Top 2 Best 16 Inch Drum Sanders

What Real People Are Saying About The Jet 629004K

Great for Shims Too
  • JL - October 8, 2012

I hate sanding. I love all the other phases of woodworking but I find sanding very time consuming and not fun. I was looking at this machine since I took a cabinet making class and the shop had a drum sander. It was great to send ganged stock through the sander and get rid of blade marks, planer marks, burns, etc.

This machine does the same thing, but on a bit smaller scale. Once you get used to wrapping the sanding paper on the drum, making adjustments to the unit, etc., it's fun to sand!

Now I rough cut and mill all my rails, stiles, drawer pieces, etc. and just send them through with 120 grit paper on the drum. Out comes the little soldiers all ready for assembly. I no longer have to hand sand each piece or chase them around the bench with my random orbital.

And by using the 16-32 with my DW 735 planer, I get the stock roughly to the thickness I need, then send it through the 16-32 for final prep. What a time saver! I now just finish sand the assemblies before finishing. Love that.

A couple of cautions. First, don't over guide the stock as it feeds under the pressure rollers ahead of the sanding drum. Doing so may cause snipe on the first inch that goes through - especially on long stiles, etc. Try to leave your stock a bit longer than you need before sanding it. Then, if you do get snipe, you can cut that end off. I did find that over handling the stock as it feeds in will increase the chance of snipe - just let the pressure rollers do their job.

Second, slow the belt down to no faster than 50. Even a 64th coming off of wide stock is a lot of material to remove. Slow it down and let the sanding drum slowly sand the stock. Don't push it.

This machine is a luxury that few home or amatuer shops can afford. If you can swing it, get it. Unless you love sanding, and are really good at it, this unit will save you tons of time.

Happy sanding.

1/4/13 Update - Wow! After using this baby for almost a year, I can tell you that I don't know how I did woodworking without it. I now give it 5 stars.

After I resaw thicker boards, and then run them through my thicknessing planer, it's off to the 16-32 drum sander (loaded with 120 grit) to remove the remaining planer chatter. This achieves a perfectly smooth, even and uniform board ready to mill.

It's an awesome time saver and really brings a new level of professionalism to my projects. Don't procrastinate!

11/18/13 Update - I keep finding more things that I can do with this that I couldn't do without it. I screwed up on a dresser project and had to slightly raise a couple web frames to create square openings. I needed to shim the web frames up a bit and needed shims exactly a certain thickness to do it. The shims were way too small to plane safely. I put the little guys (1 inch wide by four inches long) through the 16-32 taking just a tiny bit off at a time and testing the fit until they were perfect. I don't know how I would have done this otherwise. Love this machine!

Mfg defect marred what looked like a good product

I recently purchased this sander to help clean up wood I've re-sawn. First the good. The machine arrived very well packed and in perfect looking condition. There was little assembly required and even then the manual was very easy to follow. It took maybe 15-20 minutes to have the sander up and running. Using the sander was simple and I like the new smart sense feature on the conveyor belt that adjusted the feed rate based on the sander load so that the tool had more time for high spots in the wood. Out of the box I could not detect any visible issue with setup when sanding wide boards, but I hadn't tried going wider than 16" or mic'd the results so I still need to confirm the drum is parallel to the table.

Unfortunately after running the sander for only a short period of time the conveyor belt started to separate. I could read on the back of the belt that it was installed backwards at the factory (it's basically a large sanding belt with a dedicated direction). Rather than return the unit through Amazon (though they offered), I called Jet and spoke to a support person. She worked with me to get the part ordered under warranty at no cost. After some prodding Jet gave me a slight reduction on the expedited overnight shipping charges to I could get the unit back up and running before the holiday weekend when I had a project planned with my daughter. Amazon even gave me a credit for the expedited shipping charges that I was out with Jet. I thought I was golden still for my project, but the part never showed up. It will be weeks before I can get back to my project so I'm disappointed that Jet failed to deliver the part after I had offered to fix their defect for them.

In general I still think this is one of the best sander options on the market, and having the height adjusrment on the sanding drum and not the conveyor belt fixed means that I can use my own support tables to avoid having to pay for the unreasonably expensive outfeed table option. The Grizzly's fixed sanding drum sounded good at first, but then I realized you can't use auxiliary support tables to support long boards since all the adjustments are to the conveyor table height.


