True Grit

I’ve been trying to decide how to upgrade my sanding solution for months now. Ever since I started out I’ve only had a 5″ ROS from Ryobi. Not corded, though. Cordless. As such, I’ve not been getting as good results as I would like. The sander walks all over the place and it takes forever to get results. I recently added a mini belt sander that came with my router to tackle tough jobs. What I’ve been wanting to do though, is upgrade the ROS.

I have a couple of Festools in the shop thus far, and was really looking to add another with this sander purchase. However to get anything but the ETS 125 is an easy $300 or more. Unfortunately, I had heard not a lot of great things about the ETS 125, even from Festool fanatics. ‘The weakest link’ was a phrase I heard many times. On the other hand, I had heard many great things about the Porter Cable 390. In fact, it had been on my wish list for a couple of years now. After thinking on it for a couple of months, I decided that is what I would do. Woodcraft had a 15% off sale, so that pushed the price even lower.

I will miss the ability to hook it into a Plug It cord like I would have with a Festool. That is one of the aspects about ‘the system’ that I enjoy the most. However with my limited time with the PC390 I think I will enjoy it greatly. It is a good all-around sander without too short of a stroke. The dust collection (using the Bosch hose for the Fezzies) is very good. I could even put it down on dust with it off and it would get it all up. The only thing I will have to figure out is how to run the power cord along side the hose so that it isn’t ungainly.

I can see this getting a thrashing in my shop from using it so much. I think I will have to find some storage for it, like a systainer that I have on order for super cheap. That might do the trick.

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