Abrasive Belts

Cromwell stock a large range of abrasive belts compatible with the majority of sanding belts. With names like Bosch, 3M™ and many more, you'll be sure to find the right belt for your sanding needs.

What is an abrasive belt?

Abrasive or sanding belts are uses as the sanding surface for belt sanders and features a loop of abrasive material designed to fit over the rollers of the power tool. Their high-speed motion allows for good and efficient stock removal, smoothing rough surfaces, removing paint and creating a fine finish.

Why abrasive belts?

Belt sanders are incredibly useful tools, mostly used in carpentry and construction. However, the belts which is the sanding face of the tool, eventually wear out over time with frequent use. The sander is only as good as the belt that it is used with so once a belt has worn its grit out it becomes less efficient and in needs replacing.

Similarly, when working with different applications and materials different types of belt are needed to achieve the desired result.

When to use abrasive belts?

Abrasive belts are commonly used in a wipe range of applications from carpentry to DIY, they are a highly versatile tool that is used by professionals and hobbyists alike.

Types of abrasive belt

Whilst there are plenty of different types of belt available, the materials used for the grit are typically made up of the following common types.

• Aluminium oxide - Highly versatile sanding belts that are suitable for practically all sanding applications. From highly coarse grits right up to fine grits, aluminium oxide is ideal for sanding metals, woods and other materials.

• Zirconia - A tough synthetic grit, zirconia is sharper and more durable than aluminium oxide. These belts are commonly used to sand plastics, rubber and fibreglass, along with all types of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

• Ceramic - Ceramic grits are hard and durable. They are particularly popular with those sanding metals like stainless steel and can be used for both ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

• Silicon carbide - The sharpest and hardest of all commercially available abrasives. It features heavy coarse grits through to extra fine grits for finishing applications. It's sharp and durable construction makes short work of sanding surfaces, making it highly efficient.

Considerations when choosing an abrasive belt

• Compatibility - When choosing a belt for your belt sander the first port of call should always be your sanders instructions and user manual. Be sure to select the right length and width of belt that fits your sander.

• Grit - as well as the materials of the grit outlined earlier, you will also need to select the right coarseness for the job. Extra coarse and coarse grits are for stock removal and heavy, rough work, and stubborn paint removal. Medium is predominantly used for smoothing out rough working, whilst fine and extra fine grits are mostly used for finishing workpieces.

Grit values usually rank as follows:

• Extra coarse - 24 to 36

• Coarse - 40 to 50

• Medium - 60 to 100

• Fine - 120 to 220

• Extra fine - 240 to 600

When working on a project from start to finish, you may need to incorporate several belts with different levels of coarseness to achieve the desired result.

Abrasive belts jargon buster

We want to make it easier for you to shop our range of abrasive belts with confidence. Below we've outlined and explained some key terminology that you may come across when choosing a product.

What is the difference between wet and dry sanding and can an abrasive belt be used to do both?

As iit sounds, wet sanding refers to the process of sanding with the addition of a lubricant such as water or a water and detergent mix, whilst dry sanding refers to sanding without water or lubricants.

Wet sanding is often performed when finishing a product, as it provides a smooth finish whilst removing less material than dry sanding.

Some belt sanders can be used to wet sand, but not all abrasive belts are suited for wet and dry sanding. It's always best to check that your desired abrasive belt is suited for your desired process of sanding before purchase to ensure you achieve optimum results.


Can I manually find my sanders belt size?

Yes, simply take some string and wrap it around your sander as you would do when loading a new belt. Where the string meets together, cut with scissors. Measure this string and you will have your belt length. Width can be determined by simply measuring across your worn-out belt.

How do I maintain a sanding belt?

Maintaining your sanding belt can help them last longer reducing the frequency of changing and down time. Belts are relatively simple to maintain, a simple sanding stick can be run over the belt to remove debris and residue left behind.