Pro Shop Talk

Norton Blaze: How to Choose the Right Sandpaper

Norton Blaze: How to Choose the Right Sandpaper

Get the breakdown of all the Norton Blaze products – watch our video above!

Can you make the wrong choice with sandpaper? Is there that much difference from one to another brand or color?

Choosing which sandpaper for most is as easy as just using whatever you already have on hand–which often works just fine.

At other times when you are working on tough sports floors or prefinished UV-cured finish, you may want to pause and consider these questions.

Consider what it would look like to use ceramic sandpaper. Can it save you time and boost performance on tough-to-finish projects?

Why should you use ceramic sandpaper in the first place? We dig into the details and compare ceramic paper to other grain sandpaper in this blog article.

With a great cut rate, longevity that beats the competition, and a consistent fine scratch pattern, Norton Blaze ceramic sandpaper is the one to try on your next tough sanding job.

Keep reading for a run through of what makes each different and what you should look for in your sandpaper. For a guide to take on the go, download Norton’s PDF Guide to Blaze Sandpaper.

Norton Blaze – Belts, Rolls, Bolt-On Discs, Hook & Loop Discs

Designed for almost any job: With an incredibly sharp and long-lasting grain, Blaze powerfully and quickly cuts through layers of finish or raw wood. Blaze can be used on sports or residential floors.

Sports floors – Use R975P Rolls and Belts

Residential floors with tough finish – Use H995P Products

Other features: Anti-static backing helps create

What machines it’s compatible with: Belt Sander, Edger, Multi-Head Machine

Mistakes to avoid: There are two styles of rolls. To avoid purchasing the wrong one, look for the product number. The R975P Rolls with the poly-cotton backing work well for sports floors and come in 8″ and 12″. The H995P Rolls with the heavy weight fiber reinforced paper are great for residential and sports and are available in 8″.

Norton Blaze Plus – Belts and Rolls

What type of job it’s designed for: Sanding down prefinished floors coated with UV-cured aluminum oxide and other hard finishes; use with Blaze X.

What machines it’s compatible with: Belt Sanders (Use Blaze X on edger)

Other features: Heavy grain weight gives it longevity, meaning you can use one belt for more square footage. The grain is also durable enough to cut through multiple layers of finish. Heavy-weight cotton backing is extremely strong and durable and has excellent tracking capabilities

Norton Blaze X – Edger Discs

What type of job it’s designed for: Sanding down prefinished floors coated with aluminum oxide and other hard finishes; for use with Blaze Plus.

What machines it’s compatible with: Edgers (Use Blaze Plus for belt sander)

Other features: Durable backing makes it resistant to tearing. Like Blaze Plus, Blaze X lasts longs with few needs for changing out the belt.

Norton Blaze Multi-Air Cyclonic – Hook & Loop Discs

What type of job it’s designed for: Tough jobs where other hook and loop discs have the tendency to tear

Other features: Superior hook and loop backing made with polyester-reinforced D-weight to keep it from tearing.

What machines it’s compatible with: Multi-Head Machines (aka Planetary Machines)

Mistakes to avoid: If you want to use a planetary machine for the whole sanding process, don’t start too coarse. Planetary machines can leave scratches that are hard to get out. So, it’s good to not put deep scratches in to begin with.

What To Look For In Your Sandpaper

Like we’ve said, not all sandpaper is created the same. To start comparing the different types, it is important to know what the features mean. Keep reading for our 101 on deciphering sandpaper terminology.

Sandpaper Cut Rate: How quickly the sandpaper sands through finish or wood.

Why this is important: A high cut rate means less time sanding. Choose a sandpaper that will be powerful enough to get your job done quickly and efficiently.

A sand paper that cuts quickly allows you cut through more finish or wood with each pass.

Plus, a good sandpaper cut rate allows you to start with a finer scratch for more aggressive cuts. For example, on new wood, some people start with a 50 grit Norton Blaze paper because it can cut just as powerfully as a competitors 36 grit.

Another benefit – a finer grit will leave less deep scratches that you’ll have to sand out later.

Longevity: How long you can use a single piece of sandpaper without replacing.

Why longevity matters: Not all sandpaper maintain consistency throughout the process. When comparing prices, consider longevity.

Sure, one paper could be $50 cheaper, but you may need to use more to get the same results as the expensive one. And stopping to change out paper takes time and “time is money.” Another perk – you may be able to use the same paper on multiple jobs.

Scratch Pattern: The scratches left behind as the sandpaper sands.

With heavier grits you’ll see deeper scratches, with lighter grits you’ll get smoother scratches. Neither is worse than the other. You want to start with a heavy grit and end with a lighter one.

Why you should consider this: There’s a couple reasons why scratch pattern can affect your sanding job. Most obvious is that it makes your final cuts smoother, giving you a better looking floor.

An often overlooked benefit is that starting your sanding job with an even scratch pattern means you may not use as many grits later on.

For example, some have seen that with the Norton Blaze products, a 50 grit left a more consistent scratch pattern than a 50 grit from competing brands.

This meant that they could skip to 80 grit bypassing the typical beginning 36 grit.

Using less grits in sequence means that you’ll complete the sanding more quickly and with an overall flatter and smoother looking floor.

Want to try?

Contact us at any of our locations to try Norton Blaze!