Glossary of Abrasives Tools
Thanks for visiting our website and our glossary! If you’re new to abrasives, this is a great place to start, and if you’re already experienced in one of our many core industries (like Metalworking, Woodworking, Automotive or Engineering), you’ll find info and links to some of the best abrasives, safety gear and drill bits on the market.
For starters, safety is a first priority, so make sure you have decent safety glasses and safety gloves. You may also need a P2 safety mask if you plan on doing painting, sanding, grinding or cutting wood or metal.
You’ll need an angle grinder, power drill, quick change tool, linishing machine or another form of power tool to use many of the industrial abrasives mentioned below. However, some of our products do not need a power tool, such as our surface conditioning pads, wire brushes, painting tape, stainless steel rulers and safety gear.
Cutting Discs / Wheels
Cutting discs are used for cutting through hard metals and steel. They are an essential metalwork abrasive and are used in metal fabrication workshops, auto shops / panel beaters, throughout the building industry, and by DIY backyard renovators. They are generally mounted on an angle grinder, although some are designed for die grinders and drop saws. They come in different sizes to account for the requirement of the task at hand, and to fit on different sized angle grinders. Take a look at the high-quality cutting discs we have in stock.
Flap Discs – Zirconia
Flap discs are essentially industrial grade sanders for metal and steel, although they are also used for polishing, grinding and finishing. They consist of a wheel with layered sandpaper, attached to an angle grinder that spins the flap disc rapidly while providing a guard. Flap discs come in a number of different grits or roughness levels. Rougher flap discs are for sanding, whereas finer grades are more suitable for polishing and finishing. Zirconia is an excellent material for an industrial grade flap disc, due to its extreme durability. Check out the zirconia flap discs we have in stock now.
Grinding discs are used for heavy-duty metal grinding and shaping, which is often necessary for bodywork. They’re usually mounted on hand-held angle grinders. Grinding discs are highly durable and come in a number of sizes. Effective grinding requires fabricators to apply enough pressure at the correct angle to let the grains remove the most metal in the shortest time, while not prematurely wearing the disc or burning out the grinding tool. Smith & ARROW Discs will assist with this process, allowing you to grind effectively, with low disc turnover. We have a variety of grinding discs available.
Poly strip discs are used to remove rust, paint and epoxy from steel, all metals, fiberglass and plastic. The surface will then be prepared for painting or coating. The discs are very suitable for the quick and effective treatment of surfaces that are hard to clean. Ideal for cars, trucks, motorcycles or boats. Strip discs are also often used when attached to an angle grinder, but can be used on drills, quick change tools and air tools. Steel and metal are often stripped both for aesthetic reasons and to remove unwanted rust before grinding or cutting can take place. Take a look at the strip discs we have available.
Orbital Velcro Discs
Orbital hook and loop velcro discs are excellent for auto work, car panel work, paint removal and attach with sticky velcro to the backing pad on an orbital sander. Orbital sanding pads are suitable for sanding at high speeds. Coarser grits are suitable for sanding putty and removing lacquers, whilst finer grits are ideal for sanding primers and lacquers. We sell many different sizes and grits to suit all jobs. Some discs have no holes, and others have specific hole configurations to suit particular orbital sanding machines. Sanding is a key part of auto-work and paint removal, so it makes sense to always have a few extra velcro discs on-hand. Check out the orbital velcro discs we have in stock today.
Sanding Fibre Discs
Sanding fibre discs are designed to fit on an angle grinder with a backing pad. Smith & ARROW sanding discs are made from zirconia, which is a material that will significantly outlast brown aluminum oxide discs. This zirconia is a heavy-duty abrasive fiber designed for jobs ranging from heavy stock removal to surface blending. Choice of grit depends on the roughness of your surface as well as the stage you’re at in sanding. Check out our sanding fibre discs for more information.
Ceramic Sanding Discs
Ceramic sanding discs work well with metal sanding. The ceramic grains used in these are tougher than many of the other sanding materials. Given this, they usually cut down roughness in metals quickly. Ceramic sanding discs that have a layer of resin are higher in durability. These are popular for work on automobiles. Take a look at the ceramic sanding discs we have available.
It’s important to have drill bits that are in good shape especially if your project requires any significant assembly or disassembly. Smith & ARROW are recognised for superior HSS quality drill bits available in cobalt for stainless steel, or M2 for milder steel. Drill bit sets are available in attractive metal presentation boxes, or available individually in imperial and metric measurements. All our drill bits are fully ground from one piece of steel and have 135º split point tips for efficient drilling. We also have double-ended drill bits, masonry bits, tile / glass drill bits, and woodworking bits. Please view our wide range of drill bits here.
Quick Change Discs
Quick Change discs are small 2” or 3” discs that can only be used on Quick Change machines or Air Tools and are used to blend, deburr, finish, clean and polish metal surfaces (depending what material you choose). Because of their small size, Quick Change discs are the preferred method for cleaning automotive metals. Smith & ARROW provide Quick Change discs in ceramic, zirconia and non-woven abrasive material in a range of sizes.
Linishing Belts, Zirconia
Linishing belts are stationary belts of mounted sandpaper that rotate at high speeds to allow a worker to hold a smaller object up to the belt and sand it from different angles. Commonly used in metal fabrication workshops and automotive workshops. Smith & ARROW sell both zirconia (for sanding) and surface conditioning (for polishing) linishing belts. Check out our supplies for zirconia linishing belts.
Surface Conditioning Belts
Surface Conditioning belts are designed for polishing, conditioning, and finishing, and are mounted on linishing machines. They are non-woven belts which remove surface imperfections and provide superior flexibility for detail work, especially over contours and edges. Our surface conditioning belts come in a range of different lengths to suit different linishing machines and are available in coarse, medium or fine grits.
Disposable Safety Masks
Disposable respirators are a critical piece of protective equipment for working in hazardous environments. They protect from inhaling harmful dust particles, smoke, fumes, mists, gases, sprays, vapours, chemicals, aerosols and other airborne contaminants that are a great risk to respiratory health. P2 respirators are appropriate for the majority of airborne precautions encountered in these industries: healthcare facilities, mining industry, chemical industry, steel fabrication / metalworking industry, and intensive woodworking industry. Smith & ARROW sell valved P2 safety masks in cupped and folding (for putting in your pocket while working).
Safety gloves are a necessary part of every workshop and home garage, used for various industrial activities. In the event of an accident or mistake, high-quality safety gloves can mean the difference between a serious accident and a minor mistake. Smith & ARROW sell safety gloves in cut resistant, high visibility, PU, foam nitrile and touchscreen options. We also sell nitrile disposable gloves in lite and heavy duty thicknesses to suit different industries. View all our safety gloves options.
Whether you’re welding, cutting, shaping, finishing, or grinding metal, you need to protect yourself from sharp edges and metal dust that can injure eyes, hands, skin, lungs, and more. Selecting the proper safety wear is an important part of any metalworking job. Drilling and sanding often result in particulate matter flying everywhere that will cause harm to the eyes, if not protected. Our Australian certified safety glasses are available in clear or smoked lenses, are anti-fog and scratch resistant. Pick up a pair of high-quality safety glasses.
Painting tape is often placed on cars or other objects to prevent painting ‘outside the lines.’ Automotive or commercial painting requires high-quality painting tape, both heat resistant (high temperature) for auto baking, and UV resistant for house painting jobs. All our painting tape leaves no residue and is industrial quality for commercial work. Take a look to see what kinds of painting tape we have available for automotive and home or commercial projects.
Emery tape, also often referred to as emery cloth, is a very durable kind of sandpaper designed to be used by hand. It is good for removing rust, paint, and corrosion from metal. It also comes in a number of grades, depending on how coarse or fine the job requires. Check out our emery tape available now.
