Power Sanders

Porter-Cable 343VSK Random Orbit Sander Review

Porter-Cable 343VSK
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The Porter-Cable 343VSK Random Orbit Sander is a 3.0-amp, 7000-12,000 RPM variable speed random orbit sander that uses 5-inch, 8-hole hook-and-loop fasteners. This random orbital sander sands quickly and has a very good dust collection system, both with the dust canister or with a hose connected to your shop vacuum or dust collector.

Description

  • Uses standard 5-inch, 8-hole sanding disks.
  • Equipped with a pad brake that holds the speed to no more than 400 RPM if the tool is lifted off the work surface.
  • Three-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • 3.0 Amp, 7000-12000 RPM variable speed motor
  • Effective dust collection can be used with canister (included) or dust collection system

Cons

  • Very aggressive sanding action requires a good bit of muscle to keep sander in position
  • Map-style Instruction Manual

Guide Review - Porter-Cable 343VSK Random Orbit Sander Review

The Porter-Cable 343VSK Random Orbit Sander makes quick work of sanding tasks. The sander isn't overly noisy, and the dust collection system (whether using the canister or connected to a dust collector or shop vacuum) works better than I expected.

To test the 343VSK, I sanded a rough-cut board using progressively finer sanding disks, beginning with 50-grit, working through 80 and 120, and finally finishing with some 220-grit disks. After completing the sanding with the 220-grit disk, there was very little sawdust on the board or the table beneath, yet there was a considerable amount inside the dust canister.

PORTER-CABLE 343VSK

There were only two things that I didn't like about the 343VSK, and one of them probably qualifies as "nit-picky." Longtime readers of this space are well-aware of my dislike for map-style instruction manuals, that must be folded out onto an open table space in order to read properly. I know this is probably a less expensive way to make an owner's manual, but I really don't like having to clear table space in order to look up something quickly in the manual.

The more tangible issue that I had with this sander was that, particularly when using heavier-grit sandpaper, I really felt like I was getting a bit of a workout. To keep the sander on course seemed to require a bit more muscle than I expected. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because it is the aggressively fast sanding action of the 343VSK that requires more muscle to keep it where I want on the work surface. It's just something you should keep in mind when choosing a random orbit sander, especially if you have a lot of sanding to do.

I know that working with this sander for an hour or two would probably get the job done quicker than comparable models. I also know that I'd probably feel it a little more the next day than with comparable models.

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