We will be comparing the Porter Cable 7424xp vs 7346sp. These are two different sanders that need a detailed review to choose the one that meets your requirements. The Porter Cable is a leading brand with high-quality and professional-grade orbital polishers. In this article, a detailed review of both products follows, explaining the pros and cons so that you will get to choose the one that works for you. 

Overview of the Porter cable 7424xp 

The Porter Cable 7424xp is a random-orbit machine powered by 4.5Amp. The speed varies from 2,500 to 6,800 OMP. It accommodates 5/16-24 spindle thread accessories. It comes with two removable handles that make handling the tool easy. The roller bearing construction makes the machine durable. The size and weight are perfect for the position you will be working on. You can use both hands but with ease. 

If you do not use the screw on the handle, it will not compromise your production. The sander is comfortable to use, and it also fits small corners in a car. These include under the mirror, and it still remains effective. The sander does not require a lot of maintenance. You do not have to lubricate it since it is lubricated by a high-quality lube that lasts for life. However, you need to bear in mind that it is also an industrial tool that needs cleaning and checking parts once in a while. That is for safety and performance. 

There are a few drawbacks when it comes to the tool. When you are operating at low speeds, it becomes difficult to control the tool. It tends to slow down a bit. The pad comes with cheap foam that does not last long. However, polishing pads are easy to buy at an affordable price. You may even get them with some accessories. 

Pros

  • Speed variance
  • Handy
  • Comfortable
  • Compact size
  • Zero maintenance

Cons

  • It is tricky to control at low speeds
  • Cheap foam pad

(See The Current Price)

Key Features of the Porter cable 7424xp 

Amp motor

The 4.5Amp motor is powerful in the way it enhances speed. The Dual Action polisher comes with a better switch design that makes it durable. The Porter Cable motor does not give a biased performance when using the other option. The speed and quality performance remain the same during sanding and polishing. A faster removal rate is what comes with the machine.

Handles

The machine comes with two removable handles. They have an ergonomic design that makes them comfortable to handle. The handles allow you to move the sander with ease on tricky corners. 

Polishing pad

The polishing pad works on surfaces with scratches or unwanted paint. It gives you a beautiful excellent gloss finish. Unlike the SP series with a sanding disc, the XP model only comes with a polishing pad. However, you can still get a sanding disc that comes with an extra cost.

Rotations per minute

It has a speed variance of  2,500 to 6,800 OMP. That is faster than what the 7424 gives. The aggressiveness that comes with the sander makes it efficient, effective and reliable. That makes it ideal for tough surfaces. The Dual action process produces a small amount of heat you might withstand. 

Overview of the Porter cable 7346sp

It is a random sander powered by 4.5 Amp. It comes with an electronic variable speed dial that ranges from 2,500 to 6,800 OMP. It comes with a 6inch proprietary counterbalance that you use with the 6inch sanding pad. It is compatible with 5/16-24 spindle thread accessories. It works in two positions as it comes with two removable side handles. 

The handle has comfort and control. It weighs up to 6lbs, and that makes it lightweight and compact. The roller bearing construction makes it durable even if you are using it for an industrial load. The sander polishes and sands automotive and marine items. It takes care of the scratches.  The powerful motor is for high overload protection.

The package includes a random orbit sander, polishing pad, PSA pad, sanding disc, side handle, a wrench and a manual for instructions. There is a 10-24 screw holder that keeps the machine in place. It works well on scratches and swirls. It has the magic of restoring the lost gloss finish on items. The handles vibrate a bit but you can avoid it by holding it in the middle. A quality cloth cleans on the spot. The wheel has a diameter of 6inches.

Pros

  • Value for the price
  • Easy to handle
  • Excellent finish quality
  • Affordable
  • Great balance

Cons

  • You need to replace the brushes and cord regularly
  • The handles vibrate a bit

(See The Current Price)

Key features of the Porter cable 7346sp

Speed

A sander is a machine that has a speed variance. It varies from 2,500 to 6,800 opm and that is the ideal speed range for tough surfaces. It easily maneuvers in tricky corners at a higher speed. More speed does not mean you will not experience heating, but it is minimal.

Handles

The tool comes with two side handles that help you carry the machine around. There are tricky areas where you need control from both hands. The ergonomic design gives you a good grip. You can hardly handle the sander with uneasiness. 

Safety

A fast removal rate and a smooth polish on swirls, spots and scratches require safety features to avoid injuries. The power that results in that has to be protected from hurting the user hence the orbital motion does not give burns to the user. 

Switch design

The switch design that comes with the SP model I clearly defined. It deactivates the motor as soon as you press the button. You will not have a running machine without activating the On button. That keeps you safe from the aggressive tool.

Powerful motor

The SP has a feature that makes the polishing process exceptional. It comes with both the polishing pad and the sanding disc. The fast speed that comes with the 4.5 amp motor makes the tool efficient. The saw is tailor-made for high overload protection. It makes the sander ideal for polishing and sanding automotive and marine projects.

Similarities

  • Both products have an electronic variable-speed dial of 2,500 to 6,800 OPM.
  • They are powered by a 4.5 amp motor.
  • They have a wheel diameter of 6inches.
  • The SP series is ideal for serious polishing than the XP model.
  • Both products are for sanding and polishing. 

Differences

  • The Porter Cable 7424xp comes with a polishing pad, whereas the 7346sp comes with a sanding disc and a polishing pad.
  • The XP version is more affordable than the SP.
  • The SP series works as a sanding tool hence itis named sanding pad since it comes with a sanding pad and a polishing pad.
  • The SP series is ideal for serious polishing than the XP model.

Cost 

Both polishers are in the same price range. That is due to more similarities that come with both polishers. However, the XP model helps you save a few bucks.

Verdict

If you are looking for a model with a polishing pad only, you can go for the XP model. If you also want to save some extra cash, I recommend the same model. Although both products fall under the same price range, the XP model will help you save some cash due to the sanding disc that it does not include inside the package.

However, if you need both the sanding and polishing pad in one tool, I advise you to go for the SP model. You can still use the XP model with an additional polishing pad bought separately. It is a 2-in-1 model that comes at an extra cost. 

David D. Hughes