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Help me decide on a 1" x 42" belt grinder

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Ken from ontario

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#1
I'm in the market for a small belt grinder that doesn't take up a lot of room ,I'll be using it to shape , debure, grind metal mostly but also wood plastic,etc. .
I have a Chinese 1" x 30" belt /disk sander that I really like and use often so I think a 1" x 42" would be an upgrade but if I find a 2"x42" with a solid / powerful motor, I wouldn't complain.
So far I have seen a few disk/ belt grinders under different names (Rikon, King, Grizzley , Jet( Jet seems to be the best of the lot ) but they all have small motors with less HP, If I find a good one I don't think I'll even assemble the disk on it and just use the belt so I'd rather get just a belt grinder .

What do you all think of this Kalamazoo sander:
https://www.amazon.com/Kalamazoo-Sander-Motor-Contact-Wheel/dp/B000REJM3K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528420491&sr=8-1&keywords=Kalamazoo+1SM+1"+Belt+Sander
I read a lot of positive reviews on it but it only has a 1/3 HP, I'm afraid it'll bog down when I bear down on it but I can live with that if it tracks as well as some of the owners claim.

Then there's this Palmgren grinder with 1/2 HP but it is made in China so I'm not sure it is as reliable or as powerful as the 1/3 hp Kalamazoo.I have seen them under different names,Dayton is one I remember right now.
I read somewhere that a 2" belt also fits on it ,not sure if it's true though.:

https://www.globalindustrial.ca/p/t...01-belt-grinder-12hp-120240v-1-x-42-belt-size

Before anyone asks why not build one, to tell you the truth I haven't found a decent plan for a 1"x 42" grinder that I like, plus , it may be fun to build but it'll most likely cost me more to make one than what I can find on the market so for now I'm not entertaining that option.
So , of the two I linked ,which one do you like the best? or is there a better choice you think I should consider, budget is about $400 USD, I'm planning on getting a few of those Red Label ceramic belts that Mikey likes so much so it's all going to cost about $500.
If you have a personal experience with either of the two I mentioned or any other belt grinders , I'd love to hear what you have to say.
Thanks.
 

Aaron_W

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#2
I've got a little Craftsman belt / disc sander with a 1x30" belt, so I've not really looked at others.

I do have a Rikon 8" grinder I am very happy with, very solid and well built. I had looked at a lot of grinders including Jet and I think this one is as nice as anything I looked at of a similar price. Most of the Rikon tools have a 5 year warranty which is a lot better than most other brands.


I think the Rikon 1x42 might be worth another look, it is 5/8 hp so more than the others you pointed out and well within the budget you set.

https://www.rikontools.com/product/50-144
 

darkzero

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I'm also in the market for a new belt grinder. I've currently got a Rikon 6x48 belt/6" disc & while it works ok for small fine/finishing jobs I want something where I can really get right up to the edge of the belt. I was looking at 1" belt grinders but I know it will end up wanting something a bit bigger. Power is nice but not the main criteria for me.

If Kalamzoo is still the same, can't go wrong with one of them. IMO a 1x42 is not much of an upgrade over a 1x30 if that's what you currently have unless quality & power is what you're mainly after. I've been looking at 2" models. I also looked at the 2" version of the Kalamazoo that you posted as someone was selling one local to me. However I think with models like that I would have to bolt it down which I do not want to do. Dayton also make ones like that and are pretty cheap in price.

As much as I would love to have a nice powerful vfd controlled 2x72 like knife makers use, I don't have the room for one nor do I have a dedicated spot for a grinder. I need something portable which is why I didn't want to go with the Kalamazoo. I've got my eye on the Jet 2x42 J-41002. Just waiting for the next 25% off sale to buy one.


Z1qLxzhcpEx_.JPG
 

mikey

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I have an admitted bias against the 1" belt grinders because most of them are underpowered, have a flexible platen that mounts only on the bottom and most importantly, the belt is too narrow to grind tools efficiently so it eats belts faster. They're fine for grinding wood or the occasional small metal project but for grinding tools or fabrication you are far better off with a 2" belt and more HP.

