A Complete Review on How to Buy the Best Drum Sander

How to Buy the Best Drum Sander

What is a Drum Sander?

Drum sanders are sanders that come with a spinning cylinder that is covered with replaceable sandpaper. They also have a conveyor belt that links the sander head to the workpiece.

Even though drum sanders are not as popular as other kinds of sanders, it is still a must-have for most people today. It guarantees one of the best finishes for your projects. They come in various shapes and sizes and with either a single drum or a double drum.

In terms of design, they are either open or closed, as the need be.

Buying a good sander might not be an easy thing though, considering how online markets are filled with various designs and brands. In choosing the best brands, the type that will prove to be durable, certain factors must be considered.

Some of these factors might be the motor power, speed, and designs. Dust collector, ease of use, and item weight may also be considered in choosing the one you should buy. We know it won’t be easy for you to start checking for these factors in each product you pick. That is why we have gone through that stress for you!

The list of recommended drum sanders you will now see has considered all these factors. No matter which of them you pick, you are getting a good product. However, it remains your responsibility to read customer reviews on each of them. This will give you a feel of what many customers have to say about each of them.

The aim is to provide you with as much information as you can get on each sander before you commit to buying them. In any case, we hope you will find this review interesting!

Our Top Picks for the Best Drum Sander

1. Jet 723520K JWDS-1632 16-32 Plus 20 Amp Service with 608003 Stand in Woodworking, Sanders, Drum Sanders

This sander has been newly redesigned to fit the current need of professionals. Its tool-less system makes it easier to adjust the sander. For example, a simple turn of parallelism dial can help in the positioning of the worktable.

With different projects comes different demands: the variable speed control allows you to choose the sanding speed that fits your work.

Just turn the dial outside the bed without any special tool to adjust the conveyor bed parallelism. It is easy to assemble and there is a manual to assist you in learning how to operate the device.

The variable-speed rate helps you control the sanding speed just so you could achieve everything you need for a smooth finish.


  • Product dimensions — 48 x 40 x 27 inches
  • Item weight — 156 pounds
  • Manufacturer — JET
  • Style — Amp service with stand-in woodworking, sanders, drum sanders
  • Material — Aluminium die casting and steel
  • Power source — Corded electric
  • Voltage — 115 Volts


  • It is easy to assemble
  • It can sand various surfaces
  • It comes with a 5-year warranty


  • It is heavier than most in the same category

View On Amazon

2. Jet JWDS-1020 Benchtop Drum Sander

It may be compact but don’t doubt the amazing features of this drum sander. It features a die-cast aluminum construction in combination with steel.

With an open-end design, it is one of the most versatile drum sanders on this list.

Its one-horsepower motor may be seen as small, but this contributes to keeping vibration to a minimum. The head of the sander has been upgraded from what it used to be with this new design directing debris and dust more effectively. It works even better when you connect the four-inch dust collector to the integrated channel.

It delivers a smooth finish while reducing the strain on the belt. It also features an aluminum drum that is self-cooling. This feature prevents the surface from getting fried because of the heat emanating from the sander.

It is easy to use for sanding all surfaces.


  • Product dimensions — 29.5 x 20.5 x 17.1 inches
  • Item weight — 73 pounds
  • Manufacturer — JET
  • Warranty — 3 years
  • Horsepower — 1
  • Voltage — 115V
  • Included components — 1020 Benchtop Drum Sander, 723510


  • It features an open-end design
  • It comes with 80-grit sandpaper
  • It is very affordable


  • It features a motor of just 1 horsepower

View On Amazon

3. SHOP FOX W1740 12-Inch Drum Sander

This self-feeling drum sander is what you need if you desire an even finish in your small workspace. It is 12 inches wide and just 3.5 inches thick. But don’t doubt this sander, it can get all your projects done (even the removal of marks from surfaces).

Its hook and loop sanding rolls are easy to install. It also gives you the option to vary the speed of operation with its variable speed knob, allowing you to increase and decrease the feed rate between two and 17 RPM. The surface to be smoothed out is what will determine by how much you will either increase or decrease the feed rate.


  • Package dimensions — 26.5 x 26 x 25.5 inches
  • Item weight — 159 pounds
  • Manufacturer — Shop Fox
  • Power source — Corded electric
  • Included components — Attachments
  • Special features — Sanding drum size: 4 inches; Footprint: 13 ½ inches deep and 22 ¼ inches wide; Sanding belt size: 3 inches x 72 inches hook & loop; dust collection port: 2 ½ inches


  • Easy to install and use
  • It comes with 1 roll of sandpaper


  • It is heavy

View On Amazon

4. Shop Fox W1854 Open-End Drum Sander, 18″

This is another open end sander from Shop Fox featuring an 18 inches sanding capacity. Because of its open-end design, it can sand surfaces as wide as 36 inches. The design also makes sure that sandpaper changes are done easily.

