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Thread: Belt Sander or Orbital Sander

  1. #1

    Belt Sander or Orbital Sander

    Hi, I am looking for a good all around sander. I don't do a lot of sanding, but from time to time I make a small coffee table or glue up a few boards and need to sand.

    Whats a more all-around, practical, and useful sander ... orbital or belt?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    5,994
    If you're only going to have one sander, make it an ROS (random orbital sander). You can take off a lot of material with low-grit disks and go all the way to pre-finish sanding with an ROS. It also leaves little, if any, sanding marks when used properly.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    8,529
    Bill is absoloutly correct. My belt sander is only used when I want to get real aggresive. My ROS is my goto tool and I have every grit paper I can get for it. I also have a finish sander but if your only going to have 1 the the ROS is the way to go.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    15,807
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Arnold View Post
    If you're only going to have one sander, make it an ROS (random orbital sander). You can take off a lot of material with low-grit disks and go all the way to pre-finish sanding with an ROS. It also leaves little, if any, sanding marks when used properly.

    Ditto
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    +1 on a ROS. I can't tell you the last time I used my very nice belt sander.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,472
    another vote for the orbital and there are uses for a belt but nearly as many..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,321
    Festool Rotax - either the 5" or the 6" model. Expensive, but worth it. In Rotax mode, it removes stock almost as fast as a belt sander, but in ROS mode, it's a great finish sander.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Constantine, MI
    Posts
    7,890
    Another vote for the ROS
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk
    www.wrworkshop.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Villa Park, CA
    Posts
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    I have both and I can't remember when I last used my belt sander.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Posts
    10,604
    ROS for sure. I've only used my belt sander 2 or 3 times in a couple of years. The Porter Cable that I have has been working great for 3 or 4 years.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

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