The Black and Decker DS321 Dragster is a belt sander that is relatively portable at 3-by-21 inches and that has a smart design featuring a retractable hood. It’s not the most powerful sander in the world but for the money and convenience, it is a very compelling proposition indeed.

Product Description: Sleek Compact and Well Made

This machine is certainly sleek and has a compact profile that makes it very manoeuvrable and easy to use. Add in the smart retractable hood for hard-to-reach places and you have something that can sand pretty much any surface from nearly any angle! Need to sand the underside of a cabinet? Between two banisters? You’ll be able to do so. And because it’s so light, you won’t risk tearing your bicep while you’re working either.

And it is clear that this machine was built for comfort and convenience first as it also has a number of other features that fit this objective. There’s an adjustable handle for example which has three separate positions to help you find the one that suits you best in terms of control. Belt tracking is also very easy to adjust and this ensures that the belt is always exactly beneath the surface you’re sanding on. As you’d expect, it’s also very easy to change belts. In fact, you only need to flip a single switch in order for the action belt to release and then you can simply swap in a new one.

Also included is a dust bag. This is nice, seeing as many other more affordable options just give you a dust collector port and expect you to add this on yourself. For a small budget-friendly machine, this is a welcome addition that will save you a lot of time when it comes to clearing up sawdust and keeping your work area clean and ready to go.

Pros and Cons: Super Convenient, Could be More Powerful

We’ve seen this story a few times with our reviews. Once again, the Black and Decker DS321 Dragster is a sander that is highly convenient, nicely affordable but not the most powerful. With 7 amps, you should get decent results for most household tasks but this is not industrial grade by any means and isn’t going to be suitable for the majority of professionals either.

It is also very clearly plastic and while it looks nicely made (and felt good to hold when we were using it), it is still more likely to break than something with a bit more heft.

Those are the main drawbacks here and for something so light, they are very much fair and somewhat to be expected even. Whether or not this is a problem will ultimately come down to your intended use and what kind of work you’ll be doing.

But actually, before you write this off as a sander just for hobbyists, I would argue that there’s an alternative use case scenario here. If you’re a professional who sometimes finds themselves struggling to reach inaccessible areas with their sanders, then keeping something lighter and more versatile like this to hand could be a good move. That, and it can be useful to have something a bit smaller that you can chuck in your glove compartment and take with you on the road.
And the other big positive here is that you get so many extra features and smart decisions. Everything from the removable hood to the adjustable handle just makes good sense and makes a real difference when you’re using it.

Oh, one more con though? This is a corded sander. That means that it isn’t quite as versatile as it otherwise would be as you’re going to need to find a power outlet to use it. Don’t let that put you off though, as this does mean you don’t need to worry about your batteries running out at just the wrong time!

Conclusion: A Useful Little Tool

So whether you’re looking to augment your larger tools or you just need something small and convenient to get started with, the Black and Decker DS321 Dragster is a great entry-level sander that you can rely on to get the job done and that is particularly nice and easy to use.

If you want to know which portable belt sander is the best, read this comparison!

Or fancy a new air belt sander?