The Best Drum Sander – A Complete Guide

The purpose of a drum sander is to aid in making the process of sanding furniture more effective and speedy. The abrasive nature of a drum sander is excellent for all surfaces. This device is also equipped for the drum to rotate, which provides a lot of speed.

The overall design of a drum sander allows layers of wood to be removed rapidly. This is what makes the device such a desired item for any individuals that partake in woodworking activities.

Why Do You Need A Drum Sander?

Many people understand that a drum sander is an exceptional tool that would be a great addition to any power tool collection. One outstanding feature that a drum sander is well-known for is its ability to make many woodworking projects more straightforward. Nonetheless, there are many more benefits that come from using a drum sander. These are:

  •  Convenience: One of the most convenient power tools that you can have available in your workshop is a drum sander. Most modern drum sanders are designed with a stand that helps protect your back while you’re standing and sanding a surface. These devices are also equipped with a conveyor belt that’s auto-adjusting, which aids in applying the right measures for different wood working pieces. Along with this, these sanders with varied feed rates help in smoothing different stock types. This is done without running the wood. 
  • Efficiency: A drum sander is known to be an extremely efficient sanding tool. This is due to its feature of sanding wood pieces faster than compared to ordinary handheld sanders. A drum sander is designed with a conveyor belt that works on the wood surface through the sander. Thus, this conveyor belt feature provides the drum sander with the ability to achieve consistent and professional results. The same can’t be said for other types of sanders as these aren’t equipped with a conveyor belt feature. 
  • Large sanding capacity: A high percentage of drum sanders on the market provide a large working space, as these devices are open-ended. These drum sanders are usually manufactured as large pieces of equipment and equipped with significantly large tables that hold the purpose of accommodating massive wood working pieces. 

Which Is Better: Drum Sander vs. Planer

One major factor that comes into play when deciding between a planer and a drum sander is that one of these power tools can remove significant amounts of material. In contrast, the other one can’t. This is one of the largest differences between these two devices. 

If you wish to remove many different materials, such as surfacing stock or leveling glued wood, a planer would be the ideal option. On the other hand, a drum sander would be the best device for fine surfing and finish sanding.

The typical amount of material that a planner can remove with every pass is around 0.125 and 0.250 inches. In comparison, a drum sander can remove between 0.005 and 0.007 inches for each pass conducted on the surface. With all that being said, you would need to undergo approximately 25 passes with your drum device to have the same effect that a planer creates in one pass.

Another factor that differentiates a drum sander from a planer is that a drum sander is an ideal tool to work on significantly thinner stock, such as veneers. The types of pieces that hold thinner characteristics are going to be harder to work on when using a planer.

Lastly, the design of a planer aids in these devices being smaller and relatively more affordable when compared to a drum sander as a drum sander has the reputation of being a large machine that comes with a hefty price tag to own.

What Types of Drum Sanders Can You Get?

When looking for the best drum sander, you need to consider what different drum sanders you can get. Drum sanders can be classified based on the structural characteristics used to store the standing mechanism. A drum sander can be classified as either open or close-ended based on these differing structures. 

However, drum sanders can also be placed in two sub-categories as either a double or single sander. This classification is made based on the number of drums the sander is equipped with.

Close-End Drum Sander

Close-end drum sanders are types of sanders that occupy a structure which aids the feeding belt and sanding drum, while the pressure rollers are closed on both ends. This particular design results in accommodating sanding boards that are wider than the actual length of the drum to be impossible. For example, owning a close-end drum sander that has a width of 12-inches, you won’t be able to sand any boards that have a width larger than 12-inches.

It’s clear that this type of design limits the board’s width that you wish to sand. However, a solution to this problem would be to sand two separate boards (that have a width of 12-inches or smaller) and glue these separate pieces together.

Although this design limits the material that you can sand, there is an excellent benefit that comes with using a close-end drum device. This is that these structures are more stable than using an open-end drum sander. The reason for this is that the roller can’t flex open or apart, as these pressure rollers are closed on both ends.

