Which sander should I get?

I plan to get a belt sander soon, and I have narrowed the options down to two. Both are essentially the same, with only minor differences.

The first one is from Axminster. This is the cheaper of the two, but I have been told by a few people (professional cabinet maker, DT teacher) that they normally offer superior quality products. I also know from experience that their customer service and delivery speed is the best of the two options.

The second one is from Machine Mart. This is more expensive and looks sturdier, but I believe this company's target market is slightly different - to put it bluntly, I don't think the products which they offer are as far up the market as Axminster's. However, I recently purchased a few things from them, Including my pillar drill. This drill is the same brand as the sander and I am extremely pleased with it.

The confusing thing is that the people who told me that Axminster are normally the best are also the people who told me that you get what you pay for when it comes to tools. I know the difference is only £10 but I am a 16 year old on an allowance, so I can only really afford to get it right first time. Which one do you think I should get?

If you're looking for decent tools on a budget, a number of engineering/modeling/clock making magazines have a couple of pages of second hand tools for sale. Many of these are good brands, and being older, tend to be durable enough to just keep going as well as the new models, but for less.
rickharris6 years ago
I see you are looking for a bench mounted unit.

OK your in the UK - In that Famous low price supermarket chain Lidil They sell own brand tools on occasion,

Their hand held belt sander is a Bosh copy even down to the colour - I am unable to see any difference other than the label and i guess they are actually made by Bosch as Lidil is a German company.

It has brackets and comes with the clamps to mount on the bench horizontally or you can do what I did and make a L bracket from some scrap wood and mount vertically just like your school linishing belt.

Although this approach means som construction work it is easy AND £38 is MUCH better than £120

. Keep your eyes open and you will be able to buy 5 power tools for the price of 1 big name.

PS I am a retired DT teacher - You get what you pay for is often true - BUT for most hobbiest use the own brands will last and do just as well as the main name brands - they are often made in the same Chinese factory and often by Big name companies as a low cost option to their main brand

I and have one and it is great. Use the dust extraction option though unless you like sweeping up.
Jayefuu6 years ago
It looks a lot like both machines are made by the same company abroad and Machine Mart and Axminster have bought it and had it painted different colours by the manufacturer.

Look at the shape, the moulding, the component positions. These look like the same design to me, perhaps you're paying for brand? Perhaps Axminster sell more so they can afford to sell it cheaper?

They look absolutely identical other than the Axminster one has rubber feet and both are different colours.

The only other differences I can see is that Machine Mart spec a 300 not a 190W motor and that Machine Mart like to mix and match imperial and metric dimensions whereas Axminster stick to metric :p