Thinking about a drum sander

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Forum topic by Tom posted 09-20-2017 08:35 PM 1283 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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182 posts in 1827 days

09-20-2017 08:35 PM

I’ve been debating on the need of a drum sander in my garage shop and due to a job change I have extra $$ I can spend on one. They seem to be pretty useful especially when making end grain cutting boards or sanding larger panels. As a hobby I do make face grain boards (and sell them, pays for the lumber) and have been wanting to do some butcher block style ones plus I want to make some shelves for my hobby room. Any suggestions on which model to get? I’ve looked on my local CL and see professional grade ones for sale..but I don’t have the space or power to run one of those. What do people here have/use/recommend? I get the impression that most people go with a 10/20 or a 16/32 sander and that Jet is one of the better brands.

23 replies so far

View indychip's profile


81 posts in 2888 days

#1 posted 09-20-2017 08:41 PM

I make hundreds of end grain boards this time of year and I absolutely love my Supermax 19/38. Don’t know what I would do without it.

View scrubs's profile


46 posts in 1027 days

#2 posted 09-20-2017 08:44 PM

I have a Jet 16/32 and absolutely love the thing. You’ll be amazed how much you use it. I have used the crap out of it and have nothing bad to say about it. :)

-- It all seems like a good idea at some point...

View Kazooman's profile


1484 posts in 2719 days

#3 posted 09-20-2017 08:50 PM

Many have reported great results with the Supermax. I have the Jet 16-32 and I have nothing but good things to say about it. Easy to adjust the drum parallel to the feed table, easy to load paper and the spring clips keep it taught when it heats up, excellent dust collection, easily adjustable feed rate, and the smart sand sensor kicks in if you are trying to be too aggressive. Mine has the stand and in (out) feed tables. I added my own set of locking casters to make it mobile. I don’t think you could go wrong with either machine. Look for the occasional sale and pick one.

View HunterDS's profile


48 posts in 1267 days

#4 posted 09-20-2017 08:57 PM

I have the jet 10/20 and it was well worth it.
Pros:can use for end grain, figured wood, thin wood.
Large capacity for a small footprint machine. MUCH quieter than a planer. Save’s a lot of time and has improved my workmanship considerably.
Cons: expensive initial cost. Paper change has a learning curve the first few times. Needs good dust collection.

I would get the 16/32 over the 10/20 if possible since you want to make larger items. The only reason I got the 10/20 is budget, space, power, and I only make small items.

-- Hunter, Houston TX

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6230 posts in 3260 days

#5 posted 09-21-2017 11:11 AM

When I first bought mine (a Delta, 15 years ago) I was trying to help a co worker that needed some cash. So I bought it second hand but unused and wondered what i would do with it. After I bought it, it became the 4th or 5th most used stationary tool in the shop. A few years ago my use of it had dwindled and i sold it….I’m now looking at the Supermax 19/38. They are extremely useful tools and well worth the money in most shops. Do be aware, they generate mountains of fine dust….you need a good DC set up.

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

View Rob's profile


320 posts in 3753 days

#6 posted 09-21-2017 12:18 PM

Another vote for the Supermax 19-38. Great machine. I’ve had mine for about 3 years now. Works great and I’ve sanded dozens of end grain cutting boards to make them dead flat

View Robert's profile


3737 posts in 2247 days

#7 posted 09-21-2017 03:49 PM

Don’t get a Grizzly and don’t get a dual drum. ;-)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View AZWoody's profile


1477 posts in 1991 days

#8 posted 09-21-2017 04:07 PM

I’ve had a few different and whichever you do get, seriously considering a hook and loop kit conversion.
It really does make a big difference in changing papers.

I’m not sure how well it works on an open end sander as you have to wrap some narrow tape on the end so the paper doesn’t unravel. K17hy I believe converted his open end to hook and loop though.

View MartyM's profile


1 post in 1025 days

#9 posted 09-21-2017 04:14 PM

I have a Jet 22-44 and I love it and use it often. The reason I have one that large, is the person I purchased it from got one of those “industrial” ones and no longer needed it. I was in the right place at the right time and got it at a very good price. I have had it about two years and it would be hard not to have it now. As some have said about bigger is better. Good luck.

View RRBOU's profile


231 posts in 3059 days

#10 posted 09-24-2017 01:22 AM

Don t get a Grizzly and don t get a dual drum. ;-)

- rwe2156

WHY do you say that?

I have the Z series 24” Grizzly and have quit using my thickness planer. If all my tools were as reliable as this one I would be in heaven

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

View Redoak49's profile


4714 posts in 2755 days

#11 posted 09-24-2017 02:30 AM

I want one also and eventually will get the SuperMax 19/38. Make certain you have an adequate dust collector.

View WoodES's profile


180 posts in 2458 days

#12 posted 09-24-2017 04:32 AM

I bought the Jet 16/32 several years ago and now wonder why I waited so long. It really changed the way I prep stock. First cut the stock to rough dimensions, then joint flat & square on two faces. Then use the drum sander to finish the thickness planning. Then I finish sand the two flat faces (or all four faces if square stock). This minimizes the sanding after assembly, a quick touch up with fine sandpaper usually does the trick.

Of course having a crappy thickness planer that loves to snipe forced the issue.

I chose the Jet over the Grizzly primarily due to the dust port size. 4” on the jet, 2-1/2 on the grizzly (if I remember correctly)

View toolfooldan's profile


67 posts in 2405 days

#13 posted 09-24-2017 11:35 AM

I’ll be a contrarian voice. I have a Jet 16/32. I bought it thinking I could sand wide panels of QSWO prone to hand plane tearout. I just couldn’t get it to work. Also, I’ve attempted to set the drum parallel to the table several times to no avail. So I use it only for thickness planning thin stock. This machine sets idle 99.99% of the time.

View toolie's profile


2185 posts in 3395 days

#14 posted 09-24-2017 01:58 PM

Another vote for the Supermax 19-38. Great machine. I ve had mine for about 3 years now. Works great and I ve sanded dozens of end grain cutting boards to make them dead flat

- Rob

+1 for drum sander and cutting boards. I use 80 grit to remove glue and get to where I can use the ROS with 120, 150 and 180 grit. Usually takes 20 minutes to finish up after the drum sander. At a price of $225 used I wouldn’t be without it.

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

View splintergroup's profile


3771 posts in 1989 days

#15 posted 09-24-2017 03:25 PM

Probably my most favorite tool behind the table saw.
I have an older Performax 16/32. Real easy and fast to change grits. A bit of a learning curve and setup details to get “perfect” results, but every project I do involves its use.

After years of use, I would like a bit larger (width) machine and something that can go beyond the 3” max thickness.

You do need excellent dust collection (mandatory!)

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