Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: DELTA 31-460 4-Inch Belt/6-Inch Disc Sander
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on December 3, 1999
This is a great LIGHT duty sander and a pretty good buy for the money. Just know that with a 1/3 hp motor and somewhat flimsy (and expensive to replace)drive belts and plastic gears, you really can't put a lot of pressure on this unit.
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on January 22, 2000
This particular belt/disc sander is worth what you pay for it. It's a nice addition to a small home workshop. It sands small items decent and is helpful if you build projects by the dozen like I do. Unless you have the tool attached to a piece of 3/4" plywood and have it secured to a workbench, it has a tendency to wander and vibrate a bit. The removable tilt table is a very nice option. Overall, it is a quality Delta tool and just like anything else, you get what you pay for. For the price and quality, I would recommend it, but try one first; you may want to spend a little more and upgrade.
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on February 28, 2001
I have had one of these for many years and use it mostly 3/4 pine projects (some red oak and maple also). It handles the job it was designed for well (home use), if you try to push the machine it just won't handle it well (and you my want a stronger machine for that). The belt sizes and disc size (along with the 1/3 hp motor) dictates the maximum stock sizes you should try to use with it. If you want to use it to sharpen tools instead of a grinder, it will do that also. Just be sure to remove all sawdust before you do, the metal sparks and filings could ignite inside the sander. The sander is also pretty quiet for its type (at least quieter than the competitors) and also operates smoother. It would be nice if Delta offered a second table as an inexpensive option.
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on January 16, 2000
This sander is light duty. But not too bad of a tool. One of the best uses for it is to use it instead of a grinder. The slower speed really make it well suited to grinding and shaping edges. And for polishing work. Use the blue zirconia belts and you will be able to grind like crazy. I found the disc is only good for steel that is soft as it is too fast for wood or hardened steel. I have ground almost 100 plane irons and other tools on mine and it is stilll going. I use it atlest a hour a day. For the price it is a good little tool.
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on April 30, 2002
What you get with this tool is a 4x36 belt sander and a 6" aluminum disc sander. The disc sander plate on my machine was so badly warped that I just threw it out. So you are basically getting this machine for the belt sander.
This is a fair compromise, except that there is a flaw in the design that prevents one from fully using the 4x36" belt size. The clamping boss that holds the sander table and drum turnarounds extends above the surface of the table (like 1-1/4"). This means you cannot sand large flat areas over about 7 inches deep. You must saw off the boss and remount the entire table to utilize the machine like you had planned when you bought a stationary belt sander of this size.
When you do so, you realize through the screws that won't unscrew (and which you drill out one after another) that the machine was not meant to be serviced.
The drive belt pulley on the primary drum is plastic. Mine is warped, so the belt only stays on with excessive belt tension....
The motor is not sealed, has no overload protection, is clearly underpowered, and its body casting is from some other machine design, bought by Delta's procurement people.... This is too bad since it means you cannot replace the motor. The included sanding belt is as poorly made as I have seen, so plan to get something better.
This all said, after rebuilding, the machine works. I don't exactly trust the plastic drive-belt pulley, nor do I like resetting my 40 Amp shop breaker when the machine bogs down. This is an overpriced tool that was not thoughtfully designed or carefully manufactured. This machine proves that Delta is more of a marketing company than a tool company--they got me to buy the thing, and for this I am regretful.
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on January 17, 2005
I purchased on of these at Lowes for $90. Initially I attempted to used it in the horizontal position. With only very light pressure the speed would slow down drasticaly. When I removed the piece of wood I was working on the belt speed remained reduced and the motor began to smoke. On attempting to restart the motor the rpm's remained low and I shut it off before it started smoking again. I had to start the sander with the belt disengaged and then re-engage the belt. On attempting to use the sander in a vertical position, I found that the platen would not stay vertical to the table surface. There was about 10 degrees of play in it. When I returned it to Lowes the tool manager showed me in the operating instrucions that the platen is set to vertical with respect to the FINGER GUARD, not the table. I couldn't believe it. Delta expects you to use the 1 inch wide finger guard and not the table as a work surface when sanding at 90 deg.. Pathetic. Thank goodness Lowes took it back in retun or I would have had a very expensive boat anchor.
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on December 26, 2009
It seems people have trouble with newer ones. It's possible Delta changed contractors or suppliers on parts.

