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5 Best Drum Sanders Reviews and Buying Guide

“If you are looking for the best drum sander, then you can find the best of the best in this article”

Drum sanders are must-have tool for professional woodworkers to turn rough surfaces into smooth.

The abrasive nature of a drum sander is perfect to use for all surfaces, mainly used in the making of sanding furniture. It has a drum that rotates at high-speed level to remove the wood layers rapidly.

Drum sanders are available in different designs and features. However, to receive the good quality finish, you must pick the best drum sander suitable for your requirements.

Below are some of the important factors to consider

  • Motor Power: A drum sander with an efficient motor is essential for perfect sanding. The motor power is measured in horsepower (HP), which ranges from 1 – 5 HP. A model with higher HP will consume more power for its working. Also, check the voltage limits in the home before buying the drum sander.
  • Dust Collection: The dust collection system is essential that acts as an effective vacuum system to keep the work area clean and make the machine function properly. It also reduces the dust to get into the clothes and hair.
  • Size and Portability: The drum size is a must to consider factor before buying a drum sander. The size will range from 10 – 20 inches, in which you have to choose the drum size based on the contact surface area of a given object for easy sanding. Portability arises on where you want to use the machine – dedicated workstation or different worksites. Choose it wisely based on your work requirement and space availability.

Apart from these factors, we recommend you reading our detailed “Buying Guide” for better insight on drum sanders. Also, we came up with a list of some Best Drum Sanders in the market, explaining their best features, pros and cons to help you make quick yet perfect purchase decision.

Best Drum Sanders Table

Drum SanderMotor PowerWarrantyBuy Now
Jet Drum Sander1 ½ HP5 yearCheck On Amazon
Grizzly Drum Sander1 HP1 yearCheck On Amazon
Powermatic Drum Sander1 ¾ HP5 yearCheck On Amazon
Jet Drum Sander1 HP3 yearCheck On Amazon
Shop Fox Drum Sander1-1/2 HP2 yearCheck On Amazon

5 Best Drum Sanders Reviews

1. Jet Drum Sander

jet drum sander

Almost all of the power tools made by Jet are of high quality that makes them highly reliable and durable in comparison to other options.

The Jet 723520K JWDS-1632 drum sander is present in the 1st position in this article as it is the most reliable and durable option present in this article. It offers an excellent build quality to the user that is much better than most other options out there. Not only that, but you even get a 5-year long warranty with it for peace of mind.

As for its performance, it uses a 1 ½ HP electric motor that is quite decent. This motor uses 20 amps of electric current that is on par with most other options in its class. Although, unlike other reliable drum sanders out there, this one has a lower price tag.

Best Features:

  • Electric motor power rating of 1 ½ HP
  • 5-year long warranty
  • 20 amp electric current consumption
  • 4-inch dust collection port


  • Most reliable and durable drum sander without an extra premium
  • Decently powerful 1 ½ HP electric motor
  • Comes with easy to use controls and adjustment options


  • Motor is a bit on the louder side

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2. Grizzly Drum Sander

Grizzly Industrial

You can find various kinds of power tool options from Grizzly Industrial that are made for different applications like sanding.

Grizzly Industrial’s G8479 drum sander is present in the 2nd position in this article as it is the cheapest option mentioned in this article. Despite the extremely low price tag of this drum sander, you get a decent performance out of its 1 HP electric motor. It can go up to 1725 RPM that should be more than enough for most users.

As for the drum size, it can go up to 3 ¼ inch x 7 ⅞ inch if needed, which is quite a large drum size. Even though it is a budget-oriented drum sander, you get a 1-year long warranty with it that is always great to have. Although the build quality is quite average.

Best Features:

  • Electric motor power rating of 1 HP
  • 1-year long warranty
  • 1725 rounds per minute motor speed rating
  • Up to 3 ¼ inch x 7 ⅞ inch drum size


  • Affordable price tag for high value for money
  • Great performance out of 1 HP motor
  • Decent 1-year long warranty


  • Average build quality

Buy Now From Amazon

3. Powermatic Drum Sander

Powermatic drum sander

Powermatic is one of the more premium brands of power tools out there that is mainly known for making highly powerful drum sanders and other industrial equipment.

