If I mount something like one of these:

sanding drum kit

in a router in a router table, have I just created a spindle sander, or are there other differences in how they work? If you've already got a router, what would be the benefit of getting an actual spindle sander vs a kit like this?

  • Additionally, couldn't this be done, if speed is the only deterrent, to simply use a rheostat to control the router speed? Reduce it to even lower RPMs?
    – user24371
    Aug 9, 2014 at 11:04
  • Glad I read this and saw the safety warnings as I was thinking it would be straight forward to do the same.
    – user76253
    Oct 5, 2017 at 18:59
  • A rheostat would reduce voltage to the tool, which could result in motor damage.
    – isherwood
    Oct 5, 2017 at 19:04

2 Answers 2


A typical spindle sander rotates at between 100 and 2,000 RPM, where a router is much faster 8,000 to 35,000 RPM. So I would say this is probably not the best idea, and could lead to damage to the equipment, injury, and death.

  • +100. EXACTLY. Spin a sanding drum in a router, and it will fly apart. This is as dangerous a thing as I can imagine. These sanding drums are simply not balanced to the point where you can sin them that fast! And on top of the danger, at router speeds it will overheat terribly, burning your surface.
    – user558
    Jul 28, 2012 at 15:39
  • 1
    I figured there was probably a reason--not dying seems like a fairly good one.
    – Brad Mace
    Jul 28, 2012 at 16:03

The warning about excessive RPM is good but ignores the existence of variable speed routers. Even with a VSR, there are at least two differences.

  1. Torque of a VSR may not be as strong as a spindle sander. This matters more if the sanding drum has a larger radius.

  2. Whether there is an up and down stroke which helps make the sanding pattern more uniform.

The spindle sander may also have dust removal features.

  • The shanks of router bits are manufactured to specific sizes in order to be held securely in the router collet. Speed control or not, it would be unwise to use any tool in a router that isn't specifically intended to be used that way.
    – JayL
    Jul 29, 2012 at 3:08
  • 3
    Looking quickly at some specs for variable speed routers, the slowest one I saw had a minimum 7,000 RPM.
    – gregmac
    Aug 3, 2012 at 18:10

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