If you are a serious woodworker who makes large pieces with flat wood boards, then you will need a sander that can make your job as easy as possible. In this case, with larger projects, you will need a machine that can handle the extra width and thickness of the wood, which is where a drum sander will come in. For this type of sanding, many woodworkers would either choose to have a planer or a drum sander, but they have different purposes and will be beneficial for particular needs. Today we’ll be going over what those functions are and what components you should pay attention to when picking a drum sander. Finally, we’ll take a look at some models offered by one of the best companies in the business: Grizzly.
Grizzly G1066Z 24-Inch
This is a large machine that uses a wide, flat piece of sandpaper on a set of two drums. It spins rapidly so that you can smooth surfaces quickly and efficiently. This is different than a planer for a couple of reasons.
In the end, having a drum sander in your workshop will be helpful if you have large wooden projects that need a lot of smooth sanding on flat surfaces. This is much more efficient and stable than trying to do it with a handheld model, meaning that you can get much better results overall.
Kicking off our list is the G1066Z Drum Sander, which is the smallest of the three we’ll be looking at today. However, just because it’s not as large as other units doesn’t mean that it can’t still pack a punch. With a powerful five-horsepower motor and two aluminum sanding drums, you can get a lot done with this machine.
As far as performance goes, this unit can work with stock up to 23.5 x 4.25 inches, although you can also work with smaller pieces as well (at least six inches long). To make sure that you get the best results possible, it has a variable speed adjustment that spins between 78 and 2400 rpm, meaning that you can work with a much wider variety of wood overall.
Another great feature of this sander is the fact that the drums are computer-balanced so that you don’t have to work as hard to make sure that the sandpaper is in the correct position all of the time. Additionally, it uses hook and loop paper for easier switching when necessary. Overall, if you want something that’s powerful but not too big, this is the sander for you.
Next, while the 1066Z model above was built for smaller projects, the G0449 is made for heavy-duty sanding. This machine can handle almost any piece of wood, making it an ideal choice for any workshop that needs more power to get the job done. With a ten horsepower motor and drums that spin up to 2800 rotations per minute, you can do a lot more with this device.
To make sure that the machine can handle everything you throw at it, it comes with a variable speed adjustment, steel and rubber drums that can withstand a lot of abuse, and an easy access control panel to ensure that you are always operating at the right speed. Plus, the panel also comes with an emergency stop button so that you can stay safe at all times. Overall, if power and speed are what you’re after, then this is the sander to get.
Sitting between the two other models we’ve seen, the G0458 Sander is built to handle large pieces of wood, but it doesn’t have the raw power of the 0449 model. As such, if you are looking for a drum sander that can work better with more delicate pieces, then this is a great option.
Another reason you may want to get this unit instead of another is that it comes with a stand so that you can use it anywhere you put it, and it takes up less room, making it a better choice for smaller workshops.
As far as performance goes, this drum sander has a variable speed adjustment, it uses a V-belt drive to deliver better results, and it comes with an integrated dust collection system. Additionally, it has an emergency stop button for added safety. Finally, swapping the sandpaper has never been easier, making this a great buy all around.
Out of these three sanders, we have to say that our top pick for both power and versatility has to be the G0449 Drum Sander. This model has the largest surface area, the most robust motor, and all of the extra features you will need to get the job done as well as possible. That being said, each of these units is well suited for large pieces of wood, so if you want something a little smaller, then we recommend the G1066Z instead.
Although we are looking at sanders by Grizzly, we understand that there are still plenty of different features and benefits that can be considered to ensure that you’re getting a machine that will fit your needs. These are the most critical components that will dictate the quality of your sander.
This is the part that takes most of the abuse from the machine, so you want this to be made of high-quality and durable materials. Steel or cast iron are excellent choices as they will last the longest, although stainless steel is the best because it will resist rusting over time. The other thing to pay attention to is how much it will vibrate or shake while the machine is on. You want a system that doesn’t move at all if possible, so try to find one with a thick and heavy platen.
Unless you are using the same kind of wood all of the time, it’s always better to get a drum sander that can adjust its speed to the job at hand. This way you can work on different types of wood and various sizes without risking damage to the piece or yourself. As a general rule, you want faster speeds on softwoods and slower speeds on hardwoods. This will yield better results overall, so make sure that you can customize your output as you see fit.
No matter what kind of sanding you do, dust and debris are always going to be a huge problem to clean up. However, to minimize the amount of work you have to do, you will want to find a sander that comes with a dust port so that most of the shavings will get sucked up, leaving a cleaner and more useful working area. To maximize its effect, you will want to get a model that either comes with a large dust bag to hold all of the debris or can be attached to a vacuum system to ensure that you don’t risk spewing dust into the air after the fact.
As we mentioned above, part of the reason that you want a thick and durable platen is to reduce the amount of vibration that comes with the machine. This will also maintain a better noise level, allowing you to work without having to wear earplugs or headphones. No matter what, this type of sander will be loud, but some models are quieter than others, so pay attention to how much the machine vibrates as you work. The less it does, the better off you will be overall.
Again, the primary purpose of these machines is to sand large pieces of wood quickly and effectively. As such, you need to make sure that you are getting enough room to hold the kinds of wood you will be working with; otherwise, you’ll have to upgrade and get a larger model eventually. Not only do you have to pay attention to the size of the sanding area, though, but the dimensions of the machine as well. Most drum sanders weigh hundreds of pounds and can take up quite a bit of space, but there are more compact versions out there that can work in a smaller area. In the end, pay attention to any size constraints you have and plan accordingly.
I believe there is a handyman in all of us as long as you have the right tools. I started this blog to help anyone who is interested in fixing things to learn their way around the different tools and to know how to perform different DIY tasks. I have been doing this for years and believe I am a master of this art.