Drum Sander vs Planer – Which Should You Choose?

Last Updated on October 26, 2021

If you ever thought about starting up your own woodshop, you know that you need a machine to reduce the thickness of boards. And those machines happen to be a drum sander and a planer.

So, it raises the questions; Drum sander VS Planer, which one should I get? Throughout this guide, we’ll discuss the main differences between these two machines so that you can safely spend your money.

What Is a Drum Sander?

A drum sander is a woodworking tool that allows you to flatten your wood. For example, a drum sander machine has sandpaper wrapped around it to shape carefully wood.


So, the wood goes through the machine, and then the drum sander machine smooths it all out without severely damaging the wood in the process.

A drum sander is also an excellent tool if you’re dealing with assembled wood, such as cabinet doors. The process takes time, but you get accurate results with a drum sander.

  • Accurate results
  • Perfect for flattening glue-ups
  • Can handle large timber
  • Ease of use
  • Smooth surface
  • Takes up lots of space

What Is a Planer?

Now, let’s talk about planer. A planer is a machine that allows you to mill wood and reduce the thickness of your board. Thus, you can either use it to flatten surfaces and remove any stock it finds on its way.

The wood on this machine also goes through the board as the rollers hit the wood to flatten it.

working- with-planer

Planer machines are incredibly powerful. And because of that, most planer machines make absurdly high noises. So, you must wear ear protection if you plan on getting one.

  • Powerful machine
  • Great for flattening
  • Excellent precision
  • Perfect for small places
  • Cheaper than a drum sander
  • Incredibly noisy

Related: Which Is The Best Planer For You?

Drum Sander vs Planer: Factors to Consider

We have both a drum sander and a planer. And after using both for several years, we’ve acquired enough knowledge to point the biggest downfalls and benefits that both machines have.

So, here are some factors to consider when choosing between these two woodworking machines:


If you’re getting started, you might not be able to afford both machines right away. So you might want to get one.

Both machines are somewhat expensive. But luckily for us, there are plenty of other brands out there that you can choose from if you want an excellent woodworking machine but don’t want to spend too much money.

You can find on Amazon planer machines for about $340-$450. And in some cases, you can find smaller versions for roughly $70.

As for drum sander machines, they are more expensive than planer machines. For example, you can find drum sanders on Amazon for about $1.000. The cheapest drum sander we have come across costs about $900.


One of the main things to consider when choosing between these two is convenience. For example, if you’re in a small room, you don’t want to get a bulky and large machine.

You wouldn’t be able to fit anything in there anymore. If you’re in a similar situation, you should get a planer machine as planer machines are generally smaller than drum sander machines.

Nonetheless, you should measure your room and consider looking up the size of the machine you want to buy.


Both machines are pretty accurate, and they won’t disappoint you with their final result.

As far as precision goes, planer machines are incredibly powerful if you want to reduce the thickness of your wood in a short period.

However, drum sander machines take a little bit more time, but they provide high-accuracy results.

Ease of use

Planers have an easier time dealing with wood in one go, unlike drummer sanders. They will also do all the hard and tedious tasks you throw at it. And it will perform incredibly well.

But if you want to flatten glue-ups, you will have an easier time using a drum sander.


Just like we’ve learned before, both machines have their ups and downs. For example, if you plan on dealing with tons of end grain cutting boards, you should stick to the planer as it will be better.

On the other hand, you got drum sanders. These are much slower when compared to planers. However, drum sanders work best when you’re dealing with long and end grain cutting boards.

While the extensive capacity that the drum sander provides might seem appealing for most people, some folks don’t agree. Some folks claim that they would instead stick to a planer as they perform better.

Related: Different Types of Sander

Conclusion – Which One to Go For?

Drum sander VS Planer,both machines are appealing, but if you’re on a budget, it’s best to get one first.

For instance, if you’re all about speed and can’t afford to lose any time, you should get a planer as it will make things a lot easier.

The biggest drawback you get from using a planer is that you can’t fit in considerably large wood. On the other hand, you got the drum sander, which is perfect for wide timber.

And some people find learning how to use a drum sander easier. Though, the biggest drawback of using a drum sander is that it is not nearly as fast as the planer.