|Review by MarkTheFiddler||posted 01-28-2013 12:53 AM||6207 views||0 times favorited||14 comments|
ShopSmith sells 4 3X21 Sanding Belts for $17.98 at Lowes
Gator sells 5 3X21 Sanding Belts for $5.98 at Lowes
Figure $4.50 for each ShopSmith Vs. $1.20 per Gator
I used both belts to sand the aluminum oxide finish off hardwood flooring for use in a project. That is some very tough finish. I sanded until I had to apply downward pressure on the belt sander to get a bite. I stopped there. Mind you the flooring finish dulls out the sand paper very quickly.
Take a look at this picture:
The 3 boards at the top of the image were done with the shopsmith paper. I felt I was starting to apply a little force toward the end of the last board. I stopped there and replaced the paper with the gator belt.
The board at the bottom of the image was sanded with the Gator Belt before I was applying more downward pressure than with the ShopSmith brand. That is roughly 1/3 of a board. The ratio thus far was 9 to 1. Because Shopsmith is reversible, I put it back on the belt sander running the opposite direction. There was plenty of grit left to finish the “Gator” board and the Shopsmith belt was still viable if I applied pressure to the sander. That was beyond the scope of the test.
Here is the math:
Each ShopSmith board cost $1.22 to sand (without downward pressure). Honestly, I use my belts much longer than that.
Each Gator Board would have cost $3.60 to sand (without downward pressure).
I’m not sure you will agree with this or not but my opinion is that it cost 3X more to sand with Gator than ShopSmith.
I’ll try other brands for future analysis. I DO want to save a buck and ShopSmith gave me sticker shock. However, Gator turned out to be far too expensive.
-- Thanks for all the lessons!