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Thread: What drum sander should i get

  1. #1

    What drum sander should i get

    Im looking at the Powermatic PM2244 and the Supermax 72550 drum sanders. I have everything Powermatic (except my Sawstop tablesaw) so that is why I like it. When I am at a store looking, they show the Supermax even if i ask about the Powermatic. What you guys think? Thanks everyone.
    Two T's Woodshop

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Center Valley, PA USA
    Posts
    61
    I have never used the Powermatic. I have the SuperMax 2x25 double drum sander.

    I love having the two drums running two different grits. And you can move the rear drum out of the way if/when needed.

  3. #3
    I've never had the opportunity to play with a Powermatic. I run a Supermax 16/32 that I purchased in May 2018 and I really like it.

  4. #4
    Hi - I have a PM2244 and have been unhappy with it - it keeps throwing the sanding belt. I'd contacted Powermatic and based on my serial number they said that they had some of the drums with bad clips. They sent a new one at no charge. The new one is better, but not perfect. I've watched a lot of videos on how to install the belt (tightness, spacing between the loops and doing a bit of sanding and then retightening). I've used small increments when sanding and even on clear southern pine or maple find the belt seeming to "catch" and then coming off or splitting which makes a hash out of the surface. I'd considered the Supermax but went with PM. In making your decision - look carefully at both on how the paper attaches and ask about user experience with keeping the paper on the drum. Hopefully you will get some feedback here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    124
    I've never had a PM, but my SuperMax 19-38 is easy to change the sanding strip. It takes about a minute or less now that I'm used to it, and took up to 5 minutes when I first got it. I occasionally have to tighten up the right hand (spring loaded) clip after a new strip has been on for a little while, if I'm running the drum really low, like 1/16" or so. This tightening take just a few seconds once the drum stops spinning, I just open the lid, squeeze the clamp while pushing the strip in, let go and close the lid. I have never had it lose a strip while running. Of course the bigger model may work differently, don't know.
    Zach

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Posts
    80
    Terry, have you considered the woodmaster? I have the 38 double drum and love it. I run two different grits, and the drums are capable of independent movement to use just one of the grits at a time.
    Cheers
    Sean

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,346
    I had a couple different drum Sanders including a grizzly dual drum

    I much prefer the wide belts. Even the smaller 13” widebelts I liked better than drums. Now have a 15” widebelt (after having a 25”) and like it.

    Maybe your budget allows you to consider a belt...?

  8. #8
    I have the Performax 22/44, which seems very similar to the Supermax you mentioned. And I like the looks of the larger Supermax dual drum sander.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Posts
    1,372
    Quote Originally Posted by sean meltvedt View Post
    Terry, have you considered the woodmaster? I have the 38 double drum and love it. I run two different grits, and the drums are capable of independent movement to use just one of the grits at a time.
    Cheers
    Sean
    I have had a Performax 16/32 and a 38'' woodmaster.

    Hands down the woodmaster is a beast of a unit and is the way to go.
    Richard Poitras
    Central, Michigan....
    01-02-2006


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Starch View Post
    Im looking at the Powermatic PM2244 and the Supermax 72550 drum sanders. I have everything Powermatic (except my Sawstop tablesaw) so that is why I like it. When I am at a store looking, they show the Supermax even if i ask about the Powermatic. What you guys think? Thanks everyone.
    When I bought my Supermax 2550, it was down to either that or the PM2244. What sold me on the 2550 was the electronic controller on the PM. PM says they can supply replacement parts on their machines for 10 years after manufacturing. The PM2244 is a sidelight for Powermatic, seemingly; I don't know how it's doing, they've discontinued perfectly good machines before, think about the PM720 mortiser. What happens after 10 years, you've got a giant paperweight if the controller fails.

    The Supermax 2550 OTOH is (mostly) mechanical, and drum sanders is their primary thing, and methinks should be supported for a long time. Same with the Nova Voyager DP, that's all those guys do, (turn your head sideways.) The PM competitor DP, who the heck knows, and by many accounts it's flaky to begin with.

    Anyway, I love my 2550, it is one sweet machine, fit and finish is _way_ good, better than my PM stuff. If you get the 2550, get the _folding_ infeed/outfeed tables as well, they rock, such a steal for barely over a hundred. They make it portable, it takes up less space than I thought it would.
    Last edited by Doug Dawson; 01-12-2019 at 6:44 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    4,702
    There’s probabaly a reason why you never hear Powermatic mentioned in drum sander threads. And hopefully matching colors isn’t really that important, unless you’re more of a tool collector/wood shop show off than a woodworker.

    My $.02 is that open end sanders flex too much. I’ll be getting a closed end sander next one.

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