Although considered a luxury tool by some, a sander is as important a tool to woodworkers as a hammer or tape measure. When you deal with a lot of plastics and wood especially, having the best sander can turn out to be a great investment at your workplace. The drum sander is a good example of a powerful sander for people who deal with a lot of wood projects.
However, to tackle your projects excellently, you will probably need to own the best drum sander in the market. But where can you find the great drum sander we want? Read or drum sander reviews below to get an overview of six of the best drum sanders in the market today.
All of the following sanders are top rated. They rotate at high great speeds, but they do have slight differences in design and performance capabilities. Look keenly for the slight differences among the sanders for you to select the best tool for your needs.
Table of Contents
Top 6 Best Drum Sander Review
1. JET 649004K Open Stand Drum Sander
The JET 649004K is one of the best-rated drum sanders out there in terms of design and performance. It is a sander many woodworkers’ treasures. And it is easy to understand why. To start with, the sander comes in a great construction that is designed to last for many years. It is equipped with a sealed ball bearing for efficient performance, a safety switch to protect you from injuries, and an easy cleanup system. In addition to the above, the JET drum sander model features the following.
High Quality and Performance – The JET 649004K model features a high quality 1.75 HP motor that performs excellently irrespective of how tough your job may seem. The motor generates up to 1700 rpm revolutions per minute and features a variable feed rate of between zero and ten. In effect, the sander is able to eliminate stocks at a faster and more efficient rate than most other sanders would. It is also able to perform for longer, noting that its motor is designed in a way that it doesn’t overheat.
Smooth Finishes and Long Sandpaper life – Whether you plan to sand pine, cedar, mahogany, or plastic, the JET 694900K is designed to offer the best finishes. Again, the top-rated tool is designed to hold sandpapers and smooth surfaces fast while also maintaining the quality of the sandpapers. In the end, sandpapers used on this JET model could last for up to ten times better than in any other sander.
Strong Construction – The drum sander features one of the strongest constructions you can find in a sander. Its conveyor belt, for instance, comes reinforced in steel for extra durability. On the other hand, the sander stands firmly in a large table that offers a wide working area.
2. JET 628900 Benchtop Drum Sander
Much cheaper than the JET 649004K yet strong and high in quality, the JET 628900 is certainly a great sander you should check out. It features a 1 HP high-quality motor, a strong construction, and an average-sized design for suiting your small sanding jobs. It measures 27*20*20 inches in dimensions and has a weight of 104 pounds, making it just ideal for basic or medium sanding tasks. But how efficient is the tool?
Great Control for efficient Performance – The JET model comes with a large hand wheel for better angle controls. It also features a wide width of 20 inches to give room for a better working area. In addition, the top-rated tool has a variable speed control that varies from 0 feet per minute to 12 feet per minute.
Durable – The JET 628900, with its strong metal construction, is certainly designed with durability in mind. Most of its parts are also designed for extra durability, and that includes its sealed ball bearings. It also features a steel conveyor belt to add both consistency and durability.
Ease of Use – The drum sander is designed to ease your work in every possible way. It features patented trackers for instance. These trackers eliminate the need to adjust the conveyor belt manually, instead, allowing you to concentrate on your work. The trackers also enhance efficiency in your performance so that you achieve the smoothest finishes for your wood pieces. Again, the JET model drum sander comes with a downward pressure and drum height that are both adjustable to ensure you eliminate incredible precisions as you do your work.
High Rated – Technically this drum sander is a reduced version of the JET 629004K. As such, it has all the details found in the 629004k model, but in a smaller version.
3. JET 723520K Woodworking Drum Sander
If a drum sander with a stand is all you need at your workshop, you should check out the JET 723520. Its manufacturers are a leading brand in the world of workshop tools, and the tools itself is top rated. In fact, the JET model has been classified among top drum sanders in numerous occasions. Looking at its features, the mid-sized drum sander offers versatility, precise performances, durability as well as ease of use. Read below however for a more detailed overview of the features that make-up this drum sander.
Enhanced Belt Parallelism for added efficiency – The JET 723520 paid a lot of attention to its steel-reinforced conveyor belt so that you could have the best experiences with this sander. Adjusting the conveyor belt is especially easy for this sander, noting that there is a dial on the left side of the conveyor for this purpose. On the other hand, the conveyor belt works in a manner that wood pieces are pulled through the sander instead of getting pushed through it. This, in turn, minimizes stress on the conveyor belt, thus increasing its durability.
Wide working surface area – The drum sander is by itself large, measuring 48*40*27 inches. This allows you to sand workpieces as large as 32 inches wide, or pieces as short as 2.25 inches. Despite this, the sander’s belt provides a generous 16*21-3/8 inches to ensure you can move wood above or beneath the sanding drum with ease. In addition, you can control the drum height with the help of a drum scale to help fit your project accordingly.
Features an integrated dust collection channel that looks like the drum in shape.
