I love this mid sized belt sander. I am a contractor so I know about tools. Every tool has a specific purpose and this sander fits in perfectly for what I need it to do. 9 amps is allot of power for a sander and thankfully this one has the variable speed. The variable speed switch is nicely located so that you can adjust the speed with your pinky finger while not taking your hands off the sander. The weight of this machine was actually less than what I was expecting. I have a larger 12 amp Bosch sander and was expecting this belt sander to weigh in closer to that, but it doesn't. This sander actually feels much lighter than the Porter Cable 352VS that this Hitachi is replacing. (On a side note, why is all of my loved Porter Cable tools turning into junk? Hopefully now that Stanely owns PC it will go back to normal.)This sander is made in Malaysia so it is not the norm China junk. The rubber grips are nice, belt tracking stays put for about forever, and the bushings are simple to replace, as it is on most Hitachi tools.
This is only my 2nd Hitachi tool, besides air nailers which is a given if you buy PRO grade tools. All of my cordless tools are Milwaukee, and then everything with a cord is either Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Bosch, and Makita. I have not owned any Black & Decker or Craftsman tools since I was a kid (yes, those are kid tools and should never be purchased except Craftsman for mechanics tools. The other reviewers of this tool I would disregard! I did read their reviews before deciding to purchase this sander. One complaint was that the motor was on the left side. Are you kidding me??? The reason why the dust collection is on the left side is to allow you to actually sand right up against something at a 90 degree angle! That is what a belt sander should do, it is a requirement, and it is more expensive to configure that tool to do so. Another person complained about the fact that this excellent sander will not fit under kitchen cabinets. Again, please disregard. If you buy a larger mid sized sander, which this is, it is because you need to do some quick heavy sanding. You should have other sanders for getting into small tight spots because larger sanders will not fit there because they are big and powerful. This is why I have a 1/4 sheet Bosch sander, a 5" random orbital Milwaukee, the small hand held Porter Cable belt sander, this Hitachi, and my larger Bosch belt sander. Buy a specific tool to do a specific job, learn how to use the tool to the fullest of its capabilities, buy the highest quality tools,and you will end up with professional results. With the fact that this belt sander has easily replaceable brushes lets me know, as a pro, that I can keep this sander running for years without much downtime. I wish other manufacturers would be so thoughtful as this.
Oh ya, one more thing. The dust collection actually works on this belt sander! This belt sander is a steal for under $200! Sorry about the rant but I hate it when someone gives a great tool a low star because they bought something without thinking about it first. I was reading the reviews on nail guns and can you believe that a guy gave a framing nailer a one star because he was angry at the fact that the nailer would not work without being hooked up to an air compressor! Maybe he has bought some tools in the past that run on pixie dust but my need either electric, batteries, gas, or air in order to perform their function. So if you need a larger mid sized belt sander, this one works perfectly.