The variable speed conveyor motor is electronic. Altering the speed of sanding can be done more freely. You can change anywhere between zero and 12 RPM. It can be used to smoothen out both hard and soft surfaces.

If you intend to remove marks faster from the surface, all you need do is increase the feed. If what you want is a finer finish, it is advisable to slow the feed down for a more meticulous sanding.

As a surprising difference from other open-end sanders, the table moves up and down, instead of the head moving up and down. This makes the drum support more rigid during operation. The results are usually better than those produced when the head moves up and down.

For a more consistent finish, it is good to set the drum surface speed to 4000 RPM immediately after making your purchase.


  • Product dimensions — 22.5 x 35.5 x 50 inches
  • Item weight — 198 pounds
  • Manufacturer — Woodstock International
  • Cord length — 72 inches
  • Measurement system — Metric
  • Warranty — 2 years


  • It gives a finer finish than other drum sanders in its category
  • It allows you to increase or decrease the sanding speed


  • It is a heavy machine
  • It is a little expensive

View On Amazon

5. Grizzly Industrial G0716-10″ 1 HP Drum Sander

Nobody likes a heavy sander that may require the collective efforts of people to move. Grizzly, however, has once again come up with a compact drum sander that is just as good. It’s also on the lower end of the price spectrum.

It is powered by a 1.5 horsepower motor. You might think the power is not enough, but this is a perfect option for people who love to practice at home or fix their things on their own. The conveyor belts have the option to vary the speed alongside a drive motor of 1/10 horsepower.

The selling point is its portability, which makes it a great choice for professionals or amateurs with a small workspace. It can even fit in your basement, effortlessly working because of its low noise and vibration.


  • Product dimensions — 25 x 31 x 25 inches
  • Item weight — 218 pounds
  • Manufacturer — Grizzly Industrial
  • Style — Grizzly
  • Included components — Bare-tool


  • It is lighter in comparison with other sanders in the same category
  • It is easy to set up
  • You can customize the results of your operations


  • The main motor and conveyor motor lacks some power
  • Changing the belts always takes time

View On Amazon

6. SHOP FOX W1772 10 HP 37-Inch Drum Sander

If you have a big project in front of you, search no more as this 37 inches drum sander has been designed to help with those big projects. The computer balanced sanding drums can hold two abrasive grits at a time, giving both good sanding, thus saving you time and effort.

It has a variable speed conveyor for working and various types of wooden surfaces. The wooden surface also determines which speed you set it to. If you need a fine finish, you should generally set a slow speed for a more cautious finish. And if you need to just scrape the surfaces, a faster speed may just be fine.

It has dual drums, a control panel that is easy to use with a load meter, hinged hoods, and a sanding drum of 10 horsepower. You will love this especially if you have a big workshop.


  • Package dimensions — 57.5 x 57.5 x 44 inches
  • Item weight — 1351 pounds
  • Power source — Corded electric
  • Manufacturer — Shop Fox
  • Included components — Attachments
  • Warranty — 2 Years


  • The control panel is easy to use
  • It comes with modern computer balanced drums
  • Its variable speed control allows you to adjust the speed to fit your need


  • It is one of the most expensive sanders available

View On Amazon

Maintenance of a Drum Sander

Although a drum sander is a needed addition to your list of power tools, to keep it fully functional it needs to be properly maintained. Here are simple steps that must be taken periodically to keep your drum sander working fine.

Know How the Belt Works

The belt is what protects the drum sander from debris. When not in use, loosen the belts.

The belts naturally heat up when the sander is in use. Reducing the belt’s tension while it is in this form will prevent it from overheating.

Be sure to maintain the right tension while using the sander though. If the belt is too loose, it can slip. If it is too tight, it can wear down easily.

Blow Out the Drum Regularly

It is recommended that after every job, you use an air hose to blow out the drum. When you are done for the day, it is dangerous to just compress the sander without blowing out debris and dust. This can damage the sander quickly.

When you are done for the day, remove the drum cover gently. Blow out debris that has built up through use. If you make this a habit, you will enjoy your sander for a long time.

Pamper the Wheels

When you are done blowing the debris out, the next thing is to store the sander for future use. When storing it, keep it off the wheels as this will prevent the wheel from having flat spots.

Check the Plugs Once Every Four Weeks

To keep the components of the sander head working as they should, all the cables and plugs must be plugged in properly. It is imperative then to check the cords, the connecting ducts, and the plug to ensure these are working well too. Look out for cables that are hard to untwist.

Final Verdict

There are many sanders, but when it comes to sanding large wood pieces, a drum sander is what you need. You might want to add it to your workshop even if you don’t have an immediate need for it.