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17 March, 2017

Orbital Sanding to a Matt Finish on Stainless Steel

Need to know how to remove sanding marks of stainless steel and create a matt orbital sander finish?  Our Friday training session this week began with a sheet of stainless steel sanded with three different grit finishes.


stainless steel orbital sander

People often ask how we should sand stainless steel with an orbital sander and also which grit type we should use.  Aluminium oxide discs are an expensive waste of time for this process, so in our little mini-test we only used our KP950GR zirconia discs in P40 and P80 grit.  The image above shows our work piece before we used the 950GR 40 grit Zirconia disc.

Why Zirconia Instead of Aluminium Oxide?

As we know, stainless steel is a very tough material, aluminium oxide is a similarly tough material so when it comes into contact with the stainless steel it dulls very quickly, meaning the life span of an aluminium oxide disc will be very short.  The zirconia disc is a much harder / tougher grit so it will keep cutting faster, last longer and will leave a more consistent finish.

950GR Discs In Action

oribtal sander on stainless steel


So which grit size do I need to use to remove P80 / P100 sanding marks?  The 80 grit 950GR disc cut the surface effectively but it was unable to remove all the 100 grit marks quickly and left a little more shiny finish.  The P40 grit zirconia disc removed all the sanding lines quickly and left a consistent matt surface.

40 grit stainless steel finish ortbital sander

Hints and Tips:

  1. Always start the sander on the workpiece.
  2. Keep a consistent and even pressure on the workpiece
  3. Always check the hand arm vibration levels and do not exceed the maximum recommended machine operation time in any given period.


Read More of our “How To Guides” and Related Posts Below:

Restoring a Satin Finish

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