In this review, we’ll be looking at two of Bucktool’s belt and disc combination bench sanders, the BD4801 and the BD4603. Both of these units offer the same set of features and we’ll be setting our sights on how each might give you value for your money.
Both sanders come from Bucktool’s assembly line. The founders and designers of the company boast of having 30 years of experience in working with power tools and with working the supply chain in power tool manufacturing despite Bucktool itself only having been around since 2008.
When looking at bench sanders, the key things users should be looking at is the motor and how it relates to sanding efficiency, how tough the product is, its ability to suck up the sand it generates, and its other user-friendly features. Let’s get into those right now.
Table of Contents:
- Bucktool BD4801 Vs. Bucktool BD4603: Which Should You Buy
- Bucktool BD4801 vs Bucktool BD4603: Which is Better?
- Final Thoughts
Both products possess the same exact build and almost the same exact features.
If you’re working with a smaller budget and you don’t mind a smaller disc, you can buy the BD4603. If budget is not a problem but and an 8-inch disc sander spins your wheels you should go for the BD4801.
Bucktool BD4801 Vs. Bucktool BD4603: Which Should You Buy
The BD4801 eats away at the burrs of project surfaces using the power of a 5 Amps motor. When the wheel spins, its will rev up to its maximum of 3450 rpm quickly for intense sanding right off the bat.
The belt sander component revs up to 2161 fpm and will smooth out and finish projects as designed. Both belt and disc sander perform well and will not stop even if users apply extra pressure on the wood or metal they are working on.
Users looking for variable speed controls will be disappointed with this one since the BD4801 does not offer that option. Maybe Bucktool will design a bench sander with variable speed in the future.
As for user-friendliness, the tracking knob on the belt does give its users some relief from the belts tracking too much to the left or to the right. The knob automatically re-centers the belt without a fuss on the end of the user.
Form Factor and User Friendliness
The cast aluminum body gives the Bucktool BD4801 a solid and tough appearance. Its main body will be able to stand up to abuse because of the case. We cannot say the same for the other parts of the sander since some of them are made of plastic.
Some users have broken some parts just by installing or assembling the sander so one gets the impression that it’s a 5-star product thanks to its casing but it is hobbled down to 1 to 2 stars because of its poorly made attachments.
This sander has two ports, one for the belt and one for the disc. Bucktool is selling a Y-fitting hose so users will only need just one vacuum unit for both ports.
All in all, we can say the dust collection is pretty average. It fails to catch the finer wood dust so users working with certain wood types must wear masks to avoid inhaling them.
What We Like:
- Users no longer have to make belt tension adjustments nor change the damage belt for this product, unlike other competing models.
- Improved induction motor design provides 25% better sanding performance.
- Belt lends itself to easy adjustments from 0 to 90-degree articulation so users can sand their projects better.
What We Don’t Like
- The sanding belt area is not entirely flat and the bump limits the length of the boards a user can sand.
- Dust collection is not as efficient as other sanders in the market.
Like the BD4801, the BD4603 operates using on the energy generated by a 5.0 Amps motor. Users who want to work using the disc sander can expect the disc to 3450 rpm and the belt sander at 2161 fpm.
Both of these components performed sanding work efficiently without any hiccups caused by exerting too much pressure against their belts.
Since this product does not offer variable speed settings, both the belt and the disc will rev up to their max speeds after the user switches the sander on. This means users won’t have the flexibility of dictating how fast they’ll prep or finish a surface.
Form Factor and User Friendliness
Much like the BD4801, the Bucktool BD4603 comes protected by a solid aluminum casing with some plastic parts. Again, there’s the problem with shroud limiting the length of the wood you can put on the belt area but users can easily resolve this by removing this plastic part and keeping it off.
Being to move the belt from 0 to 90 degrees gives users some flexibility in how they might sand areas of their project which is a plus.
The tracking knob, another useful feature found in the BD4801, is also a welcome addition to this unit as it makes managing the belt easier.
Again, Bucktool should be designing the dust collection of their units. The dust ports for this unit angle downwards instead of up to properly catch the dust from projects.
Users have to make adjustments in order to resolve this by using shop vac adapters that might take up the slack the ports leave off.
What We Like:
- Since it’s a direct drive motor and not a gear-driven one, the sanding belt remains tense so users do not have to adjust it every so often.
- Better track control will help you focus on the sanding job at hand by making users stop worrying about the belt going off-place.
- Driven drum form factor allows you to sand curved projects.
What We Don’t Like
- Plastic covers on the form factor, particularly on the side of sanding disc and sanding belt, may melt due to high heat from sanding metal projects.
- The belt sander and the disc sander are on opposite sides of the product and will require users to manually move their projects on opposite ends of the table or to manually turn the sander over to another side.
- Changing belts can actually be inconvenient. Users will have to remove the leg attachment and the plastic protective shroud to actually change the sanding belt.
Bucktool BD4801 vs Bucktool BD4603: Which is Better?
If you make a side by side comparison, both of the tools are virtually indistinguishable from one another. The only difference is the size of their sanding discs. The BD4801 has an 8-inch wide disc while the BD4603 only has a 6-inch one.
You should pick the Bucktool unit that fits your budget or fits your sizing requirements in regards to the disc. Both units are good buys and you only need to make some small adjustments like removing the plastic shroud to fit your work style.
For a pretty young company, Bucktool has already provided its users with two solid bench sanders. Fine, the products aren’t perfect but the user-friendly parts like the tracking knobs, the belts you can reticulate from 0 to 90 degrees, and the direct-drive motor show the designers thought hard about their products designs.
It’s just a matter of time before the design thinking overtakes the small design issues.
Overall, Bucktool satisfies its users with the BD4801 and the BD4603 and the company is quick to provide the dissatisfied few with replacements and extra-parts. We’re looking at a company with promising prospects and we can’t wait for their next generation of power tools.