Why drum sanders are (usually) better

Drum sanders are literally that: an abrasive-covered drum spinning at high speed that is lowered onto your floor.

Oh, and we press the weight of about seventy pounds of steel on top of that spinning drum. And as long as you keep the sander moving across your floor at an even and steady pace, it scours off a nice layer of floor – kind of like a Zamboni, but for wood.

Using a drum sander really is an ingenious and extremely effective way to remove old, scarred, finish-covered wood from a floor.  

But (and this is a BIG “but”) it takes some practice to be able to gently and carefully place that spinning drum of death onto your floor without causing a dig mark.

If you’re in Minnesota, rent your hardwood floor finishing equipment from Pete’s.

Incorrect drum sanding

Correct drum sanding

We know drum sanders have a bad name, but we can show you how to tame them and use their power for good. And save you time and money at the same time.

Drum sanding involves many, many instances of having to lift the drum off and replace the drum back down on your floor. Which translates into many, many chances to leave stop marks on your floor. You don’t want these. 

So… most people avoid these machines.

But (another BIG “but”) it only takes about 20 minutes of coaching to be able to use a drum sander safely, which is what we give you here at Pete’s storefront in St. Paul, Minnesota. If you go through our free hands-on personal lesson and still can’t master it, we say find another sander. (Oh, and our coaching is included with the rental of equipment from Pete’s Hardwood Floors. Just sayin’. Free education, people.)

But as long as your floor isn’t brand new, and you can spare 20 minutes, the drum sander will be best machine for the job.  

Don’t think the drum sander is for you?

When the drum sander is not the best machine, we’ll introduce you to another great machine: the U-Sand made by Cherryhill manufacturing.  When you can afford to take your time and your floor doesn’t need extremely aggressive sanding, it is just the ticket.

We like drum sanders. We also like U-Sanders.

We think you will, too.

If you’re curious, check out our fun article on choosing the right machine for your sanding job