Request for hand-held belt sander opinions.

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I DAG-ed it. Not much real info.
Here's the 'need'. A 3 x 21 with variable speed and flush sanding capability. Not cordless.. NOT a Porter Cable. (I have had several, but I keep blowing motor bearings.) I tried the new Ridgid, and it failed to be 'flat' enough.
What do you fine Wreckers use? Why do you like/dislike which ones?
The PC ChooChoo is too much money. Period.
TIA
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Robatoy wrote:

I have been using a Ryobi belt sander for several years. If you are concerned about the long term viability of Ryobi, a nearly identical sander is available from Bosch. It is a model 1274DVS. It is variable speed and compact. Belt changing and tracking adjustments are quick and simple.
As far as flatness is concerned, I have never quite understood the need for precise flatness in a belt sander platen. I only use a belt sander for coarse sanding.
One sander I would avoid is the Dewalt. I used one on a project at church and found it to be a horrid design. It is hard to hold onto the front of it without sanding your fingertips off. YMMV
Dick Durbin
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I had the Ryobi and now have the Bosch. And, as a surprise to me, I actually miss the Ryobi. The Bosch is fine, but the tensioning lever flops about, and it's not the fit/finish I expected from a once-proud name. This came after a VS Router battle I had. No Bosch for me. The Ryobi served me w/o complaint for years until an alternate user sucked a rag up and bent one of the spindles.
Olebiker wrote:

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Olebiker wrote:

I second the Ryobi. I paid a lot more than they are selling for now, so I'd consider the Ryobi a bargain deluxe. I've had mine for over 15 years or so and it works like the day I got it. It's very compact. like the Bosch.
dave
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I know you said no PC - However, and as good as testimonial evidence is, I offer this info. I have used a PC 363 4x24 for years, under rough conditions. (Sanding stainless steel and wood.) and it has held up great. This work killed my other brands. I will generally use the belt sander first then finish flat sanding with the all to bitchen, PC505 1/4 sheet sander.
Dave
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Don't get Sears. For mine, the manual says it takes a standard n x m belt, but the one it needs is anything but standard. Your only choice is to buy from Sears at inflated prices.
- Owen -
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Too much?? How much have all these other sanders cost?
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I've also had a ryobi for about 15 years. Another good design feature is that you can lay the sander on its back and turn it into a mini stationary sander. You don't even have to clamp it down - it just stays there. This configuration is great for shaping small pieces of wood.
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I've really liked my Makita VS 3 x 21. When I was doing a small room and didn't want to rent a drum sander, I went out and bought a cheap B&D. That lasted for about 3 minutes. Oh, it spun the paper around, but otherwise it was worthless. No power, wouldn't track correctly, motor smelled like it would burn up any second, etc. After burning a couple rolls of sandpaper in those 3 minutes, I took it back. The I read some reviews, then tried out all the ones at both Borgs just to see how they feel and sound. The Makita spoke to me, but the PC seemed OK too. I didn't have the opportunity to try out the Bosch. But the Makita has performed often for the last 7 years without a hiccup, it's been great.
H.
PS: one thing I learned from reading reviews is that there's quite a step up in quality and durability when you go beyond 3x21 in the better brands.
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I've really liked my Makita VS 3 x 21. When I was doing a small room and didn't want to rent a drum sander, I went out and bought a cheap B&D. That lasted for about 3 minutes. Oh, it spun the paper around, but otherwise it was worthless. No power, wouldn't track correctly, motor smelled like it would burn up any second, etc. After burning a couple rolls of sandpaper in those 3 minutes, I took it back. The I read some reviews, then tried out all the ones at both Borgs just to see how they feel and sound. The Makita spoke to me, but the PC seemed OK too. I didn't have the opportunity to try out the Bosch. But the Makita has performed often for the last 7 years without a hiccup, it's been great.
H.
PS: one thing I learned from reading reviews is that there's quite a step up in quality and durability when you go beyond 3x21 in the better brands.
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I've really liked my Makita VS 3 x 21. When I was doing a small room and didn't want to rent a drum sander, I went out and bought a cheap B&D. That lasted for about 3 minutes. Oh, it spun the paper around, but otherwise it was worthless. No power, wouldn't track correctly, motor smelled like it would burn up any second, etc. After burning a couple rolls of sandpaper in those 3 minutes, I took it back. The I read some reviews, then tried out all the ones at both Borgs just to see how they feel and sound. The Makita spoke to me, but the PC seemed OK too. I didn't have the opportunity to try out the Bosch. But the Makita has performed often for the last 7 years without a hiccup, it's been great.
H.
PS: one thing I learned from reading reviews is that there's quite a step up in quality and durability when you go beyond 3x21 in the better brands.
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hylourgos wrote:

