various sanders rated by CR Jan 2004

See January 2004 Consumer's Reports ratings of sanders for performance, features and specific details. Ratings are based on speed by type, controls, dust capture, handling, and noise. Within types, listed in order of overall score. ----- RANDOM-ORBIT Most versatile; 5-inch-diameter can handle some rough-and most finish-sanding.
Craftsman (Sears) 27957 DeWalt DW423K Makita BO5012K Ryobi RS241 (CR Best Buy) Porter Cable Quicksand 333 Craftsman (Sears) 11623 ----- FINISHING Good for corners; 1/3-sheet models are best for larger areas.
Makita BO3700 (1/3-sheet) DeWalt DW411K Porter Cable 340K Black & Decker FS350 (1/3-sheet) Craftsman (Sears) 11632 (1/3-sheet) Black & Decker FS500 (CR Best Buy) Makita BO4552K Skil 7230 Craftsman (Sears) 11627 ----- DETAIL Strictly for finish-sanding tight corners; you'll need a random-orbit or finishing sander for most other work.
Ryobi CFS1500K Cat Craftsman (Sears) 11680 Mouse ----- BELT Best for quickly sanding large or uneven surfaces; not meant for finishing or extended overhead sanding.
Porter Cable 352VS Makita 9911 Skil 7313 Ryobi BE318 Black & Decker BR400
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Just received my Jan 04 CR yesterday and read this article. Amazing that the Sears 5" ROS came in first, ahead of Dewalt and Porter Cable. They didn't really provide any details about why, though.
I'm sure this will produce plenty of CR bashing here; "They should stick to toasters..." etc, etc. I am usually a defender of them, although I take some of their ratings with a grain of salt. They actually are pretty good for appliances and things, and their integrity and objectivity seem sound to me. For cars, I think they are reliable when comparing Honda Accords to Toyota Camrys etc, but not so much when they are rating "sports cars." I remember a review of a Mazda Miata where they criticized the trunk space, the glare from the silver bezels on the instruments, and the fact that the door handles were too small. In other words, They just didn't get it.
Seems like their ratings don't translate well to things one might be passionate about. So, maybe for average homeowner consumers, their ratings of sanders are useful. But many here, like myself are passionate about tools. I suspect that for many of us who love tools, we're going to be pretty skeptical that Sears sells the best 5" ROS.
Brad

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
brad wrote:

Indeed. I considered it a "woodworking maturity point" when I could take SWMBO to a Borg and Sears and be able to demonstrate to HER satisfaction *why* the Craftsman tools were not as good as the alternatives. "Notice how the jaws of this clamp go out of square when I put pressure on?"
When I started serious woodworking I thought Sears was all anyone would ever need. Through experience I learned the value of a DeWalt 621 router over anything with a Craftsman label on it -- but it wasn't until I had enough skill that my inaccuracies were less than my Craftsman. The Craftsman router was more accurate than I for a long time. It did quite well in my router table for a long time.
For similar controversies in another field, find a traveling concert pianist and discuss Kurzweil pianos versus acoustic. <g> Especially 5 years ago when the differences were more pronounced.
-- Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
brad wrote:

I've been a CR reader for almost a decade now...and you've hit the nail on the head!
I consult CR religiously for stuff I don't know much about - and don't _want_ to know about. For stuff I care about (tools, electronics, cars), I go to better sources of info (e.g. rec.ww).
--
************************************
Chris Merrill
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Exactly. When it's time to replace the 12-year old dishwasher, I head straight to it, scan it for five minutes, and stick it in my back pocket as i head out the door to the appliance store. I don't know of a better, more thorough, unbiased source of information, and after all, we're talking about a dishwasher.
For Things I Really Care About, and may therefore know something about, I may still include them as a data point, but their recommendations become far less important.

Hmmm, those three categories are the same ones I was thinking of...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11 Dec 2003 20:07:48 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@volcanomail.com (brad) wrote:

Same here.
I bought a vacuum cleaner last week using CR's ratings and I'm thrilled with it. I also bought a dishwasher 15 months ago, based on their best buy rating, and got away cheap and happy. In both cases, I would have paid double to get the quality I got, if I hadn't checked with them.
I don't consider them all that valuable for high-end or specialty stuff, like pro quality tools.
Barry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Barry Burke Jr. responds:

CR is a bit of an oddity: if you're an enthusiast, you can usually judge far better than they just what you want in a particular item. As examples, for photography, I'd go with my experience and feelings without even looking at CR; woodworking (and almost all other) tools, the same; computers and most peripherals, the same (I'm not an enthusiast, but on occasion I write about them, so HAVE to keep up). For things like a new refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, maybe even water heater, they might serve as the last word. For things like a new heating system, I'd start some heavy studying after checking out CR--but the would probably provide the line of study I could most effectively follow.
When you start checking through today's home, it's something of a marvel that one company can develop enough expertise to even cover the major items: I looked around I fairly simple kitchen (and I'll bet I leave something out) started with an electric can opener, a blender, two mixers, a toaster, a convection toaster oven, a microwave, an electric range, a range hood, the dishwasher, the refrigerator, the kitchen faucet, the filter on the kitchen faucet, the electric fan overhead, two behind the cornice fluorescent light fixtures, a coffeemaker, a coffee bean grinder.
And my kitchen is simple compared to many. Too, I didn't list my wife's array of pots and pans which might be deserving of testing at one point or another, nor the knives of several kinds...it just seems to go on.
So, in total, I think CR does a good job, but with some exceptions, I'm going to add my research to their's...which is the way it was originall intended, anyway, I think.
And these days, I might even use them to help select a car...sigh.
Charlie Self
"In the final choice a soldier's pack is not so heavy as a prisoner's chains." Dwight D. Eisenhower
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Charlie, you don't need CR to select a car; just get a Toyota and be happy!
dave
Charlie Self wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Pots and pans are tools. If you go to a SERIOUS cooking store--I'm thinking of Chef's Central in Paramus (SWMBO and my favorite) (Kinda like Woodcraft, only with knives)--they carry the equivalent of FWW that has reviews that someone who knows cooking might actually read and believe.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Too bad they don't rate them on finishing performance, but I'm not sure I'd trust their judgement even if they did. Oh well, leave it to CR to come up with more head scratching rankings based on ancillary criteria.
Brian.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I used a Ryobi and PC ROS (100 and 150 grits respectively) just yesterday. Gosh, the difference was incredible. The PC sanded faster despite the finer paper and with less vibration. The Ryobi was a POS. Leave it to CR to give it a best buy.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have the PC 333. Brand new the canister kept falling off. I called PC customer support and they sent me out a new canister. So much for engineering design. My Ryobi 3x21 belt sander is a work horse, never a problem over many years of use, plus it has a flat top and square sides which is more useful than you might think. I put a lot of points with how the sander feels and handles, then how well it collects dust. Other WWers want fast sanding.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

</lurk>
FYI: The 333 has a little rubber band/o-ring on the canister mount; unfortunately it is quite fragile and mine only lasted a month or two. Once it breaks the canister readily falls off. Now I stretch a couple of large rubber bands from the mount out to the end of the canister and back again. Some correctly sized O-rings would probably be better.
<lurk>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 12 Dec 2003 00:57:39 GMT, Charles Koester

People use sanders without some sort of vacuum device attached? <G>
Barry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.