The Best Drum Sanders for 2019

Best Drum Sanders of 2019 - Top Picks, Reviews & Complete Buying Guide

Firstly, sanders have been popular for bar tops, but throughout the years of use the sander next found itself resurfacing desks for schoolchildren.

Nowadays, the sander is popular both with woodworkers and luthiers – craftsmen who make instruments.

No matter if you are a professional or a hobbyist, you might need this amazing tool in your workshop.

But, prior to buying it, be sure to read our reviews and buyer’s guide to help you find the right drum sander which will both suit your needs and budget.

Spoiler Alert - Check out my top choice here >>

Top Rated Drum Sanders for 2019

ModelRatingBuy Now
Powermatic PM2244 Drum SanderPowermatic PM2244 Drum Sander
4.6
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JET 649003K Drum SanderJET 649003K Drum Sander
4.2
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JET 628900 MiniJET 628900 Mini
3.6
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SuperMax 19-38 Drum Sander ToolSuperMax 19-38 Drum Sander Tool
3.3
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Grizzly G0716 Drum SanderGrizzly G0716 Drum Sander
2.8
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* Ratings are based on Editor's own opinion.

5 Best Drum Sanders Reviewed

#1. Powermatic PM2244 Drum Sander

Top Pick
Powermatic PM2244 Drum Sander
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The first sander on our list is the Powermatic PM2244.

If you are able to afford it, you cannot find better one, as this is such a great machine which comes with a 1.75HP motor and a 22” drum.

You will be able to put pieces up to 44” through here which are up to 4” thick.

Furthermore, what you get with it is a digital depth display, meaning that you will be able to measure out to the thousandths of an inch, for maximum precision.

Also, you will get a digital readout on feed rate as well.

This machine would arrive assembled with wheels.

Setting it up is so easy that you will be able to start working with it in less than 15 minutes.

This is a drum sander for serious workers which will do satisfying job when the large-scale woodworking is in question.

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Pros

  • Digital readouts
  • Handles both large and thick pieces as well as small and thin wood
  • Can be used as a planer
  • Easy set-up

Cons

  • Pricey
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#2. JET 649003K Drum Sander

JET 649003K Drum Sander
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The JET 649003K is very similar to our first choice.

The device has 1.75HP motor can also handle wood up to 44” wide and from 4” down to 1/32” thick.

There is auto control of the variable feed rate designed to make sure that your dander will not over-work.

Being that it is a benchtop sander, it is smaller and lighter.

What makes it even more attractive is that it comes with a noticeably lower price tag.

This JET sander has two drawbacks noticed by the users.

Firstly, it lacks the digital readouts and the in and outfeed tables are difficult to take off and put on.

Still, we assure you that this can be a perfect sander for both professionals and hobbyists.

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Pros

  • Lower price
  • Smaller
  • Lighter
  • Can handle large or thin wood

Cons

  • No digital displays
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#3. JET 628900 Mini

JET 628900 Mini
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JET has to offer one more model which deserved the third place on our list.

It is the JET 628900 Mini.

Again, this is a benchtop model and as its name suggests, it is smaller, lighter, and cheaper than other drum sanders mentioned above.

The tool is designed for hobby woodworker, being that it can handle wood up to 20” wide and 3” thick.

When the disadvantages are in question, we have to mention that the sandpaper can be difficult to change, the conveyor belt is a little quirky, and it shuts off.

It is true that this is a very cheap drum sander, but it is not suggested for professional use.

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Pros

  • Affordable
  • Smaller
  • Lighter
  • Can handle thin sheets

Cons

  • Sandpaper changing is difficult
  • Conveyor belt might demand extra TLC
  • Auto shut-off
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#4. SuperMax 19-38 Drum Sander Tool

SuperMax 19-38 Drum Sander Tool
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Number four is the SuperMax 19-38.

It is a huge drum sander, coming with nearly 4’x5’ and over 300 lbs.

The first thing that users noticed about this device is the difficult set up, which will take a long time and require two people.

Furthermore, you will have to add your own wheels since it does not come with any.

The positive side of it is the digital depth indicator.

The wood feed rate is automatically slowing to a crawl.

However, users are frustrated by burn marks showing on your wood and the professionals are not satisfied with the performance of this machine.

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Pros

  • Digital depth indicator
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Difficult set up
  • Bulky
  • Heavy
  • Auto-slowing 
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#5. Grizzly G0716 Drum Sander

Grizzly G0716 Drum Sander
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The last one on our list is the Grizzly G0716.

It has 1.5 HP motor which is designed so as to handle boards up to 9.5” wide and 3” thick.

We have to say that this tool is not suitable for veneer or instrument projects.

First, the weaknesses.

The device is heavy and only offers manual control of its variable speed conveyor belt.

You will get a stand, which is unexpected at this price point, but users complain that it is too short.