Features two high-quality motors to handle heavy-duty jobs where needed. The first motor is a 1.5 HP TEFC motor that turns the sanding drum at 1725 rpm. The second motor runs the direct drive conveyor belt.
4. Super Max 19-38 Portable Drum Sander
The Super Max 19-38 is the best benchtop drum sander when you are a professional ready to take your career to the next level. It comes free of the many issues typical drum sanders experience. It has a strong construction, for instance, a high-quality conveyor belt that is easy to adjust and simple alignment for an effective operation. The SuperMax model also comes pre-wrapped with 80 grit sandpapers, to help reduce our operating costs. Here are its other important features.
Wide working area – The Super Max model is large by itself, measuring 42*26*24 inches. Despite this, it is also designed to offer convenient and wide working spaces in every possible way. Its conveyor belt for instance with its 43 in/lb torque is designed to supports stocks that are up to19 inches thick. The table on which the sander is benched measures 22 inches wide, which further widens your working area.
Performance – The drum sander comes with 2 motors to offer the best possible performance for your workpieces. One of the motors is specifically built to rotate the conveyor belt, while the other is responsible for rotating the sander. This ensures that there is great consistency as you perform. On the other hand, the machine features a special technology that regulates the sander’s drum based on the load you are working on. This further enhances efficiency while it also maintains the tool’s quality.
Self-cooling drum – The sander’s drum is designed to cool by itself to enhance efficiency accordingly. Again, the drum’s tension rollers are adjustable in height to help reduce or eliminate snipes as you work. In addition, the drum’s abrasives are effectively attached to prevent abrasive end overlap at any given time.
Features an excellent dust collection system that mirrors the shape of its drum.
5. Powermatic 1791290 Adjustable Drum Sander
The Powermatic 1791290, like its name suggests, is a powerful machine designed for the most avid sanders. Technically, the drum sander is best designed for big workshops where heavy-duty sanding is needed on a daily basis. The machine uses a 5 HP motor, and twin poly belts; in part showing why it is not like any other drum sander you have met. It also features two steel made drums and a strong quality cast iron table for a sturdy operation at all times.
Strong 5 HP motor – The Powermatic model features an exceptionally powerful 5 HP motor designed to power the double V-belts. But while designed for two belts, the horsepower provided by this machine is much more powerful, which is why this sander will run efficiently and sand metal or plastic efficiently and fast. For running the conveyors, the sander features a ¼ HP motor. It is designed with a high-speed gearbox that ensures you can sand conveniently at a rate of between 8 and 12 surface feet per minute.
Features 2 drums – With the motor that strong, it is clear why the sander features two drums. They are both steel made for durability, while they are also coated with a hard durometer finish for efficient performances. The rear drum is also adjustable to help you fit workpieces underneath it and sand conveniently.
Wide working space on a cast iron table – The sander’s working table is designed to handle strong work pieces with its cast-iron design. The table is also fitted with four solid jack screws for stability purposes
Quiet Operator – The sander works quietly, thanks to its heavy steel cabinet designed to eliminate vibration. The cabinet also works as a storage area for accessories or small workpieces.
6. Powermatic PM2244 High Performing Drum Sander
The Powermatic PM2244 is advertised as a machine capable of exceeding your expectations. And true, many online reviews have rated the portable drum sander highly in terms of performance. But while an excellent performer, it should be noted that it costs well over $2500, meaning that you would need to do some good research about the sander before investing your money for its services. So, how good does the Powermatic model perform?
High Performance – The Powermatic PM 2244 is quite a high performing drum sander. It comes fitted with a strong 1-3/4 HP motor that rotates the sander’s drum at 1720 RPM. On the other hand, its conveyor belt rotates infinitely at a speed that varies between 0 and 10 feeds per minute. And to enhance efficiency, the Feed Logic continuously monitors the conveyor’s motor load and regulates accordingly to prevent an overload.
Enhanced User Experience – One of the best aspects of this drum sander lies in its ease of use. With an LED lighting that blinks as long as you sand, alighting to check the belt sand and the sanding depth, you will have great experience working with this sander. Again, you can achieve precise sanding depths or display the workpieces’ height on the digital readout to your convenience.
Extra Strength and Durability – The drum’s carriage to start with is made from cast iron for maximum durability and strength while handling heavy workpieces. The large working table is also made from cast iron. On the other hand, both the conveyor belt and the dust collection hood are steel enforced. The conveyor belt is further strengthened within the feed and outfeed tables that provide a working area of up to 37 inches.
Features a fine conveyor belt parallelism adjust system – The feature helps adjust your workload based on the drum carriage instead of adjusting the whole drum carriage.
What is Drum Sander?
A drum sander is a power tool used to sand wood, plastic or soft pieces of metal. Usually, drum sanders have a motor for running the drum as well as for running a conveyor belt used. And like a planer, a drum sander has a feed roller to help feed the wood into the tool for stock removal. A drum sander is however not similar to a planer in.
So, what types of drum sanders are available in the market? Drum sanders come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. There are open-ended drum sanders for instance. They offer a wide working area even when you have limited space at your workshop.
