PORTER-CABLE 7346SP vs 7424XP: Which is Best?

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PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander with Polishing...
Best Price
PORTER-CABLE Variable Speed Polisher, 6-Inch...
Model
PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander with Polishing...
PORTER-CABLE Variable Speed Polisher, 6-Inch...
User Rating
Best Choice
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PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander with Polishing...
Model
PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander with Polishing...
User Rating
User Reviews
Best Price
Image
PORTER-CABLE Variable Speed Polisher, 6-Inch...
Model
PORTER-CABLE Variable Speed Polisher, 6-Inch...
User Rating
User Reviews

Why, you might be wondering, are we looking at a sander and a polisher in the same review? They aren’t the same tool!

This is a mistake anyone might make – because these two tools are identical. Porter-Cable sells the 7424XP as a polisher and it comes with a polishing pad. But PC also sells the same bare tool under the 7346SP designation, where it is described as a random orbital sander and is packaged with a polishing pad, a PSA pad, and a sanding disc.

So, unless you’re talking about accessories or price, anything you read or hear about one of these also applies to the other (and we have an in-depth review of the PC 7424XP if you want more information that applies to both). Underneath the packaging differences, what are we looking at with these two tools?

Porter-Cable 7424XP Polishing the hood

Porter-Cable 7424XP and 7346SP – So what’s different?

Sander or Polisher?

The 7424XP is marketed as a polisher only, not a sander.
The 7346SP is marketed as a sander and polisher.

Accessories included

The 7424XP comes with just a polishing pad.
The 7346SP comes with a polishing pad plus a PSA pad and a sanding disc. (For all you rookies reading, the PSA pad is the surface to which you stick your adhesive-backed sandpaper discs.)

Price

The 7346SP is going to cost you about 8% more than the 7424XP.

Porter-Cable 7424XP and 7346SP – What they have in common

Sale
PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander with Polishing...
196 Customer Reviews
PORTER-CABLE Random Orbit Sander with Polishing...
  • 4.5 Amp, ac Only
  • Electronic variable-speed dial 2,500-6,800 OPM
  • Random orbit, swirl-free sanding/polishing action
Sale
PORTER-CABLE Variable Speed Polisher, 6-Inch...
898 Customer Reviews
PORTER-CABLE Variable Speed Polisher, 6-Inch...
  • Random-orbit, swirl-free sanding/polishing action and 4.5 amp, AC only
  • Electronic variable-speed dial from 2,500-6,800 OPM
  • Features a proprietary counter balance for use with 6-inch sanding/polishing pad
Pros
  • Small and reasonably-priced random orbital polisher or sander/polisher
  • Variable speed
  • Takes a variety of backers and pads (sold separately)
  • Long-lasting
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Users would appreciate more included accessories
  • Included polishing pad not high quality

Specifications

Power input: 4.5 Amps

Wheel diameter: 6” rotary

Speed: Variable speed/2,500-6,800 opms

Handed: Left or right handed

Weight: 6 lbs.

Dimensions: 11.5”x10.5”x6”

Spindle thread: 5/16-24

Power cord length: 10’

Warranty: 3-year limited/1-year free service/90-day money back guarantee

Highlights

Both models are appropriate for professionals and DIYers alike and allow you to change out any number of backer heads, sandpapers, and buffing pads, in order to achieve the exact right finish for whatever you’re working on, plus each, has an easy-to-use variable speed feature that allows you to precisely control the head spin speed.

What the Users Say

People like both versions of this tool. It works well as a sander, whether users are working on wood, cars, or fiberglass boats, and it works equally well as a polisher for cars, boats and sometimes even stone and concrete. Since each gives you the ability to change out the backer heads, pads, and/or sanding discs, they both have great versatility. Each has user-friendly ergonomics, low vibration and are lightweight for the size, keeping arm fatigue to a minimum. And Porter-Cable gets moderately high marks for customer service.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, these are the same tool dressed in different packaging. Once you own it, you get to decide what it does for you. You might actually save a few dollars by springing for the slightly more expensive 7346SP because you’ll spend more purchasing its included accessories separately. But with either tool, you’re likely to buy more backers/pads/discs anyway.

Which one should you get? In the long run, the price differential will be negligible, so we suggest you go for whichever one you find on sale first.

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!