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Grizzly T27417 Oscillating Belt/Spindle Sander - Part 1

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Review by EEngineer posted 03-18-2017 06:59 PM 3333 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Grizzly T27417 Oscillating Belt/Spindle Sander - Part 1 No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I have wanted a spindle sander in my shop for some time now. For the last year or two, I had my eye on the Ridgid EB4424 belt/spindle sander but reviews just haven’t been kind to this product. Yes, there are many magazine reviews praising this product and positive reviews by satisfied users but there are also lots and lots of sad tales (including right here on LJ here and here ) that seemed to point to severe quality control issues.

In addition, like many other companies, it seems that Ridgid took what was originally a fine tool and cost-reduced it to the point where it no longer performs as well as it once did. In particular, substitution of plastic drums (and other parts) for the original metal ones in the belt attachment left me with concerns about the long-term reliability of this product – at least on the belt sanding attachment which I consider a major selling point.

Enter the Grizzly T27417. Introduced in the 2016 Grizzly catalog, it looks a lot like the Ridgid unit. But there are major differences. The table is smaller and the whole package has a much smaller footprint (16 1/2” X 18 1/2” as opposed to the Ridgid’s 19 1/4” X 23 1/2”) – this is actually an advantage for me with a small shop. Drive rotation is opposite – that gets rid of the screwy left-hand thread on the Ridgid unit for the knob that secures sanding sleeves or the belt drive. Under the table things are really different! More about that later.

(Note: I am going to split this review into two parts – this, the first part, will just cover my overall impression of the Grizzly unit and its use. The second part will cover the technical details of the design and build of this unit as compared to the Ridgid EB4424. The two units are very similar in function and use but very different in the design and execution.)

Grizzly had a Black Friday sale last year. With the sale price on the T27417, even with shipping, I got the sander for less than the Ridgid EB4424 was selling for at Home Depot. It arrived in a sturdy cardboard box protected by molded styrofoam pieces. Nothing was damaged, nothing was missing and I had it running less than an hour after I cut the tape on the box.

The first piece out of the box was the belt sander attachment. As soon as I picked it up, I knew this thing was substantial – no plastic pieces here! Both the drive drum and the idler drum are aluminum, not plastic, with sealed ball-bearings at the top and bottom of each drum. The belt-sander attachment is assembled on a heavy-duty cast metal frame. The only plastic in the Grizzly belt sander attachment is on the knob to adjust belt tracking.

The main housing of the sander – meh, plastic – sturdy but plastic. The table is cast aluminum, painted, and a little flimsy compared to the old cast-iron machines I prefer in my shop. Still, it was flat and set perpendicular to the belt right out of the box. The adjustable portion of the table was flat but maybe not exactly coplanar with the fixed portion of the table. One side stands less than 1/32” proud of the fixed table. This is acceptable to me – I am more concerned that the belt or drum is perpendicular to the table. Fit and finish is good all around. This is one of the few new machines I have purchased that I didn’t spend a lot of time trimming and fitting to make it right before I used it.

So, how does it work? First off, the motor is strong. The manufacturer claims a 1/2 HP motor and, for a change from most tool specs nowadays, this might not be an exaggeration (see technical details in the second part of this review). For a quick test I took a 2X4, on the wide side (that’s about the limit for this unit with a 4 1/2” belt and 5/8” stroke), and really bore down on it. I managed to slow the motor a little but I couldn’t stall it and a few minutes sanding like this didn’t seem to stress it at all. With the 80 grit belt provided it removes material very aggressively. For real projects, my first purchase for this tool was 120 grit drums and belts to be less aggressive with a smoother finish.

This test did reveal a problem, however. I had to adjust the tracking constantly as the belt warmed up while I was being rough with it. With milder project work, this wasn’t such a problem. It seems that the aluminum drums were not crowned as is done on most larger belt sanders to help belt tracking. Following a tip I found on the web, I wound a couple of layers of electrical tape in the center of the idler drum to fix this (you can see that in the picture of the belt attachment above). It provided a slight crown on the idler drum and made the tracking adjustment a lot less finicky.

The drums have a nut and wrench to fix them in place. When I tried a drum it became obvious why – there is simply no way to tighten the little star wheel enough with your fingers to spread the rubber cylinder and keep the drum from slipping. The plastic insert for use with the drums is flat and true. It does sit a little lower than the table but they provided holes for leveling screws around the perimeter so, if this becomes a problem with smaller pieces, I will insert screws and level it to the table. For a test I took a piece of 3/4” cherry and bore down on the sanding cylinder very hard. Once again, I could slow the motor a little but could not stall it and several minutes of this did not stress it at all. I could smell the cherry burning so I was exerting far more pressure than I would normally use on a project but the drum didn’t slip and I could not stall the motor.

Dust collection with the belt attchment was good. I have a 5 gallon Bucket-head vacuum that I use for dust collection and it picks up 80-90% of the saw dust. What is left is just a dusting on the table top. I keep a bench brush next to the tool to clean that up after sanding. Dust collection with the drums was even better – there was no dust on the table.

