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on February 21, 2009
I've have this sander for a year now and am nothing but pleased. It's performed wonderfully. Plenty of power, very beefy and table stays put, and removes material super quickly. I highly recommend it! For the money, I don't think you can beat it.
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on November 29, 2007
I have only had the sander about a month now but find it very useful. It is excellent for sanding small pieces. I especially appreciate the table that can be placed in front of the disc or the belt sander.
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on December 5, 2007
This is a basic tool, but nevertheless very functional. Here's the scoop:

Good:
1. Smooth running belt with easy to use and effective tensioner and tracking adjuster.
2. Flat disk platen with very little runout. Workpiece does not dance around when sanding with the disk.
3. Effective dust collection.
4. Sturdy cast iron table that can be moved between the disk and belt. The table is ground really flat, and has a nice look to it. It also has a very decent angle adjustment for bevel sanding.
5. The machine delivers completely satisfactory results.
6. The price is right.

Bad:
1. Stamped steel housing (rather than cast iron). It took me by surprise, but I can't say that the base suffers a lot from being stamped steel.
2. Cheesy plastic miter gage. I'd be embarrassed about this gage if I were a Hitachi Rep. The good news here is that I almost never use a miter gage on a sander.
3. Too much plastic. This may not be a functional problem (the jury is still out), but I don't like the looks of it. There appears to be no plastic used for structural parts - just on guards and such.

My overall impression is positive. This is a nice but basic sander that does everything a sander should. I will keep it and I think be happy with it. Hitachi's warranty is for 1 year.

Update at 1 year: Still happy. The dust collection works better than expected. No breakage. No problems.

Update at 2.5 years: Still happy. No problems.
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on March 25, 2008
2.5 year update. This thing has seen a lot use (abuse) and still works great. I would have never guess. This was just an interim sander until I could save my pennies, but I used those pennies to buy a drum sander. Very happy with my purchase.

I like to consider myself a fairly experienced woodworker. This sander has a lot of good qualities, but it also has a few shortfalls.

Pros:
1. Price. Over anything, it is worth the price. You always get what you pay for.

2. Does a decent job of sanding. I mean it is no Delta but it does its designed job of removing wood.

3. Dust collection is great for a benchtop tool. I hooked it into my shop vac and the table always stayed clear and there wasn't any fine particle dust in the air. One of my best benchtop tools for dust collection. The bag that comes with it is pretty cheesy. I could have duct taped a pillow case to the side and achieved the same results. The included clamp is great.

4. Lots of cast iron. Hence the weight.

5. Removable table. It is nice to have a table for both the disk and the belt.

6. Easy to change the belt and disk pad.

7. Adjustable angle belt. You can lay down the belt and work on a large radius. Of course dust collection is useless during this operation, but it is a nice option. I have found quite a few uses for it.

8. Belts are cheap and long. Keeps them clean and sharp.

9. Took me less than 5 minutes to assemble and packaging was decent.

10. Motor. The motor starts quick and is plenty powerful. A good strong point for me.

Cons.
1. Removable table. What a pain in my [...]. Send two tables! You need to square and adjust the distance on the table each time you move it. Takes 60 seconds, but having two tables set-up would be wonderful. I would actually buy a second table as an option.

2. Stamped steel base and plastic. 1/2 of this thing is cast iron, the other half is plastic and stamped steel. All of the guards are plastic and the base is stamped steel. I'm all for weight reduction/cost savings, but not in places where it matters.

3. My disk was out of alignment. (.042") The instruction manual does not address this. A little adjustment with some force brought it into "Good enough for me" specs

4. Weight. I know, I know, you can't complain about a stamped steel base and weight at the same time. I think a little engineering would go a long way in making this the same weight if not lighter with proper castings. Now this isn't the lightest benchtop tool I own. I would say that everything except my 13" planer and concrete driveway are lighter.

5. Don't even send me a miter gauge if it is going to a certifiable piece of crap. It just makes your machine look bad. And to top it off, it didn't even slide through the miter slot without getting stuck. I have seen better miter gauges for $.99 at the "Freight store down by the harbor"

It arrived without box damage from Amazon, but yet the stamped steel base was bent. A quick adjustment with an adjustable wrench and I was good to go. It works well as a sander if you have patience. I would recommend this tool to anyone that is a intermediate woodworker. Professionals might laugh at it. I personally will enjoy it for a few more years.
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on December 14, 2007
I have been shopping for a while and had my eye on the Delta after my father picked one up. Hitachi came out with this model at the perfect time to entice me away from Delta and I am super happy with my purchase.

