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  • Writer's pictureWurth USA

How to Choose the Right Coated Abrasive

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

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Sometimes you have to break things down in order to build them back up better than before. Abrasives help to do just that!

What is an Abrasive?

An abrasive is a material, often a mineral, that is used to shape or finish a work piece through rubbing which leads to part of the work piece being worn away. While finishing a material often means polishing it to gain a smooth, reflective surface, it can also involve roughening as in satin, matte or beaded finishes. Each individual grain removes material (gauges) on the surface it contacts. The cutting power of an abrasive grain is dependent on the shape, hardness, toughness and grain orientation.

Whether you're restoring, modifying, repairing or building, in order to achieve a finished result that meets your expectations and desired specifications, you need abrasives that were designed for the shape and material you are working on. Settling for an inferior abrasive or one not made for your application can cost you time in rework and new material needed.

That's why it's so important to know how to choose the right coated abrasive from the start.


Choosing the Right Coated Abrasive



This grain is made from a percentage of aluminum oxide and zirconium oxide. The combination results in a tough, durable abrasive that works well in rough grinding applications, on a broad range of steels and steel alloys. It provides a cool cut for high stock removal.

Try Our: Premium Zirconia Resin Fibre Discs, Zebra Flap Discs, Zebra Mini Flap Discs, and Zebra Flexi-Discs


  • Synthetic

  • Hard and Sharp

  • As it is used it breaks and gives a new sharp edge

  • Tough and durable

  • Self cooling grain-does not hold heat like other minerals

  • High stock removal

Top Applications:

  • Steel

  • Specialty Alloys

  • Carbon Steel

  • Titanium

  • Wrought Iron

  • Fiberglass

Zirconia Abrasives Benefits and Application



The high-cut purity grain is an abrasive with the ability to fracture at a controlled rate, constantly creating thousands of new cutting points. Otherwise known as "self-sharpening." It is exceptionally hard and strong, and primarily used for precision grinding in demanding applications on steels and alloys that are the most difficult to grind.

Try Our: Premium Ceramic Coated Metal Discs, Ceramic Mini Resin Fibre Discs


  • Hard mineral

  • Self-sharpening crystals break down to expose a new sharp edge

  • Sharp grains result in cooler surface

  • Extended life

Top Applications:

  • Steel

  • Stainless Steel

  • Specialty Alloys

  • Carbon Steel

  • Titanium

  • Wrought Iron



This synthetic material is the toughest of the grains and its toughness gives long life while its sharpness delivers a fast cut. Aluminum oxide has the greatest variety of uses among the coated abrasive minerals. It is usually the abrasive chosen for grinding carbon steel, alloy steel, high speed steel, malleable iron, wrought iron, and similar metals.

Try Our: Premium Aluminum Oxide Resin Fibre Discs, Mini Resin Fibre Discs


  • All purpose, inexpensive material

  • Rounded grain that does not break easily

  • Will not get hot after continuous use

  • Greatest range of use, virtually on any material

Top Applications:

  • Carbon Steel

  • Alloy Steel

  • High Speed Steel

  • Malleable Iron

  • Wrought Iron

  • Bronze



The use of grinding additives in this disc acts as a lubricant that resists disc loading. The disc disperses lubricants as it heats and grinds, which sheds the metal particles away from the disc. Traditionally designed for the fabrication industry for use on soft metals like bronze, brass and aluminum.

Try Our: Soft Metal Resin Fibre Discs


  • Designed for use on soft metal discs

  • OFfers a lower work surface temperature Wax coating that prevents the disc from loading as it melts and cuts


  • Abrasive - Aluminum Oxide

  • Anti loading agent (Wax) lubricates & prevents clogging of disk

Top Applications:

  • Aluminum

  • Brass / Bronze / Copper

  • Fiberglass / Composites


  • Reduction in the number of discs used

  • Less down time

  • Faster cut rates and better finish


Let's Find the Right Abrasive Together

Wurth USA provides a lot more abrasive solutions and styles that are not detailed here. For instance, did you know that you can store your abrasives within Würth vending machines? This allows you to track product consumption and maintain a tidy work area.

Stay tuned for more How-To's on Abrasives and join the conversation on our social channels: @wurth_usa

Have any questions regarding any of our abrasive solutions? Feel free to get in touch with your designated Wurth USA sales representative or get in touch with us at 1-800-WURTH-USA.

Wurth USA is a supplier of automotive chemicals, fasteners, hand tools and electrical supplies since 1969. Our extensive catalog of over 14,000 products is paired with the incredible service offerings of our field sales team as they visit customers around the country providing shop management solutions, inventory management programs, product advice, and much more. If you would like to learn more about being our partner, get in touch by contacting us today!

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