The Generic Mini 1 x 30 belt sander doesn’t exactly have the most inspiring of names but it is nevertheless a great little sander that definitely won’t break the bank but should still be up to most of the jobs you send its way. If you’re looking for something to smooth the odd piece of wood and you don’t need professional-grade performance, then you won’t go far wrong – although there are a few caveats to keep in mind. Read on for our full review.
Product Description: Definitely “Budget”
Generic is of course the name of the manufacturer, it’s just a shame that they chose a brand that literally means ‘in no way special’. And, without meaning to be too harsh here, that is a fair description of this sander. There’s nothing special here except the small size and the price but if that’s what you’re looking for, then it will certainly fulfil those criteria.
At 3,400 RPM and with 6.5 amps of power, this isn’t exactly the top performer but it’s also good enough for the vast majority of tasks you’re going to need to complete. The working surface isn’t huge and there are no fancy features here. There is automatic belt tracking however and a dust collection socket.
Pros and Cons: Cheap and Cheerful
When describing tools for woodwork and DIY, it is very often considered a good thing to be light. A light tool is an easy tool to use and to move around and that means that you’re not going to find yourself putting off using the machine. But in the case of a sander like this, it can also be a bad thing. That’s because a very light product is prone to shaking a little and can be somewhat more likely to fall over. This isn’t a huge problem here, because the sander is designed to be held as you use it. The Generic Mini 1 x 30 belt sander has a soft grip around the back and if you clamp your hands around that, then you won’t need to worry about it toppling over and sanding your arm instead of the wood you intended to sand…
But this also means that you’re not getting the same solid base or the kind of purchase that you would do with another benchtop sander. It means that this is very much inappropriate for heavy duty jobs. That is also true of the belt itself – if you apply too much pressure it is likely to tear. And at 120v, you’re not going to be sanding the toughest materials.
And when we said there were no fancy features… we really meant! There is a distinct lack of bells and whistles here – you don’t even get a carry case included, which is somewhat standard for a device this portable.
We had no problems during our review period but we would also be a little concerned about the plastic chassis itself breaking or snapping during intense use.
None of this is to say that this is a bad product. This is just a product that is very happy to be a cheap and cheerful options for hobbyists not looking for ultimate power in their worktools. If that’s you and if you’re happy with that, then you’ll save money by choosing something this small.
Conclusion: Not the Best but Good for the Money
The point to keep in mind is that there are better budget sanders out there, many of which we have reviewed on this very site. But then it all comes down to what you’re willing to spend. Experienced hobbyists will know by now that you very much always get what you pay for. If you spend a little more, you get a more resilient and sturdy machine that will chomp up wood like it was nothing. If you spend less, then you get something light and flimsy – but still capable of doing the job.
For hobbyists and those who just want a small and portable sander around the house for odd jobs, this is a very wallet-friendly option. If you think you’ll need something more powerful in the future, then spend wisely and invest in a more powerful machine.
BTW, if you are into building models…what a about getting a miniature table saw?