|Review by ferstler||posted 12-10-2008 11:47 PM||13561 views||1 time favorited||4 comments|
I picked up this narrow-belt, bench-top sander at Harbor Freight some time back for about thirty bucks, as I remember, and I think a version is also available from Grizzly as its model H3140 for about $55. The Grizzly specifications are a tad different, but it is clear from the Grizzly catalog photo that the two units are identical. Obviously, the Harbor Freight deal was a better one. The differences mentioned in the owner’s manual and the Grizzly catalog makes one wonder about published specifications for tools.
Esoteric tools like this can be very useful under some conditions, but most of the time they just sit, waiting for special occasions. Those have occurred several times for me, and I am very glad I purchased the thing. There are times when you have to quickly sand just a small spot on a small (or even fairly large) piece, and a sander like this works more effectively than larger versions. (One large sander that I have also reviewed on this site is the Craftsman 6×48 incher, and the vast majority of my sanding time makes use of that item.) Both Grizzly and Harbor Freight offer more upscale versions of this type of narrow-belt sander, and those items include attached disc-sander sections. However, I already have a nice disc attached to my bench-top sander (the above noted Craftsman item), and so paying extra money for a disc output made no sense.
The motor on this small sander is decently powerful (1/3 HP, at 3 amps, running at about 3,400 rpm), the table tilts forward 45 degrees, and the unit includes a dust port that can handle small fittings. The unit weighs a bit more than 13 pounds. The owner’s manual is sufficiently detailed and even includes an exploded parts diagram and a wiring schematic.
At the price (and even at the Grizzly price) this is a fine tool for those needing to detailed sanding of flat surfaces. The only adjustment I had to make with my sample involved getting precise alignment between the sanding belt and the pressure platen underneath. Once that was done I had a workable tool. I am not sure that it is a tool that will hold up to day-in, day-out heavy use in a production shop, but for hobby oriented, lightweight occasional use it is very satisfactory.
If I did not already own this item I would go buy one in a minute.