Best Drum Sanders for 2020 – Top 5 Models Reviewed

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drum sanders

A drum sander is the most efficient, reliable and must have power tool for any DIY hobbyist or professional woodworkers. But they didn’t get as much attention as drills, power saws or even the other types of sanders.

The reason may be they are a little bit complex tool than others and pretty much expensive so no one wants to make a costly mistake.

But nothing to worry!

I’m here with every information that you need to know to choose the right sander for you, like- the top 5 sander, features, tips and tricks and many more.

Preview
Overall Best
SHOP FOX W1772 10 HP 37-Inch Drum Sander
Jet 723520K JWDS-1632 16-32 Plus 20 Amp Service with 608003 Stand in Woodworking, Sanders, Drum Sanders
Powermatic PM2244 1-3/4 hp Drum Sander
JET 628900 Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander, 115-Volt 1-Phase
SHOP FOX W1678 5 HP 26-Inch Drum Sander
Jet JWDS-1020 Benchtop Drum Sander
Product
SHOP FOX W1772 10 HP 37-Inch Drum Sander
Jet 723520K JWDS-1632 16-32 Plus 20 Amp Service with 608003 Stand in Woodworking, Sanders, Drum Sanders
Powermatic PM2244 1-3/4 hp Drum Sander
JET 628900 Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander, 115-Volt 1-Phase
SHOP FOX W1678 5 HP 26-Inch Drum Sander
Jet JWDS-1020 Benchtop Drum Sander
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Overall Best
Preview
SHOP FOX W1772 10 HP 37-Inch Drum Sander
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SHOP FOX W1772 10 HP 37-Inch Drum Sander
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Preview
Jet 723520K JWDS-1632 16-32 Plus 20 Amp Service with 608003 Stand in Woodworking, Sanders, Drum Sanders
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Jet 723520K JWDS-1632 16-32 Plus 20 Amp Service with 608003 Stand in Woodworking, Sanders, Drum Sanders
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Powermatic PM2244 1-3/4 hp Drum Sander
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Powermatic PM2244 1-3/4 hp Drum Sander
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JET 628900 Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander, 115-Volt 1-Phase
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JET 628900 Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander, 115-Volt 1-Phase
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SHOP FOX W1678 5 HP 26-Inch Drum Sander
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SHOP FOX W1678 5 HP 26-Inch Drum Sander
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Jet JWDS-1020 Benchtop Drum Sander
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Jet JWDS-1020 Benchtop Drum Sander
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View Top 5 Drum Sanders Analysis, Below 

1. SHOP FOX 10 HP 37-Inch Drum Sander (W1772)

10 HP 37-Inch Drum Sander
  • Motor: 10 HP, single phase;
  • Conveyor motor: 3/4 HP;
  • Table elevation motor: 1/4 HP;
  • Rotation: 1725
  • Maximum board width: 36-inches;
  • Maximum board thickness: 6 -inches;
  • Minimum board length: 9-inch.
  • Minimum board thickness: 1/16-inch.
  • Surface speed of drums: 2800 FPM.
  • Conveyor feed rate: Variable, 6 - 18 FPM.
  • Drum diameter: 6-inch.
  • Conveyor feed rate: Variable, 6 - 18 FPM.
  • Drum diameter: 6-inch.
  • Sandpaper width: 6-inch.
  • Weight: 1,351 pounds (Approximate)

There is very few drum sander available in the market that beat this model from Shop Fox. It has a dual sander, hence can do the job in half the time. This feature saves you from passing the same board between the drum more than once to get the desired finish.

It is a modern type sander with a control panel, variable speed settings of the conveyor, and a load meter. So, you can change the settings depending on the material you have taken or the desired result. The load meter extends motor life by protecting it from malfunctioning due to overload. Besides, it won’t stop over and over again to save the motor as the load meter won’t shut down the motors as long as the meter is not saying so.

This machine is way too heavy to be carried in job sites. But it is a good one to complete the small to medium projects in due time without spending a lot.


Things We Liked

  • Time saving performance;
  • Suitable for sanding larger pieces in single phase power source;
  • Accurate setting changes. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive.

2. Jet JWDS-1632 16-32 Plus 20 Amp Service Drum Sanders (723520K)

20 Amp Service Drum Sanders  with Stand
  • Motor: 1-½  HP, single phase, 14 amp;
  • Conveyor motor: 3/4 HP;
  • Rotation: 1720
  • Maximum board width: 32-inches (two pass);
  • Maximum board thickness: 3 -inches;
  • Minimum board length: 2-3/8-inch.
  • Minimum board thickness: 1/32-inch.
  • Conveyor feed rate: Variable, 0 - 10 FPM.
  • Drum diameter: 5-inch.
  • Sandpaper width: 6-inch.
  • Weight: 156 pounds (Approximate)

If a smaller capacity sander can do all your jobs, then this sander from JET is the most convenient one for you. I don’t recommend this one for professionals who need a high capacity sander. Instead, this machine will be more appropriate for a small shop of hobbyists who has a serious passion for woodworking.

