Belt Sanders under 200

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Forum topic by boneyabba posted 10-01-2012 07:09 AM 5456 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 2238 days

10-01-2012 07:09 AM

I just sold my old HFT cheapie 75$ belt/disc sander. It required complete disassembly (exaggeration) to change the belt and would bog down if you didn’t hold your breath or actually touched wood to the paper.

My funds are limited, but I need a replacement.

I think I’ve got it narrowed down to the:

Porter Cable 5amp benchtop|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1&facetInfo=


HFT’s 6×48

Sadly this doesn’t appear to actually be for sale anywhere…

Because my dissatisfaction was primarily sourced in the lacking power- my instinct is to go with the HFT tool. However, it looks like the Porter Cable spins faster and seems to have pretty good reviews. If the 5amp is plenty of power then the 6×48 might be overkill?

I am open to other options- need trolling craigslist, but haven’t got lucky and am ready to buy a new toy!



11 replies so far

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2470 days

#1 posted 10-01-2012 12:17 PM

5 amps sounds very underpowered to me. My little Makita 1/4 sheet sander is 5 amps. Does Grizzly have an offering that would work for you? I picked up a Sears from the 1940s (King Seely I think) for $25 with a half horse motor. I put new bearings in everything and fabbed up a cabinet out of some left over plywood, but still came in for under a hundred bucks.

View AUBrian's profile


86 posts in 2844 days

#2 posted 10-01-2012 12:30 PM

I have that porter cable, and the power is actually pretty good. Not spectacular, but I haven’t had a problem with bogging down that I can think of. That being said, keep in mind it is an 8” disc…and Lowe’s does not sell 8” replacement discs on a regular basis. I did find some at Harbor Freight, and I know Lee Valley has some, but they can be a little spendy at times. Something to think about before you buy.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2863 days

#3 posted 10-02-2012 03:07 AM

The difference that concerns me is the difference in platen length between the 4 and 6” sanders. My 4” has a platen length of just over 7” while my 6×48 has a platen length of just over17”. The short platen really limits the length of project you can sand without gouging. I can’t sand the pin excess on my box jointed boxes on the smaller sander for example. Just something else to consider.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3233 days

#4 posted 10-02-2012 03:13 AM

First we need to know what the width of the sanding belt you need and what you will you be sanding.

View skruft's profile


8 posts in 2292 days

#5 posted 10-03-2012 04:13 PM

I had a HFT belt and disc sander many years ago and it was no good, so I sold it and got a fancy one. It has been so long that I don’t recall the model and can’t speak for them today.

There seem to be a lot of experts on HFT tools on the Garage Journal Board – perhaps ask them.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3144 days

#6 posted 10-03-2012 05:20 PM

I have the Ryobi belt/disk.
It is adequate, but you can stall it out if you bear down on it.
It’s rated at 4.2 amps, I believe. Memory??
It was around $115 when I got it at HD about 2 yrs ago.

I also have a 12” disk sander I got from HF. I really like that machine.

The Ridgid oscilating belt/spindle sander gets really great reviews, sells for about $200.

View drpdrp's profile


150 posts in 2219 days

#7 posted 10-30-2012 05:52 AM

Hey everyone- sorry for the huge delay in getting back to you and thank you for the help.

This is actually the original poster- but on a different account as that one is somehow unlogintoable.

I wound up getting the HFT 6×48 and am very happy with it. I’ve purchased some additional belts and all goes well. With the small HFT it would bog down if I looked at it wrong. Sometimes I had to give the belt a push to even get it to move. I am not sure I could stop this thing if I tried (well, I would have to try).

Anyway, thank you again.

View Tennessee's profile


2887 posts in 2688 days

#8 posted 10-30-2012 12:01 PM

Well, little late, but here is the Powertec.

I own one, added the second table, and love the machine.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View drpdrp's profile


150 posts in 2219 days

#9 posted 10-30-2012 01:19 PM

Paul- that was actually going to be my first choice but no Sears within a wagon ride of me had it!

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2684 posts in 3095 days

#10 posted 10-30-2012 01:20 PM

You will like the Harbor Freight sander. I have had mine for two years and it is the most used tool in my shop. I was concerned with good belt tracking with such a cheap saw but it works fine. It does take some tools to adjust but it holds the adjustment fine. I only need to adjust it when changing belts. I did not even install the disk sander part.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View JNP's profile


113 posts in 2751 days

#11 posted 11-13-2012 09:22 PM

I also have the harbor freight and find it very so so…underpowered, difficult dust collection mounting (unless you use the belt in a vertical position and most importantly, the platen is no where near flat. I found this out well after the 90 day return period or it would be returned.

Has anyone else checked and corrected theirs somehow? If so, it’d be great to hear how.

-- Jeff

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