Pad #05551 For Random Orbital Sanders
A very soft, conformable pad that maintains good surface contact and doesn't gouge with the leading edge.
Ideal for sanding primers and topcoat finish sanding.
Note that although only the large vacuum holes are open on the back of the pad, they connect to every small hole on the face of the pad via internal channels, for a true full Clean Sanding hole pattern benefit.
Use with 6" Hookit Clean Sanding discs
Use with fine grade discs (220 grit and finer); use with coarser discs may cause premature foam failure
Appoximate 45 bevel makes for a softer edge, better contact on contoured surfaces, and allows the sanded area to be "featheredged" or more easily blended
5/16"-24 external thread mounting stud
Slight, 15° beveled edge
Note: Use only on a random orbital sander. Rotary sanders tend to generate temperatures that are too high for soft pads like this, and can cause the pad to distort or melt
The Hook Saver for this pad is MMM 20445; see Related Products, below.
Heavy on the technical side...
Should you use a soft or firm sanding disc backing pad?
After you have decided between Stikit or Hookit, and chosen no-hole or clean sanding discs, and selected the disc diameter, you will still often be left with the choice of a firm or a soft backing pad.
As a general rule, you should use coarser abrasive discs on firm backing pads, and finer grit discs on soft backing pads.
Soft Backing Pads
The advantage of a soft pad is that its surface can flex to some extent, conforming to the shape of the surface being sanded.
This facilitates higher surface contact, more consistent material removal, and less gouging.
Soft pads are not intended for use with very coarse abrasive discs for heavy duty work, as the higher stresses induced by very coarse abrasives fatigues the foam prematurely.
Having said that, a soft pad can
be used with coarse grit discs for heavy material removal on rounded surfaces - like a sailboat hull - where it would be difficult to maintain full surface contact with a stiffer, firm backing pad.
Just don't expect the soft pad to last as long.
Firm Backing Pads
Using coarse discs on a firm backing pad works very well, as long as the work surface is flat
Using a firm pad on a curved surface can easily result in hard-to-remove gouges and scratch marks.
If the surface isn't flat - again, like a sailboat hull - you will generally want to use a softer pad for full surface contact, no matter what the grit of the sanding disc.
Firm pads are also recommended for leveling uneven surfaces - such as paint brush strokes and runs.
In this application, a soft pad might simply conform to raised areas, rather than cutting them down.