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The Hitachi SB 8V2 Is Wide and Heavy, but a Durable, User Friendly Power Sander for Your Workshop
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Hitachi SB 8V2 Power Sander The Hitachi SB 8V2 portable sander is wider than you'd likely want, but comfortable and smooth.

Big, black and green, the Hitachi SB 8V2 is quite a handful. Its 9-amp motor is mounted atop the belt assembly, just like the Makita, Porter-Cable and Craftsman. But the SB 8V2’s drive belt, motor cover and dust fan — almost half of the width of the sander — protrude to the left of the belt, making it the widest sander in this group.

Hitachi SB 8V2 Sanding Belt Hitachi's sanding belt runs well, but the tracking knob is hard to reach easily, and the plastic window to watch the belt track doesn't work well.

Fortunately, the Hitachi is very user-friendly, with comfortable rubber overmolds covering both handles. I liked the unit’s wide trigger, although the location of its variable-speed dial is less than optimal. The Hitachi’s sanding belt runs between a solid rubber drive roller and cast alloy front roller that’s the same diameter. It has a nice, thick steel platen with a rubber pad and thin stainless steel cover. The belt tracked well, although the tracking knob is located so far back and below the enormous belt cover assembly that it wasn’t easy to reach. The sander has a clear plastic cover on the front to provide a window for viewing the belt and to assist tracking, but I found this feature virtually useless.

The dust port atop the left motor bell cover is made of durable cast alloy instead of plastic as on most of the other sanders. Its clip-on canvas bag has a zipper that’s located on the top edge, rather than on the bottom; a nice touch.

Hitachi's Unique Ribbed Drive Belt Unlike the toothed drive belts on other sanders, Hitachi's ribbed belt makes the sander run much smoother, but it provides less overall power.

The first thing I noticed when I powered up the Hitachi was how smoothly it ran, I imagine that this is due to its ribbed drive belt; all the other models use toothed belts. But the SB 8V2’s power output disappointed me, as its motor slowed noticeably when I used the tool with a coarse belt for some heavy stock removal.

posted on October 1, 2011 by Sandor Nagyszalanczy
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