|Product Name:||Ryobi ZRBE318 5 Amp 3 in. x 18 in. Belt Sander|
|Features:||The circular dust port allows for the use of a external vacuum or dust bag,Lock-on trigger for extended use,Quick and easy belt changes with the tension release lever,|
RYOBI ZRBE318 BELT SANDER REVIEW
The Ryobi ZRBE 318 was designed and built as a light duty machine. Because of its much lighter weight the ZRBE 3I8 is used in applications where much heavier belt sander cannot access. In the desire to remain unique the Ryobi has accompanied a locking trigger on the ZRBE318.This feature is not popular among other belt sanders.
2 Locking Trigger
Ryobi ZRBE 3I8 has locking trigger function which means when it is engaged, the belt sander does not switch off after the user releases pressure on the trigger.
The lock always ensure the trigger is pulled back, with this the motor keeps running. With such mechanism the Ryobi can take on long jobs. Paying more attention to the ZRBE318 design style, the lock trigger mechanism means that it can be operated using one hand especially in hard to reach areas.
3 Dust collector
The Ryobi ZBRE31 has a dust collection bag and a dust collection port. The dust port is an inch diameter so it is very easy to attach a dust collection bag. The dust collection system faces the same limitation like any other dust collection system, the cloth bag is so weak that some fine dust particles are able to penetrate through it.The use of a vacuum hose can make the dust collection system more effective.
4 Belt tracking
The ZBRE318 has manual belt tracking system although the lock system replaces the belt most of the times
USABILITY AND PERFORMANCE
The Ryobi ZRBE318 has a housing made of average consumer grade plastic which is strong enough to handle the normal day to day work. The platen in this machine is made of steel.
On the rear end the ZRBE318 has a standard pistol grip. This is a great design feature that allows the users to exert more downward and forward pressure while using the machine. Another clever design trick applied on this light duty sander is that the grip sits on a parallel position to the platen meaning the grip is more useful for downward pressure.
The Ryobi also comes with a front grip for resting the other hand. Griping the sander with both hands can be important especially when one expected to handle long sanding hours of work. The front grip enables better handling of the machine and gives the user a place to rest the other hand which can help reducing fatigue.
Although the front grip is quite small it is perfectly placed for sander control.
The Ryobi ZRBE318 weighs roughly 6.5 pounds. Considering the weight this classified as a light duty belt sander. Taking into account the motor size and the light weight you will note that this machine was meant for household use.
While working with this machine you might find yourself constantly pushing the back of the belt in order keep belt in contact with the work surface. The Ryobi ZRBE318 being light means that the user must apply more force on the sander to operate effectively.
On heavy jobs that require sanding in an upside down or vertical position this can be your perfect sanding tool.
The Ryobi has quite a small motor that only produce 5.3 amps of power. With this kind of power the ZRBE318 cannot chew through wood as quick as other bigger motors. On fairly dense materials the machine performs fair enough.
The Ryobi ZRBE318 has a single speed of operation. With such kind of motor on board, variable speed control would not have any effect towards the operation of this machine.
Ryobi designed the ZRBE318 with the sole intention of making it a light duty machine.
This machine uses the 3″x18″ belt. This medium size belt is fair enough to handle quite bigger jobs. Since the belt is rather common replacing it is very easy and fairly cheap.
The 5.3 amp motor can power the belt at a speed of 700 square feet per minute. This speed is very low compared to other sanders on the market.
I tend to believe if Ryobi would have used a slightly bigger motor it would have improved the performance of ZRBE318.
The presence of plastic lip extending over the nose of the sanding belt, means flushing is not possible in this machine.
The Ryobi ZRBE318 is a fairly light-duty belt sander. What Ryobi as brand had in mind was to develop a basic light machine to handle normal household sanding project. From my point of view they have achieved their goal because on overall the ZRBE318 is very good machine without comparison to other machines. This machine good especially for beginners