It's been a couple of months since I reviewed the Ridgid Cordless Belt Sander. A lot of tools perform well at first, but once they've been put through their paces a bit you can really see a tools potential. Belt sanders aren't for everyone, but for the woodworker or weekend warrior looking to step up their game, a belt sander can make a huge difference to any finishing process. Ridgid didn't let me down with this one and has absolutely made me a believer in the brand overall. Let's jump right into our Ridgid Cordless Belt Sander Review Follow Up by starting with a few of my favorite features.
Ridgid Cordless Belt Sander Review Follow Up Features
One of my favorite features of the tool is the adjustable pommel. While it may not seem all that significant, it actually makes a world of difference. The Pommel on this belt sander allows the user to truly distribute even pressure. Belt sanders are entirely different from other handheld sanders and are designed to be operated using both hands. If a belt sander isn't properly supported, it can easily damage a workpiece during use.
The lock-on button becomes very handy during extended use. At times depressing a trigger especially with constant vibrations even if slight, can cause some serious hand cramps. The lock-on feature reduces hand fatigue and the ability to focus your grip on keeping the sander level and uniform improves the outcome as well.
The variable speed dial works well too, allowing for different speeds based on need. I tend to stick to the middle of the range. There are six speeds and you can feel a discernable difference between speeds which is impressive given the range.
The Belt tracking tool has worked well overall, having only one hiccup. A belt edge became frayed from hitting a nail head at one point and the small fray became hung up slightly in the inner rotating mechanism. Once it was addressed this feature has performed great. The fine adjustment knob offers a great way to adjust the tension to your ideal settings.
Ridgid makes changing the belt a breeze. The simple lever opens and releases the tension on the belt allowing for a quick switch of grit.
The dust collection generally works well. One thing it doesn't seem to always pick up as well is wood filler dust or spackling compound. I would guess the finer particles don't transfer as well. Outside of that, the dust collection bag works better than any other I have used on a sander.
Ridgid Cordless Belt Sander Review Follow Up Quality
Ridgid put together a well-built tool, it feels sturdy and solid but doesn't have unnecessary weight either. The overall feel of the tool is comfortable as well. Generally, all sanders have a degree of vibration. Given the power of this belt sander you would expect that to be more prevalent, thankfully it isn't the case though. I actually find it more comfortable than most other sanders I have owned.
Ridgid Cordless Belt Sander Review Follow Up Performance
Ridgid always brings out the big guns with the brushless motor and cordless battery system. Generally, I use the 18-Volt 5Ah battery with the sander and consistently get at least 25 minutes of runtime. I am not one to let a battery run until dead though, and generally, I like to switch from the belt sander to a random orbital sander. I am a huge fan of Diablo sanding products, and their sanding belts are the perfect complement to this Ridgid Cordless Belt Sander.
Ridgid Cordless Belt Sander Review Follow Up Value
In my mind, I determine value as a combination of price and performance. Ridgid has priced this belt sander very competitively but for its price point, it performs exceptionally. As a bare tool, it retails for $149.00. However, Home Depot is also offering a packaged deal with a charger and a 2.0Ah battery for the same price, which is an added bonus to an already well-priced tool.
Ridgid Cordless Belt Sander Review Follow Up Final Thoughts
Ridgid makes a great tool in this belt sander. I've used this sander quite a bit and the more I use it the more I appreciate it. Ridgid is the type of manufacturer that you can't go wrong with. There is no doubt that this tool will remain a staple in my shop for years to come. If you're in the market for a great belt sander, definitely check out the Ridgid Cordless Belt Sander.