Thickness planer belt broke, backordered, need advice on a substitute

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Forum topic by DustyDame posted 09-09-2012 09:00 PM 4123 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 2085 days

09-09-2012 09:00 PM

I made a rookie mistake when trying out my newly acquired used Ridgid 4330. I feel like an idiot, but I’ll admit I didn’t seat the dust collector properly and when I hit the switch for the first time, it squealed like a stuck pig. When I figured out what happened, corrected the issue, and tried to run a piece of lumber through, the belt broke.

My question for those of you more experienced than I is: The belt is backordered until the middle of next month. (Way too long!) Anyway, upon further research, I discovered this website recommendation of a possible sub for the ridgid part, but it’s made of different material. The demensions are correct though. Would you go for the substitute part? I really need this planer to be functioning, but don’t want to do any further damage.

You can see the site’s recommendation here

Thanks for your time!

25 replies so far

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1643 posts in 2631 days

#1 posted 09-09-2012 09:07 PM

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8190 posts in 2575 days

#2 posted 09-09-2012 09:13 PM

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9 posts in 2085 days

#3 posted 09-09-2012 10:07 PM

Thanks guys! I looked and looked for one in stock, but was getting nowhere. Now I have one ordered thanks to you. Now I’ll have to research how to change that sucker! lol

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2091 days

#4 posted 09-09-2012 10:20 PM

Is it a standardish belt size? Could you use a link belt?

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8190 posts in 2575 days

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

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1554 posts in 2503 days

#6 posted 09-09-2012 11:23 PM

Dusty, I had that planer and broke my belt as well. It’s a common issue with that planer.

I now have a 4331 and I hope the belt lasts longer than the 4330 HAHA

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3603 posts in 2476 days

#7 posted 09-09-2012 11:36 PM

Another good reason to choose the dewalt

-- Please check out my new stores and

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1021 posts in 2284 days

#8 posted 09-09-2012 11:41 PM


-- John, BC, Canada

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18270 posts in 3674 days

#9 posted 09-10-2012 12:38 AM

You might take the old one to the local auto parts store to see if they have one the same size. BTW, Welcome to LJ!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View DustyDame's profile


9 posts in 2085 days

#10 posted 09-10-2012 01:56 AM

Shows what I know. Link belt? I had honestly never heard of one until just now. Impressive! Now I wish I hadn’t already ordered the other one. I bet those are easier to install as well. I just may have to get one to try it out anyway. The belt is a 135J6.

We have an auto parts store just a few miles away as well. That may be my quicker fix so I can get this thing runnin’ You guys are full of ideas! I love this site!

Oh and I’m totally turning green over the 4331! I figured out when they are having a hardtime keeping the belts in stock that I wasn’t the only one with this issue. I’m assuming that the 4331 does away with the whole cutter head lock being located under the stupid dust collector. Maybe it’s good that I have multiple belts coming now.

I’m fond of Dewalt too, but I got this one for practically nothing. (plus the cost of a couple of belts. :)

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2631 days

#11 posted 09-10-2012 01:59 AM

eh. I don’t think a link belt or a v-belt will work this time. The belt on my Porter Cable definitly isn’t a typical v belt. From the part diagram, the belt looks like auto timing belt, but smaller and wider. I actually rememebr reading that planers use essentially the same drivetrain as a treadmill. Supposedly, a common treadmill motor is a direct replacement for the Harbor Freight lunchbox planer. Go figure.

I just asked Mr. Google about the 135 J6. Here’s what he showed me. Oh and this belt fits a dozen or so other similar planers. I looked over a few different parts breakdowns of a few different planers (various brands). I was surprised how many parts were interchangable. Motors, gears, belts, and even cutterheads in some cases.

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2091 days

#12 posted 09-10-2012 07:59 AM

If Tedstor is correct (which I am almost certain he is) a link belt probably wouldn’t work because they generally come in standard sizes like 1/2 inch and 3/8 inch. Though I suspect they do make link belts that wide. Finding one would be another matter. I had to do some hunting just to find 3/8” link belt.

If, by some chance, your planer takes 1/2 inch belts go to Harbor Freight. Many of their stores carry a green belt called Accu Link. It’s cheaper than other link belts and appears to be just as good as the red ones.

Link belts are not necessarily easier to install. Separating and putting the links back together can be a pain.

The advantages of link belts are: They reduce vibration, they hold their shape, you can make them almost any length you want, and they are supposedly more durable.

The downside is that they cost more and can be hard to find, especially in sizes besides 1/2 inch.

A month ago I hadn’t even heard the term link belt, so don’t feel bad.

One last thing, if you do end up with a link belt at some point: Link belts are directional. The belt has to travel in a specific direction. The red ones have an arrow on them showing you their proper direction. I’m not sure of the green ones.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29226 posts in 2336 days

#13 posted 09-10-2012 08:52 AM

The substitute should work. If nothing else use it until the other one comes, then you’ll have a spare. As far as a rookie mistake, I assure you that even after you have lots of experience you can do something stupid. Look in tool safety forums and you’ll see testimonials to stupid from some very experienced people. Main thing always is safety first.

Welcome to LJ’s

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3821 days

#14 posted 09-10-2012 03:59 PM

I had to replace mine about a week back as well, it cost me around 26 bucks after shipping coat from e parts. I think I’m going to buy a link belt for then next’s replacement belt purchase ahead of time. Saving time and money!

View MiniMoose's profile


27 posts in 2086 days

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

I had the exact same thing happen to mine, I can’t believe they didn’t attach a kill switch to the cutter-head lock so that you can’t start the machine with the lock engaged. Poor engineering.

-- Squeek!

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