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Beguiling Belt Sander

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DeWalt's new 3 x 21-in. belt sander is a joy to use, whether you're flattening a panel or scribing a face frame. It has an unusual three-wheel design that positions the motor lower in the machine, improving its balance. According to DeWalt, this sander also has the longest platen of any sander in its class, which further improves its stability. The DW433's $180 price tag, 12-lb. weight and 8-amp motor are comparable to other 3 x 21-in. machines. But this sander has something most others don't: electronic variable speed (EVS). EVS enables the sander to maintain speed under any type of load. The front handle can be used in two positions. The forward position keeps your hands low for even better balance. The top position allows the sander to snug up to an inside corner. The sander includes a dust bag, but you'll need an adaptor, $12, to change the rectangular opening to a 1-1/4-in. round if you want to connect to a vacuum hose. This machine can also be turned into a stationary sander by mounting it in a special frame ($70). This frame is really handy when working on small parts. The belt can be either vertical or horizontal.