The unit weighs over 50 pounds - 10 pounds heavier than the Delta. It does have a stamped base but it is thick enough to support the unit and the base is wide to give it stability. It seems to be very sturdy.

The plasic guards and the miter guage are cheesy but effective - the rest of the materials are heavy and durable.

Belt runs smooth as glass and the disc is balanced true. The unit is super quite too.

I highly recommend this unit over even the craftsman products.

Note: Amazon had to ship this 3x due to damage incurred during the shipping process. The first one shipped had a bad weld on the table. Amazon immediately shipped a replacement that was dropped by DHL. The third one was dropped but not as hard making it viable on arrival. Amazon customer support was phenominal.
Hitachi Customer support was contracted to get a replacement part and one was sent but it was the wrong part. Either way, they did respond in a timely manner.
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on April 27, 2009
I was ready to buy this Hitachi sander to replace my old Delta benchtop sander, which had a driveline problem. Fortunately, I realized, after I had it in my cart, that the Hitachi sander is just a poor design for SANDING. The Hitachi sander seems well-made, sturdy, and I have great respect for the quality of their tools. The Hitachi sander seems designed primarily for two things: 1. to collect dust, and 2. to prevent operator error by limiting the chance for a kick-out of the workpiece. These are great goals, but the Hitachi design cripples its use as a SANDER. All these 4" x 36" belt sanders have spindles about 15" apart. My old Delta could sand a 30" long table leg just fine, if you removed the bar across the platten. (Re-install the bar afterwards.) There is no chance of sanding a piece longer than about ten inches on the Hitachi - that is all the belt that shows beyond the substantial plastic dust collection housing. This sander is probably fine for small parts only.
For greater usefulness in actual sanding, consider other brands like Skil, Sears, and Delta.
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on March 3, 2008
So in general, this seemed like a great sander (solid, good dust collection, strong motor, not too loud, etc...) as noted in the other reviews, except for one flaw that was a deal breaker for me. The disc sander was not perpendicular to the rod that it was on, so as the disc rotated it would get closer & then further away from the workpiece which meant that it would end up sanding at an angle. There was probably at least 1/8" of travel in and out at the edges of the disc. What this meant is that anything that was sanded on the disc would end up angling to the side. I looked in the manual and didn't find a way to adjust this, and figured that if I opened it up to try I'd void my warranty, so I just shipped it back to Amazon (no hassle from them as usual). My box wasn't damaged at all, so I didn't think it was due to shipping problems, just a manufacturing defect. If a large number of people said that they measured the wobble in the disc and there wasn't any discernable wobble, I'd contemplate buying again at some point. I'd just recommend to people that they check this if they get one of these tools so that they don't end up with crooked miters and wonder why... It's easy to check: just put on the miter table, and then at the edge of the table measure the distance from the table to the disc and see how this distance varies as you rotate the disc by hand.

If I had not had this problem, I probably would have given 4-5 stars.
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on July 8, 2010
I picked this sander up at a large home improvement store that "builds things together" with me. It was on clearance from $190, but I got it for $99.
Out of the box I noticed that the sheet metal base had been bent-in in a couple of places. I attributed this to poor handling rather than to a problem with Hitachi. It was easily straightened with some pliers.
It was very easy to assemble (or perhaps simply adjust) the tool, and it was up-and-running within 15 minutes. That included the time it took to locate some mounting hardware in my many drawers of screws and bolts.
The table was easy to square up to the disc, there does not appear to be any run-out, the belt runs true with simple adjustments, and the dust bag does its job effectively.
Overall, I highly recommend this tool.
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on September 4, 2009
I bought the Hitachi SB10Y to replace the Delta I had that failed after only about 2 years of intermittent light service. The Hitachi runs smoother and seems to have more power than the Delta. I expect that it will last longer too. The Delta uses a plastic pully that cant handle the tork. I would have repaired it but then I read that some people were having to replace the motor as well. So the Delta goes on the trash pile the next time the brush truck is coming through. And yes the plastic miter looks kind of cheap but it works well enough to give me accurate enough miters to make picture frames. So long live my Hitachi SB10Y and by by piece of junk Delta.
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on April 11, 2008
I need a belt sander which can handle long pieces of stock. The backstop on the Hitachi machine is not removable (in spite of what I was told over the phone) limiting its use to only pieces of a foot or so in length.

I returned the sander and purchased a Ryobi which cost less money and also easily (one bolt) converts to a belt surface either with or without the backstop. The Ryobi does need to be hooked up to an auxillary vacuum for dust collection, but when attached to my shopvac collects dust even without the backstop attached, unlike the Hitachi which apparently only works with the backstop.

Too bad that Hitachi doesn't also have this feature, as it appeared to be a good machine otherwise.
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