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Thread: Teach me about mesh sanding discs

  1. #1

    Teach me about mesh sanding discs

    I was watching a YT video comparing different brands of sanding discs. I was surprised to see that the premium brand I've been using didn't fare that well. The tester really favored the 'mesh' discs over paper. Both in amount of material removed over time and cost per gram removed.

    I admit that I didn't know that mesh sanding discs existed. For those that use them, would you ever go back to paper? Is there still a use for paper sanding disks?

    Is there a different sanding pad I need to get? Or just use them over my current sanding pad?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    The Cubitron air won that I believe. I think they hold up so well because on a vacuum they cool so efficiently, and the mesh material is very strong. I had been using festool granat until I switched Mirka abranet. The abranet lasted longer. From what i noticed the festool broke up at the edges and started leaving scratches on my work. Im not sure if the pad was completely bad at that point grit wise but was useless.

    I dont remember how the mirka fared against the cubitron on strait removal vs cost per gram. But I wont be buying granat anymore

  3. #3
    I'm no expert on this stuff but Abranet seems to be "the brand" for mesh discs among my customers. The standard discs are more common, though. Probably due to cost.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clifford McGuire View Post
    I was watching a YT video comparing different brands of sanding discs. I was surprised to see that the premium brand I've been using didn't fare that well. The tester really favored the 'mesh' discs over paper. Both in amount of material removed over time and cost per gram removed.

    I admit that I didn't know that mesh sanding discs existed. For those that use them, would you ever go back to paper? Is there still a use for paper sanding disks?

    Is there a different sanding pad I need to get? Or just use them over my current sanding pad?
    Hi Clifford

    I use Abranet exclusively. My sanders are an old Festo ROS, and a more modern Mirka Ceros. Both are fine sanders, but their performance is enhanced greatly by Abranet.

    Sanding performance is not just about the power and endurance of grit. Abranet is superior in this department, however it is that the mesh also allows for maximum dust extraction, reducing the maximum amount of loose dust on the surface. Loose dust could end up creating swirls and scratches, as well as slowing the sanding process.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  5. #5
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    Just a hobbyist, but I have been using Mirka Abranet for maybe 4 years, with great results. They last longer than the regular discs, and they sand smoother than the same grit regulars, so you may need to adjust your sanding schedule a bit.

    One caveat though. They are thinner than regular discs and the velcro pad on your sander will heat up and wear out faster than normal. Easily fixed by using an 'interference' pad between the Abranet and the sander's pad. These pads usually come with a package of mesh discs, or you can order them on Amazon.

    In my experience, dust collection using the mesh discs, even with the extra padding added, works much better than regular discs, and any hole pattern will work with mesh discs, so multiple sanders are no longer a problem.

    I bought some Diablo mesh discs at HD last Christmas, on sale for a good price, but have not used them yet. My experience is entirely Mirka, and I got a heap of them at a sidewalk sale at Woodcraft several years back.

    I was in Phoenix a couple weeks ago, and picked up some 2.5 X 14" Mirka sanding belts made of mesh that fit my baby PC belt sander. Half price closeout. Haven't tried them out yet, so no report.

    Hope this helps
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  6. #6
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    I have been using and have a supply of Abranet which I've liked much better than traditional "holy" paper. The dust collection is great on my 6" Bosch ROS. They don't last that long though and I end up spending a lot of extra time because I have this unfounded feeling changing the discs costs too much.
    I saw the same video and immediately ordered several packs of the 3M Xtract Cubitron. I can't report on it yet as I just received it yesterday and haven't used it. But the video indicates it is far superior to my Abranet and all other discs. I'm hoping I can tell a difference. The good news is it is less costly than the Abranet.
    Last edited by Eric Arnsdorff; 09-14-2021 at 11:42 PM.

  7. #7
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    Just a hobby woodworker, picked up some Diablo 120 grit 5" discs for my Bosch ROS, first impression is positive and they are supposed to last longer. I'll know better in a few months but so far, I'll be buying more when I need different grits.
    Last edited by Doug Garson; 09-15-2021 at 1:53 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
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    Teach me about mesh sanding discs
    People that sand drywall mud have been enjoying mesh for decades. It's about time the concept filtered down.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  9. #9
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    I tried out some 220 grit Diablo's, went back and bought the 60 packs of different grits for 30$ each from HD. Pretty sure I have a life time of mesh sanding discs with my hobby level pace. The paper ones cut better for the first minute or two but after that they are about the same. The mesh lasts much longer in my opinion. I think I used one of each 120>180>220 per side for the last table I did. I usually wear a respirator when sanding instead of running a vac/DC and the mesh stays much cleaner with only the exhaust of the ROS pulling the dust. A quick puff of compressed air and anything there is cleaned out of the mesh. Once the mesh discs are worn out I find they are more flexible than paper and work very well for sanding details with little rubber points/rounds. One thing thats hard for me to judge is when exactly the mesh discs are worn out. Paper discs its easy to tell with a swipe of the finger but the difference in a new mesh disc and one thats been used for 20 or 30 min seems kinda negligible to me when going by feel.

  10. #10
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    To take full advantage of mesh disks, you need a sander that has Really good dust collection through the pad. I don't remember the last time I bought a box of disks that weren't mesh.

    https://www.amazon.com/Pack-Mirka-Ab...1709566&sr=8-6

  11. #11
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    I've use both the film backed 3M Cubitron and Mirka Abranet. I like both. I have found that the Abranet sanding disc edges are more fragile than the film backed paper when sanding items with sharp edges. The mesh seems to fray and tear more quickly than the film stuff. But in normal finish sanding of flat panels, this might not be an issue.

    If its the same JKM video I saw on YT, I thought it was done very well. For me, the only piece that was missing was the durability I mentioned before. I've found on some projects that the sandpaper outer edge shreds before the grit wears out, negating the long term gain. I'm using a Bosch 6" dual mode sander and the Abranet discs hang over the edge by 1/4" all around. That probably doesn't help with durability.

  12. #12
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    Long time Abranet user.....much better dust collection and durabiity. Also a big fan of Abralon pads for higher grits...they conform very nicely to curved surfaces.

    Jim

  13. #13
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    May 2009
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    Wenatchee. Wa
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    Ive been using Abranet discs for years as a hobbiest. They can be purchased in large boxes from Amazon. Plus Mirka makes Abranet in ~2x rolls that are wonderful for lathe sanding

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Potter View Post
    picked up some 2.5 X 14" Mirka sanding belts made of mesh that fit my baby PC belt sander. Half price closeout. Haven't tried them out yet, so no report.

    Hope this helps
    I've also had good performance with the Arbanet discs and sheets. The belts not so much, bad seams. Short life.
    May be the reason they were closeout.

    Tony
    "Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily.
    Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)

    "Quality means doing it right when no one is looking."
    Henry Ford

  15. #15
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    Thanks Tony, I have had a problem with the regular belt seams breaking anyway. I got several assortments, maybe too many, as I read that they get weak with age, so that is probably why.

    Time will tell. It is a very short belt, and I imagine they get hotter than most also.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

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