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Drum Sander

Drum Sander

Yes, You Need a Drum Sander

If you’ve ever asked yourself if you really need a drum sander then you probably already want one. Now you simply need to justify adding one to your workshop. Think about this; nothing, absolutely nothing, can smooth wide panels and reduce stock thickness as well as a drum sander. And it beats a random orbit sander hands down.


Experts agree that wood drum sanders are more than just luxury items. Once you get your hands on one you’ll find it to be useful on almost every project you undertake. Are you convinced? Is it time to look for the perfect drum sander for your workshop?


So, you’re ready to invest in a drum sander but now you have to decide what kind. First and foremost, you want to get the sander that best fits the type of projects that you do. What kind of wood do you expect to be sanding; oak, cherry, popular, walnut?


Board Width 

How wide are the boards you are going to sand? When selecting the right drum sander, you need to consider the typical board width for your projects. If you do a significant amount of work on wider boards then you want to think about purchasing an open-end model. Closed end models are restricted in the width of boards they can handle. Open end models, however, can sand panels almost twice as wide as the drum.



Selecting the right size motor for your drum sander can be tricky. You will find motors between 1hp all the way up to 5hp. You could be tempted to simply buy the drum sander with the largest horsepower motor you can afford. But, that may not be the best choice. Horsepower is just one factor to consider in your purchasing decision.


Purchase Criteria

While horsepower and width are both important factors there are other considerations when choosing the right drum sander for your workshop:

  • Feed rates affect both the quality of the finish as well as the amount of horsepower needed. A drum sander is not a replacement for a planer, although it will do things some planers will not. For most cases you cannot plane Birdseye maple and there are several others woods that just tearout too bad to plane. For these a drum sander is a better option.
  • Dust collection is an absolute necessity component both for keeping your work area clean and for safety reasons. Using a drum sander without the proper sized dust collector will cause numerous performance issues.
  • Speed control – look for a drum sander that has variable speed control so that you have optimal control over the sanding speed.
  • Portable or stationary – if the majority of your work is in the shop then a stationary sander will do but if you do a lot of work off site then you will want a portable one.
  • Oscillating spindle sanders are very effective at smoothing unusual pieces of wood but are typically smaller and less powerful and are used for edge work only.



One of the most asked for and useful accessory for a drum sander are infeed/outfeed tables. Some woodworkers say that these tables are a necessity if you work on longer boards. Be sure to look for tables that attach easily and work with the brand and model of drum sander that you have.


Digital read out depth gauges or DROs can enhance your sanding by precisely measuring thickness. These gauges are specific to sander brands and models so choose yours carefully.


Replacement parts such as sanding drums, conveyer belts, casters, flatter strips and sandpaper rolls, in various grits are the accessories that will keep your drum sander operating at optimal levels. Method of attachment are another consideration. If you choose hook and loop can you find the paper readily available.


There are a lot of things to consider when deciding to purchase a drum sander. Sometimes you just need to talk with an expert to help you make a wise decision. Good news, at Circle Saw we have experts who can help you do just that. Got questions? Give us a call, we’re here to help.


Circle Saw team members are available to answer your questions Monday – Friday from 6:30am – 5:30pm CST. Just give us a call at 866.439.8054 or stop by our Houston show room located at 2510 Ella Blvd.



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