Ridgid Variable Speed Belt Sander R28401


This has been one of those sanders I have been eyeballing for a long time.  There was always something about it.  Maybe the size or maybe the low profile, but either way I have been waiting to check this one out.  If you’re looking for a way to remove a massive amount of material quickly, well then you know you need a belt sander.  With a belt sander, there is no messing around.  I have to say while I have used this tool to an extent, I don’t have tons of hours on it.  But before I go on about my opinion, let me introduce you to the sander.

First and most important is since this is a Ridgid tool, you get a lifetime guarantee with this tool.  Just make sure you complete the registration card.  This sander is a 3″ x 18″ belt sander that weighs 5.8 lbs.  Inside the sander lays a 6.5 Amp motor that will spin the belt from 400 – 950 rpms.  Looking at the stats, this seems like a good work horse and for $99, it’s hard to beat.  As with most other belt sanders, this has a simple lever in order to change sanding belts.

A couple cool features of this sander is first the dust collection system.  I have to admit while it doesn’t trap all the dust, it does a great job, one of the best I have seen in a long time.  The second cool feature is the electronic feedback system.  This system will match the speed to the desired removal rate.  Which basically means you don’t have to worry about the motor slowing down while using it.  If you end up pushing hard on the unit, the unit will do it’s best to increase the motor speed to match your speed setting.  Another feature is the automatic belt tracking system.  I have to say it has done a good job at tracking the belt and keeping it in line.  If you are old fashion or still need to make adjustments, you can still use a thumb screw to make changes on the fly.  You may notice on one side of the sander, it’s pretty flush which makes it great for those applications where you’re sanding against vertical surfaces.

So here is my low down on this sander.  Overall I really like this sander.  For my needs which is projects here and there, it does a great job. Now if you are a guy using a belt sander all day long, I am not sure how this will work out for you.  It might work great or it may not, I just can’t speak on that part.  The grip is comfortable and the sander is very easy to control.  As with any sander, just watch what you’re doing with a belt sander as you can remove a lot of material very quickly, especially pine.  I love the dust collection system and the fact you can hook it up to your vac.  With the provided bag it does a great job collecting dust, however I really wish they would have made the bag much bigger.  I like the smaller bag, but having a bigger bag for larger projects would have been nice.  My last gripe about this sander is it doesn’t come with a case or tool bag.  I am huge on organization and I just love my tools to have a place.  Plus I like having accessories all with the tool.  It would have been nice if they provided a case or even a bag to keep this sander in when not in use.

Besides those two gripes about this sander I have to say Ridgid did a great job with this sander.  It’s powerful, easy to control and love the added features.  There is plenty of power to get most jobs done not only quickly, but leaving it with a nice finish.  If you’re in the market for a belt sander, you should check this one out.  At the time of this article I did find it on Amazon for $143.  However on Home Depot it was only $99.  I would still check both prices to see if either has changed.

buyamazon1Ridgid R2740 Sander, 3-Inch x 18-Inch Belt



  1. Want a m12 Milwaukee little sander would be brill for sanding down drywall mud. Got most of the m12 line even the jacket that would be the cherry on top for me ???

  2. I always pick it up but I’m not sold on it so I tend to look at porter cables and makitas which have great belts sanders just about double the price of this. Maybe one day I’ll get brave and buy it.

  3. I am disabled but still am able to handle a belt sander. I have plenty of barn planks to sand down if only I had this sander 🙂

  4. I have one and it’s a great tool, but same problem seems to apply with this one as with the majority of belt sanders. Where the belt slides to left and starts to wear the cover. I am waiting on a belt sanders that would tackles this problem

  5. Funny how many are on the fence about this belt sander. And you know they make a great muti sanding station, maybe not the same thing as a belt sander but I have a lot of quality tools coming from Ridgid lately like the little palm screw driver just released online. I was in the market for a new belt sander, I would give it a try.

  6. I need to get one, I have needed one for awhile, and will have to get one soon for my house. I don’t know when, but I believe this is the one for me to use as a good functioning sander, clean up a nice native wall and finish. Thanks for the honest review, and the fact that i can attach my vacuum to it is a plus, I don’t have one of these, and this is will fit the bill perfect for my use. #tiacrew

  7. I really like belt sanders, I have a few. I have a bench top belt sander and two hand helds. I seem to stay away from rigid because I feel like it a home owners tool . Out of stupidity I bought a ryobi bench top belt sander, i burnt the motor out in no time. So know I bought a real nice jet disk belt sander combo. But I have the makita and portercable belt sander and they are great. I would recommend getting one of these tools. I can’t say the rigid belt sander is bad, nor good because I have never used it but I would recommend buying high quality tools.

  8. Looks like as good reason to redo my main bench. I have to get a new hedge trimmer first though. Can’t decide between the new DeWalt one of just going with another EGO to go along with the blower and string trimmer. Thanks for keeping my never ending list of tools to buy one tool longer.


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