Drum sanders are must-have tool for professional woodworkers to turn rough surfaces into smooth.
The abrasive nature of a drum sander is perfect to use for all surfaces, mainly used in the making of sanding furniture. It has a drum that rotates at high-speed level to remove the wood layers rapidly.
Drum sanders are available in different designs and features. However, to receive the good quality finish, you must pick the best drum sander suitable for your requirements.
Why Drum Sander
Different sanding machines are used for the sanding work. Sanding is a very important part. It gives the outstanding finish of various products. A drum sander is one of the popular sanding tools. This sander is known as a drum sander because of its drum. A drum sander is a kind of sander that uses a rotating sanding drum. Most of the drum saner comes with a heavy-duty motor. A user adjusts feed rollers to feed the wood into the machine.
The drum sander is suitable for fine and smooth finishing large surfaces. Drum sander works great on hardwood floors. You can easily sand hardwood with a drum sander for its heavy work capacity. Different drum sander is available in the market but drum floor sander is very popular. The drum sander is also known as a belt sander.
What To Look For In A Drum Sander
When buying an expensive new tool, a hasty decision might cause you to find yourself in a bunch of trouble. It’s always important to carefully understand your own needs before you buy a machine. To help you understand what your needs might be, we’ve put up a detailed buying guide for you to follow.
Sizing ( Width & Thickness)
Before making a purchase, its crucial that you make sure what size of boards you’ll be sanding. Each sander has a specific capacity of how high wide or how thick a board that can be fed through them.
To be able to utilize your sander best, you’ll want one that is slightly larger than the word size you usually work with. Having a more massive sander is always great as it gives you the flexibility to increase the board sizes now and then. But, keep in mind that the larger machines take up much more space.
For jobs that are a bit more unreliable to the size that will be needed, you can go forward and purchase an open-end sander. Giving you the ability to increase the width of the stock that can be fed into the sander by twice the amount. Therefore if you buy a 22inch sander, you can fit stock pieces that are 44 inches wide.
For thickness, it’s always better to rely on sanders that provide higher height adjustment abilities. Most regular sanders go up to about 3inches in height, giving you enough space to run your wood in. However, if you work at an industrial scale, 4inches is the recommended setting you should get.
A significant factor for any drum sander would be the motor used in it. You don’t always need an exceptionally large/powerful motor; instead, you want one that best compliments the drum best.
To select the best motor first look at the size of the drum that is run,larger drums tend to be bulkier, which is why you’ll need a faster motor to run them efficiently. Also, what material makes up the drum plays quite an active role.Steel-based drums tend to be bulkier in contrast to drums made of aluminum are much lighter.
Keep all this in mind when selecting the perfect sized sanding machine. Usually, a 20inch Drum would require a 1.75HP motor to provide enough speed variations for a sufficient sanding ability.
The feed rate determines how slowly or quickly your wood stock will be fed through the machine. This rate, in turn, helps you determine how fine or rough the sanding of your stock will be.
In this case, you have two choices you can either control the feed rate of your conveyor manually or let the machine handle it automatically.
Older and newer models come with a manual speed adjustment system that allows you to vary both the sanding speed and the conveyor’s speed. This system will let you better decide on the type of finish you want to get.
On an automatic system,speed is determined using an array of load sensors, which automatically adjust the speed according to this load. The automatic system is the one to choose as it allows fewer chances for damage to take place, giving you assured quality output.
Before buying a sander, it is essential to know what work you want to get out of them the most. If your type of work requires you to be at a workstation all the time, then go for the larger sanders, that is, if they meet your room’s size specifications.
However, if you’re mainly working at different job sites, then the sander you’ll need will differ significantly. These portable sanders are smaller in size and have wheels on the base, and these should help you carry them around easily.
