6 Best Drum Sanders of 2017 – SuperMax, Shop Fox Drum Sander Reviews

The drum sander is a professional and efficient sanding power tool that is fit for any sanding occasion, whether you use it frequently or not. While the drum sander can look intimidating at first glance, it is a fairly easy and straightforward woodworking power tool. In this comprehensive drum sander reviews and guide, we are going to show you some of the best drum sanders on the market along with some nifty tips and tricks on how to use it.

Saddle on…let’s get started!

Review 6 Best Drum Sander on the Market

Model
Power
Pad Diameter
Price
Editor's Rating
Amazon Review
JET 629004K
Open Stand
1-1/2HP
$
4.2 Stars
Click here
JET 649004K
Open Stand
1-3/4HP
$$
4.2 Stars
Click here
JET 628900
Benchtop
1HP
$
4.1 Stars
Click here
SuperMax 19-38
Open Stand
1-3/4HP
$$
4.0 Stars
Click here
Shop Fox W1678
Ground Stand
5HP
$$$
4.0 Stars
Click here
Shop Fox W1740
Benchtop
1-1/2HP
$
4.1 Stars
Click here

1. JET 6290004K | Best Drum Sander for Reliability

Editor's Rating: 4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)

JET 629004K 16-32 Plus 16-Inch 1-12-Horsepower Open Stand Drum Sander

The JET 6290004 has a conservative look but under the hood, it is quite the performer. With a 1.5HP motor and an aluminum self-cooling drum, it can polish anything up to 32 inches with two passes.

Features:

  • 1.5HP dual motor doing 1725 RPM
  • Minimalist form factor
  • Robust and solid metal construction
  • Standard dust port
  • Spring clip for easy belt changing
  • Adjustment trackers that are quick and easy to operate
  • Aluminum self-cooling drums
  • 32 inches tray
  • Delivered with accessories, including sander, stand and abrasives
  • Rock-solid five-year manufacturer warranty

Pros:

The JET 629004K can easily accommodate material anywhere from 16 inches to 32 inches. This is the ideal length as 99% of materials you work with will fall in this category. The dual 1.5HP motor delivers a comfortable RPM that is neither too hard or too soft for proper preservation of wood grain. You can achieve a polished professional sanding result in just two passes with this unit.

The adjustment trackers work very intuitively with this model and they would allow you to align your drum to your sanding. The knobs on the side and easy to operate. In fact, the whole layout of this power tool is pretty straightforward that even the beginner can start using it right away. It is backed by a five-year manufacturer warranty that we always like. Therefore, it is an extremely reliable drum sander that we give you peace of mind.

Cons:

There is still room for improvement in this drum sander. Despite of the adjustment trackers, adjusting the drum to the conveyor belt is not very easy to perform. Looks a tad bit simplistic - but that’s just splitting hairs.

Who should buy the JET 629004K?

Despite a few lacunae, this unit still performs adequately well for most sanding usage. Especially considering its relatively affordable price, We think that it will make a perfect drum sander for beginners. The five-year warranty makes this a good model for those looking for reliability and absolute peace of mind.

2. JET 649004K | Best Drum Sander for Control and Precision

Editor's Rating: 4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)

This Jet drum sander is the bigger brother of the model reviewed above, and it has a few things going for it. For one, it is powered by a TEFC motor that gives great precision and is oblivious to dust. You can easily prevent snipe with its minute adjustment trackers as well as performs exceptionally well under load.

JET 649004K 22X44 Plus Drum 22-by-1-3/4-Inch Sander with Open Stand 115-Volt 1-Phase

Features:

  • Quality and durable cast-iron construction
  • Machine balanced 5”x10” aluminum drum
  • 44” wide tray
  • Zinc-plated tension rollers for durability and performance
  • Robust 1.75HP TEFC motor that delivers 1700 RPM (20A under load)
  • Overload protection by a safety switch
  • Front security base. Prevent accidental startups and accidents
  • Sealed ball bearing system provides constant and perpetual lubrication to the moving parts
  • Provides a smooth and controllable sanding for a professional finish

Pros:

The general construction of this drum sander is one of the best of its kind. Despite it not being the best looking out there, it performs exceptionally well under load and it has a powerful 1.75HP dual motor to match.

The open stand design is always a pleasure and it will quickly accommodate all your other power tools. It is pretty handy.

What is most pleasant with this unit, is its ability to provide smooth feeds as well as preserve wood grain even on multiple passes. The accuracy and smoothness of this JET drum sander is something to behold. It can work with a comfortable 44 inches of material, which is plenty generous.

Furthermore, it features a sealed ball bearing system that prevent dust from entering the inner parts of the machinery. Thus, further extending the lifespan of this power tool. Everything about this model screams heavy duty and quality. There is no wobbling or shaking while in operation. With no vibration, you are able to get a more accurate and professional result.