I bought mine about 1995, and just now had to replace the idler wheel assembly. The switch, belt, motor and drive pulley are all original and sturdy. I use mine daily, hundreds of times on and off, for sharpening knives, shaping metal and wood parts for knives and guns, truing surfaces and sanding/polishing.

It is possible to stop the belt with fairly stiff pressure--this is a 4X36 low speed unit, not a Wilton Square Wheel or Bader production grinder. However, I often find those too fast at stock removal, which is where this one comes in.
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on November 3, 2008
Delta tools used to be good. At this point, I'll never buy another one.

Bought this a while ago, and never got around to using it (got what I thought was a good deal, bought it for "sometime")

So now I'm trying to use it to true up some planes I bought off ebay. The motor is smoking under NO LOAD. This is simply appalling quality.

In the process of trying to repair it, I've found that per a previous review it isn't very easily repaired. Getting to the drive belt seems to require disassemnling the entire machine, which is absurd.

Basically, no bargain even at a bargain price. I think this goes into the lessons learned category, and that lesson is never buy Delta. Sadly, they seem to be yet another American company trading off a historic reputation for quality, while putting out junk. And then wondering why they are slowly going out of business...
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on December 27, 2013
I've had mine for at least 10 years now. Never had a problem until yesterday when I forgot to keep an eye on the belt when sanding some maple on the disk - belt shift caused the motor to bind and smoke. My own fault not watching the darn thing. I know in the old days the motor had enough power to make the belt tear into the side when that happened, the old girl has seen better days. I can still sand by making her groan with the flick of the switch and pimp slapping her to work.

This is a small, lightweight unit, perfect for a home garage. I just move it around to where ever it's needed, never had to bolt it down, clamped a corner at the most. This is a sander, not a grinder, so perfect for controlling the piece being shaped. If I really need to grind some material away - I use a grinder.

I'm giving this 5 stars just because it's gone through my abuse tests without letting me down, day after day, year after year. I started just sanding an edge down on a piece of pine, and using as a jointer on small boxes. It's done Mahogany and Purple Heart, Maple - the rubber belt holds fine and still looks brand new. I've used it to grind tool steel and turned around and used it to frame a teardrop trailer where 90% of the joints were curved and angled. I've edged and shaped 1/4" glass on the thing, (if you've never tried this, it opens up a whole new world).

The vacuum system just works, which seems to be a complaint on other brands; vacuum port right there on the left hand side where I can get to it easy. It has two simple holes in the frame to store the alan wrenches. I figured i would lose these right way the way I move it around, but they are still there. My only complaint about the design is the wrenches work on every common thing you need on this thing, except for the lower disk cover. For some reason they decided to use Phillips head screws. Wouldn't be bad if I didn't need to remove this plate to change the paper. I've thought about changing those screws, so I can't fault the tool for my own laziness. The aluminum disk plate comes off with a puller. It's too small for my standard sized pullers, but have found a couple 1/4 x 20 bolts and a faucet handle puller works great.

I know this motor isn't going to last much longer. Replacements for OEM are running between $100 and $200 for this discontinued unit, which is the cost for a new, different unit. I've looked these over and it looks like they've tried to improve - except they added parts, which goes against the simple design I like about my Delta. Looks like it's time to hot rod this old girl.
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on July 4, 2007
I find that this is a good buy as far as small stationary belt sanders go. The belts change easily. Although there is a disc I have found that I do not use it all that much. This belt sander is perfect for grinding (before sharpening) plane blades and such. If you are thinking about a small belt sander for production work, this would not be a recommended tool. For the weekend putterer it fits the bill.
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