good dust collection
sturdy dust collection canister that is easy to remove
A little more than average vibration
Porter-Cable has a good reputation for building reliable and long lasting power tools. The Porter-Cable 343K random orbital sanders is not as well known as the as other brands like Dewalt or Bosch. But this 5-inch 8 hole model is more value priced those brands. The sander itself is a solidly built machine with a 3 Amps motor that rotates up to 1200 rpm. It has a soft top knob and a handle to allow for one handed operations. You can also use it two handed if you do not have overly large hands. The whole thing weighs less than 4 pounds which should make it easy to handle. The sander also has nice touches like a hard plastic dust collection case and comes with a 1 year manufacturer's warranty. The sander also comes with in a case that can hold the sander for storage and transport. Although it is not sturdiest case, its inclusion in the package is a nice touch.
Throughout the sanding process, the sander did not kick up significant dust but the dust collection canister filled up quickly. It seems best to empty it if it is more than half full. Luckily, the canister is easy to remove and empty but you can also connect the sander to a 1.0 or 1.5 inch vacuum hose for more capacity. With practice, the sander is very easy to handle one handed or two handed. It gives good results especially if you do not press down on the sander and let it use its own sanding motion. The sander is taller than most sanders so it is a problem to use it in tight spaces.
The 343k sander does a very good job at sanding. It is not too heavy that it is difficult to maneuver. The excessive vibration can become a little tiring after extended use. The sander tends to be bigger than its competitors which gives a more sturdy feel. But this extra height can make it a little unwieldy for some uses. There is a variable speed model available that adds nice for some additional control. Overall, the Porter-Cable 343k random orbital sander does the job very well is a few shortcomings that are easily overlooked when you consider its bargain price.