Jet JWDS-1632 Drum Sander

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JWDS 16-32 Drum Sander With Stand Review

Jet 16-32 Drum Sander

Manufacturer: Jet
Model number: 16-32
Price: 1099.00
Power source: Electric 115v - 20 Amp
Motor size: 1-1/2 HP, 1 PH, Direct Drive
Weight: 156 lbs
Years ago when I began my woodworking business I found myself where many of us do, making cutting boards like they’re going out of style. They’re fun, simple, and they sell most importantly. Problem is, they’re time consuming for such small items, and they’re difficult to get dead flat especially when they are end grain. So after a few months of debating, and putting my Festool Rotex 150 through a beating, I invested in a JET 16-32 drum sander.

Setting up the Jet Drum Sander

  • Out of the box the tool went together fairly easily. I would recommend two people to getit into place, as it is considerably heavy. It comes with a metal base and adjustable feet which helped to get it level, but ended up being quite flimsy and the bolt adjustments on the feet come loose quite often.
  • The tool comes with some standard grit paper (80,120, 220) which was nice to be able to use right out of the box. Putting the paper onto the drum is a whole other story. The latches inside the drum are very difficult to get to. The tool comes with a special tool to access the hold downs for the paper, but it barely helps. After owning the tool for 3 years, I just jam my finger down and pull the lever to put the paper in. This is probably my biggest issue with the tool. Makes changing paper more time consuming than it needs to be.
  • Adjusting the belt is fairly simple and self explanatory. It has two bolts for tensioning, and fixed wrenches that stay with the bolts on the machine. Because it is open ended, if you want to replace the belt, it’s simply a matter of loosening the tension and sliding on a new one.

Dust Collection

The tool has a 4” dust port located on the top lid of the drum, because of this it does do a pretty good job at collecting at the source. The only issue I have is that overhead ports make it difficult to keep out of the way in a small shop. You have flex hose laying on the machine or somewhere that will eventually get in the way. I mounted a ring over the machine to the ceiling, and hung my hose through that for an easy fix. Running a cheap HF 1.5 HP dust collector had plenty of power for this machine.

General Thoughts on the Jet Drum Sander

The 16-32 Drum Sander is a nice addition to anyone doing small parts and looking for an easy way to sand/flatten smaller parts. It does save a considerable amount of time for products like end grain cutting boards and small batched parts. I would not recommend this tool to replace a planer or be used for strictly flattening.

Depth Adjustment

The drum depth and depth of cut are very inconsistent, and typically only work well in relevance to the piece you’re using. I have also tried to use the tool to flatten table tops in the 28” – 30” range. I personally had a low success rate here due to the fact the machine comes with no additional support for pieces larger than the 16” drum. You can buy out-feed tables and build custom support tables if you have these intentions, but for my workflow it became more of a hassle than a time saver.

Final Thoughts/ Rating

I would recommend this tool to most anyone running a small shop looking for the added bonus of a fast way for flattening small items. I purchased it hoping to be able to use it for both table tops and small items, and was not impressed. That being said, during cutting board season this machine is a workhorse and is worth the investment. It saves time and produces a better product, just don’t assume it’ll be great for every application you can think of. I would rate it a 3.5 out of 5.

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob Robillard

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