Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Ridgid EB4424 Sander, Oscillating/Edge Belt
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on December 29, 2009
I'm impressed. First, let me qualify my evaluation of this machine by saying that I am a (very) long-time veteran professional woodworker and I have a shop full of really good tools. I never buy junk to "save money."

That said, I'm impressed with this tool. For a lot of years I've been using my drill press with drum sanders to do what I bought this tool for. For years, I've been looking for drum sanders that are at least round, if not even (way too much to ask for) concentric to their arbor shafts. For the last few years that more and more spindle sanders have been showing up in the tool catalogs, I've been reading the reviews. I was not impressed, although I was ready to try one just because a lot of my work involved standing at that drill press being irritated by the drum sanders I could find.

Along came the Ridgid EB 4424. My favorite (by far) contractor's table saw is my Ridgid TS 3650, which is an amazing tool that brought Ridgid tools to my attention a few years ago. So when I saw the EB 4424 in one of my woodworker's magazines. I then went on to read the reviews on the machine and they were about 90% positive. Very positive. So when our local H-D here in Hawai`i had the tool for sale at the Mainland price of $199, I went for it. Have I said that I'm impressed?

Yesterday I started in on a new project, a case for another of my stained-glass-and-fine-woods lamps. Many of these cases include lots of compound curves. I set up the sander (took about 3 minutes) and tried if for a few basic operations. Within a few hours, I found myself using this thing more than any other single tool in my well-endowed shop.

When I bought it, I felt, yeah, it was also a belt sander, but hey, I had a big stationary belt sander so why would I ever need this one? A gimmick, right?

I can't express how cool it is to have this small belt sander available with it's tilt table and almost instant belt-changes (for different grits, in my case) available while leaving my stationary sander intact and not having to constantly change settings.

OK, back to the spindle sander. It takes about one minute to change the machine from belt to spindle mode, and about the same amount of time to change drum sizes. Before, I would have to set up my drill press with a special table clamp-on jig and then suffer through the wobbly, imprecise sanding drums available for this purpose. Those days are over! What a pleasure to have this precision machine for sanding curves at exactly 90 degrees to the work surface, or any angle I would want by adjusting the nice, flat, generous-size table.

I could go on and on, but just look through the existing reviews and see for yourself. Take heed that the few people who give any product one star because they just felt it was a "piece of junk," you have to consider the source. Yes, there are lemons. So take it back to H-D and get a replacement. No sweat. But many of the negative reviews on any product need to be considered along with the positive ones. Consider the source for the reviews. Was the writer a weekend tool user who had no experience with power tools? Was it a professional who had some valid comparisons with which to author a review?

Oh, one more thing, when I used my drill press with drum sanders, the sanding operation made a huge mess of sawdust flying in every direction. The Ridgid has a 2-1/2" dust-collection port that fits any standard shop vac, and connects into any shop dust-collection system with a standard adapter. While not a perfect solution, this dust collector picks up like 90% of the dust. There is no dust in the air, and only a small amount accumulates on the worktable. As dust collection systems go, I love it!

Bottom line: Ridgid has come up with another winner. If you have a use for this substantial and flexible machine, go for it!
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on October 25, 2009
I researched spindle sanders for about a week or so before making a decision to buy the Ridgid EB4424. I liked the idea that it is "multi-purpose" - functioning both as a spindle sander and a belt sander with a tilt table. I couldn't find anything else that offered all the features that the Rigid does, and the $250 price seemed too good to be true (most other spindle sanders cost more, sometimes MUCH more, but with fewer features). I almost didn't buy it because of the low price (made me somewhat suspicious). However, I have other Ridgid products and they have been very reliable.

Shopping the web for pricing, I ran across a great deal...new units for $199, but also found factory reconditioned units priced even lower than that. I decided to take a gamble and order a factory reconditioned unit and paid only $150! Figured if I didn't like it, or if the recon didn't work properly, I could return it. Thankfully, I found it works perfectly and it has found a permanent home in my workshop!

Upon opening the box, the interior packaging looked brand-spanking new and everything inside it was in new condition. No sign at all that this was a recon unit. (The only clue that it was reconditioned was the owner's manual had "Reconditioned Unit One-Year Warranty" printed on the cover.)

