Best Drum Sander Reviews 2019

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Powerful and complex tools that work with a spinning drum coated with the abrasive belt to sand wood and plastic are sold as drum sanders.

There are two types of drum sanders – bench or stand type and handheld. In the bench type drum sanders, the internal drum spins at high speed to sand the material placed on it resulting in a dazzling and smooth finish.
Handheld drum sanders also use drum covered with abrasive, but you have to move it across the floor to get the fine layer. And yes, on top of the drum there has to be a weight of seventy pounds. Bench type is the best drum sander for a professional working on large projects as it can complete the sanding jobs much quickly as compared to a handheld.

Why drum sanders?


The primary purpose of using bench type sanders is to process a large number of materials for quick and smooth results. In case of bench type drum sanders, you do not have to move them anywhere they give you complete stability from their stand. Due to their durability, smoothness, and speed, drum sanders are not only used to make benches and shelves, but also musical instruments like guitars and violins. If you see a guitar and violin, you will find their surface is extra smooth. Any of the other sanders cannot produce such a finish. So, because of smoothness, speed, and ease of use, woodworkers prefer drum sanders, especially for large projects.

Drum sanders come in different styles, with various features and they are also expensive. Choosing a random one will be a mistake as it is costly and will not give you expected results. But, not to worry. On this page, you will be able to find everything about drum sanders – top picks, the features that you have to look for and more. It is a complete guide that we are presenting for you so that you find the right drum sander.

Top 10 Drum Sander


ModelPowerWeight
Jet 723520K Drum Sanders1.5 HP156 lbs
JET 628900 Benchtop Drum Sander1 HP104 lbs
SHOP FOX W1678 5 HP 26-Inch Sander5 HP546 lbs
Powermatic PM2244 1-3/4 hp Sander1 HP418 lbs
JET 649003K Benchtop Drum Sander1.75 HP254 lbs
JET 22-44ODS Oscillating Drum Kit1.75 HP360 lbs
Delta Woodworking 31-481 Dual Drum3 HP530 lbs
JET 649004K 22X44 Plus Drum1.75 HP296 lbs
Walter 30A268 Variable Speed Drum-13.23 lbs
Clarke Drum Sander Ez-8--

Here to our best drum sander reviews.

1. Jet 723520K Drum Sanders

Jet 723520K Drum Sanders

Our top pick from Jet 723520K is one of the smallest benchtop drum sanders, but still, have the power to do the sanding jobs quickly. 723520K is an ideal choice to deal with a variety of sanding jobs. Looking at its features, you will feel that this is the sander you need in your workshop.

Wide surface area: This product from a leading tools manufacturer has a large work surface area of 48x40x27 inches to give you enough space for workpieces as full as 32 inches or as short as 2.25 inches. You can always control the drum height with a provided scale as per the height of the work material.

Durable: Manufacturers have given special attention to make 723520K durable. That is why, the conveyor belt of this sander pulls in the workpieces instead of pushing, reducing the stress overall. Adjusting the strap is also easy as you have to use the dial on its left side to make the changes.

Dual motors: The drum unit works with dual motors to give you the best possible performance. Run the conveyor belt and another 14-amp motor producing 1 ½ HP for the sander. The double head drum sander also features Sandsmart™ technology that continually monitors the drum usage to prevent any overload. The technology regulates the sanding drum according to the load and hence enhances efficiency and quality results.

Pros

  • Cost effective – Reasonable price as per its features and sanding quality
  • Easy change of abrasives
  • Handles large size of materials up to 32 inches

Cons

  • Overloading can flex the board

2. JET 628900 Benchtop Drum Sander

JET 628900 Benchtop Drum Sander

A drum sander with 1 HP motor providing 1700 RPM, JET 628900 can efficiently manage heavy workload without breaking a sweat. It is made of cast iron that provides serious durability to the machine. If you have space limitation in the workshop, you will not stop before buying this mini benchtop sander after looking at its features.

Affordable and compact: Generally, drum sanders take a lot of space in workshops, but we cannot include JET 628900 on that list. It is small and affordable, but never compromises on performance.

Convenient: It includes a cast iron hand wheel to make easy height adjustments. The sander also has a quick paper change feature that adds to the convenience and reduces downtime. To assist you while working on large materials, it has a width of 20 inches, 3 inches of thickness and can go as low as 1/32 inches.

