Hook and Loop Versus Peel and Stick Sanding Pads

Cabinetmakers discuss sandpaper preferences. April 16, 2010

We have always used PSA on our random orbit sanders but I recently bought a new one and tried the hook and loop. The guy that does the sanding says that the hook and loop is lasting three times as long as the PSA so I'm considering putting hook and loop pads on the other sanders and just switching over. The price is about the same as far as the discs go. Do you guys think that hook and loop lasts longer? We use the kind from Industrial Abrasives with the Rhyno on it.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor M:
I don't know if it lasts longer, but H and L is a lot faster and easier to change. The only exception I make to this is with the Fein sander, where I use PSA because the Fein oscillates only 2 times and it seems that the velcro would give a bit and reduce the cutting action.

From contributor A:
Which brand of sanders are you currently running? I stopped using PSA over ten years ago. The H and L seem to clog less. You definitely waste less paper. I believe the pads contribute to the overall cost as well. We used to run the PC 5-6" back in the late 90's until I bought a Bosch 6" in 2002. The PC sanders are junk. The most interesting thing is the pads. It seemed that every six months we were buying new pads ($20). The edges would fray and the H and L would disintegrate or the PSA would stop sticking. I replaced my Bosch pad two months ago - yes, it lasted 7 1/2 years! This is my dedicated sander in a 1 1/4 man shop. It wasn't frayed, just missing the majority of the hook. If you switch to H and L make sure you buy the best pads which may not be the ones made by the sander company.

From contributor J:
Like contributor A I used PC's with the 5" PSA pads. I went through four or five sanders, always having to replace the pads often. We then switched to the Bosch 6" Hook and Loop. In many years I've replaced the pad once. Paper seems to last longer, and the machine is very well made. If you drop it, it doesn't tweet out, unlike the PC that can have a shaft bend from one fall from a bench top. For some reason the Bosch is very well priced. I know of no reason why people keep buying other German brands for twice the price. I guess they like to see pictures of their machine in print advertising allot.

From contributor A:
I concur whole heartedly. I have used the Fein and Festool sanders and I truly believe the Bosch is a better tool for half the money. The Makita sanders are also good, but not as good as the Bosch for the same money. The reason the PC doesn’t work as well is the counterbalance weight is cast, whereas all of the other good RO use machined/balanced weights. That is why the PC's go through bearings like they are a consumable item.

From contributor U:
Thanks for the responses guys. I recently bought a 6'' Bosch and it is indeed a power house. We use 80 grit on the Bosch and 120 grit on 5'' DeWalts. I have gone through several of these DeWalts but they seem to last for several years. I tried one pc and it was enough to do me.

From contributor N:
I currently have a 6" PC ROS and have never tried anything different (other than slow 5" ones). It does vibrate horribly and weights a ton (hard to hold with only one hand) and even worse with a vacuum hose on it. With that said, it cuts very quickly. I am surprised to hear that others work better (Bosch). Has anyone compared the two? I thought the only alternative was going to air.

From the original questioner:
The reason we bought a new 6'' Bosch is that our Bosch 5'' lasted for so long. Every now and then I would take the brushes out and sand the ends off and it would be like new. I finally bought a new set and so now we have a spare.

From contributor C:
I see that you all like the Bosch a lot and I do to. But I have had quite a bit of problems with their switches. I have replaced one in a 5" Bosch sander and three in my Bosch routers.

From contributor A:
Bosch 6" RO sanders are great.

From contributor F:
I have two of their routers and never had any problems with any switches.

From contributor J:
I've had two Bosch Jig Saws. I sold the first one and I miss having it around so I bought another one over a decade ago and it still works like new. I dropped my trusty Bosch 3 x 24 belt sander bend a wheel shaft and now it needs to be fixed. All my Bosch tools are great.