I've looked at it in the store and wasn't all that impressed. I have a Ridgid oscillating belt/spindle sander in my own shop that I'm totally satisfied with. I've had it for about 7 or 8 years. It's awesome.
The HF certainly can't hold a candle to the Rigid, but considering the price (last sale I saw plus the 20% off coupon it woulda been around $80, as compared to around $200 for the Rigid) from what I've heard it sounded fairly decent for occasional use/hobbyist type stuff. A few people that had one commented in a thread where we were talking about oscillating drill presses as sanders that it did the job.
I have the the HF OSS. The Rigid sounds good but I really like mine. I got it for $99 and it was money well spent. I've sanded 3" hard maple with it and it did as good or better a job than much more expensive floor units I've used. The case is plastic but the table is cast. It's good for more than just "hobbyist" stuff. I use mine making all my tamplates and for sanding parts on projects. I am very wary of Harbor Freight power tools but some are just really good deals and this is one of those.
I own both. My Rigid is now 11 years old and the belt unit is starting to hop and I can stall it out pretty easy. But it is eleven years old. It's been a horse, no doubt.
I bought the HF because I got tired of changing the belt to the spindle all the time on the Rigid. I paid about $100 for the HF, thought it might be bad, but to be honest, the only complaint is the dust collection system is too strong, sometimes holding up the work as it travels over the little holes in the spindle insert plates. It runs fine, runs the same size spindles as the Rigid so if you have a HD or HF the sandpaper rolls are the same and for about $7.50 you can get a long warranty. I would buy one again.
I have had the HF oss for 2 1/2 years, so a couple points. 1) It works beautifully. Won't stall, smooth, quiet and pleanty of table. 2) The selection of spindle diameters is complete. That makes it easy to suit it to the task at hand. 3) It's fairly light making it easy for an arthritic old fart to move from shelf to bench, yet it stays in place without any shifting about in use. 4) HF sells 150 and 200 grit for this unit at a low price making it even more useful (the much maligned HF sandpaper, in this case anyway, is high quality) 5) This is the BIG ONE in my book: I paid $80 + tax and you can get very close to that today, or you can go to Woodcraft and buy the EXACT FREAKING THING with an orange case with the Triton label for about $150. THE EXACT SAME THING!!! 5) The only thing I have to complain about is the vacuum port is an odd size (aren't they all?), but a rubber multi-adapter and some duct tabe is an easy solution.
You can spend more, but why? I have no affiliation with HF. I am just a man who has to make every penny count. I can't afford to waste money on junk. Neither can I waste money paying too much in response to slick marketing and over-selling. It works well and has for quite a while with no sign of a problem. If I had to buy another tomorrow, I'd still be $40 ahead of the Rigid.
I have the Harbor Freight OSS and have had good luck with it. If the Ridgid was closer in price to the $80 I paid I would snatch it up in a heartbeat because the OSS is good for interior curves but the Oscilating Belt Sander is also good for external curves, double the machine.
I bought the HF OSS and it was DOA when I got it home no matter what outlet I tried. I took off the bottom to see if there was an obvious switch wire disconnected or whatever and couldn't find any problem, but was a bit underwhelmed with the stoutness of the motor and gears. I ended up finding a barely used JET for $300 and am happy with it. If you buy the HF buy the warranty - there's a good chance you'll need it. If you see any used Delta BOSS's walk away from them - the start capacitors leak after a year or two and they strip gears.
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
A forum community dedicated to professional woodworkers and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about shop safety, wood, carpentry, lumber, finishing, tools, machinery, woodworking related topics, styles, scales, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!