One Smooth operator

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Review by pintodeluxe posted 11-21-2010 09:34 PM 3305 views 1 time favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch
One Smooth operator No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This has been quite an upgrade from my previous methods of sanding – hand belt sanding (never comes out at quite 90 degrees), or drum sanders on the drill press (I can never find sanding drums taller than 1-2 inches. The sander is marketed to homeowners, and small businesses and it really fills a niche. It won’t replace a random orbit sander, but it is a great compliment to any shop. I selected the Ridgid sander based on my positive experience with their tools in the past (drill press, shop vacs), and because the belt sander/spindle sander combo is not available anywhere else. The belt tracking adjustment is easy and effective (a single knob), and a quick-release makes belt changes simple like on a hand belt sander. Another feature that stood out above the delta sander is the tilting table. This is actually extemely useful. I use a miter gauge and the tilting table to chamfer the ends of through-tenons. It gives a better finish, and is easier to set up than the router table (no splintering).
Belt changes and switchover to the spindle is quick, easy and tool-free as others have mentioned. The unit weighs only 40 lbs, so you can easily move it around the shop as needed (unlike cast-iron stationary tools). I put it on a 31-1/2” high rolling cabinet which raises the work surface to a comfortable height. Onboard storage slots for all accessories is included, and much appreciated. Fine woodworking rated it best overall and best value, which is quite an honor.
Icing on the cake is the built-in dust collection port. When attached to my Jet DC 650 dust collector, the fine dust is whisked away. You will only see minimal buildup on the tabletop which occasionally needs to be brushed into the dust collector vents.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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3775 posts in 1660 days

31 comments so far

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338 posts in 1680 days

#1 posted 11-21-2010 10:05 PM

ya i need one of these.
im saving for a bandsaw right now but if its on sale somewhere on black Friday i think im going to get it.

-- Ben L

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4806 posts in 2021 days

#2 posted 11-21-2010 10:12 PM

Like mine a lot.

As do most users whose opinions I’ve ever seen.

I think it’s one of a handful of real Ridgid gems.

The other thing you hear, pretty consistently, is “I use it a LOT more than I thought I would !”

Amen. If you can (Klingspor, or other sources), get a couple of grits for the abrasives, and get even MORE use out of it.

I feel like dust collection could be better, but … it’s not awful, and I don’t have anything to compare it to. Maybe—like a band saw—it’s just not the easiest thing to get 100% dust collection from.

But …yeah … love mine !

-- -- Neil

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73 posts in 2085 days

#3 posted 11-21-2010 10:39 PM

Love mine too. It performs great and with the flexibility to change from belt to round, can’t complain. The only thing I would warn you on, is don’t tighten the nut that holds the sanding stuff on too tight. I made a wrench by making a piece of wood to fit over the nut. I don’t over tighten any more.

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2621 posts in 2279 days

#4 posted 11-21-2010 10:43 PM

Love mine too. Easy to use, good results.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

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143 posts in 2076 days

#5 posted 11-21-2010 11:05 PM

Looks like I am singing in the same choir since I have been very pleased with mine as well. My experience with the dust collection however is not quite as stellar. I have a 1 1/2 hp Steel City Dust Collector which is plenty powerful but, depending on the type of sanding, quite a bit of sawdust lands on the table and elsewhere. Nonetheless, it is still one of my favorite tools.

-- Todos los dias aprendemos algo nuevo.

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jim C

1456 posts in 1945 days

#6 posted 11-22-2010 12:40 AM

I have it, but only use the oscillating drum for contour work. (Awesome) That’s because I have a delta Belt/Disk sander. BUT, if I didn’t have the Delta, the belt accessory would come in very handy.
It’s nice to have choices.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

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3174 posts in 2443 days

#7 posted 11-22-2010 01:15 AM

That is on my wish list

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

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1016 posts in 2333 days

#8 posted 11-22-2010 01:43 AM

One of the few tools exclusive to Ridgid. I guess it is to much of a niche market for others to jump in. I’ve never read a bad review. For the garage hobbiest it makes a lot of sense.

-- God is great, wood is good. Let us thank Him for wood......and old hand tools.

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212 posts in 1895 days

#9 posted 11-22-2010 04:07 AM

I love mine to…not one complaint. Enjoy it.


-- Science Teacher by Day, Wood Butcher by Night!!

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2697 posts in 1888 days

#10 posted 11-22-2010 04:36 AM

I was wondering if it was good or not, thanks for the review.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist

5491 posts in 2155 days

#11 posted 11-22-2010 06:40 AM

Add my vote to the list of happy owners. Does anyone know of a source for additional grits for the drums? The belts are easily available in various grits but i can’t find a variety for the drums.

-- Each step of every Wood Art project I design and build is considered my masterpieceā€¦ because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work

View Viking's profile


857 posts in 2042 days

#12 posted 11-22-2010 06:51 AM

We have the Ridgid sander as well. Dust collection with the spindle sander is really good with shop vac hooked up. DC is not as good using the belt sander.

With Texas humidity we have had some premature sanding belt failures, at the glue joints, which has been improved significantly by storing the belts and extra sanding drums in a plastic storage container with tight lid and some dessicant bags.

Overall a great addition to your shop.

Thanks for a great review!

Good luck!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

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58 posts in 1948 days

#13 posted 11-22-2010 02:46 PM

Mine gets daily use in my shop, had to get a reducer to fit my ducting though. Love it truly a work horse! Ridgid stationary tools are some of the best kept secrets around….shooos though… dont tell anyone ;o)

-- " There is no more important rule than to wear these, SAFTEY GLASSES"

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16667 posts in 1713 days

#14 posted 11-22-2010 02:49 PM

I appreciate the tip. One of these days I’m going to get a spindle sander for my shop.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View ChuckC's profile


786 posts in 1782 days

#15 posted 11-22-2010 04:22 PM

I don’t think I’ve ever read a bad review about this sander. I have one too and didn’t think I’d use it as often as I do.

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