Porter Cable 343K 5-inch Random Orbit Sander Kit - Hook & Loop Pad
Kris Jensen-Van Heste said of this sander in a review:
We love random orbit sanders for their speed and versatility, and this one from Porter Cable is a great specimen. It’s a compact little thing, light as can be, yet its three-amp motor produces 12,000 orbits per minute for both rapid stock removal as well as a fine, swirl-free finish.
This sander uses readily available 5-inch, eight-hole, hook-and-loop paper, and with 60 grit on it, this is a hungry, aggressive little sander, taking out tooling marks, rounding corners and flattening glued-up surfaces just like a belt sander, but without any of the toll on your body. At the other end of the sanding spectrum, work all the way up to 220, and you’ll have yourself one smooth surface. One of the things we like best about this sander is that it doesn’t want you to exert any effort – you get the best results letting the sander do the work.
Another one of our favorite features here is the solid dust canister, really a cut above the cloth bags most models have. If you’ve got a shop vacuum, you can attach it to the dust port on the sander, which accepts both 1- and 1-1/2-inch hoses. It makes a huge difference with a vacuum attached, and we were impressed with the extraction design. Here’s a great innovation, too, in terms of tool life and maintenance. Porter Cable designed this sander with a removable cap on top, allowing you to clean out and maintain the sander without taking the whole thing apart.
One of the nicest things about this sander is how it treats the body that’s using it. It’s incredibly light, extremely compact and very responsive. Even using it at shoulder height doesn’t take much of a toll on your arm and shoulder, and the rubber grip cancels out any vibration, eliminating that creepy feeling in your arm. The shape just feels good in your hand, too. And for safety’s sake, we like that the Automatic brake will engage whenever the pad is off the work surface, slowing the rotation down from 12,000 orbits per minute to just 400, protecting both you and your workpiece.
This is one of our favorite random orbit sanders, and if you have the chance to try one, we know you’ll love it too, whether you’re into serious woodworking, you’re a do-it-yourselfer or a professional in the trades.