Out of the box, there is minimal assembly to be done. In fact, it is very easy as they are only three parts to assemble. It comes with a clear instruction and mounting it up should be straightforward for pretty much anyone, even if you have never used a drum sander before.

Cons:

Out of the box, the power load of this unit is unclear as it is not properly stated. You will need a breaker of at least 20 A or more to operate this unit.

Who should buy the JET 629004K?

Who need to work with large materials

3. JET 628900 Mini | Best Mini/Portable Drum Sander

Editor's Rating: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

The JET 628900 mini is not the most powerful or best drum sander on the planet. It does not pretend to be, and in fact, it does not have to. Despite its small size, it is still a highly performing heavy-duty benchtop drum sander that has a lot to offer.

JET 628900 Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander, 115-Volt 1-Phase

Features:

  • Solid cast iron construction. Durable
  • Small form factor and somewhat portable. Does not consume a lot of space
  • Variable speed control
  • 4-inch wide standard dust port
  • Zinc plated tension rollers
  • 1HP motor that is replaceable
  • 20-inch-wide tray capacity
  • Keyless fob for sandpaper change

Pros:

There are many things we like about this portable jet drum sander. For one, despite its small size and 1.0HP motor, it still delivers an adequately reasonable sanding result in only two passes. There is little to no vibration with this unit and it even has an overload overprotection circuitry.

While in operation, the motor provides a continuous and consistent flow without any kickback. This shows that despite it being relatively smaller than other models we have reviewed on this page, it is a very performing and heavy duty model.

Additionally, this drum sander has a variable speed control which means you have absolute control over your finished result. This is one of the many things that its smaller motor makes up for.

The operation of this unit is straightforward and fairly easy for almost anyone. There is nothing to assemble out of the box and it is an easy set and go.

The conveyor belt trackers are self-adjustable and require little manual help. The cast iron hand wheel allows you to adjust the drum for great accuracy at 1/16” per turn. This provides an exceptionally accurate result that eradicates snipe. Definitely one of the best benchtop drum sander around.

Cons:

Some customers have reported problems with the tracking. The tracking system in this unit is automatic and requires little manual adjustment. However, we feel that it would have been better had it been fully manual.

Who should buy the JET 628900 Mini?

The small form factor of this jet drum sander is a dead giveaway. It is ideally suited for those that to do not have a lot of working space but still require heavy-duty sanding with relatively large materials (20”). Its small shape and fairly lightweight also mean that you can carry it to your workplace, no problem.

Additionally, its less prohibitive price is more welcoming for those on a tight budget. Most drum sander reviews online rate this model very highly because of all those factors.

4. Supermax 19-38 | Best Value for Money Drum Sander

Editor's Rating: 4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)

Supermax is not a new name in the drum sander industry. There are many models under their belt, so to speak, and the Supermax 19-38 drum sander lives up to its name. It is made in Taiwan and not China like most drum sanders, and its cantilever design is one that is proven to work for nearly 50 years now.

Features:

  • Cantilever design with solid cast-iron construction
  • Easy and smooth adjustable drum levers
  • 19-38 drum sander form factor with open stand
  • Antiskid feet and no vibration
  • INTELLISAND technology – conveyor belt speed auto adjustment
  • Overlap protection
  • Fasteners are easily accessible for adjustment or maintenance
  • Dust collection system
  • Uniform and smooth sanding throughout with great precision
SuperMax 19-38 Drum Sander

Let's see what WoodworkersJournal review Supermax 19-38

Pros:

This is in our opinion one of the best drum sanders on the market right now. Everything in this drum sander fits perfectly and is there a reason. It is solidly built with no vibration and the open stand design ensures that it sits firmly on the ground when you are sending material.

If you look for drum sander reviews on the Internet, then one of the recurring features that many often lean on is accuracy and quality of finish. Well, the supermax delivers both exceptionally well. It is calibrated to a very high level that delivers an extreme precision in your sending finish. The drums can be adjusted by increments of 0.10”, which is truly remarkable.

The dust port is a standard 4” fitting and the motor is a smooth performer delivering high-quality sanding for extended periods of time. This is a unit that is guaranteed to work even if used for hours on end. The conveyor feed can be adjusted with a variable speed control, delivering even more precision over your work.

Last but not least, the durability of this Supermax drum sander is second to none.

Cons:

It is very heavy at over 300lbs. This is not a drum sander you can easily carry around. Loading sandpaper on this Supermax drum sander is not the easiest as pointed out by a few drum sander reviews we checked.

Who should buy the Supermax drum sander?

Anyone looking for efficiency in sanding and durability should seriously consider this model. It is solidly built and performs very well under every situation. Furthermore, the accuracy and finish of this drum sander is second to none. This model is definitely one of the best drum sander for the money.

