The Porter Cable 371 K is a compact belt sander that weighs only 5 lbs, can be used with one hand and will very nearly sand flush up against a vertical surface. It features a 120 - volt, 5 amp electric motor that gives the little sander plenty of power. Uses 2-1/4" X 14 " belts. Has a dust port & a dust protected switch. Sells for about $120.00, comes in a well fitted plastic case, with an 80 grit belt & its manual. Other grit sanding belts are available.
Share your experiences and opinions about this tool.
This is a very capable one handed sander that has become my favorite - cut right to the line - scribe tool. I wrote in another review that I don't use belt sanders anymore, but this is the exception. Its small size & the ability to get close to corners & sand edges flat & true to whatever curvy or straight line you want to follow makes the 371K a specialty tool. I have a medium size hand and have no problem controlling this tool one handed. The body does get warm after extended use but that is not a deal breaker. It has an exhaust port for hooking up to a vacuum - didn't work for me until I modified it by taking off the extended cowling. Now I just have a straight pipe that fits beautifully to my Festool hose, so it is a dust free sander. I carry a crepe rubber belt cleaner to extend the use of the belts which I buy in packs of 5 from HD or Lowes. I typically use Norton's rather than Porter Cable belts because they are more often available. I highly recommend if you do any edge scribing. Hardly takes up extra room in your tool box.
I own and have for years used the PC371's two bigger brothers; the 3x21 and 4x28 belt sanders but now I rarely ever use anything but this little wonder. As a trim carpenter I was taught to use a belt sander one handed for scribing base and cabinet fillers but after a long day of scribing new trim to old houses, my arm used to feel like it was going to fall off. Not anymore! This thing is light and powerful, the tracking is better than the bigger models and the dust collection actually works (with at vac). I really couldn't recommend this sander enough.
I purchased this little sander because of its size to do a little over head scribing and shaping . After 5 mins it stopped working .Brought it back and the same,stopped working.I did this three times in one morning . I never had a problem with porter cable belt sanders but this little sander is garbage.
I've been using a friend's sander for a couple of weeks now doing some fit ups on cabinetry. This thing is far easier to control than my previous sander and I'll definitely be getting one of my own. I like the compact design. The only problem I had was with belt walk on certain brands of belt. 3M and Norton work fine. Gator gave me some issues. It's probably not the sander's fault though. More than likely the belts aren't quite to spec.