Drum sanders are large machines that are designed specifically to sand both wood and plastics. They’re often used for large woodworking projects both professionally and recreationally. To help you choose the ideal drum sander for you and your business or workshop, we have selected the best drum sander brands on the market today as well as a product to feature from each to give you a better feel for the different types of drum sanders available to you from various brands.
Our Top Choice
Powermatic 1-3/4 HP Drum Sander
Founded in 1928 by Leonard F. Smith, Powermatic is an American brand that sells a wide range of woodworking machinery using its own specialized, patented process.
Impressive, high-tech LED control panel which also shows power, belt speed, and DRO. Also has Feed Logic.
Some customers had issues with the tread of the product.
45.6” x 23” x 50.2”; 418 lbs
SuperMax 19-38 Drum Sander
SuperMax, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, is constantly stretching its limits to create better tools for wood and metalworking.
Pre-wrapped with 80-grit sandpaper. Simple, easy-to-use alignments. Heavy-duty and professional.
Some customers has issues re-loading sandpaper in this product.
27” x 46” x 52”; 286 lbs
Shop Fox 37-Inch Drum Sander
With over 25 years of experience behind it, Shop Fox is one of the leading brands for both metalworking and woodworking equipment in America.
Two different types of abrasive grit. Adjustable, easy-to-use speed feed.
This product is only suitable for professional use.
62" x 49" x 53"; 1281 lbs
Jet 16 Inch Open Stand Drum Sander
Founded in 1958, Jet creates a range of metalworking and woodworking products that are crammed full with useful features and great service.
Self-cooling, aluminum drum design. Range of technologies that are unique to Jet. Includes stand and abrasives.
Some customers found it difficult to re-load the product.
35” x 15” x 30”; 164 lbs
Grizzly Drum/Flap Sander
Founded in 1983, Grizzly is an American brand that specializes in the manufacturing of woodwork and metalwork machinery products.
Multiple sanding options. Small enough in size to easily move around. On/off switch.
Some customers found the flap sander was too windy.
Drum sanders are a higher-end alternative to other sanding products such as belt, orbital, and power sanders. They are large machines that are used to neatly sand both wood and plastics for either professional or recreational uses. You can also use drum sanders to sand materials at a much higher speed than other, smaller sanders, whilst allowing the user to use both hands to create a finish you won’t achieve with any other product. Many drum sanders are also mounted onto a stand.
Before you go rushing off, however, and purchasing any old drum sander, there are a few factors you may want to consider beforehand. Firstly, there are several different types of drum sanders to choose from. It’s important to know which drum sander is most suited to your needs before making your selection, as this will make the process much easier.
Open-Ended Drum Sanders - Open-ended drum sanders will allow you more room to maneuver your boards or material, and allow you to create a smaller footprint. The one problem with these products, however, is that they often require several material run-throughs to sand both sides of your product.
Closed-End Drum Sanders - Closed-end drum sanders are often wider than open-end products, and are specifically designed to be faster and operate on larger pieces of material. These types of products are ideal for those who use sanders professionally as it will allow you to get your work done in half the time!
Double Drum Sanders - Double drum sanders usually include double the amount of sandpaper as a standard drum sander. This means they don’t need to have the paper changed as often and will allow you to use two different grades of paper at the same time for two-stage sanding.
When it comes to the cost of your new drum sander, this is going to depend on a variety of factors. The majority of drum sanders will set you back between $300 and $5000, depending on the style of the product, and its features and size.
Products at the higher end of this scale tend to be much larger in size and weigh between 500 pounds and 1,500 pounds. These products are much more suited for professional use and therefore include useful features to make sanding tasks simpler and easier. These features can range from adjustable feed-speeds, LED lights, patented technologies, the inclusion of abrasive grit, and variable-speed conveyor adjustments.
If you’re using the sander for recreational use, however, then you won’t need to fork out thousands for a decent product. Products at the lower end of this scale are much smaller in size and therefore suited for simpler tasks. Although they won’t include as many features, they’ll still work perfectly for less complex tasks.
Cheaper drum sanders are available ($200 or less), but be aware that these products won’t be as durable and won’t create a flawless finish like other, pricier products.
The features you’ll want included in your new drum sander will depend entirely on your own personal preferences as well as what you’ll be using the sander for. There are a few useful features we recommend keeping an eye out for to ensure you select a top-quality product.
Here are some important features to look out for:
Variable Feed Rate
Hook and Loop Sandpaper Attachment Method
Construction and Design
When looking for a high-quality drum sander, we recommend keeping an eye out for products with a dust collector, as drum sanders can create quite a bit of mess! Sanders without this feature can make work a lot more difficult and require you to stop ever so often to remove debris and dust from your work area. If you’re looking for a particularly high-end product, then look for sanders with several dust collection ports or a hood that can mirror the look of the drum for maximum dust collection. Many drum sanders come with a suction mechanism to remove sanding debris form work areas for both ease-of-use and safety purposes, as well.
