Need help on choosing a drum sander

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Whimis posted 04-19-2013 09:40 AM 2440 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Whimis's profile


2 posts in 1982 days

04-19-2013 09:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drum sander

Hello, I have recently become more “into” woodworking over the past few years and have now realized the usefulness of a drum sander (sanding endgrain cutting boards… cabinet doors)

I currently have $900 and I can save up for the rest as I know it will probably cost more for something decent, I do not want to buy used as I know how some people use these machines.

What would be a good drum sander to start out with?

17 replies so far

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2066 days

#1 posted 04-19-2013 03:11 PM

what ever you end up with try to get a 2 or 4 post model. The open ended one’s have tip issues.

View moke's profile


1229 posts in 2894 days

#2 posted 04-19-2013 04:32 PM

I have a Super-Max. I met the company president once, and he had some very common sense things to say….hea and his father actually designed the original performax….after the patent ran out he redesigned it, and marketed it as the Supermax. While I agree with Shawn, the 2 or 4 post are somewhat more reliable I do not have the room nor the cash to get one. The supermax is 19/38 and I have had good results in sanding open ended…there is an open ended setting/adjustment. I would do this again.

-- Mike

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2670 posts in 3039 days

#3 posted 04-19-2013 10:25 PM

I once had a “Baby Drum Sander” from Grizzly and it did the job although it is a slow process. I had to replace the motor for the material feed belt once a year. After two replacements (third motor) it died yet again . I literally junked it.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2808 days

#4 posted 04-20-2013 02:32 AM

I have 2 drum sanders: a 10-20 Jet and an 18-36 older Craftsman. The Craftsman is by far the better tool! Bigger is better. They are not thickness planers! Grits finer than 120 are usually frustrating as they tend to leave burn marks regardless of how light the “cut”. Get one of the big crepe rubber blocks and use it often. Good dust collection is a must! Don’t skimp on paper quality!

That pretty much covers my drum sander experience.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 2072 days

#5 posted 04-20-2013 05:26 AM

I have a Delta 18-36 (yup, cantilevered overarm). I bought it used. After a couple hours tuning it up it runs really, really well. I love it and it has opened doors to projects I was reluctant to try before I had it. It only gives me grief when I try take off too much or get impatient.

Whatever you get, treat it with respect and periodically verify it is set up to perform properly.

View copcarcollector's profile


256 posts in 2235 days

#6 posted 04-20-2013 05:49 AM

My friend has a Woodmaster 2675. He bought it used and had to tweak it but now gets great results. I have just ordered the same machine new, on sale through the end of April. Its a chunk of change and a big ol’ machine, I hope I like mine as much as my friend likes his!

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3806 days

#7 posted 04-20-2013 06:06 AM

Very disappointed with the Delta X5 that I own…I’ve spent more time working on it than sanding with it : (
I have two older Ryobi’s that outperform the Delta by far !
I only use the Delta for rough work and finish with the Ryobi’s : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Tomj's profile


204 posts in 2499 days

#8 posted 04-20-2013 07:20 AM

I’m looking myself, the Grizzly 18 drum sander is right in your price range. I haven’t heard of many problems with it unless somebody on here knows better.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5069 posts in 2611 days

#9 posted 04-20-2013 12:08 PM

I have one of the original Delta 18/36 models. Bought second hand but unused over 11 years ago…it has been a workhorse! The early ones were plagued with all kinds of problems, fortunately mine had none of them. That said, if mine ever croaks it will be replaced with the Performax/Jet 22/44, and I hope to buy a used one. Unless Jet has completely screwed the brand up, Performax only made drum sanders, and made them relatively well. I would also consider the Supermax if I found one at the right price. If you run across the used Delta, give it some consideration, but make sure it’s the later model (31-255 and up) and the right price, they seem to be a little cheaper than the others in the used market.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1070 posts in 3549 days

#10 posted 04-20-2013 12:32 PM

I bought a store return Delta 31-255 for $550, it was literally brand new. Before I purchased it, I had researched and researched and researched and really wanted a performax 16×32, and if price were no object, the new oscillating 22×44. However this one was right next to the the brand new full cabinet Delta, and there was NOTHING that I could see mechanically different, and yet the price was exactly 1/2. What would you do?? Took that thing home and camouflaged it in among my other machinery so the wife wouldn’t see it. Two years later, she still has no idea that I bought it and yet she bangs her car door on it from time to time :)

My experience with it is 90% end grain cutting boards, and over the course of 3 or 4 boards I have to tweak the feed belt (big sand paper belt) to get it back on center. I’m sure there’s a way to get it to be perfect and stop moving to a side over time, but since I’m not a production worker, the 5 minutes it takes to loosen and get it tracking back down the center isn’t a big deal. I’m very happy with my decision to buy the tool. It does what it’s supposed to do. I take the time to just barely take a skim cut each pass, and am not trying to hog any material off. As many people tell you, it’s not a planer, it’s a sander/thicknesser and great for getting re-sawn material down to exactly the size you need.

Glad I bought mine, and even happier it blended in ;)


-- Scott, Irmo SC

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2066 days

#11 posted 04-20-2013 01:30 PM

I had a Performax 22/44, It worked, but had tip issues (probably me I have a tendency to be impatience). then I fell into a Performax 25×2 at an auction for $225. It needed both motors and the speed controller. I parted out the 22/44 to put the 25×2 together. I worked great, I had 80 on the front drum and 120 on the back. I ended up selling it because it took a 4’x4’ foot print out of the shop, and the lack of use

View Whimis's profile


2 posts in 1982 days

#12 posted 04-20-2013 11:22 PM

Does anybody have any experience with or They look to be the closest in my range on amazon, I have trouble finding where to order these from without links :( other than that I would be looking at other models as well.

Thanks for all the replys so far.

View Tomj's profile


204 posts in 2499 days

#13 posted 04-21-2013 05:28 AM

If your in that price range, I would get a 1632 performax jet Drum sander. Of all of the Drum sanders in that price range, I’ve read the least bad reviews on the jet. Delta also seems to be going through some changes right now. That is why I’ve backed off buying anything from them right now.

View Bill7255's profile


427 posts in 2402 days

#14 posted 04-21-2013 10:11 AM

+1 on the Supermax. This sander has some nice improvements for open end sanders. For me a 16-32 is too small and the 22-44 is too big and larger sanders were more than I wanted to spend. I did a review on this fourm on this sander. I have been satisfied with the performance.

-- Bill R

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3550 days

#15 posted 04-21-2013 11:34 AM

I recommend the Jet 16-32. I had the smaller 10-20 and it was a bear to change paper. The 16-32 is just a superior machine. You can get it for around $1000, less when Jet has it’s sale.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics