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random orbit sander Ridgid or Porter Cable

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  • random orbit sander Ridgid or Porter Cable

    I'm looking for my first sander and i've decided to go with a random orbit sander. I've seen the Porter Cable 343K and the Ridgid R2600 for the same price with similar specs. The main difference is that the Ridgid is variable (7,000-12,000) while the PC is set at 12,000. Is variable important? I noticed a lot of random orbit sanders are not variable the the ones that are aren't necessarily more expensive. Anyone have opinions or experience with these tools?

  • #2
    Most of the time you'll end up using the sander at full blast so adjustable speed isn't all that important. I'd still recommend you get one with it because it doesn't add much if anything to the cost, and you're really going to hate yourself the one time you actually need to use a slower setting and got the sander without variable speed. I have the Bosch random orbit sander and adjust the speed all the time depending on how delicate the work is.
    Don't have any direct experience with the Ridgid random orbiter, just the 1/4 sheet, but the only really bad thing I can think of is the lousy placement of the power switch. Its easy to constanly flip off accidentally.

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    • #3
      I have the Ridgid 5-inch ROS and their 1/4 sheet sanders; I love them both, but the ROS is the first sander that I pick-up. Works great, low vibration, and has fairly decent dust pick-up... but better when hooked to a vad. Nice feature is that it will take two different hose sizes. It also comes with a screw mount PSA pad, should you wish to go that route, and it has a great case that will store not only the sander, but also a job-size box of discs.

      As pointed out previously, the on-off switch is easily switched because of its placement. While it can be accidently pressed to off, likewise it is easily switched back on. The soft stop/start doesn't cause a problem with sanding marks. After three years of use, I've learned to keep my hand back a bit, to minimize the toggle. I have another sander where the switch is placed on the front and while it won't get accidently toggled off, it is also a pain to reach in that position and therefore needs two hands to turn it off. I like the Ridgid better, although it's not perfect.

      The adjustable speed isn't essential, but it is a distinct advantage when wanting to slow down a bit for certain parts of the project. I have a tendency to use the slower speed, with the final finish.

      You do get a 90-day "Satisfaction Guarantee", a 3-year warranty, and, with registration, a "Limited Lifetime Service Agreement", which should take care of anything.

      I hope this helps,

      CWS

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      • #4
        I agree with CW. I was comparing the Ridgid with a Dewalt--pretty much the same specs. What swayed me was the Ridgid's extended lifetime warranty.

        Frank

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
          I have the Ridgid 5-inch ROS and their 1/4 sheet sanders; I love them both, but the ROS is the first sander that I pick-up. Works great, low vibration, and has fairly decent dust pick-up... but better when hooked to a vad. Nice feature is that it will take two different hose sizes. It also comes with a screw mount PSA pad, should you wish to go that route, and it has a great case that will store not only the sander, but also a job-size box of discs.

          As pointed out previously, the on-off switch is easily switched because of its placement. While it can be accidently pressed to off, likewise it is easily switched back on. The soft stop/start doesn't cause a problem with sanding marks. After three years of use, I've learned to keep my hand back a bit, to minimize the toggle. I have another sander where the switch is placed on the front and while it won't get accidently toggled off, it is also a pain to reach in that position and therefore needs two hands to turn it off. I like the Ridgid better, although it's not perfect.

          The adjustable speed isn't essential, but it is a distinct advantage when wanting to slow down a bit for certain parts of the project. I have a tendency to use the slower speed, with the final finish.

          You do get a 90-day "Satisfaction Guarantee", a 3-year warranty, and, with registration, a "Limited Lifetime Service Agreement", which should take care of anything.

          I hope this helps,

          CWS
          I own both the sanders that CWS mentioned and I agree, they are decent and worth the price, also own the Ridgid belt sander and like it very much,
          besides it looks cool too.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            I have the dewalt VS ROS and I like it alot. I have never used the Ridgid, but it seemed a little bulky to me and that is why I passed on it. Variable speed is the way to go for the extra $15 IMO.

            I do not ww full time so take this advice with a grain of salt if you do, but when you get down to your final sand, I have learned to always use a fresh piece of sandpaper. Twice I have had little pieces of sh!t that end up ruining the finish and I have to start with the 120 grit all over again. Maybe it was happening with my 1/4 sheet sander, but there is an obvious design in the finish when it happens with a ROS.

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            • #7
              Maverick, Before your final sand, always check your sandpaper. Oily wood and most finishes heat up with the finer grits and will form hard deposits on the paper, which will mar the finish. (looks like a glue build-up). You can clean the paper off off with a micro-fiber cloth sometimes. The other thing is to make sure you clean all the dust off when going to a finer grit. Left-over grit from the coarser paper can really do a job when caught under fine paper. I also use the microfiber cloths for this (and a vacuum with a brush attachment) and it seems to work well. They are cheap at places like Sam's club, (buy a big pack 'cause you'll go thru a few in a furniture job) and can just go in with the laundry for cleaning between jobs.
              Just a thought

              Go
              Practicing at practical wood working

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              • #8
                New sandpaper is not perfect.
                I always take 2 sheets and rub them together for a second to knock off any abnormalities that may scratch the surface.
                www.TheWoodCellar.com

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