7 Best Sandpaper Brands: Klingspor vs. Norton vs. 3M in the Sanding Supplies Showdown

For newbies the path to sandpaper nirvana is littered with BORG sanding supplies. Seasoned woodworkers sometimes get overly loyal to a brand without first trying some of the other options out there. For this article I researched preferred sanding supplies in 10 different forum threads, spanning hundreds of total posts to bring you the top 7 sandpaper brands on the market. Some of the suggestions come from woodturning forums, some from boat building forums and one from an Australian forum. The suggestions range across applications too, including disc sanders, hook and loop sanders, hand sanders and others.

For the record, inspiration for this post comes from a thread over at Woodworkers Zone: Sand Paper. If you’re a regular forum goer Woodworker Zone will feel like home… because you probably know lots of the guys from Woodnet and SawmillCreek ;)

For this reason you should not take these brand recommendations as gospel for your application, merely as an option and a possible improvement on your current brand. You won’t likely go wrong with the top brands here, but you could go MORE RIGHT once you know your preferences and specific applications.

I like how soundman says it in an Ozzie woodworking forum:
“one brand will be great in the coarse grades another will be better in the mid grades and another will be better in the fine grades.

And differing modes of failure, some go blunt, some the adhesive holding the grains fails & some clog, before others.”

Another moving target when it comes to finding your preferred sandpaper is the price to quality ratio. Here’s the rub as summed up by boat builder Bob Cleek:
“There are lots of GREAT sandpapers, but the real problem with sandpaper is finding just the right balance between cost and staying power. You can pay a huge amount for great sandpaper that lasts twice as long, but later find that two sheets of the cheaper stuff costs a fourth of one sheet of the fancy product.”

Here’s what you’ll find in this article:
>> Top 7 Sandpaper Brands + 7 Honorable Mentions
>> Preferred Sandpaper Suppliers
>> Forum Threads About Sandpaper
>> Some Sanding Resources, Guidance and Advice

Here goes… And be sure to add your sand paper preferences to the comments!

>> Top 7 Sandpaper Brands + 7 Honorable Mentions
1) Klingspor: 18 Mentions Overall

Klingspor PL35
Klingspor gold

2) Norton: 16 Mentions Overall

Norton 3x: 7
Norton No-fill Champagne aluminum oxide paper

3) 3M: 7 Mentions Overall

3M abrasive pads
3m’s gold stikit
3M 255L discs

4) Mirka: 5 Mentions Overall

Mirka gold: 2

5) Hermes: 4 Mentions Overall

Hermes J-flex(the blue stuff on the yellow cloth) is best.

6) Rhynogrip: 3 Mentions Overall

7) SIA: 3 Mentions Overall

7 Honorable Mention Sandpapers
These are in the order that I found them more or less.

8) SandEze sanding materials.
9) EKAMANT
10) Prager KMCA
11) HCAB aluminium oxyde paper.
12) Supergrit house brands (Zirconia and Red Resin papers)
13) Abranet sand paper
14) the Gator brand from Lowes

>> Preferred Sandpaper Suppliers
Along with preferred sandpaper and sanding supplies I found a number of suppliers mentioned during my research. I can’t vouch for any of these – I just found them recommended in forums. Your experience may vary! If you’ve dealt with any of them or have 2 cents to add please let me know in the comments.

Top 5 Based on Multiple Mentions:
http://www.onlineindustrialsupply.com/index.html
http://www.industrialabrasives.com/
http://www.Holbren.com
http://www.woodworkingshop.com/
http://www.supergrit.com

More:
http://www.repaintsupply.com/
http://www.abrasives4sale.com/
http://www.hutproducts.com/
http://www.sandpaper.ca./default.php

Here are a few vendor-specific forum threads I used in part for this above list:
Sandpaper Vendors
Were do you get your bulk sandpaper?

>> Forum Threads About Sandpaper
Here are the threads I read through. I counted up the brand and model recommendations to build the list of preferred sandpapers above.

Sand Paper
World’s best sandpaper
Best Type of Sandpaper
Sandpaper question (Woodturning related)
Hate changing out sandpaper on disc sanders!
Norton 3x vs Industrial Abrasives
What rolls of sandpaper would you buy?
What Sandpaper? (woodturning)
sanding supplies

>> Some Sanding Resources, Guidance and Advice
My Five Rules of Sanding
CLARIFYING SANDPAPER GRADING
Sandpaper 101
9 Sandpaper Storage Ideas (+ free plans)

A closing thought from MichaelMouse to give you that woodworking zen feeling: “Try not sanding things to extremes, only to completion..”

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5 Responses to 7 Best Sandpaper Brands: Klingspor vs. Norton vs. 3M in the Sanding Supplies Showdown

  1. Dan McGarigle says:

    I have been a customer of the Supergrit Company for 6 years.
    Supergrit gets 90% of my business because they have good products and service.

    Dan McGarigle, Cabinetmaker
    El Segundo, CA

  2. Aaron says:

    All these sandpaper are good but they better watch out as a new sandpaper or I should say abrasive is coming out. The new Pyramid Abrasives’ metal abrasive is coming out soon and it lasts at least 50 to 1 to the above abrasives. This abrasive has new technology that doesn’t clog up and can take a rough surface to a fine finish with one disc. This metal abrasive is the future of woodworking.

    Aaron
    Pyramid Abrasives

  3. Woo says:

    I am surprised that Eagle Abrasives by Kovax were not mentioned. These super-high quality abrasives beat 3M and other major brands every time. Try out these brilliant Japanese manufactured high-quality abrasive products from Eagle!

    I buy mine from Cycomp Supply Line on Amazon

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/seller/at-a-glance.html?ie=UTF8&seller=A3FVO9J4PEP77F

    Very good prices and really good quality sandpaper.

  4. Paul Paddock says:

    Hello,

    I removed some very stubborn rust stains from our bathtub with a Norton 80 grit, flap style, zirconium sanding disk attached to my angle grinder. The rust went away nicely but I am now left with grayish black marks/stains where the rust stains were previously.

    I’ve tried removing them with a powerwasher and an abrasive pad and Ajax with bleach. No luck.

    Any ideas what’s caused the new stains and how I can be rid of them?

    Thank you!

  5. Mary says:

    What about 3M? They have the highest quality of products and just opened a plant in MN. American made people!!!!

    For the best life, cut rate, and finish, 3M is where it’s at!!

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