What is the Best Drum Sander? Top Choices You Can Find This 2022

aluminum drum of JET JWDS-2244

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

If you’re tired of rough surfaces that don’t smooth out easily or you’re in need of a new drum sander, the next one you buy could be a tough choice. What type should you get and will it do the job right? To make sure you hit your target with just one shot, our construction team has reviewed some of the best options out there. 

Premium Pick
Grizzly Industrial G0449
Editor’s Choice
JET JWDS-2244
Budget Option
Grizzly Industrial G8749
Grizzly Industrial G0449
JET JWDS-2244
Grizzly Industrial G8749
• 10 HP motor
• Computer-balanced drums
• Variable speed conveyor
• Powder-coated finish
• Speed regulation
• Toolless adjustments
• Heat protection
• Dust port
• Small and compact
• Drum and flap sander
• Toggle safety switch
• Locking tab
Premium Pick
Grizzly Industrial G0449
Grizzly Industrial G0449
• 10 HP motor
• Computer-balanced drums
• Variable speed conveyor
• Powder-coated finish
Editor’s Choice
JET JWDS-2244
JET JWDS-2244
• Speed regulation
• Toolless adjustments
• Heat protection
• Dust port
Budget Option
Grizzly Industrial G8749
Grizzly Industrial G8749
• Small and compact
• Drum and flap sander
• Toggle safety switch
• Locking tab

Reviews of the Top Drum Sanders

1. JET JWDS-2244

The JET Tools JWDS-2244 is by far the best drum sander out there with all the features to make operation as smooth and easy as possible. The unit collects up to 97% of all the dust and debris from each job, and pairs even better with cyclone dust collectors from the same brand.

The conveyor system will automatically pull the workpiece in without the need for you to push it into the conveyor belt. The machine will regulate the speed by itself and the dynamically balanced drum is designed for superior heat dissipation. 

Pros

Cons

2. Grizzly Industrial G8749

The Grizzly G8749 is a compact drum and flap sander that can get the job done in smaller workshops. It has a small 1 HP single-phase motor and is great for finishes. You can choose from the inflatable drums or the flap sanders, which are included with your purchase.

This is the best drum sander for a small space and for contours. Don’t let the size fool you, it has a cast iron construction to make sure it can last and it has a toggle on/off safety switch and a locking tab to keep your fingers safe during use.

Pros

Cons

3. SUPERMAX TOOLS ‎SUPMX-71938-D

If you need a top-quality and intelligent tool, then the SuperMax Tools SUPMX-71938-D is the best drum sander for you. It comes with an open stand and consistently produces uniform results just like a professional drum sander. The Intellisand Technology automatically adjusts the conveyor belt speed based on the laid it detects to prevent burning and damage to your workpieces.

The alignment feature is simple with indexed settings to align the sanding head and conveyor, and the height adjusts easily as well. The dust extraction is simple as the dust will collect on the surface of the drums. The cast iron construction will also stabilize the unit to prevent uneven sanding.

Pros

Cons

4. Powermatic DDS-225

The Powermatic DDS-225 drum sander has cabinet doors that hide storage space. You can keep everything you need right under the sander.

It will be a worthy addition to your power tool collection as it guarantees a flat finish with two sanding drums. The highly versatile machine has a two-speed gearbox that allows you to sand different workpieces.

The DDS-225 also has a full-sized cast iron table that can support larger materials and there is even an independent rear sanding drum that allows users to do some final touch-ups on their pieces. 

Pros

Cons

5. SUPERMAX TOOLS ‎SUPMX-72550

Supermax Tools creates excellent drum sanders with high quality components, and the SuperMax Tools SUPMX-72550 also has a closed mobile stand for more stability. This particular model is the largest open-ended drum sander on the market. It comes with 80 grit sandpaper and the unit can sand 25 inches in a single pass and 50 in a double pass.

There is more room available and plenty of storage space for you to keep the necessary accessories on hand. Aside from being closed to bring more stability, the mobile base on the SUPMX-72550 allows it to be more portable in case you need to wheel the heavy machine around. 

Pros

Cons

6. JET 649005K

Perhaps one of the most durable and heavy-duty drum sanders, the Jet 649005K is constructed with zinc-plated steel tension rollers with a cast iron height adjustment handwheel that allows for both large and minute height changes easily. The efficient sander will give users absolute control over the sanding thickness.

The Jet drum sander has innovative Sandsmart Technology and automatic speed regulation that will prevent overloading. The sanding drum is self-cooling, which will further protect the machine and your workpiece against friction and burns.

The 1-¾ HP drum motor can handle heavy use over long periods, which makes the 649005K excellent for large jobs.