In general, the minimum power for a small belt sander would be about 1/2hp or more. However, I have found that the Palmgren/Dayton/Craftsman 1/3hp 2X42 belt sander to be adequate when used with ceramic belts for tool grinding. @TerryH recently did one like this and it turned out well. Given the requirements for a suitable tool grinding belt sander, it allows you to add a glass platen and fabricate a decent tool rest without too much trouble. It also allows unobstructed access to the right side of the belt for grinding rake angles on a tool; this is a critical feature. Here is one from Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Palmgren-Belt-bench-finishing-machine/dp/B0006577HI

Kalamzoo makes good tools in general but the grinder you linked, in 1" and 2" versions, has been criticized by the knife maker guys for too much flexibility of the main post. Given the cost, I wouldn't bother.

The Jet that Will shows above is a good belt sander. @Aukai has one and modded it for tool grinding; hope he chips in here.
 

darkzero

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Mike raises some good points about the post/platen & should be considered if it's important to you. The Jet I'm looking to get still only has a post with attachment on one end. I could easily make a beefier post if needed but I'm not to concerned about it. I'll be using it for general purpose, I won't be grinding tool bits or making knives. I've looked at a bunch already this one suits my needs perfect, again portability is a major concern. But looking at reviews even the Jet has it's issues, all seem minor & I don't mind.

Well technically I do have a 1" belt grinder but it's a baby, uses 1x18 belts, haha. I just got this last week but it's a knife sharpener. Got it for sharpening large fixed blades, machetes, axes, & cheap kitchen knives, my friends always ask me. Won't be sharpening any of my expensive knives on it though, I have a Wicked Edge sharpener for that.

20180608_010002.jpg
 

hman

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I have two 1x42 belt sander/5" disc sander combo machines (from having had 2 shops). I converted both to use a ScotchBrite wheel in place of the disk sander. One is an old Craftsman 1/2HP sander. The other (pictured) is a Delta ⅓ HP unit. Both work pretty well, though I can occasionally slow down the Delta ... when the belt is nearly worn out and I start pushing too hard. The PVC pipe around the wheel is part of a dust collection system.
kHPIM5408.jpg
 

TerryH

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#7
I did recently go thru this same evaluation process. I wanted a 2" sander but had even less budget. I decided to give the Dayton 2x42 a try. I purchased mine at my local Graingers for $150. I chronicled the mods with links to the necessary parts here...

Dayton 6Y945 2x42 bench grinder build...

I am super happy with how it turned out. Have about $250 in it total plus a few hours work. Even though it is listed as only 1/3 hp, it performs quite well with ceramic belts that I bought from Empire Abrasives. Here's that link...

Empire Abrasives 2x42 ceramic belts

 

Ken from ontario

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I think the Rikon 1x42 might be worth another look, it is 5/8 hp so more than the others you pointed out and well within the budget you set.
Actually Home depot and King Canada sell the same model and it is the same as the Delta hman posted before he modified it ,I had every intention of buying it but then I researched it a bit more and read many negative comments mainly on the tracking adjustment, noisy /chattering tracking wheels, (many two-3 stars rating on the Grizzly version), the older units may have been better but I decided to pass on that model although the Jet version had a much better fit and finish and better reviews.


Delete
41pw2D1QZaL._SX425_.jpg


I'm also in the market for a new belt grinder. I've currently got a Rikon 6x48 belt/6" disc & while it works ok for small fine/finishing jobs I want something where I can really get right up to the edge of the belt. I was looking at 1" belt grinders but I know it will end up wanting something a bit bigger. Power is nice but not the main criteria for me
I have a 4" belt/disk sander , and the Ridgid oscillating edge/belt sander but they all are used for woodworking , might work out okay for occasional metalworking but as you all know the main problem with them is lack of power, the 1"x 30" belt sander has been the most used sander in my shop but after reading Mikey's post and your comment, I'm thinking maybe 2" x42 is the better choice after all.


