If you’re looking for a good random orbit sander on a budget Porter-Cable 382 5-inch Random Orbit Sander is the way to go. This is no frill basic tool that will do the job. It’s not the cheapest you can find on the market but reasonably priced and with Porter-Cable over 100 years reputation behind and excellent reviews it surely is worth considering.
So so if you’re a DIY newbie or weekend woodworker without a huge workload this tool is right for you. If you’re still not convinced have a look at my review below to help you decide.
Porter-Cable 382 Random Orbit Sander
This sander has 1.9 Amp motor that is capable of 12000 OPM. A single speed means that it won’t be tackle every job in a shop but still, we are looking at a basic tool for beginners. This motor is weaker than most but when working with finer grits it does an excellent job. No worse than its leading competitors in its category and leaves virtually no visible scratches.
It’s when you switch to coarser grits you can feel the motor slowing down. It’s not a deal breaker, you still will get fine results if you let it work at its own pace, but it will take longer. If you ask me if this tool will be any good for pallet projects I’d say yes, as long as you don’t mind slowing down a bit while smoothing up rough pallet planks. Otherwise, if you’re on to a big project and want to finish it quickly you might want to consider one of these: DEWALT D26451K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander which has 3 Amp motor, Makita BO5401k or Bosch 1250 DEVS.
The size of a pad in this sander is 5 inches and it’s compatible with 5-inch 8 hole paper for easy disc changing. If you prefer sticky pads the base can be substituted without any problems by loosening 3 screws.
The shape of the pad will unfortunately not allow you to sand in the corners but that’s not what it’s meant for. You might want to look for detailing or orbital sander for this purpose.
Controlled finishing system allows pad speed control for slower startup and this way minimizing gouging. This feature is great when sanding between coats as it allows you to have more control and there will less chance to oversand.
This is one of the most important features when comes to sanders as having a proper system in place will reduce fatigue and will allow you to work for longer periods of time. Porter-Cable 382 is well balanced and it’s easy on hands. It has dual plane counter balance fan and does a good job on reducing vibrations.
As with nearly any power sander, the dust bag does a fairly good job. Dust collection with a relatively empty bag is good but not excellent. The trails of dust can be left on a workpiece while you working. With vacuum attached, it’s a completely different story. The large, multi-port adapter fits easily and you can enjoy a nearly dust-free working environment.
This sander has a rubber cover on an on/off switch which is designed to protect it from sawdust but can be a bit annoying because it makes it difficult to feel the actual switch and turn on/off with one hand. Also, there is no protection for accidental activation so if you plug it in with the switch on it will turn on.
Another thing that needs to be mentioned is that the top of the sander gets warm to touch within the first few minutes of running. Nothing to be concerned about. I’m giving you heads up just in case you wonder if it’s faulty or there’s something else going on.
- reasonable price
- reliable workhorse
- control finishing system to minimize gouging
- dual plane counter balance fan for reduced vibrations
- easy sanding disc change
- parts easy to order
- slowing down with coarser grits
- annoying rubber cover on an on/off switch
- no rubber grip
- cord not long enough
- no bag
Porter-Cable 382 5-inch Random Orbit Sander is a good value for money. It’s sturdy, well balanced and easy on hands. It has a durable plastic shell but with no rubber grip. It’s excellent for finishing sanding, sanding off paint and stain. Although built with professionals in mind I’d only recommend it to DIY-ers. You have to keep in mind that this is a basic sander for basic jobs.
Kasia is an owner of Wooden Pallet Projects Toolbox. She’s a DIY and upcycling enthusiast. If she’s not painting, sanding or drilling she’s writing about power tools or tips for DIY and pallet projects that make the creative process easier and more fun!