This Powermatic PM2244 drum sander is present in this article as it makes for a great pick for users who are looking for a drum sander for industrial usage. Just per its name, it comes with quite a powerful 1 ¾ HP electric motor. This motor is able to offer great performance when combined with the Feed Logic feature of this drum sander that offers maximum efficiency.

Since this drum sander is a bit on the expensive side, you also get various handy features with it like an inbuilt LED light. Its control panel offers various adjustments for high precision results while using it. As for the warranty, Powermatic offers a 5-year long warranty that makes this model highly durable and reliable.

Best Features:

  • Electric motor power rating of 1 ¾ HP
  • 5-year long warranty
  • Easy to use controls
  • Inbuilt LED lights


  • Highly durable and reliable with a 5-year long warranty
  • Offers decent performance with a 1 ¾ HP motor
  • Precise controls and adjustments for ease of use


  • Slightly on the expensive side

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4. Jet Drum Sander

Jet Drum SanderJet Tools is a leading global manufacturer of industrial and woodworking tools. The brand develops innovative products with a robust build quality to meet the diverse needs of metal working and material handling users.

The reason that Jet’s drum sander finds a place in our list is because of its robust construction. The drum sander is made of heavy-duty die-cast aluminum and steel body that makes it durable. Besides, aluminum is good at dissipating heat and protects wood from damage due to heat. The conveyor belt is reinforced with steel that makes it resistant against damage.

The other best feature of this drum sander is its infinitely variable speed control using which you can set the ideal feed rate. Irrespective of soft or hardwood, this drum sander creates a smooth surface. On top of all the durable and user-friendly features, the drum sander also comes with a 3 years warranty from the date of purchase.

Best Features:

  • Runs on 8-amp motor
  • Made of heavy-duty die-cast aluminum and steel
  • Infinitely variable feed rate speed control
  • Steel-reinforced conveyor belt
  • 3 years warranty period


  • Durable and withstands damage
  • Ideal for soft and hardwood
  • Long warranty period


  • Have to make comes adjustments before using the sander

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5. Shop Fox Drum Sander

The Shop Fox W1854 Open-End Drum Sander is a powerhouse that meets the varied sanding requirements of woodworkers. With its strong 1-1/2 HP motor, this sander easily handles even the toughest wood surfaces. Its unique open-end design stands out, allowing it to handle workpieces up to a wide 36 inches—a feature you don’t often find in other drum sanders.

The W1854 ensures precise sanding by letting users adjust the sanding speed with its variable speed conveyor feed rate. This means you can match the speed to the type of material you’re working on. The spring-loaded system for the sanding belt tension keeps the belt on track all the time, improving how well it works and how long it lasts. Notably, the sander’s dust collection system maintains a clean and sawdust-free workshop environment.

With a maximum sanding width of 36 inches and a minimum sanding thickness of 1/8 inch, the W1854 is a dependable choice for woodworking projects of different sizes. Its conveyor speed can be set from 0 to 12 feet per minute, and the drum spins at a speed of 4000 feet per minute. This combination ensures it’s just right in terms of power, precision, and flexibility. If you’re a woodworker looking for a top-notch and flexible tool, the Shop Fox W1854 is an outstanding option. It showcases excellence in both craftsmanship and design.

Best Features:

  • Robust 1-1/2 HP motor for powerful sanding on various wood surfaces.
  • Unique open-end design accommodates workpieces up to 36″ in width.
  • Variable speed conveyor feed rate for tailored sanding to different materials.
  • Spring-loaded sanding belt tension system ensures consistent belt tracking.
  • Effective dust collection system for a cleaner workshop environment.


  • Versatile and powerful, suitable for a wide range of woodworking tasks.
  • Wide sanding capacity with the open-end design, offering flexibility.
  • Adjustable conveyor speed allows for precise sanding on different materials.
  • Reliable belt tracking system enhances overall performance and longevity.
  • Efficient dust collection system helps maintain a clean workspace.


  • May be relatively large and require ample workshop space.
  • Higher power may lead to increased noise levels during operation.

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How to Choose the Best Drum Sanders

A drum sander is an extraordinary tool with various amazing features to do several woodworking projects, which is the best addition to your power tool collection. There are many aspects to consider when shopping for a drum sander.

Let’s take a closer look into what factors to consider and how to pick the right one.