In general, the minimum power for a small belt sander would be about 1/2hp or more. However, I have found that the Palmgren/Dayton/Craftsman 1/3hp 2X42 belt sander to be adequate when used with ceramic belts for tool grinding. @TerryH recently did one like this and it turned out well. Given the requirements for a suitable tool grinding belt sander, it allows you to add a glass platen and fabricate a decent tool rest without too much trouble. It also allows unobstructed access to the right side of the belt for grinding rake angles on a tool; this is a critical feature. Here is one from Amazon.ca:
Thanks Mikey for the suggestion and the link, I'm definitely warming up to the 2" belt grinders .
About the one inch Kalamazoo tracking issue, I have heard the same complaints on that type of (single post/two wheel)sanders but overall that design has not changed in 20 plus years .I've also read many positive reviews on that 1" and the 2" adjustable versions , at any rate, I'm not considering it any more. it costs way too much for what it is.
I did recently go thru this same evaluation process. I wanted a 2" sander but had even less budget. I decided to give the Dayton 2x42 a try. I purchased mine at my local Graingers for $150. I chronicled the mods with links to the necessary parts here...
You and Mikey seem to really like this model, it is good to know it can be modified to perform more suitable for metalworking , I have bookmarked your thread on the Dayton build, will read it later to see how to upgrade the platen mainly since I will be doing it myself if I end up with the same sander.
You got a good deal for $250 but I think I can match that price once you consider the exchange rate and shipping.
I found this vendor in Canada called Global/industrial, they sell it for $301.95 plus shipping, it is cheaper than the one from Amazon.ca:
https://www.globalindustrial.ca/p/t...ng-machine-35-amps-2-x-42-or-1-x-42-belt-size

I'm seriously considering this belt sander, it looks like it has a better belt tracking mechanism than the Kalamazoo, the only hesitation I may have is the 1/3 horsepower but then again almost all of this size belt sanders have the same size motors .

Thank you all for your thoughts and helpful comments ,I read every one of your post at least twice and keep finding out more as I read them again.
 

TerryH

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Actually Home depot and King Canada sell the same model and it is the same as the Delta hman posted before he modified it ,I had every intention of buying it but then I researched it a bit more and read many negative comments mainly on the tracking adjustment, noisy /chattering tracking wheels, (many two-3 stars rating on the Grizzly version), the older units may have been better but I decided to pass on that model although the Jet version had a much better fit and finish and better reviews.


Delete
41pw2D1QZaL._SX425_.jpg



I have a 4" belt/disk sander , and the Ridgid oscillating edge/belt sander but they all are used for woodworking , might work out okay for occasional metalworking but as you all know the main problem with them is lack of power, the 1"x 30" belt sander has been the most used sander in my shop but after reading Mikey's post and your comment, I'm thinking maybe 2" x42 is the better choice after all.



Thanks Mikey for the suggestion and the link, I'm definitely warming up to the 2" belt grinders .
About the one inch Kalamazoo tracking issue, I have heard the same complaints on that type of (single post/two wheel)sanders but overall that design has not changed in 20 plus years .I've also read many positive reviews on that 1" and the 2" adjustable versions , at any rate, I'm not considering it any more. it costs way too much for what it is.

You and Mikey seem to really like this model, it is good to know it can be modified to perform more suitable for metalworking , I have bookmarked your thread on the Dayton build, will read it later to see how to upgrade the platen mainly since I will be doing it myself if I end up with the same sander.
You got a good deal for $250 but I think I can match that price once you consider the exchange rate and shipping.
I found this vendor in Canada called Global/industrial, they sell it for $301.95 plus shipping, it is cheaper than the one from Amazon.ca:
https://www.globalindustrial.ca/p/t...ng-machine-35-amps-2-x-42-or-1-x-42-belt-size

I'm seriously considering this belt sander, it looks like it has a better belt tracking mechanism than the Kalamazoo, the only hesitation I may have is the 1/3 horsepower but then again almost all of this size belt sanders have the same size motors .

Thank you all for your thoughts and helpful comments ,I read every one of your post at least twice and keep finding out more as I read them again.
The sander itself was $150 US. I spent another$100 US on the upgrades. Don't think you can go wrong with the sander. I've ground HSS blanks on it and it has plenty of power using the ceramic belts.
 

