What Are the Main Types of Automotive Abrasives? - Eagle National Supply
What Are the Main Types of Automotive Abrasives?

If you have ever had to perform automotive work like sanding, grinding, or finishing, you know the importance of abrasive materials. Abrasives are used in the auto industry to remove paint and rust and to polish or smooth surfaces.

They come in different sizes, shapes, and materials, each designed for a specific purpose. Let’s discuss the main types of automotive abrasives and their applications.


Sandpaper is one of the most commonly used abrasives in the auto industry. It is made by gluing abrasive particles onto a paper backing. Car sandpaper comes in different grit sizes ranging from coarse to fine. The coarse grits are for heavy-duty sanding and removal of paint or rust, while the finer grits work best for finishing and smoothing out surfaces. When sanding, we recommend starting with a coarse grit and working to a fine grit for a smooth finish.

Grinding Wheels

These work well for heavy-duty tasks like shaping metal or removing large amounts of material. Grinding wheels have different variations, including diamond, ceramic, and aluminum oxide. Diamond wheels are the most expensive for cutting hard materials like ceramics, carbide, or hardened steel. Ceramic and aluminum oxide wheels are less expensive and are for grinding softer materials like iron and steel.

Polishing Compound

A polishing compound can give surfaces a glossy and shiny appearance. Polishing compound comes in different forms, including liquids, gels, and pastes. It is applied to the surface using a buffing pad or cloth. You should base the compound on the type of material you are polishing and the desired finish.

Wire Wheels

These work well for removing rust, paint, and other coatings from metal surfaces. Wire wheels come in different types, including twisted, knotted, and crimped. Twisted and crimped wire wheels are softer for lighter-duty tasks like removing surface rust. Knotted wire wheels are more aggressive for heavy-duty tasks like wire brushing a weld joint.

Sanding Discs

These discs work well for sanding and grinding small areas or hard-to-reach places. Sanding discs come in different sizes and grits, but the most common sizes are 5-inch and 6-inch discs. They are attached to a backing pad and used with a rotary tool like a drill or angle grinder.

Automotive abrasives are essential tools in the auto industry. Understanding the different types of abrasives and their applications will help you select the right one for your DIY automotive projects. When choosing abrasive materials, remember the kind of materials you are working with, the task at hand, and the desired finish. Doing so will give you the best results and a professional-looking finish.

Eagle National has car sandpaper rolls, discs, and sheets to meet your automotive needs. Whether you’re sanding, grinding, or polishing vehicles, we have the right abrasives to get the job done. Shop our automotive abrasives today and get the quality products you need for your projects.

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