Open-End Drum Sander

An open-ended style is the best drum sander for you if your projects require you to use large boards. An open-end drum sander is structurally-manufactured to house and support the sanding drum, conveyor belts, and pressure rolls (that are constructed to be open at one end).

The open-ended feature provides that these drum sanders are capable of sanding boards that are larger than the width of the drum. For example, an open-end drum’s structural design allows for a 12-inch drum sander to effectively sand boards that are larger than 12-inches in width.

Although this is an excellent feature, it comes with a price to pay. The design of the pressure rollers being open on one end can negatively affect the performance these machines are able to provide. This performance can be hindered from the open-end flexing when put under pressure. As a result, the drum sander can produce uneven sanding.

Single Drum Sander

The oldest and still the most popular type of drum sander is a single drum sander. As the name applies, these types of drum sanders are equipped with one sanding drum.

This type of drum sander limits you to using only one sanding paper grit. Therefore, you’re going to need to keep making changes to the strip if you wish to use more than one.

Nonetheless, an excellent advantage to using a single drum sander is that these types have a relatively basic design, which makes the tool easy-to-use. Moreover, this design tends to lead it to be a cheap drum sander compared to double drum sanders.

Double Drum Sander

A double drum sander, also known as two drum sander, is designed just as the name suggests – with two sanding drums. This type of drum sander is manufactured with one sanding drum right behind the other.

An incredible feature about a double drum sander is that it holds the capability to run two sanding sheets of paper with two different grits at the same time.

This allows you to sand more efficiently as you can have a rougher grit on the first sanding drum and a finer grit on the second drum. It speeds up the sanding process, as removing material and refining can be done simultaneously.

Nonetheless, the design that allows this machine to be more handy creates more complexity. As a result, the double drum sander is harder to use and is more costly than a single drum sander.

What Should You Look For When Buying A Drum Sander?

We have listed our drum sander reviews below. We have highlighted some of the best drum sanders for sale on the market within our drum sanders review. However, all of these brands and models are different in the design of each drum sander for sale.

That’s why it’s essential to understand the different points below, as these provide alternative features to one another. To make the right decision that fits the needs of what you expect from your drum sander, it’s vital to consider these factors before making your purchase.

Design

We have previously mentioned the different types of drum sanders that you can get. You have the option between open and close-end standers.

A close-end drum sanding device would be the best option if you wish to sand boards that don’t exceed the machine’s width. You can sand separate boards and glue them together. However, if you’re against using glue and would rather sand one wide width surface, then an open-end drum sander would be the best option.

We also previously discussed the difference between a single and double drum sander. If you’re looking for a more affordable and easy-to-use sander, then a single drum sander would be best. However, you do need to continually change sandpaper as this sander can only take one strip at a time.

Otherwise, if you want a more efficient sander, then a double drum sander is the right choice for you. Nonetheless, there are some other things to consider. A double sander is more complex, which leads to it being more expensive and harder to use. Maintenance methods are also difficult to perform on this sander. If this is going to be a problem for you, a single drum sander may be a solution.

It’s essential to identify what you wish to gain from using your sander in order to find the best design aspects you wish your drum sander to be equipped with.

Dust Collection

You obviously aren’t a first-time sander and know that sanding produces dust, and lots of it depending on what you’re sanding. This is especially the case when using drum sanders as this device tends to be used to sand wide boards. Due to this, a dust collection feature is essential if you wish to keep your workspace tidy and the environment you’re working in pleasant.

We recommend looking for a drum sander that’s manufactured with a wide opening that can be used to house dust collection hoses. We can’t stress this enough, but dust collection is an excellent feature to ensure that you’re working in a healthy environment.

Dust is dangerous. These dust particles can filtrate into your lungs and eyes and cause severe damage. Not to mention, these dust particles carry toxins from the wood that you’re sanding. These toxins are present in the treatments that are applied to the wood to help keep it healthy.

Most of these treatments are safe to apply to the wood when applied and cured correctly. However, these toxins aren’t safe when these are being ingested into your body. This ingestion is made possible from the dust particles (with the toxins present) being pushed into your airways while using a sanding device.