Best Drum Sanders of 2021:
The JET 649003K comes with a lot of the same bells and whistles as our Top Pick. Its 1.75HP motor can also handle wood up to 44” wide and from 4” down to 1/32” thick, plus it offers auto control of the variable feed rate to keep your drum from over-working. This is a benchtop sander, so it’s much smaller (about 3’x1’) and lighter (“only” 250 lbs.) and you’ll want a stand of some sort for it, although that’s accounted for in a noticeably lower price tag.
This JET sander stumbles on two relatively minor fronts, though. It lacks the digital readouts of the Powermatic, and the in and outfeed tables, although optional, are a challenge to take off and put on. If you don’t care about those two issues, this might be the perfect sander for you whether you’re a pro or a hobbyist.
The Grizzly G0716 is priced to compete with our Best for the Money choice but isn’t in the same league. It’s 1.5 HP motor can handle boards up to 9.5” wide and 3” thick, but can only work down to ¼”, making it unsuitable for veneer or instrument projects. It’s fairly heavy – 200 lbs. – for something that’s only about 2×2.5’ and only offers manual control of its variable speed conveyor belt.
It does come with a stand, which is an unexpected plus at this price point, but users are nearly universal in complaining that it is way too short, requiring jury-rigging to avoid turning into a hunchback. When not bemoaning its height, or lack thereof, everyone is frustrated by the sandpaper changing. Even though a basement woodworker may not need a top-of-the-line machine, there’s no reason for them to settle for this sander.
Supermax 16-32 drum sander is easy to use, and it is quite a high-tech product when it comes to drum sanders. This drum sander has a built-in digital read-out; this helps the sander maintain a consistent thickness in the wood that is highly accurate.
It also has a turbo vented dust port that allows for excellent airflow to the dust collectors, and it has quick level adjustment technology built into it, helping with its ease of use.
This drum sander is high-tech and has great torque control with the primary motor, but the power cord is short, and the hose that connects to the dust port can sometimes get in the way. Apart from these drawbacks, this drum sander is an excellent investment for your woodworking.
This product is a well-built high-quality machine that is high-powered for its size and effective at its job. This is a great sander to have as it is portable and good for small workshops. It has a quick-changing sandpaper feature, which adds to this machine’s ease of use and allows you to be more productive as you do not need to spend a large amount of time changing the paper. This drum sander was made to be operator-friendly.
There are many great drum sanders on the market today, but these ones are the best of the best, and whichever one you choose to buy. These drum sanders are easy to use and set up, plus they offer high-quality results that any professional woodworker would be proud of. Now, the fun and challenging part of trying to only pick one, good luck!
Powermatic is one of the more premium brands of power tools out there that is mainly known for making highly powerful drum sanders and other industrial equipment.
This Powermatic PM2244 drum sander is present in this article as it makes for a great pick for users who are looking for a drum sander for industrial usage. Just per its name, it comes with quite a powerful 1 ¾ HP electric motor. This motor is able to offer great performance when combined with the Feed Logic feature of this drum sander that offers maximum efficiency.
Since this drum sander is a bit on the expensive side, you also get various handy features with it like an inbuilt LED light. Its control panel offers various adjustments for high precision results while using it. As for the warranty, Powermatic offers a 5-year long warranty that makes this model highly durable and reliable.
6. Jet 723520K
Jet delivers one of the most beautifully designed and well-built open stand drum sanders to date. With a 14AMP 1-½ HP motor and a capability to deal with pieces up to 16 inches of height and 32 inches wide, it’s the quintessential drum sanding machine for any experienced hobbyist craftsman or even a professional since it can easily and perfectly handle and finish all regular sized tasks.
This is a very modern machine and as such brings with it excellent advanced features such as the innovative and extremely convenient tool-less parallelism system which makes adjusting the belt as simple as turning a dial and of course, the trademark Jet Sandsmart control (constantly monitors the load on the drum motor and automatically regulates the speed of the conveyor motor to maintain the highest feed rate without ever overloading).
The famous Delta 31-481, known for its great quality and equally great price. It has two sanding drums which are powered by a 3HP motor that makes them run at 1,550 RPM. The feed speed goes from 3 to 20 FPM (variable speed) and the maximum surface width is a cool 26 Inches.
