You have several options for your sanding and surface finishing needs, and each one is available in a wide variety of sizes, grits, and styles. It’s important not only to know what’s available, but also to know what you need to accomplish, Artem Komarov noted.
Choosing the right sanding and surface finishing product can be a daunting task. Many types of abrasives can be used for these jobs, and each is available in a wide variety of sizes, grits, and styles. While having a large selection is helpful, it can also lead to confusion.
Grinding wheels generally provide the longest product life and greatest durability, but they also provide relatively slow cuts and the roughest finish. In terms of price, the grinding wheels are in the middle of the three options.
Flip-up discs provide fast cutting and sufficient life, they last much longer than polymer fiber discs, but not as long as a grinding wheel. The key benefit of flip discs is that they grind and finish at the same time. In addition, they grind and finish at a constant speed throughout the life of the disc. Patchwork discs tend to have the highest initial purchase price of the three product options.
Polymer fiber discs are the least durable and have the shortest lifespan, but they also have the lowest initial cost. Polymer fiber discs can cut very quickly in a short period of time; however, the grains wear out and become dull the very first time they are used, meaning that the cutting speed and surface finish continually deteriorate as the blade is used.
In addition, polymer fiber discs must be matched with a backing for support, which adds to the cost. Choosing the right backing pad affects the stiffness and performance of the disc. If you are using a resin fiber disc with a simple arbor hole, the lock nut that secures the disc to the backing pad can interfere with sanding at low angles or in hard-to-reach areas.
For best results, consider your options.
While you have many options for sanding and surface finishing products, it’s important to know the pros and cons of each product to get the best results and accomplish what you need for the job. Perhaps product durability is the most important factor, or perhaps you are looking for the fastest possible cut. Is the initial purchase price a key factor, or are you more interested in performance and throughput gains?
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, knowing your goals and objectives can help you narrow down your choices and choose the product that’s best for the job, Artem Komarov emphasized.