"I don't like belt sanders, but sometimes you just need them. I had a cheapo half the price of this and only used it when I had to for roughing down the steps in glue-up joints (don't kid yourself. . . you get them as well). Then I wd start the normal sandin process. I gave in last week and bought the 9403 because I had 17 big glue-up panels to tackle. I couldn't believe the difference. After the first couple I ordered some fine grit belts. I can now do both sides of a big panel 80, 120, then 180 grit in 15 mins and it's smooth as a baby's bum. . . ready for scrapin or a final hand sand. Only had it a week so based my reliability figure on other Makita gear I have. . . . btw. . . it chucks a lot less dust about than before as well."
"Brought to strip down my uneven floorboards. It runs happily all day, great dust extraction, but not variable speed despite screwfix listing. Wore out carbon plate initially by pressing to hard, but eased off and replacement pad still going strong. Pad keeps belt cool for continuous use. Very well made and tough bit of kit. Only had a month so reliability rating feflects build quality"
"When my second cheap sander burnt out, I bit the bullet and invested in this. It copes with hours of work, and it is surprisingly quiet. It is a bit on the heavy side, which makes for tired arms when sanding plasterboard joints on a ceiling, but it can get right to the edge of the work, and the dust bag really works. I should have bought one years ago, cheap tools are a false economy."