I just got the Delta despite some of the negative reviews (which may
not have been on the so-called "new" X5 machines - not sure there are
real differences). I had planned to get the Performax 16-32, but
seeing it next to the Delta at the WWS show convinced me to go with
the Delta. I'd look at both. I felt the Delta was heavier built.
You cannot rack the arm unless you're a heck of a lot stronger than I
am. It is also belt drive, which I prefer. It has 2 drum speeds,
which I doubt I'll ever take advantage of, and has a take-off that
you can connect a pneumatic drum to if so inclined. A friend has the
older 22-44 Performax, and it is much beefier than the new one, which
is just a larger 16-32, albeit about half the price of the old one.
I have run about 100 bf through the sander on a variety of grits and
multiple times per board, of course. A mini-review given the limited
use to date:
Out of the box dead-on alignment. The drum is parallel to the table
within 0.002" measured by dial calipers on a 14" panel. This is
critical on the Delta since the table moves, not the drum like the
Performax. On the Delta the drum arm is a welded assembly - it is not
adjustable although the table can be and there may be an ability to
adjust the drum within the arm a little bit. Nonetheless, the
accuracy of the weld-up is critical - if it's off you're screwed and
should probably return the unit (this would be readily detectable).
On the other hand, you can't flex this assembly like you can the
Performax (whether that is a practical problem I do not know).
Feed belt tension and tracking is straight-forward and simple. You
will need to adjust this as the feed belt stretches in the first few
hours. The belt table is a wonderfully machined piece of heavy cast
Changing belts is a piece of cake, the design is very similar to the
Performax. Performax uses 3" belts, the Delta 2". The 3" is more
common and the price on the Delta is a little higher, but under $1 per
Fit and finish was immaculate. Not high on my list normally, I've
been pleased with all my Grizzly equipment (but unfortunately they do
not make a comparable unit), but I've got to admit this Delta machine
(my first) is a cut above. Of course, the only machine I paid more
for was the Grizzly 1023z cab saw, so it should be nice.
Best is to look at (and try if possible) both units.