1. Types

It is essential to know the different types of drum sanders before shopping to make the right purchase. The sanders can be classified into either open- or closed-end (depends on the structure housing sanding mechanism) and single or double sanders (based on the number of drums on the sander).

Let’s know about them in detail.

a. Closed-End Drum Sander Vs. Open-End Drum Sanders – 

Open-end and closed-end are two different types of drum sanders that are classified depending on the structure housing the sanding mechanism.

  • Closed-End Drum Sanders: 

In this type of closed-end drum sander, the structure supporting the feed belt, pressure rollers, and sanding drum is closed on the both ends. It is the perfect option when you are unable to sand wood piece broader than the drum length due to the design of a sander that is closed on the both ends. For instance, a closed-end machine with 12-inch wide will let you sand only boards having a width of maximum of 12-inches.

However, the sander limits the board width, which you want to sand, yet it allows you to sand two separate pieces and then adhesive them together. Even though the size of your sanding stock is limited, the unit is more stable compared to open-ended models, why because its roller won’t flex apart or open.

  • Open-End Drum Sanders:

An open-end drum sander is an efficient sanding tool for those working with large boards regularly, as it allows to do quick and easy sanding. With this sander, the structure housing and supporting conveyor belts, pressure rollers, and sanding drum are open at an end (as the name implies).

Its design will allow the machine to sand stock/boards wider than the drum’s length. For instance, an open-end device with a width of 12-inch will make you use it to sand boards of width up to 24-inches. Yet its roller will flex under pressure. Thus, it results in producing uneven sanding, which is a major flaw affecting its overall performance.

b. Single Drum Sander Vs. Double Drum Sander – 

Single and double are two main types of drum sanders according to the number of drums on the sander. Here is a detailed explanation of these two different types.

  • Single Drum Sanders:

It is the first type (older) that comes with a single or one sanding drum and it is a popular type among the two. Moreover, it is limited to a single sandpaper grit, so while using more than a single sanding project, then you need to change the strip continuously. In that condition, the double drum sanders will be your best companion. The main advantage of this single model is that it has a basic design that makes it use with ease and it is the most affordable option.

  • Double Drum Sanders:

As the name implies, the two or double drum sander have two smoothing drums, in which one drum is placed behindhand the other. Its main advantage is that it let you run double sanding strips having dissimilar grits. Simply, use a rougher grip on the primary drum and finer grip on the next drum for efficient and effective sanding and thereby speed your working procedure. Even though these sanders are handy, yet it is more complex compared to a single drum model and it is expensive as well.

2. Motor

The motor is an important factor to consider while purchasing a power tool, including this drum sander. With an efficient motor, any type of drum sander will be worthwhile. The motor power of most drum sanders will range from 1 – 5 HP, in which you have to invest more for a more powerful sander.

Also, won’t forget checking the voltage limits in the home when purchasing this sander. If not, it is troublesome to wind up a machine having higher voltage (240-volt) rather than home voltage limits (120-volt).

3. Sizing (Thickness & Width)

It is essential to check what size of boards you are sanding before buying a drum sanding. Each sander comes with a specific capacity of how wide and thick a board, which you want to feed through them.

To utilize the sander properly, you have to pick a sander having slightly larger than the wood size, which you work with. A more massive sander will work great, why because it provides the flexibility to increase the board sizes from time to time. Yet remember that larger machines will occupy more space than normal ones.

When it comes to size – Buy and use an open-end sander for doing jobs/projects, which are a little more unreliable than the size that is required. The reason is that it let you increase the stock width which you fed into the sander by twice/double the amount. For instance, if you buy a 22-inch sander, then you can easily fit a workpiece with a width of 44 inches.

When it comes to thickness – Choose a sander offering higher height adjustment abilities. Regular sanders can go height easily for up to 3 inches, providing adequate space to run the wood in. While working at an industrial scale, the recommended setting should be around 4 inches.

4. Dust Collection

Dust is quite commonly generated while doing woodworking, especially sanding. So, a dust collection system is a must for a drum sander to keep the machine and work area clean and visible. They not only make the machine to function properly, yet prevent dust going here and there into clothes and hair. However, an efficient vacuum system will remove or reduce dust from regular usage to offer a reasonable clean working area. If looking for a drum sander offering a wide opening for a dust collection hose. You have to find adaptors when you need to go to a smaller outlet. As dust can be dangerous, so ensure that not to overlook this feature.