Ken from ontario

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As much as I would love to have a nice powerful vfd controlled 2x72 like knife makers use, I don't have the room for one nor do I have a dedicated spot for a grinder. I need something portable which is why I didn't want to go with the Kalamazoo. I've got my eye on the Jet 2x42 J-41002. Just waiting for the next 25% off sale to buy one.
Where's this place that you hope to get 25% off ? I hope you get it, I'd love to have that Jet 2x42 J-41002. you posted a picture of. it is a solid sander,it has tons of power ,has the 2" x 42" belt that we want, and doesn't take up much room.
MSC is selling them for $514, I would be all over it if I lived there, the closest I can get price wise id Travers,$633.17 Canadian $, add shipping & tax =$820. but it's a beast compare to my 1"x 30" lol.
https://www.traverscanada.com/2-x-42-bench-belt-disc-sander/p/87-115-309/
 

ttabbal

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#11
Note the 2x72s don't have to be fixed location. I mounted mine to a little cart that I wheel off to the side when I'm not using it. I also have a shelf under it I use to store tooling etc.. I need to make a belt holder for it, keep everything together. The cart I got locally from someone that seemed to have picked it up from the local school system as surplus. It's a nice metal cart that's built like a tank. I could probably put my lathe on it without damaging it. The motor alone weighs 50lbs, so I really wanted the wheels. :)

The belt wheels and steel were about $200. Motor and VFD drove the price up on me, I was planning to use a treadmill motor I got for free. But I think it was worth it. Another $150ish for those. There's nothing wrong with the nicer small units, if they have the power needed, but when for a similar price I could build a 2x72, it was a no brainer. Even cobalt bits get chewed up fast on it. Whatever gets the job done though. Not everyone wants to build them, and the prices for the custom 2x72s are a bit nuts.
 

mikey

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#12
Regardless of which grinder you end up with, if your goal is to use it as a lathe tool grinder as part of its duties then you need to pay attention to these things:
  • The platen has to be independent of the sander chassis so you can add on a Pyroceram platen liner. I consider this to be the single most important thing you can do on a belt sander because it greatly limits wear. You cannot grind anything flat if the platen itself is not flat and the glass liner stays flat for a very, very long time.
  • You must have unobstructed access to the right side of the platen so you can grind the critical rake angles. Many grinders have some kind of obstruction on the right side so if the one you get is like this then you need to modify it to provide access.
  • You really need a good tool rest that will not move in use. Ideally, it should index to precise angles and be movable quickly. If possible, it is best to be able to change belts without moving the table but this isn't always possible. Regardless, make a good tool rest; it is almost as important as the glass platen liner.
I think building a 2X72 belt sander is the way to go. However, not everyone has the space, money or need for such a beast so a smaller one will work provided you handle the concerns above. Good luck with your search, Ken. This tool is an important one in my opinion.
 

Ken from ontario

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#13
  • The platen has to be independent of the sander chassis so you can add on a Pyroceram platen liner. I consider this to be the single most important thing you can do on a belt sander because it greatly limits wear. You cannot grind anything flat if the platen itself is not flat and the glass liner stays flat for a very, very long time.

  • You must have unobstructed access to the right side of the platen so you can grind the critical rake angles. Many grinders have some kind of obstruction on the right side so if the one you get is like this then you need to modify it to provide access.

  • You really need a good tool rest that will not move in use. Ideally, it should index to precise angles and be movable quickly. If possible, it is best to be able to change belts without moving the table but this isn't always possible. Regardless, make a good tool rest; it is almost as important as the glass platen liner.
What do you think of the 3/4 HP Jet,Mike? it looks like it meet all the 3 point that are critical for tool grinding although I'm not buying it specifically for that purpose but it is on my mind to eventually grind my own tools.
I'm not sure if the platen can be modified but it has an unobstructed access to the right,and a beefier tool rest is easy to make :
jet-577004-lg.jpg
 

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#14
I own about 6 different belt Sanders my first was from Foley tool sharpening co. It's a 1" x 44" belt , the 42" work well on it. It's belt drive don't remember the HP . It's never stopped in use unless a belt breaks . I have a small delta 1 x 30" it was a inherited from my step father. It's been used ALOT by him and me because it's portable. But for my money I'd get the jet if I only wanted one new one. Lots of copies but jet seems to be getting the best ones.
 

