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Old 05-28-2011, 02:25 PM
 
2,186 posts, read 7,528,085 times

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Makita 4" x 24" Belt Sander Model 9404

makita-4-x-24-belt-sander-model-9404 photo
Rating: 4 out of 5
  • Currently 4.0/5.0

The list price on this Makita sander is $358, but I was able to get mine for around $300. I had a project to do where I was sanding a bunch of 1 x 4's to reuse, so I wasn't interested in the 3" wide belt models. The materials that I was sanding varied from very rough to almost smooth, and I wanted to make them all finish out the same.

Another reason for buying the more expensive sander was the variable speed. My other sanders didn't have this feature, and I had countless situations when I needed a slower speed. I have made do in the past, and it would not have been a deal killer if this one hadn't had it either.

Most sanders I have used have a manual tracker that you have to screw to adjust the roller each time you replace the belt, but the 9404 has an automatic tracker that keeps the belt in line. This is a definite plus because of the time savings. So far, I haven't found it necessary to override or attempt to align a single belt.

The slight extra length of the belt from the 21" gives a longer base for the sander and makes it easier to keep the sander flat on the wood. This provides a more even sanding and decreases the risk of dipping caused when you rock the sander or accidentally "toe down" on the front.

In some ways, the location of the dust collector bag is good, but in others it isn't. I liked the side bag attachment of my other sanders because this rear one gets in the way of my back grip. Part of this may be because I'm just accustomed to the other kind.

I finished my project with the rough boards and was well pleased with the time that it required. If it hadn't been for the aged look of the wood, you would have thought the boards were new.

Since that project, I have been using the Makita on some furniture restoration work. Some of the old wood has several coats of thick paint, but the sander eats through them very well.

If you are only using a belt sander for limited work, you might want to save money and buy another size or brand. With the number of times I use a sander, this Makita 9404 is a good fit for my needs.

Review by professional reviewer, Oct. 2, 2010
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