|Review by cpd011||posted 08-09-2009 04:19 AM||20427 views||2 times favorited||15 comments|
This is my first review. I received the sale paper for Harbor Freight a week ago and like many of you I’m very leary of any of their power tools. My grandpa always tried to buy the best tools, and between my dad and his brother they are still using his Unisaw, drill press, joiner and bandsaw which ar all at least 40 years old. getting back to the point, I saw they were advertising a benchtop belt/ disc sander combo for $49.95 and decided to make the twenty minute road trip with my dad. We kicked the tires on it in the store and it seemed to be a solid piece of machinery. It also seems to be built almost identically to several different brands as far as I can tell from online photos and my few trips to HD and Lowes. At less than half the price I took the plunge. Set up only took ten minutes and that mostly because of poorly worded instructions. Most of the unit seems to be cast iron with the exception of the lower base and outer belt housing. I’m not sure of the exact weight but it seems to be about 50 pounds. The table that is included is aluminum but seems to be as sturdy as every other one I’ve seen. I’m probably going to build a bigger table anyway with some inclusive dust collection. By the way their is a almost identical model at Harbor Freight it is ten dollars more (sale price is the same) there are minor differences mostly being some plastic dust collection shrouding but the outlets for these were some crazy sizes maybe 1” dia for the disc and 1-1/2” for the belt. The model I chose just seemed a little beefier and nothing needs to be removed for a belt change just a flip of the tensioning lever. I stuck on the included disc and fired it up. The belt tracking was dead on out of the box, but even so there is an adjustment knob that is big and easy to get at. The motor is rated at 3/4 hp but the label on the motor also says the final output is only 1/3 hp, this may mean something to some people all I know is that the power seemed to be more that adequate. I only had a few minutes to play with it so I tossed some wood at it The Disc spins pretty quickly 1700 RPM i believe and it takes the stock off pretty quickly. The belt isn’t quite as fast. I wanted to check out the power so I started sanding down a 2×4. Nothing bogged down at least not with any reasonable kind of pressure. You can stop any machine with enough force but this one seems to do just fine. Not a very technical review but let me say that for a garage shop this $50.00 machine seems to be a very good buy. 4 stars because I’ve only had it for an hour.
Pro’s- Price, power, seemingly good build.
Con’s- non-existent dust collection, flimsy table (same as any other brand)
I’ll have to get back to you on the longevity.