Advice on buying a used drum sander

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Forum topic by Jasoninsacramento posted 05-07-2013 07:33 AM 8924 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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50 posts in 2117 days

05-07-2013 07:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drum sander sander advice performax 10-20 plus question sanding

I’m in the market for a smaller drum sander, so I’m looking online for a used one. I’m an amateur woodworker with a quaint basement shop. I’m doing things like cutting boards and smaller pieces of art. I plan on doing some furniture in the future.

I found this on Craigslist near me:

It looks to be about 5 years old, after Jet bought Performax, but before they put their name on it. The guy wants $400. I haven’t seen it yet, but it says light use. A new one costs – about $763.

I would love a 16-32, or something similar, but frankly I don’t think I can justify that expense anytime soon.

What do you all think about the price (if it’s in good shape)? I’m only hesitant because I could get a grizzly 12” brand new for a couple hundred dollars more (the baby drum sander that is closed). I’m almost of the mind that I should offer him $300 since it’s 5 years old.

I’d love your advice, please!



10 replies so far

View ellen35's profile


2734 posts in 3398 days

#1 posted 05-07-2013 10:20 AM

My advice is don’t buy it. I bought a used one just like this and ended up tearing my hair out with the paper installs and all the problems that come with a used machine that is not top of the line. My machine had only light use… that is a relative term.
I know there are people who would disagree with me, but this is just my experience with that particular machine.
I did end up getting the 16-32 and love it. The motor is much better and the extra width is so much more useful. I know it is more $$ but I spent $$ twice for a drum sander… once for the loser and once for the winner.

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

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2647 posts in 2888 days

#2 posted 05-07-2013 01:08 PM

I once had that baby drum sander from grizzly. It is the only Grizzly product I have had trouble with. I had to replace the motor that drives the feed belt twice in just over two years (@ $150 a pop) and when it needed replacing a third time I just junked the whole thing. It did a good job when it worked, but it is quite slow.

-- Website is

View JamesT's profile


102 posts in 1878 days

#3 posted 05-07-2013 02:01 PM

I had the same sander for a while and unlike the problems that Ellen speaks of, I found it to be a good machine. Easy to adjust and install the paper. I sold it to buy a Delta 18-36, which is a piece of junk that you can’t get parts for.
For the little 10-20, I would say $300-$350, $400 may be on the high side.

-- Jim from Doniphan

View Loren's profile (online now)


10263 posts in 3614 days

#4 posted 05-07-2013 04:14 PM

All drum sanders are going to be finicky. If you think
the tool is going to free you from hanging onto an
orbital sander on flat surfaces, you are mistaken.

If you want to build fine guitars or miniatures a drum
sander is definitely useful.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3124 days

#5 posted 05-07-2013 04:20 PM

I’d offer $300 and hope to get it for $350. Like Loren said, all drum sanders have their little issues.

-- jay,

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2656 days

#6 posted 05-08-2013 01:20 AM

My Jet 10-20 is my least favorite tool in my shop! If the feed belt tracking wasn’t a chronic PITA, it would be acceptable. Don’t count on sanding a 20” wide piece by running it through twice reversing sides as the theory goes unless you want a really ugly “step” down the center. Bought mine new and never been happy with it. Jet tech support couldn’t solve the tracking and Woodcraft wouldn’t take it back so it gets very occasional use.

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

View Jasoninsacramento's profile


50 posts in 2117 days

#7 posted 05-08-2013 02:02 AM

Well, I do feel a bit silly. I wrote back and ofered the gentleman $300 because it was 5 years old, etc…. Turns out I’ve met him before – he works sales part time at our local Woodcraft. And wouldn’t budge on the price. I said I’d think it over. I’m not going to let the fact that he’s a professional woodworker sway me (he is trying to get all he can from it), so we’ll see!


View Jasoninsacramento's profile


50 posts in 2117 days

#8 posted 08-12-2013 07:57 AM

So after keeping a close eye on Craigslist for a few months, I ran across a retiree selling his Performax 16-32 + for $495. It came with the stand, but it was too much of me to wish for the extension tables. It looked lightly used (in a garage shop), the conveyor tracked fine and the drum seemed straight and true. I decided that the price was worth it and considering I got this model versus the 10-20 for only $100 more, I’m very happy! I just picked it up yesterday and can’t wait to start playing with it!

Thanks, everyone, for all of your help and advice!


View toolie's profile


2120 posts in 2594 days

#9 posted 08-12-2013 04:21 PM

IMHE, whenever i’ve lost out on a tool that i thought was a good deal, a better deal usually came along. glad you were able to move up to a larger unit for only a small increase in cost.

although, having a delta 46-450 lathe in excellent working condition (similar to this: for $150 sold out from under me last month is really testing this theory.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View Steve Peterson's profile (online now)

Steve Peterson

371 posts in 3048 days

#10 posted 08-12-2013 11:36 PM


I think you will be much happier with the 16-32 sander than the 10-20. Everything about the 10-20 seems to be a compromise to hit a price point. I was ready to buy a new 10-20 since drum sanders don’t come up on CL very often. $700-800 was at the upper end of my budget, but I just couldn’t get over how flimsy it looked compared to the larger ones. I finally found a used 22-44 for $750 and it is so much nicer than the 10-20.

$500 is a good price for the 16-32.

-- Steve

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