There is such a wide variety of different abrasive types that many people feel spoilt for choice or confused. It is good to understand what benefits from the various types. The quality of abrasives vary considerably, some are designed to keep a cutting edge for longer, some are designed for quick jobs which do not need to keep a cutting edge for as long.
One aspect to consider is the material you are sanding and how much it can clog the sanding surface, where additional surface covering like stearate helps to minimize the impact of clogging.
Another thought is what is needed for the job? Sanding discs for large areas with an orbital sander or a belt sander with sanding belts. Finer, smaller jobs can be done by hand using sanding strips or rolls with or without a sanding block.
For textured surfaces stronger abrasives may be needed, which is where cloth backed sanding material becomes the optimum choice. For pieces of fine detail, paper backed abrasives have the ability to reach into fine detailed features by having a thinner backing.
Sanding large pieces of dry, dusty wood may need mesh or net sanding materials like Abranet or Sianet, with a dust extraction system to remove fine dust from source. An additional option to consider is an air filter machines to minimize air-born dust, like the Thor Filter machines.
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