Best Belt Sander?

Have some Home Depot gift certificates burning a hole in my pocket - looking at belt sanders. Fine Woodworking (June 2004 issue) just did a shootout and Makita and Dewalt seemed to come out on top.
Dewalt looks a little funky - anyone have any experience or recommendations on either?
MN Guy
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The latest Finewoodworking issue has an article on belt sanders. I think they have some online demonstrations on their website currently as well.
Mike
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (MN Guy) wrote in

Not for either of the ones reviewed, but I do have a 20+ year old Makita which works very well.
It's my impression that Dewalt tools: - are decent quality - are fairly priced - often have features which are more gimmicks than useful
and Makita tools: - are expensive - tend to have pretty basic features - last forever
John
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (MN Guy) wrote in message

i have the dewalt and it works great, tracks wonderfully, and is very comfortable to use BUT the dust collection is nearly useless
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Can't speak of those, but not long ago bought a Porter Cable 4X24 I'm very happy with. Tom

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"MN Guy" writes:

<snip>
Find something else for those certificates.
IMHO, Home Depot has gotten out of the quality tool market.
The only stuff they seem to sell these days is for the week end warrior, Homer Homeowner.
Building a fiberglass boat, I have burned up more belt sanders than I can remember including Craftsman and the low end Porter-Cable stuff.
If you truly need a belt sander, there is only one, the Porter-Cable 50*, and no you won't find it at Home Depot.
It is a chain drive, 3x24 unit that will survive, just don't have a heart attack when you hear the price.
These days, it is well over $400.
You'll feel the pain when you buy it, but 30 years from now, it will still be sanding.
HTH
--
Lew

S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
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On 19 May 2004 07:36:57 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (MN Guy) wrote:

I recently purchased the Dewalt DW433 variable speed sander and although I haven't used it that much, I'm really pleased so far. It seems to track very well and I like the variable speed - using a slower speed with finer belts allows a finer finish than other sanders I've used, making for less finishing work. I also like being able to shut off the dust collector (once burned up a bag while sanding steel).
HTH Bill
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Check the June 2004 issue of Fine Woodworking. They have an evaluation of several belt sanders including the DeWalt.
Wayne.
(MN Guy) wrote:

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On Thu, 20 May 2004 00:55:52 GMT, "NoOne N Particular"

Nice article - but you need to check out the dw433. It sports an 8 amp motor and has vertical wheels in the front for a longer platten. The front handle is adjustable from the top to front of the sander. I'm a southpaw and the sander feels very comfortable to me. The belt lock is a metal lever that works nicely and feels solid.
Bill
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On 19 May 2004 07:36:57 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (MN Guy) posted:

I've got two Makita 9924DBs
One is as purchased, and the other I've hacked out the platten so that it can sand curves and edges more roundly and easily. I use both of them quite a bit. The one with the flat platten can be upended in the Workmate portable bench and used as a linisher, or I've just sanded the kitchen floor (jarrah with black shit from the linoleum underlay) with 38 grit belts. Worked a treat 'cept for my arthritis :)
They are tough as, and have taken everything I've thrown at them. Just remembered, I actually rounded over the edges of a limesone wall with the plattenless beast. The belts didn't last long :)
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I have a 4" x 24" Makita belt sander that I bought close to 10 years ago. It's a real work horse that has never given me any difficulty. I also have DeWalt tools but given the choice I'd buy Makita over DeWalt any time I could.
RB
MN Guy wrote:

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