PORTER CABLE Random Orbital Sander

By Robert Robillard on Tool Reviews

PORTER CABLE Random Orbital Sander

PORTER CABLE Random Orbital Sander 97455 Review


PORTER-CABLE recently sent me their Low Profile Random Orbital Sander #97455 to evaluate.  I had heard that this sander had a new and improved “ENDURATECH™ ” motor technology.  This technology is supposed to improve productivity, durability and control of the tool.  I was curious to see if it lived up to the hype.

PORTERCABLE Low Profile Random Orbital Sander

The ENDURATECH™ motor, rated at three amps, uses brushless technology that reduces the number of wearable components by 71 percent – giving the motor 5 to 10 times longer life in testing compared to traditional palm grip sander motors. Besides increased durability, the Low Profile Sander features two innovations for improved results: electronic load control and electronic motor braking. Electronic load control helps maintain pad speed by monitoring motor output and increasing power under load conditions whereas traditional random orbit sanders slow down as bias (or down force) is applied to the tool. In testing, the sander removed material up to 42 percent faster than traditional random orbit sanders.

The electronic motor braking stops the sander almost immediately – 73 percent faster than traditional sanders during testing – so the user can safely set the sander down without waiting for the pad to stop. PORTER-CABLE's Low Profile Sander dust port

First Impression:

The PORTERCABLE 97455 sander looks a hole lot like an automotive pneumatic sanders or grinder profile.  Its low profile is going to be useful reaching into spaced that my old PORTERCABLE random sander cant reach.

This low profile design has also lowered the tools center of gravity and allows the user to get their hands closer to the work.  This allows greater control of the tool.  The sander felt comfortable in my hands and is well balanced.  the power switch is located on the top of the tool and is recessed enough not to interfere with operational handling of the tool.  The variable speed switch is also located out of the way, at the rear or the housing, to prevent accidental touching and changing of setting.

The PORTERCABLE 97455 has a changeable side handle for left and right preferences as well as getting the tool into locations.PORTER-CABLE

One of the nice additions to the PORTERCABLE 97455 is the dust port and dust collection hose comes with the tool.  With  today’s lead dust rules any sanding needs to be connected to a HEPA vacuum and this tool is able to do that. This  integrated dust port accepts 1-inch and 1-1/2-inch vacuum hoses for optimal dust collection.  because I was outside I did not utilize the dust collection but I did test try it out in the shop and it helped maintain good visibility of the workpiece.

I also could not help but notice that PORTERCABLE provides a nice long power cord.  This seems to be the trend lately and it’s a great idea.

PORTERCABLE 97455 Features:

  1. A five-inch sanding pad surface.
  2. Variable motor speed, 7,000 to 12,000 orbits per minute, and random orbit.
  3. Hook and loop sanding pads (390 and 390K only).
  4. Built-in 1 to 1.5 inch vacuum hose attachment (390, 394 and 390K).
  5. PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) sanding pads (392 and 394 only).

Using The PORTERCABLE 97455:

I’ve used the PORTERCABLE 97455 a half dozen times in the field.  It’s durable, powerful and easy to use.  I like it.  On this particular project I was sanding 4×4 mahogany posts.  The sanders made easy work of this and resulted in a high quality smooth, tool- mark free finish.PORTER-CABLE's Low Profile Sander Review

The variable speed switch worked perfectly and allowed me to dial in the speed of the toll as needed and possibly the best feature was the auto brake that stops the sanding disk when the tool is turned off.  Many times I put tools down with the heads or blades still spinning.  This reduces spin-down waiting time from approximately 10 seconds to 3 seconds.

With other sanders and rotary spinning tools you have to be careful that you don’t damage the tool, gouge the worksurface or any other surfaces.  The PORTERCABLE 97455 allows you to avoid this.  Nice touch!

Overall Impression:

The PORTERCABLE 97455 was efficient, thorough, and easy to control, this random Orbital Sanders low center of gravity for the close to the work feel is a huge plus.    Its ENDURATECH motor provides great sanding power and performance which saves time on task.  The sanders integrated dust collection keeps you, your workspace clean and healthier.Portercable random orbital sander

The PORTERCABLE 97455 is ideal for carpenters, re-modelers, woodworkers or DIYers  looking to perform light to aggressive sanding, coating removal, smoothing rough material, solid surface work, and epoxy and bondo sanding.

Highly recommended.

Whats In The Box:

Porter Cable 97455 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander 5-Inch, 5 hole Hook and Loop Sanding Pad Dust Collection Hood 10-Foot Dust Collection Hose 1-1/2 to 2-1/2-Inch Hose Adaptor Sanding Disc Side Handle Carrying Bag Tool Wrench and manual.

Price And Where To Buy:

The PORTER-CABLE® Low Profile Sander sells for approx.  $150 online.

This review contains my opinion of a product. I take pride in providing my readers with an honest and objective information as well as a practical approach to using a product. I never accept payment in exchange for a positive review. Many of the tools and products are provided to for free by a manufacturer for review.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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