Renting a Drum Sander: What to Expect

A sander.

A drum sander is the proper tool to tackle the cleaning and refinishing of your hardwood floors. It removes all finishes like paint, stain, or wax. The drum sander is powerful enough to level the floor even if there are deep scratches. There are some things you should consider and know before renting a floor drum sander.

Heavy Duty

The floor drum sander is a powerful tool that will get the job done. Consider that you will definitely need help transporting the rented sander from the tool center home. Although the tool center employees will help get it into your truck, SUV or another appropriate vehicle, you will need help at the other end to get it out.

If you plan to sand floors on the second story of the home, plan on needing help to carry the machine up the stairs. And speaking of heavy, be prepared for some sore muscles after operating the machine all day long. The actual technique is quite laborious and tedious.


You will need ear protection while operating the floor drum sander. These machines are quite loud and employing earplugs is not only a good idea but should be part of your safety gear along with protective eye goggles and a breathing mask. When renting a floor drum sander, inquire from the tool center about the availability of disposable breathing masks. Many times the rental center will supply breathing masks as a courtesy. However, earplugs and goggles are up to you.


Pick up the necessary sandpaper at the tool rental center instead of buying it at your local retail outlet. Although it may be more expensive per sheet at the rental center, most floor drum sander rentals will include sandpaper that can be returned and credited if unused. Take the advice of the professionals at the tool rental outlet when they select a proper combination of various grits for you to use that will do the job you describe when renting the equipment. You will need to replace and change sandpapers often during the course of the floor sanding task. Make sure you ask the tool rental professionals for a quick course of instruction about changing paper.

Depending upon the model you rent, you may or may not need a wrench to release any paper holding clamps. If a clamp wrench or other tightening/loosening tool does not accompany the rented machine, you need to obtain one because you will use it often throughout the sanding task.

Need Additional Help

Although the drum sander will do 90% of your floor sanding chore, you cannot get close to the wall edges so you will need an additional sanding machine – an edger. The technique employed using the drum sander will create a lane against each wall and near any door opening. Sanding the floor in these areas will either need to be done by hand or using an edge sander or other handheld power sander to finish the job where the big drum sander cannot reach.