5. Shop Fox W1678 | Best Professional Drum Sander

Editor's Rating: 4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)

The Shop Fox W1678 is not made for the casual woodworker. It is a professional sanding beast that will give every drum sander in this review a run for their money. It has the construction, durability, and performance of an industry-grade drum sander.

Features:

  • Extremely powerful 5HP motor
  • Professional Industry-grade powder coated finish
  • Dual heavy-duty dust port
  • Load amplifier meter
  • 26” drum sander for smooth operation
  • Vertical panel sanding
  • Urethane drive belt
  • Control panel with indicators
  • Antiskid feet with no vibration
SHOP FOX W1678 5 HP 26-Inch Drum Sander

Pros:

This is not your average drum sander. It performs exceptionally well under load and can accomplish any sanding with great ease.

The 5HP motor speaks for itself…huh?

The dual drum sanders at the top allow you to sand materials up to 26” vertically. This makes this model more versatile than any other in this best sander review.

A solid construction along with a heavy-weight ensures that the Shop Fox W1678 will have little to no vibration when at work. It also delivers heavy-duty workload like a champ. There are no skippings thanks to its robust motor that delivers a smooth and constant power.

What we like most about this sander is the multi-function panel. With it you can control everything in this power tool, from the drum speed to the rear drum. It also contains a nifty indicator for the amplifier, which shows you when you are going overboard with the sanding.

The manual drum adjustments are easy to operate and can be controlled with a very large accuracy. This delivers a very precise sanding finish that also looks extremely professional. Best, it does so with great ease and efficiency.

The dual dust port comes in industry standard 4” and will guarantee you a clean workshop throughout the day.

Cons:

Extremely heavy at 546lbs. Will require a lot of muscle power to move around. The form factor is not the most pleasing we have seen. When the top panel is open, it can be a terrible health hazard. Be careful when operating this way!

Who should buy the Shop Fox W1678?

If you need to sand large quantities of material not larger than 26”, this is the best drum sander out there. It can be a little bit pricier than other models, but the ease of use, performance, and efficiency of this unit will pay for itself over and over again.

6. Shop Fox W1740 | Best Heavy-Duty Mini Drum Sander

Editor's Rating: 4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)

Looking for a mini drum sander that packs a lot of punch? It is called the SHOP FOX W1740. Its small form factor can be somewhat deceiving, as under the hood packs a true little monster.

Features:

  • Antiskid rubber infeed drum for material stability
  • Steel feed out drum
  • Graphite/felt platen that will not harm material
  • Emergency shut-off bar
  • Variable speed control of 2.47 to 17.3 FPM
  • Benchtop mountable
  • Extremely precise adjustment of drum as small as 0.64mm
  • Small form factor that does not consume a lot of space
  • Top dust collection system
SHOP FOX W1740 12-Inch Drum Sander

Pros:

There are so many things that we like about this SHOP FOX drum sander. For one, it offers extremely precise roller adjustment of 0.64mm. With this minute setting, you can achieve very professional results and the accuracy of the sander will never be an impedance for a great, professional and quality finish.

Secondly, we like how the variable speed conveyor motor and the feed control are on the same position. This is an intuitive layout that gives you more control over your sanding. The rubber drums hold materials in place without any give or movement. It makes the whole process of sanding with this unit almost fun.

What catches our eye more if the benchtop drill holes at the bottom. Indeed, this model can be retrofitted as a benchtop drum sander with the provided bolts.

For its small size, this drum sander packs a serious punch. It delivers performance more remarkable than pricier stationary drum sanders that it is not even competing with.

Cons:

The form factor might be a little too close and claustrophobic. It makes it easy to infeed material but not the best design to see the outfeed.

Who should buy the Shop Fox W1740?

The small form factor and exceptional performance makes it an easy choice for those looking for a performing drum sander and yet have a limited space to work. At 149lbs, it is also very portable and the small size will easily fit inside a small car. If you are looking for portability, ease of use and performance – this model is made for you!

What is a Drum Sander?

A drum sander is a heavy-duty power tool that is designed specifically for sanding large amounts of material with great precision. The purpose might vary, as some use it for sanding hardwood while carpenters might use it for sanding wood planks and plywood. DIY enthusiasts use it for almost anything that requires sanding.

19-38-drum-sander

The drum sander sands wood with an accuracy and ease of use that is second to none. While other power tools like the orbital sander can equally deliver great results, it is simply too limiting when working with large amounts of material – you will need a stationary drum sander.

The principle behind the workings of a drum sander is pretty straight-forward. A powerful motor turns a conveyor belt that in turn spin the drum. The drum is retrofitted with sandpaper that eats through material like no tomorrow.

