Disc/Belt Sander recommendation

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SteveJ

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I am thinking of upgrading my disc/belt sander and would welcome any recommendations. I don't want empty the bank account for this! I wonder if it is worth it to go to a 6x48 or stick with a 4x36 inch model.

The 4x36 inch Rikon models are about half the price of the 6x48 inch models.

Jet offers a 6x48 inch model which is $450 more than the Rikon 6x48 which also comes with a stand.

Is the Jet 6x48 worth the price difference from the Rikon 6x48?

Have any other recommendations?
 
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leehljp

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I can't tell you if it is worth the price difference per se, but I fully appreciate my 40+ year old sears 6 x 48 belt. It is so much more usable than a 4 inch wide, especially in flat work. To me, knowing what I know from my own experience, and I could afford the extra $450, I would go for the 6 inch wide.
 

SteveJ

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I can't tell you if it is worth the price difference per se, but I fully appreciate my 40+ year old sears 6 x 48 belt. It is so much more usable than a 4 inch wide, especially in flat work. To me, knowing what I know from my own experience, and I could afford the extra $450, I would go for the 6 inch wide.
Thanks for the response - you've just about convinced me to go with a 6 inch belt. Now to try and figure out which one.

The Jet 6 inch is $450 more than the Rikon 6 inch....
The Jet has a 3/4 HP motor and the Rikon has a 1 HP motor
The Jet has a 9 inch disc and the Rikon has a 10 inch disc.

Plus the Rikon is available in two models. 50-120 and 50-122. So many options and so hard to tell which is teh better choice.
 

jttheclockman

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Can not tell you which one to buy but will say this put all of them together side by side and they all look alike. Different paint colors
HP is over rated on those sanders. You are not working the motor because you are not pushing on the belts. Plus all those companies rate there motors in different ways so you never know what the true HP rating is per motor. I have a bench top 4" belt 6" disc delta. Also have a 6" belt and 12 " disc floor sander which is a jet. Both used alot and both good tools and no complaints here. I gravitate more to using the 6" jet because it is set up already and a flip of a switch I am using it. I would have to lift the bench top one and put it on the table saw to use. Both are good machines. If you are upgrading than go with the wider belt always. I suggest do a google search and check the reviews. Some have problems with tables becoming loose when sanding while other are hard to change belts and things like this. need to do homework if you are drilling down on them. Jet or Rikon should be good units. I will say this one other thing, with me if I want to use a belt I use the Jet and if I want to use a disc I use the delta.
 

jrista

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I'm gonna warn you away from the Rikon. I have one, and yes, it was extremely cost effective...but man, they are NOISY!! Seems to be the case for either model of Rikon. They just make a ton of noise.

In fact, it makes so much, that I've been seriously considering replacing it. Since you've started this thread, I am watching intently. I've heard some people using very quiet disc/belt sanders on some videos, but I've not been able to catch the brands. Peace and quiet in the shop is quite a thing, and I hate turning om the Rikon these days. :p
 

jttheclockman

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I'm gonna warn you away from the Rikon. I have one, and yes, it was extremely cost effective...but man, they are NOISY!! Seems to be the case for either model of Rikon. They just make a ton of noise.

In fact, it makes so much, that I've been seriously considering replacing it. Since you've started this thread, I am watching intently. I've heard some people using very quiet disc/belt sanders on some videos, but I've not been able to catch the brands. Peace and quiet in the shop is quite a thing, and I hate turning om the Rikon these days. :p
Hate to say this but all those small bench top sanders are noisy. Add a vac to it and it is even louder. If it is a quiet sander then probably a floor model. These type sanders have gotten cheaper made with all the plastic parts so that is something to look at. they are direct drive so no belts.
 

derekdd

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Can not tell you which one to buy but will say this put all of them together side by side and they all look alike. Different paint colors
HP is over rated on those sanders. You are not working the motor because you are not pushing on the belts. Plus all those companies rate there motors in different ways so you never know what the true HP rating is per motor. I have a bench top 4" belt 6" disc delta. Also have a 6" belt and 12 " disc floor sander which is a jet. Both used alot and both good tools and no complaints here. I gravitate more to using the 6" jet because it is set up already and a flip of a switch I am using it. I would have to lift the bench top one and put it on the table saw to use. Both are good machines. If you are upgrading than go with the wider belt always. I suggest do a google search and check the reviews. Some have problems with tables becoming loose when sanding while other are hard to change belts and things like this. need to do homework if you are drilling down on them. Jet or Rikon should be good units. I will say this one other thing, with me if I want to use a belt I use the Jet and if I want to use a disc I use the delta.
I agree.

