Drum Sander vs Planer Comparison Review | Which Is Best for Your Needs?

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Drum sanders and planers have similar functionalities. They both deliver similar results but many woodworkers often get confused about which to use. Drum sanders and planers both remove stock from materials and make it a little thinner.

However, many have been asking, “What is the difference between these two tools?” A planer has been the major tool for woodworkers for years, with drum sanders being a nice but expensive luxury.

In this drum sander vs planer comparison guide, we will walk you through the uses of these tools as well as the differences between them.

We will also review some of the best drum sanders and planers on the market. Without wasting much time, let us get straight to the business of the day.

Our top pick for the best drum sander is the JET 723520K JWDS-1632 Drum Sander because it is highly durable, powerful, and very easy to use.
For the best planer, our top recommendation is the DeWALT DW735X Variable Speed Thickness Planer because of its efficiency, versatility, and variable speed control.

Drum Sander Vs Planer Reviews

ProductDetails
1. JET 723520K JWDS-1632 Drum Sander

  • Conveyor Speed: 0 – 10 FPM
  • Material: Aluminum Die-Casting and Steel
  • Motor: 20 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 156 pounds
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2. Shop Fox W1678 5 HP 26-Inch Drum Sander

  • Conveyor Speed: 0 to 20 FPM
  • Material: Steel
  • Motor: 25 Amp, 5 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 546 pounds
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3. JET 628900 Mini Benchtop Drum Sander

  • Conveyor Speed: 0 to 12 FPM
  • Material: Cast-Die Aluminum and Steel
  • Motor: 1 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 74 pounds
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4. DeWALT DW735X Variable Speed Thickness Planer

  • Speed: 20,000 RPM
  • Size: 13 Inch
  • Power: 15 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 105 pounds
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5. Porter-Cable PC60THP Hand Planer

  • Speed: 16,500 RPM
  • Size: 5/64-Inch
  • Power: 6 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 8.5 pounds
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6. WEN 6552T 13-Inch Benchtop Thickness Planer

  • Speed: 20,500 cuts per minute
  • Size: 13 Inch
  • Power: 15 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 66 pounds
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1. JET 723520K JWDS-1632 Drum Sander

Jet 723520K JWDS-1632 16-32 Plus 20 Amp Service with 608003 Stand in Woodworking, Sanders, Drum Sanders

The Jet 723520K JWDS-1632 Drum Sander is one of the best drum sanders on the market. This unit comes with an impressive 20-amp motor that delivers great sanding speed. If you are looking for a high-performance drum sander, then this is one option to consider.

The motor is not the most powerful, but it still produces enough power to handle a wide range of sanding projects. It features variable speed control and the size of the drum is 16 inches.

It is also a lightweight option, which means you can move it around with ease. The conveyor table of this unit is 43 inches long and it has parallelism adjust dial that returns the belt to a flat position pretty fast.

The dust collection system of this tool is also pretty effective, as it does a great job of managing dust. This model comes with Sandsmart technology that continually monitors the load on the motor of the drum. It also regulates the speed of the conveyor motor automatically.

The variable speed range of this drum sander is from 0 to 10 feet per minute, allowing you to choose the best feed rate for your application.

Specs

  • Conveyor Speed: 0 – 10 FPM
  • Material: Aluminum Die-Casting and Steel
  • Motor: 20 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 156 pounds

Pros

  • Customizable speed to suit your application
  • Conveyor table is very large
  • Durable
  • Conveyor belt and drum have different motors

Cons

  • A more powerful motor would have been better

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2. Shop Fox W1678 5 HP 26-Inch Drum Sander

SHOP FOX W1678 5 HP 26-Inch Drum Sander

If you are looking for the best drum sander for industrial and professional usage, then the Shop Fox W1678 5 HP Drum Sander is for you. This tool is on the higher end of the price spectrum but it comes with all the features you would ever need in a drum sander. It is also a very powerful drum sander, as it comes with an impressive 5 HP motor.

You can use this tool to handle a wide range of sanding jobs. This machine delivers excellent performance, thanks to its powerful motor and 26-inch sanding drum.