5. Speed

Sanding speed is essential factor to seek out when buying a drum sander. Retain that a model having a variable speed feature will offer more speed options to you, which in turn, provides more flexibility with the drum sander to use it effectively.

However, some projects/jobs need slow speeds, while others need fast passes to generate desired results. So, a drum sander with an adjustable speed rate will offer a variety of uses, which is a great benefit of this versatile feature. Also, it deters the damage caused to your wooden boards while sanding.

6. Portability

Before shopping for a drum sander, it is a must to know the level of their portability. Mostly, the portability depends on the type of your work/project requirements and the space availability.

  • If your work needs to be done always at a workplace, then opt for the larger sander by checking the size specifications of your workspace.
  • If working at several different job sites, then your preference will differ and need a portable sander. This is smaller in size and has wheels on its base for an easy to carry/move around.

7. Feed Rate

The feed rate of a particular drum sander will determine how quickly or slowly the wood stock you can feed through the machine. Also, it let you know how rough or fine the sanding of your wood stock will be.

In this situation, the user has two options – either manually controlling the feed rate of the conveyor or allowing the machine to automatically handle it.

New and old models having a manual speed adjustment system will let you vary both the conveyor’s speed and sanding speed. Thus, it allows you to better decide on the type of finish you get from this machine.

While on an automatic system, speed is determined with an array of load sensors, which automatically adjust the speed as per the load. This system is a perfect option to choose, as it let a few chances to damage and thereby provide an assured quality output to you.

8. Stand or Bench

It is vital to read the product description carefully while comparing drum sanders. Some bench models won’t have a stand. As you don’t want to operate a new sander when sitting on the floor, so, ensure to purchase a stand if it won’t have one. Also, you can rig up a temporary stand and use a new sander to build a custom stand to complete your work properly.

9. Snipe

Though it is not a planer, yet a simple drum sander, you have to consider it for snipe. These divots are at the board’s leading or trailing end, where the device gets and releases. The user can even find snipe evidence in the middle of the board on a drum sander. Yet snipe is uncommon if you won’t ask the sander to bite off more than it chews.

10. Motor Shutoffs/Strength

Some expensive drum sanders may be capable to do some work that suits better than a planer. Yet most models won’t capable to shave off thick layers in a single pass, if you do it, they may get shut down. Some units can self-regulate the feed rate and slow it down if the motor of the drum sander struggles to fed through the board that making uncommon shut-offs. Yet you should not overload the older styles, and if done, it may turn off to reduce damage caused to the unit.

If you need a sander that can be used as a planer sometimes, or if you don’t want to make small yet recurrent passes, you have to pick a model that controls the feed rate automatically and protect your investment.

11. Price

You have to keep in mind that the amount you want to spend while shopping for a drum sander. However, you can spend around hundred dollars for a decent quality, reliable drum sander. Some powerful models with amazing factors and capabilities from trustworthy brands will price you over $1000. Always ensure to pick the model that comes within your price range or a reasonable rate, yet not to trade-off on the features and quality for saving your few bucks.

12. Warranty

Almost all the drum sander models out there come with a manufacturer’s warranty. This offers peace of mind to the user, why because their drum sander gets repaired under warranty later on whenever there is an issue within the warranty period.

Most drum sander models come with a 1-year or a 2-year warranty, while some reliable and durable models offer a 5-year long warranty to the user, which let you use the machine for a long time without any issues. So, it is a must to check the warranty offered by the manufacturer before making its purchase.

Benefits of Using a Drum Sander

A drum sander is a must-have machine in your power tool arsenal, as it makes some of the sanding projects much easier. Here are some of its actual benefits that you should know before buying them.

Huge Sanding Capacity – Mostly, the highest percentage of sanders available in the market are open-ended types, why because it offers huge working space even if the device comes with a small footprint. Also, these are large and has big tables that accommodate huge workpieces.

Efficiency – These highly efficient sanding tools can easily sand workpieces faster than your regular handheld sanders. Also, they have a conveyor belt to move the workpiece quickly through the sander (not found in other sander types). Thus, it ensures consistent and professional results.