Pros

Cons

7. JET JWDS-1632

Lastly, we have the Jet 723520K JWDS 1632 drum sander with an open stand. Our team recommends this over the Jet benchtop drum sander and the Jet mini drum sander for its more reliable performance. The unit has Sandsmart control that regulates the speed according to your workpiece. 

The feed and drum motors are separate, which gives you independent control over either one. The drum sander is designed for superior heat dissipation so you won’t need to worry about friction or burns.

The drum sander’s dust hood will mirror the shape of the drum to funnel all the dust and debris into the 4-inch dust port.

Pros

Cons

8. Grizzly Industrial G0449

The G0499 from Grizzly Industrial is a large drum sander with two drums that are computer balanced for precision. With a powerful 10 horsepower motor, the G0499 can sand boards up to 4 inches thick. The variable speed feed control makes it easy for users to control the speed of the conveyor belts.

You can’t have an efficient machine without proper dust cleanup, so the Grizzly G0499 features a 4-port dust scoop that will tidy things up for you. The entire unit boasts a solid steel construction and industrial-quality components for maximum durability.

Pros

Cons

Drum Sanders Buyer’s Guide

After many drum sander reviews, our team realized that the best drum sanders feature similar traits. It’s not only about the motor power and the speed, but it’s also the type. Our experts have outlined important criteria below to help you find the right drum sander.

Size and Portability

The size of the drum sander refers to the overall exterior of the machine and its measurements. You also have the size and the thickness of the material it can handle, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Of course, smaller drum sanders will be more portable. You have the small table top options like the G8749 from Grizzly, or benchtop sanders that are half the size of full-sized drum sanders, or ones with stands.

The top drum sanders will need to fit into your workspace. Our construction team advises readers to look at the dedicated space for the sander to determine how large of a machine can fit. Portability is more important for woodworkers that move from jobsite to jobsite.

If you find yourself mostly working from one station, then our team would suggest getting larger drum sanders as they usually do better and more even sanding.

Motor

The motor power of a drum sander is what gives your machine all of its power. Not every woodworker requires a powerful conveyor motor, which is why our team recommends looking at what type of materials and jobs you work with the most.

A powerful 5 to 10 HP motor [1] is best for thick materials for industrial jobs, but a regular 1 to 5 HP range should be sufficient for most jobs.  

Speed

The speed, or the feed rate of your drum sanders is how quickly the machine receives your workpiece. Our woodworking team suggests getting a machine with variable speeds in order to increase versatility. You never know if you will expand your expertise and start working with larger or smaller pieces.

The speed impacts how rough or fine the surface of your workpiece will be. A drum sander can either have an automatic feed, which also usually means it has auto detection, which will determine the size of your workpiece and adjust the speed accordingly.

You can also find different drum sanders that are manual, or feature both manual and automatic speed controls so you can adjust both the sanding and conveyor belt speeds. Our experts say a unit that has manual control will give you more options for different finishes.

Drum Sander Type

We also mentioned the type of drum sanders available on the market. You can pick between a closed end sander or an open-end sander. You also have the option of one sanding drum or two, so which one do you pick?

Closed-End or Open-End Drum Sander?

A closed-end sander is one that has its components, which consist of the drum, pressure rollers along with the feed belt sealed inside a metal housing. An open-ended drum sander is the exact opposite and doesn’t have a closed back.

A closed option has its benefits and drawbacks. One of the most obvious advantages is the protection the housing gives to the metal parts. It holds the components securely inside and keeps them away from any damage. The biggest problem for closed sanders is the space you have. The design limits the space allotted for your workpiece, which means closed-end sanders cannot handle big pieces.

While open-ended drum sanders give flexibility to the user and more space for precision sanding, the parts are more compromised in an open cabinet.

Single or Double Drum Sander?

You then have the consideration of buying a drum sander with a single drum or dual drums. Single drum sanders have one drum, which means less maintenance but there is more exhaustion for that one drum. Another benefit of a single-drum sander is the price tag. It is less expensive than dual sanders and they are more common.

Our woodworking team says single drum sanders are better for people who only need to work with one type of grit at a time. They are also easier to use and generally come in smaller footprints.

Dual drum sanders are excellent options for very precise jobs. You have two drums, and each one can have a different grit. It will eliminate the need for constantly reattaching sandpaper and it makes the job much quicker. However, dual sanders are much more difficult to use and expensive compared to their single counterparts.

Should you choose a single or dual drum sander? That depends on whether or not you have the budget to spare and if you need various grits.

