Excellent Belt Sander for Moderate Use

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Review by HAJIII posted 09-14-2012 02:48 PM 8690 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I debated for quite a while before purchasing this sander because of the reviews complaining of drive belt problems, power cord issues, and difficulties in sanding belt alignment. I have had the sander for six months and had none of these problems. I even bought spare drive belts just in case, but I have had no problems with the drive belt. I was concerned with the sanding belt alignment problems mentioned but I found the adjustment quick and reliable. I can switch from one sanding grit to another quickly and the belt stays aligned. The vacuum port works as well as can be expected, gathering most, but not all the sawdust. This has been a good investment for me and I’m satisfied with my purchase.

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1 post in 2936 days

15 comments so far

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271 posts in 4108 days

#1 posted 09-14-2012 04:14 PM

I bought this a while back and really wish I waited to spend a couple more bucks on the Ridgid OSS ($120 vs $200 retail i believe). It gets far better reviews and can do pretty much everything this guy can plus much more. My 2 cents.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

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321 posts in 3547 days

#2 posted 09-14-2012 07:04 PM

I have this sander as well, works just fine for what I need, three stars is about right.
I’m thinking of upgrading to the Rigid OScillating sander, I could really use that and it doesn’t take up much room. It will do spindle and edge sanding.

-- Mike

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4032 posts in 3827 days

#3 posted 09-14-2012 07:16 PM

Mine works just fine.
Perhaps a tad underpowered, but not a problem.
I too wish I had gotten the Ridgid OBS, or a 6” x 48” belt, but both of those are more money.
For the money, I find Ryobi tools are usually adequate and reliable.

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Don Niermann

219 posts in 4828 days

#4 posted 09-14-2012 07:34 PM

Had mine for year + with no problems

-- WOOD/DON ( has the right to ones opinion but not the right to ones own facts...)

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2741 posts in 3433 days

#5 posted 09-15-2012 03:28 AM

I was checking this one out for a while too, thanks for the review. :)

I think I’m better off with a 6×48 though.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4287 days

#6 posted 09-15-2012 11:41 AM

I fortunately have both sanders in my arsenal, and I use them both frequently. The Ryobi I’ve had for about 7 years and the Rigid for about 5 years. They both have their place in the shop. I’ve used the ryobi wit the platen raised at an angle for hand shaping of pieces. I used the smallish but effective disk part of the sander for quick sanding of tenons I put on turned pieces just to get the depth of the tenon right (feet for cutting boards). I use the belt to flatten items evenly. The downside on this tool is the ineffective mechanism for squaring your table to the disk, as it’s flimsy and just doesn’t work all that well. I would have liked to use it for squaring pen blanks using a mandrel, but end up still using it to clean up all the the very last fractions of an inch on the pen blanks. So a square or level table isn’t really all that big an issue for how I use the tool. I use it a lot. More than the Rigid, but that could be because it’s easier to get to in my shop.

The Rigid I use both the belt and the spindles for getting inside curves and matching up pieces I’ve cut on the bandsaw. I like the ability to angle the table, and the dust collection works pretty well, but doesn’t get it all. Still it’s quick and fast and gives a lot of control.

I wouldn’t part with the Rigid, but if I had a little more room, I’d like a larger disk sander like a 10 or 12” model.

In my opinion, the price and quality of the tools are two of the best power tool bargains on the market for a hobbyist.


