The Rikon Power Tools 50-151 is a small desk tool that features an integrated belt and disc sanding surface. Rikon manufacture many different table top tools for a variety of industries, with this sander being ideal for working on small projects, and light-duty use.
Dust & Abrasives
While many other products in the market, especially older models, don’t feature any dust extraction, the Rikon 50-151 features two vacuum ports, one for the belt sander and one for the disc sander. The disc sander vacuum surface overlaps the disc, and removes dust directly from the disc, instead of making use of dust holes on the disc itself.
The belt sander is designed to accommodate 1” by 30” sanding belts, and the 50-151 is supplied with a 100-grit belt. The disc sander is intended for 5” discs and an 80-grit disc is supplied. Smaller discs can probably be installed, although not recommended. Rikon sell their own brand of abrasives, from 80-grit through to 220-grit in both belt and disc fashion.
To change discs, one needs to remove the table and adjustment handles. Sanding discs can be peeled off and replaced with suitable pressure sensitive adhesives. For the belt, the lock knob, belt guard and three screws need to be removed before tension is released on the belt. A new belt can then be slipped back on and parts replaced.
Power & Speed
This sanding tool draws a respectable 2.3A from a 120V source. While not the most powerful unit on the market, it has ample power for most of your sanding requirements. Both sanding surfaces are driven off the same motor concurrently, meaning you can switch between them with ease, and not have to wait for one to spin up while the other spins down.
The motor runs at 3,450 RPM, and is directly coupled onto the disc sander, which thus mirrors its speed. Speed is not controllable, but this is the norm for such tools, and shouldn’t impact your work. The belt runs at a speed of 3,270 SPFM.
Size & Ergonomics
While ergonomics is generally not as important with desk tools as with hand tools, Rikon still put effort into ensuring that working on the 50-151 is an easy and comfortable experience. The belt has a back plate that you can push your workpiece up against, and a large (almost 6” in diameter) tilt table surrounds the belt, allowing you to rest your piece on the surface and make minor adjustments to its position.
They haven’t ignored the disc sander either though, which features a similar cast aluminum table (7.25” by 4.75”) on which you can rest your workpiece. The table tilts from horizontal to 45o, and includes a miter gauge that slots in.
The entire unit has a footprint 13” by 15”, is 15” high and weighs just 16lbs. This makes it small enough to fit into any home workshop, without sacrificing too much of your sacred work surface. The low weight makes it easy enough to move about if you don’t have a fixed space for it, and it is supported by 4 height-adjustable rubber feet. If you want, the sander can be mounted to a workbench with either bolts or screws.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a sander for home use, the Rikon Power Tools 50-151 should definitely be on your list of considerations. While pricier than handheld equivalents, the level of work that you can achieve with a bench unit is much greater. Customer reviews of the unit are overwhelmingly positive, and the product is backed by Rikon’s 5-year warranty. A neat little tool, perfect for your next home project.