Convenience – This convenient sanding tool is a must to have in your jobsite due to its amazing features – a few feature stand to protect your back while standing, auto-adjusting conveyor belts to suit the stock, and varying feed rates to make smooth different workpiece types without running it.

Tricks and Tips of Drum Sander

Although these drum sanders are simple power tools that can be used by any woodworker and seasoned hobbyists without any difficulty to figure out the things. There are some things that help to enhance your sanding experience while using this drum sander.

Take a look at some of those handy tricks and tips you should know for a better experience.

Wisely Select the Paper – Even the best model can serve you better when having the best paper on drums. So, ensure to use a premium paper rather than a cheap one for effective sanding, and thereby to get perfect results (or) to evade frustrations.

Be Patience – Like planers, avoid eliminating several materials in each pass. You require some patience and take some time for belt setting at extreme speed, and take several light passes for producing great outcomes.

Dust Collector is Essential – Since sanding results in producing piles of wood dust, which makes you not to use the sander lacking the dust collector. However, a dust collector will help to maintain the workspace clean and thereby improve the tools’ performance.

Don’t Sand Over Brads – While sanding a fastener attached workpiece, then you have to be careful that avoid sanding the fastener part. If done, it leaves few lines in the sandpaper that is shifted to the next workpiece/stock, which you sand.

Also Check: Best Mini Belt Sander

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who uses a drum sander mostly?

Ans: It is an ideal power tool for those who spend more time on the sanding process. Usually, smaller projects done by novice woodworkers can sand them with an orbital or disc sander. While intermediate woodworking projects are a bit larger, yet the wood volume is handled by the same tools or belt sander (in some cases).
If dealing with large projects or work containing a lot of pieces to smooth, then it’s time to use drum sanders, as such projects can be handled by experienced or professional woodworkers.

2. Why do we need a drum sander?

Ans: The drum sander is an essential power tool that comes in handy when you are looking for an effective and fast way to sand wood. Not just small edges or sides, the device is designed to sand down large pieces to wooden surfaces quickly and evenly.

3. How to know that sanding is done properly?

Ans: When you start sanding, you won’t stop as wooden pieces keep on smoother and smoother. If you need the smoothest finishes, you can find a point where there is no more improvement even after sanding down. At this point, you came to know that you have done sanding.

4. Which grit offers the finest finishes?

Ans: The finest sandpaper to use for sanding wood will start at a grit rating of 120 – 180. This will help to give the smoothest finishes of the workpiece/stock.

5. What’s the difference between belt sanders and drum sanders?

Ans: The sanding belts on the belt sanders are slipped onto the gears that attached them securely. While drum sanders need a complicated attachment process to secure the sanding strip onto the drum.

6. Why the drum sander burns the wood?

Ans: It happens only if you use the machine in the wrong way. Here are some of the causes of wood burn.
* Remove excessive wood at a time by using more passes and removing a smaller amount of material.
* Extreme feed rates to slow down.
* Overlapped sandpaper to avert the panic event of the machine.
* Misaligned tension rolls and allows uneven pressure for common large pieces such as 72-inches + tables.
* The build-up of a pitch from sappy woods next by sanding hardwood.
However, the wood burns in a couple of seconds to estimate when halting the tool, and then estimate why it is burning along with the steps to take a remedy. In case, if it burns the wood, the sandpaper gets burned to the point to replace it.


You can use a drum sander for easily sanding a lot of objects and materials quite easily. Since these are so handy, there are a lot of options out there that make the purchasing process quite confusing. To help you out in buying the perfect one, we are here with the best drum sanders. This article even has its major features and options so that you can easily understand the differences between them. You can also find a detailed buying guide in this article that will take you through various things related to drum sanders. Based on all of this, here are some of our favorite recommendations:

  • The Jet Drum Sander  is the most reliable and durable option present in this article as it offers an excellent build quality to the user. You even get a 5-year long warranty on its 1 ½ HP electric motor that is not found in other products at its price range.
  • If you are on a budget, you can consider the Grizzly Drum Sander  as it is the cheapest option present in this article. And even then, it offers a decent 1 HP electric motor with a 1-year long warranty that is pretty good for the given price tag.

Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments section. You can also post any questions down there if you have any!

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