I thought I would write a little review on the latest Grizzly product to enter our house.
Jay Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars
This was a Christmas gift this past year. He had been drooling over the Grizzly catalog for MONTHS and when I unstuck the pages I found he had drooled the most over this drum sander.
You can see it in place near the dust collector in the above picture.
I honestly don’t know how the price of the Grizzly compares with similar models of other brands because I never even considered going anywhere else. I was so impressed that the dust collector had been solidly built with actual metal instead of plastic that I knew I would be happy with the drum sander. And boy, is the drum sander solid!
When we got it home Jay removed it from the box thinking that would make it easier to carry downstairs. We wanted to be able to maneuver it down through our inside basement door, but it wouldn’t fit. We had to end up bringing it in through the outside basement entrance. And let me tell you what… this machine was NOT light. Just from the weight of it I would say that there is very little plastic on this machine. I’m a strong farm girl and this almost had me crying uncle!
Here are Jay’s Pros: 1) Saves on having to do a lot of palm sanding 2) the price difference between the 10″ and 12″ is such that you should just go with the 12″. It’s when you double it to 24″ that you really go up in price. I knew that Jay wanted the 12″, but the cheap penny-pinching accountant in me wanted to get him the less expensive 10″. In the end I went with the 12″ because for the price it gives you the most flexibility. I knew if I limited Jay to 10″ that there would be issues.
Cons: 1) the rolls of hook & loop sand paper is expensive 2) The sandpaper doesn’t go as far as you think. However, the sand paper is easier to change (and cheaper as well) than changing a set of knives on a planer.
Favorite feature: It is QUIET! Since the workshop is in the basement he thought this might be an issue, but I can’t tell that he’s using the drum sander even if I’m in the bedroom right above it. We had borrowed my dad’s planer once and luckily we set it up outside because the entire neighborhood heard it within a 12 block radius!
Jay did modify this sander a little bit. Let me show you a picture of it again:
The red dust port does not come standard on it. This sander comes with a 2 1/2″ dust port, but Jay removed it, 3D printed a 4″ dust port and retro fitted it to the sander. He said that this has made a tremendous difference in the removal of dust.
That’s another thing to consider, the amount of dust that this puts out is amazing. Jay says that he wouldn’t use this if he didn’t have the dust collector (don’t even try with a shop vac as it won’t be able to keep up at all).
When asked what he would say to somebody who was considering the purchase of one of these machines Jay said, “Keep in mind that it’s a single purpose machine in which you will have a large investment. These aren’t cheap, but they are definitely worth it.”
Another positive thing about the drum sander is that it’s very easy to operate by yourself. The conveyor does all the work of moving the wood through the machine. You just have to make sure that you’re ready to catch it on the other side. This is different than a planer where the knives are what causes the wood to move through the machine and if the wood gets caught or the knives can’t move it through, you have to end up pulling or pushing it through.
So there you have it… Jay’s review on his drum sander. He definitely recommends it and would encourage you to buy one for yourself. He has nothing but good things to say about the Grizzly products that we own.