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Does it's Job for a Great Price

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Review by Kelen posted 12-15-2011 08:07 PM 4008 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Does it's Job for a Great Price No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I had been in the market for a combination belt/disc sander for quite some time and read as much as I could on all the various brands. I landed on the Craftsman one primarily for the attractive price (and the encouragement of my father-in-law who has had one for who knows how many years), however, comparing its specs to other competing sanders, in nearly every category it scored as good if not better.

For starters, this sander is heavy at around 85 lbs, and so much so that I have not had to even secure it to my workbench. The weight, coupled with some rubber gripping feet, keep this thing anchored in place on its own. I’m sure there are others out there that are heavier, but at this weight, it’s plenty sturdy for my purposes. Like other sanders out there, the 6×48 belt can be used both horizontally and vertically and is relatively easy to switch between both. The cast iron table (only one included) is also removable and can be used for either the belt or the disc. I usually keep the belt horizontal and have the cast iron table dedicated for the disc.

When I pulled it out of the box, the belt was already tracked properly and I have not had any tracking issues for the several months that I’ve owned it. I have not had to change belts that many times but changing them is pretty easy and tool-less. I’ve only used the disc a handful of times but have had no issues during those times. Perhaps the feature I appreciate the most is the single dedicated dust collection port that easily fits onto a standard shop vac. Aside from the convenience, I’ve been pleasantly impressed with the dust collection. I’d venture to guess the shop vac accounts for about ~95% of the dust. For my shop that’s already subject to saw dust in other areas because I do not have a central dust collection system, this was more than sufficient for my needs.

I picked this one up on sales at Sears for only $229 I believe. I had considered the comparable benchtop JET model (708595) but at almost 3 times the cost (~$650 on Amazon.com on 12/15/2011), even if it is a superior sander in more ways than one, price makes a difference.




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Kelen

270 posts in 1082 days



8 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112326 posts in 2267 days


#1 posted 12-15-2011 08:10 PM

Glad it does what you want thanks for the review

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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SnowFrog

102 posts in 1236 days


#2 posted 12-16-2011 12:59 AM

Thank you for the review. The price certainly seems to fit my type of budget.

-- One can dream, about a passion not yet fully fulfilled!

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Craftsman on the lake

2396 posts in 2127 days


#3 posted 12-16-2011 11:49 AM

I have the 1976 version of this sander. It has more cast iron in it but has worked for me since then. I can’t get along without it. It has the equivalent of 400,000 miles on it if it were a car. Bearings are starting to sound out a bit lately. I might have to change them out sometime. It would be the first.

I see that sears has refurbs for as little as $134. I think I payed around $70 for mine (new) back in the 70’s.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Hacksaw007's profile

Hacksaw007

593 posts in 1879 days


#4 posted 12-17-2011 04:22 AM

I have the smaller version of this sander, the 4 inch wide belt and it works well for what I use it for. thanks for the review.

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

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Chipy

374 posts in 1283 days


#5 posted 12-17-2011 03:41 PM

Nice review, BUT. and I am not trashing your tool because I own one, it was given to me as gift and at first I was not impressed after a while I came to like this tool!You make a good point the dust extraction is vary good. I hate to say it but I see thees units on E Bay and craigslist list for $70 or $80 bucks The thing that bugs me is the disc it’s a little on the small side the belt is just fine.I will happily keep mine if not for the belt only.Take a look around on

the internet a while and see if you can pick one of thees units used and return the new one if not pretend you never saw my post and be happy with this little performer!

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tenontim

2131 posts in 2434 days


#6 posted 12-18-2011 12:28 AM

I had one of the late ‘70’s model of this sander. Worked great for me, too. Make sure you keep an eye on the belt tracking. It doesn’t take much for that belt to start edging towards one side and chew it up. Those belts used to be rather expensive. They might be cheaper now. As soon as I have room, I’m looking to get another large belt sander. Thanks for the review.

View TechRedneck's profile

TechRedneck

742 posts in 1547 days


#7 posted 12-18-2011 11:25 PM

I have this sander and have beat the heck out of it for three years. The dust collection is good, however, the plastic housing that holds the hose port cracked. I wished they would use some metal ! I had to epoxy it back but still works.

If you use a shop vac on this, do yourself a favor and get a good HIPAA filter or at least a high quality one. If not, you may catch most of the dust but you will be blowing the real fine stuff around the shop. The fine hard to see dust is what gives you lung problems.

I don’t believe it is a five star sander. The miter gauge is cheap plastic crap, the disk is too small and the overall build and quality are standard Crapsman. But, would I buy another one… Probably would. It is a Decent belt sander for the money. What more can you ask for a belt sander? Belt spins around and you push apiece of wood against it. It tracks fine and the paten is flat.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

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ferstler

333 posts in 2210 days


#8 posted 12-30-2011 12:08 AM

I have this unit and paid the same price as you did, and like it as much as you do. I did make two modifications, however:

1. The dust port was just held in place by friction, so, after removing part of the top cover and using a long drill and a magnetized long-shaft screwdriver, I inserted a screw into the interior that keeps that dust port in place. Now, when I hook up my dust-collector to that port the thing does not pull loose.

2. The compartment under the exposed part of the disc sander section tended to fill up with dust after extended use, and I felt that might cause problems down the line. I could remove the dust by pulling off the access plate during a sanding-disc change, but that was tedious work if the disc did not need changing. So, I drilled a 1-inch hole into the side of that access plate near the bottom and using some pieces of coathanger wire and some epoxy glue, I neatly installed a dust port into that area. Now, I can hook up my dust collector to the port (using an adaptor) and the area down there does not fill up with dust.

I also installed it on a roll-around base for easy transport.

Howard Ferstler

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