Kalamazoo 1SM Review

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Bench belt sanders are extremely useful for putting the final touches on a project, especially something small which requires refined work. It’s also a great option when you need to sharpen a blade. The Kalamazoo 1SM is exactly that, a simple and minimalist approach to a bench belt sander design, that will fit neatly on any workbench.

Dust & Abrasives

Power & Speed

By default, the 1SM is supplied with a 1/3 HP, single phase, 115V motor. At 115V, the motor runs at 1725 RPM. If you require, the unit can also be purchased for a 220V line as well as a 50hz supply which results in an operating speed of 1425 RPM. At 1725 RPM, the motor has a 4” drive wheel which results in an SFPM of 1800.

If you need to adjust the tracking of the belt, there is a simple lever at the top of the tool which allows you to get the belt running true. Turning the machine on and off is done by flipping a simple switch mounted on the front of the motor.

Size and Ergonomics

The 1SM is a fairly small bench sander. Its footprint is just 8 by 12 inches, and measures 22 inches high. It comes with mounting points for bolts, but if you’re not wanting to install it permanently, the sander can be mounted to a lightweight board, giving it a bit of stability. Even with the small footprint, the device’s motor adds a fair bit of weight (35 lbs) meaning it doesn’t move much when trying to sand.

To aid in grinding a work table is provided. It comes fixed in place at a horizontal position, but is held in place by a bolt which can be loosened and adjusted should you desire. The design leaves a fair amount of belt exposed, allowing you to sand in areas with a platen (which is removable) or a section higher up that is not supported. A belt cover at the top ensures the belt never slips off accidentally, and a full OSHA guard unit is also available.

Kalamazoo 1SM Video

Here is a short YouTube video that covers more of the features of the Kalamazo 1SM sander: