Sandpaper Tips
Helping You Save Money!

All sandpaper is the same, Right?
Not exactly. There are two grades on the market - Hobby (commercial) and Industrial. The hobby grade is commonly available at hardware stores and home centers. The industrial grade is available only through industrial supply stores. Industrial grade uses higher quality materials and last a lot longer. Production lines use it because of the longevity and closer tolerances.

What is grit?

"Grit" is the number of abrasive particles per inch. Low grit means rough. Higher grit means smooth. You can imagine how small the particles are on 800-grit to fit into a 1" square.

What grit should I use?

The grit you use depends on what you are trying to do.

The Klingspor's Heavy E-weight with Aluminum Oxide has the following as a guide:

Grit Name Uses
60-100 Medium Smoothing the surface, removing imperfections.
120-180 Fine Final sanding before finishing the wood.
220-320 Very Fine Sanding between coats of sealer.
320-400 Extra Fine Removing marks between finish coats
400 Super Fine Fine sanding of the finish.

So what’s the difference between Hobby and Industrial grades?

There are three main components: the abrasive grit, the backing material, and the bonding agents. Industrial grade uses higher quality components and tighter manufacturing tolerances.

Abrasive Grit – Industrial grade use abrasive grit material that is stronger and less likely to break down or wear out. Higher quality grits give greater consistency.

Backing Material – Industrial grade offer higher grades of backing material. Hobby grades tend to use kraft paper or low-grade fabric.

Bonding Agent – The bonding agent is the glue that attaches the abrasive to the paper’s backing. Industrial grades use higher-grade bonding agents. Lower grades often use hide glue, which does not hold up well with heat or moisture.

What are the different types of sandpaper?

There are three main types used in woodworking; Aluminum Oxide, Garnet, and Silicon Carbide. Normally woodworkers use Aluminum Oxide and/or Garnet. Most Industrial grades use Aluminum Oxide. It does not clog up like Garnet. Garnet wears out quickly, and cost more in the end.

Where to Buy Industrial Grade at a reasonable price?
You can get the quality of Industrial grade at prices comparable to the lower grade. It last a lot longer and gives you a better finish. Why not try some?

Here is a link to Klingspor's website

When Can I stop Sanding?

In most cases, you can stop sanding at 120 or 150-grit when using Klingspor's Heavyweight sandpaper. You may have to go higher when using the lower grade, up to 220-grit. Water-based stain tends to magnify a scratch. That is why I do NOT use water-based products.

Sanding quality hardwood, like maple, oak or cherry, with 320-grit or higher sandpaper tends to seal the grain and prevent penetration of the stain. Plus, it takes a lot more effort.

Sandpaper Tips:

Most Sanding blocks do not hold the sandpaper tight. This causes easy tears in the paper.

Woodworking Sanding Block

You should consider two other choices. I like the Sand Devil and the Preppin' Weapon.

Woodworking Sanding Block Sand Devil w/ Clever Lever

This ingenious sanding block turns a long lasting 3" x 21" sanding belt into the best hand sander you ever tried! Gives 25 times the life of regular paper. Sand as fast as a machine, but with better control. Holds the belt taut and flat without wrinkling. Flat, curved, and wedge-shaped sections, handle many profiles. Best yet it's "Clever Lever" design lets you change belts fast. Made of durable thermo-plastic. Comes with 80 grit belt. USA

Woodworking Sanding Block Preppin’ Weapon

Birthed in the auto body industry, this excellent hand-sanding block is made from high impact ABS plastic (it won’t break if you drop it). It’s comfortable contoured shape fits the hand extremely well, and it has great heft. The superb design of its all stainless steel clip mechanism is one of the fastest and easiest to use.

It requires little sandpaper to attach (cutting waste). You can load multiple sheets at a time, and it won’t ever rust. Use wet/dry paper a lot? The block floats in a bucket of water, allowing built-up particles to float away. Colored blocks make it easy to assign different blocks to each grit. Works with 1/4 sheet sandpaper or 2-3/4" wide file paper. USA


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