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What Is The Grit Count On Sanding Belts, And Why Is It Important?

What Is The Grit Count On Sanding Belts

It's difficult to imagine a home repair endeavor without sandpaper Woodworkers use it to smooth and shape wood. Painters and refinishers must polish their finishes and remove old ones. Even plumbers use it to clean plastic pipes before gluing them together and removing corrosion from metal pipes.

You'll need it when cleaning old grout or working on plasterboard. You can even use a pinch to file your fingernails or sharpen utensils! Sandpaper comes in various shapes, which is unsurprising given its wide range of applications. Variations consist of:

  • Utilized abrasive substance.
  • Type of support.
  • Format for particular sanding machines (sheet, sand belts, or disc).

One of the most crucial factors is grit. Grit, more than any other quality, defines the proper application of a specific piece of sandpaper.

What Is Grit In Sandpaper?

The size of the abrasive particles on the sandpaper surface determines the coarseness, which is measured in grits. A coarse grit makes deep scratches but quickly wears down the object you're sanding. Although scratches are often unimportant, when they are, you need to remove them by sanding them with progressively finer grits. "Getting through the grits" is how woodworkers, floor installers, and furniture finishers describe this process.

Sandpaper grit specifications are set by the Coated Abrasive Manufacturers Institute (CAMI) and the Federation of European Producers of Abrasives (FEPA). They discuss the dimensions and quantity of holes in screens that filter abrasive particles.

More holes can accommodate much larger particles. A conventional filtering screen uses fewer since they are bigger. Although larger-diameter wires have lower gauge numbers in the American Wire Gauge system, smaller numbers identify coarser grits than finer grits.

Grits Are Divided Into Grades

Although producing sandpaper grits in minute increments is theoretically possible, it would be difficult and confuse customers. As a result, grit counts rise at predetermined intervals. The greater the number, the finer the grit. Although fine grits increase from 600 to 800 to 1,000 and beyond, coarse grits increase from 24 to 30 to 36.

Manufacturers developed grades with various grit numbers because coarse and fine sandpaper grits have different uses. This is to help customers determine which type of product is suitable for their needs. Extra-coarse paper, the roughest grade, contains 24-, 30-, and 36-grit papers. Paper with an 800- and 1,000-grit surface is considered ultra-fine.

It's crucial to choose the appropriate grade of sandpaper for the job while selecting. Too coarse or too thin of a paper will scrape and damage the surface. For rough sanding and polishing, extra-coarse and ultra-fine grades are typically used. For home improvement projects, a medium or fine grade is ideal.

What Does The Sandpaper Grit Number Mean?

The size of abrasive materials in sandpaper is rated according to their grit. A finer abrasive is equivalent to a higher grit number, producing smoother surface finishes. Lower grit numbers signify rougher abrasives that quickly scrape off materials. The grit is assessed in the chart below using both the FEPA (Federation of European Producers of Abrasives) and CAMI (Coated Abrasives Manufacturing Institute) standards; the latter is denoted by a "P." There are numerous other grades besides the two primary subdivisions, micro and macro.

Sandpaper With Micro-Grits

A category of fine abrasives is micro grits. Higher grit counts are present in them. Sandpaper with micro grit is often used on wood and plasterboard.







Very fine abrasives

800 or 1000

P1500, P2000 or P2500

Final polishing and sanding of heavy coatings.


A few patches and inconsistent areas are gently removed, but not completely.

400,500 or 600

P800, P1000 or P1200

Final wood polishing.


A bit rougher and coarser than Ultra Fine.

360 or 320

P400, P500 or P600

Initiative wood polishing techniques


The least fine micro-abrasives


P240, P280,P320 or P360

Sanding paint finishes, plasterboard, and timber between coats.

Sandpaper With Macro Grits

Macro grits are a group of sandpaper-size abrasives ranging from medium to coarse. They have numbers with medium to low roughness. Macro grit-sized sandpapers are used for more difficult wood and metals since they have stronger clearance.







Below the micro-abrasives lies a less refined substance.

150,180 or 220

P150, P180 or P220

Sanding raw wood.


Cannot remove paint or varnish from wood.

100 or 120

P100, or P120

Cleaning plaster, preparing wood for finishing, and eliminating water stains from wood.


After sanding, the surface texture is medium to coarse.


P60 or P80

Sanding the bare wood to prepare for varnish removal and finishing.


Possesses quick material removal speed


P40, or P50

Removing a finish or layer of debris


Accelerates the removal

24,30 or 36

P12, P16, P30, or P36

First attempt at sanding hardwood floors.

Information Regarding A Few Sandpaper Types

Sandpaper is created from various chemically different materials, grits, and grades. It can be produced using silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, or garnet grains from synthetic or natural minerals. Whatever brand of sandpaper you choose, it needs a solid bond between the grit and the backing material. If it doesn't, your application could be ruined during use as the grit and backing substance separate. Paper, cotton, polyester, rayon, PET film, and rubber are used as sandpaper backing.

What Separates Sandpaper Grade From Sandpaper Grit?

Grit size is the precise abrasive grain size (36, 60, 120, etc.), whereas grade is a more general phrase that encompasses a variety of grits. For example, medium grit sizes range from 80 to 150.

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