As a drum sander, it is the most hi-tech one and space-saving as well. It comes with a stand, but the price is the lowest of all other drum sanders in this list. You don’t need to stress about the speed of your sanding belt nor the conveyor belt. These are the facts that lead to an overload of the motor and harm the entire unit.

The ‘SANDSMART’ feature do all these things automatically. Meaning, it sets the speed depending on the stock type on its own. Your machine and material both will be in mint condition. Dust hood and parallelism adjusts are identical in this model. The dust port mirrors the drum’s shape so that any single particle does not fall in between. It is a great drum sander without any negative sides.

Things We Liked

  • Lightweight;
  • Automatically sets feed rate for different stocks;
  • Comes with a stand;
  • Budget friendly. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Limited capacity.

3. Powermatic 1-¾   HP Drum Sander (PM2244)

Powermatic 1-¾   hp Drum Sander
  • Motor: 1-¾ HP, single phase, 14 amp;
  • Conveyor motor: 3/4 HP;
  • Table elevation motor: 1/4 HP;
  • Rotation: 1720
  • Maximum board width: 44-inches;
  • Maximum board thickness: 4 -inches;
  • Minimum board length: 2-⅜ -inch.
  • Minimum board thickness: 1/32-inch.
  • Conveyor feed rate: Variable, 0 - 10 FPM.
  • Drum length: 22-inch;
  • Drum diameter: 5 inh;
  • Sandpaper width: 6-inch.
  • Weight: 418 pounds (Approximate)

There is a control panel to run this sander automatically. Suppose you are a gadget freak, then its the right tool for you. If not, you can always choose to leave the control panel alone and run it conventionally. There is feed logic to save the machine from overloading so that it will shut off long before you stress it out. Besides, you will always have the precise reading of the height of whatever material you are using with a depth scale.

The good thing about this tool is, it comes with the longest warranty as a drum sander. Even if it is way too pricey, your investment will be protected by that offer. The capacity of sanding very large boards and very thin boards is something I like about this sander. There are very few units available in the market that let you sandpaper than 1/32 inch thickness boards.


Things We Liked

  • Long warranty offered;
  • Comes with stand with storage;
  • Preassembled. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Pricey.

4. JET Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander (628900)

10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander
  • Motor: 1 HP, single phase, 14 amp;
  • Conveyor motor: 3/4 HP;
  • Table elevation motor: 1/4 HP;
  • Rotation: 1720
  • Maximum board width: 20-inches;
  • Maximum board thickness: 3 -inches;
  • Minimum board length: 2-⅜ -inch.
  • Minimum board thickness: 1/32-inch.
  • Conveyor feed rate: Variable, 0-12 FPM.
  • Dust port: 4 inches;
  • Weight: 100 pounds (Approximate).

For crafting or DIY projects, no one needs a fancy, pricey and beasty sanders when you only deal with smaller boards. This model from JET is meant for those purposes only. It is a mini drum sander and is literally a miniature version of our top picks we have reviewed.

This machine is portable to carry different job sites. Professions like interior designing solely depend on miraculous tools like this. The price also fits in tiny pockets. So, to make your projects even more convenient and flattering, this machine will stay by your side for years to come.

As it is tiny, no easy feature is not incorporated to make belt changing hassle-free. At first, belt hanging will seem like a headache. After days of practice, it will be an easy task to do daily.


Things We Liked

  • Lightweight and portable;
  • Economic price;
  • Perfect for crafting and DIY projects. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Sandpaper changing can be hectic.

5. SHOP FOX 5 HP 26-Inch Drum Sander (W1678)  

SHOP FOX 5 HP 26-Inch Drum Sander
  • Motor: 5 HP, single phase, 25 amp;
  • Conveyor motor: ⅓ HP, 2 amp;
  • Table elevation motor: 1/4 HP;
  • Rotation: 3450 RPM;
  • Maximum board width: 26-inches;
  • Maximum board thickness: 4-¼  -inches;
  • Minimum board length: 9 -inch.
  • Minimum board thickness: ⅛ -inch.
  • Conveyor feed rate: Variable, 0-20 FPM.
  • Surface speed of drums: 2,300 FPM;
  • Dust port: (2) 4 inch;
  • Weight: 546 pounds (Approximate).

So far, this one is the most powerful drum sander on our list. From rough to feather smooth sanding, everything can be done on your full control over this machine. This sander can polish even the largest stock of 26 inches on two passes within minutes. So, the shop’s production will be the highest, and the downtime of doing hand sanding will be the lowest.

Once you align the belt properly, this beauty is ready to sand thousands of boards each on one pass. Everything is designed to withstand even the most demanding applications for decades, from its motor to its conveyor speed.

The dust ports and control panel are convenient to sand perfectly leaving the workplace clean. Two drums are there for different finish and two dust ports to maximize dust collection. This unit may cost more than other competitors, but this sander may save you unnecessary waste of money and time in the long run.

