Comparing Sanding Discs

orbital sander

There are any number of brands when it comes to sanding discs, and this can reflect the price, as well as the grit grade and grain quality of the discs themselves. You will want to find the best grit paper for the job, and one that holds tight to your sander as well. Many of these come in a manual style that needs to be glued or an adhesive style which could also effect the price. You can buy the discs cut to fit your sander or get sandpaper in a roll. Standard sandpaper rolls can be cut and glued to your sanding wheel before use. They will range from a fine grit to a course grit.

Grit and Grade Types

There are 36-grit and greater sanding discs. You will want to select one that works best for the job at hand. The heavier the grit the more it is going to remove from the piece you are working. A thicker grit pad will eat away your work faster as you apply pressure compared to a fine grit disc. The best way to choose the right grit is to follow sanding basics. You will want a fine grit for touch ups and thicker grit for rough cuts. It is a problem switching discs in and out on your side table disc sander, as you will throw away a lot of discs since they are not reusable. On a side-mounted disc sander, as the ones build in on a vertical mount on the side of new belt sander models, you will want to install a mid-grain pad so that it can be used on a variety of projects without having to be changed.

Adhesive and Manual Mounted Discs

assortment of sanding discs

There are sanding discs that have a simple peel off adhesive strip, and those that you have to glue to the rubber glue pad on the sander spindle. The two types have their benefits and downfalls. The adhesive type pads seem to make the changing of sanding discs easier, but they may come loose or rip if not given the proper amount of time to bind before use. On manual glued types of sanding discs, if you apply too much glue they will not stick properly and bend or warp from the moisture that's applied to them. You can add glue to a self adhesive type sanding disc if you want to add the extra bond. It is good in either case to let it set and dry for about 10 to 15 minutes before using them to avoid causing problems.

Types of Sanding Paper

There are several brands of sanding disc brands, such as 3M and Norton, to name a few. They offer a wide range of sanding discs that vary in grit grade and cut to specific diameters to fit your sander. Sander wheels come in many different sizes, from large spinning wheels to smaller compact ones. The pads or sanding discs themselves can also be purchased in a square strip and then glued onto the sander spindle to dry and then trimmed with a sharp blade. You can easily cut the sandpaper into a square the size of your spinning wheel and then affix it with glue. Once it is dried, simply cut the excess away with a utility knife to fit.