Oscillating edge/ spindle sander

Guys, my Wen oscillating edge/spindle sander let out the magic smoke last night.  Smelled so bad I had to strip down right inside the door and put my clothes straight in the wash.  Left the garage door cracked all night to air it out.  Yuck!

This tool gets a ton of use, so I'm in the market for a new one.  I see Ridgid has a new model.  Can anyone offer any thoughts on the current state of these products?

My Wen was extremely versatile, but it had some quirks that seemed like common complaints.  The table didn't raise enough to be perfect 90deg, the edge sander attachment would wobble a bit making your edge slightly crowned instead of flat, screws on the back plate behind the belt made for an uneven surface.  Noisy.

The Ridgid has been held in high regard for years.  The new version is 8lb heavier (supposedly sturdier?), improved dust collection (similar to, but my assessment is, still not quite as good as the Wen, which isn't saying much really), more powerful motor, flat top.  And $30 cheaper.  Seems the way to go?  It doesn't have the Ridgid lifetime warranty anymore, but I don't really care about that.  Is anyone aware of any other cost-cutting measures inside the unit that may affect longevity?

Alternatively, should I consider spending more on something like this?  I don't really care about cost because the unit gets used so much, but this one is definitely pushing my hobby budget.

Shop Fox W1717

I really like the outboard induction motor on this one, and what appears to be a sturdier build.  But reviews aren't as good.  Table is aluminum, not cast iron.

Thanks for any thoughts!

27 Replies

no experience with the Shop Fox.  Might be okay but for $150 more ?
I have a Ridgid.  Dust collection is fair.  Not too fond of the belt sanding on this machine. I would rather use a disc type. Oscillating spindle is handy for sure.  
I see Wen has a hand held oscillating spindle sander.  Wished I would have known about it before I bought the Ridgid model.  I would have given it a try.  Lot less $
One thing on the Ridgid that I was less than impressed with is the drum storage on the front.  I quickly took all that stuff out of those spaces and put them in a box.  My sander is mounted on a flip cart and all that stuff would fall out when I rolled the flip top over.  I see the new Ridgid has a little better design for the drum and washer storage but would be the same if used on a flip cart.
Older Ridgid like mine is 5 amp I believe.  Plenty power.

Drop out of warp and prepare to be boarded. Mike southwest CO

Yeah, I'm leaning away from the Shop Fox.  It just looked like a more substantial device, and I liked the motor better.  I'm not sure it oscillates though, but could possibly get more precise.  The biggest hit in functionality is the spindle part though - only one size on the Shop Fox, and I use most of the sizes on my Wen, so the smaller spindles would definitely be missed.  If I went this route I'd prefer a cast iron top, so I think I'll pass on this one and look more at the Wen (and similar) and Ridgid ones this go-around.
truton has one similar also, 4.5 rating ?

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

I have what I'm guessing is the older Ridgid and it does ok for what it is, I primarily just use it as a spindle sander.  I also have a much larger 6x89 JET edge sander that sees everything big and small so I don't have to fart around with the belt sander on the Ridgid.  I also have a JET 12" disc/ 6x48 belt sander that is used primarily for the disc sander.  Each has it's place but together they do take up a lot of real estate I don't really have room for.
It's easy to tell them apart.


I've had the Rigid since it came out an love it.  I use it sporadically but when I need it, it does exactly what I want.  The only criticism is the folding table; it does not get perfectly level with the fixed (rear) side.  Hopefully that is corrected in th new version.  I like having both belt and spindle in a single machine, even though I have 2 tabletop belt sanders and a hand held.  They all have their uses.    

Carey Mitchell

Anyone think I can find a replacement motor for my current sander?  I'd love a new machine, but frankly throwing this whole current one away because of one bad part doesn't sit right with me either.

Here's the parts list.  It explodes the motor too though so I can't find just one part number for the whole motor assembly.  https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1743609/Wen-6524.html?page=18#manual

These machines are so ubiquitous across so many brands, I'd be surprised if replacement parts couldn't be found.

What are my chances of upsizing it?
looks very similar to Ridgid parts blow up.  Motor looks interchangeable but can't say for sure.  I checked E-replacements and that motor/drive unit is something like $312.  That is if it is still available.  

Drop out of warp and prepare to be boarded. Mike southwest CO

yikes!!  I found a Wen replacement rotor assembly for the motor for $25 ish.  But I'd rather just buy the whole thing and not mess with the bearings.

It's hard to say without knowing how the motor and oscillator work.  Is there a belt from the motor to the drive or is it a direct drive arrangement?  If it's belt driven, you can almost always make a replacement motor work even if it's not the original.  
yeah it's a double-belt arrangement.  my only concern is mounting fitment.  I don't really want a bastardized tool.

It is a DC motor.  More info here: https://www.lumberjocks.com/threads/grizzly-t27417-oscillating-belt-spindle-sander-part-2.323465/

Wen/grizzly/triton/etc mechanism: 

Ridgid mechanism: 

I'm with you on wanting to repair vs. trash but in this case, I think it's probably a goner.  Stuff just isn't designed to be repaired any more.  I had to chuck a nearly perfect Husky tile saw because the motor was essentially a right angle hand grinder and the two bevel gears ate each other.  Should have been $15 - $20 for a pair and I'd be off running again after a little R&R with clean out and fresh grease but they only sold the whole motor and gearbox together.  It was a $200 saw at the time and they wanted over $150 for the motor assembly so it was trashed.
yep they mark up parts so high so you'll just give up and buy new. sad how were so disposable and getting worse.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

I have the "old" Ridgid and like it a lot.  It's been ages since I used the belt sanding accessory but the Spindle sanders do the job.  I looked at a number of models before getting the Ridgid, including Jet.  I have never regretted the Ridgid purchase.  Like was stated in another reply, I use a stationary disk sander more than the belt type but I also have the 1x30 belt sander for times when neither the spindle nor disk works to my advantage.  And while I'm on that subject, my 1x30 is an older Harbor Freight model and I would not recommend it.  Go with the Rikon or Grizzly models.  The HF version will not get the belt centered on the wheels and so using both front sides of the belt doesn't work.  Anyway, I like the old style Ridgid and not really sure how the "new" model will actually be an improvement.
Thanks Dave.  I'm actually considering one of those thin long belt Sanders but it's a little ways off.

I just finished my workbench upgrades so now that I have some table space again I'll be taking my Wen apart soon.  Stay tuned...
Be careful getting more sanders, they tend to multiply all by themselves!
Ok, well there's your problem 😂

I think I can buy these for reasonable costs.  Gonna try a repair!

Here's some more pics from inside the box.

All the electronics look fine, all the bearings and pulleys and the oscillating mechanism are fine. Curious I don't have the rectifier circuit board that the review I posted earlier showed... Is that what the square thinger the brown and blue wires connect into between the switch and motor?

I'll let you know whenparts show up if the rotor and brushes fixes it.  Feeling confident.

Free shipping over $25.  👍
Nice!  Yeah, I would guess that chip gray module is a bridge rectifier.  
those parts are very reasonable, surprising. most of the time the parts will cost more than makes sense.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.