Drum Sander Reviews: Pneumatic, Ryobi And Woodmaster Guides

A drum sander is a large sander that uses a rotating sanding drum.  There are models that are hand fed, as there are models with automatic feeders.  The operator can adjust the feed rollers that push the wood into the machine, which sands it, and sends it out the other side.  As with all sanders, users can change the sandpaper to different grits, depending on the application.  You can find table-top as well as free-standing models.  There are models of different widths.  You can purchase a model for home use, as well as industrial models made for manufacturing use.

Woodmaster Drum Sander

Woodmaster is a brand name, THE brand name, in industrial-grade wood sanders.  The Woodmaster Drum Sander comes in 26”, 38”, and 50” widths.  It has been called “the best kept secret in woodworking” by cabinet shop owners across the US.

When compared to Grizzly and Performax by fine Woodworking Magazine, Woodmaster came out on top.  They stated “Woodmaster gets my top vote.  It is robustly built, smooth and quiet in operation, offers easy abrasive-strip changing and includes a reversing conveyor.”

Woodmaster has several features that put it ahead of the competition including an Infinitely Variable Feed Rate.  You can vary the speed from 0 to 16 feet per minute.  To help your sandpaper last longer, heat is dissipated by the Precision-Ground 6” Steel Drums that hold rigidity under the toughest conditions.  Most other brands employ a 5” aluminum drum.  The board is constantly supported and will not slip because of the Industrial-Duty Conveyor Belt System.  This belt will last longer and grip better than the single-ply plastic belts commonly found on other brands.  The Woodmaster Drum Sander removes the dust from the bottom of the drum before it loads the paper, helping your sandpaper last longer, and degreases your downtime for cleaning.   The Felt-Backed Abrasive mounts to Velcro-covered steel drum, eliminating paper stretch, and speeding up removal and installation.  Plus, Woodmaster gives you the best guarantee in the business with their 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee and 5 Year Limited Warranty.

Pneumatic Drum Sander

“Pneumatic” means “Containing or operated by air or gas under pressure.”  So, what is a pneumatic drum sander?  It is a sander that uses a drum filled with air.  Why would you want an air-filled drum rather than a metal drum?  You would want it because an air filled drum will mold itself around curves and contours.  It is hard to find an easier way to sand rounded surfaces than with a pneumatic sander.  Depending on how much you want the drum to flex, you will adjust the air pressure in the drum.  It is easily adjusted using a bicycle pump.

Ryobi Drum Sander

Ryobi is a big name in small, home shop tools today.  They have developed a reputation for inexpensive, reliable tools that are a great value.

The Ryobi Drum Sander is inexpensive and has all the typical adjustment such as drum height, and feed rate.  It is a good product for occasional use, but not one you will want if you do a lot of sanding, as the motor tends to get very hot in less than an hour of work.  Ryobi makes good tools for the person who will use them lightly and doesn’t want to spend an exorbitant amount of money.   Remember, in almost all cases, you get what you pay for.

Amazon.com Products

The most popular drum sander on Amazon.com is the Jet 629004K.  This is a 16-Inch, 1-1/2-Horsepower, Open Stand Drum sander.  This drum sander sells for $995 on Amazon.com, as compared to the $1334 retail price tag.  This sander includes a stand, sands up to 32” wide stock, and has an aluminum drum to help reduce weight.  It weighs in at only 145 lbs, and comes with a box of abrasives.  Jet provides a 5 year warranty.  The sanding drum rotates on permanently lubricated, sealed one inch diameter ball bearings.  These bearing help provide long life and smooth operation.  The drum height and downward pressure are adjustable.  The open frame design can allow two passes, letting you sand up to 32” wide pieces.  You are able to fully adjust the feed rate, as the dual motors allow a different rate for the conveyor platform than the drum rotation.  The feed rate varies from 0 to 10’ per minute.   The power feed belt does not give, providing a smooth sanding action, insuring the finest results.  There is a four-in diameter dust port at the top of the machine to provide connection of a dust collector.

Reviews of this product reveal it to be a very well-built, precise machine.  People who reviewed it had stated that they did not know how they every lived without it.  They were taken back by the amount of work to initially set up the machine, but after it was set up were very impressed on how well it worked, the quality craftsmanship, and the ease of use.

The next most popular drum sander is also a Jet.  This bench-top model is a mini sander at only 10” wide, but packs plenty of power with the 1 hp motor.  At under $700, this high-quality product is a great buy.  Just as the above model, this sander has a 4-inch dust port, is capable of double passes, allowing sanding of up to $20 stock, and has the same, reliable belt system, adjustable feed, adjustable height and aluminum drum.  The same 1” ball bearing are employed in this sander for reliable longevity.us duty, 1 HP motor specially designed for heavier use for longer periods of time. This one-motor/one-feed model also allows for superior sanding control.  This 104 pound model is easy to move, when needed, and is backed by a five-year warranty.  This model does not come on a stand, but there is one available.

The reviews of this product are fantastic.  The customers that have reviewed this sander have been very impressed with the quality, precision, and reliability of this sander.  They say that the dust chute does a good job of catching most of the dust, and found that, once set, the tracking has been consistent and hassle free.  They have found that this sander literally saves hours of work, and would recommend it to anyone who wants a good drum sander that doesn’t take up a lot of space.

The last product from Amazon.com I would like to tell you about is the Pneumatic Sanding Drums by Rockler.  This particular item is actually a three piece set.  That is rated 5 out of 5 stars at less than $125.  These sanding drums are rated for a maximum of 15 psi, and are easily inflated with a bicycle pump.  This set includes three drums with fine sleeves and a storage case.  At a low pressure, these drums are perfect for rounded edges and curves.  These drums are designed to be used on drill presses, motor arbors, or lathes. Small and medium drums can also be used with a hand drill.

The customer reviews on this product state that they worked perfectly, reduced work time, and are a must have for any shop.  They stated that this product is well made, and designed to last for years.

Summary

The drum sander is a tool that any woodworker would agree is absolutely necessary to have in the shop.  It will save hours of sanding time (something that none of us like to do).  You can get your stock to the exact size you need using a drum sander because they are so accurate.  When you are sanding rounded edges and stock, a pneumatic sanding drum is definitely the best option.  There is a huge variety of sizes and prices to choose from, so do your research before you make your purchase.  Once you do buy one, you will wonder how you ever lived without it.

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One Response to “Drum Sander Reviews: Pneumatic, Ryobi And Woodmaster Guides”

  1. Ken Urso Says:

    I need an operator’s manual for Ryobi drum sander automatic feed WS1600

    s/n 0099959804
    115 VAC 60HZ 15 amps

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