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Forum topic by Brian Shourd posted 10-18-2011 06:10 AM 6097 views 1 time favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brian Shourd

106 posts in 2016 days

10-18-2011 06:10 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sanding question

I recently made the mistake of buying some sandpaper that I saw on sale at the local big box store. It was amazingly cheap, and I figured – how bad can it be?

Really bad, as it turns out. I would have been better off buying sand and just throwing it at my projects.

So I’ve turned to you. What brands of sandpaper do you use? It seems the local stores mostly carry just 3m stuff and really cheap stuff. The 3m stuff is great, but it is outrageously expensive. I don’t mind buying some in bulk online (I sure use enough of it), so I’m looking for a quality brand that won’t break the bank. Suggestions?

Oh, and if it makes a difference, this isn’t for a power sander of any kind. Just the normal hand-sanding stuff.

-- Brian

23 replies so far

View TheKingInYellow's profile


233 posts in 2953 days

#1 posted 10-18-2011 06:29 AM

Norton 3x in sheets, and I switched to Abranet discs for my ROS. No complaints with either.

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

View ksSlim's profile


1203 posts in 2313 days

#2 posted 10-18-2011 06:35 AM

Abranet for ROS, 3M or norton for sheet stock. If you want to save a$ or 2,

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2858 days

#3 posted 10-18-2011 07:25 AM

Mirka and Abranet, very good quality products.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View tom427cid's profile


294 posts in 1894 days

#4 posted 10-18-2011 07:59 AM

Been a while since I bought any sand paper but I have learned the hard way to stay away from off brands.For sheet paper I use Norton garnet and the important thing to watch is paper weight. 80D for example has a heavier paper than 100C. Anything beyond 150 I generally use 3M wet/dry 220,320,400,600,1000,1500,and 2000.The last three are more for sharpening than anything else.For the ROS I use Porter Cable adhesive back 5” disc 150 and 220.Also my primary ROS is air powered.I like it because the speed is very easy to control. And that’s pretty much it.

-- "certified sawdust maker"

View brtech's profile (online now)


884 posts in 2346 days

#5 posted 10-18-2011 03:26 PM

FWW just did a piece on sanding disks for ROS. That’s not what you are asking about, but I suspect most of what they tested applies to sheets.

The bottom line is that the Norton 3X removes the most material the fastest (the author sanded for some measured time and actually measured how much weight difference there was on the work piece), and was one of two Best Overall. The value leader was Klingspor VD900, which did everything well, and was cheap to boot.

Abranet did pretty well, not as well as the Norton, but was very expensive.

View Brian Shourd's profile

Brian Shourd

106 posts in 2016 days

#6 posted 10-18-2011 04:48 PM

Thanks everyone, that’s great advice.

I’d never seen the Abranet stuff before – that’s pretty cool. I’ll definitely have to check this out. It seems so far like there are a lot of votes for the Norton too, so I’ll pick up some of that as well.

This is yet another tick on my growing list of reasons that I should be subscribing to FWW.

-- Brian

View Jeff in Huntersville's profile

Jeff in Huntersville

404 posts in 2618 days

#7 posted 10-18-2011 05:04 PM

I use Norton 3X for both hand and ROS sanding. For me the key is that it lasts longer.

View Rickret's profile


3 posts in 2651 days

#8 posted 10-18-2011 06:28 PM

Try this web site. Have purchased from them and have no complants. Beats running around all h@#$ and back they seem to have everything for your sanding needs.

-- Rick, Oceanside, Ca

View Jeff in Huntersville's profile

Jeff in Huntersville

404 posts in 2618 days

#9 posted 10-18-2011 06:42 PM

Interesting. Only an hour after posting my like of Norton 3X I get an e-mail from Lee Valley telling me they’re having a sale on it. The conspiracy theorist in me says Hmmmmmm.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2274 days

#10 posted 10-18-2011 06:45 PM

Good to have the data, brtech; everything else is so anecdotal and unscientific.

In the end, it’s a balance of price and quality.

3M almost always is top of the heap for cost, but their stuff is highest quality as well. In every case with their various products, I mutter when I pay and then am pleased when I use.

For me, the balance has been Carborundum sheet products (psa as well as dry). Your mileage may vary.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2655 days

#11 posted 10-18-2011 07:05 PM

I am fairly well known for keeping costs down where I can, or where it makes sense to me. I have tried other abrasive brands, and apart from Norton, and 3M, I haven’t found any I am happy with… I just pony up for the stuff that doesn’t tick me off when I try to use it and be happy with it…

Now where’s my email about that sale on Norton? I need some belts…

I should mention, I use 3M almost exclusively for sheet sandpaper, for my spindles I am still on the OEM Ridgid and not sure about where to get new sleeves for those… But belts and disks I have almost exclusively used Norton, with very good results…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View Ripthorn's profile


1402 posts in 2408 days

#12 posted 10-18-2011 07:12 PM

I really like Mirka papers, but recently have been using 3M Fre-Cut gold. I did pick up a couple bulk packs of Norton 3x and like that a lot too. I have purchased from onlineindustrialsupply and have been very happy there, great cost-performance combo.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 2433 days

#13 posted 10-18-2011 07:21 PM

+1 on onlineindustrialsupply’s USA1 abrasives. For $15 or less per box of 50 discs, you can’t beat the price, and the performance is quite good as well. Many of the guys on another WW forum swear by them, and those guys know what they’re talking about, which is what prompted me to try them.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View gfadvm's profile


14932 posts in 2113 days

#14 posted 10-19-2011 04:19 AM

Brian , Get the Norton 3x (not the regular Norton). More expensive but works MUCH better and lasts MUCH longer.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View CharlesNeil's profile


1602 posts in 3294 days

#15 posted 10-19-2011 04:23 AM and you will never look back,,, I promise,, get the white line,,

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