In the last few months, I had a chance to work on several small projects with this sander and it performed admirably. So far, all I have used is the belt sander. Like many others with this kind of combination sander, I suspect that it will usually have the belt sander mounted. I will only need the drums to sand inside curves.

Like the Ridgid EB4424, the Grizzly unit provides built-in storage for the accessories. Unlike the EB4424, however, the smaller Grizzly unit ended up with a lot of the accessories scattered around the sides of the unit where they are just not so convenient. And both units have storage for the belt sander in the back where it is not convenient at all with the sander backed up against a wall as I have it in my shop. I mounted the sander to a night stand that was handy and the top drawer ended up with most of the accessories (i.e. the belt sander, sanding drum adapter plates and extra sanding belts and drums). The only built-in storage I use is for the sanding drums with the most commonly used grit paper on them at the front of the unit. I don’t intend to carry this unit to jobsites so this works for me.

All in all, I am very pleased with this sander and it is a keeper! The only reason I am giving this unit 4 stars instead of 5 is because I haven’t had it long enough to judge the durability yet. There aren’t that many reviews on it and it just doesn’t have the same amount of history that the Ridgid unit does. Only time will tell.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"




View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

1089 posts in 3244 days



12 comments so far

View smitty22's profile

smitty22

712 posts in 2577 days


#1 posted 03-18-2017 11:11 PM

Thanks for the review, very thorough and might tip the scales to Grizzly for me.

-- Smitty

View mat60's profile

mat60

31 posts in 87 days


#2 posted 03-19-2017 12:41 AM

Very nice review. Its funny how much that looks like the Ridgid. Hope you enjoy your sander.

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

1089 posts in 3244 days


#3 posted 03-19-2017 02:31 AM

It looks very much like the Ridgid sander but, underneath, it is very, very different. As I said, watch for Part 2 of this review.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2493 posts in 2145 days


#4 posted 03-19-2017 01:03 PM

That is a nice looking machine.
I am on my second Rigid, after a successful eleven year run with my first, the motor and spiral drive just wore out. I sold it on CL for a decent amount and bought my second, not realizing that they had cheapened up quite a bit.

I do have the metal wheels on my belt sand unit, but I did have a problem arise when the support wheel that keeps the sander unit aligned and running on that shaft popped out of the pin on the motor shaft. I just put it back in, but lost some of the plastic and I have to keep the locking nut tight.

I don’t think this was available when I bought my second Rigid. I think I would have popped for this one, although I have never had any problems with table flatness, or the wheel or belt not being perpendicular to the table.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4629 posts in 3591 days


#5 posted 03-20-2017 07:05 PM

I hate to hear that the Ridgid unit has been cheapened. Mine has been a work horse since I bought it years ago.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

3803 posts in 1835 days


#6 posted 03-20-2017 09:46 PM

I read the review with interest as I have seen these dual role sanders around for some time.

I have a Sheppach Osc spindle sander which has a metal table and rubber sleeves with a compression washer to securely hold the sleeve.
Its not by any means a dual role as is with the Ridgid, but I have three other opportunities for belt sanding
A dedicated belt sander, a linisher and a smaller Bosh belt sander.

The Sheppach is very similar to the reviews on utube, an interesting watch and looks exactly like a couple of them, apart from being a different colour and badge name.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhPeSOOHYwo

As for plastic we had Styer 5.56mm rifles in the Aust ARMY that had plastic hammer and associated parts activating the firing pin worked no worries and was made by Tupperware!

We also have had problems with plastic covered mains power cable made in China missing the polymer an ingredient that plastices the PVC and coincidently is the most expensive component of the production, as a result a recall has been placed on all the cable,...big issues as you can imagine as it was already installed after the problem was discovered!

-- Regards Robert

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5204 posts in 2444 days


#7 posted 03-20-2017 10:08 PM

Finally someone else brought a tilting oscillating belt sander to market. The Ridgid table size is adequate, but I wouldn’t want to go any smaller. These are great tools to have in the shop.

Let us know how it holds up.
Thanks for the review.

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

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3167 posts in 1428 days


#8 posted 03-21-2017 01:32 PM

You must have gotten quite the deal if it was way cheaper than the Ridgid. Is’s selling for $229 on Grizzly right now.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

1089 posts in 3244 days


#9 posted 03-22-2017 01:25 AM

CharlesA -

Well, I didn’t say way cheaper!

Last summer the price was $219. Just before Thanksgiving they reduced the price to $189. On the Friday after Thanksgiving they had a special sale price of $169. That plus $19 shipping cost me $188.

Home Depot was selling the Ridgid sander for $199. No Black Friday deals on it.

I love Black Friday!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3167 posts in 1428 days


#10 posted 03-22-2017 08:40 AM

Good deal.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View NormG's profile

NormG

5731 posts in 2634 days


#11 posted 03-23-2017 01:12 AM

Sounds promising

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View MrFid's profile

MrFid

831 posts in 1535 days


#12 posted 03-23-2017 11:22 AM

Nice review. I wonder if there’s a reverse threaded wingnut you could buy somewhere to avoid having to use a wreech to tighten it down. At least, I think it’s reverse threaded if it’s like the Ridgid model.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

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