Rockwell 5″ Random Orbital Sander Review (RK4246K)

Rockwell Model RK4246K Random Orbit Sander

Rockwell recently sent me one of their new sanders to try. The RK4246K 5″ Random Orbit Sander to be exact. Over the last year I’ve become a really big fan of Rockwell Tools quality and performance. Needless to say I wasn’t shocked when I was told this little sander is a “hidden jewel”. Orbital sanders are extremely useful and a tool that every shop should have. So if you’re in the market for a sander this is certainly one to consider.

Read on and learn more about the RK4246K.

Features

  • CDSTM (Cyclonic Dust/Air Separator) ensures constant suction over time
  • Variable speed dial for selecting optimal finish speed
  • Hook and loop base for easy paper changes
  • Dust sealed rocker switch for longer life
  • Soft ergonomic palm grip

Specifications

  • Voltage: 120V-60Hz
  • Power input: 2.8 Amp
  • No-load speed: 5000-12000opm
  • Base size: 5”
  • Orbital diameter: 3/32”
  • Cord length: 10 ft
  • Machine weight: 3.1 lbs

Included with RK4246K

  • (1) Rockwell 5 in. Sander
  • (1) CDSTM (Cyclonic Dust/air Separator)
  • (1) dust extraction adapter
  • (1) 80 grit hook and loop sanding sheet
  • (1) 120 grit hook and loop sanding sheet
  • Carrying case.

Rockwell 5" Random Orbit Sander

Rockwell RK4246K Review

The Rockwell 5″ Orbital Sander sure does look like some sort of high tech equipment with it’s fancy looking dust collection system. I’ll be honest the flashy dust collection system really looked like a gimmick but I was very wrong!

Sanding Pads

The RK4246K uses standard hook and loop sanding pads with 8 dust port holes. Nothing new about how these work or how to install the pads. I like that it’s a standard pad size and available at any big box store or local hardware store.

Motor/Power

The Rockwell Random Orbital Sander offers a variable speed adjustment that adjusts the vibrations from 5000-12000 oscillations per minute. The sander has an orbital diameter of 3/32″.

The tools weighs only 3.1 lbs and boasts a powerful 2.8 amp motor. I really like having a variable speed control on these sanders as it gives you much better performance with varying materials and grits. The variable speed dial is located on the rear of the grip out of the way from being inadvertently adjusted. The on/off switch has a nice soft dust cover on it and it’s located on the front of the grip for easy access.

Dust Collection System

For me the “hidden jewel” here is the dust collection system on the RK4246K. While most random orbital sanders on the market use a simple dust bag the Rockwell 5″ Random Orbital Sander uses the CDS or Cyclonic Dust/Air Separator. The technology here is much like that famous yellow vacuum system that we see on TV all the time. While this may look like a gimmick I’m here to tell you otherwise.

The RK4246K really impressed me with it’s ability to collect a vast majority of the dust I was producing. If you look closely at the photo above you’ll see a 2 inch wide piece of Cambara wood that I sanded on top of a finished oak table. You’ll notice there is no dust on the table top! Why is that so impressive? Think about the fact that I’m sanding a piece of wood that’s much narrower than the 5″ sanding surface which means not all of the dust collection holes are covering the surface. Pretty impressive in my mind!

To remove the dust you simply open a little door in the CDS. As shown in the photo above the door has a rubber gasket that keeps an air tight seal. You can see in the photo how all the very fine dust stuck to the sides of the container from static. I’m very impressed with their CDS and can’t wait to see it show up on other tools.

Storage Case

If I can find one thing to complain about it’s the storage case. While the storage case offers a rugged compact case I was not happy with the case latches. More and more tool companies are switching over to this all plastic cases with plastic latches. If you look at the adjacent photo you’ll see the plastic latch in question. The latch is very difficult to open. It’s so stiff that it actually hurt my fingers repeatedly opening it.

I’m sure over time the latch will probably loosen a bit and be easier to use. Any I don’t think this small problem is worthy of much complaint. What I hope is the tool companies take notice and find better latches (even if I need to pay a few more bucks for it).

Overall Impression

The Rockwell 5″ Random Orbital Sander (RK4246K) really impressed me. With a retail price of around $60 this little sander definitely exceeded my expectations. The dust collection system sets a new standard on what I now expect from my small sanding tools. If you are in the market for a random orbital sander then this model needs to be on your list.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of several other sites including: Home Construction & Improvement and Today's Green Construction

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

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2 Comments

  1. Todd,

    Great review – I could not agree more on the hinges….

  2. I Love how more companies who produce sanders like Rockwell are adding dust collection systems into their sanders. It makes for a much cleaner working environment. Especially if you will need to add finishes and you need to keep the dust to a minimum. Cool Sander!

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