The Porter-Cable 362V belt sander is a high-powered machine designed for use by professional contractors and serious woodworkers who need to do a lot of work in a small amount of time. With its wide 4″ surface and 12 AMP power, it can quickly remove large amounts of material from a surface.
The Porter-Cable 362V is designed for heavy, long-term use. As such, metal parts are used wherever possible, with plastic being used only where necessary for safety and practicality. Additionally, the internal mechanical system has a “labyrinth” style design in an effort to prevent dirt and dust from entering the mechanics of the machine, further increasing their longevity, and reducing the need for disassembly maintenance. The dust is fed into the attached dust bag, which is designed for quick and easy removal and emptying. The dust outlet can also be connected to a shop vac or other external location for larger jobs.
At 12 lbs, the Porter-Cable 362V is massive, which is befitting its heavy duty purpose. It is not intended for light resurfacing or finishing jobs but instead working with very rough surfaces which need to be smoothed, leveled or stripped. This makes it ideal for working on boats, exterior and interior walls, and floors, although it is much too large for furniture. Indeed, with a 1,000 to 1,500 sfpm adjustable belt speed, it may even be too powerful for a countertop or table. However, it would be very welcome when refinishing hardwood floors or stripping old paint from a building exterior.
The Porter-Cable 362V is designed with the needs of a contractor in mind. Most notably the belt is extremely easy to change, and a small belt window enables the operator to keep an eye on it at all times. This allows the operator to identify problems or damage to the belt immediately and remove it before it causes severe damage or presents a safety hazard, as well as making it easy to change the belt when a different grit is required. Additionally, the Porter-Cable 362V has a flat front and flat edges designed to optimize working up against walls and other vertical surfaces. This also helps to keep the belt contained, ensuring it does not come into contact with the operator’s fingers or loose pieces of clothing. Still, due to the power of the machine, it is highly advisable to wear gloves while operating it.
Overall the Porter-Cable 362V is an ideal solution for contractors or those who need to restore a very large amount of wood in a small time. Its intense power and heavy weight make it impractical for small jobs, but it is very at home when handling large ones. It may be necessary to go back and do “touch up” work with a smaller or more precise sander later, however, the Porter-Cable 362V can handle the bulk of most jobs put in front of it. Its ergonomic handle and concealed belt design make it safe and easy to work with, even for novice woodworkers, but it is capable of working for hours at a time with nothing more than an occasional bag and belt changes. It is capable of reducing major projects to a few hours worth of work.