Chicago Electric/Drillmaster 92623 variable-speed polisher/sander

Hi, I cheapskated it and bought a Chicago Electric/Drillmaster model 92623 sander/polisher tool for $39.99 from Harbor Freight, sort of similar to the one Herb Spitzer and others have used.  It’s speed varies from like 200 to 3777 rpm and it has a 5//8" x 11 TPI spindle.  I have heard that the speed is not as constant on the very slow ones (no big deal for me I guess), and I have heard that it’s best to break in the brushes by using on low-speed for a while, no problem.

It had way more than enough power to sand down the area where I want to put a fin back on, it took about 5 seconds or less, even on a real slow speed, so it did the job.  If I had to throw it out now, at least the fin-area prep-work is done.

Now, the big question is, where can I stock up on sanding discs, in case the tool really does last a year or so?  I guess it’s ok if only in a couple sizes like the 60-/240-grit that it came with.  I’ll even take 12-grit if I have to.  But where are they?  The sanding discs have like a velcro-style backing, very easy to put on and take off, as many times as you want.  There are no holes in the discs.  I just cannot find them anywhere.  The tool might last if I take it easy on it so I’d like to stock up now as the tool only came with two discs - one 60 and one 240 grit.


     I have one of their sanders too. If you didn’t get the in store warranty you should next time. If it conks out, which it will eventually, you can replace it in store immediatley. You end up getting like two or three of these a year for 30 bucks plus i think $9 warranty. Well worth it IMO.

      I dismiss the velcro option, as I think it is too hard and non-conforming to shape for sanding. I’m not sure they even make what you are looking for. Plus you go through them like hotcakes. PIck up a power pad and some feathering disc glue.

Harbor Freight has replacement sanding disks for it. I picked up a pack of 3 80 grits for $4 I think. I don’t think they have every grit though, so I was wondering if it would be worthwhile to buy a Flexpad (or possibly cheaper pad)  and just stick sandpaper on it.

i think i've got the same one. still going strong after 5 boards and numerous repairs.

i ditched that pad that came with it and picked up a PowerPad and feathering adhesive like Pico suggests.

Thanks, at least if my eyes drop out from scouring online sites for velcro-like discs, I can glue them back in with the new feathering disc glue I’ll be buying.  I knew bears could hang ten, but on a surfboard, not bad!

I got an assortment of ferro pads from surfsource,hard,medium,and soft.They are the cheaper 6" discs.I use the 6" peel’n’stick discs from home depot,80,120,&220 grits.

Cool, so I take my existing 5/8 bit off and install a pad with the same bit-size, and choose my softness depending on rpm, etc… Then either spray on Super 77, use 3M feathering gook, or even simpler, as you say, just buy some stick-ons.  I guess some people don’t go for the stickons because they might worry that they’d fall-off.  I can always try the Home Depot first, before I buy the other glues.  So I have to pay a little for the pads:

Surf Source Sanding Control Pads - 6”

Economical but durable – 5/8 female thread

Available in Firm, Medium, Soft, X-Soft

Click “Add to Cart” for Firmness selection.


I wonder if they have 7" stick-ons as I could then perhaps try to cut down an 8" pad.  I realize it would probably come out all ragged since it’s hard to make a perfect circle let alone cut one, unless you’re Leonardo da Vinci or Giotto.  Or unless you have the right tools.  But 6" is plenty, I only really wanted 4 1/2" for the grinder anyway.

Muchos gracias for the info.

I like the sticky discs to because once you’ve sanded the flats you can pull it from the disc and wrap it aroud the rail and stick it too your hand to sand the rails.

A Sheaf of sandpaper and a bottle of “Tacky” glue goes a long way and inexpensive.

By the way, as CodyGuy mentioned above, Harbor Freight DOES IN FACT have packs of hook and loop (ie. velcro) sanding discs for the model 92623 sander/polisher (I just ordered 8 packs of 80-grit, 3.99 per pack).  So for those who want to still velcro with their original female screw-on arbored polisher or whatever you call the thing that screws on, you can still order them online in 80-grit.  For those of you who chucked the original screw-on away, you can order one for the 5/8 spindle from Titan:

Titan 22509 **7 Hook and Loop** Replacement Backing Pad

I'll let people know if I find other than 80-grit (that aren't vented), but right now I'm sick of clicking and searching.  Anyway, I will now have two approaches, the original arbor for coarse sanding and the new one with pads from SurfSource or Greenlight, whoever I buy from.  And perhaps I'll come up with some different grit-sizes, but once I buy the glue, perhaps I can juse save my old sanding discs and glue sandpaper to the old sanding discs - recycling!