Set-up is minimal and simple. When I checked the adjustable table-half to see if it was level in relation to the stationary table-half, I found the table did not need any adjustment whatsoever! The only adjustments I made was to the Allen screws under where the orange plastic spindle table insert fits into. Easy, 2 minute job. Ridgid even includes the 3/32" Allen wrench. They thought of everything it seems.

I've used it now for 8 months (purchased Feb. 2009), and I couldn't be more pleased. I use the belt-sander attachment to true-up miter joints, straight joints, and general "flat" sanding tasks for small boxes and the like. Swapping out the belt sander attachment to convert to a spindle sander takes less than a minute.

Of course, the oscillating/rotary spindle is the main reason I bought the unit and it has exceeded my expectations. The motor has plenty of "oomph" and makes quick work of sanding the interior and exterior sections of curved wood cutouts and so on. I really enjoy how Rigid designed the entire unit. The built-in storage keeps all the accessories and attachments neatly stowed and is very handy indeed!

I consider the Ridgid EB4424 a bargain at any price. You get 2 tools in one and the unit performs better than advertised. If you've been thinking about adding a spindle sander to your workshop, I think you will be well-pleased choosing the EB4424!

EDIT: I just noticed (Oct. 25, 2009)that in the EB4424 product description posted on Amazon.com shows the unit weighs 300 pounds! NO - not so! It weighs just over 40 pounds is all.
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on February 21, 2013
This sander is very good, but You can buy these direct from Home Depot for $199.00, so are you seriously trying to sell it here for $345.00?
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on November 15, 2010
This has been quite an upgrade from my previous methods of sanding - hand belt sanding (never comes out at quite 90 degrees), or drum sanders on the drill press (I can never find sanding drums taller than 1-2 inches). The sander is marketed to homeowners, and small businesses and it really fills a niche. It won't replace a random orbit sander, but it is a great compliment to any shop. I selected the Ridgid sander based on my positive experience with their tools in the past (drill press, shop vacs), and because the belt sander/spindle sander combo is not available anywhere else. The belt tracking adjustment is easy and effective (a single knob), and a quick-release makes belt changes simple like on a hand belt sander. Another feature that stood out above the delta sander is the tilting table. This is actually extemely useful. I use a miter gauge and the tilting table to chamfer the ends of through-tenons. It gives a better finish, and is easier to set up than the router table (no splintering).
Belt changes and switchover to the spindle is quick, easy and tool-free as others have mentioned. The unit weighs only 40 lbs, so you can easily move it around the shop as needed (unlike cast-iron stationary tools). I put it on a 31-1/2" high rolling cabinet which raises the work surface to a comfortable height. Onboard storage slots for all accessories is included, and much appreciated. Fine woodworking rated it best overall and best value, which is quite an honor.
Icing on the cake is the built-in dust collection port. When attached to my Jet DC 650 dust collector, the fine dust is whisked away. You will only see minimal buildup on the tabletop which occasionally needs to be brushed into the dust collector vents.
Update: 2 months later the sander started throwing belts. The adjustment knob no longer improved tracking. I figured the belt had stretched after two months of moderate use. When I pulled the belt off, I figured out the smaller spindle on the belt sander had broken. There was some melted plastic in the tray below. Ridgid advises you to avoid sanding with the small spindle side of the belt sander. That is the tracking mechanism. I never sanded on that side - only on the flat belt, or on the large spindle side. I took it to home depot and they exchanged it without hassle because it was within 90 days. I made sure to re-register for the lifetime service warranty with Ridgid. I figure it was just a fluke, and maybe a nut didn't get installed at the factory. I still rate this 5 stars because the belt sander is so useful, and this combination is not available anywhere else.

