Belt Disc Sanders Groton CT
New London, CT
M-SA 6 am - 10 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm
Belt Disc Sanders
Belt Disc Sanders
Acombination belt-disc sander is similar to a mid-round draft choice on an athletic team. It's not a priority purchase, like a tablesaw or planer, but it's valuable in a woodworking shop as a role player. It's two tools in one. The disc is great for precise edge work, like fitting miter joints and trueing outside curves. The belt allows you to flatten faces and edges, shape contours and smooth inside curves. We tested 18 combination sanders that cost $500 or less. Some are benchtop models; others come with stands. All these sanders are equipped with 6-in. x 48-in. belts and 9- to 12-in.-dia. discs. These are not industrial-quality machines (see “Consider These Alternatives,” ), but they're a good fit in small pro or home shops where they won't be used constantly. The sanders in our test fall into two categories ( Figs. A and B ). Machines priced under $300 have limitations in capacity, power and ease of operation compared with those that cost more. Still, the fact is some of these lightweights deliver good value. We found several likeable sanders in the $300 to $500 category, including some real workhorses.
Effective Dust Collection
Don't buy a sander that doesn't provide ports for dust collection. Look for large-diameter ports, which restrict airflow the least. Most sanders we tested have separate ports for the belt and disc. These machines require two separate hoses (and blast gates) or moving a single hose to the disc or belt, depending on the job. Many machines make moving the hose inconvenient, because the two ports are different sizes or awkwardly located. Sanders with a single dust port for both disc and belt are most convenient to hook up (see photo, left), but unless they have separate blast gates for the disc and belt, they aren't as effective as separate ports. Sanders with onboard dust collection are only worth considering if you don't have a dust collector or shop vacuum. Onboard collection is definitely better than nothing, but it's not as effective as collection with a separate machine. A dedicated dust collector equipped with a filter bag capable of removing the tiniest dust particles is your best choice. A shop vac with good filtration is an adequate substitute.
Effective dust collection is a top priority, because combination sanders spew clouds of fine dust. Blast gates concentrate the suction to the tool being used.
Combination sanders and your fingers don't mix. Both disc and belt operate simultaneously, even though you only work on one of them at a time. Unintentional contact with the abrasive can be painful. Belt and disc shrouds minimize your exposure. The best belt shrouds cover the bottom, back and top of the belt. Many machines leave the top and back uncovered, which is especially dangerous if the belt is posit...