Cheap!!!...... but with potential

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Review by njcraftsman posted 01-11-2015 02:02 AM 7452 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Cheap!!!...... but with potential Cheap!!!...... but with potential Cheap!!!...... but with potential Click the pictures to enlarge them

Okay I know what your thinking…..Harbor Freight really? Here’s the back story, I a run a small Pro woodworking Biz specializing in antique repro, custom furniture, and other Artisanal product. I’ve found a niche I needed to fill in my equipment roster, that hopefully will save me a bit of time and therefore money on one of my products( that I do alot of). The problem….after much research….. NO ONE makes what I need. So I had two choices either make what I wanted from the ground up (with a local machine shop ), or mod an existing tool to meet my needs. Well the local machine shop option was $$$$$!!!!! So I decided to mod an existing 48” belt sander, i really like Grizzly tools and was planing on getting the G1014. Then I saw this sucker at the local China Freight. As this was an experimental project, and I wasn’t even sure it was going to work…I figured what the heck. On sale for $200, plus 20% off coupon made it $160. Frankly, after opening the box I was surpirsed by a few things they changed over the floor model, including an updated switch w/removable saftey key, and dust collection ports on both the disc and belt (just like the G1014). They also changed the roller design for the belt. They are still the shielded bearings, but now they are recessed much futher into the aluminum roller with extra roller covers which should keep the dust out. The casting also was really heavy robust and nicely executed (yes I really did say that about a HF tool). The motor is nice tefc one horse with alumninum cooling fins. Just testing it out, I could’nt bog it down. Tracking was also easy to get right quickly. The platten was flat, which I really wasn’t expecting. Dust collection worked well enough, although I plan on making a custom dust hood for the belt. Pulleys and discs are attached to the shaft via keyways with set screws. Even the table brakect was a nice casting. Unfortunately no quick change lever on the belt. The table is cast aluminum and is serviceable, although not as solid as I would like. The disc also is aluminum, and while their isn’t much deflection, I wasn’t crazy about the vibration. I’m probably going to replace the disc, and table with the Griz g1014 parts as they are interchangeable (does make you wonder if they are made in the same warehouse doesn’t it??) The stand is pretty thin metal, and while it does it’s job…I would have prefer something heavier, what do you want for a sander under 200 beans?

Overall I’m pleasantly surprised as it seems like a sander with a whole lot of potential, far exceeding it’s $160. price tag. Is this another HF gem….time will tell.

-- " There is no more important rule than to wear these, SAFTEY GLASSES"

View njcraftsman's profile


61 posts in 3950 days

4 comments so far

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3468 posts in 4286 days

#1 posted 01-11-2015 02:41 AM

I own to belt sanders. both about 40 yrs old. One a craftsman and the other the ancestor of this one. I do like my craftsman better but the HF one is plenty good.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3852 days

#2 posted 01-11-2015 07:31 AM

Congrats and I had also heard that Griz parts would work in the HF model

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Todd's profile


421 posts in 2525 days

#3 posted 01-12-2015 04:10 PM

I have a HF dust collector, 10” disk sander, hollow chisel mortiser, and plunge router. All fulfill my needs fine, considering I am a hobbyist. I had the 4×36 belt disk sander which I paid ~$60 for but I didn’t like it so I used the motor off of it to build a v-drum sander which works great! Besides, where else could I have gotten a 3/4HP motor for $60?

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View soob's profile


271 posts in 2057 days

#4 posted 02-03-2015 06:14 PM

You got the new model with the new model #. You should update your post to reflect that.

The last batch of the old ones had bad motors, I think. I got one and it never worked. Couldn’t even turn the pulley. The new model has a much nicer motor. The switch is better and located on the back instead of the front (good for vertical belt use, bad for flat). It also has dust collection but I haven’t tried it.

The miter table and bracket are very cheap though, even worse than the old ones. All in all it’s not a bad deal for the money.

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