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Old Jun 17th, 06, 12:53 PM
MARTINSR MARTINSR is offline
 
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Talking So, just how important is using quality sandpaper?

So just how important is it to use quality sand paper?

Yesterday I sanded a little clothes dresser down for my daughter. I used a roll of poor quality 100 grit da discs that I had been “saving” for such a project. I sanded and sanded and sanded, using the whole roll of discs on this little dresser. I knew I was using more than I would with better paper but though, “What the heck, I’ll finally get rid of it”. Well, I didn’t realize how much time and paper I was wasting until I ran out and switched to a quality paper. I even went to a finer 180 grit and even then, it cut MUCH faster and cleaner than the poor quality 100, maybe three or four to one!

I have experienced this before over the years but have forgotten just how bad it is to use poor quality sand paper. It doesn’t save you a single dime, it costs you time, and it can cost you quality of your end product.

I am not talking brand names here, no product bashing or selling for some multi million dollar company, just plain quality. I wanted to write this without so much as mentioning a name, but I have to. I have to set a standard to judge the others. With soooooo many different brands of paper available, in all colors of the rainbow, we need a standard. I chose the biggest name in the business hands down, 3M. And although 3M makes some of the best paper, it also makes some of the worse. So 3M “Purple” will be one of our standards. Believe it or not, 3M even has the Purple color trademarked! I am sure there are people who will say this isn’t the best paper out there, I certainly can’t argue with that being I haven’t tried all the brands available. But I don’t think there are many that could argue that it isn’t one of the best. The other example I will give is Meguires color sanding paper. Again, it costs more than twice as much as 3M and many times more than some other brands but in my experience it is second to none.

If nothing else, at least with these two standards you can find out if what you are using makes the grade. It doesn’t have to be as good, but is the money you are spending getting you something at least close. There are many brands out there that do, they get very close in fact. So at the very least, get a few sheets of these papers and do a head to head comparison with what you are using now, at least you will know if you are getting your moneys worth.

So, does it really make that big of a difference, you bet your bippy it does.

First and foremost, like any good tool quality sandpaper and grinding discs do the work for you. This is hard work, back breaking work, why not make it as easy as you can on yourself?

Quality sandpaper CUTS. It CUTS plastic filler FLAT, it CUTS old paint off with less effort and heat. Quality grinding discs CUTS metal with less effort and less heat.

Quality sandpaper and grinding discs CUT what you are focusing on. A run in clear for instance, quality paper will cut JUST the run much easier. With poor quality paper you work harder at “rubbing” on the run and end up cutting surrounding areas thin or even THRU, before you CUT the run. Cutting plastic filler is the same idea. If you have a little high spot, you CUT the high spot down instead of surrounding areas that are not high.

Grinding discs, they CUT the weld down flat for instance without heating and thinning the surrounding metal. I have some “off brand” that I use at work that cut SOOOOOO much better than the big boys it isn’t even funny. Again, “quality” isn’t always expensive. These discs aren’t that cheap, but they are MUCH better than others we use for different purposes. They will CUT welds down on big jobs MUCH better and last MANY times longer. They are stiffer and so aggressive they aren’t a replacement for all discs though.

Get a couple of different brands and give them a head to head test. I am NOT saying you need to buy the ones I have given as a “standard” not by a long shot. At the shop where I work, we don’t use the Purple paper, it is pretty expensive and the boss doesn’t see the need. You may, but it is very expensive. Just know what you are using is the best you can get for YOUR money.

The “retail” packs with ten or fifteen sheets in them are in my experience always a LOSER. They are HORRIBLE quality and the worse part, they often cost MORE than the quality paper per sheet or disc! If you see no name on the back, holy cow, you are working with JUNK. You are working your butt off if you are using stuff from a retail pack with no name on the back.

Buy the rolls of quality discs, you know you will be using them in the future, so get the darn roll. I now it costs a lot, but it is WELL worth it.

In the long run, quality paper saves you money and time.

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