Ryobi ZRBE318 Belt Sander Review

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The Ryobi Company is known for making quality inexpensive tools that can be used around the house and at job sites too. They offer power tools, die casting products, and other equipment all around the world. And they have group companies in the USA, Europe, Japan, and China as well.

For woodworkers, a belt sander is one of the most important things to have in one’s arsenal of power tools as woodworks always need to undergo smoothing and finishing jobs. Belt sanders are also useful in repairing and alternating already existing projects so as to fit with one’s current needs and requirements.

Ryobi offers different types of belt sanders, but the most popular model to date is the Ryobi ZRBE318; and this can be purchased in a brand new or refurbished condition. Needless to say, a Factory-Reconditioned Ryobi ZRBE318 5 Amp 3 in. x 18 in. Belt Sander is priced much lower than a new and unused item.

This particular Ryobi sander is a single speed (700 FPM) model; so the user is not presented with the option of varying its rotation speed when tackling different types of jobs. It is also one of the reasons why it’s cheaper than units that offer variable speeds in their features.

The Ryobi ZRBE318 is run by a 5-Amp motor which gives it enough power to handle tough jobs in workshops. It may not seem a lot, but the unit still requires proper handling from experienced woodworkers in order to be operated on safely and efficiently. Note that this is still a power tool; and not knowing how to use it can result in accidents and mishaps even when tackling on simple projects.

Top Features of the Ryobi Sander ZRBE318

As a 5-Amp portable power tool, the Ryobi belt disc sander packs a lot of power for simple jobs. Its single-speed functionality can be utilized by pressing on the trigger switch which is conveniently located on the unit’s handle. It even has a lock-on design so as to allow the operator to continuously work on a project without bothering to press on the trigger. Of course, you can also opt not to use the lock-on feature for stop and go jobs.

This model’s simple design also includes an easy to operate tension release lever that makes changing belt uncomplicated and trouble-free. The built-in belt tracking system also makes the machine’s belt alignment seamless for the perfect jobs.

This is a user friendly handheld belt sander; and it’s equipped with an 8-foot power cord to facilitate ease of movement during operation. And since it’s mainly made of plastic materials, it is very light at only about 6 pounds; so it’s easy to maneuver too. The handle is also ergonomically designed, so it’s really comfortable on the hands and won’t cause hand fatigue even when working on a project for a long time. Its compact appearance also makes it portable; so you can easily change job sites without having to lug a heavy equipment with you.

As with other standard models of belt sanders, the Ryobi Sander ZRBE318 also comes with a circular dust port that’s compatible with traditional vacuum cleaners so that said appliance’s dust compartment can be alternately used in place of the regular dust bag that comes with a sanding equipment. Note that although this model also includes a removable dust bag, some users simply find it insufficient for heavy duty sanding work.

When purchased brand new, the Ryobi belt disc sander is priced at around $50 to $70. Refurbished units, however, can be bought for much less; so you can save up to 50% when you go for such items. But as we all know, there are risks to getting used tools and appliances; so it would be wise to look for some kind of warranty or a good return policy when going for this option.

There’s no doubt about it that a Ryobi sander is a practical buy because it is typically 3 to 4 times cheaper than high-end brands and models of belt sanders. But based on user experience and product reviews, the ZRBE318 model is only best used for light woodworks as it may easily get broken when exposed to heavy type construction jobs.

If you want to look at another portable model of belt sander, you can read our full review of the Black and Decker BR318. By comparing both units, you will be able to determine if a particular model is more suitable to your needs.

Category: Reviews, Ryobi
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