The motor delivers a speed of 3,450 rotations per minute while the variable feed rate is from 0 to 20 feet per minute. The drum is also large enough to accommodate larger stocks.

It comes with a hook and loop sandpaper attachment system that makes it very easy and quick to change sandpapers. The industrial rubber conveyor belt is highly durable and it comes with a couple of 4-inch dust ports.

It comes with an amplifier meter to indicate load and it accepts boards with a minimum of 9 inches in length and 1/8 inches in thickness. The power rating of the conveyor motor is 2 amps, 1/3 HP. It is also very heavy, as it weighs more than 500 pounds.

Specs

  • Conveyor Speed: 0 to 20 FPM
  • Material: Steel
  • Motor: 25 Amp, 5 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 546 pounds

Pros

  • Comes with a very powerful motor for great sanding speed
  • Multiple dust collection ports
  • Great for industrial and professional usage
  • Dual drum sander

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

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3. JET 628900 Mini Benchtop Drum Sander

JET 628900 Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander, 115-Volt 1-Phase

Remember we told you that there are two types of drum sanders, one of which is the benchtop drum sander. The Jet 628900 Mini Benchtop Drum Sander is among the simple drum sanders that are great for workshops, homes, and DIY projects. This tool comes with a 1-HP motor that delivers great speed for fast stock removal.

This drum sander is highly portable, and it is very easy to transport from one job site to another. It also comes with a considerably reasonable price tag, making it a great option for crafting and DIY projects.

It comes with a 4-inch dust collection port that you can connect to your shop vac for easy dust collection. The sanding capacity of this machine is 20 inches, which means you can use it to sand larger surface areas.

This tool helps to increase productivity and reduce downtime, as it comes with a quick sandpaper change system. It is also very easy to make adjustments, thanks to its large hand wheel. The speed of the drum is 1,700 RPM while the conveyor variable feed rate is from 0 to 12 FPM.

Specs

  • Conveyor Speed: 0 to 12 FPM
  • Material: Cast-Die Aluminum and Steel
  • Motor: 1 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 74 pounds

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Inexpensive
  • Great for DIY projects
  • Variable speed dial for more control

Cons

  • Some users said sandpaper changes can sometimes be hectic.

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4. DeWALT DW735X Variable Speed Thickness Planer

PORTER-CABLE Benchtop Jointer, Variable Speed, 6-Inch (PC160JT)

The DeWALT DW735X is a great thickness planer, and it is a highly rated and long-lasting tool. This is a 13-inch thickness planer with a depth capacity of 6 inches. The package includes a 13-inch planer, extra blades, in/out feed tables and a dust hose adapter.

It comes with a 15-amp motor with speed up to 20,000 RPM and a cutter head speed of 10,000 RPM. With a two-gear box, you can change the feed speed to suit your needs. It comes with a 19.75 inches cast aluminum base that is two times more rigid than the normal base. It is very easy to use and it comes with several great features.

Specs

  • Speed: 20,000 RPM
  • Size: 13 Inch
  • Power: 15 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 105 pounds

Pros

  • Very powerful motor
  • Three-knife cutter head
  • It is great for professionals
  • Two-speed gearbox

Cons

  • Does not come cheap
  • Weighty

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5. Porter-Cable PC60THP Hand Planer

PORTER-CABLE Hand Planer, 6-Amp, 5/64-Inch (PC60THP)

If you are looking for a great planer that you can use to handle light-duty tasks around the home or workshop, then you should consider the Porter-Cable PC60THP Hand Planer.

This planer is compact, lightweight, and very affordable. Despite its compact size, it still comes with a very powerful 6-amp motor that delivers great sanding speed.

This tool weighs only 8 pounds, making it very easy to work with. It has dust collection ports on both sides, and this allows you to set up your tool in the most comfortable position. It also features an over-mold depth knob with ten positive steps. The 11.5 inches cast aluminum shoe is also there to provide you with more control and better finishes.

