needing to purchase a hand held belt sander any suggestions ?

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Forum topic by 1yeldud1 posted 09-03-2012 10:25 PM 2548 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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301 posts in 2081 days

09-03-2012 10:25 PM

I’m in the market to purchase a hand held belt sander for general purpose wood working – any suggestions by the lumberjock community as what brand to buy or what to look for / or to shy away from ?

23 replies so far

View Gary's profile


1115 posts in 3363 days

#1 posted 09-03-2012 10:28 PM

I’m real pleased with the Porter Cable I own.

-- Gary, Florida.

View Gary's profile


8318 posts in 2472 days

#2 posted 09-03-2012 10:31 PM

Kinda depends on what you will be using it for…how much use it will see. I have one….I know it’s blue….but rarely use it.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View knotscott's profile


6325 posts in 2415 days

#3 posted 09-03-2012 11:15 PM

I’ve been pretty happy with my Hitachi refurb I picked on the cheap.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1512 posts in 1400 days

#4 posted 09-03-2012 11:32 PM


-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View bandit571's profile


10141 posts in 1722 days

#5 posted 09-03-2012 11:47 PM

Been using the “H” out of my B&D Dragster 3” X 21” sander. I’ll even clamp it up in a vise, just to sharpen plane irons with.

Even clamp it vertical, to shape handles for my planes with

Had mine since they first came out. Not sure what they cost right now, maybe just under $60???

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View whitebeast88's profile


3947 posts in 1230 days

#6 posted 09-04-2012 12:07 AM

I bought a ryobi about a year ago use semi-regular.never had a problem and it was cheap.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View muleskinner's profile


740 posts in 1476 days

#7 posted 09-04-2012 02:04 AM

I picked up one of these at a garage sale a couple of years ago for 10 bucks. I like the fact that you can flip it on its back, lock the trigger and sand small parts. 3×21, variable speed, 10ft cord. Been using the hell out of it lately and have zero complaints. Don’t know if it’s still in production but you can still get parts (had to replace the drive belt once). I’ve seen a couple on CraigsList. Edit – Just looked on Amazon and it looks like this Bosch is basically the same thing.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1890 days

#8 posted 09-04-2012 03:00 AM

I am pleased to see suggestions of the worm drive, “locomotive” type. The standard o’ the industry is this Porter Cable which is a lifetime tool.

I have had several of the smaller ones, as the Ryobi shown (they were a three letter brand, AVG?) back when we dowelled and belt sanded face frames. We put a lot of hours on them.

It is my opinion that the worm drive design is easier to manage than the sidewinders. I welcome other opinions of course.

Also note that, while 24” belts are a little more than 21s, they run a smidge cooler and will run on a slightly larger platen.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Grandpa's profile


3246 posts in 1715 days

#9 posted 09-04-2012 03:08 AM

Porter cable. I think the 3×24 is easiest to get belts for in my area. I have an OLD Craftsman 4×24 but it is heavy. Look at CPO on line for a deal.

View Earlextech's profile


1155 posts in 1730 days

#10 posted 09-04-2012 12:19 PM

Porter Cable 3×24 will last a lifetime.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View Tennessee's profile


1885 posts in 1554 days

#11 posted 09-04-2012 03:44 PM

If you don’t want to pay the $169 that the Porter Cable will cost you, try the Harbor Freight 4X24 Magnesium for $69.99 on their website. Mine is a horse, works great, and I could not be happier with it.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View NiteWalker's profile


2728 posts in 1616 days

#12 posted 09-04-2012 03:45 PM

I have the porter cable 371 and it’s a great sander. Compact and powerful. Does what I need it to.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2687 days

#13 posted 09-04-2012 04:18 PM

You might want to consider available accessories, sanding frames
in particular, and the effectiveness of the dust extraction.


View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 2198 days

#14 posted 09-04-2012 04:59 PM

I have seen no reason to upgrade my B&D dragster, other than to get a larger, stationary sander. It works just fine, tracks fine, and gets the job done. Hard to recommend them, however, just because I think results can vary from sample to sample with these things.

-- jay,

View cutworm's profile


1074 posts in 1833 days

#15 posted 09-04-2012 05:28 PM

I have the Ridgid 3×18 and like it. Used it this morning. 100 bucks at HD. I had the Ryobi and had problems with the belt slipping after a year or so. Don’t know if it was the belts a little long or the sander. I like the 18” size for myself. The 21 and 24” models are big and heavy.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

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