I love my palm sander. It fits in all sorts of tight spots and saves tons of work hand sanding. It seems to be the tool that comes out most often for quick sanding work — or sometimes for other crazy things. Hell, in the current issue of MAKE magazine Adam Savage (of Mythbusters fame) recommends using one to vibrate the bubbles out of silicone rubber before pouring it into a mold — a cheap alternative to a $1,200+ vacuum chamber.
Now Porter-Cable has released a few updated palm sanders. Most of the updates are designed to increase reliability and servicability. My favorite change: The top cap is now removable so you can clean the tool out without disassembling the whole thing.
Porter-Cable also streamlined the body a bit to help it better fit in your palm, but they retained the 2.4 amp 14,000 OPM (orbits per minute) motor. They’re also providing a hard dust “cannister” instead of a bag, which seems like a great idea. The bags always blow dust no matter how often you empty them (at least in my experience).
And, at a street price of just $50 — less if you shop hard — there’s really no excuse not to have one of these versitile tools around the shop.
Quarter Sheet Palm-Grip Finishing Sander (Model 342) [Porter-Cable]
Street Pricing [Froogle]