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How to Select the Right Wire Wheel Brushes

How to select the right wire wheel brushes

Wire brushes are a superb choice for removing rust and oxidations, weld splatter, paint, slag, and other unwanted surface contaminants using angle grinders, bench grinders, or drills. There are numerous options available, making it challenging to select the proper wire brush for rust removal.

Here are three key factors to consider:

  • The type of wire
  • The diameter of the wire
  • The filament configuration

 Wire Type

For home improvement applications, steel, chrome steel, and brass wire brushes are used. Brass is a reasonably versatile metal used for most applications, while steel and chrome steel are best paired with specific material types. Choosing the best wire wheel brush is as easy as matching the wire type to the fabric in your application.

Here is a Guide for Selecting Wire Type:

Workpiece Material






Carbon Steel/Metal

Stainless Steel


Carbon Steel

Stainless Steel


The Diameter of the Wire

A good rule of thumb is followed to pick very fine to fine wire for light applications and medium to coarse wire for heavy applications.

Filament Configuration

Wire cup, wheel, and end brushes offer mainly three options for filament configurations, and each one has its benefits. It is important to check the filament configuration while selecting the wire wheel for rust removal.

  • Crimped Wire Brushes - Individual filaments are supported only by one another, creating extra flexibility. Ideal for work on irregular surfaces, refined surface finishing, and light- to medium contaminant removal applications.
  • Standard Twist Knot Wire Brushes - They are made with straight wire filaments, which are twisted together to form more rigid rope- or cable-like pieces and mainly used for more aggressive applications requiring higher-impact action and a rougher surface finish.

Following are the types of wire brushes:

  • Crimped wheel brushes are furnished with arbor holes, which may be reduced with reducing rings. The brushes have short wires, which makes them more aggressive. A larger-width brush requires more horsepower.
  • The twisted knot brush is ideally fitted to brushing out welded joints and for brushing sharp corners.
  • Bevel brushes are generally used for brushing hard-to-reach places like edges and corners.
  • Crimped cup brushes are ideal for cleaning jobs and supplying large clean surfaces; they also work well to eliminate rust, corrosion, paint, and primers.
  • Knotted cup brushes are a tough brush which is superb for heavy-duty cleaning and finishing of huge surfaces. They're also highly suitable for removing barnacles, scale, paint, rust, corrosion, and cleaning weld seams and spot-welds.
  • Shaft-mounted brushes are suitable for industrial use, especially for hard to succeed in areas. All shaft-mounted brushes are equipped with a 6mm shank.
  • Hand brushes have a wooden core and are available in several working widths. They're to be used on narrow section workpieces, light deburring, cleaning, and profiled surfaces.
  • Pipe brushes accompany a handle or thread and are for deburring and cleaning tubes. Pipe brushes also are available with a different thread.
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