Second uddate: The second unit was giving me an electrical shock through the table while sanding. To make sure it wasn't static shock from my dust collector, I unplugged and disconnected the dust collector. The sander still shocked me repeatedly. Once again I took it back for an exchange at Home Depot. No questions asked, and I was back in business. I have downgraded my rating to 4 stars because reliability has come into question. Still, when I look at the Jet of Delta sanders - I don't want to give up the belt sander and tilting table features. I will stick with it for now because it is an incredibly useful sander, and I use it on every project I complete.
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on September 19, 2010
I have owned one of these for about 2 years, used it hard and it has been useful. Belt tracking has always been hit and miss. I have to give Ridgid an A+ for the configuration, nobody else produces a edge sander in this configuration at any price. .
Anyways the lightduty bearings in the motor are now failed and it will not start reliably . I now need another but will not buy the Ridgid brand because of too much plastic and light construction. These units are not rebuildable. They are a throwaway.
The EB4424 sander is a working unit for a couple of years but lets just say these will not be around for your grandkids to use. Ridgid tools just barely work. They are not a high quality brandname.
RJR
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on December 4, 2013
The Ridgid warranty is crap. After jumping through many hoops to register the thing… it has been in repair for almost FOUR MONTHS! Ridgid will not replace it and the authorized repair place cannot fix it… I will never buy another RIDGID product based on their marketing only approach to a warranty.
They sell based on a warranty but do not provide the warranty when needed… Nobody is authorized to replace a product in customer service!! Unbelievable...
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on March 19, 2008
One of the best sanding tools that I have used. I build strip kayaks and canoes and this tool is invaluable in sanding angles and bevels in wood stripping. Saves time and lots of work. Keeps on ticking.
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on December 16, 2012
First, I don't know if this tool is still sold by Home Depot, but the Amazon listing price seems very high. I didn't pay nearly this much for mine.

Second, it would appear that there are occasional quality control issues with this tool. There are several people who are very happy with their sander and some who report almost instant breakdown.

I've used mine for several materials it wasn't built to handle - Aluminum strip springs to mind - but I always use it with a shop-vac attached and working for dust evacuation (a Rigid shop-vac as it happens) - and I always strip it and clean it after use.

Okay.

The machine has a driven spindle that oscillates up and down as it spins. Sleeves can be fitted over this, over which sanding drums can be fitted for sanding complex curved shapes, or it can be fitted with a belt sanding attachment, which was why I bought it.

I needed to engineer a hexagon in maple from triangles and couldn't get the accuracy with my miter saw. Despite setting up the tool with an engineer's protractor there was still what amounted to a half degree in accuracy arising somewhere. I used an engineer's square to check the miter slot for being out of parallel with the belt but couldn't see the problem.

There was a problem with the table apron, which is adjustable and has click detents at popular carpentry angles. Turned out the protractor was slightly out of adjustment, and in fact the slot needed to be drilled out with my drill press so the apron could be properly set to zero degrees. The slot had been machined too short.

The error was small, and I found it by sanding a piece, coating the sanded face with pencil scribble, and then turning the piece upside down and resanding.

The belt being out of parallel with the miter slot was still a problem because my measurements couldn't detect it.

Then I paired the machine with IncraMiter V27 Miter Gauge and was able to correct the minute error in minutes.

I found the stop caused kickback on some of my small pieces, so I removed it. I intend to replace it with a proper fence someday. This introduces a new issue - sanding off the platen which causes "snipe".

So, the upshot is, you need to set this machine up properly in order to get top-notch results, and you really need a better miter gauge, and I recommend the Incra line of products.
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on June 25, 2014
When I tried to register the product with RIDGID, I discovered that unless it has been purchased from Home Depot, there is absolutely no warranty whereas If I had purchased the product from Home Depot it would have a lifetime warranty! I read several reviews beforehand that mentioned the motor going out so this is concerning to me. I wish I had seen a review that mentioned this little detail. Otherwise, I have just barely set up and used the sander which seems to be a great tool.
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on March 30, 2014
I have had this sander for 2 months now and it worked pretty good until today. I use it quite abit because I fabricate custom cutting boards. I noticed it was running a little different the day before so I shut it off readjusted the sanding belt again which has also been a problem. I left for the day. I came back the next day, turned it on, it made some growling noise, the spindle stopped turning and the motor started smoking. It died a horrible death, I kind of died too because I was in the middle of a project that needed to get done. Needless to say I packed it up and am taking it back to home depot for store credit. I am going to spend the money and buy one that is better quality which I should have done in the first place.
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