|Review by PhineasWhipsnake||posted 08-07-2010 03:17 AM||4525 views||0 times favorited||7 comments|
- Rikon Model 50-120. 6" x 48" belt, 10" disc sander
- Brand: Rikon | Category: Sanders
I bought this sander a few weeks ago at Woodcraft (Sacramento) after scouring all the competitors. I do a lot of decorative boxes, and my little Delta 4X6 was just too small for many of my projects. At $350,the Rikon wasn’t exactly cheap, but the other brands were hundreds more. I also looked at Harbor Freight’s model, but the crudeness and lack of any dust collection ruled it out for me.
First of all, this puppy weighs in at 104 pounds, so it’s not like the little 4X6 that can be tucked away on a shelf and hauled out when you need it. I mounted the Rikon on a roll-around cart that contains all my sanding supplies and belts. It does have a couple of well-placed handles on the ends to make handling easier. The main frame is cast iron, as is the disc table. I’d read in an older review of this model that the disc table supports were flimsy, but the one I got had good cast-iron supports. The table is also tiltable for miter work, but I doubt if I’ll ever use that feature.
The belt is, like all these sanders, adjustable from horizontal to vertical, and has a sturdy steel work table. All the mounting brackets and hardware are of decent quality and heft.
Like most Asian imports, the assembly instructions leave a lot to be desired. The photos look like crude 3rd generation photocopies, but I think most people who use power tools won’t have much trouble figuring out how to assemble & use this thing. It ain’t rocket science.
The belt platform has a low-friction metallic base on which the belt rides, and the belt is easily adjusted for tracking. The dust collection is pretty mediocre, in my experience. With my 2-1/2 inch dust collector hose hooked up to a 2HP unit, sawdust from the belt pretty much went everywhere, but dust from the disc was picked up pretty well. Also, the vibration from the belt was considerably more noticeable than my little Delta. I guess if I’d gone with the $550 Jet I might have gotten a smoother running machine. All in all, a decent machine for the money. Incidentally, a belt sander this big can really take off knuckle skin in a flash…don’t ask me how I know this :-)
-- Gene T