If you’re in the market for a new drum sander, you may have some idea of what you’re looking for. If you’re not entirely sure what specifications or features you’re going to need, you might run into some complications. Buying the best drum sander for your needs to be the best thing always. You could buy something simply because it’s the top of the line, but if it doesn’t suit your needs it’s not going to seem like a great purchase. To make sure your purchase is worthwhile, you have to compare different products and see which of them is the best for you.
In this article, we’re going to cover 5 of the best drum sanders that are on the market. This should give you a better idea of what you’re looking for and bring you one step closer to making a purchase.
How does a Sander work?
A sander is a power tool that is used to smooth wood by using sandpaper, which is attached to a mechanism that moves the paper rapidly against a surface. Sanders can be either handheld or fixed to a workbench.
A drum sander is just one of the many types of sanders. It is different in design and function features from other types of sanders. If you have a job at hand which needs you to buy drum sander, then you ought to know a few things which may serve you as a buying guide for a drum sander.
Here is something to remember while buying a drum sander:
It is important to choose the correct type of sander for the job, and there are many types of sanders available with a variety of different unique features. So make sure you need drum sander as per the requirements of your task.
- Buyers should be aware of all the options available before making a purchase. There are many different brands of drum sanders on the market, and they come with different features. It is important for a buyer to consider which features they require and the pros and cons of each type of drum sander.
- The choice of drum sander depends on the kind of job and the kind of power source that the sander uses.
- Understand the features offered with each model. Certain features such as a dust collector may cost extra but can save time cleaning up afterwards.
- Opt for a model with a trigger lock since it is advantageous (it means the power trigger does not have to be continuously pressed).
Once the buyer has chosen the correct sander, he or she can use the drum sander knowing it is the right tool for the job.Certain types of drum sanders have certain individual features.
Some of the important features relevant to your buying decisions can be:
- Palm-grip units can be held over the top or around the neck for greater comfort
- Palm units are more economical
- Pistol-grip units often provide smoother finishes
- Palm-grip, pistol-grip and right-angle units are powered by electricity
- Pneumatic sanders require air compressors to power them
There two main types of drum sanders, Closed-ended machines that can’t sand anything wider than 12″ and the other are the portable hand-held models for lighter jobs.
You must opt for support with infeed and outfeed tables to support long workpieces. Look for companies which offer optional tables (if your job requirement needs one).
Jet drum sanders have fixed tables and drums that adjust up and down; the others models have fixed drums and movable tables. This setup makes it nearly impossible to attach shop-made supports.
Certain models of drum sanders produce so much fine dust; it’s critical to have good dust collection. Not surprisingly, 4″ ports work better than 2-1/2″ ports. Opt for a bigger dust collector with either a shop vacuum or a dust collector hooked up.
It is important to remember that drum sanders can cost upward of $1200 for a good reliable model. If you have a job at hand which is not related to a regular business and you won’t have long term utility of your drum sander, then we recommend you to rent a drum sander rather than opting to buy one.
5 Best Drum Sanders of 2016 – Our Reviews
Drum Sander Reviews – The Top 5 Choices
The first drum sander we’re going to look at is the Jet 629004K Open Stand Drum Sander (read our detailed review). Manufactured by JET Woodworking and Metalworking Machinery. This sander has 110 volts. It’s capable of sanding up to 32 inches wide. It has a 1-1/2 horsepower motor.
Has aluminum self-cooling drum. It performs well compared to the other sanders on the market as you can save 75 percent of the time with this sander.
The product purchase comes with the stand, the sander, a box of abrasives and even a TufTool. It’s also supported by a five-year warranty, should anything go wrong during your use of the product. There are additional warranties and services that can be purchased through customer service as well.
Like a planer, there are rollers before and after the drum and the conveyor can be adjusted if it drifts to another side. With the hex nut at both sides, you can change the handy wrench without any fear of slipping off. You have a smart sand feature, where the light will glow on the machine when the conveyor is set to fast but there is a resistance by sanding. With the glow of light, if the machine takes over, you can adjust conveyor speed. This helps for life of the machine.
- Some of the better features are that the product can sand down flat metal. That is relatively hard to come across with the belt sanders
- Comes with pretty good instructions on the installation of the machine.