You may also want to keep an eye out for drum sanders that have a variable feed rate. Many sanders can scratch, snipe, and burn materials when in use which can ruin an expensive piece of wood in seconds. Products with a variable speed rate will allow you more control over the sander and better adjust your material to a variety of sandpaper grits.
Another thing to look out for in your new drum sander is the voltage used by the product. If you’re using the product for professional purposes, then you’re going to want to keep an eye out for products with a higher voltage, which is usually around 150 – 250 volts. This will mean the sander is much more powerful and therefore will be able to sand at a higher rate in a faster time frame. If, however, you’re after a slightly cheaper model or a sander that doesn’t pack quite as much of a punch, then keep an eye out for products that offer between 100 – 120 volts.
You’re also going to want to have a think about the size of your new drum sander. This will depend entirely on your workspace area as well as the material you’ll be using the drum sander on. We recommend measuring your workspace beforehand to ensure your new sander will fit in perfectly.
And don’t forget to have a little think about whether you’ll need the sander to be portable or stationary. Stationary sanders are much larger in size and are therefore suitable for larger tasks. If you’re using the product in a workshop or for professional purposes, then this may be the better option. Stationary sanders also offer the user more stability and a sounder working area. If, however, you’ll be moving the sander around to different locations then a smaller, lightweight, portable sander will be the safest bet.
Most drum sanders will specify if they are heavy-duty or stationary, but a good thing to look out for is the material of the drum carriage. Products made from cast iron or steel tend to be much heavier than products made from aluminum and rubber. Although these products may me costlier, they will be more durable than lighter-weight models and more suited for every-day use.
Performance and Ease of Use
Although some drum sanders come pre-assembled, there are a few products that will require some manual setup. If you’ve opted for one of these products, then simply follow the instructions that come with the product or look online at the manufacturer’s site for some more guidance. Setup for most drum sanders shouldn’t take you much longer than 30 minutes.
If you’re looking for a drum sander that’s particularly easy to use, then we recommend looking for products that have an LED light, dust collection, or a hook and loop sandpaper attachment. Products with an LED light will allow you a better view of your workspace and a more precise sand; they’re also a lot safer if you’re working in a dark environment. Those with dust collections will keep your workspace clean and clear, and prevent debris from clogging up the machine or getting in your eyes. Finally, products with hook and loop sandpaper attachments are much easier to use and will prevent you from damaging both the machine and the materials you are using.
What is the Best Drum Sander?
When trying to find the best drum sander for you, it can often be difficult due to the sheer amount of styles and varieties available on the market today. Hopefully, however, after reading through our handy little buying guide you’ve now figured out what type of drum sander is best for your needs as well as all the features you would like included in it. This will make it a lot easier when it comes to narrowing down your options and selecting the ideal drum sander for your next project! So, let’s get looking at our top five picks, shall we?
Our Top Choice
The Powermatic Drum Sander is the perfect choice for anyone after a high-end product with all the bells and whistles, including a Feed Logic feature. If you’re after a disc sander, however, then don’t forget to check out the Powermatic Belt\/Disc Sander instead!
Powermatic 1-3/4 HP Drum Sander with Integrated LED Control Panel
Powermatic is an American brand founded in 1928 by Leonard F. Smith and his family. Originally selling sanding machines, drill presses, and table saws to his friends in the business, today Powermatic own a 400,000-square foot facility in LaVergne, creating a number of different products using the brand’s infamous Meehanite process. This process is what put the brand in the forefront of the woodworking machinery manufacturing business and why it’s regarded as one of the top brands in its field today.
We wanted to feature the Powermatic Drum Sander due to the overall popularity of the brand and the fact that the product has an impressive LED control panel (which also shows power, belt speed, and DRO). As well as this, the Powermatic Drum Sander comes with ‘Feed Logic’, so that you can create to your heart’s content without worry of the machine overloading.
The product also features a dial where the table’s parallelism can be adjusted on the outside of the conveyor bed so that you won’t have to adjust the whole thing. There’s also a secondary ‘absolute depth scale’ provided for additional height readings when necessary, and a cast iron drum carriage for greater performance and durability.
The steel hood of this product has a 4-inch dust port and an emergency stop switch for both ease of use and safety purposes, as well as a chrome wheel that’s large enough to make your adjustments that much simpler. The drum of the product is also removable, and features casters that make transporting this machine fairly easy for your workplace.
If you’re after a heavy-duty product that’s of professional quality then look no further than the SuperMax Drum Sander. If you’re a fan of SuperMax and looking for pre-cut abrasive wraps, then don’t forget to check out the SuperMax 120 Grit Pre-Cut Abrasive Wraps too!
SuperMax 19-38 Drum Sander with INTELLISAND Technology
SuperMax, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, is constantly stretching its limits to create better tools for wood and metalworking. The brand is much-loved by customers, as it offers some of the best products around and customer service and support to match. The brand has also branched out in recent years, manufacturing a number of smaller drum and brush sander products to further its customer base and product line.
We are big fans of the SuperMax Drum Sander due to the brand’s overall popularity and the product’s easy-to-use, simplistic design. The drum of the product comes pre-wrapped with 80-grit sandpaper and features simple alignments for ease-of-use. The product also makes use of an indexed alignment setting for both narrow and wider stock for flawless sanding. The height adjustments in this product are also incredibly easy to use with a thrust bearing just below the handle to make sure the drum stays in place while you’re using it.