Variable speed control: While using the sander, you can change the speed between zero to twelve fpm (feet per minute) for an ultimate finish. The feature of variable speed control also prevents any overload on the machine adding to its durability.

Dust port: It comes with a 4-inch dust port to help you with wood debris collection.

Fast: Even after being so compact and affordable, it offers quick stock removal.

These are the reasons why we have kept the 628900 as a runner up in this list.

Pros

  • Affordable, compact, robust and lightweight
  • Variable speed control
  • Convenient hand wheel for height adjustment
  • Easy to change the sandpaper

Cons

  • Comparatively weak motor

3. SHOP FOX W1678 5 HP 26-Inch Drum Sander

SHOP FOX W1678 5 HP 26-Inch Drum Sander

A highly reliable and top-notch drum sander for professionals, but to get this from Shop Fox W1678 you have to pay some extra bucks. One of the costliest drum sanders, W1678 comes with 220V single-phase 5.0 HP motor that delivers a maximum RPM of 2300 and has a variable feed rate of maximum 20 fpm. It also has a sizeable 26-inch drum to deal with abundant materials. It can accept materials with thickness up to 4 inches and a minimum of 1/2 inches.

Fast and efficient: This is dual drum sander capable of completing the sanding jobs quickly and efficiently. The drums can be used with sandpaper of variable grits, so rough sanding and finishing will be done in the single pass. The drums have a urethane drive belt powered by a different sprocket and motor for maximum power transfer. Also, it has hook and loop sandpaper attachment that makes changing the sandpapers easy.

Convenient: It has an easy to access multi-control panel that allows to power on/off the conveyor, power on/off the sanding drums and access variable speed control. You can also monitor the sanding load on the machine through a meter on the same panel. Finally, there is a significant power button to manage power downs. All the settings at one place make the sander easy to use.

Dual dust port: The machine has two 4-inch dust collection ports.

Pros

  • Powerful motor
  • Variable speed control
  • Dual drums usable with different grit sandpaper
  • Industrial rubber conveyor belt for durability

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Only 2-year warranty

4. Powermatic PM2244 1-3/4 hp Drum Sander

Powermatic PM2244 1-34 hp Drum Sander

If you are a woodworker or hobbyist who values both performance and looks, then you are going to like Powermatic PM2244 that has an appealing look. This is not the end, top notch construction of cast iron drums and a robust steel hood make it durable as well. It supports materials up to 44 inches and has a variable fpm from zero to ten. With such features, it will be helpful while working on any stock and it is so attractive that you may sand some wood prices without any reason.

Powerful: With a 1.5 HP motor, it can work on pieces up to 44 inches and can also go through thin workpieces of 4 inches or even 1/32 inches to start.

Compact: The sander is cumbersome and costly, that’s true, but it will not occupy much space in your workshop.
Digital Readout. It has a LED control panel that displays belt speed and power. Such groups are not available in most of the models, and that’s why gives it unique.

Easy to set up: At 400 pounds the machine is monstrous, but it comes assembled and has wheels as well. The setup is so easy that you can see yourself sanding within 15 minutes its arrival, even if you are a beginner. If you are working on large projects, you can invest in Powermatic PM2244 without any second thought. You will not regret as it is worthy of its price.

Pros

  • Variable feed rate
  • LED control
  • Durable cast iron drums
  • Attractive and powerful

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

5. JET 649003K Benchtop Drum Sander

JET 649003K Benchtop Drum Sander

Coming with a 1.75 HP motor, JET 649003K can handle wood width up to 44 inches and a minimum of 2 ¼ inches. The maximum and minimum thickness of wood material should be of 4 inches and 1/32 inches respectively. It offers control over feed per minute between zero to ten. The motor can produce an increasing speed of 1700 rpm can help you sand any wood material without any struggle.

Compact and lightweight: Being a benchtop drum sander, it is small at 3×1 inches and weighs only 254 pounds.
Overload management. JET 649003 has automatic management for overloads through Sandsmart technology, which makes sure that the sander does not get cramped by controlling the fpm. This is one of the reasons why the sander can run for hours without getting heated. Another reason for less or no heating is its aluminium drum, which is lightweight and easy to rotate. You will not face any hindrance while sanding.

Easy height adjustment: Reinforced Steel Conveyor gives you the ability to change the pressure and height easily. The handle to adjust the height is large and is easy to handle. It moves as quickly as it can without any extra force applied. If you have this, you do not have to waste your sweat while working on house renovation or making wooden shelves.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Cost-effective
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Able to handle large and thin wood materials

Cons

  • Lacks digital display
  • Infeed and outfeed tables are difficult to add or remove

6. JET 22-44ODS Oscillating Drum Sander Kit

JET 22-44ODS Oscillating Drum Sander Kit

Largest open ended drum sander from Jet, the Jet 22-44 ODS has an incredible capacity of 44 inches (1,120mm) when used with both sides. Under the drum, it has a size of 4 inches (100mm). This sander is not used for a coarse material or significant stock removal. You can only use it for fine finishing over thicknesses and planed material.

Smooth and balanced: The sander had adjustments for reduced vibrations and balanced so that sander table and drum remain parallel to each other while working. Its oscillation is smooth maintaining the durability of the sanding belts. Drum ball bearings are sealed and permanently lubricated for an extra life.

Accurate: Height adjustment handle moves at 1/16 inch per turn for complete accuracy over thickness and finishing.

Variable speed control: You can control the fpm between zero to ten for an excellent finish.

Overload management: Like other JET drum sander, it also has the exclusive Sandsmart technology that automatically reduces the feed rate to prevent overload and to stop excessive removal of stock from uneven materials.

Dust extraction: A 4-inch dust outlet is inbuilt for adequate dust collection.

Easy: With self-tensioning clip device built into the roller, changing the abrasive is easy and quick. Power switch with overload protection is on the front for your convenience. If you always work on lengthy materials, a set of feed tables are also available as an accessory, that you have to purchase separately.

Pros

  • Sandsmart technology
  • Smooth and durable
  • Variable speed control
  • Easy change of abrasives

Cons

  • Inappropriate for heavy stock removal

7. Delta Woodworking 31-481 26-Inch Dual Drum Sander

Delta Woodworking 31-481 26-Inch Dual Drum Sander

An excellent machine from Delta 31-481 has enough power to deal with essential to medium tasks. Its 3 HP motor utilising 230V produces a drum speed of 1, 550 RPM. The brand may not be trendy, but it has many admirers in the woodworking world.

Wide surface area: With a work area supporting materials up to 25-inch-wide and 12-inch-thick, it can deliver quality results without fail. Minimum width of the material should be 6 inches and thickness has to be ¼ inches.
Variable speed control. The feed speed is changeable from 3 to 20 FPM. As we discussed earlier, using variable feed rate you can work on different materials with ease.

Dust collection: The machine comes with two dust ports to ensure efficient dust collection.
Easy to use. There is a latching top door that gives you direct access to the drums for an easy and quick change of sanding wraps. Installation and removal of sanding strips are also comfortable because of tool-less drum wrap tensioning clamps.

Dual motors: Presence of two motors in the sanding machine further reduces your worry to complete the tasks on time. Also, both the drum can use different grits at the same time So, you can finish the sanding in one pass.
Heavy. At 500 pounds, this is a massive piece of machinery. We are not telling you that being heavy is a good point, but still, the extra weight makes the drum sander capable of handling even the rigorous tasks and makes it stable.

Pros

  • Powerful and sturdy
  • Efficient dust collection
  • Variable feed rate

Cons

  • Heavy (500 pounds)
  • Highly priced but lacks accessories

8. JET 649004K 22X44 Plus Drum 22-by-1-3/4-Inch Sander

JET 649004K 22X44 Plus Drum 22-by-1-34-Inch Sander

With an open stand, 1.75 HP motor servicing at 20 amps, the Jet 649004K utilizes 115V to deliver precise and high-quality sanding results. It has ample of capability to accommodate materials up to 44 inches long while the minimum is 2 to 1/4 in. Maximum and minimum thickness is 4 inch and 1/32 inch respectively.

Overload management: Like other JET models on our list, Sandsmart technology keeps track of load on the drum and adjusts the conveyor motor speed according to the feed rate. TRACKERS™ technology of the conveyor’s belt keeps it changed without your interference. There is also an overload protection power switch on the front.

Durable: Sanding drum of 649004K is made of aluminium and crafted for precision. Self-cooling shield of the drum ensures reduced heating and makes it durable. Apart from the drum, its motor is also permanent and creates less or no heat during long work hours. Drum ball bearings are also sealed and permanently lubricated for extra longevity.
Variable speed control. The sanding machine permits you to use the feed per minute rate between zero to ten.

Dust port: It has a 4-inch dust collection port.

Zero snipe: Adjustable drum height and downward pressure ensures constant smooth sanding and eliminated snipe.

JET 649004K comes with a 5-year warranty and all the required accessories. So, you will not have to purchase any other equipment after its arrival.

Pros

  • Large sanding area
  • Sandsmart technology for overload management
  • Self-cooling aluminium drum
  • Durable motor

Cons

  • We talked to several users of 649004K and had not received any complaint yet. They state it as one of the high purchase as a drum sander

9. Walter 30A268 Variable Speed Drum Sander

Walter 30A268 Variable Speed Drum Sander

Only metal sander on this list, Walter 30A268 is a versatile tool with variable speed allows applying a wide range of linear finishes on metal surfaces. Its powerful 12.4 amp working on 120V help you to complete the toughest jobs with ease. The RPM also remains constant even under high load and provides a uniform finish to the workpieces.
Versatile. Whether it is sanding, cleaning, buffing, polishing or grinding task on any metal surface, you can depend on Linemate III, and it will give you the required results.

Speed control: On the top of Linemate III, there is an electronic speed control dial to adjust the spindle speed depending upon the material.

Ergonomic design: The slim and sleek design of the sander makes it easy to use and control. At 13.23 pounds, the sander/polisher is also lightweight that you can use effortlessly.
Power guard. The tool comes with an inbuilt temperature sensor that protects its electric motor from accidental burn out.

Easy maintenance: There is a service door to access both the brushes for easy maintenance and or replacement.
Large gear. Its helical beveled gears give you the required precision and complete even the toughest sanding or polishing jobs within a short period.

Pros

  • Easy speed control
  • Temperature sensor
  • Ergonomic design and lightweight

Cons

  • Expensive

10. Clarke Drum Sander Ez-8 Expandable Drum

Clarke Drum Sander Ez-8 Expandable Drum

The sander comes with a heavy-duty 0.5 HP dual capacitor motor that works well to finish the floor sanding jobs. The motor of Ez-8 has a dust free enclosure to protect them from dust particles and also reduces the maintenance costs. Made with aluminium, Clarke Drum Sander Ez-8 is sturdy and is built to last for many years. If you are looking for a durable drum sander for hardwood floors, this is the ideal choice.

Portable: Apart from giving you the expected results, this drum sander for floors is easily disassembled if you want to transport it to a different site or store it in the workshop. So, it gives you a complete package of productivity as well as portability. Under 130 pounds, the sander is also lightweight, which makes it even easier to carry.

Easy to use: It takes some time to master floor drum sanders, but once you learn to control Ez-8, it is comparatively easy to use.

Stable: The drum sander uses centrifugal force to stabilize and to provide tension to the belt instead of the mechanical tensioning system. So, it offers better stability if compared to other floor sanders.

Pros

  • Portable and durable
  • Stable

Cons

  • Expensive

Buyer’s guide


After knowing the best drum sanders, you should know how to pick the right model. Consider the following points before making the decision, so that you can get the best model according to your requirements.

  • Durability

Drum sanders are one of the costliest tools to own. So, always look for a rigid metal build. In this list, you will see that we have listed only those sanders that are constructed with cast iron or aluminium. Not just the external case but check the building material of the drums, feed belts, and pressure rollers.

  • Power

One of the crucial factors to consider while buying a drum sander is its motor power. However, more power involves more money. So, make a choice depending upon the requirements. It is also necessary to check the voltage that the sander will utilise. It will be useless to buy a sander that needs 240V to work, and you have a power configuration limited to 120V.

  • Variable speed control

Some of the expensive motors are unable to perform high stock removals and may shut down while working as they are suitable only for finishing works. While there are models with speed control that can work slowly when the drum faces any struggle to go over the wood board. Thus they automatically power off to avoid shutdowns due to overload. So, try to use a drum sander with variable speed control and strong motors.

  • Budget

It is possible to get a drum sander without spending a high amount as it all depends on the requirements. So, match your needs first and then decide. What we mean is do not pay for those advanced features that may look attractive, but you will not use it at all. Opt for something that gives you what is needed that also at a reasonable price.
Supported wood size – for bench type sanders

What will be the width of the wood material that you are going to sand? Are you going to make a dining table or cabinet doors? Or you are just going to finish guitars and violins?

A bench-type drum sander support doubles the width of its roller. Example, if a sander has a 22-inch drum, it can sand a 44-inch wood. So, read the specifications and match the supported dimensions before you make the purchase.
Apart from the width, check the thickness of wood material that a sander can accommodate. If you are making musical instruments like guitars or working with veneers, a drum sander supporting ¼ inch minimum thickness will not be appropriate for you. We have already mentioned a few sanders that can work well with super thin materials as thin as 1/32 inches.

  • Single or double drums

A drum sander with double roller drums will speed up the sanding process as you will be able to use different grits in one pass. If you are sure that time will not be a constraint while working on projects, and you are ready to change the sands, then you can opt for a single drum sander. It will also be cost-effective as compared to the double drum sander.

  • Sandpaper installation

The primary process to change sandpaper around the drums is the same for most of the sanders. You have to wrap the sandpaper around the drums and secure it at both the ends. Some sanders have the setting to change the sandpaper within seconds without using any equipment while there are others where you will have to spend extra time and use other tools to improve the sandpaper. So, look for a model wherein you can change the sandpaper without spending extra time and facing unnecessary trouble.

  • Portability and weight

You are not going to transport the drum sander or travel with it regularly. Still, if there are chances that you may look to move the sander from one place to another. Think for a while about the portability of the drum sander as some models come with wheels and others do not. Some are heavy and big while others are lightweight and compact. Make a choice depending on the storage and working space.

  • Dust collection

Every wood sander will generate a tremendous amount of wood debris, and that is why most of them have the dust collection port. So, purchase a dust hose as well while you are on the mission of making the right investment.

Drum Sander Tips & Tricks


If you use the drum sander properly, it will not give you any problems, will stay in a working condition for a long time and give you an improved sanding experience.

  • High-quality sandpapers

Even if you have a high end and expensive drum sander, it will not give you the desired results if you have installed cheap and inefficient sandpapers. Always opt for high-quality premium paper for effective sanding and avoid double shifts.

  • Start with the right grit

One of the most common mistakes is to start sanding with the fine grit. Let us change that and follow what we are mentioning here: For glue-ups and abrasive planning, start with 24 to 60 grit belt and for sanding boards from a jointer or planer, use 80 or more exceptional grits to start.

  • Give it some time

Drum sanders will not remove a lot of stock like planers. Set the maximum speed and pass the material numerous time to get the best results. Patience is key here.
Safety

The dust bag is there to collect the particles, but will it manage all of it? No, it will not. So, use a face mask and safety glasses all the time while you are using a drum sander.

Only use the power cable that came with the drum sander, do not try to use any extensions with it. Drum sanders draw high power and there is a possibility that the expansion will melt resulting in an electrical fire.

Drum sander vs Orbital sander


  • Sanding action

Drum sanders use a belt of sandpaper around a drum. Once you switch on the sander, drum starts spinning and with it slides the sandpaper. Only a small part of the drum is in contact with the floor or the material while its spinning and you get a quick sanding action resulting in a smooth finish. On the other hand, orbital sanders use a sanding pad that oscillates back and forth and also moves in orbits to complete the sanding job. Result – it slow and takes time to finish the job.

  • Complex level

A drum sander can remove rigid stains as it is powerful and works faster, but if it is not used correctly can damage the work material. It should not be used against the grains, especially at 90 degrees. While orbital sanders work great to remove the top layers as they can only take off less stock at a time. So, there are fewer chances of damaging the work material.

Orbital sanders are not used for re-levelling as they not powerful enough and are only designed to remove stains. But, you can use drum sanders for all finishing jobs including re-level

Bottom Line


Drum sanders are not common in workshops like planers and other types of sanders, but if used it can be hugely helpful and can complete your projects faster. This will happen only if you choose the right model. We have already mentioned Jet 723520K as the best drum sander and also kept the features in line that you have to look for. Apart from the, there are nine other models to choose from. Now, it is your turn to combine both the parts and purchase a drum sander that can help you completing upcoming projects with minimal difficulties.

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