Tips for Choosing the Right Sanding Belt

Tips for Choosing the Right Sanding Belt

If you’ve ever tried buying a sanding belt, then there is a good chance you’ve been surprised at just how many options are out there. It’s important to get the right sanding belt for the kind of work you’re doing. This way, you’ll avoid damaging the material you’re working on. If you’re using a handheld sander, you will need narrow sanding belts, while the wider sanding belts are designed for larger sanders, like floor sanders. If you’re in the market for a sanding belt, these tips will help you choose the best one.

Consider the Grit

Sanding belts come in a variety of adhesive grits, and each grit is appropriate for a different kind of job. Aluminum oxide belts are easy to recognize, thanks to their reddish-brown color. They are also the most popular kind of belt available. They are ideal for general use, because they are affordable, long-lasting, and can be used on wood and metal. Zirconia aluminum belts, which are typically blue, are about five times stronger than aluminum oxide belts, so they are recommended for use in high-pressure sanders. They are also self-sharpening, so they have a long lifespan. Ceramic grit belts are also self-sharpening, and they have the longest life of all types of belts. Ceramic grit belts do not generate a lot of heat during the grinding process, so they are recommended for work on heat-sensitive jobs.

Find the Right Size

The narrow sanding belt you choose has to fit your sander just right. If you have a belt already, you can simply measure what you have. If you plan to continue using your existing belt, gently remove it and fold it half, then measure it and double the result; as explained further here. This allows you to get the measurement without damaging the belt. If you don’t have a belt, use a piece of string to mimic a belt. Put the string in the sander as you would a belt, then measure it. The result tells you the size you should get.

Sparky Abrasives is pleased to offer a large variety of surface conditioning, file, narrow sanding belts. Our knowledgeable team can walk you through choosing a belt, or you can shop directly on our website. We ship nationwide. Learn more by calling us at 1-800-328-4560.