Compare Dustless Drywall Sander Systems – Which Is Best For You?
There are two major players in the dustless drywall sander world. Porter Cable
has a model popular with professionals that need high productivity. It features a large, rounded orbital sanding head with the electric motor mounted in the extension handle. The Dustless Technologies
Turbo Drywall Sander features a smaller, rectangular orbital sanding head powered by the airflow from the vacuum. It is designed more for tight places and for sanding in corners.
The Porter Cable Drywall Sander
is a good quality unit that has advantages. For a professional drywall sander who needs a high productivity unit, it is a good choice because of its aggressive sanding action. It enables the operator to cover larger areas quickly, but you also pay a premium price for it. It sells for approximately $430, and that does not include a vacuum - just the drywall sanding unit. For small contractors, do-it-yourselfers and homeowners, the high price of the Porter Cable system may not be worth the expense.
The biggest challenge with the Porter Cable Drywall Sander
is its weight - 8.5 lbs. Holding that kind of weight shoulder-high will cause muscle burn within a few minutes and require frequent breaks. Some people opt for manual pole sanding methods and put up with the dust to avoid the fatigue associated with the Porter Cable Drywall Sander.
And in tight places like bathrooms, the Porter Cable Drywall Sander is often not practical because the sanding head is too big; it's rounded, so it won't reach into corners; the long pole inhibits maneuverability, and you can't adjust the angle of the head to reach everywhere you need to.
So, how do you handle these tight places? Manual sanding? No - that still creates dust that requires a lot of work to clean up. The Turbo Drywall Sander From Dustless Technologies goes where the Porter Cable unit cannot. It has a rectangular head so it can sand in corners. The pole is removable so you can convert the unit into a dustless hand sander - perfect for tight places. An adjustable knuckle enables you to set the angle of the head wherever you need it to accommodate even the most awkward working conditions.
The Dustless Turbo Drywall Sander is an excellent alternative to the Porter Cable Drywall Sander for people who want a lighter weight system at a lower cost. The Turbo Drywall Sander weighs only 4.5 lbs. and sells for less than half the price (only $180) of a Porter Cable unit ($430). It is also a great asset for professional drywall contractors who need the high productivity of the Porter Cable system, but also want a lightweight, more versatile system for small jobs, tight places and touch up.
A big consideration is the type of vacuum used along with the drywall sander. Porter Cable sells a 10 gallon wet/dry vacuum to go along with its model 7800 drywall sander for $370, bringing the total cost for the Porter Cable set up to $800. Dustless Technologies sells a 16 gallon wet/dry vacuum for $300, bringing the total cost for its turbo drywall sanding system to under $500.
For less money, the Dustless Technologies vacuum has some distinct advantages over the Porter Cable vacuum. While the Porter Cable Vacuum claims to deliver 99.85% efficiency, the Dustless vacuum goes further by capturing airborne particles down to .5 microns with its optional Micro Pre-filter. This is very close to HEPA-level performance, which captures down to .3 microns. When dealing with ultra-fine drywall dust, the extra filtration is noticeable.
Another consideration when choosing a drywall sanding system is the cost of the sand paper. The Porter Cable Drywall Sander uses proprietary sand paper that costs $5 a sheet. The Dustless Technologies Turbo Drywall Sander uses standards sized hook-and-loop sand paper sheets available at any hardware store for around a dollar a sheet.
Be sure to check out the Dustless Technologies Wet Dry Vacuum Video