Porter Cable 505 vs current Random Orbital Sanders - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-15-2020, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Porter Cable 505 vs current Random Orbital Sanders

Can anyone tell me the difference between the Porter Cable 505 and current Random Orbital Sanders? I don't see any with the same kind of design. Most of round shaped. So, is there a functional difference is one better than the other? or are they for different purposes?
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-15-2020, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by randallecox View Post
Can anyone tell me the difference between the Porter Cable 505 and current Random Orbital Sanders? I don't see any with the same kind of design. Most of round shaped. So, is there a functional difference is one better than the other? or are they for different purposes?
The 505 is an orbital sander, complete different animal than a Random Orbit sander, yes there is a difference.
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-15-2020, 12:57 PM
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The 505 is used a lot for flat work. Good sanders just awkward to use other than flat...
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-15-2020, 01:12 PM
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Porter Cable 505 vs current Random Orbital Sanders-s-l1600.jpg

the half-sheet sanders are highly valued when finishing flat panels.
it's back and forth motion does not leave swirl marks like a Random Orbit sander will.
flat sheet sanders come in 1/4 sheet palm sanders, and 1/3 & 1/2 sheet are bigger.

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Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 09-15-2020 at 01:16 PM. Reason: added photo
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-15-2020, 01:13 PM
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The 505 will swirl....
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-15-2020, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Rebelwork View Post
The 505 will swirl....
you are correct - I will add that when I use the half-sheet sanders,
the swirl marks (to me) are not as noticeable as a Random Orbit.
which varies greatly with the type of wood being sanded and the operator (as with all tools).

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post #7 of 13 Old 09-15-2020, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
The 505 is an orbital sander, complete different animal than a Random Orbit sander, yes there is a difference.
I was curious, so I did a web search on the Porter-Cable 505. It is called a finish sander.

I have an old Craftsman sander that looks similar to it. It has a switch for two modes. One has an "orbital motion" that removes material faster, but leaves circular scratches. The other has a "back and forth" motion that is less efficient, but sands with the grain as long as you align it correctly on the wood.

If the Porter-Cable 505 is a "finish sander", how can it be an "orbital sander"? Wouldn't it leave ring scratches on the wood? Could it be that the ring scratches are expected but very fine, and then the owner does a quick and easy hand-sanding before applying finish?

I always assumed that a "finish sander" has a back-and-forth motion, but perhaps I am wrong. Maybe @shoot summ or someone else can clarify it for me.

Edit:
Asked and answered. See the posts above. Posts that "crossed in the mail."

P.S. I gotta get that old Craftsman sander out, give it a try, and see if I might like it more now. There is one thing I remember about it: It was a pain to change sandpaper, and you had to change the sandpaper often.

Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 09-15-2020 at 01:25 PM.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-15-2020, 01:26 PM
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......if you press on a corner it will leave curly-Q's...
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-15-2020, 01:29 PM
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The PC 330 is well known I cabinet shops for sanding seal coats in cabinet door corners...

Block sanders were put in the closet for main sanding when the PC 332 came out...

The PC 332 and 333 hit shops like a blessing....

Today shops just buy a profile sander and throw under the table...

Tools like these made PC....belt sander , ROS, 690 routers,etc...

Last edited by Rebelwork; 09-15-2020 at 01:38 PM.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-15-2020, 01:35 PM
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Porter Cable 505 vs current Random Orbital Sanders-half-sheet-1.jpg

this is my old workhorse half-sheet finish sander for flat work - and I like it a lot.
I have two round disk random orbital sanders, and they remove a lot of material faster.
I guess you would have to have used both in order to form a personal opinion.
(note: this is a home-made PVC attachment as the factory bag hung out of the
back - pretty cumbersome to me. the shop vac also attaches to the PVC as well).
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Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 09-16-2020 at 07:18 AM.
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post #11 of 13 Old 09-16-2020, 04:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebelwork View Post
The PC 330 is well known I cabinet shops for sanding seal coats in cabinet door corners...

Block sanders were put in the closet for main sanding when the PC 332 came out...

The PC 332 and 333 hit shops like a blessing....

Today shops just buy a profile sander and throw under the table...

Tools like these made PC....belt sander , ROS, 690 routers,etc...

Maybe so, but I love my 330s. As long as I can get them repaired, I will keep using them. Better fit in my hand, more control due to better grip. For me, anyway. But I did love that 505 when I worked in a cabinet shop in the early 80s. And as for swirls, by the time I'm done with the 330, any swirls are so fine that they cannot be seen with the naked eye.
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-17-2020, 07:23 PM
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There is a single trick to getting defect free sanding from any of these orbital/random orbital sanders. Move the sander at speed of one inch per second. No faster. Let the sander do the work like it is supposed to. I learned that in issue #60 of FWW.
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-17-2020, 07:29 PM
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a tool I really miss is the all plastic Black & Decker half-sheet sander from the 1980s.
it had a switch that you could choose between inline and orbital.
I don't know why it was discontinued. (or even if it was - I just haven't seen one like it since).

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