Useful Tool at a Reasonable Price

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Review by Lifesaver2000 posted 05-05-2010 05:08 PM 2250 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Useful Tool at a Reasonable Price No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I will preface this by saying that this is my first power sander so I have nothing to compare it to directly, and although I have minimal experience with woodworking power tools, I have many years of daily use of other types power tools under my belt, and don’t have much tolerance for junk.

I purchased this item about seven months ago, and up until last week had not given it much of a workout. I had sanded perhaps a total of 100 square feet of pine lumber surface with it. The results were very good, and working up with various grit sand papers, I was surprised at just how quickly a very smooth surface could be obtained. I was also quite pleased with how much of the sawdust did make it into the small dust collection canister provided with the unit, and once I found the correct adapter for my shop vac, I was very happy with how well the dust collection worked to keep my work area clean.

In working with the 342, I found the noise and vibration level just what I would expect from a tool that is doing what it does. I had a bit of trouble with the paper retention system at first, but once I got the hang of it changing paper has not been a real problem, although it still takes some work to get even a perfectly cut 1/4 sheet aligned just right to catch under the retainer bars. Once in place though, I have never had any problem with the paper coming loose or otherwise causing problems.

What prompted me to right this review was a project that I tackled with this tool last week. I am remodeling a bedroom in my house, and the old, multiple layers of rolled on paint had created wall surfaces that were just too rough. I decided to use this sander to smooth out the roughness of the old paint before applying the new paint. This required sanding about 350 square feet of wall, which I did in a very short time. The paint was actually much harder to sand than the lumber I had sanded previously, requiring coarse sandpaper and what was probably more “down” pressure on the sander than I should have used. This sander, however, didn’t seem to care, and went right on without even getting warm to the touch. Since this was probably more sanding in a short time than I will ever do on a real woodworking project, I have to say that this little sander did quite well at taking more abuse than it probably should have.

All of this cost me only about $37 last fall from Current price there is about $45 now, but still compared to the old days of hand sanding everything, I feel this is a reasonable price for a tool that seems to be able to power right through whatever job I am likely to do with it.

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556 posts in 3920 days

2 comments so far

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

541 posts in 4289 days

#1 posted 05-05-2010 09:24 PM

Yeah, a good finishing sander is a great tool to have. PC’s 330 hasn’t changed in over 30 years and is still their most popular selling powertool. Finish sanders have fallen along the wayside in recent years because of the ROS, but many cabinet and furniture makers still use a finish sander to prepare their pieces to take a finish. I’m glad to see you’re happy with your purchase and I hope it gives you years of trouble free service.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4496 days

#2 posted 05-09-2010 05:45 PM

If you like this model , wait until you get to use a PC330…it’s a REAL finishing sander !
The Difference = Night and Day
I would use yours or my PC ROS for initial sanding on rough stuff and then follow up with a PC330
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