Portable belt sander recommendations

Looking for recommendations for a hand-held belt sander. After reviewing the archives, which are quite old, I figured it best to put the question up for an up-to-date response. I don't need the "planes are better lecture" - I know my limitations and at my age I'm not sure there's enough time to master a plane ;-)
Your wisdom and advice is appreciated.
Erik
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I saved a few bucks by getting a model without dust collection. Bad choice.
-- Mark
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The best value on the market today & has been for years is the Makita 3"X24" 9924DB, Makita has been making it for years virtually unchanged, not too big for small jobs & big enough for large jobs....great tracking too, parts are cheap....remember to change the carbon graphite plate, wear plate & brushes when needed & they seem to run for ever. The Volvo of sensibly priced belt sanders. PS this model can also run a 4" belt for right to the edge sanding. About $169Can or $130US at most retailers.
--
Jon Down
http://www.stores.ebay.com/jdpowertoolcanada
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After much research in this newsgroup and on Amazon, I wound up with the Bosch 3" X 21" 1274DVS. I have it hooked up to my Craftsman shop vac outfitted with a CleanStream filter. There's no dust, and the sander works great (just like everyone indicated).
PJ
P.S. Bosch link: http://www.boschtools.com/Tools+and+Accessories/Tools/prod_detail.htm?item_no 74DVS
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I have been using a 4 X 24 Porter Cable belt sander ( variable speed) for about 10 months. It was a Christmas gift. I am very pleased with it. I have used it alot. It takes only a small amount of time to learn to run the machine to give you perfect sanding results on large panels and on smaller pieces. It runs relatively quite and has a form of built in dust collection. I removed the collection bag and hooked it up to my shop vaccum cleaner. The vaccum cleaner is equipted with a clean stream dust filter. When used with the vaccum, there is virtually no dust in the ship from the sander. The sander removes a large amount of material quickly. I have discovered that I can do my finish sanding with this sander by using 220 grit sanding belts for my final sanding. I do not have to do any other "touch up" sanding.

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