I'm thinking of purchasing a random orbital sander and am curious what the
consensus is on the advantages of buying the pressure sensitive adhesive
sanding pad model vs. the hook and loop type. What are the advantages and
disadvantages? Some of the things that I imagine wouild be important would
be cost per sheet, availability, ease of application and removal, and
inadvertant slippage of the disc on the sander. What experiences have people
had with this. Thanks.David Mahoney
There may not be a consensus, but in my experience, hook & loop is slightly
more expensive, easier to attach correctly, easier to remove and re-attach, and
doesn't leave a mess on the pad. PSA is cheaper, reasonably easy to attach, may
tear on detachment, doesn't re-attach for squat, deteriorates over time (got
any 6-7 year old PSA discs? Use them for hand sanding in too many cases),
leaves bits and pieces of paper and adhesive on the pad if left in place and
not removed for too long.
"Inanimate objects are classified scientifically into three major categories -
those that don't work, those that break down and those that get lost." Russell
I have some PSA 3M Gold 5" disks that are probably 10 years old and still
hold like new. Oddly these were orriginally a roll of 250, 180 grit IIRC
with NO protective backing. That said, If I leave the disk on the sander
for an extended number of days, I simply sand with the pad to warm the paper
up and it comes off with out much effort. I wonder if being stored in a
rather humid envirinment keeps these disks in good shape.
I have to agree with some of what both Charlie & Leon have said.
Instructions with my PSA ROS warned about leaving the paper on the pad after
sanding, as the generated heat makes the adhesive *set* so it is hard to
remove. Never tried Leon's trick of warming it up again to loosen it. I
frequently clean the pad on mine with thinner or alcohol to get rid of old
adhesive & bits of paper.
Leon, not trying to start a war, but I feel comparing *our* needs to
autobody is a tiny bit like apples vs oranges. Autobody you tend to "use up"
the paper & discard it, where with us we have more need to not necessarily
use up the paper before switching to a different grit, and this is where the
H&L really works for us.
The law of intelligent tinkering: save all the parts.
I use H&L simply because it's the easiest to get, the only store that sells
PSA that I know of is 30 miles away. I got a home depot 8 miles away, and
it's on the way home, and all there ROS disks are Norton H&L. I could mail
order them but the added cost of shipping for the amount of sandpaper I use
kind of kills any savings.
on another note anyone use Norton 3x ROS sanding disks? I love the regular
Norton Disks, wondering if I should special order some, the 3x sheets are
far better then any thing else I've found well worth the extra cost, if any
they last so much longer, just wondering if there is any experience with
(G) Hey, that's not as extravagant as it sounds!
I use a Dynabrade ROS, which is, IMHO, the best ROS out there.
Unfortunately, they require a pretty beefy compressor to run, so they're
not suitable for a lot of home shops. They are also a bit expensive.
Having one for each grit would take a bigger crowbar than any I own.
Also, I prefer the PSA disks, for several reasons, but often do not use a
disk up before needing to switch to the next grit. To avoid the
horrendous expense (big grin, here), I simply keep a separate BUP (back-
up pad) for each grit. They're only a few bucks apiece, and I only need
two: one for 100 grit, and the other for 150.
When the project calls for coarser sanding, I use a belt sander. For
finer sanding, I switch to the Speed-Bloc. The Speed-Bloc is the only
sander that I frequently switch sandpaper grades on.
So, to make a long story even longer, I *almost* have a sander for each
personally i don't understand the draw to PSA. to me, glue and sawdust
just don't mix - what a mess. i like PSA. be prepared to purchase
replacement hook pads for the sander.
DFM & JCM wrote:
It may be environment or humidity but I have used PSA paper for more than 15
years and absolutely have had no problems with it.
That said, for many years I was in the automotive business and had access to
"Free" 3M sand paper. I choose and prefer PSA to H&L as did all the body
men in the body shops. We probably sold PSA over H&L at a ratio of 50 to 1.
Typically dust is not a problem with PSA unless you set the adhesive side
down on dust.
If you are going to be an occasional sander or work on small projects that
require changing grits before your paper is worn out, H&L will be your best
choice. Obviously the added expense of the H&L over PSA is in the
attachment system that affords you the ability to reuse a piece of paper
that is not yet worn out.
If you will use a lot of sand paper or work on large projects where you
actually wear the paper out before changing grits PSA will be a cheaper
choice. Typically production shops use PSA to save money.
Some believe that PSA is more hassle or does not stick well. I have never
witnessed this problem after using the PSA paper for 15 years. Some of my
paper is 10 years old.
H&L is simply more expensive and there seem to be more complaints from
regular users of H&L that the pads do not hold up and begin to melt along
the outer edges when used for extended periods of time. Basically there
seem to be more complaints from H&L users than from PSA users.
Leon - your points are well taken and I do not dispute them, however I can't
help but chuckle some when I read so many posts here from people who
absolutely must spend hundreds of dollars more for a table saw or a cabinet
saw than they really need to, just because it's the thing, or who will spend
tons more on a particular sharpening stone, or set of chisels, yet they puke
at the thought of throwing away a sheet of sand paper that's worth only
cents, just because they can get another 1,000 swirls out of it. Sorta like
looking to make your own tack cloth instead of spending 79 cents on one in
Who says it has to be a problem? You have your way of doing things and I
have mine. You have your opinions and I have mine. I'm fine with you doing
things your way and I'm equally fine doing things my way. That I may get a
chuckle out of it is no real big deal. I'm certain you would find some of
the things I do to be something you just can't understand - I'm simply
expressing the same. It's not really that big a deal.
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