Thanks again.

I prefer the PSA (Pressure Sensitive Adhesive) backed circular sanding disks over cutting out regular sheets of sandpaper because when I cut out the discs (or octagons) I was left with fairly useless scraps of sandpaper (funny shapes, too small to be functional, how many butt-cracks are you going to sand…). The PSA discs seem less wastefull and I have never had a problem with them falling off. They also come off the pad clean as long as you don’t have other crap on the pad before you put the new one on. No sticky/tacky mess either. By all means, get your Powerpads at Greenlight or equivalent. Don’t know where you are, but Greenlight just moved from Philly to the beach in Belmar, NJ, which is nice for us Jersey guys.

I got my 8" PSA sanding discs (packs of 10, grits 100, 150, 220, 320, 400) from a place in Canada I found on E-bay. Free shipping, no tax. ( Worked out to be around 50 cents per disk for the 8" PSA. They seem to have everything (including velcro backed) in every grit and every size from 40 grit up to 1500 grit.


Not the best tool however I do own 2 of them I got at the tent sale at Harbor Freight for $19.00 each. I’ve had mine for 5 years and a Hitachi with a different pad on each one so there are no pad changes. Just buy one for each pad you use. Don’t buy the insurrance for a tool that cheap. A Milwalki Yes a Harbor Freight no! Just replace it with a fresh one.

Kind regards,


    Howzit silmarzio, The first thing Herb would tell you to do is change the gear grease in the gear head since it cheap Chinese grease. I guess that is one weak part of the grinder and always blow out the dust after using it and do that with it not running. Aloha,Kokua

Cool, the first thing I noticed was how noisy it was when I spun the axle backwards, maybe that’s partly why.  My tool came assembled already, and the package wasn’t sealed at all, I sometimes wonder if it was used, but it works fine.  I’ll have to log how many revolutions it makes so we can really pin down how many of these things we need to order each year.  See if there’s a price-break with Milwaukee.  Yeah, it’ll be fun taking it apart and seeing if I can improve on stuff, good idea, mahalo nui loa.

     I really think its worth it to get the insurance. Its not a great expense and if your tool craps out in the middle of the job you can go grab a new one. THE fact the tool is cheap makes it even more worth it imo bc you KNOW it will die sooner than later. Try to clean dust after use, like kokua said, and you’ll extend the life a bit. Especially the brushes. The grease idea is great too.

    Jamie- I save the scraps for the rails. basically when you cut the sandpaper out don’t center it, but rather favor one side. You end up with about a third of a piece for the rails.

I was using one for a while - it lasted a couple years - not every day use but pretty heavy weekend warrior action. When I got it, I put some marine grade grease (had it laying around for the boat motor/trailer) in the gearbox. At some point, the trigger went out. I dont know if you can even buy replacement parts for those things? I took the opportunity to buy a Milwaukee to replace it. The trigger on that went out faster than the trigger on the HF.  The Milwaukee trigger cost as much as the whole HF tool! But it is a way better tool and the performance is worth the extra money it cost to buy it and keep it running.  Anyways, the HF will prob last you a long time if you dont do a lot of work.  And for most weekend warrior jobs it will do the job just fine.  When i was working in a factory, I was sanding, and I really enjoy the sanding process, so the better tool is more enjoyable to work with - it makes it easier to achieve the type of finish that I want to get.

You can make your own, Ekim. Cardboard and glue and both sides of the velcro. Contact cement works well if you don't heat it up, which you don't wan to do anyway polishing.

Just got the Chicago sander with extra 7" “hook & loop” pads or what’s also called velcro  in all different grits.

The problem is the buffing pad doesn’t have velcro on it to stick on the sanding pads.Does someone sell a pad with velcro on both sides so I can use all these sanding pads?

Tblank got it right on his first post.  Get a "Soft Pad" (metal backed) or a "Flex Pad" .  Both are sold at Foam EZ.  Probox Larry is the man behind the "Soft pad".  They come in differant densities.  So buy based on what you are doing with it.  A soft or flex pad, sandpaper cut to fit applied to the pad with "Tacki" or 3M adhesive is the "Industry Standard".  The Harbor Freight sander/polisher is the best buy for the money.  I have a couple of Milwaukees and two or three Makitas.  They are great, but honestly don't stand up to alot of use any better than the HF.  Brushes and triggers. 

By the way;  Walk in the back door of any well known glass shop in Orange or SD county and you almost always see two or three non-functional Milwaukees laying around waiting to go to Re-Hab.   Triggers and brushes.