- Durable for years together.
- Adjusting the belt after continuous use is not as easy as it should be.
- Needs a proper installation to serve the purpose and it is made easy with the instructions with pictures.
This particular model is praised for its ease of assembly. The item itself weighs around 140 pounds altogether. Moving it isn’t quite as easy as setting it up. But unpacking it and getting ready can take as little as an hour. This is ideal if you don’t have a lot of spare time to spend trying to figure out the assembly. The instructions are detailed and precise. There are even pictures to help you out if you’re getting stuck during the assembly. You’ll be ready to go before you know it.
The Delta 31-255X X5 drum sander is another best ones in the market which are manufactured by Delta Power Equipment Corporation. Pricewise it follows closely with the first drum sander we looked at.
This sander has a 1-1/2 horsepower, but it has a 120-Volt 1 Phase. It comes with a 2-speed drum to help you sand with precision. It’s also got an adjustable table, which will come in handy when you’re working with different projects. The product can operate at 1 to 12 feet per minute at its fastest speed and precision. This means your smaller projects will be finished in no time and you’ll be able to focus your time on the larger tasks at hand.
The product weighs in at 190 pounds, which can be a little hard to lift for most people. The assembly of the product is relatively easy. You’ll need to purchase extra protection from the provider at the time of your purchase. The most significant protection on your drum sander is for the parts.
- Easy to install the sandpaper.
- One of the better features of this product is that it’s slightly smaller than most sanders. This means it can fit in smaller spaces.
- This model seems to have an issue with the table adjustment.
- The vibration of the machine seems to offset the drum, causing an uneven finish.
- Problems with this machine are attributed to an incorrect setup. So make sure you assemble the machine correctly.
So if you decide to go ahead and purchase this drum sander, make sure you’re accurately following the instructions. Again, also make sure you’re providing the right maintenance. You should keep in mind that sawdust can clutter and clog different parts of the machine and cause operations to fail. It’s all about balance. If all these instructions are followed, no doubt that this is going to be a great purchase.
The third drum sander we’re going to look at is the Powermatic 1791290 Model DDS-225. This is manufactured by WHM Tool Group. This is one of the higher rated drum sanders on the market with negligible or no complaints regarding use and service.
This sander comes with a 5 horsepower motor and a 230-Volt, which means it is quite powerful. It’s capable of handling up to 25 inches in width. Has durable steel for the cabinet, that helps in the minimized vibration.
You might store raw material as well underneath the cabinet. The feed motor is connected to both forward and reverse gearbox which is great.
One of the biggest perks of this machine is the ease of adjustment. You saw in the last reviews that adjusting the table or belt isn’t always the easiest.
This machine is incredibly easy to fit. It features two dual steel drums. Each of them can be adjusted independently. This means they are ideal for almost any project you might be working on. The drums are covered in a Durometer Rubber. This ensures that every project as a nice, flat finish. It also ensures each project is damage free.
The cabinet is other larger benefit as it takes care of the safety. Since the machine itself is completely covered, the risk of injury is minimal. The damage to either yourself or the machine.
Since many drum sanders stop working after an external influence such as something falling or hitting them in the wrong place. You can put your mind at ease regarding the safety of this machine. Since this is a high-cost machine with the results, you will be happy that the cost is nothing compared to the results, though.
Now the cabinet and the machine together weigh in at over 800 pounds, where the machine movement is a difficult task unless the help of others. The assembly of this product is fairly basic. The machine also comes with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer. So that is a benefit as well.
- Easy to assemble.
- With the covered cabinet, safety is already taken care.
- Damage free output.
- Worth for the amount spent on it.
- With rubber drums, any torn sandpaper can leave quite a damage. So you’ll have to pay extra attention to the maintenance of this machine.
- Heavy to move it around.
If you’re not concerned with cost, this could be an excellent choice. It’s perfect for middle sized projects at high power. If you’re looking for precision and ultimate control when it comes to adjustments, this is your machine.
Now, we’re going to look at a Grizzly model. This has been one of the most popular models, often being used in comparison to other models. The model we’re looking at is the Grizzly G1066Z Drum Sander which is a good one a for the person who is a starter.
