Jump to content

Belt Sander comparison?


Recommended Posts

I have used for the last ten years or so, a D-5010r belt sander I bought locally. It works, but being 1/4hp it can be stopped with very little pressure. That and the tracking sucks. With an increase in projects I need a much better belt sander. Any ideas on well made units around the 1 1/2-2hp range? I've seen some comparisons online, but thought I'd see what the consensus was here. It would be my dedicated sander for blades of all sizes and various tooling in the shop, so attachments are a huge plus. Kmg, Bader? Higher end belt sanders are new territory for me.

 

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I have been very happy with my KMG. It is built like a tank, and has good versatility. The motor isn't part of the machine so you can use any one you want.

I like the KMG for it's simplicity, on the other end of the spectrum would be the TW-90. It has every attachment possible, articulating tool rests and tilts so it can be used as a horizontal grinder. It is all the rage among the stock removal/folder guys, and I can see why although it isn't cheap.

Whatever grinder you go with, I would highly recommend a VFD. I set mine up without one and it is my one regret.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bee Metal belt grinders are a really good, versatile unit that will last decades.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used Uncle Al's (for 3 or 4 years), a Grizzly, a few Bader BIII's, and my own KMG.

 

The KMG, with variable speed and 3hp motor, is by far the best. The BIII is a great machine, but not quite as sturdy as the KMG. Uncle Al's is also a great machine, and it is just about equal to the BIII. A small step below it, because again, it is not as sturdy.

 

This lack of size and weight of the basic parts, especially the tooling arm, leads to less stability. That directly affects your work, with things like bouncing and chatter, and issues with tracking.

 

Grizzly is actually a good machine, for what it is. A 1hp, direct drive, fixed-speed grinder. The work rest is not too good, but it does what it is supposed to do, and the tracking works well. These used to be in the $300 range. The same machine now costs over $500. For that reason, I would suggest getting a Coote and adding a motor rather than buying a Grizzly. Before they went up, I would have suggested buying a Grizzly (and indeed, I did).

 

For me, from my experiences, and with particular strengths and weaknesses, and needs... KMG. Spend to get the variable, and spend to get the larger drive wheel, and the 3 hp. You won't regret any of them. This could be the last grinder you would ever need to buy, rather than buying one $300 cheaper, and then spending another $1,800 or so in a couple of years to buy the features you missed.

 

I was going to buy a BIII, but by the time they got back to me with the answer of whether they could make a 3hp variable machine for me, I had waited 2 weeks for a phone call, given up and ordered a KMG. The day the KMG was delivered, Bader called me back!

 

kc

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bee Metal belt grinders are a really good, versatile unit that will last decades.

Of the 3 grinder's I currently have , a KMG , a Coote 2 wheel style and a Bee Grinder , my go to is the Bee 9 times out of 10

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking at an Outlaw Grinder. They have several different models and can use KMG attachments. These grinder incorporate pretty much all the best features out there today.

 

Mike Stewart of Bark River Knives turned me on to them.

 

http://www.outlawwaterjetdesign.com/grinders.html

Edited by GBrackett
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Pheer 454. I've used it side by side with a KMG, and honestly...found the Pheer smoother and more solid...partly due to the direct mount 56c motor.

 

http://www.2x72beltgrinder.com/

 

I supplied my own motor (Leeson 3hp) and used the VFD to cut it down to 110v. I also opted for the 6" drive wheel, small arm attachment, and the flat platen vs a contact wheel arm...which I don't need or use for my knives. Pricing right now with motor is like $1575.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently got a Wilmont TAG, and have been very happy with it. 1.5hp with a VFD, which was a serious step up from the 1/4hp I had before. It tracks very well, is rock solid, and is difficult to slow down unless I am really leaning into the platen. It holds the same tooling arms as a KMG also, so that is very convenient. I probably would have gone for the 3hp 220v if I had the wiring to support it, but the smaller motor is still a thousand times better than what I was running before.

Link to post
Share on other sites

in terms of solidity, ease of maintnence, and support, i'm a firm supporter of KMG grinders by Beaumont Metal Works. They're the heaviest, most overbuilt grinder out there. What this mass means though is that they run perfectly smooth with no vibration at all. The TW90 is a bit more versitile, being both a horozontal and vertical grinder, but you have to buy it 'all' at once. The KMG lets you start out basic and add features as you need them or want to use them.

 

I'm currently using a 2hp VFD system, though I could see going up to a 3HP VFD at some point in the future.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everybody, I decided on and bought the kmg today. Went with the 3hp, vfd and 10" I'm looking forward to this beast :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

You'll be wicked happy. There's a reason why half of the grinder makers out there source their wheels and whatnot from Beaumont Metalworks. It says a lot about how much they stand behind their own product too that they sell parts to their competition =)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

that's what I have, also.

I am not putting down Pheer, TAG, Wilmont, TW90, etc. I am sure they are all very good (Hardcore and the other one that they are built like... Burr King, yeah, Burr King).

 

I almost bought a Burr King (they could make 3hp variable, but it would have been almost double the KMG price).

 

The point - I can honestly say that right now, my own personal grinder really is the best grinder I have ever used (but I have never used any of the grinders mentioned above).

 

You will love it. The improved tracking did wonders for my ability to grind plunge cuts instead of filing them.

 

kc

Link to post
Share on other sites

We just got a Esteem grinder. 2hp vfd package..Its very heavy built and I like direct drive. heavy duty work rest and solid tooling arms.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I love my KMG…I use the flat platinum most of the time and found that replacing the lower steel wheel with a rubber one was very worthwhile ……Good luck

Link to post
Share on other sites

that outlaw grinder looks very interesting! i'd never seen or heard of those. it really does look like somebody surveyed everything on the market and cherry picked the best features of them all. and it at least looks like they really got some stuff right. direct drive motor... forward positioning of the belt tensioning arm... the extra tooling arm slot...the deep platen holder so you can get to both sides without any hassle... the tool rest looks legit... the small wheel holder looks like you can use very small wheels without the holder getting in the way... they even have a version that will go horizontal. man, that's nice. good price, too. do you know if these accept a KMG tool arm?

Edited by jeremy spake
Link to post
Share on other sites

I just upgraded my grinder from 1.5 horse 1725 to a 2 horse 3600. I wired in a reversing switch to take advantage of the reversing capability of the motor. Going to install a 14" 90 durometer contact wheel and do most hogging work on this machine. Reversible too, so if i feel the urge or find it awesome i can grind on the top of the wheel with it spinning away from me like the Japanese do. Think push up instead of hump as far as body weight to assist in grinding lol

Link to post
Share on other sites

Think push up instead of hump as far as body weight to assist in grinding lol

I've never felt the desire to hump my grinder... something about keeping sensitive bits away from high speed abrasive =)

 

my 2hp variable speed KMG has a reverse switch on it though, I like running the belt 'backwards' when working the slack part of the belt

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good choice on the KMG, the only negative I can say is they come unpainted. Not a big deal, mine's got a nice patina on it, but wish I'd taken the time to paint it before setting it up and using it, but I was in a hurry. Know of one that someone blued. Oh, and grease the bearings, mine come ungreased as Beumont found that ungreased bearing last slightly longer than greased ones in lab test. Of course without grease there loud as can be, a couple shots of grease shuts them up.

 

My first real grinder was a Coote, still have it mounted and still use it. But the KMG is my work horse.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the Esteem. it comes powder coated in Blue..Very nice grinder, built like a tank and very,very smooth.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...