Belt Sander Size Recommendations


I am getting ready to purchase a new belt sander for a couple of projects I am working on.
For these specific projects, a 4" X 24" sander will be a the best fit. Given the heft of this sander ~15lbs, I am wondering if a smaller size 3" X 21" might be better. I had a 3" X 18" craftsman which I always felt I had to add pressure to get it to sand at all. It had to weigh under 5 lbs.
For people that own the 4 X 24 belt sanders, what are your opinions on the weight and general usability. I assume that it would be fine on horizontal sanding, but vertical might be tough.
For people that own the 3 X 21 belt sanders, do you feel it would be productive with the larger size?
Your comments are appreciated
David
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hi
I have used both and prefer the 4 inch.It's heaver which makes it work a tad faster.and of corse the wider the better.
Len
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RE: Subject
I can and have destroyed more belt sanders than I can remember.
If you must have a belt sander, then the Porter-Cable 504 is the only one I can't kill.
Lew
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On Sat, 5 Nov 2005 14:36:12 -0500, "DL"

For the most part I like the 3x21. It is a bit smaller and lighter and so easier to use. On the other hand, I occasionally find myself wanting something a bit wider and less prone to tip.
A lot of the time with a belt sander the ability to control it is going to be the difference between just right and too much.
-- "We need to make a sacrifice to the gods, find me a young virgin... oh, and bring something to kill"
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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DL wrote:

I personally prefere the 3x24 as a mid-point between the two alternatives you've mentioned--the 4" guys are, for my purposes, too heavy and clumsy, and the 21" stroke is too short.
I have had the really _old_ B&D 700-series w/ the motor mid-mount between the rollers that has by far the best balance of any I've ever used w/ the disadvantage that the gearing is then the weak link that wears out. Unfortunately, those parts are now no longer available so I'm going to have to find a way to make or repair the ones I have or finally give up on them... :(
I would like to try the new 3-wheel version, but it is only a 3x21 and I don't want the smaller platen.
I bought a Makita (don't recall the model number--it's the one w/ the flat top handle design) to replace the B&D's. It's good and solid but not as well balanced and sufferes from the design flaw of what seems to be universal w/ the 3" models noww--it's essentially a 4" sander w/ 3" rollers so it doesn't have flush sanding capability and the body is oversized for the tool. :(
I can't stand the P C (and several other) model designs w/ the high handle and bag that makes them so top heavy and clumsy to get around...
There just really isn't a good design out there just now, imo...
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