This belt sander is unique because of its sturdy, all-metal design. Most other belt sanders are made of reinforced plastic, which is not as tough. Because this unit is made of metal, it is generally protected from the elements, and the solid exterior makes this belt sander hard to damage. An added benefit of having a metal sander is that the metal controls the heat created by the sanding belt, keeping the machine relatively cool and making it less likely to overheat.
The 352VS includes many features that add to its versatility and accuracy for different sanding projects. The powerful 8-amp motor is built for industrial sanding. That being said, it can still be used for more intricate woodwork, such as on cabinets. It can also sand flush to vertical surfaces.
The variable speed dial conveniently lets you to choose a speed between 850 and 1,300 SFPM. This allows you to match the machine’s speed to the type of project you are working on. An adjustable belt tracking knob, ceramic aluminum oxide belt and quick-release belt change lever all make this model precise and easy to use.
Because this Porter-Cable sander uses an extra-large dust bag, you can change it less frequently. The dust bag can also swivel up to 360 degrees, which allows you to move it out of the way when sanding corners and along edges. This unit is one of the quieter models available because it has a smooth drive belt and the gear system is meshed well. The motor is located over the platen, which gives it good balance. This belt sander isn’t too heavy or very light, which makes it a solid, but versatile, sander.
One drawback of the Porter-Cable 352VS belt sander is the cord placement. You will need to hold it out of the way of the sanding belt when in use. All in all, this is an easy-to-use, durable belt sander with several great options for improving control and accuracy of your woodworking projects.
This is a good power tool, but doesn’t have the power, durability or flexibility of our top pick, Makita 9903.