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Rigid vs WEN: Oscillating Sanders

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Forum topic by MikeUT posted 12-18-2018 05:32 PM 2708 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MikeUT

195 posts in 1840 days


12-18-2018 05:32 PM

I am looking at getting a bench-top Oscillating Spindle/Belt sander, what do you have and how do you like it? I’m looking mainly and the Rigid vs WEN, but I also noticed Grizzly has an option. I have been watching the Rigid and HD, hoping it would go on sale but it hasn’t. Is an extra 1.5 amps on the Rigid worth an extra $80-ish dollars?

Do any of you have experience with these machines? Any/all opinions and experience are greatly appreciated. :)

Rigid: $250 at HD. This appears to be the industry standard for benchtop models. It looks/feels like a decent tool, but I’ve seen reviews saying it has more bulk than necessary and can have QC issues. https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-Oscillating-Edge-Belt-Spindle-Sander-EB4424/100061671?MERCH=REC-_-homepagehorizontal1_rr-_-NA-_-100061671-_-N

WEN 6523: $168 on Amazon. This one has 3.5 amps instead of 5 and the table and footprint are smaller. The price looks good, but looks like it might be flimsy. I know you get what you pay for, it looks like people either love it or they got a lemon. https://smile.amazon.com/WEN-6523-Oscillating-Spindle-Sander/dp/B06XGRZ37Q/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1545153490&sr=8-4&keywords=wen+sander

Grizzly T27417: $224. Pricewise, this one looks like its smack dab in the middle of the WEN and Rigid. Looking at the specs and motor it looks like its pretty much the same as the WEN. https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-Oscillating-Edge-Belt-and-Spindle-Sander/T27417


27 replies so far

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

695 posts in 1221 days


#1 posted 12-18-2018 05:42 PM

I have the Rigid, and it is beyond valuable to me. I may not need to use it often, but when I do, I’m sure glad I have it. Whichever you decide on, make sure to get some decent belts and spindles. I ordered the bargain box of belts from Klingspor, and with shipping, I paid about $30 for 30 belts of varying grits. They hold up much better than the cheap Diablo ones sold in store.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5225 posts in 4441 days


#2 posted 12-18-2018 07:28 PM

I have the Ridgid. Would buy it again, but mine just keeps runnin’ and runnin’.

-- [email protected]

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

433 posts in 907 days


#3 posted 12-18-2018 09:54 PM

I have the WEN. Its very sturdy, don’t let that thought sway your decision.

I just went through this decision about 6ish months ago. Maybe less. There are a couple good reviews on this site, and I think I made a thread too. Hate to be that guy, but do a search on LJ and you’ll find lots of good info. If I have time online later I can try to post a link to my thread.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11758 posts in 3909 days


#4 posted 12-18-2018 10:12 PM

I’ve never used the Wen but, I can say I love my Rigid. From the Amazon description, it appears that the Wen table is somewhat smaller that the Rigid. That could be problematic when using the belt. I’ve spindle sanded a few band saw boxes where the table size really mattered, too.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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jamsomito

433 posts in 907 days


#5 posted 12-18-2018 10:40 PM

Here you go. Lots of good info here: http://lumberjocks.com/topics/289097

View Steve's profile

Steve

1573 posts in 1063 days


#6 posted 12-18-2018 10:54 PM

The Ridgid used to be $199 a few months ago. At that price, I’d probably lean towards it, but at the new $250 price, I think the Wen is a better buy. Only thing you really lose out on is the miter slot.

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

1762 posts in 1888 days


#7 posted 12-18-2018 11:11 PM

I’ll be the odd duck and say I’m happy with my HF. I’ve only had it a few months though so I can’t speak to longevity. I can’t imagine much going wrong knock on wood

View MikeUT's profile

MikeUT

195 posts in 1840 days


#8 posted 12-18-2018 11:25 PM



I have the WEN. Its very sturdy, don t let that thought sway your decision.

I just went through this decision about 6ish months ago. Maybe less. There are a couple good reviews on this site, and I think I made a thread too. Hate to be that guy, but do a search on LJ and you ll find lots of good info. If I have time online later I can try to post a link to my thread.