I compared these things a couple of years ago, and would swear many of them are coming from the same factory line with different cosmetics. I wound up buying a used one someone had on FB Marketplace for $20.

I'm mostly just using it to square up pen blanks before turning.
 

carlmorrell

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I use my Delta a lot. It has taken beating and then some. My biggest complaint is getting the old sticky stiff off when I change disks. Still works like day one after 30 years.
 

NGLJ

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Let's face it, many differently branded woodworking machines come out of the same factory in China or Taiwan. It used to be that if it came from Taiwan it was more likely to be of better quality, but the Chinese are very capable of making a good quality product if you pay them enough. Branding gives some indication of quality but is no absolute guarantee these days. How often do you hear, "the latest model is not as good as the original". Price competition forces vendors to make compromises, perhaps resulting in the use of lesser quality components, for example motors, bearings, fit and finish of components. Noise was mentioned. I have 6" X 48" sander and it makes a lot of noise, a lot more than I would like. Supposedly it was made in Taiwan. It does not get a huge amount of use and may well give me good service for as long as I need it. The price was attractive and "you get what you pay for". I could have spent twice the amount but would that have been worth it considering the likely amount of use. I guess that I will never know!
 

Joebobber

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I had a 6x48 harbor freight one and beat the snot out of it. My wife left it outside in the rain and snow and it ran great for about 10 years. There wasn't much left of it when I got a new 1 for Christmas. My new 1 is a much more expensive one and stays in the garage, but honestly i like my harbor freight one better.
 

jttheclockman

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From my experience concerning tools in this size range, the price different of Jet is just not worth it. The Rikon for less will do all you need and more, I would say save the money.
I would challenge this statement. The problem with this statement is they are not the same machines. If you are talking benchtop. Metal compared to plastic. Full size miter gauges compared to wobbly small plastic. Plastic drive wheels compared to metal. Not the same machines. Jet does not make a model that is close to those that are in that Rikon, Harbor Freight category. Now if you want to say they both do the same thing, yes this is true. But you get what you pay for. as I said read reviews.

If I were looking for strickly table top model, this would be my choice. they do sell a stand for it.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Jet-3-4...-Disc-Sander-115-Volt-JSG-96-708595/203699557
 
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jrista

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Let's face it, many differently branded woodworking machines come out of the same factory in China or Taiwan. It used to be that if it came from Taiwan it was more likely to be of better quality, but the Chinese are very capable of making a good quality product if you pay them enough. Branding gives some indication of quality but is no absolute guarantee these days. How often do you hear, "the latest model is not as good as the original". Price competition forces vendors to make compromises, perhaps resulting in the use of lesser quality components, for example motors, bearings, fit and finish of components. Noise was mentioned. I have 6" X 48" sander and it makes a lot of noise, a lot more than I would like. Supposedly it was made in Taiwan. It does not get a huge amount of use and may well give me good service for as long as I need it. The price was attractive and "you get what you pay for". I could have spent twice the amount but would that have been worth it considering the likely amount of use. I guess that I will never know!

Yeah, I think I only spent $109 on my Rikon sander. It looks pretty much exactly the same as nearly every other brand of the same general type and design. So they all undoubtedly come out of generally the same assembly lines, or at least, many of the major parts do.

There was one video in particular that I was watching recently, that had a sander that sounded nearly silent. I need to find it again and figure out what brand it was...maybe I can find one of those. I also dont knwo if there is some way to tune the Rikon I have to be quieter. It is SO loud...grating, grinding, rattling...it just doesn't sound good in any way. I've looked at it before, and couldn't find anything wrong, but, that doesn't mean there isn't.
 

jttheclockman

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Yeah, I think I only spent $109 on my Rikon sander. It looks pretty much exactly the same as nearly every other brand of the same general type and design. So they all undoubtedly come out of generally the same assembly lines, or at least, many of the major parts do.

There was one video in particular that I was watching recently, that had a sander that sounded nearly silent. I need to find it again and figure out what brand it was...maybe I can find one of those. I also dont knwo if there is some way to tune the Rikon I have to be quieter. It is SO loud...grating, grinding, rattling...it just doesn't sound good in any way. I've looked at it before, and couldn't find anything wrong, but, that doesn't mean there isn't.
Many times just secure it to a fixed table top can take some of the noise out.
 