Besides being dissatisfied with its height, everyone is frustrated by the sandpaper changing which is quite a challenge.

We can conclude that even the people who plan working with it occasionally in their basement have no reason to buy this sander.

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Pros

  • Price

Cons

  • Minimum thickness of ¼”
  • Stand is too short
  • Sandpaper changing is difficult
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Drum Sanders: The Ultimate Buying Guide

A drum sander is a tool similar in design to a planer, and many people get confused when they see it.

This tool is designed to quickly and efficiently sand items like cutting boards, tabletops, and cabinet doors.

If you have it, it will save you hours of hand sanding but you should know that it comes at high prices.

Professionals and serious hobby woodworkers would appreciate having one and even paying a fortune for a quality drum sander.

If you are ready to invest in a drum sander, we are offering you some advice related to characteristics of these units.

Drum sander

What should I know about maximum and minimum wood size?

Width – The width of wood piece is important as you do not need to get the sander that lets you feed in the largest slabs of wood and pay a fortune for it, if all you are planning to use it for cabinet doors. The widest board you can send can be calculated if you double the width of the roller. For example, with a 22” drum roller, you can sand a 44” piece of wood. In order to determine which model is the right for you, you will need to read the specifications carefully and determine whether you will work with wider pieces or not.

Thickness – When the thickness of the wood the sander can accommodate is in question, it is important to pay attention to that as well. If your plans are to work on or with veneers, a sander that can only sand down to ¼” may not be satisfactory for you. You might need a sander which can go down to 1/32” and they are designed for super-thin projects. Of course, this again has to be in line with your needs and plans.

Is it difficult to adjust it?

These machines are either difficult or easy to adjust and they come in two distinct flavors: high-tech and old school.

The old school machines come with manual knobs and levers to make most of the measurements and adjustments.

On the other hand, the high-tech ones have features which offer self-regulating feed tables and digital measuring to the thousandths of an inch.

What you get is greater precision followed by higher prices, while the old-fashioned ones get the job done with a user who knows what and how to do the adjustment for lower prices.

There is so much talking about installing new sandpaper?

The sandpaper installation is something that has to be done on a regular basis and for all the drum sanders the process is pretty much the same.

What you need to do is to wrap a ribbon of sandpaper around the rotating drum and secure it at both ends.

This process will require 30-60 seconds with some models, while with the others, I might take you even 30-60 minutes, and an extra tool.

Our suggestion is to look for a sander that is user-friendly when it comes to sandpaper installation.

Drum sander

What about motor strength/shutoffs?

The features that drum sanders should have such as the ability to self-regulate the feed rate and slow it down when the drum motor struggles to eat through the board in order not to overwork it and to prevent damage to the machine.

If you plan to use it frequently and even as a planer, we suggest you to go for a model that automatically controls the feed rate and protects your investment for you.

Which one is better: bench or stand?

These two cannot be compared, as each drum sander has its advantages and disadvantages.

You have to read specifications and see if the exact bench model comes with a stand or not.

If it is not there, you would need to buy a stand which will cause additional expenses.

How significant are the snipe and feed rate?

When purchasing a drum sander, you need to keep an eye out for snipe.

The snipe are those divots at the trailing end of your board where the machine grabs and releases.

A drum sander might have a snipe in the middle of the board.

The feed rate can fluctuate and this would depend on how deep of a cut you ask it to make.

The old-fashioned models allow you to you control the feed rate manually, while the more modern machines will control the feed rate for you depending on how hard the drum roller is working.

Is it portable?

Drum sanders are so large and heavy units that it is difficult to move them from one job site to the other.

Most of them weigh a few hundred pounds.

The only way of moving them is if they are on casters or have wheels already attached.

There is also a possibility to put your own wheels if they do not come with the unit.

You will need to store the sander in your shop or garage and it will require quite a space.

Firstly, you need to look at the product dimensions, create a space for it and only then purchase it.

If it happens to be on wheels, you can drive it when using it.

Customer service and price

Drum sanders are expensive machines and if you spend that amount of money on them, the least you can expect is some decent customer support.

Some more famous brands would offer excellent customer service, while the others have reputation of not having such a great customer support.

The prices vary so much that you would feel completely confused which drum sander is worth the money.

If you take a look at the cost of our first model, you can see that its price is several times higher than the price of bottom-of-the-list choice.

We have to say that less expensive models usually lack the modern digital readout but you can be perfectly happy with a more modest sander which will not cost a fortune.

Conclusion

All in all, we can conclude that the Powermatic PM2244 is the best of the best as it is fast, precise, and super-smooth sander.

If you want to get the best for the money drum sander you should look for the JET 628900 Mini.

This drum sander will get the job done while not requiring too much money.

Being that these are the largest and most expensive tools you will ever purchase, making the right decision is very important and you can do it by reading our reviews.


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(3 votes, avg: 5.00 out of 5)
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