Drum sanders are extremely powerful machines that can be adapted to a number of uses from a bench sander to a floor sander. There are many manufacturers selling different models of drum sanders for bot commercial/professional use as well as for the avid do-it-yourself hobbyist. There are many features across as many models as well. You'll to make several considerations when picking the best drum sander for your needs. Before you buy one, consider the following:
Undeniably quality has got to be the most important factor when considering which is the best drum sander to buy. Durable sanders made of long-lasting alloy will go a long way to pay back your investment. Always buy from a reputable distributor who represents industry recognized manufacturers.
Takes a Licking
Look for customer reviews about drum sanders that can help guide you toward a choice that will be a long-lasting one. Check out the forums at DoItYourself.com where you can read about what others have experienced when it comes to a tool that can take long-term abuse.
The platen is that recumbent part at the lowest part of the tool. Better quality tools have platens that are well constructed to stand the vibration and friction imposed upon them from normal daily operation. Buy one where the platen width is about an inch wider that the drum.
Speed is King
The best drum sander will be one that provides the operator with variable speeds. This is an important feature that allows for a wide variety of use. While some sanding chores will call for a slow, more deliberate speed to achieve required results, a higher speed will allow the operator to do more “polishing.” Speed is just as important as power.
All the better drum sander units provide some type of dust collection system that helps to reduce, if not eliminate, dust from the operation. Not only doers a dust collection system help keep the machine cleaner and operating safely, it will also reduce the possibility of dust getting into the operator's clothes and hair. Some drum sanders, like floor sanders, also have detachable vacuum systems that make the machine much more effective.
Many drum sanders operate at what may be called a “distracting” level of noise. Recent changes in technology have improved noise reduction features that help eliminate harm to your ears. An acceptable limit on non-harmful noise is 95 decibels. The best drum sander will provide an up-to-date noise reduction feature.
Any sander that excessively vibrates has a tendency to leave what are called “blabber” marks on the stock being sanded. For avid woodworkers, excessive vibrations can eventually cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The lighter the drum sander, the less vibration is caused.
However, a good, powerful drum sander will also employ the latest ant-vibration designs that make safer operations possible.
Always consider the type of sanding work, the work load and what kind of stock wood you will be sanding along with the machine weight and your skill level before selecting the best drum sander for your needs.