Wire brushes are used to clean rust and dirt and can be used by hand or have attachments made for drills, grinders and other types of fabrication tools. Steel wire brushes are a tool fabricators use to finish different types of metals. Brushes are used to remove flaking paint, rust, scratches, dirt and small imperfections, and are used on concrete, metal, stone and wood surfaces. They come in many different sizes, stiffness and wire types, including brass, carbon steel, and stainless steel. Soft brushes are used to bring out the luster and polish in a surface, while stiff brushes are used for removing heavy debris. Check out our wire brushes available now.
Surface Conditioning Products
Surface Conditioning products are abrasive cleaners designed for steel and metal surfaces. They are used for automotive cleaning as well as many other types of industrial cleaning and often last far longer than other cleaning products. These products are ideal for removing stains, marks, rust, corrosion, or oxidation from stainless equipment and light cleaning of metal surfaces. We sell the following products in non-woven surface conditioning material: pads, rolls, quick change discs, flap discs, and abrasive belts. Take a look at our Surface Conditioning Products.
Virtually everyone who has a workshop will have spent at least some time woodworking. There are all sorts of basic woodworking products that are an essential item to any workshop, including auger bits, brad point drill bits and sanding discs. It’s also much safer to use high-quality equipment that is in good condition, which is what we stock. Check out our woodworking drill bits and bonded abrasives for woodworking.
Driver Drill Bits
Driver drill bits are used to transfer the torque from a drill to a screw. You can’t drive screws efficiently if the screwdriver bits don’t accurately fit the head, and we offer Phillips Head and Square Head screwdriver bits. They can dramatically speed up everyday repair jobs, or complex work like the process of taking apart a car. They also make your drills more versatile. For more information, take a look at the driver drill bits we have on offer.
Masonry Drill Bit
Masonry drill bits are made for concrete, brick or stone. The tips of these drill bits are often shaped like an arrowhead and they are called SDS bits, commonly used on hammer drills. The tip of SDS bits is made from strong tungsten carbide giving them extra strength and resistance to extreme loads, which makes them perfect for drilling hard materials like masonry. Check out the masonry drill bits we have on offer.
Backing / Interface Pads
Backing pads are inserted between sandpaper and an angle grinder, providing a buffer. This allows for more air between the sandpaper and the machine. They also relieve some of the pressure on the sandpaper, which tends to give it a longer life. When sanding discs are used with backing pads, heat and dust build up is reduced by up to 70%, so your sanding discs last longer and you get a better finish. For more information, check out the backing pads and interface pads we have in stock.
Automotive or commercial painting requires high-quality painting tape, both heat resistant (high temperature) for auto baking, and UV resistant for house painting jobs. All our painting tape leaves no residue and is industrial quality for commercial work. We also sell painting drop film sheets for house painting jobs. For more information, check out the painting products we have on offer.
Rulers & Measuring
Rulers and measuring tape are a mandatory part of most construction, engineering, and automotive projects. They help you select the right parts for your project and the right tools as well. Because these tools are so necessary, you might as well get ones that will last. Check out some of our rulers & measuring tools available now.
When on the job site, keeping your electricals safe and charged is necessary. We stock electrical adaptors and powerpoints both fitted with USB ports for handy charging of phones whilst at home or on the job. We also provide safety tools such as safety connection boxes, and residual current devices (portable safety switch) which allows you take control over your electrical safety by bringing your own portable safety switch to the where the job is. Check out the electrical products we have in stock today.
Hardware – Hinges
While there are many types of hinges available on the market, we stock hirline, non-mortise hinges made of 304 stainless steel. No-mortise hinges are thinner than standard hinges, which limits the gap on the doors of cabinets. No-mortise hinges leave only a small space between doors or the door and frame. Each hinge is built around two hardened stainless steel ball bearing pivot points and is designed to last a lifetime. Check out the hinges we have in stock.