Are these sanders identical?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by thosga posted 10-25-2021 11:02 AM 391 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View thosga's profile


1 post in 41 days

10-25-2021 11:02 AM

I’m looking for an inexpensive belt/disc combination sander. The Rikon 50-112 looked great, but then I realized that it appears to be completely identical to the Rockwell RK7866. There are some superficial trim differences, but there are many trim items that are identical. The motor amps are the same. It certainly seems like it is the same unit with different branding, but I’m not familiar with how tools like this might be customized by the manufacturer.

The Rockwell unit is fully 35% less expensive.

5 replies so far

View vjc's profile


31 posts in 1673 days

#1 posted 10-25-2021 04:15 PM

They do look alike. They also look like this one:

I received the Wen as a gift and I’m pretty happy with it.

View dbw's profile


635 posts in 2923 days

#2 posted 10-25-2021 09:17 PM

A lot of these machines are made in the same factory using almost (if not completely) the same parts. The biggest differences are the colors/brands.

-- Woodworking is like a vicious cycle. The more tools you buy the more you find to buy.

View Madmark2's profile


3158 posts in 1875 days

#3 posted 10-25-2021 09:36 PM

One major, nonvisible, difference is the bearings. The cheaper ones tend to use simple bushings instead of “real” ball bearings. The sleeve bushings wear out rapidly, esp if you use the end roller as a 1/2 drum sander. DAMHIKT

Look at the part diagram PDF and verify against the parts list to be sure.

This OSS/belt sander will take the end pressure (on the big end, anyway).

Rikon 50-112 reviews mention:

The sander has gotten increasingly loud after several months of intermittent use, to the point where you had to wear hearing protection just to turn it on. After some investigation, the culprit appear to be two low-quality 6202 bearings used for the smaller belt rollers. 

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


8809 posts in 3485 days

#4 posted 10-25-2021 11:30 PM

it appears to be completely identical to the Rockwell RK7866

Also looks identical to the Grizzly G0787, Shop Fox W1855, Ryobi BD4601G, Bauer (Harbor Freight) #58339, and probably a half dozen or more obscure no-name brands. Cheaper models probably just incorporate more plastic ;)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View CaptainKlutz's profile


5032 posts in 2781 days

#5 posted 10-26-2021 03:12 AM

I vote MIGHT be same:

The expensive part, the cast base on Rikon has square upper left hard corners and Rockwell is rounded. The distance from edge to power panel, and belt tension/lock are different. But digging deeper I also find images of Rikon 50-112 with exact same casting/panel/lock as the others.

My question would be which Rikon version sander will be the box? :-(0)

There is a discontinued Grizzly G0547, appears to use same square casting with belt tension/lock on opposite side. There are also Craftsman units that look like the square corner Rikon with same lock.

Did you check the parts lists? Those can be easy way to spot same mfg.
Rarely will mfg change the reference numbers of the part drawing that they sell to different OEM.

IME – There could be 3-5 different mfg making this same tool.
Would be very hard to tell them apart.

Let me explain if you care to know why:

Combo sanders like these have been made for decades. There is constant drive for innovation and cost reduction; while trying to look cool and new. Which also means every mfg will attempt to design a cheaper/better machine as they undercut each other on price.

Does not help that the clone tool effect is a direct result of OEM shopping for cheapest mfg source. They send out a package of drawings to request quotes. One or two will make suggestions on cost reduction, and original OEM will adopt the changes for lower price.

All the folks who didn’t win the contract, but had to make a prototype as part of bidding competition; decide to try to sell the new design machine to other OEM. The new OEM might want different color, labels, and a different manual; but will buy a thousand of the tools for sale to compete with original OEM.

It is not uncommon for first OEM to design the casting(s) and pay directly for tooling at steel provider; so they don’t have to pay for tooling charges with several mfg’s. This casting source is listed on drawings. That makes it easy for the competitors to buy same casting. The OEM might even release the tooling prints to a 2nd casting mill to ensure they have adequate supply if demand explodes.

Despite the Chinese casting plant having a OEM contract and IP agreement; the competitive bidders are all allowed access to casting design. Even if they lose bids, and OEM removes their ability to buy the design; they just pay a (lower) tooling fee changing the name on original tooling drawings, for pattern they own.

Also find that Taiwanese mfg have hard time keeping engineers, as they will change jobs for a 1-2% raise. Most of the tooling/assembly engineers end up working for several machine mfg. Which means they all know what and for whom tools are made.

Many of the WW tool mfg management are related by blood. Sons’ leave dad’s company and start a competitor. Then cousin’s get angry, leave, and open a machining company that cleans up same castings for both. Uncle ends up buying land and building as loan for the son, and he rents extra space not used to another competitor who hires son’s wife as the accountant.

IMHO – There are no secrets in the machine making world in South Asian countries.
Nothing funnier/scarier than sitting down with 3-5 of the executive staff of different competitive companies, watching them gamble playing Mahjong together, drinking several bottles of their favorite expensive (often Japanese) scotch; while they discuss who most needs the business being quoted this week, and who will offer the lowest price.

Have watched this rampant information exchange, and anti-competitive behavior happen in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and China.

PS – In China, often have a member of regional political office at the Mahjong game too. He always reminds the executives to send copies of the OEM design to the national Chinese library.

And now you know why all tools look nearly the same.

Sorry for all babble, but I spent 20+ years setting up overseas mfg and sourcing custom designed equipment world wide. The above is just a taste of how it works. Only if I could describe the bribes required for really big deals to get signed, would this rant be complete. Thanks for reading.

Best Luck with purchase.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics