Porter-Cable has been in the tool business since 1910. The company starting by producing a pencil sharpener and even automatic tire pumps. Soon, they were producing high-quality power tools for professionals and hobbyists alike. And the Porter-Cable 362V 4” x 24” Variable Speed Belt Sander is one of them.
We’re going to review one of Porter-Cable’s toughest belt sanders to determine the quality of the model and whether or not you should run out and purchase one as soon as possible.
This Porter-Cable belt sander model is powered by one heck of a motor. In fact, with 12 amps, it’s one of the most powerful motors for any belt sander on the market today.
This amount of power allows you to sand tough lumber or even remove stubborn paint and other substances. With a motor this strong, you can charge through any condition your lumber is in, even lumber with the worst holes and nicks. There isn’t much you can’t work with.
Another great thing about the motor is its positioning. It’s placed directly on the top center of the belt sander, ensuring that pressure is evenly distributed for a more consistent finish.
Porter-Cable 362V 4”x24” Variable Speed Belt Sander Sanding Belt
Regardless of brand, the sanding belt is the most important factor when deciding whether a sander is worth your money.
The Porter-Cable 362V has a sanding belt that’s 4 inches wide and 24 inches long. This is a decent belt size that allows you to work on both smaller and larger surfaces.
The included black sanding belt is made from zirconium and can be used for metal or steel surfaces. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work so well with lumber. If you plan to do any woodworking, you’ll have to look for an additional belt.
The Porter-Cable 362V Belt Sander has a variable speed system, a feature of most newer belt sanders - for good reason. A variable speed system gives you control of the speed of the motor and the belt. There’s also a belt tracking knob that helps you control the centering of the belt, even if you’re in the middle of sanding. You decide how much speed you need for each project. On this model, the speed options range from 1000 sfpm to 1500 sfpm.
Our favorite sanding belt feature on this model is the easy to use release belt lever. It makes examining your belt for wear simple and changing your sanding belt even simpler.
Porter-Cable 362V 4”x24” Variable Speed Belt Sander Dust Collection
We love belt sanders that include dust collection bags. They save you from dusty messes of debris and make the workplace just a little bit safer.
This Porter-Cable model doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the dust collection bag. It uses a fan to blow the sawdust into to attached bag instead of spitting it out everywhere like older models do.
The dust bag is pretty large so it takes a while to fill up. You won’t have to stop in the middle of sanding to empty it. It also swivels 360 degrees so you can move it in a full circle as needed while you’re working.
If you prefer, you can remove the attached dust bag and replace it with a vacuum for bigger, messier sanding jobs.
Porter-Cable 362V 4”x24” Variable Speed Belt Sander Design and Durability
The heavy-duty design of this belt sander model withstands most impacts. The entire frame is built using high-quality metal. Porter-Cable knows that accidents happen but that doesn’t mean a great belt sander should be ruined in the process.
For safety, Porter-Cable designed this belt sander with flat edges for two reasons. One, flat edges help the belt stay in place, protecting you from any serious accidents or injuries. And, two, the flat edges are to protect you and the sander from catching on anything.
Unfortunately, when you find such a high-quality belt sander that’s made to last, it’s usually pretty substantial in size. This belt sander comes in at 15.5 pounds and 14 inches tall. This means it might be a little difficult to maneuver around your project.
While you may need to use some extra muscle with this Porter-Cable 362V Belt Sander, the quality of your finished work is worth it.
The grip handle for this belt sander goes above and beyond most other belt sanders. First, it uses an easy to use pistol trigger that takes a small amount of force to stop and start.
Second, the ergonomic design ensures absolute comfort for your hand, making the belt sander easier to hold onto and maneuver. This is particularly important since, as we mentioned, this tool is big and heavy and can be difficult to maneuver.
The Porter-Cable 326V 4”x24” Belt Sander is the perfect belt sander for the working professional. With the right sanding belt, it’s powerful enough to work on most types of lumber and other surfaces at a smooth rate. Due to its size, though, it isn’t the best option for the hobbyist working in a small area.