Dave
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No, you heard me only once, I have no idea how the second, third et al. posts appeared (I clicked only once on "post"), but they're removed now.
Deep breath... H
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"one thing I learned from reading reviews is that there's quite a step up in quality and durability when you go beyond 3x21 in the better
brands. "
Could you or someone else expand on this?
I have always favored 3x21 for the belts being easily available.
Are the larger belts more expensive?
If one would go larger, which brand?
Thanks
TMT
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I've really liked my Makita VS 3 x 21. When I was doing a small room and didn't want to rent a drum sander, I went out and bought a cheap B&D. That lasted for about 3 minutes. Oh, it spun the paper around, but otherwise it was worthless. No power, wouldn't track correctly, motor smelled like it would burn up any second, etc. After burning a couple rolls of sandpaper in those 3 minutes, I took it back. The I read some reviews, then tried out all the ones at both Borgs just to see how they feel and sound. The Makita spoke to me, but the PC seemed OK too. I didn't have the opportunity to try out the Bosch. But the Makita has performed often for the last 7 years without a hiccup, it's been great.
H.
PS: one thing I learned from reading reviews is that there's quite a step up in quality and durability when you go beyond 3x21 in the better brands.
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I'll 4th or 5th on recommending the Ryobi. Just finished taking the high spots off about 100 square feet of sub floor with mine. I've had it for more than ten years and it gets a Lot of use - some of it more like abuse.
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I've really liked my Makita VS 3 x 21. When I was doing a small room and didn't want to rent a drum sander, I went out and bought a cheap B&D. That lasted for about 3 minutes. Oh, it spun the paper around, but otherwise it was worthless. No power, wouldn't track correctly, motor smelled like it would burn up any second, etc. After burning a couple rolls of sandpaper in those 3 minutes, I took it back. The I read some reviews, then tried out all the ones at both Borgs just to see how they feel and sound. The Makita spoke to me, but the PC seemed OK too. I didn't have the opportunity to try out the Bosch. But the Makita has performed often for the last 7 years without a hiccup, it's been great.
H.
PS: one thing I learned from reading reviews is that there's quite a step up in quality and durability when you go beyond 3x21 in the better brands.
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I've really liked my Makita VS 3 x 21. When I was doing a small room and didn't want to rent a drum sander, I went out and bought a cheap B&D. That lasted for about 3 minutes. Oh, it spun the paper around, but otherwise it was worthless. No power, wouldn't track correctly, motor smelled like it would burn up any second, etc. After burning a couple rolls of sandpaper in those 3 minutes, I took it back. The I read some reviews, then tried out all the ones at both Borgs just to see how they feel and sound. The Makita spoke to me, but the PC seemed OK too. I didn't have the opportunity to try out the Bosch. But the Makita has performed often for the last 7 years without a hiccup, it's been great.
H.
PS: one thing I learned from reading reviews is that there's quite a step up in quality and durability when you go beyond 3x21 in the better brands.
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I've really liked my Makita VS 3 x 21. When I was doing a small room and didn't want to rent a drum sander, I went out and bought a cheap B&D. That lasted for about 3 minutes. Oh, it spun the paper around, but otherwise it was worthless. No power, wouldn't track correctly, motor smelled like it would burn up any second, etc. After burning a couple rolls of sandpaper in those 3 minutes, I took it back. The I read some reviews, then tried out all the ones at both Borgs just to see how they feel and sound. The Makita spoke to me, but the PC seemed OK too. I didn't have the opportunity to try out the Bosch. But the Makita has performed often for the last 7 years without a hiccup, it's been great.
H.
PS: one thing I learned from reading reviews is that there's quite a step up in quality and durability when you go beyond 3x21 in the better brands.
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I've really liked my Makita VS 3 x 21. When I was doing a small room and didn't want to rent a drum sander, I went out and bought a cheap B&D. That lasted for about 3 minutes. Oh, it spun the paper around, but otherwise it was worthless. No power, wouldn't track correctly, motor smelled like it would burn up any second, etc. After burning a couple rolls of sandpaper in those 3 minutes, I took it back. The I read some reviews, then tried out all the ones at both Borgs just to see how they feel and sound. The Makita spoke to me, but the PC seemed OK too. I didn't have the opportunity to try out the Bosch. But the Makita has performed often for the last 7 years without a hiccup, it's been great.
H.
PS: one thing I learned from reading reviews is that there's quite a step up in quality and durability when you go beyond 3x21 in the better brands.
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