The extra-wide conveyor in this sander will support stock over 19 inches wide, with a conveyor table of 22-inch width to support the entire workpiece. The SuperMax Drum Sander also features INTELLISAND technology which will automatically adjust the conveyor speed based on load, keeping your stock safe from any damage. The INTELLISAND technology in this product will also provide a consistent, flawless finish on a variety of grain patterns and stock densities.
The Shop Fox 37-Inch Drum Sander is ideal for heavy-duty jobs due to its impressive professional design. If, however, you’re after a slightly cheaper model then don’t forget to check out the Shop Fox Hand-Held Pneumatic Drum Sander instead!
Shop Fox 37-Inch Drum Sander with Dual Drums
Shop Fox has been creating machinery for over 25 years and has grown into one of the top brands for metalworking equipment in America. The brand has a broad selection of machines available, ranging from table saws, jointers, wood and metal band-saws, and much, much more! The brand’s passion for quality has earned it quite a reputation in the wood and metalwork industry, with the brand often regarded as the best-value brand for metalwork and woodwork products in the world.
We loved the Shop Fox 37-Inch Drum Sander due to the product’s wide variety of features and because it’s so highly regarded by customers! This is a sander built for heavy-duty jobs, with sand boards and panels up to 4 inches thick and 36.5 inches wide. This product also uses two different kinds of abrasive grit in a singular pass for maximum sanding power.
The adjustable feed speed in this sander ranges from 6 to 18 FPM and has variable-speed conveyor adjustments as well as an amp meter for monitoring purposes and efficiency. As well as this, this sander includes a hinged hood, an emergency stop bar for safety purposes, pedestal-mounted controls, dual drums, and is certified to CSA and UL standards.
The Jet Open Stand Drum Sander is jam-packed with features to make your life easier and even includes a stand and abrasives. If you’re after a slightly cheaper model, however, then make sure you take a look at the Jet 20 Amp Service Drum Sander instead!
Jet 16-Inch 1-1/2-Horsepower Open Stand Drum Sander
Founded in 1958, Jet began life as a small dealership that sold air hoists and trolleys in its small Tacoma, Washington store. Today, Jet creates a huge variety of products ranging from snowmobiles, radios, forklifts, and even nylon stockings; although its main business line revolves around metalworking and woodworking products. You’ll find a huge range of woodworking tools from Jet that are packed with world-class features and phenomenal service.
We decided to feature the Jet Open Stand Drum Sander due to the product’s self-cooling, aluminum drum design and great price. This drum sander has an exclusive design that’s unique to Jet, providing a simple and effective way of handling smaller projects (and a few bigger ones). The product’s SandSmart Technology will eliminate the likelihood of workpiece or abrasive burn and will keep the sander running smoothly for many more years of use. This technology also continuously monitors the drum motor load and regulates the speed of the conveyor motor automatically for a high feed rate without the risk of overloading.
The sander’s TRACKERS technology will also reduce the need for manual belt adjustments, adding safety and security to the product. The conveyor bed of the sander is also precision-flattened and made from reinforced steel to provide a constant sooth sanding action for flawless results. The drum ball bearings in the product are also sealed and permanently lubricated to increase the life of the sander. This drum sander isn’t all you get when you purchase, either; you also get a stand, box of abrasives, and one TufTool.
The Grizzly Flap/Drum Sander is ideal for a variety of sanding purposes and is simple and easy to use too! If, however, you’re after a slightly higher-end product, then don’t forget to check out the Grizzly 24-Inch Drum Sander instead!
Grizzly G8749 Drum/Flap Sander with Twelve Abrasive Flaps
Grizzly is an American brand founded in 1983 that creates and manufactures a wide range of machinery products. Today, Grizzly is viewed as one of the largest machinery companies in the world, with its products available in stores all around the globe.
We love the Grizzly Drum/Flap Sander due to its many features, all of which are for a pretty impressive price! This sander is ideal for shaping and finishing contours, and allows you to choose between a 3 ¼-inch or 4 ¾-inch diameter inflatable sanding drum on one side, or a 10 ½-inch by 7 ¾-inch flap sander on the other. The latter sander has twelve abrasive flaps that are backed by numerous flexible brushes for top-quality sanding. This sander also features an on/off safety switch with a locking tab as well as 120-grit paper for the flap sander.
We’re hoping that by now you’ve stumbled across your ideal drum sander and are now busy planning and preparing for your next woodwork or plastic project. If, however, this isn’t the case then don’t you worry! We’ve intentionally selected brands that have lots of different products to offer; simply browse through their other collections to find the best drum sander for you! So, what are you waiting for? Get browsing!
Our Top Choice
Powermatic 1-3/4 HP Drum Sander
SuperMax 19-38 Drum Sander
Shop Fox 37-Inch Drum Sander
Jet 16 Inch Open Stand Drum Sander
Grizzly Drum/Flap Sander
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