Drum sanders are crucial in woodworking. They add a smooth finish to your wood pieces using an abrasive material. Some people confuse between a planer and a sander. However, the two are quite different. A planer is suitable for initial jobs. It has sharp steel knives, spinning at high speed, which creates uneven surfaces. A planer can easily remove thicker surfaces in one go. Sander’s abrasive drum surfaces are suitable for comparatively delicate materials. So if you are looking for a fishing device, a sander would be a rational choice over a planer. One of the top-rated drum sanders is the JWDS-1020 drum sander by JET.
The Best Compact Drum Sander
If you are looking for a heavy-duty, open-ended drum sander, then this benchtop drum sander by JET might be a good choice for you. The brand has made some improvements in the model that were missing in its other products. Let’s have a detailed look into its features and performance.
The type of material used in the construction of a drum sander is an important factor in determining its rigidity and smoothness of operation. This drum sander is made up of premium-quality aluminum and steel, which grants it exceptional durability and eliminates any kind of vibration.
The machine weighs about 73 lbs., which makes it comparatively lighter than many others. This also makes the machine compact and portable.
The open-ended sanding drum has a diameter of 5 inches and a length of 10 inches. Despite being open-ended, the length of the drum lets you sand only a 10-inch wide stock in one pass. If you have a 20-inch wide stock, you’ll have to run it through the machine twice, with its outer side turned in.
It can easily sand a 3-inch thick board down to veneer thickness, but cannot be used for the thickness of over 3 inches.
The drum has a self-cooling feature that protects the wood piece as well as the drum from heat damage. It can save you from much trouble, but you have to be careful about the load you put on the drum.
Changing the abrasive sleeves is a breeze. The process does not require any special tools or skills. Moreover, JET itself provides a sandpaper roll of 80 grit with the machine.
This drum sander features two powerful motors, one for the drum and the other for the conveyor belt. The drum spins at a speed of 1725 RPM when powered by the 1 HP power motor with a voltage limit of 115 volts. For the conveyor belt, JET has provided a dc motor.
The Conveyor Belt
JET has specifically upgraded the conveyor system of this model and has added a parallelism dial, which quickly brings the conveyor belt back to its flat position. With this improved conveyor belt, you do not have to push the stock through the sander; instead, the belt itself pulls the piece through it.
You can use system console on the front to easily adjust the speed of the conveyor anywhere between 0 to 10 fpm, depending upon the load on the drum.
Some users have reported issues with the conveyor table. According to them, the conveyor table has a dip in the center, which makes it partially dysfunctional because the center of the drum fails to sand the stock, while the sides work almost fine. This issue cannot be overlooked and requires a permanent solution by the manufacturer. However, there is no update about any such improvement.
The machine is equipped with an innovative dust hood that channels almost all the dust to a 4-inch dust port, which can be connected to a dust collector. It ensures the security of the operator as well as the efficiency of the machine.
- Easy to use
- Compact size
- Improved dust collector
- Open-ended drum sander
- Flimsy conveyor table
Here’s a short official advertorial showcasing this sanders` features:
Do We Recommend It?
We recommend JET JWDS-1020 for small shops due to its limited size, durable construction, and price. It is a reliable choice to work with small projects as it is not suitable for over a 3 inch thick and 20-inch wide stock.
You’ll find a wide variety of drum sanders, once you start looking for them. But there are some features that you must consider before buying any drum sander.
The durability and stability of the machine depend upon its construction material. Make sure to choose the one with strong built for reliable sanding operations.
The drum sander powered by a greater power motor can spin the drum at a faster rate. It is also important to check the voltage as you might have some restrictions regarding the voltage usage at your place.
Many drum sanders come with a limited time warranty. They are essential to secure your investment. Do look for a warranty before buying a sander.
The dust and debris created by the drum sander require to be taken care of while operating. They can affect the performance of the machine if left uncleaned. A dust collector is a perfect solution for this. It collects all the mess and improves the efficiency of the sander.
The size of the drum sander is a crucial aspect. Some sanders have a minimal capacity. Try to choose the one that is suitable for your needs.
Companies are improving their product with advanced technologies. A drum sander can be quite convenient if it is equipped with the required technologies. You must look for all the advanced features that a drum sander offers before making a final decision. This can drastically affect your sanding experience.
Only you know your budget better. Many drum sanders provide many desired features at an affordable cost. Checking for the cost before investing is quite essential.
A drum sander is a quick, easy, and affordable way of granting a smooth finish to delicate materials such as figured wood or plywood. JET has introduced many amazing products to meet the requirements. This model, however, is the latest and most advanced of its products. You can look for more with the help of the buying guide to find something more suitable for yourself.