I Like many others was enticed to go out shopping on “Black Friday” this year and I got this belt sander. You would think that based on my previous experiences with Wen Products that I wouldn’t waste my money. But I did need a belt sander, and it was cheep (which I also was interested in) so I got one. It came disassembled (mostly) but was easy to put together.
Wen it is finally put together (spelling error intended) you get a fairly nice looking albeit hard to figure out how to use upright sander.
Here are my thoughts on this device: the 3/4 hp. motor seems a bit under-powered, and when I first turned it on it did nothing! So I loosened up the belt which was easy to do but made me concerned about how you would get a new belt on there square. So .. Loosened it up and still I turned it on and it did nothing! At this point i was thinking about just returning it, but I had just braved cold temperatures, Black Friday traffic and buying conditions and I was not interested in taking it back. So I decided to go off script, I’ve had to do this with other under powered “power” tools, and I turned on the machine, and (since the belt was not moving at all) I jump started the belt by hand, and it finally started!!! So Yay I have a “working” belt sander.
All this has gotten me to wonder what is going on with this company and how they can stay in business??
1 – I have yet to glue the sanding pad onto the disc, however I am disappointed that I have to “glue” anything, it should be velcro adhesive that i just apply to the disc (like industry standard) so … I would like to ask the “engineers” at Wen how one is supposed to replace the sanding disc??? You see it here a a silver round (almost polished) piece of cast aluminum.
2 – The “feet” on this device have already fallen off a couple of times, and the machine will walk as a result (these are the little rubber pieces on the left of the parts image above.
3 – The Factory belt had some grains that were very large and caused deep grooves in the material that I needed to tend to explicitly.
4 – The “safety guard” on the belt sander has a little bar right where it shouldn’t if you want to sand a long piece of material (so I had to remove it), this is the L shaped metal bar just above the wrench (which is a piece of crap soft steel).
5 – The “Table” for the disc sander is only only stabilized by a couple of screw knobs, so it may shift during use and is hard to ensure alignment (square), you see the table on the left.
6 – Lastly the screws to adjust the angle of the belt are hidden and the only way you can get to them is with the crappy metal wrench.
So should you buy one? I am not sure.. only if you really need a cheep belt sander.