It is a single-speed unit, with a no-load speed of 16,500 rotations per minute. The maximum rabbit depth of this tool is .47 inches, and it removes more material per pass. It also comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

Specs

  • Speed: 16,500 RPM
  • Size: 5/64-Inch
  • Power: 6 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 8.5 pounds

Pros

  • Super lightweight
  • Easy depth adjustment
  • Dust extraction ports on both sides
  • Aluminum shoe for added control

Cons

  • Occasional quality control issues.

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6. WEN 6552T 13-Inch Benchtop Thickness Planer

WEN 6552T 13 in. 15 Amp 3-Blade Benchtop Corded Thickness Planer

The WEN 6552T is another great thickness planer and it is powerful enough to handle light to heavy-duty tasks. It comes with an impressive 15-amp motor that delivers 25,500 cuts per minute at a feed rate of 26 FPM.

It allows you to adjust the depth from 0 to 3/32-inch. The fan-assisted dust port is also there to keep your workspace free of sawdust and chips.

It comes with carbon steel double-edged blades and a granite table that never warps. You can use it to plane boards that are 13 inches wide and 6 inches thick. It is a little bit weighty, as it weighs 66 pounds.

Specs

  • Speed: 20,500 cuts per minute
  • Size: 13 Inch
  • Power: 15 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 66 pounds

Pros

  • Easy blade changing system
  • Great for occasional user and DIYers
  • Great value for money
  • Metal construction for durability

Cons

  • Not recommended for industrial use

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Drum Sander vs Planer Comparison

What Is A Planer And How Does It Work?

A planer is a woodworking tool that is used to plane or reduce the thickness of a material. It does this by shaving off thin layers at every pass. This tool is also known as a thicknesser or a thickness planer.

We have two major kinds of planers, a benchtop planer and a freestanding planer. The benchtop planer can be positioned on a table or the floor while the freestanding models need a bit of floor space.

A planer has multiple cutter heads that shave off thin layers on the surface of a material. You insert the material into the machine horizontally, and rollers grip it and send it out on the other side. The entire thinning process takes place while the board goes through from one end to the other.

At each pass, the cutter heads repeatedly reduce the thickness of the board. This woodworking tool is very important and it comes in handy in many woodworking shops.

What Is A Drum Sander How Does It Work?

A drum sander is a very powerful and versatile woodworking tool, as you can use it to sand both plastic and wood. It delivers splinter-free and very smooth surfaces that are ideal for making frames and furniture.

There are also different types of drum sanders. We have the simple benchtop drum sanders and they are great for workshops and homes. We also have very large models, with multiple drums, and they are ideal for industrial usage.

Many woodworkers use a drum sander to cleanly and quickly remove materials. To achieve this, you need to replace the sandpaper of the tool with sandpaper with higher grits.

This tool is also very easy to use. All you have to do is to switch on the tool and wait for it to reach full speed and then sand the material gently until you get your designed result.

Most drum sanders feature variable speed control that allows you to decrease or increase the speed of the tool. They also come with dust collection systems to manage dust, because they produce a lot of dust.

Planer Vs Sander – Which One Should I Get First?

Choosing between a drum sander and a planer is one hard decision that many woodworkers have to make. It would be really great if you can afford the two of them. However, if that is not possible, then you need to settle for one. If you are forced to choose one, there are a couple of things you need to consider.

If you want to mill your own boards, what you need is a planer. With a planer, all the faces of your board will be parallel to each other, which is great for making furniture. After this, you can use a sheet of normal sandpaper to sand the board. This might take but it will get the job done.

On the other hand, if you want to use the tool to remove a few millimeters off the board or do some light sanding, then what you need is a drum sander. With a drum sander, you can get a very smooth, splinter-free surface, and that is something a planer cannot do.

Final Thought

There you go – everything you need to know about planers vs drum sanders. These are two different tools and they have different use cases and benefits, but they work in a similar way.

Our top recommendation for the best drum sander is the JET 723520K JWDS-1632 Drum Sander because it delivers very smooth and fine finishes.

For the best planer, our top pick is the DeWALT DW735X Variable Speed Thickness Planer because of its amazing features, durability, and power.

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