- jamsomito

Haha, I’d rather be the ‘tell people to search LJ’ guy like you than the ‘No one has ever thought about posting about this topic’ guy like me. Thanks for the help.

View MikeUT's profile

MikeUT

195 posts in 1840 days


#9 posted 12-18-2018 11:31 PM



The Ridgid used to be $199 a few months ago. At that price, I d probably lean towards it, but at the new $250 price, I think the Wen is a better buy. Only thing you really lose out on is the miter slot.

- Steve

My thoughts exactly. If the Rigid was $200, I would have already picked one up at my local HD. With the other comments I’m leaning towards the WEN.

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

433 posts in 907 days


#10 posted 12-19-2018 12:06 AM

I plan to write a review of the WEN but I was waiting until I got a bit more experience with it. It has plenty of power and works nice and smooth. My table is flat but the extents of the swing don’t make a true 90 or 45 (90 is pretty close, 45 is off a few degrees). Using a Dremel to extend the slot by a degree or two will fix the problem, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I think this is the type of problem you’ll run into with the WEN. Overall it’s a pretty nice unit.

I have a tiny workshop and I can’t imagine what a behemoth the Ridgid would be in there. The WEN is comparatively one of my bigger tools, about in line with my chop saw, right behind the band saw/table saw of course. I could see maybe some issues with the table being too small if you use the 3” spindle that’s part of the belt attachment, the Ridgid has more room for that. You also lose the miter slot. Otherwise, it’s not much of a compromise.

If you’re a nerd like me, check out the reviews that were linked in my thread by EEngineer, the oscillating mechanisms are very different between the two. It doesn’t appear to matter much from either a functional or longevity standpoint though. The WEN is definitely a bit louder than the Ridgid. I wouldn’t run mine more than a minute without hearing protection. I’m also paranoid so there’s that.

I think that about sums it up. Any specific questions about the WEN and I’ll try to answer them for you.

View jonah's profile

jonah

2075 posts in 3779 days


#11 posted 12-19-2018 02:26 PM

I have the Rigid and I’ve never used the miter slot. I do sometimes appreciate the bigger table, just going by the pictures I’ve seen of the Wen.

At $250 I don’t think the Rigid is as good a deal. I paid $170 for mine and I’m happy with it for that price. I don’t use it all the time, but when I need the thing it’s a lifesaver.

View YesHaveSome's profile

YesHaveSome

157 posts in 739 days


#12 posted 12-19-2018 05:38 PM

I have five WEN tools (disc/belt sander, oscillating sander, drill press, band saw and air cleaner) and they all have performed well. Based on all the reviews and feedback I’ve seen on WEN they are pretty good tools. However, I’ve had my eye on the Ridgid combo and then I’ll get rid of the two WEN sanders. That Ridgid is time tested and loved by quite a few people. I’d go that direction over the WEN.

-- But where does the meat go?

View AE8U's profile

AE8U

3 posts in 34 days


#13 posted 08-16-2019 09:36 PM

I am not sure why no one else has mentioned this, but the Ridgid is 5 amps, but it also says it is a 3/8 HP motor. Amps times volts times efficiency equals HP. Go to this site: https://www.inchcalculator.com/amps-to-horsepower-calculator/
So working backwards if we use 115 V and 5 Amp, and we need it to be 3/8 HP, that means the motor is only 50% efficient. That usually results from poor bearings, poor fitting parts, etc.

Both the Wen and Grizzly have as you pointed out 3.5 Amps, but they also say they have a 1/2 HP motor. Using that same site, that means they are about 93% efficient. Which means they have much better bearings and better fitting parts. In other words they have more horsepower and draw less amps to use it.

I think this conclusion is supported by the reviews I see on the Ridgid website.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5518 posts in 2832 days


#14 posted 08-16-2019 09:49 PM

I have the Rigid, and it works great. I can’t say anything about the WEN except to say the table looks to be smaller. There has been a few times that I wished the table on the Rigid were larger.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View AE8U's profile

AE8U

3 posts in 34 days


#15 posted 08-16-2019 10:03 PM

Bondo, just out of curiosity how old is your sander? I think Ridgid has recently done some cost reducing on some of their products and the new ones do not look to be as good as their older models.

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