-- Scott, Irmo SC

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2901 posts in 3370 days

#7 posted 09-15-2012 11:44 AM

I’ve had a Rigid OSS since 2002, and only now, with moderate to heavy use over the last three years has the small end, (drive end), started to jump a little when I am using it, although in the instructions they say don’t use the small end. I mean, sanding a guitar body side from a raw cut blank, moving a 6-7 lb. piece around and cleaning off a fair amount of wood. Otherwise, great sander with a long life.
When I went looking for a belt/face unit, I looked at both this one and the PC, and finally decided on the Powertec 6X48, and popped for an extra table so I would not have to move the table. I’ve never cared for the little stops on the large belt being horizontal. Much prefer the big belt vertical with a table. I use it everyday, and to be honest, with an eraser cleaner, still have the original belt and face sheet on the machine.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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19921 posts in 3531 days

#8 posted 09-15-2012 01:00 PM

I have both the Ryobi B/D sander (inherited from dad) and the Ridgid OSS ($80.00 NIB from the HD). The Ryobi has seen light use over several years, while the Ridgid has seen very limited use in 8 months. Both have served me well in a hobby setting. I would have no problem recommending either sander for the hobbiest. Just my $0.02, YMMV!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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Mike Gager

665 posts in 4123 days

#9 posted 09-16-2012 01:12 AM

i have this sander and it works fine. i also have the ridgid, i use the ridgid for drum sanding and the ryobi for belt

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 4609 days

#10 posted 09-16-2012 07:46 AM

I had this one for a couple of weeks, then went for a 6×48 only because it was to small for my projects it was just a little to narrow. Worked well, and sold on cragslist for not much less than I paid for it new. Seemed like a well made lite weight hobby machine.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 3649 days

#11 posted 09-16-2012 07:42 PM

I have one along with the Ridgid and like both. It would be difficult to choose between them. Quicky – I was sanding down some small 1/4” pieces yesterday and one slipped. Ouch! Flattened the ends of both pointers fingers.
The sander is really sturdy and is a really good addition. I use the end roller for curved sanding. Thanks for the review.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View ferstler's profile


342 posts in 4376 days

#12 posted 09-21-2012 09:47 PM

I had one for a couple of years and thought it was a good tool, certainly plenty solid and heavy, except for one thing: it was just too small for some of the jobs I was doing. I purchased a Craftsman 6×48 unit and it does the trick. I would have kept the Ryobi for smaller jobs, but my shop is small and space is limited, so I gave it to a good friend of mine who uses it, along with some other small tools, to make small stuff. For that kind of work it is a very nice tool.

Howard Ferstler

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4883 posts in 3368 days

#13 posted 11-03-2012 11:53 AM

My concerns on the Ryobi when using the belt is stalling, I currently have the HF 4” you don’t even have to look at it wrong, just take a quick turn of the head peek at it and it stalls, This is the last piece of HF left in my shop to go, I’m in the market for a new better belt sander but I don’t think Ryobi would be a good replacement, I hear mention of the Rigid so think I’ll give that a look.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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1 post in 2090 days

#14 posted 01-09-2015 01:04 AM

I’m not to satisfied with sander, when I bought it. I kept it in box bow for a few months. When I finally set it.When sanding I put a (SMALL) amount of pressure and the belt would stop. I wish now I would a paid a little more and got a better tool.

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116 posts in 1724 days

#15 posted 08-20-2016 05:02 PM

I absolutely hate the way the work table pivots on these. The pivot point is roughly near the middle of the table, so when you’re using it on the disc and want to go from a 90° to a 135° angle (i.e. from 0 to 45° on the bevel gauge) the inside edge rises up almost as much as the outside edge drops, so you have very little of the disc exposed to work with. You can get out the allen wrenches and adjust the support to give yourself a little more disc to work with, but what a pain. You start to wonder why they even put a knob on the bevel gauge when you need a couple of allen wrenches to complete the adjustment.

Oh, and good luck reading the bevel gauge, which is conveniently located under the work table so your overhead lighting is no help at all, but don’t bother reaching for a flashlight or drop light, because it isn’t that accurate anyway. Use your digital protractor.

If you’ve ever used a well-designed benchtop sander, you’ll swear this thing was deliberately designed to ruin your day any time you have to use it for anything other than 90° angles. If frustration was a design goal, they nailed it.

-- Unix programmers never die; they just > /dev/null

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