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Major Issues with Ridgid EB4424 Oscillating Sander

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Review by nashley posted 04-20-2015 04:05 PM 11042 views 1 time favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Major Issues with Ridgid EB4424 Oscillating Sander Major Issues with Ridgid EB4424 Oscillating Sander Major Issues with Ridgid EB4424 Oscillating Sander Click the pictures to enlarge them

I purchased this ridgid sander 2 days ago after reading a lot of great reviews. The assembly went together very quickly and easily and the fit and finish of the sander appeared to be on par with the price. It wasn’t until I installed the belt assembly onto the spindle that I first noticed something wasn’t right. When installing the “spindle knob” (item 1 in the attached parts list diagram), I noticed that the threads were not even close to concentric to the shank of the knob. In addition to not being concentric they were also out of parallel with the shank of the knob. I unscrewed the knob, removed the belt assembly, and then installed the knob by itself to get a better idea of how poorly the brass portion of the knob was machined. As the knob was being screwed onto the spindle I could clearly see that it was the culprit. The knob was, in effect, acting like a lobe on a cam shaft. So, I went ahead and re-installed the belt assembly, tightened the spindle knob (“not too tight” per the manual) and turned the machine on. If it weren’t for the rubber feet on the bottom of the sander the entire sander would have eventually walked off the bench. I have worked with power tools and machinery my whole life and know when a machine isn’t operating correctly. This sander hand an EXCESSIVE amount of vibration and did not operate as it should. The cam action of the eccentricity of the knob was causing the entire belt assembly to wobble. This wobble, of course, was much more pronounced at the end opposite the spindle. Just to be sure that it was the spindle knob that was the problem and not the spindle I removed the spindle knob and turned on the machine without the spindle knob. ALL of the vibration was gone. It was definitely the spindle knob. Just to see if the machine would still be usable with this much vibration I installed the spindle knob and sanded a few pieces of scrap. The work piece would hop on the sander. It just was not useable at all. I decided to give Ridgid a call and see what they would say. The tech that I talked to suggested that it might be a bent spindle or something in the motor causing the vibrations. He suggested that I exchange the sander for a new one and so I went back to HD and picked up another one…
So, yesterday I picked up another one. I pulled the sander out of the box that evening installed the rubber feet, turned the sander over, loosened the table adjustment knob and raised the table. The table could not be raised level to the top. It felt as though the table adjustment set screws (item 38) were way out of adjustment and preventing the table from rising any further but this was not the case. The table wasn’t even contacting either of the set screws. I then noticed where the problem was. I noticed that the problem was caused by a defect in the casting on the front edge of the rear table (item 11). It appears that someone forgot to run this rear table through the deburr process at the factory. I then proceeded to install the belt assembly just to see if this machine had the same issue as the previous machine. I quickly noticed that the spindle knob had been redesigned. The zinc plated washer on this new knob had a captive floating washer whereas the washer on the knob of the previous unit was pressed fitted onto the knob and would not move. This was interesting. Something tells me that they tried to correct the poor machining process by simply making the washer float so that it could seat properly to the top of the bearing on the belt assembly. Unfortunately they hadn’t corrected the root issue of the knob. The threads of the knob were still improperly machined and were having the same effect on the machine as the previous knob was. Then I began to notice that this machine had too many nicks and scrapes to be a new machine. Yep, it was previously returned to HD and they did a great job of re-taping the box to hide the fact. Upon closer inspection, the 2nd layer of tape was placed perfectly over the first layer…absolutely ridiculous that HD would pull a stunt like this. This unit will definitely be returned.
I’m not even sure that I want to continue pursuing this sander. I read a recent comment by a user stating the following: “It seems everyone is praising the Ridgid sander#EB4424 but apparently there has been some shortcuts taken in the production of this sander lately,have heard complaints about excessive vibrations,or platten not being flat,overall flimsy assembly.” I completely agree.
This is a friendly warning to all who have purchased recently manufactured sanders or are looking to buy. If you are having this issue I hope this can shed a little light on what’s going on.

Update 04/21/2015—- ”The 3rd Sander”
Yesterday I decided to give this sander one last chance. I drove to a different HD with hopes of obtaining a unit from a different manufacturing lot. I wasn’t going to get all the way home just to find out the unit was defective so I just opened the box right in the back of the car in the parking lot and installed the spindle knob on the spindle. There was not a bit of cam action in the knob and I was beginning to think I had a winner. Once I got home I assembled the unit and turned it on…the difference was night and day. The vibration was gone. The front table also lifted parallel to the rear table as it should. Just a side note, the spindle knob is the older style with the zinc washer pressed onto the knob. What style spindle knob do you have? Captive floating washer or pressed on washer?

Update 07/01/2015
Regardless of which knob you receive, ensure that the threads are concentric to the shank of the knob. The pictures below illustrate the difference between the pressed-on washer knob and the floating/captive washer knob.

Pressed-on Washer

Captive/Floating Washer

Drawing of what I mean by threads not being concentric to the shank of the knob

-- Nathan




View nashley's profile

nashley

46 posts in 944 days



28 comments so far

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4128 posts in 2909 days


#1 posted 04-20-2015 06:10 PM

I think it’s a question of poor quality control by whoever is making them in China. That would explain why the earlier machines gave satisfactory service; their QC is going downhill. I have wanted one, based on previous reviews. I checked CPO who sells refurbished units. They may be a better source for a good sander. I have bought from them on several occasions and have been very satisfied with them. After reading other reviews on this machine, I conclude that your problems were common back 5 years, so it seems it’s a matter of the luck of the draw. Although you should not have to, you could probably improve on it with some self made parts and some refinements made with a file. I have done so with some HF machines and also with a Rigid 14” band saw with better than new results.

