How to Use a Drum Sander? Everything You Need to Know

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Sanding is necessary for a beautiful finish on a new hardwood floor, and it is also a terrific method to refresh an older floor and make it appear brand new again.

Here is a basic rundown on the drum sander, often known as a floor sander.

The Drum Sander

The drum sander is the most common machine in floor sanding, and it is used for the majority of the floor. You can operate this sander from a standing position. However, because the drum sander cannot get close to the walls, you have to switch to an edger at some point during the process. The edger is a seven-inch diameter rotating abrasive disc controlled from a bent-over or kneeling position.

A drum sander is ideal for big floor surfaces because it does the majority of the sanding job. When you rent a drum sander, it normally arrives in several sections, so the first step is to put it together.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Re-insert the handle in the receiver (it should easily slide in)
  2. On the right side, lock the clamp. It is critical that this is tight; you do not want it to fall free once the sander is turned on and vibrating.
  3. Twist the power cord to keep it in place.
  4. Place the dust extraction tube in the left-hand hole of the handle.
  5. Attach the dust bag to the dust extraction tube by putting it over the open end, looping it around, and sliding the rubber ring down to secure it.

After it is all put together, you have to attach the sandpaper to the rotating drum. To keep yourself safe, it is usually a good idea to wear protective gloves throughout this period.

How to Install the Sandpaper

  1. Return the machine to its original position.
  2. Raise your front guard.
  3. One end of the sandpaper should be tucked underneath the metal plate.
  4. To keep the sandpaper in position, push the metal plate down and secure the screws.
  5. The sandpaper should be wrapped around the drum.
  6. Tuck the other side of the sandpaper below the screws and loosen them again, making sure it is as tight and as smooth as possible.
  7. Re-tighten the screws, and you are good to go!

When sanding against walls, the dust bag twirls around so you may move it out of the way. Just be careful not to rip it!

What Pattern Should You Follow When Using the Drum Sander?

The drum sander resembles a cross between a lawnmower and a vacuum; however, it cannot mow the floor or suction. Drum sanders are designed to carve an eight-inch wide by half-inch long hole into the wood of your hardwood floor at any given moment.

Furthermore, the cutting area leaves a lovely, even strip of the smooth floor as long as the drum sander keeps moving across the floor. If you stop, even for a second, the drum is going to leave a deep hole on the floor surface known as a ‘stop mark.’

This means that the drum sander can only sand securely when it moves in a straight line forwards or backward. It’s impossible to sand while rotating or changing directions. Thus, you have to sand one side of the space first, then rotate once and sand the other half to make the fewest number of turns.

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Since you are walking back over the same path that you sanded ahead, you end up exactly where you started. Before you come to a halt, gently elevate the drum off the floor.

Now you must move the device four inches to the left so that the following pass overlaps the first one by at least half the width of your sanding drum. 

Repeat the first pass’ approach, gradually lowering your drum as you move forward, raising and lowering at the wall where you change the direction, and sanding backward over the route you used to move forward.

Continue until you get to the right-side wall, going up, back, and over four inches. Turn the device 180 degrees (with your sanding drum totally clear of the floor, obviously), and you are going to find yourself with a wall on the left. Sand the other half of the space in the same manner as the first, gently overlapping the two parts to produce a smooth mix.


To obtain the greatest finish on a wood floor, make sure you are using the correct tools. There are several different types of floor sanders available, each with somewhat different functions.

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s written by Itamar Ben-Dor, who has 25 years of experience in renovations, carpentry, locks, creation, landscaping, painting, furniture construction, and furniture renovation, works with concrete, plumbing, door repair, and more.

Itamar Ben-Dor has been in the home improvement business for over 25 years. Itamar Ben-Dor is a jack of all trades. He's worked in the renovation field for years, doing everything from locksmithing to carpentry. He's a small repairs specialist. But his true passion lies in furniture construction and renovation - he loves seeing old pieces come back to life with some new woodwork or a fresh coat of paint.

He has taken courses on many topics in these fields at professional colleges in Israel. Over the years, Itamar has also become quite skilled in gardening, carpentry, and renovations. He's worked on projects of all sizes, from massive renovations to small repairs. No job is too big or too small for him!

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Itamar Ben Dor
Itamar Ben Dor

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.