It features simple and easy to use controls and the sanding drum replacement is made extremely quick and painless by using toolless tensioning. Like any other Delta machine it’s well-built and durable, I also didn’t find any missing detail or subpar finish, it’s properly made.
At 530 pounds it maintains portability, especially due to its moderate size. When I was using it I had a great and very laid back experience. I didn’t face any adversities, the feed worked smoothly and the results were great (and fast!). It was my first time using this Delta drum sander and I was impressed. Extremely solid choice if you want a great drum sander without breaking the bank. It’s also coupled with a 5 year warranty.
With a highly powerful 10-horsepower motor and 36-1/2-inch drum size, the Shop Fox W1772 can handle almost any sanding task you throw its way, and it easily outperforms most others on our list and in the market.
It is a dual drum sander that offers faster and more efficient sanding and the drums are computer balanced and fully adjustable for height and parallelism for more customized sanding. And it uses a variable speed conveyor belt that allows you to choose any feed rate between 6 and 18 FPM to suit your stock.
This drum sander is also one of the most durable you can get anywhere thanks to its heavy-duty housing and components, and it includes conveniently located controls, hinged hood and an emergency stop bar for safety.
While the W1772 is by far the priciest item among our drum sander review, its feature-rich design, heavy-duty construction, and huge sanding capacity make it worth even more than what you pay for it. And for a commercial workshop, it will still come at a great price.
If you search for any user-friendly and affordable lathe, being a novice to woodturning. JET JWL-1015 is an excellent option It has versatility, power, and precision for getting the work done correctly with any project.
This drum Sander is known as one of the lightest lathes having only 77 pounds, and you know what? It also has cast iron that provides additionals stability resulting in smooth and low vibrating tasks.
JET 1015 not only comprises all the standard features but also varies in speed. Yes, it has three adjustable ranges of speed, allowing you to change its speed effortlessly.
The feature that makes it versatile is its six different spindle speeds. Having a 1/2 HP motor, this drum sander provides enough torque to turn the wood piece with low vibration, making it more attractive.
10. JET 629004K
This Jet drum sander is ideal for small commercial shops. We found it to be excellent for getting rid of planer marks, burns and blade marks. Our testers used this to carry out a number of different tasks including rails, drawer pieces and stiles.
We found it reduced sanding time massively when compared to an orbital sander. Once you get accustomed to fixing the sandpaper in the machine and get to know how to adjust the unit, the sanding is really satisfying and fun! It can even handle some things that you would ordinarily use a planer for.
This is a more expensive machine than our Editor’s Choice (in fact, it’s almost double the price), but it is a great machine none the less and it comes with sandpaper ready to use – 80-grit and 100-grit.
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!
Who uses a drum sander mostly?
It is an ideal power tool for those who spend more time on the sanding process. Usually, smaller projects done by novice woodworkers can sand them with an orbital or disc sander. While intermediate woodworking projects are a bit larger, yet the wood volume is handled by the same tools or belt sander (in some cases).
If dealing with large projects or work containing a lot of pieces to smooth, then it’s time to use drum sanders, as such projects can be handled by experienced or professional woodworkers.
Why do we need a drum sander?
The drum sander is an essential power tool that comes in handy when you are looking for an effective and fast way to sand wood. Not just small edges or sides, the device is designed to sand down large pieces to wooden surfaces quickly and evenly.
How to know that sanding is done properly?
When you start sanding, you won’t stop as wooden pieces keep on smoother and smoother. If you need the smoothest finishes, you can find a point where there is no more improvement even after sanding down. At this point, you came to know that you have done sanding.
You can use a drum sander for easily sanding a lot of objects and materials quite easily. Since these are so handy, there are a lot of options out there that make the purchasing process quite confusing. To help you out in buying the perfect one, we are here with the best drum sanders. This article even has its major features and options so that you can easily understand the differences between them.