Drum Size and Capacity

In order to identify the type and size of the material the drum sanders can handle, you have to look at the drum size and the capacity of the machine.

The widest measurement for the material your machine can operate on will be double the size of the drum. Remember, this is at most, and not every sander can do it. Make sure you read the specifications on the machine very carefully before making a purchase.

You also have to make sure the sander can accommodate the thickness you need, which will depend on what you intend to create. If you make cabinets and furniture, then your sander will typically need to handle wood over an inch thick, but if you’re working on intricate projects such as wooden instruments, then you may need to pay more attention to the thinnest setting on your sander.

Dust Collection

Dust collecting is one of the most crucial features on drum sanders and even belt sanders. Not only does it make cleanup easier, but it also keeps the surface of your workpiece free and clear of any obstructions.

Even if your sander doesn’t come with integrated dust ports, you can connect it to your shop vac or cyclone dust collector for easy collection. Of course, it’s best if you can do both. Many of the options our team has presented feature dust ports and dust hoods that funnel the mess to the port.

Material Quality and Durability

Most units are made from cast iron with aluminum parts which are both very durable materials. Although metal is usually harder than wood, heavy use and wear over time will still grind down the components within your sander. Our tip to maintain a long-lasting drum sander is to make sure it is constructed with robust materials.

Our experts recommend looking for a cast iron drum carriage and steel body with a powder-coated finish to protect it from rust and oxidation. 

You should also clean the machine when possible, and match it to a strong workshop vacuum. Let’s face it, a good drum sander is not a cheap power tool, so you definitely want to make sure your investment will last. 

Price and Warranty

As we said, drum sanders don’t come cheap, especially if you go for the industrial-sized options with extra features like the Feed Logic feature and a sturdy steel hood. The materials used for certain components such as a chrome hand wheel and an easy-to-use LED control panel will also add to the price.

While they are all considered pricey, there are some that are under the 1000 mark and others that reach 7K and over! Our woodworking experts included a variety of power tools that come in at different prices in order to help you find the best one for your needs.

It doesn’t matter what sander you choose, for the price you are paying, you definitely want your purchase to be protected. This is where the warranty comes in. However, you’re not always fully protected just because your drum sander comes with a warranty. You have to look at what’s covered and for how long.

Typically, the longer the warranty the more reliable the power tool is. If possible, also look for a unit with a satisfaction guarantee as well. It’s a little tougher to find for drum sanders, but it will protect your purchase even further. You will be able to return the unit if it fails or if you are unsatisfied with its performance for a full refund. 

Advantages of Having a Drum Sander + Tips How to Use it

Having a drum sander will pick up the pace considerably for your sanding jobs in home decor project ideas. It can accommodate most projects, and handle thickness planers cannot

But our experts say it’s important to keep in mind that the planer is still the best choice when you’re looking at leveling glued wood but a drum sander can do it as well. However, for fine finishes and large jobs, you can’t beat the drum sander.

Drum sanders won’t cause tear-outs and they can polish up the job from planers and jointers, such as the snipe marks. One more clear advantage of having a drum sander is the various sizes of materials and the thickness it can handle. The control panel on an automatic machine will carry out all the adjustments for the best feed rate. 

One very important thing to keep in mind is that your sander is just half of the battle. You also need to find good sandpaper in order for it to live up to your expectations. Our suggestion is to always go for premium and high-quality options.

A drum sander is meant to be used with patience. Don’t be too eager to strip too much off of your workpiece at a time. Drum sanders differ from planers as they do their best work slowly. We don’t mean the speed needs to be slow, but we mean every pass should only take so much off your wood.

Our final tip is a repetition of a previous point – don’t forget to get a shop vac or dust collector. You will keep your line of vision free and clear of dust for more precision, and the collection device will also help maintain the performance of your tool.

Also check: 

FAQ

Is a drum sander worth it?

Yes, a drum sander is worth it. It’s especially good value if you work with large pieces or require a fine and consistent finish. Not only is a drum sander efficient, but it is also versatile and can handle workpieces of multiple sizes and thickness. 

What size drum sander should I get?

The size of the drum sander you get will depend on your space and the type of material you work with. You will need a larger open-end drum sander if you consistently work with furniture pieces, but a smaller benchtop closed back sander will do for smaller projects. 

Our Top Pick For a Drum Sander:
JET JWDS-2244

The Jet JWDS-2244 is by far the most efficient and intuitive sander our experts have tested. The Sandsmart control allows for speed regulation and automatic adjustments, and the dynamically balanced drums have superior heat dissipation capabilities. To top it all off, the JWDS-2244 has an efficient 4-inch dust collection port. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen and women. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson