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Everything You Need to Know About Wire Brushes

Everything You Need to Know About Wire Brushes

Everything You Need to Know About Wire Brush

A wire brush is a primary tool to remove paint from the metal surface. Wire brushes are equally effective to remove slag, rust, weld spatter, oxidized impurities, and other surface contaminants using angle grinders or drills. 

Different types of wire brushes are available for different applications. Let’s start with applications of wire brushes. Then we will know the types of wire brushes based on their material & application.

Applications of Wire Brushes

Applications of Wire Brushes

Deburring wire brushes are widely used for burr removal obtained due to other machining operations. Wire brushes can altogether remove burrs without leaving any sharp edges. Brushes are selective to an edge as they remove the burr from the metal surface.

Cutting, grinding, deburring, removing sharp edges, and shaping the workpiece are all done with wire brushes similar to carbide burrs. They are mainly applied to aluminum, metals, steel, cast iron, fiberglass, wood, acrylics, and plastics, and other materials.

Main applications of wire brushes:

Surface Finishing

Wire brushes are excellent tools for surface conditioning to obtain desired results. Wire brushes generally do not eliminate the bottom impurities and only remove the metal particles left on abrasively polished surfaces. Many various surface finishes are often the result of using power brushes, and power brushing alleviates the stress created by other machining operations.

Edge Blending

Wire brushes easily create rounded corners at the joint of two surfaces without even removing the material of the adjacent surface to the sting. It lowers down the concentrated stress and part fatigue which increases part life and improves the surface finish.


Wire brushes create very effective bonds on many surfaces including rubber, leather plastics, and nonferrous metals. These surfaces are generally roughened before painting or bonding to generate better adhesion.


Wire brushes are distinctly fitted for removing heat treat scale, weld slag, surface film, dirt, rust, corrosion, and paint. Varnish and insulation removal from electrical wire, motor stators, fiber, synthetic is also one of the main applications of wire brushes. Mainly fine chrome steel brushes are often used for such wet-cleaning operations.

What are Different Types of Wire Brush?

What are Different Types of Wire Brush

The most common types of wire brushes are wheel brush, wire cup brush, nylon wire brush, end brush, tube brush. Let’s know each in detail-

Wheel Brush

    It is circular and usually not wider than 2". The main specifications of a standard wire wheel brushes range from 5/8'' to 15'' in diameter. Wheel brushes are crammed with different types of materials based on the usage including:

    • Steel, chrome steel, Brass, Bronze, and German silver Wires
    • Natural Fibers like Tampico and Animal Hair
    • Synthetics like Nylon, Abrasive Filled Nylon, and Polypropylene.

    Wide Face Brush 

    Wide Face Brushes have a more prominent face than the diameter of the brush. This sort of brush is often created by stacking a variety of wheel brushes on a standard arbor. Some specific customer applications utilize wide face unit brushes.

    End Brush

    End Brushes are designed with steel wire to be fitted with power tools in different industrial applications. The wire end brushes are best for cleaning small areas where other tools can’t work. They are capable to remove rust, paint, slag, weld splatter, and other surface contaminants.

    Cup Brushes

    Cup Brushes are available in three types: Miniature, Crimped Wire and Knot Type. The cup brushes have a wire or abrasive cramming where abrasive is layered with nylon and used on portable power tools.

    Tube Brush 

    Tube Brushes are twisted-in-wires used to wash and finish the holes and internal threads of portable tools or drill presses.

    Stem Mounted Brushes 

    Stem Mounted Brushes are utilized for light to heavy-duty work with less space in portable air and electric tools.

    Nylon Wire Brushes

    The nylon wire brush is extremely durable and the hard brush. This brush reduces the polishing timing, enhances equipment efficiency, and has a long life span. It is capable of cleaning curved or angled surfaces as well as hard-to-reach areas.

    Special/Custom Designed Brushes

    For solving specific application problems, custom-designed brushes are used. If standard stock brushes don't completely satisfy a customer's application, special brushes are often designed to fulfill the specified specifications. Brush types and size ranges are virtually infinite to meet the challenges of the industry.

    Factors to Consider While Choosing Wire Brush

    Consider the three primary factors before choosing the right wire brush for the job:

    • Wire type
    • Wire diameter
    • Filament configuration

    Wire Type

    Wire brushes used for household purposes are mainly constructed with steel, chrome steel, and brass. Brass wire brushes are used in most versatile applications. Steel and chrome steel wire brushes are best paired with specific material surfaces similar to the abrasive wheels. Selecting the proper wire material is as important as selecting the wire type according to the fabric used in your application.

    Wire Diameter

    For picking the suitable wire diameter, one should follow a good rule of thumb. For light-duty jobs, very fine to fine wire diameter is preferred and for heavy-duty jobs, medium to coarse wire diameters are preferred.

    Filament Configuration

    Wire brushes have three types of filament configurations crimped, twist knot, and standard twist.

    • Crimped Wire Brushes: It has individual filaments supported by another filament for extra flexibility. These brushes are mainly used to work on irregular surfaces. It produces more refined surface finishing, and light- to medium-duty impurity removal.
    • Standard Twist Knot Wire Brushes - These brushes have straight filaments of wire that are twisted with each other. The twisted wire filaments resemble rigid rope-like structures. These types of brushes are required for tough abrasive applications.

    Hope this guide helped you to understand wire brush type, applications, and other important factors to find the best brush for your job.

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