Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: League City, Texas. A.K.A. Hurricane Alley
A friend of mine has the Skil 3x18 belt sander. It puts up with an awful lot of abuse. Much better built than the B&D Dragster for sure.
I have been looking at the Ryobi 21 incher as I have heard good things about it for a long time.
You may notice there are guys here that will only recommend certain tools from certain MFGs in certain price ranges. That's fine for the pro woodworker or whatever. But just like the weekend mechanic does not need, nor should he waste his valuable money on Snap On tools, the weekend woodworker does not need to be spending $200.00 + for a belt sander when a $100.00 belt sander does the same job, just as well, and holds up under that persons use just as well... And honestly, I think that Skil is priced more like in the $70.00 range isn't it?
I have a Skil Random Orbit sander, and couldn't be happier with it. I had a Power Pack + 7.2v drill die after 4 years of constant day to day abuse, followed by 10 more years of weekened warrior abuse. The batteries leaked and ruined internal contacts. The mechanicals of it were still rock solid... I am getting pretty convinced there are folks here that just want to see every home woodworker shop equipped with nothing but Ridgid, Porter Cable and the like... And those are some mighty fine tools, but do they really do that much of a better job to justify the additional cost?
Enjoy your new Ryobi, and take the extra cash you would have spent on a more expensive sander and buy some more lumber to work with!