This is one of the many reasons as to why dust collection should be treated as one of the most crucial considerations when choosing a drum sander.

Speed Adjustments

Being able to adjust the speed of your drum sander’s motor is a great feature. Speed adjustments provide more versatility during the sanding process. Along with versatility, having a speed adjusting feature helps to prevent damage from occurring to your wooden boards while you’re sanding these.

Portability

It’s essential to know the level of portability you would like your drum sander to have. If you have a smaller workspace, you may prefer a drum sander that you can move around to fit with the space that’s available in the area. On the other hand, a workspace that’s larger and has dedicated space may not need a drum sander that offers mobility.

Capacity

The term ‘capacity’ refers to the size of material a drum sander is capable of handling. This is a crucial factor to consider as it determines the size of the wooden board you can and can’t sand. It would be pointless to purchase a drum sander that can’t sand the required sized boards you wish to use in your projects.

Power

The power that a particular motor of a drum sander provides is another element that needs to be considered, as it plays a role in how you wish to conduct sanding on your boards. Most drum sanders are equipped with a motor power of one to five HP. When deciding on a drum sander, a general rule is that the more power you wish a motor to have, the more you are required to pay for that sander.

Within the power feature, you should also look at the voltage limits in your home before settling on a drum sander. This is because it can be an exceptionally unfortunate experience to end-up purchasing a 240-Volt drum sander, where you’re limited to a voltage of 120.

Budget

One of the first things you should look at when trying to find the right drum sander for you is seeing how much you’re willing to spend on this particular power tool. The market of drum sanders is vast, and it’s possible to find one that fits all kinds of budgets.

Due to the large volume of drum sanders out there, it’s very possible to find a suitable machine for a few hundred dollars. However, you need to be prepared that if you wish to obtain a more powerful drum sander, you are going to have to pay a slightly higher price.

Some of the more powerful drum sanders that have excellent capabilities and features, and are made from reputable brands can cost you $1000 or more. We suggest going for a drum sander that falls within your budget, or is at least at a reasonable price, and has the necessary features to provide you with the results you wish to receive. It’s a good idea to remember that you shouldn’t sacrifice the features or overall quality of a drum sander just to save a little extra cash.

Quality

Some drum sanders may not be the most expensive, but it does cost a pretty penny to claim ownership of one. You’re spending all this money on a device. The least that it can do is provide what it is you want. For that reason, it’s vital that the quality of the sander is good.

Generally speaking, drum sanders are made extraordinarily robust and durable. That’s why you don’t need to worry about the sander breaking and having to replace parts. When we speak about quality, we’re talking about the quality of the features that you want to receive from this power tool. For example, if you wish to receive an adjustable speed feature, you need to make sure that the adjustable speed feature included in the design is sufficient enough.

Even if a product states that it holds a specific feature, it doesn’t mean that it can conduct that feature very well. You don’t just want a drum sander that has a dust collection system, as it may be designed with a dust collector that is poorly made. You want an effectively-made dust collection system.  

However, it’s also essential to analyze the overall quality of the drum sander. Looking at the construction of the pressure rollers, sanding drums, and feed belts all play a role in providing incredible features such as sanding potential and stability, which all contribute to the sanding ability of the drum sanding device.

Tips and Tricks to Get the Best Results out of Your Drum Sander:

Generally speaking, a drum sander isn’t a complicated power tool to understand. Thus, using these types of devices is relatively easy-to-use, and any woodworker and hobbyist shouldn’t struggle when using one.

Nonetheless, there are some great tips that aren’t very well known that have the ability to enhance the results you already gain from your drum sander. Here are a few helpful tips for you to try out the next time you have a sanding session:

Take Your Time

It’s important to remember that drum sanders don’t have the capabilities to remove many materials after one pass, unlike planers. You shouldn’t use your drum sander as a planer. For this reason, it’s essential to take your time and allow the drum sander to work its magic to remove these materials efficiently.

