Skil Belt Sander archive
Friday 12 November 2010
Anthony Bailey finds out if the new belt sander from Skil is a smooth operator
The budget end of the tool market is often a place to avoid; the old adage you get what you pay for is more often than not, true. The Skil belt sander 7650 may well be a glorious exception to that rule.
It has all the features you would expect from today's belt sander: easy change belt, adjustable front handle, a speed control and extraction fitting. It also comes with the usual dust bag. The trigger is lock-on, essential when using it in inverted mode with the inversion clamps. The casing is a tough plastic, with rubber overmould grips on the front and rear handles
Intriguingly, this fellow comes with something called the Equalizer: no, not your very own enforcer, but a plate that fits to the bottom of the sander and under the belt, providing the role of a sanding frame to prevent dig-in. It's easy as pie to fit: just release the belt and slide under and it locks into place. Not only that, it works very well. It's not a true sanding frame, but does help with stability, and will prevent the worst of dig-ins. The belt tracking works well on the front wheel via an easy to turn knob, and the speed control is with easy reach of your thumb (for right-handers only).