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Recommendation needed: Oscillating belt and spindle sander

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Forum topic by toddbg posted 03-31-2020 04:32 PM 309 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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toddbg

34 posts in 2346 days


03-31-2020 04:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m looking for recent reviews of the various oscillating belt and spindle sanders.
I’ve been looking at the Rigid and the Grizzly, but have heard mixed reviews on both of them.

I know the Rigid was the go to machine for the longest time, but then they redesigned and cheapened it.
Has that been fixed?

Does anyone have experience with either of these recently?

-- -- Todd, Washington


5 replies so far

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

938 posts in 2379 days


#1 posted 03-31-2020 05:23 PM

Ridgid has a slot and slightly larger table. Grizzly slightly more power. If you register, Ridgid has a lifetime warranty. WEN looks identical to Grizzly for a few bucks less but look at details like stroke and power. External are sometimes identical but innards may not. Tridon has one too.

Happy with my WEN spindle only sander.

View wncguy's profile

wncguy

479 posts in 3042 days


#2 posted 03-31-2020 05:32 PM

I bought my Rigid EB 4424 in 2012. Motor crapped out after a year. Used the Lifetime Service Agreement (LSA) & new motor was installed. That one lasted until late last year. Again replaced with the LSA.
There may have been a lower quality unit that came out after I bought mine, seem to recall seeing one at HD back when, but I “think” they may have improved/fixed issues.
While it was an inconvenience, to say the least, to not have it available during repairs, I am still happy overall.
It is heavily used in my box making.
I have no knowledge of the Grizzly unit. Can’t recall seeing a comparable combo unit from Grizzly.

-- Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

685 posts in 331 days


#3 posted 03-31-2020 05:49 PM

I bought the Ridgid one for $100. It was the display and people had picked just about every knob and spaces off of it that wasn’t nailed down. I got the manufactures parts list and ordered everything I needed for about $60. I still haven’t used it but this conversation makes me think I should attempt to get the LSA. I guess I will need to say it was a “gift” and can’t get a receipt for it.

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

542 posts in 1156 days


#4 posted 03-31-2020 06:04 PM

I toiled over this decision for a while, but for me it was between the WEN and the Ridgid. The Ridgid seems to the the only unique version, everything else looks to me to be an exact OEM match between the WEN, Grizzly, Triton, etc. The WEN is the cheapest so I’m not sure why anyone would consider a more expensive one. Perhaps they have tighter tolerances or something, I really have no idea.

I chose the WEN because of A) smaller size, and B) better power. The Ridgid does have a bigger table, which is nice to be sure, but I have a small shop so overall footprint won out. I don’t see this tool as something accurate enough to benefit from the miter slot, though perhaps that could be a dealbreaker for you if you see yourself using it. Most of my stuff has been freehand with it.

The quality of the WEN is very good – I like the heavy metal on the table, and all the mechanisms seem solid.

There have been a couple of shortfalls though. My table doesn’t ever get perfectly perpendicular to the edge sander. I need to extend the slot on the pivot arm to allow perfect perpendicular. Fixable, but kind of annoying. The detents for 45 deg, etc are also not true, but you can adjust it anyway you want so I just ignore these like on every other piece of equipment I have.

Also, the black finish on my table has come off on my workpiece before. I’m not sure if this is a defect of mine or just the finish they use. It doesn’t appear to be coming off the table, just leaving marks on my parts. Looks like the finish on the Ridgid won’t do that.

The plate on the edge sander extends upwards above the table during its oscillating motion which leaves a somewhat uneven profile when you’re done. I think I’ll add my own plywood table over the existing metal one to raise the workpiece level a tad and level everything out.

It has good power. The 80-grit it comes with is like dragging the workpiece across my driveway and it leaves really deep grooves, so I got a 200-grit belt and I’m much happier with this. However, it is a little slow at removing material and I have bogged the unit down a bit using it this way. Still explainable so I’m happy with the performance.

I’m pleasantly surprised by dust collection if you hook it up to a shop vac. I still do add a box fan with filter to the side to catch anything the sander misses though, there is some.

The spindles sometimes slip on the drive rod, but I’ve found the right mix of washers will allow them to tighten down enough. I move the sander around all the time and I just use the surface slots for all of the adapters and bits for it… pretty sure I’ve lost the right washers that came with it by now, but I have some that still work for it.

That’s about all I can think of at the moment. I’m a little disappointed by some of these nit-picks, but overall it’s an extremely valuable tool in my shop and I’m glad I made the purchase.

EDIT: I should probably post this as a review… maybe I’ll do that later :)

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Foghorn

445 posts in 116 days


#5 posted 03-31-2020 06:18 PM

I used to have the Ridgid which is a decent machine. The spindle was too short for some of the things I do however. The belt tracking seemed to need constant adjustment as well. The composite table also doesn’t lend itself well to magnetic jigs that I like to use. I bought a Canwood brand years ago that is essentially the same machine as the General International machine was. Both made in Taiwan. It’s been a great machine.

-- Darrel

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