Mirka Abrasives offers a revolutionary solution to the long-standing problem of woodworking dust inhalation: their Abranet sanding discs look like a sanding screen, but the abrasive particles are arranged in a row formation. This means that dust is never more than half-a-milimeter from an opening through which dust collector can extract it — and prevent it from entering the air. As a side bonus, Mirka says the discs also last three to five times as long as standard abrasives.
They claim the discs also prevent piling — when clumps of wood dust collect in one place and introduce defects into your sanded surface — and that the discs work well for everything from auto body to metalworking and woodworking applications.
But there’s one drawback: Abranet’s uniquely-shaped abrasives also makes it easy to “catch an edge” with the disc, which can instantly tear and ruin the sheet. To remedy that, Mirka offers an “interface pad” — essentially a 1/2″ thick foam pad that adds some “give” and flexibility to the sanding surface. The interface pad also simplifies curved sanding, like sanding the inside of cove moldings.
You’ll pay a premium for Mirka’s miracle discs, but if they deliver the promised longer life it’s a wash. Of course, considering the ill effects of inhaling sanding dust and other airborne particulates, the life you save through better dust collection could be your own. Street pricing starts around $30 for a pack of 50 5” discs, but you can source them in smaller packs from numerous retailers. The abrasive is available in rolls and sheets as well.
You’ll pay an additional $14 for a 5″ interface pad, and Mirka alsos sell a pad protector, which they claim helps protect the sanding pad from excessive wear. (Though we’ve heard conflicting reports about the effectiveness of those.) If you want to give ’em a shot, they run around $17 for a two pack (5”).