I like my Ridgid R2720 quite a bit:
The built in ... is ... marginal, at best. I was guessing that's par
for the course.
I usually rig it up to my Shop Vac to reach acceptable levels.
I got one of these about a year ago.
It replaced a POS 3x21 craftsman wich I dumped because it had no dust
There is nothing about it that I did not like, There are a few things that I
think are particularly Good:
* the integrated dust collection appears to get > 90%. That exceeded my
expectations Oddly attaching a shop vac did not seem to improve on that
* Supposedly the quietest of the breed. It's certainly much quieter than my
* I like the extra length of a 3x24. It's easier to *not* dig in and make a
*Subjective, but I find the balance and ergonomics to be quite good.
* Belt tracking is perfect.
* A long and plyable cord. I wish vendors would either put long cords or
really short cords on a tool.
Totally agree on the 3 x 24 Makita. We work those HARD around here,
narry a hiccup. We do replace the graphite pads quite often as these
sanders are used every day.
We also jury-rigged the attachment for dust collection. Works
Now what Leon mentions about using the Rotex 150 FEQ is totally valid.
For flat work there is no need for a belt-sander in 99% of the cases
and the dust collection is second to none. We do use belt sanders on
Overall, I'll concur w/ the Makita but it's a case of there's nothing
any better rather than it being perfect...
- Will agree dust collection is good for a BS; I find the bag is in the
way more often than I would care for (altho don't know there's any real
way to avoid it in Makita's defense; certainly the PC way up in the air
is far worse)
- Agree w/ the 3x24 form factor -- problem is that unless Makita has
changed the actual production, the 3x24 is a 4x24 body w/ 3"
platen/rollers so there's an extra inch of bulk that an ideal unit would
not have; they would build a 3" unit from ground up (mine is several
years old; while I don't think they have, it is possible they have fixed
- The long cord is nice, but--there is something about the way this one
is attached and that pliability that I find the d-d tail is _always_
underfoot; I can't count the times it's gotten chewed up so far. My old
B&D w/ a stiffer cord never seemed to cause such grief...
- Balance/ergonomics compared to most of what else is out there is
reasonable as noted; it still doesn't balance very well and the
switch/lock is very cumbersome for my hands, anyway. The lock in
particular is in such a deep recess and position that I have to poke it
w/ the forefinger of the other hand most of the time to engage it.
_IF_ they were to build it in a 24" length, I'd be very tempted to try
the 3-wheel B&D -- it's the closest thing now to my old favorite B&D of
a forgotten model # that's been out of production for 20+ years
now--I've worn out two/three and there are, unfortunately, no more new
parts (gears) available and I suspect it would be prohibitively
expensive to get them custom-made as the prime culprit is the drive gear
that is machined into the end or the motor rotor. It had the feature of
the motor being between the rollers and direct gear drive so it had low
COG and no external drive housing as virtually everything these days
does. That's what the 3-wheel design brings back, but I, like somebody
else noted, won't give up the length of the 24" belt for the motor
placement. Given its age, it lacked dust collection but that could have
been remedied and used to be one was proud of making sawdust... :)
All in all, it (the Makita) ain't perfect but I don't think there's a
better choice at the moment, unfortunately.
Sorry, the first B&D above should be DeWalt--had the old B&D on mind and
didn't catch the wrong initial reference...
If OP did have a very large supply of of 21" belts was reluctant to give
up on, it surely might make this more attractive as the 3-wheel design
gives a longer footprint for the belt length. How it actually compares,
specifically, in that regard by measurement I don't know...
I drape my cords over my shoulder, sometimes wrapping them around my
arm, so they never get munched. It's embarassing to saw through your
cord and blow a client's circuits, not to mention a real hassle in the
interim, until you get the cord repaired and then replaced.
I hate easy trigger locks. They've sabotaged me more than once.
Remember the old Black and Decker cords? They plugged into all their tools
and came in different lengths, If you damaged one of them, you just
unplugged it and plugged in another cord. Then repair the old one. And the
could be used as extension cords too.
That was back in the day when black and decker actually made good tools.
Oh yeah, they definitely went through a decline.
But back in the day, when I was young and poor, they did good work for me.
I used to go to the factory service center and buy the reconditioned tools.
Big bang for the buck. I still have one or two of those tools in my garage,
almost 40 years later.
I used to build a lot of rustic furniture. I needed to drill lots of holes
and sand those planks down. I was buying drills and sanders for $10 - $25.
And they would last for a couple years or so.
My first B&D drill and jigsaw, saber saw then, were Christmas presents when
I was 11. I got rid of the jig saw but still have the drill for a dedicated
set up. 8 years later I bought a B&D router, age 19, which I still have.
About 4~5 years later I bought my last 2 B&D finish sanders and a belt
sander. I don't know when I got rid of the finish sanders 20 or so years
ago, but still have the belt sander which gets used about once every 10
I have a B&D router that I got some time in the '70s. Somewhere along
the way I put it in a Porter-Cable plunge base. Would still be working
if the armature hadn't grabbed my former ponytail (I now have a #3 buzz
cut) through the air vents. I suspect that if I tear it down and pull
the hair out it will still work fine, but I needed a working router to
finish a job that day so went out and got a new Dewalt and haven't felt
the urge to tear the old one down.
On Thu, 15 Apr 2010 11:32:17 -0500, the infamous "Leon"
Ditto. An old B&D jigsaw and belt sandah sit on my shelf, ready for
use. If you need a shop shelf, cut the board with an axe or B&D
jigsaw, shorten to length with the sandah, and put 'em up.
And my old B&D 7614 is a 1/4", 1.5hp, rack&pinion/micrometer fed
routah which I can adjust to within a RCH. I've always loved that old
But I keep the B&D 3/8 VSR drill (now with HF 1/2" keyed chuck) in the
truck for the times I need to drill lags for ledgerboards, or when I
run out of batteries.
My old jig saw was all metal and no tilt shoe. The drill frame is metal
with a plastic handle, single speed, 1/4", keyed chuck, and forward only.
Mine be earlier as it only has 3/4" hp and is all metal except for the
plastic handles and bottom of the base. I was never very fond of the rack
and pinion on my model as it used a wing nut to fix the adjustment but
unfortunately tightening the wing nut would readjust the depth. It is my go
to router for triming laminate. where the bottom bearing laminate bit is not
so fussy about depth settings.
That's ok for the saw and some things, generally a nuisance w/ belt
sander, at least for my habits...
In general, I don't find them a problem, much...this particular one is
particularly perverse for some reason--I think it has to do w/ it comes
off at a downward angle too low to the surface and that it is so pliable
it almost immediately is on the surface and is directly in line w/ the
sander. Since it is _so_ pliable, when pulling the sander back towards
one, it doesn't push the cord ahead but it grabs/sticks on the surface
being sanded and before ya' know it, you've caught it. The point at
which one has to hold it is so close to the sander that it makes
free-flowing movement w/ the sander a pita.
I keep saying I'm going to rig up a spring holder or something but never
_I_ hate stuff I can't reach easily when I want to... :)
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