SCUFF PADS AND SANDPAPER
In this article, you will learn about the differences between scuff pads and sandpaper, and which one is the best to use for your project.
Scuff pads are a nonwoven material that is synthetic. They are a type of surface conditioning product that is great for polishing and finishing a surface for a variety of reasons. Scuff pads help to stop overheating and clogging from debris due to this sort of webbing material on the scuff pads surface. If you are working on a project that requires water, it is good to know that scuff pads can be used with water. As you use a scuff pad, not only will it polish your project, but it will also make it resist from tarnishing. Along with scuff pads, there are many different products that are also surface conditioning: flap discs, hand pads, hook and loop discs, quick change discs, belts, etc.
Flap Discs are also made from a non woven material, however it is cohered to a backing. It forms a disc when the flaps of the flap disc are overlapped on one another. These flap discs will give you a faster polish on your surface because of the overlapping flaps. It is also beneficial because the flap discs will last a long time instead of switching out to a new one.
Hand Pads, like flap discs, are also made with an abrasive and non woven material and are good for cleaning and polishing surfaces! Hand pads are great because you do not have to use a liquid substance with it. Not only does it polish and clean, it can also remove unwanted rust from your project. These can be compared to wire brushes, because you do not need a tool to use this with – just your hands!
Quick Change Discs come in 2 inches or 3 inches which can be very helpful to you if there are tight spaces and corners you need to get to. To use a quick change disc, you need a tool called a die grinder.
Surface Conditioning Belts are also great for polishing and finishing . It is recommended that you use a coarse finish at the beginning and move down to the finer grits to get the best possible finish.
Scuff pads come in different colors, and each of those colors have a different coarseness and grits. The Ultra Fine scuff pad is a gray color. These gray pads are a silicon carbide grain and the grit number is from 800 - 1000. They are great for cleaning with a very moderate solution and for finishing: they can also be reused after rinsing. The Very Fine scuff pad is a maroon color and it is an aluminum oxide grain ranging between 360 to 400 grit. You can use this scuff pad with most solutions for cleaning and polishing. Coarse scuff pads are a brown color and are also an aluminum oxide grain, but these ones are 120 grit. These scuff pads are good for heavier duty surfaces such as aluminum or stainless steel – good for removing surface matter.
Sandpaper comes in different grains, grits, and sizes as well. They can be used for many projects such as drywall, floors, furniture, and much more. The different grains that sandpaper comes in are aluminum oxide, zirconia, silicon carbide, and ceramic – these are synthetic abrasives grains. Aluminum oxide is possibly the most common grain, has a brown color, is tough and durable, and affordable. Zirconia (or alumina-zirconia) is a sharp green colored grain that is great at removing coarse removal of metals or woods. Ceramic can be compared to aluminum oxide, yet it can be a lot tougher. Silicon carbide is a black sharp grain that is best for heavy duty removal; for example, cutting metal, brass, stainless steel, and titanium.
Along with materials and grains, there also comes grit sizes. Grit sizes essentially give you the coarseness level, so you can pick the best sandpaper without messing up and damaging your project. Grit levels range from low to high – low being the most coarse and as you get higher, the grit becomes more fine. For example, a grit size that is 24 or 36 is going to be very coarse and is great for removing stock. A grit size that is in the middle like 100 grit, is going to be a medium coarseness and is good for smoothing sharper edges, and final touches. A grit size that is very high such as 320 or 400 is going to be extra fine which will be best for finishing and polishing a surface. Make sure to pick the correct grain and grit in order to achieve the best results in the end.
24 - 36 ; Extra Coarse
40 - 50 ; Coarse
60 - 100 ; Medium
120 - 200 ; Fine
240 , 320 , 400 ; Extra fine