Rushing the process can cause damage to your wooden boards, which can be irreversible or take even longer to try and fix. Setting the belt to the maximum speed capacity and conducting a number of light passes is the method that produces the best results.

Choose Your Sandpaper Wisely

Owning the best drum sander doesn’t mean that your sanding is gaining the best results, as the sandpaper you use plays a significant role. Rather than going for cheaper sandpaper, try using more premium kinds. Choosing sandpaper wisely can help in limiting the number of frustrations you experience while sanding.

The statement that it doesn’t matter because it’s just paper isn’t valid. There are varied forms of sanding paper that ultimately affect how your sanding is going to turn out. Premium sandpaper is called premium because it holds qualities that offer sanding that’s more efficient, while more desired results are achieved.

Use a Dust Collector

As previously mentioned, a byproduct of sanding is dust. For this reason, you shouldn’t ever use your drum sander without having a dust collector nearby. A benefit of having a dust collection system is that you’re able to keep your workspace clean. However, an even more important advantage of using a dust collection system is that it enhances the performance of the drum sanding device.

Reducing the amount of dust present on the sanding object helps provide more contact between the sandpaper and the wood of the board that’s being sanded.

Don’t Sand Through Brads

If you choose to attach fasteners to your workpiece, be cautious not to sand right up to where these are present. Sanding to the fasteners is likely to result in lines being left in your sandpaper. These lines can be transferred to the next stock that you sand, which would require an immense amount of work to remove.

The Five Best Drum Sanders Reviews:

With so many sanders out on the market, we have tried to provide a means to share what we think are the best drum sanders that you should consider when looking at adding one to your power tool collection. Here are some of the best drum sanders that your money can buy:

Jet 723520K JWDS 1632 Drum Sander

No drum sander reviews article would be complete without including the powerful Jet 723520K JWDS 1632 drum sander. This Jet power tool is equipped with a sander drum that’s guaranteed to provide high performance at a reasonable price.

Despite offering a relatively small motor power, this jet drum sanding device generates enough strength to undergo most sanding projects. The Jet 723520K JWDS 1632 drum sanding device is designed with a 16-inch drum size and is equipped with a variable speed feature. This makes it possible to control the optimal feed rate you wish to achieve, depending on the type of project you’re working on.

The portability of this Jet device is effortless to move between workspaces, as it’s one of the lightest models on our drum sander reviews list. Thus, it’s one of the most portable drum sanders. Moreover, the design of the Jet drum sander includes a 43-inch conveyor table. Included in this is a parallelism adjusting dial that rapidly returns the conveyor belt to a flat position.

Pros

  • The conveyor and drum motors are separate
  •  Variable speed control
  • Big conveyor table

Cons

  •   The motor isn’t very powerful

Grizzly Drum Sanders Industrial G0459 12-Inch

This grizzly drum sander is known as a baby sander due to it being designed with a 1,5 HP motor and 12-inch sanding drum. This power tool is also equipped with a close-ended design. Due to this feature, the device is provided with stability and ensures that the drum doesn’t flex when put under pressure.

The drum sander is also manufactured with a feed belt that’s made with tacky rubber. The reason for the feed belt having tacky rubber is to aid in the prevention of the project moving while ensuring that no damage is caused to the surface of the wood when it’s processing through the sanding drum.

Another feature that this drum device provides is a lower capacity. This allows the power tool to work on thinner surfaces such as veneer and marquetry sheets.

Pros

  •  Ability to work on thinner materials
  •  Prevents damage from occurring to the surface while processing through the sanding drum
  •  Stable model

Cons

  •   Can only work on projects up to a 12-inch width wood surface

Jet Benchtop Drum Sander

Most of the time, the space available in the workspace is limited. Nonetheless, the Jet Benchtop drum sander is an excellent option for a smaller design to fit into the open space. This Jet drum sander uses superior technology, making it one of the best drum sanders sale to make from this list.

This Jet benchtop drum sander is very affordable. The compact size aids in making it the cheapest drum sander that can be used in a limited space. This Jet device is also extremely convenient, thanks to the incorporation of impressive features in the design. These features provide an effective sander for your wood surface projects.