Ken from ontario

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Whoever designed that 1"x 30" sander probably never thought it would be such a success ,it has been around for years and it is so portable and easy to adjust and most of all ,it is cheap,I paid $50 for mine 10 years ago and still see them for under $100 bucks.
 

mikey

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What do you think of the 3/4 HP Jet,Mike? it looks like it meet all the 3 point that are critical for tool grinding although I'm not buying it specifically for that purpose but it is on my mind to eventually grind my own tools.
I'm not sure if the platen can be modified but it has an unobstructed access to the right,and a beefier tool rest is easy to make :
I think it looks like a good sander. The only concern for me is the platen being anchored on the bottom. It is a hefty platen but it still needs to be gusseted to prevent any movement. @Aukai did this on his and added a Pyroceram liner and it looks like a really good mod. Maybe PM him and ask him what he thinks.
 

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#17

pacifica

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I have a 2x72 3 wheel from oregon blademakers which I have used over a year now. 1/4" steel ,no flex, good bearings,sturdy rest and vibration free. Price is close to your budget .Footprint is small. Made for knifemakers who need the quality.
I kick myself for not buying a belt grinder 5 years ago!:distrust:
https://originblademaker.com/
 

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Ken from ontario

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#19
Bruce, you're the 3rd person who likes this sander, I just read the story of how you bought and what a great deal it was , you also mentioned you like the 1/3 horsepower ,I thought 1/3 HP would be too weak for a metal grinder but it's good to know you can't stall the motor that easily.
 

Ken from ontario

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Pacifica,That 2" x 72" grinder looks well built, 1.5 HP motor is the size I would choose if I ever wanted to build one from scratch, the price is one of the lowest I have seen but as you can guess it'll be more than double by the time I get it .
Thanks for the link,
 

Ken from ontario

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#21
I just ordered the 2" x42" but it's under the name Palmgren, the price was right, I can upgrade it the same way Terry did at a later date but what I like the most (other than the price) is the size, I don't have a big shop so it should nicely fit in the corner of my shop when not in use.
Thank you all for your comments, links, opinions, and for helping me make me the right decision, well at least in my mind I think it was the best choice.
Now I definitely need to order the platen ,and a few belts .
https://www.traverscanada.com/2-x-42-belt-6-disc-sander/p/87-135-204/
61V2m9HJseL._SX425_.jpg
 

pacifica

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Ken:It cost me 100 for a 1.5 hp baldor and drive wheel was 39. I made the platten from 3/4" steel and attached to a piece of 1.5 " square aluminum.
 

darkzero

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#23
Where's this place that you hope to get 25% off ? I hope you get it, I'd love to have that Jet 2x42 J-41002. you posted a picture of. it is a solid sander,it has tons of power ,has the 2" x 42" belt that we want, and doesn't take up much room.
MSC is selling them for $514, I would be all over it if I lived there, the closest I can get price wise id Travers,$633.17 Canadian $, add shipping & tax =$820. but it's a beast compare to my 1"x 30" lol.
https://www.traverscanada.com/2-x-42-bench-belt-disc-sander/p/87-115-309/
Thanks. I see you bought the Palmgren, congrats!

Zoro is where I'll be purchasing the Jet on the next 25% sale. Unfortunately gone are 30% Zoro sales, I really miss those & saved a lot of money on stuff. I have a feeling 25% days will end eventually though maybe in a year or 2.

Here in the States these currently normally go for $430 to $475 + shipping and/or tax. Zoro has it for $476, minus 25% puts it at $357 but since they have a Cali location I'll get charged tax. So I'll be paying just under $390 for it, shipping is free.