Things We Liked

  • Perfect for large production wood shops;
  • Powerful motor;
  • High capacity.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Caution needs to taken to align.

What is a Drum Sander

Drum sander is a power tool that is used to sand woodwork or wood pieces. This type of sander uses sandpaper for the abrasion that will smoothen the workpiece. This sandpaper is installed into a rotating drum that makes spin at high speed and quickly helps the sander sand your workpiece.

Drum sanders are usually electric powered large tool and allow you to work on several wood pieces efficiently. This tool also lets your hands-free so you can control the operations with them to achieve the expected smooth edges.

Types of Drum Sander

For buying a drum sander you need to know about the types of drum sander so that you can choose the right one. There are four types of drum sanders available in the market-

Close End Drum Sanders

Close end drum sanders are build in a way to support the feed belt, sanding drum, and the pressure rollers of the tool are closed on both ends. This prevents the sander from sanding the board wider than the length of the sander’s drum. But the positive fact of these types of sanders is they are more stable than open-ended drum sanders.

Open End Drum Sander

This type of drum sanders have the structure which supports the sanding drum, feed belt like the closed one but the presser rollers are open on one end. Open-ended drum sander allows you to work with wider boards than the drum’s length.

But the drawback of this type of sander is it tends to flex under heavy pressure and may end up with uneven sanding.

Single Drum Sander

Single drum sanders are the oldest and popular than the open-end and closed-end sanders. And from the name, you can understand that they come with only one sanding drum. With this type of sander, you can only use one sandpaper grit, so if you’re planning to work with multiple sanding projects, you need to keep changing its strip.

This type of sanders is the basic and easiest to work with and also they come at an affordable price.

Double Drum Sander

They come with two sanding drums just as the name suggests and one drum is placed behind another. With double drum sander, you’ll be able to run 2 sanding strips with different grits.

How to Choose a Drum Sander

Choosing the perfect drum sander for your job isn’t so tough. As you’ve known the basics about it, you only need to check some important features of a good quality drum sander. And they are-

Power

The motor power is the crucial fact you need to check before buying any power tool including the drum sander. Most of the drum sanders you’ll find available on the market are with the power between 1- 5 HP and the more powerful one will cost more than a less powerful one.

Capacity

Capacity of a drum sander determines the size of the material that the tool can handle or deal with and is another most important fact you should consider.

If you need a sander with high capacity, you can choose the open end drum sander as they can deal with a large board. But this type of sanders is less stable than closed-end sanders.

So you should determine what your job requires, large capacity and durability or uniform sanding, and get the one you need.

Speed

It is the most important feature you should check before buying your drum sander. For getting, the best support, get the one with variable speed & feed rate. Because if the machine allows you to adjust the feed rate, you’ll be able to use it for various purposes. And with the variable speed, you can control the speed whenever you need and get the desired result.

Vibration

Large drum sanders are prone to vibrate as they generate a lot of power. This vibration will make your hands fatigue as you need to work hard to keep the work piece in place and also the tool will leave spots on woods for its vibration.

But nowadays, some high end, updated drum sanders have included anti-vibration technology that is able to minimize the problem.

Dust Collection

Sanding is quite a messy job, this creates a lot of dust and dirt during the whole time all over your workplace. The best solution to avoid this mess is to buy a sander with a nice dust collection system. This will help you to keep your workspace clean and less messy and also make sure that you won’t cover with wood chips at the end of the day. Read more: Finding the Best Palm Sanders

Durability

As you have work on different types of material with the sander, make sure that the model you’re going to buy is good enough to handle the workload. Also, check the material that the sander is made with. Because lightweight sanders are made of aluminum, so they are portable and tend to wear and tear out easily. But heavy drum sander is made with stainless steel or other heavy metal, so they last for a long time than the lighter one.


Tips and Tricks for Drum Sander

Drum sanders are not so hard to use, so any woodworker or even any hobbyist can figure out its operation method. However, following some simple tips and tricks will help you to control the power tool more efficiently. Like-

Choose the Sandpaper Wisely

For a smooth operation, you must need good quality sandpaper. Because even the best drum sander won’t perform well if the sandpaper is cheap one or low quality.

Take Your Time

To get the desired result, you need to have patience because drum sanders don’t remove a lot of material in a minute. You have to set the belt at the highest speed and take numerous passes to have the best result.

Dust Collector

Sanding creates a lot of dust and dirt which makes your workplace messy. So you must get a sander with the dust collection system. A drum sander with dust collector can make your work surface clean and as well as can improve the machine's performance.

Never Sand Through Brads

If you’re sanding a wood piece that is attached with fasteners, don’t try to sand all the way to them because this may leave lines in the sandpaper.

Conclusion 

So what do you think! Which one will be the perfect one for you to complete your sanding job smoothly!?

Does any of the above fits your requirement!

You can share your opinion with me.

Though I’ve tried to make the selection process easy for both old and new users, you can share your experience or opinion through comments or mail.

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