When working with timber, the right heavy duty belt sander will become your best friend. Here, we’re going tell you all about the Makita 9403 4”x24” Belt Sander. Is this belt sander the right choice? Is it worth the money?
Big sanding jobs take a strong and reliable belt sander but it can be difficult to find the right one for your project needs.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this tool with our Makita 9403 Belt Sander Review.
Makita 9403 4”x24” Belt Sander Motor
A belt sander’s motor determines the power and torque of the tool. The stronger the motor, the more amps it has which gives you more sanding power you can use at a faster pace.
This Makita 9403 belt sander model has a strong and durable motor with a whopping 11 amps of power, one of the highest that Makita has to offer. This amount of power lets you use this tool on even the toughest lumber.
Another great feature of this motor is the electronic speed control system. This system ensures that the belt sander doesn’t end up stalling while you’re sanding and maintains a constant speed, no matter how hard the lumber is.
If you’re looking for a quality belt sander, the most important feature to consider is always the sanding belt. This is the part that does all the hard work, acting as the middleman between the motor and the sandpaper.
The sanding belt for this Makita model is 4 inches wide and 24 inches long, about average for most belt sanders. These dimensions make it perfect for sanding jobs both large and small.
When it comes to sanding speed, this belt sander could be a bit better when compared to other power tool brands. This Makita belt sander’s top speed is only 1640 feet per minute. That said, it can still produce a nice finish, depending on the material and the grit of the sandpaper you’re using.
Finally, the sanding belt doesn’t use a typical manual belt centering system or manual belt tensioner. Instead, Makita uses an auto-track system. A spring coil applies a set amount of force to the sanding belt while keeping the belt tight, allowing enough give to keep the belt from breaking and acting as a shock absorber.
Makita 9403 4”x24” Belt Sander Dust Collection
The best belt sanders on the market have some kind of dust collection, though all systems are not equal. In this area, Makita does not disappoint.
This Makita model has a dust collection bag to keep your work area clean as well as protect you from breathing in any dust while you’re sanding. An exhaust fan is used to maneuver the dust and debris into the dust collection bag which is already attached to the belt sander. It also moves a full 360 degrees so you can move the dust bag around while you work so it isn’t in your way.
Ceramic Wear Plates
Instead of typical steel plates, this belt sander uses ceramic wear plates which have their own pros and cons.
Since ceramic doesn’t heat up quickly, the plates maintain their original shape longer so they last a long time. That said, if heat is applied to ceramic for too long, the material cracks and needs to be replaced. This can be an issue further down the road.
Noise is an important factor to consider, depending on where you do your woodworking. If you have your own shop, you have no reason to worry except about protecting your own ears from hearing damage. On the other hand, if you work in your garage, you should seek out quieter power tools for the sake of those around you.
Luckily, the noise level for the 9403 Makita Belt Sander is one of the lowest for a belt sander. It only produces 84 decibels when in use. Since there’s some give with the sanding belt, vibration isn’t much of an issue with this model. There will be a bit of vibration if you’re sanding rougher lumber but, for the most part, your comfort isn’t interrupted by heavy vibration.
The front grip for the 9403 4”x24” Belt Sander is designed for the comfort of the user. It uses a pistol grip so all you have to do is hold onto it and press the button to get it started. It’s super comfortable and leaves you a lot of room to hold on to.
That said, the knob grip could be improved. Depending on the size of your hands, the grip handles can be hard to keep a hold of while you’re working. This can be a big issue if your hands are on the larger side.
Even though the Makita 9403 4”x24” Belt Sander is an older belt sander model, it still stands up against newer models with its rich features.