Next cheapest place is MSC. My logged in price from MSC is $403. Again they have locations in Cali so I'll get charged tax which will put me at just under $440. Shipping is free or I can just go down to my local MSC & order it or they might even have it in in stock. But no matter I'll be getting it from Zoro.
 

darkzero

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#24
I just ordered the 2" x42" but it's under the name Palmgren, the price was right, I can upgrade it the same way Terry did at a later date but what I like the most (other than the price) is the size, I don't have a big shop so it should nicely fit in the corner of my shop when not in use.
Thank you all for your comments, links, opinions, and for helping me make me the right decision, well at least in my mind I think it was the best choice.
Now I definitely need to order the platen ,and a few belts .
https://www.traverscanada.com/2-x-42-belt-6-disc-sander/p/87-135-204/
View attachment 269216
Um, apologies in advanced for mentioning, being in Canada it might not apply, but Zoro has that Palmgren for $226, 25% off would be $169. But not sure if Zoro USA ships to Canada, if they do shipping might kill the price. I believe Zoro Canada has closed but I'm not sure. Do they still have Grainger in Canada? The Dayton that was mentioned is $150 at Grainger in the US & looks to be the same thing.

As always, always happy to help people spend their money but save some money at the same time. :)
 

Ken from ontario

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#25
As always, always happy to help people spend their money but save some money at the same time. :)
Will, Canadians in general are so used to seeing lower prices in the Us,that we don't get surprised unless it's a smoking deal. almost everything cost nearly double here compared to what it costs down there but the difference in a prices is not what kills a deal, it's the shipping, the importation tax, brokerage fees, the exchange rate ,etc.
Most of your online stores don't advertise their goods for outside the US so unless I know all the vendors who sell what I need ,and call or email them directly and ask if they ship here and dare to ask not to use UPS,or Fedex but only USPS, I usually end up giving up my search and settle for a " not so bad" deal .
All that said, I personally feel happy to hear any of our members get a super great deal, doesn't matter who or where so if or when you get your 25% off for that sander , make sure you let us know so at least I could say ,you suck.:)
We still have Grainger here but as far as I remember their prices are just as high as the rest.
 

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#26
Just don't buy the Harbor Freight combo like I did. It's cheap, but a waste of money.
 

Ken from ontario

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#27
I got the Palmgren which also goes under many different brands like Dayton, it has a powerful enough motor on it that I haven't been able to stall it with normal/heavy pressure on the belt.
I also got 60 grit and 120 grit ceramic belts ,these are amazing belts I don't think I'll ever go back to anything but ceramic from now on.
I'll be working on installing my own table similar to Mikey's or TerryH,
 

darkzero

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#28
Will, Canadians in general are so used to seeing lower prices in the Us,that we don't get surprised unless it's a smoking deal. almost everything cost nearly double here compared to what it costs down there but the difference in a prices is not what kills a deal, it's the shipping, the importation tax, brokerage fees, the exchange rate ,etc.
Most of your online stores don't advertise their goods for outside the US so unless I know all the vendors who sell what I need ,and call or email them directly and ask if they ship here and dare to ask not to use UPS,or Fedex but only USPS, I usually end up giving up my search and settle for a " not so bad" deal .
All that said, I personally feel happy to hear any of our members get a super great deal, doesn't matter who or where so if or when you get your 25% off for that sander , make sure you let us know so at least I could say ,you suck.:)
We still have Grainger here but as far as I remember their prices are just as high as the rest.
Finally, a 25% Zoro sale. Just ordered the Jet, paid $391 including tax & free shipping. I usually get Zoro orders in one business day so it should be here Wed. If not, doesn't matter, I won't get to play with it for a while anyway. My garage is completely out of whack right now due to making room for working on my truck. Still got lots more stuff to do to the truck. But the main thing is I finally was able to snag one at a great price. :)
 

mikey

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#29
Awesome, Will! Looking forward to your impression of the grinder.
 

Ken from ontario

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#30
That's an incredible deal, I don't think you'll see this sander go any lower than that, I admire your patience, it finally paid off.
 
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