Since they are both priced near the same range, would I be better off
getting a 1/4 Sheet finish sander or a Random Orbit sander? Also, are the
Porter Cable finish sanders recommended, or is something else preferred?
Its funny you should ask. I bought the both PC333 and PC340 just yesterday
to save a little on changing paper. I figured that the RO works better, but
the consumables on the 1/4 sheet is less; so I plan on using the 333 on fine
and the 340 on coarse. (though you could make a good argument for doing it
the other way)
Since I haven't received them yet, I can't actually recommend this place,
but their prices were great on reconditioned sanders.
I also just bought a router, but not from them; their router prices were
high. Go figure.
I find the ROS much better than my 1/4 sheet ever was.
I have both a Porter Cable 333 and a DeWalt . For the amount of time that
I've had them, I'd rate then as equal in performance. They take different
paper though; the PC is five hole and the DW is 8 hole. I keep different
grits on them . Saves a lot of time changing back and forth.
You are talking about apples and oranges here. They both have their plus
and minus points. I have both. I recommend a right angle ROS for fast and
rough sanding and the PC SpeedBloc for finish sanding. Most any finish
sander will get into corners while a ROS will not.
I've got the Rockwell equivalent in 1/4 sheet, and it's very useful.
Now, has anyone tries the newest gimmick - floppy-edged sandpaper for you
ROS? Supposed to cuddle up to an edge just fine, if you believe the
advertising. Won't do a corner, though.
Oh yes, the torque on a ROS makes it a pain to work in any but controlled
positions. To really get inside and up and around things, go the speed
block. Easier on the wrist.
The following is strictly a personal opinion.
1/4 sheet sanders are a total PITA.
ROS are the only way to go; however, they won't do corners.
Not to worry, that's why the detail sander was created.
Fein makes the only detail sander worth having, they know it, and charge
It's a gotcha you learn to live with.
As far as a ROS is concerned, the bigger the better.
Sanding at best, is a boring PITA job. Anyway to reduce the time spent doing
it is to your advantage.
At a minimum, get a 6" machine which provides 144% more sanding area than a
5" machine (6*6/5*5 = 144%).
Have no direct experience with the PC units; however, have beat the living
crap out of a 6", variable speed, Bosch.
Like Timex, takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
BTW, nothing against PC, have lots of their tools, but the Bosch is hard to
S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
I like the pc sticky back paper sanders. the paer comes in rolls and you
just sick it on and cut to length and push the paper punch plate on the
bottom for dust collection. It's a lot faster than messing around with the
clamps on a 1/4 sheet sander. Paper changes take about 10 seconds with
peeling off the old paper and cutting and sticking and punching the new
paper. And it's square so it does corners. After using it once I swore I'd
never buy another 1/4 sheet again. What a PITA.
I have the PC 1/4 sheet.
After I got use to working the clips it wasn't that bad.
I had considered getting a 'stick-um' sander but one look at the price
of the paper, and being the cheap bastard I am, I went with the 1/4 sheet.
Plus I feel I have a far greater selection of papers, and I don't have
to worry about adhesive backed papers being 'out of stock'. And if you
use good paper you don't have to change it as often.
Something to consider.
About 16-17 years ago I too was the cheap guy and wondered about all the fan
fare that was associated with PSA "pressure sensitive adhesive" sand paper.
For years I had done just fine with the clip on sand paper, or so I thought.
I worked in the automotive industry for many years and trades magazines were
talking about the PSA papers for sanders being used in body shops. I
learned that the real value with the PSA papers was in that they lasted
longer and did more work in less time. The reason being, regardless of how
tight you clip the non stick paper on, it eventually works loose and or
slips on the back up pad. When this happens, the paper imbeds more to the
work and the sander vibrates behind the paper vs. moving the paper. Once
the paper starts to not move just as much as the back up pad, your arm
starts doing more of the work. With the PSA papers that stick to the back
up pad the paper always vibrates just as much and the sander with never any
slippage at all. Basically the paper works harder and lasts longer because
the back of the paper no longer wears out before the business side of the
paper. Still not convinced, I decided to test the concept. I worked for a
3M distributor and had access to all the PSA and non stick paper that I
wanted at no cost to me. I could make a full sheet of traditional paper
last for a couple of hours. I could make 6 applications of PSA paper last
about 1.5 hours. While the PSA paper did not last as long time wise, it did
do two to three times as much work in that hour and a half. Since leaving
the automotive business 8 years ago, I continue to purchase only PSA paper.
My time is much more valuable than a sheet of sand paper.
I wish I could find nice strong PSA paper. I have to use cloth backed to keep it
from ripping but the cloth backed does not cut as fast.
I have found so far as long as a sheet lasts for a plane that's enough.
Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
IF you can only get one get the ROS. the 1/4 sheet is nice for working
close to corners but you can do that by hand if you have to. I use a
belt sander maybe 3 times a year, can't remember when I used the 1/4
sheet sander, but use the ROS very frequently.
Reading through the thread (I always do but some reader named Watson told me
I can't "cut to the chase" anymore until I read a whole bunch of books about
rabbits...still scratching my head on that one and best I can do is figure
out that he has a thing about rabbits), I have to say that the 1/4 paper has
its place. Folding a few sheets in half and half again then cutting with a
sharp utility knife, then aligning into the edge clamps has never bothered
me nor taken more than a few seconds per sheet and all in the price is
certainly better than the RO on a per sheet basis. I agree that the
slippage thing becomes a problem with time (beat the hell out of a Milw to
the point where the teeth didn't want to play anymore) but I always finish
up the RO with the 1/4 sheet PC that I have beat the hell out of also but
seems to hang in there.
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