Got the go ahead to buy a drum sander.

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Forum topic by distrbd posted 12-19-2013 11:46 PM 2393 views 0 times favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2252 posts in 2687 days

12-19-2013 11:46 PM

I have a budget of $1100 to buy myself a tool of my choice,I’m thinking ,a drum sander but never owned one before and am not sure if it’s a necessary tool or more of a headache,so I have to ask:
How many of you hobby woodworkers have a drum sander as well as a planer ,jointer?

The reason I ask is ,up to now I have always found a way around sanding a wide piece of wood,for example a 18” by 24” piece of wood ,would be 3 pieces of 6”x24” jointed/planed and glued together .sanding would be done with a small palm sander at the end.

Would it be easier and more practical to be able to do the final sanding with a drum sander? those of you who use it,do you find it an important piece of equipment in your shop?
If so,what’s your opinion on Grizzly G0458?it is easy to order it from Canada.
I appreciate your help sincerely.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

38 replies so far

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2279 days

#1 posted 12-20-2013 12:04 AM

I have a jointer, a planer, and a performax 16/32 sander. It is not an essential piece of equipment in my shop.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4332 days

#2 posted 12-20-2013 12:24 AM

I can’t speak about the Grizzly. I own a Jet 22/44.

I started out by making my own 12” drum sander mainly for thicknessing thin stock. I quickly outgrew it’s capacity. I was going to build a wider unit, but really wanted a conveyor system for feeding stock, and just could not find a workable solution that I was interested in building. I found a great deal on Craigslist.

I’ve used mine for thicknessing stock, small parts for toys and sanding wide glue-ups. The drum is normally loaded with 120g. The unit I own makes paper changes quick and easy. It gets used on just about every project I build.

I have an 8” jointer and a 15” planer.

I could live without it if I needed to, but makes quick work of sanding all kinds of stock. In my case it is convenient and useful to have because it saves me time and with proper dust collection, very clean. I don’t use it for final sanding, but it does get me 90% there. My final finishing is usually done with scrapers.

I’m a hobbyist.

-- Nicky

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4223 days

#3 posted 12-20-2013 12:31 AM

I hardly ever touch my planer and use my drum sander on every project

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View AandCstyle's profile


3185 posts in 2497 days

#4 posted 12-20-2013 12:43 AM

Ken, I guess it depends on the type of work you do and the woods you use. I have a Delta, which I don’t recommend, but I do use it quite a bit.

They are really handy for end grain cutting boards, for highly figured woods and for thin stock. On mine a quarter turn is 1/64” and I normally only turn it a twelfth of a turn. It is not a planer. The abrasive can be expensive so look at Klingspor’s box deals.

I have a Grizzly 8” jointer and 15” planer with spiral heads and like them. I think you get a good value from Grizzly so I would be willing to try their drum sander. HTH

-- Art

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2687 days

#5 posted 12-20-2013 01:00 AM

On a few occasions I wanted to even out the surface of a large board and the only solution I had was to sand the whole thing because the width was more than the capacity of my planer(12”) .

so far from the replies I got it looks like a drum sander is more useful once you have it but not as essential as a planer,router,table saw other word,if you never had one you could still get along very nicely with other tools you have at your disposal.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3888 days

#6 posted 12-20-2013 01:04 AM

Unless you need to thickness thin stock they make as many
problems as they solve… and they are pretty tedious
to use. I have two. The newer oscillating ones are
probably better than my units… at times they solve
specific problems but in general I find messing with
them to be more hassle than they are worth.

If you really hate finish sanding, look at building your own
or buying a stroke sander.

If you’re not set up to do fine finish planing and scraping
by hand, you might consider investing in fleshing
out your gear for that.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5319 posts in 1961 days

#7 posted 12-20-2013 01:08 AM

I have two jointers and a small 12 1/2” planer. I’ve only wanted a wide sander once or twice and though it would make a nice addition, for me it wouldn’t be worth it for the floor space it would use.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2533 days

#8 posted 12-20-2013 01:10 AM

Although I have a 18”/36” Delta (which I would not recommend due to numerous complaints by others) and I use it, or used it in the past, I installed a Byrd Shelix cutter head on my 15” planer and I’m not sure how much use the drum sander is going to see in the future—the Byrd is that good!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View darthford's profile


612 posts in 2164 days

#9 posted 12-20-2013 01:13 AM

What Loren said I got rid of mine years ago and suspect the guy who sold it to me did so for the similar reasons. Watching a drum sander ruin something that was nearly complete…one reason I have hate for them.

View Thalweg's profile


97 posts in 3646 days

#10 posted 12-20-2013 01:20 AM

I have a Performax 22-44. I also have an old Delta 13” planer and a 6” jointer. I only use the jointer for edges, and I use the planer to get close while thickness planing. I use the drum sander for final thicknessing and flattening. It works well, but is slow. I never do final sanding with the drum sander as the finer sandpaper seems to clog very easily. I bought a bunch of 220 grit belts, but only used them once; too many problems. I do thicknessing with 36 or 60 grit. Occasionally I’ll go down to 150 grit. I agree that the oscillating ones may be better. They may reduce clogging and burning. They weren’t available when I bought mine.

I like my sander, but if I had it to do over again, I might put my money into a better planer instead.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2687 days

#11 posted 12-20-2013 01:25 AM

The thinnest stock I mostly use is 3/4” or 1” . as a matter of fact if I had a planer with a wider capacity 15” and up,I probably wouldn’t even consider a drum sander so it’s not because I hate finish sanding,I just keep building bigger wider projects and probably a wider jointer or planer would be more useful now that I have thought a bit about it.

Well, thank you all for putting me on the right path,I think I’ll pass on buying a drum sander for now.I’m much better off looking for a used larger planer.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View retfr8flyr's profile


386 posts in 1909 days

#12 posted 12-20-2013 01:27 AM

I never really liked a drum sander and then I discovered this option. I have been very happy with the results using this sander. If you want to sand something and make sure it stays flat, it’s great. It’s not a set and forget type you have to physically feed the work but it does a great job.

I built mine with a Grizzly motor and power switch. I am making some cutting boards for Christmas presents and it works great on them.


-- Earl

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4223 days

#13 posted 12-20-2013 01:28 AM

I never do wide work and use my sander as a precision thicknesser mostly for narrow boards.. It is touchy and takes quite a bit to get used to but for the work I do it is great. One plus over the planer is it is allot quieter.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View pintodeluxe's profile


5819 posts in 3054 days

#14 posted 12-20-2013 01:57 AM

It seems like the modern helical planers create such a nice surface, with hardly any milling marks, that a drum sander is less common in hobby shops.
I don’t think it will help you skip random orbit sanding / hand sanding.
For my shop, I would upgrade to helical cutterheads before I added a drum sander.

The primary reason I would use a drum sander is for large tabletops, however that would require a very large sander. My solution has been to glue up planks in stages, while they still fit in my 13” planer. Then I glue the planks together, and only have one jointline to clean up.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2687 days

#15 posted 12-20-2013 02:11 AM

Earl ,that flatmaster looks soooo tempting.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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