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I often refer to the Skil 7500 belt sander as the shop’s secret weapon. When things get bad or when bad measurement has reared its ugly head, I’ll reach for this first. With a 3” x 18”, forty-grit belt draped around the rollers, there’s not a lot of wood problems that can’t be shaped down to size with this monster.

It’s loud, unrefined, and doesn’t have many features; just plug it in and pull the trigger to make things like stick-out ends or misaligned pieces go away. It’s a 6 amp brute of a tool that can be shoved anywhere and brought to bear on any project malfunction. We’ve taken advantage of its services to sand off nail heads or to do a little fine sculpting work on a furniture piece.

Whatever the occasion, this rugged sander performs consistently over and above the call of duty. When you need something ground down the 7500 is up for it with plenty of grunt to go around. It’s not the prettiest and most certainly not the most expensive with a price point of $50. In fact some folks turn their nose up at it simply because it doesn’t sport a sexier logo. After the dust clears however, it does the same sanding for less, and that’s better than just looking good.

Model 7500 Belt Sander [Skil]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


10 Responses to TM’s 2009 Favorites: Skil 7500 Belt Sander

  1. Sandman says:

    I bought a Black and Decker Dragster to sand my deck. It sported 7.0 amp motor, so I thought it would remove the peeling semi-transparent stain fast. Unfortunaely, it sanded so uneven that I returned it and bought the Skil. The Skil is a beast and removes material like there is no tomorrow. Great value!

  2. fred says:

    Based on your testimonial this Skil sander is probably worth ecvery penny of its very modest price – but calling it a “monster” is a bit over the top. Some of my folks would give that moniker to our old Porter Cable “locomotive” sanders #503 and #504. These sport 9Amp motors and chains driven by worm gears to propel their 24 inch belts. Unfortunately they are no longer produced – but can be had if you look for them

  3. PutnamEco says:

    A 4 1/2″ angle grinder with a 36 grit sanding disc is my “secret weapon” for those quick fix ups. It does take a more educated hand to control, so as not to over do it. I’ve yet to see a cordles belt sander, there are plenty of cordless disk grinders, so the handiness of being cord free, wins out for me.

    Now, if only I could find a tool to stretch that board out a bit…. 🙂
    Porter Cable “locomotive” sanders #503 and #504. These sport 9Amp motors and chains driven by worm gears to propel their 24 inch belts. Unfortunately they are no longer produced – but can be had if you look for them

    And if your willing to pay for them, they command a premium price, being known as a collectable tool.

  4. fred says:


    We have 3 – all sporting the Rockwell – Porter Cable name – back from the 70’s when Porter Cable was part of Rockwell International

  5. Jon says:

    I’ve been looking for a board stretcher for a while now, but no one seems to sell them. The polka dot and checker board spray paint have eluded me as well….

  6. Old AS Dirt says:

    @ Jon

    Smoke a little weed and drop some acid and I can almost guarantee that you will see polka dot,checker board and stripe paint all at once in vivid colors.

  7. johnnyp says:

    I am in possession of my dad’s Craftsman belt sander purchased in the early 50’s. It sports a 3 x 27 in. belt and three rollers. I also have a newer Craftsman belt sander which is sufficient but is no where near as potent as the older sander . The newer machine has a common sized belt that is readily available and a dust collection mechanism that is useless.
    A friend of mine recalls sitting on top of the old sander and racing around the shop.This guy is 6′-3″ 230 and it pulled him along just fine

  8. Eric R says:

    I recently finished trimming out a log home for a customer. Grinder with sanding disc works wonders. The guys who built the house basically used three tools

    1. chainsaw- you name it they cut it

    2. 10″ sliding miter
    They used a LARGE chop saw for the logs ~36″

    3. grinder with sanding disc

  9. Coach James says:

    How does someone 6’3, 230 pounds sit on top of a 3 x 27 sander?

  10. Old as Dirt says:

    @Coach James

    It’s not easy sitting on top of a 3×27 sander.

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