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Harbor Freight 4 In. X 24 In. Variable Speed Professional Belt Sander

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Review by Jerry posted 05-18-2014 01:55 AM 2850 views 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Harbor Freight 4 In. X 24 In. Variable Speed Professional Belt Sander No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Oh boy… This belt sander is the BOMB.

Maybe I’m just enamored with the fact that I finally have a belt sander, but after using the 25% off coupon and comparing the specs with others, I’ve not found its equal at this price point.

The bad: I had to return the first one because it randomly sped up to full speed no matter what the speed setting. I had to return the second one I bought because the tracking adjustment screw had been badly bent ( in shipping I suppose ).

The third time was the charm.

The good: It comes with 80 grit belts and there are 120 grit belts available for a song. The belts do NOT load up, don’t EVER seem to wear out, and take material away at an astonishing speed. This is one sander that you want to keep moving, as any momentary pause on the surface will get you a gouge that will be hard to recover from ( voice of experience here ).

It is extraordinarily powerful, it is a beast. It reminds me of the giant belt sander we used to use at the sporting goods store I used to work at to tune up skis. That thing was a belt – up sander about 4’ long. This Harbor Freight sander feels like the same amount of power in a very much smaller footprint. I believe I could sit on it and it would serve as a mini snowmobile in the wintertime. Did I mention that it’s powerful? All you need to do is set it down, hold on for dear life, and let the weight and power of the sander do the work for you. You can even sand one-handed, if you have a good grip on it.

Last but far from least, the dust collection is very, very good. Hardly anything escapes. I am very satisfied with this unit and would recommend it to anyone.

-- I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.




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Jerry

547 posts in 302 days



21 comments so far

View vskgaming's profile

vskgaming

43 posts in 269 days


#1 posted 05-18-2014 02:21 AM

I have the same sander and it works great, only a bit on the heavy side and still using the 80 grit sandpaper it comes with.

-- VSKGAMING

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5383 posts in 1886 days


#2 posted 05-18-2014 05:23 AM

I have that same sander and I disagree on the dust collection. I had to hook it up to a vac hose. The dust bag on mine was worthless. ..

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Rick's profile

Rick

6454 posts in 1687 days


#3 posted 05-18-2014 06:55 AM

Thanks Jerry! Good Review!

I’m considering a New One. This Helps!

OOPS! It’ a HF Product. No HF’s in Canada.

I’m going to download Your Picture and see if I can find a Comparable Model.

Rick

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

547 posts in 302 days


#4 posted 05-18-2014 08:18 AM

RE dbhost: It appears that the one I bought worked better, so common sense suggests you should return your defective product. Cheers.

-- I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2833 posts in 1897 days


#5 posted 05-18-2014 03:20 PM

It appears that HF tools are a hit or miss proposition. No better or worse than other brands, except maybe for Festool which is in a whole different class. I’m sure the components that are in a HF tool comes from the same Chinese factory as do the other name brands. I think HF is slowly, but surely climbing the quality scale and will soon be a name that brands like Skil, B&D will have to contend with. I have a few HF tools and I’m happy with the, including a wood lathe, DC, mortiser, clamps and digital calipers.

View Bogeyguy's profile

Bogeyguy

468 posts in 722 days


#6 posted 05-18-2014 05:38 PM

After finding the 2nd sander defective I would have walked away from HF. How can you give it 5 stars if you had to take it back twice for replacement??

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

547 posts in 302 days


#7 posted 05-18-2014 06:20 PM

RE Bogeyguy:

Of course it takes a certain level of awareness to be able to discriminate between a tool and the company that makes it, so allow me to clarify. The review was for the belt sander, not for Harbor Freight the company.

I own many things that I’ve had to return once or more before I finally got one that worked and this applies universally to American and Chinese manufacturers.

This particular belt sander works very well, that is why I gave it a good review.

Now if I were to review Harbor Freight the company, I would have to say it’s a mixed bag, with quality varying wildly from one item to the next.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but again, it takes the ability to discriminate and pay attention to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. Something myself and many other people are willing to do in order to save hundreds of dollars in many cases.

-- I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4328 posts in 1702 days


#8 posted 05-19-2014 05:29 PM

I like most HF products but their abrasive are pure junk.
I recommend Mirka belt on Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Mirka-57-2-5-14-100-2-5-Inch-Portable-Abrasive/dp/B001BKT5HM/ref=pd_sim_sbs_hi_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=08D0BTV2VEWWRG6AN5P8

I used to use Klinspor but now they are too expensive.

-- Bert

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

547 posts in 302 days


#9 posted 05-19-2014 06:40 PM

RE b2rtch: Normally I would agree with you about HF abrasives. If you have not tried their belt sander abrasives, though, you are in for a pleasant surprise.

Of all of the crappy abrasives I’ve bought from HF, the belts, at least in the 4×24” size are a notable exception, as I pointed out originally in my review.

The link you provided is for belts that are the wrong size for this particular sander, but I did find the correct size in several grits on Mirka’s website here those who are interested.

-- I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4328 posts in 1702 days


#10 posted 05-19-2014 07:12 PM

I provided the link just for you to look at them.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=4x24%20Mirka%20sanding%20belts
I buy mine on amazon with free shipping.
I use Mirka sanding disks, sheep paper, and sanding belts, I am satisfied with all of them

-- Bert

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

547 posts in 302 days


#11 posted 05-19-2014 09:04 PM

Bert, I appreciate it very much, hope you understood I was just trying to help other people that may have my particular sander find the correct belts.

-- I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3630 posts in 2388 days


#12 posted 05-19-2014 09:18 PM

How does it compare to other belt sanders that you are familiar with?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

547 posts in 302 days


#13 posted 05-19-2014 09:35 PM

RE poopiekat: I looked at all the major names at Lowes and Home Depot. Some of them are comparable in power and features, such as the Hitachi and Porter cable, but those are $169.00 and $268.00 respectively. This is a 10 Amp sander with variable speed and great dust collection for $52.50 if you use the standard HF 25% off coupon. There is nothing else on the market at this price point with similar power and features.

-- I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3630 posts in 2388 days


#14 posted 05-19-2014 09:41 PM

@Jerry:
Sorry, I should have been more specific. Knowing how some users stand by their Bosch or Porter-Cable sanders, e.g., and strongly dislike Craftsman or Makita sanders, for example. I should have asked how your sander performs, relative to other belt sanders on the market that you have used and are familiar with..

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

547 posts in 302 days


#15 posted 05-19-2014 10:36 PM

RE poopiekat: Absolutely cannot give you an answer on that. This is my first belt sander, but if any factory reps for the brands you mentioned want to send me their sanders for a comparison review, I will be happy to oblige :-)

Perhaps this consumer reports comparison test of 10 belt sanders will help you with an answer you can relate to.

The predecessor to the sander I reviewed here came in 5th overall.

-- I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.

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