View nashley's profile

nashley

46 posts in 944 days


#2 posted 04-20-2015 06:48 PM

MrRon, I completely agree. It’s a QC issue. I’m kicking around some ideas about replacing the spindle knob with something that would actually function as it should. I think it would be a great sander if it simply had a better spindle knob. Thanks for the CPO suggestion. If all else fails I might go that direction.

-- Nathan

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5271 posts in 2479 days


#3 posted 04-20-2015 07:21 PM

That’s too bad. Mine is only a few years old and really is a handy tool. The combination of belt sander + tilting table is not offered by many manufacturers. I screwed mine down to a rolling cart, although I never had the excessive vibration problem. I don’t know what to tell you. My experience with this tool has been great, but you have some very obvious problems with the tools you have been sold.
I hope you can resolve the issues.

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

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1659 posts in 2525 days


#4 posted 04-20-2015 07:29 PM

Take it back and get another one, make sure it’s really new…

I have one and it’s great. Have had it for about two years and no complaints at all.

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View SawdustyDan's profile

SawdustyDan

60 posts in 842 days


#5 posted 04-21-2015 12:02 AM

I, too, have one of these sanders. I’ve had mine for 4-5 years and the only issue I’ve noted is the spindle nut seems to “tighten itself” as it runs. Kind of a bugger to get loose, sometimes. Apart from that, this has been a really good, reliable tool for me. Runs very smoothly and reasonably quiet, by the way.

As far as design goes – I’d like to see better dust collection (a few decent home fixes on here, though…) and a tilting table that was adjacent (or closer) to the spindle/belt. Neither of those make it a bad tool, though.

I know a few folks have vented their frustration and grief with Ridgid tools, here. Maybe I’m the lucky one (?), but I am satisfied with my EB4424 sander, TP1300 planer and R4512 table saw.

-- Sawdusty Dan - Bellevue, NE - "Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs should just relax and get used to it." Robert A. Heinlein

View chem's profile

chem

30 posts in 1271 days


#6 posted 04-21-2015 12:15 AM

I have an older unit as well. It works very well. The functionality combined with efficient space usage (and with a large folding table) is superb. The only thing that might steer me to a dedicated spindle sander is that the maximum 2 in diameter sanding sleeve is smaller than many inexpensive units (3 inch in many cases). However, replacing the oscillating edge belt would be much harder with another tool. To have the two functions together is a fantastic price/performance/space combination of the sort rarely realized in tools. Hang in there and you will get a good one!

-- chemist by day, woodworker time permitting

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5271 posts in 2479 days


#7 posted 04-21-2015 04:16 AM

Chem,
The large side of the belt sander is 3” diameter.

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

View chem's profile

chem

30 posts in 1271 days


#8 posted 04-21-2015 10:40 AM

Pintodeluxe-

What you say is true, but for the following reasons does not replace a 3 inch spindle for the applications where I would like one. The edge of the belt is no longer a sleeve so is not great for some inside sanding tasks (the ones where a spindle does best), the table is very small if you use the edge of the belt, and you miss the 2.5 inch intermediate size you would get with a larger capacity spindle. I still like the machine, but view this aspect of the spindle sanding a tick inferior to a number of less expensive units.

-- chemist by day, woodworker time permitting

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2448 posts in 1838 days


#9 posted 04-21-2015 12:52 PM

I think I would find a different HD. It sound like the store manager didn’t want to send sander back to manufacturer. Figured he would just put it out the door to somebody that might not bring it back.
I have had one for several years now have had no problems with it. Does a great job, you do have to watch the tracking on the belt sometimes it can be touchy.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View nashley's profile

nashley

46 posts in 944 days


#10 posted 04-21-2015 01:16 PM

I appreciate the comments and suggestions to just give rigid one last try. I gave it one last try and it appears the third time was a charm…I’ve updated the above review.

-- Nathan

View Brickman's profile

Brickman

51 posts in 2037 days


#11 posted 04-22-2015 02:23 AM


I checked CPO who sells refurbished units. They may be a better source for a good sander. I have bought from them on several occasions and have been very satisfied with them.
- MrRon

I purchased one of these refurbed from CPO and it bricked itself 5 days after the return period. CPO would not take it back. Rigid does not sell parts and if the motor goes as mine did you have a boat anchor. I would not recommend this thing refurbed.

-- Mark - Pueblo, Colorado

View lab7654's profile

lab7654

266 posts in 1913 days


#12 posted 04-22-2015 02:37 AM

You’ll find yourself using this thing a lot. It gets handier the longer you have it around. I don’t even switch to the spindles most of the time, since the larger belt pulley functions as a spindle if you move the stop back.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

869 posts in 3097 days


#13 posted 04-23-2015 12:51 PM

Love mine and have had it for 6 years. No issues with it whatsoever.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View Domer's profile

Domer

252 posts in 3032 days


#14 posted 04-23-2015 06:56 PM

I also have had one for quite a while and like it a lot.

I agree that the dust collection could be a lot better but for the price it works well.

Sounds like they had a bad batch.

View Philzoel's profile

Philzoel

299 posts in 2009 days


#15 posted 04-23-2015 11:28 PM

Me too . I wonder why more manf don’t use this unique combo?

It really works

-- Phil Zoeller louisville, KY

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