But it doesn’t stop there…

A stationary drum sander achieves an accuracy of sanding that is impossible manually. Some of the best drum sanders around can achieve an accuracy of less than 0.5mm per notch.

What's the Criteria to buy Drum Sander?

There are some important factors and aspects to consider before you buy the best drum sander. After all, it is not the cheapest power tool out there and due consideration should be observed.

Here are a few of the most cogent ones:

1. Understand your need

It is important to buy a drum sander based on your need, first and foremost. It is ludicrous to buy a drum sander if you have only a few planks to sand. There are better and more adapted tools for that – like the orbital sander.

2. Spending

The drum sander is not the cheapest power tool. Many models can cost north of $2500, so it is not an easy spend. Base your decision on your budget and try to find a model that both contains the features that fulfill your need and complements your budget.

3. Brand

There are many different models and brands of drum sanders. Some are better than others, as with everything in life. Choose a reputable brand and a model that has acquired a following. Many of the good models usually have a lot of positive ratings on online retailer shops or drum sander review sites.

4. Here are more important technical aspects to consider:

  • Choose a drum sander that fits your work style. Some drum sanders have a vertical infeed, while most have a horizontal one. Your choice will depend on the material you are working on, and your own preference.
  • Portable or stationary drum sander: If you are always on the move to the work site, then it might be more suitable to get a mini or portable sander than a 600lbs behemoth. In fact, there are more portable drum sanders than stationary ones.
  • Care about size: The size of the drum sander matters. If you have a small workshop, a small drum sander is better. There are many mini drum sanders that perform on-par with big stationary drum sanders.
  • Weight: The weight is a factor to consider as well. If you plan to move the drum sander quite often, you will be happier with a smaller mini drum sander. It is lighter and best. Less expensive too. On the other hand, if you plan to only work in a fix position and have plenty of room to work – go ahead and buy the biggest drum sander out there!
  • Power: You do not want an underperforming drum sander. This will depend on the type of material you plan to sand. Plywood might not require a powerful drum sander but hardwood will. Choose one that is powerful enough to keep up with your work ethics.
  • Variable speed: Different speed will give you different results. With a drum sander that has a variable speed controller, your finish sanding is more tailored to your own preference and you can choose the output finish.
  • Dust Collector: Since the drum sander produces a ton of sawdust, it is important to choose a model that has at least one dust port that is big enough. A standard 4” output port will allow you to connect an external dust collection system and help keep your workshop clean. Not to mention keeps you healthier too.

5. Read reviews/feedbacks

Read customer feedbacks on drum sander reviews or commerce sites. It will give you a good idea if you are heading in the right direction with that purchase or not.

Dos and Don’ts of a Drum Sander

Dos:

  • Do let the drum sander rest from time to time. Don’t let it run for a whole day, regardless of how heavy-duty the manufacturer advertises them. As all mechanical and electrical devices, repose is important.
  • Perform regular maintenance on your drum sander. Even if you own a stationary drum sander with a top-of-the-line dust collection system. Sawdust can accumulate in the bearings and shorten the life of your sander.
  • Do switch off the drum sander completely from the electrical outlet, and not on the drum sander alone. It can mean a health hazard if you don’t.
  • Do change your sandpaper when it is used, or has run its course. A sandpaper with no teeth will force the drum sander to work extra, greatly diminishing its efficiency.
  • Do read the manual that comes with the drum sander so that you get a better idea on the specificities of your power tool.

Don'ts:

  • Don’t use a drum sander for vertical sanding if you want extreme precision. Most drum sanders are meant for horizontal usage only. However, there are many stationary drum sanders that have a vertical feed.
  • Don’t apply too much force while sanding. Let the sander’s own weight or shape do the sanding.

What are the Benefits of Using a Drum Sander?

The main benefit is that a drum sander can sand materials really fast and efficiently, without taking a toll on your hands. It is engineered to eat through the top layer of material effortlessly. With a drum sander, you can get a professional and smooth finish in half the time it would take other power tools.

The design of the drum sander is also quite simplistic, which means that it is easy to change the conveyor belts or the sandpaper. Many models have a keyless fob mechanism that allows you to do just that in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.

In addition, sandpaper rolls for drum sanders are quite inexpensive and easily available anywhere.

Another major benefit is that a drum sander is usually a portable mini power tool that can easily be used to work in tight spots.

The versatility of the drum sander is also legendary. It is an equal performer for both small and large surfaces. It cruises through all of the effortlessly. Best, the square ends of the drum sander make it an ideal tool for working out corners as well as open space material. This way you get a uniform sanding finish and none will be the wiser.

Conclusion

We have come a long way. We have seen that the best drum sander is not necessarily the most expensive one, but one with a holistic set of features that complement both your need and your wallet. By now, you should have a better idea on the type and model of drum sander that you want. If not, go through this stationary drum sander review one more time.