Closed-ended drum sanders, on the other hand, are wider and more powerful.
They are often designed for handling tough jobs, which is why they feature stronger motors. Their wide natures also offer better working areas, making them ideal for most professionals in need of a sander. Drum sanders can also feature two drums, two motors, or two conveyor belts. With such a machine, you could handle almost any sanding job you could have at the workshop.
A typical drum sander could measure anywhere between 10 inches long and 45 inches long. They could be bench topped or come designed to standalone. They could also be small designed for handling only the small tasks or be large machines capable of dealing with heavy-duty plastic and metal sanding. In terms of weight, though, many drum sanders are heavy. This is mostly because they feature strong steel or cast iron constructions. However, a small drum sander could be light, averaging 50 pounds.
Sandpaper Attachment Methods
Like any other sander, drum sanders do their work with the help of sandpapers. Most of the modern sanders feature a hook and loop sandpaper attachment system as it allows you to remove the sand as soon as you realize it has worn out.
How to Choose the Best Drum Sander
Investing in a drum sander is an important decision you shouldn’t just make in a hurry. When you are looking for nothing but the best sander especially, your decision should be based on an in-depth evaluation of your needs versus what the drum sanders in the market have to offer. Below are some of these factors which you ought to consider as you plan to make the important investment.
Types of Drum Sander
There are three main types of sanders in the market today. There are open-ended drum sanders, closed-ended and double drum sanders. If you want a small benchtop sander for handling your DIY jobs at home, the open-ended sander will probably be your best deal. These sanders usually are smaller in size and fitted to offer working spaces even if you have a small footprint.
On the downside, most of them are also weaker. A closed-ended sander, on the other hand, is usually strong; bench topped, stand-alone, or designed with its own stand. Closed-ended sanders are more common in the market and come in varying sizes and performance capabilities. The double drum sanders, on the other hand, are stronger, more expensive, and virtually more convenient for heavy-duty jobs.
A motor’s strength matters a lot when it comes to the performance of the drum sander. As such, your choice of a drum sander should have a motor strong enough to handle the type of jobs you deal with on a daily basis. Whichever your choice, note that a weak motor will tend to overheat when exposed to larger loads, run slower and be more inefficient in the long run. It is also the motor that determines how fast the drum or conveyor belt rotates, with the higher the rotations per minute indicating a stronger motor.
Modern drum sanders are designed to offer convenience with their great controls, but there is much more you should look at. The sander’s table design and size, for instance, can help you know if you will have a lot of working space or you will leave to struggle as you sand large workpieces. A good drum sander these days will also have auto-adjusted conveyor belts parallelism to help you concentrate more on your job. A convenient drum sander will also have a great sandpaper attachment method.
It is easy to ignore this factor while buying a sander. However, sanding involves disposing of a lot of stocks, and you don’t want it to handle your performance. With that in mind, only buy a sander with a good dust collection port. In fact, the best sanders will have several dust collection ports and a hood that mirrors the looks of the drum for efficient dust collection. Alternatively, you can buy the affordable sander you want but ensure to buy a dust collector for the sake of your health and neatness.
Additional Specialty Features
Technically, a great drum sander may have numerous special features, but here are the main features to consider. To start with, check if the sander has a variable feed rate for its drum carriage. This feature is important as it helps you control the sandpaper grits and in the process preserve your softwood pieces. Check for LED lighting, a control dial, or a stand for the sander.
Benefits of Drum Sanders
Any good sander will smooth your wood and plastic pieces. But why would you choose to overlook any other sander and settle for a drum sander? Here are some of the reasons.
Huge Sanding Capacity
Many drum sanders are open-ended in constructions, which allows them to provide a huge working space no matter your footprint. On average, drum sanders are also bigger, sometimes measuring up to 40 inches wide. They are feature big tables or drums that can accommodate workpieces as large as 38 inches.
High Quality and Efficient Conveyors
Unlike some other sanders, drum sanders feature conveyor belts for moving your workpieces. These belts are often strong, steel-reinforced to support heavy materials and run efficiently for a long time.
Many modern drum sanders are super convenient. Some of the sanders, for instance, come with stands to help protect your back as you stand. The conveyor belts for other sanders are auto-adjusts to suit your load. Still, drum sanders with varying feed rates help you smooth different types of workpieces accordingly without ruining them.
Easy to use
Drum sanders are by no doubt some of the easiest to use. It might seem difficult to sand with a double drum machine when you are new to it for instance, but the experience becomes easier with time. Changing dust with a drum sander or changing grits is also not difficult once you master how to operate the machine.
The best sanders are very efficient for handling a wide variety of workpieces.
Buying the best drum sander is certainly not an easy process. However, evaluating your needs based on the drum sander reviews above could effectively help you know what sander is perfect for your needs.
Again, comparing prices versus the value provided by a sander could further help you make an informed decision of what sander you should really pick. Once done, you can then learn how to use the best drum sander peacefully and work efficiently for as long as the machine can serve you.