SteveG

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If noise is a deciding factor, and for various reasons you think you may not need hearing protection when using a disk/belt sander, try this: put on your hearing protection, then run the sander. Without turning it off, remove your hearing protection. You will be amazed as you discover the amount of sound being thrown at you by your sander. The lesson: hearing protection IS NEEDED when using these tools, whether the particular machine is a "quiet" one or a "loud" one. So back to the idea of selecting a sander based on its perceived loudness: since once you have done this learning experience sound test, you will always be wearing the hearing protection when using the machine. Thus, the perceived loudness is now no longer a deciding factor on selecting a sander machine. Go on to consider and compare the qualities and other factors that actually matter when making your choice.
 

jrista

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Yeah, I think I only spent $109 on my Rikon sander. It looks pretty much exactly the same as nearly every other brand of the same general type and design. So they all undoubtedly come out of generally the same assembly lines, or at least, many of the major parts do.

There was one video in particular that I was watching recently, that had a sander that sounded nearly silent. I need to find it again and figure out what brand it was...maybe I can find one of those. I also dont knwo if there is some way to tune the Rikon I have to be quieter. It is SO loud...grating, grinding, rattling...it just doesn't sound good in any way. I've looked at it before, and couldn't find anything wrong, but, that doesn't mean there isn't.

Ok. After writing this, the fact solidified in my head that there WAS something WRONG with my disc/belt sander. So I went out and started poking around it again. I checked everything, and finally came across this panel on the back that I couldn't get open. Recalling, I was never able to get it open the last time I went poking around, so I tried harder. I eventually picked up some penetrating oil, doused this one screw with that a couple of times, and after letting it sit for a while, and a couple of solid tunks on it with a punch and a hammer, the screw finally broke loose.

Well, lo and behold, it was the belt compartment. The belt was completely loose. How this thing ever worked with the belt as loose as it was, is beyond me. Three screws held this compartment in place, and it took more pentrating oil and some even harder tunks with the punch and hammer to break those loose. Once I finally did, I was able to tighten up the belt nicely.

I took the sanding belt off while doing this, and when I first turned it on after tightening the belt, the thing was SIGNIFICANTLY quieter. Put the sanding belt back on, and its a little louder, but the grating, grinding, knocking, banging sounds I used to get are gone.

Interestingly, I've used several other Rikon disk/belt sanders like this, both 4x36 and 4x48, and all of them were loud, grating, grinding. Two of them were at the woodcraft near me. SO, I'll adjust my recommendation a bit here. IF you DO get a Rikon belt sander...take that darn plate off the belt compartment, and make sure the belt is sufficiently tight!! It seems they may ship with loose belts. 🤷‍♂️
 

Mike

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I have had an old Dayton 6x48 with 12 inch disc on a cabinet base for about 20 years and it was old when I got it. It is loud, but it gets the job done. It was made in US. Never needed any repairs. I also have a Porter Cable bench top 4x36 with a 10 inch?? disc that I use for smaller jobs. I grind steel mostly on the Dayton, but the Porter cable will do as well. I like them both. Bought both used. Craigslist can have some good deals, but you have to be careful. I had an old Delta benchtop 4x36 and it was not as powerful as the Porter Cable. I would recommend either, depending on size you want. And I agree with John T., most of the time you get what you pay for.

I replaced the belts on my horizontal bandsaw and my big air compressor (4 hp 240 volt) Dayton) with the accu link belts from harbor freight and it made a significant reduction in vibration and noise. I am eventually going to put them on my old Craftsman radial drill press and the big Dayton belt sander. They are a bit pricey.

Mike
 

randyrls

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I've heard some people using very quiet disc/belt sanders on some videos, but I've not been able to catch the brands. Peace and quiet in the shop is quite a thing, and I hate turning om the Rikon these days. :p
Jon; Many of those videos use sound suppression. Any constant, repeating sound is suppressed. You can still talk, Zoom has this turned on by default with varying levels of suppression. Lately you can even choose the sound profile to be suppressed.
 

Darios

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FWIW - I've a Delta Shopmaster that I picked up at an estate sale. Can't really recommend but works well enough that I can't justify replacing it.
 

jrista

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Jon; Many of those videos use sound suppression. Any constant, repeating sound is suppressed. You can still talk, Zoom has this turned on by default with varying levels of suppression. Lately you can even choose the sound profile to be suppressed.
Well, after what I found and fixed last night, I don't think its sound suppression. I suspect these sanders are shipped with loose belts, maybe intentionally. Given how loose mine was, I am pretty sure this is why I never felt the darn thing worked well either, as I'm quite sure the belt was skipping under enough load. Since tightening the belt, its significantly quieter than it was, and it seems to sand a lot better (especially on the belt).
 
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