The sander sands the stock of 24 inches in width and 4 inches in thickness which means it’s good for a lot of the medium sized projects you might have. The machine uses 5 horsepower and a 220-Volt drum motor. The drums themselves are aluminum in this particular machine, which is meant for a great finish every time. Has got dust ports of 2-4 Inch diameter for the easy hook up to a collection system and has Variable speed conveyor.
This is an automated maintenance system that is ideal for any frequent sander. It will help maintain your machine while you’re using it. It will also contribute to prolonging the life of the machine even when you aren’t. This is an excellent feature for any sander to have. It also features a hook and loop system for your sandpaper, which can be a huge benefit if you’re frequently using the machine.
- There is a port that allows you to connect to a collection system. This will keep dust and debris from building up on your machine.
- The price of this sander is a neither high not low.
- Might break down with low maintenance.
There are concerns regarding the machine breaking down in a short period. The parts can defect, from the motor to the belt. It can be a hassle to replace these parts and the warranty with this machine is somewhat limited. Therefore you might spend more time and money trying to replace parts than you would replace the machine altogether. This product delivers high quality anyway. If you are a new joiner in the woodwork, this is the machine for you.
Now let’s take a look at our fifth one. JET 649003K Model is again from the JET manufacturers. This machine is a little more expensive than the last Jet model we looked at.
It has a 1.5 horsepower motor and uses an 115-Volt 1 Phase. It’s capable of handling materials up to 25 inches in width. Has the non-breakable steel conveyor bed to feed the stock to the sander.
This drum sander is equipped with a self-cooling system that will keep your machine from overheating. This is an ideal sander if you require using it for extended hours. An overheating machine can lead to parts damage, so it’s a good precaution.
It also comes with the ability to connect to a dust collection system. This will also prolong the life of your machine, as well as prevent malfunctions during use.
This machine uses a SandSmart system, and you don’t have to worry about overusing your machine. The drum motor and automatically maintains the highest feed rate without causing overload.
If the load on the drum motor increases, the SandSmart control will decrease the feed rate. It is still nicer that under extreme conditions it will stop the conveyor. Again if the load decreases, SandSmart will speed up the feed. All this can be done with the manual setting on the dial and which is simple to obtain.
The machine is capable of performing at a rate of 0-10 feet per minute. Its job is superior, leaving the ultimately sanded finish when it’s complete. The machine uses two aluminum drums. These drums are balanced perfectly and extruded for a smooth finish. With this machine, you’ll do the same amount of work in half the amount of time.
The machine itself weighs in at 250 pounds, but the assembly is easy. The machine also comes with a dust cover so that you can tuck it away when it’s not in use. Although if you connect to a dust collection system, a dust cover may not feel as useful. Still, it doesn’t hurt to keep your machine in the best working order as possible.
- Works with the Smartsand feature.
- The self-cooling system helps long durability.
- Can handle most of the sanding.
- Dust protection to help the machine to be not affected by dust.
- The machine is relatively limited, considering what else is available on the market.
- Takes time to change the sand paper but hardly seems concerning. It’s not complicated to change, just slow.
This drum sander is a step up from the Grizzly model we looked at but a little lower on the scale than the Powermatic. This would be a great drum sander to purchase if you’re not looking for something heavy duty but if you are looking for something capable of handling more, then you’ll be better off with something like the Powermatic.
Wrapping Up – Which is the Best Drum Sander?
You’ll find shopping for drum sander can be a tricky process. You’ll likely find yourself torn between prices and features. It’s bound to happen. But when it comes to a decision like this, it’s important to show a little indecision.Reading drum sander reviews from trusted sources would be of good help. You have to know you’re making the right choice. You want to know your product is going to last for as long as you need it to. You also want to know that the pieces aren’t going to break right away. Or that customer service will be of assistance if they do. In case you’re wondering, Jet and Powermatic are branches of the same company with a highly rated customer service department.
Of course, you don’t want to have to get anything recent or repaired. You want a product that’s going to last with the proper maintenance and perform the way you expect. So, weigh out your decision before you click to purchase. Weigh out your choices and find what the best is for you.