Good low-cost small sander?


Anyone have a recommendation on a fairly low-cost small sander for small items around the house? Are belt sanders still in use today, or are there better alternatives ?
I am talking about items like sanding off a rough edge of something (wood) or shortening a scraping door, and stuff like that around the house.
Would Craftsman be a good brand to look at for this ?
Thanks for any tips.
--James--
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James Nipper wrote:

The best sanders for finishing a door or cabinet is the random orbital sander (ROS) and they cost about $50 to $70. Less costly is the 1/4 sheet sanders. OK for small projects.
Belt sanders are a tough tool to handle if you don't have some experience. They can take a lot of materail of FAST and leave you with a big gouge. I have one nad use it to do thing like sharpen the blade on the lawnmower. Only ysed it on wood once when I had a lot of shapint to do.
Craftsman hs gone down in quality in the past tenyears or so. If you can get a product on sale and use it very littel, it is OK. If you want it to last for years and be higher quality to be u sed on a regular basis, DeWalt, Porder Cable are better brands. -- Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 20:39:35 -0500, "James Nipper"

Belt sanders are still used today and these are very aggressive in removing wood and usually require two hands for proper control. To shave off a scraping door, I'd use a plane or circular saw with a straight edge. Craftsman is usually not a good choice for power tools. Other types of common sanders include random-orbit and finishing sanders.
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Belt sanders are indeed still around, but overkill for small household stuff you're envisioning. You'd be wanting a hand sander. There's a bunch of them out there and for cheap, too. Just drive over to the power tool section of your nearest Menard's, Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. and check them out.
AJS
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Sounds like you're talking about 2 different applications. A small orbital sander would do the job for medium to fine sanding, but you wouldn't use it for shortening a scraping door. Use a belt sander for removing large amounts of wood, and an orbital for finish work. I have a nice small orbiter from Miluakee and it works great and it's reasonably priced.

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<< shortening a scraping door, >>
Recommend a Bosch power planer for that. Leaves a nice clean bottom edge without splinters and hassles from circular saws and the like.
<< Would Craftsman be a good brand to look at for this ? >>
Great hand tools, but a mixed bag in electrics. Check Consumer Reports for some ideas on what power tools are the better quality. Harbor Freight, for example, sells throw away quality that will help you get started and not feel too much pain when your skill and project size dictates an upgrade to the good stuff. HTH
Joe
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IMO, avoid the comparatively cheap power tools from Craftsman, Black & Decker, Ryobi.
Some good brands are Milwaukee, Porter-Cable, Makita, DeWalt (although they are owned by B&D, so watch out).
I have a belt sander and a 1/4 sheet palm sander, and each one has it's use. For little things, you are better off with a small palm sander. For removing lots of material quickly, the belt sander is good for that. And not for just wood. I use the belt sander to flatten the botom of my skis, and I used it recently to flatten the bottom of a brass candle holder that wobbled and annoyed my wife.
Ken
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On 24 Feb 2004 09:04:31 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Ken Carlson) wrote:
:> Anyone have a recommendation on a fairly low-cost small sander for small :> items around the house? Are belt sanders still in use today, or are :> there better alternatives ? :> :> I am talking about items like sanding off a rough edge of something (wood) :> or shortening a scraping door, and stuff like that around the house. :> :> Would Craftsman be a good brand to look at for this ? :> :> Thanks for any tips. :> :> --James--: : :IMO, avoid the comparatively cheap power tools from Craftsman, Black & :Decker, Ryobi. : :Some good brands are Milwaukee, Porter-Cable, Makita, DeWalt (although :they are owned by B&D, so watch out). : :I have a belt sander and a 1/4 sheet palm sander, and each one has :it's use. For little things, you are better off with a small palm :sander. For removing lots of material quickly, the belt sander is :good for that. And not for just wood. I use the belt sander to :flatten the botom of my skis, and I used it recently to flatten the :bottom of a brass candle holder that wobbled and annoyed my wife. : :Ken
I've had a Makita 1/4 sheet finishing sander for around 25 years. Very good for light finishing. Couple years ago got the Porter Cable 21" (the smaller) belt sander, went down to HD and got an assortment of belts and it's come in extremely handy a few times. When you have to tool and you realize what power it gives you it gives you a good feeling that you made a good buying decision. Personally, I stay away from the cheaper electric tools UNLESS I get a gold plated recommendation from a source I totally trust. For instance, I did buy a B&D electric screwdriver (with clutch) because I read a post by a guy who said he had a couple of different top quality expensive electric screwdrivers but reached but the B&D 90% of the time. That tells you a lot.
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Look for a decent brand 1/4 sheet palm sander, about $40 or less on special.
Jeff
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