
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    Chicago - the guts
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    Thanks bud...I did run across that one. I have not checked it out in person, but I will. I have been combing CL all week and there's really slim pickings and most of the few that are for sale are either made in China or extremely old and/or 100 miles away from me.

    No real luck on eBay either, as the good deals are either crazy shipping because of weight or only offered for local pickup in places that are not remotely close to Chicago. The tool liquidators around here seem to only deal in the big stuff, that I don't need.

    Guess I will be checking out the big orange box this weekend. Thanks!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Clinton, New Jersey
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    7

    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    Take a look in Lowes as well as HD. I recently looked at the Ryobi at HD and the Porter Cable at Lowes. The Porter Cable cost a bit more, but the quality appeared to be much better and worth the extra cash.

  14. #14
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    Mar 2011
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    Chicago - the guts
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    Quote Originally Posted by richmaz15 View Post
    Take a look in Lowes as well as HD. I recently looked at the Ryobi at HD and the Porter Cable at Lowes. The Porter Cable cost a bit more, but the quality appeared to be much better and worth the extra cash.
    Wow....You are correct. Just from the pics the Porter Cable one looks better. It's has a larger disc as well, which I think I will be using a lot. Will definitely check that out. I'm not going to squabble over $60 for a tool like this. The reviews are much better for this one too, as compared to the Ryobi.



    Nice find...thanks.

  15. #15
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    Apr 2011
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    Londonderry, NH
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    yessss to the porter cable. Price is right where you want to be, product support and replacement parts are right around the corner.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Rochester, NY
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    175

    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    Sorry 'bout my rant earlier on. I know it's tough to figure that fine balance between getting a good item that will last awhile, yet doesn't break the bank, because quite realistically, we don't need the best if we don't use it in a manufacturing context.

    I just wish we would keep more jobs here and stop outsourcing our countries' soul. Living in Rochester, where Xerox just laid off over 100 engineers (people who actually design new ideas), after getting millions of dollars in tax credits and grants to hire low wage workers for a customer service center, it just ****** me off:

    (From January 30, 2012)

    Xerox has made an investment of $4.3 million and in return will receive $5 million in state tax credits as well as a $1 million state grant and $271,000 in tax breaks from the local council.

    (From Feb. 8, 2012)
    The company said the layoffs are in the product research and engineering areas.

    According to paperwork given to one affected employee, the restructuring involves 189 positions companywide.

    Kodak laid of 120 and is getting out of the digital camera business, and putting their eggs in home printing. Really? Does anyone really print anymore when most pictures are on cell phones, computer screens, digital photo frames - and if not on those things, are cheaper to print online and have it mailed to your door.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    MD
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    It seems Xerox is getting out of the digital camera business inpart because the low end digital camera market is dissapearing due to that most cellphones have a camera in them, and almost everyone has a cellphone.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Chicago - the guts
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    Default Re: Best low-cost Belt Disc Sander

    A couple weeks ago I dealt on the Porter Cable combo sander @ Lowes. Today I had a chance to use it. It is sweet. Rock solid and very heavy and appears to be very well built. Although I only used it to square off some hardwood braces, it was fun!! These things are very cool. Can't believe I didn't buy one years ago.

    Thanks for the recommendations.


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