The Jet Benchtop drum sander has a large hand wheel that makes it possible for adjustments to be made easily and allows paper changes to be done rapidly. The variable speed feed rate goes from one to 12 fpm.

The Jet device is equipped with a one HP motor. Although this isn’t a high-speed and robust motor, it provides a substantial amount of strength for any benchtop device. Moreover, an incredibly convenient feature is that the Jet device comes with 4-inch dust ports. This makes for effortless dust collecting that’s effective and can be done while sanding.

Pros

  •  Variable feed rate
  •   Sandpaper change can be done quickly
  •  The handwheel is large and easy to adjust
  •  A compact sander that’s lightweight
  • Cost-effective
  • Effective dust ports

Cons

  •  Not a very powerful motor

Powermatic PM2244 1-3-4 HP Drum Sander

The Powermatic PM2244 is the best drum sander for those that value appearance just as much as the performance of a power tool. This is due to the drum sander’s very appealing look.

This device isn’t just known for its appearance. It’s also been excellently designed with a steel hood that’s sturdy and a cast iron drum carriage. It’s equipped with a 22-inch drum size that can accommodate sanding more expansive wooden surfaces. The design of the drum sander also provides a variable speed feed rate of 0 to 10 fpm. This feature makes the device ideal for sanding a variety of different kinds of surfaces.

However, this item is one of the bulkiest sanders on this list. This doesn’t make it a suitable device for those that are looking for hand held drum sanders. Added to this, it’s one of the more expensive models on this list. Nonetheless, you don’t need vast amounts of open space within your working area to accommodate this device.

The control panel makes this one of the best drum devices. The LED control panel is what sets this power tool apart from the rest on this list. Important information, such as belt power and speed, is displayed on the control panel.

The 1-3-4 HP motor provides excellent strength and makes the item incredibly robust. It’s also equipped with a dust port that efficiently collects dust and makes your working area tidy while you sand.

Pros

  • Powerful motor
  • Effective dust port
  • Variable speed feed rate
  • Equipped with a cast iron drum carriage that’s durable

Cons

  • Heavy which reduces mobility
  • More expensive

JET 628900 Mini Sander

The Jet 628900 has a motor that’s capable of sanding most small projects. This is due to its one HP motor. This motor power isn’t as effective as the other motor capabilities on this list. However, the motor provided is substantial for the size of the device.

It’s equipped with a large hand wheel that makes adjusting easy. The 20-inch width feature provides you the ability to work on larger surfaces.

Having access to a Jet 628900 also provides you with variable speed feed rate control. The presence of a variable speed feed rate allows you to work with any speed from 0 feet per minute to 12 feet per minute. It also has the best dust port provided, which helps collect dust in your working space effectively, and aids in the device being more effective.

Pros

  • Great variable speed feed rate control
  • Large width to accommodate a variety of surfaces

Cons

  • The motor isn’t very powerful

Conclusion

There are many different kinds of drum devices that can be considered the best drum sander. This is due to these devices coming in all shapes and sizes. The various features are going to be beneficial for different people.

That’s why it’s essential to consider what you wish to gain from using a drum device. Comparing these desired features to the different sanding devices helps you choose the right device for you.

Everyone’s desires are different, so the choice of drum device is going to vary from person to person. The saying goes that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. One drum device may be entirely wrong for one person, but the best option for another. That’s why identifying your reason as to why you want a drum sanding device is crucial before even looking at possible power tools to purchase.

My father is a practical engineer, and as a hobby he was also involved in construction, renovations, carpentry and woodwork at home; So there was always tools, saws, drills and more at home. Already I was a little kid Dad and I would renovate the house. Once we built a shed for garden tools, once we did flooring for the garden, once we renovated the bathroom and that’s the way it is.Long before there was an internet, directories and plans. We would build things, kitchen cabinets, install electrical appliances, do flooring, pour concrete and more ...I in this blog want to pass on to you the experience I have gained over the last 20 plus-minus years since I was a child to this day and give you information about the best tools, project plans, guides and more.

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