I purchased this sander because of a huge remodeling project in our house. The machine worked beautifully. It saved me a tremendous amount of time,was easy to operate and made my project look professional. It did what friends who have this machine said that it would do. I used 140 board feet of premiun cherry in this project. As you know, cherry burns quicklywhen stopped by a table saw blade. So I was warned about taking too much of a bite with this sander. I took small bites and received no burnt cherry, unlike my table saw cuts. I am extremely pleased with this sander.

Broken Spring Clip

This drum sander is built extremely solid. Short stock works fine, however I built a 14 foot out feed table topped with melamine to handle really long stock. I am working with 12-14 foot pieces of rough cut that I planed down to size. Without the out feed table it was next to impossible to manage, however with it, it works like a charm. Because the wood is not kiln dried, I found 80 grit to work best, Anything higher gums up too fast. I am sanding white pine for shiplap to use in my camp.

Update 3/4/19. I hadn’t used this for over a year and went to change the roll and broke my second spring clip. I need to call for replacement tomorrow. After reading some reviews I am going to try using my finger Instead of the tool. Same failure as last time, the pin/river on the small pin breaks. They need a bigger rivet. Unit has very little use.

Later the same day - found a machine bolt that I replaced the broken pin with. I will add some locktite tomorrow and see how it works.

Dream Machine

I read some of the reviews of this sander in which they referred to it being a problem to adjust correctly, and it, like any other precision machine will need to be adjusted to it's correct settings after you put it together. But so far, after running hundreds of small boards through it, (a whole set of kitchen cabinets) I haven't had to adjust the drum at all. The feed belt only needs slight adjustment but you do that mainly with it in motion after the basic tension is in place. In the instructions it says basically to let the outside end of the drum be slightly higher than the motor end so as to not end up with a groove when sanding a wide board. And this works like a dream since generally speaking, every board that you sand will need multiple passes. (at a light setting) So this allows you to start on the "light" end and work your way to the "heavy" end. Of course I'm talking about less than 1/64" difference from one end to the other, but that's a lot when you're sanding. (as someone else said, "this is not a planer")
This sander is powerful, quiet, and solid and it automatically adjust the speed of the feed belt to account for the drag on the motor if you have it set to heavy.
YOU WILL NEED A DUST COLLECTION SYSTEM. A shop vac works but you will be stopping every 5 minutes to clean out the clogged filter. And I would also recommend buying good quality belts. I bought some "cheaper" belts and found, at least with the finer grit, that after not too long, they clog (or fray) and will burn a stripe on the boards. But that's my own fault for trying to be "frugal". (cheap actually) The pre cut belts that come with the sander are far better quality.
I own several JET machines and this one ,like all JETs, did not disappoint.
If you've got a lot of sanding to do and want boards that are perfect, smooth and true this is a great machine for the job. And even though I'm not "rollin in the dough", this was well worth the money.
I highly recommend it.
(and if the JET company wants to pay me to write JET on the roof of my shop, I'd be more than happy to do it because they've made me a believer)


People's Choice

These Are Some Of The Highest Rated 16 Inch Drum Sanders Available Today
Grizzly G1079R featured image

2. Grizzly G1079R Drum Sander

  • (4 Ratings)

The fact is that the Jet 629004K was the 16 Inch Drum Sanders that we ranked at the top. However, there were several other really high quality 16 Inch Drum Sanders worth showcasing here that just barely fell short.

Grizzly is an additional major producer of Sanders. They make the tool next up on our list. Grizzly's Drum Sanders are among their premier tools. It was terrific to test the G1079R. I was very happy with this tool!

This Drum Sander is only $1460.00. That is an exceptional deal for a top quality Sander like the G1079R by Grizzly. If you unsure about our number one selection, I'd consider the Grizzly G1079R next. It's a top quality tool at a good price.

Full Grizzly G1079R Review

Grizzly G1079R Features

We've taken the great features of our best selling G1066 24-Inch Drum Sander and downsized them to create our Model G1079R 16-Inch Drum Sander

The Model G1079R features a high output 2 HP TEFC drum motor capable of turning two 6-Inch drums at 2100 surface feet per minute

A 1/4 HP single-phase motor powers the sander's chain-drive conveyor mechanism