The JET 628900 Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander is a well-made, compact machine made specifically to allow for powerful, variable rate sanding without taking up a great deal of shop floor space. The user-friendly unit is capable of handling heavy workloads, but is perhaps most suitable for hobbyists and small businesses interested in taking their sanding work to the next level.
You can sand boards up to 3 inches thick and 20 inches wide using the simple two pass method of flipping the board after one pass of 10 inches worth of sanding. The infinitely variable speed control allows the user to decide what feed rate they want, from 0 to 12 feet per minute, and the cast-iron handweel adjusts height at 1/16 inch per turn for precise control of sanding thickness and stock removal, and you can adjust the drum height and downward pressure.
JET has developed a patented conveyer belt ‘tracker’ that makes manual belt adjustments rare, and there’s a reinforced steel no-give conveyer bed to keep your project smooth and consistently sanded. The on/off switch with overload protection is right within easy reach at the front of the unit and the user friendly take-up fasteners, patented and exclusive to JET/Performax, makes for quick changing. It also comes with an optional work stand.
The Amazon reviews for the JET 628900 Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander highlight tracking issues and some very frustrated users before 2010, but recent reviews have been four and five star reviews from people who were hesitant to buy based on reviews but had to weigh in to say they’ve had no problems, and they’re glad they made the decision to purchase. From 38 reviews, the average is 3 1/2 stars.
The first review of this item on Amazon was June 2004 and it was 2 star. The reviewer said it sanded quite well, the sanding belt was easy to change, and the overload protection worked flawlessly, but the belt would not track properly. After two replacements from Performax, a return to the shop for repair, there was no improvement on the tracking. A user called J. Kahana says,
” I’m VERY disappointed here- after years of hearing how great Jet and Performax are (they’re all owned by WMH tool group), I thought I’d have no problems. Oh well- maybe it doesn’t pay to go with the name….I realize that this unit is made in the far east, but I’d hope that Performax wouldn’t put it’s good name and valuable reputation on such a piece of junk!”
Throughout 2005, the reviews are either 4-5 or 1-2, depending on if the reviewer’s machine experienced a tracking problem. One reviewer in 2005 gave it 3 stars citing his frustration with the drum motor thermal cutoff,
“extremely sensitive to even the slightest overload.”
He also mentions belt tracking and snipe, but felt that had he installed the optional table extensions, these might help matters. He does end the review saying the results are well worth the effort.
Three of four reviews from 2011 have given it five stars. The most recent review from August 2011 give it a 4 star,
“Nearly perfect, wrong operating manual”
“before buying one you need to be sure you know how to run it and adjust it.”