Sandpaper and abrasives are regularly used in preparation for renovation and finishing work. Paints, varnishes, and various finishes often require a perfectly smooth base (application surface) to produce the best effect. Whether it’s wood, metal, or masonry, good sanding is essential.

A carefully selected abrasive must also be used wisely: by hand on small or delicate surfaces or by machine on large, flat, and not so fragile surfaces.

What is abrasive and how to choose the right abrasive and sandpaper for the job at hand?

An abrasive is a very hard material, of mineral or synthetic origin, reduced to small fragments.

Glued on semi-rigid support based on paper or canvas, they give rise to the applied abrasives. Commonly used for sanding in DIY and building works, on dry and flat surfaces.

Sandpaper is suitable for a number of tasks including removing rust, metal, and paint from wood; preparing or cleaning wood surfaces for painting or staining; sanding uneven surfaces, and polishing.

The choice of abrasive will depend on the needed use: roughing, stripping, or finishing.

Best Sandpape Comparison Table

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PRODUCT FEATURES LATEST PRICE
1. 3M 26060CP-P-G Pro Grade No-Slip Grip Advanced Sandpaper, 9-Inch x 11-Inch, 60 Grit, Pack of 18
  • Professional grade
  • Clog resistant
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Anti-slip back
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2. Miady 120 To 3000 Assorted Grit Sandpaper for Wood Furniture Finishing, Metal Sanding and Automotive Polishing, Dry or Wet Sanding, 9 x 3.6 Inch, 36-Sheet

  • All common grit sizes in one package
  • Electro coated waterproof silicon carbide
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3. 3M 9019 General Purpose Sandpaper Sheets, 3-2/3-Inch by 9-Inch, Assorted Grit
  • General-purpose sandpaper from the renown 3M brand
  • Aluminum oxide mineral
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4. Fandeli Assorted Grits (80,120,220), sandpaper sheets, multipurpose for furniture, wood, metal, “9×11”, 25 sheet pack
  • Heavy-duty paper
  • High-quality mineral grains
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5. HSYMQ 24PCS Sand Paper Variety Pack Sandpaper 12 Grits Assorted for Wood Metal Sanding, Wet Dry Sandpaper
  • Waterproof
  • Improved tensile strength
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6. LANNEY Sandpaper Assortment Girt 120 to 3000 Sand Paper with Sanding Block Sander, Wet Dry Variety Pack Abrasive Sandpapers for Wood Automotive Car Furniture Metal Polishing Finishing, 9х3.6”
  • 14 grit sizes, 3 sheets each
  • Silicon Carbide, Electro Coated waterproof grit
  • KRAFT paper support
  • Included hand sander block
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7. Auerllcy Sanding Sponge, Coarse/Medium/Fine/Superfine 4 Different Specifications Sanding Blocks Assortment, Washable and Reusable. (4 PCS)
  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • 4 sizes
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8. 3M Pro Grade Reusable Sanding Kit, Sanding tool and Sandpaper, Variety Pack with 80, 120, and 220 grits
  • Secure handle
  • Industrial quality
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9. Dura-Gold Premium – Wet or Dry – Variety Pack – 3-2/3″ x 9″ Sheets – 5-Each of (150, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000) Automotive Woodworking – Box of 50 Sandpaper Finishing Sheets
  • Durable Silicon Carbide
  • Consistent surface
  • Dry or wet sanding
Check Price
10. LANHU 3000 Grit Sandpaper for Wood Furniture Finishing, Metal Sanding, and Automotive Polishing, Dry or Wet Sanding, Multipurpose Sandpaper, 9 x 11 Inches, 25-Sheets
  • Silicon Carbide, electro-coated professional grade sandpaper
  • Many sizes available
  • Wet or dry sanding
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First of all, there’s the roughness (or grain size) to choose from. This depends on the composition and size of the grain. The more the grains are numerous, the finer they are. Thus a 240 grain is four times finer than a 60 grain. The higher the number associated with the grain, the smaller the grain.

How to choose the support for your abrasive and sandpaper? There are different supports available. The nature of the support on which the grains are glued must correspond to the type of work to be undertaken and the tool used:

  • Paper supports: most are reserved for routine work and manual use.
  • Canvas (cotton, polyester, or vulcanized fiber): for machine work because they are more resistant to heating and tearing.

When it comes to the grain itself, there’s the choice between natural or synthetic grains.

Abrasives of natural origin:

  • Silex: gives birth to the famous sandpaper. It is preferably used on raw wood and by hand.
  • Corundum on paper or canvas: also suitable for sanders. Combined with zinc stearate, corundum paper is used when anti-fouling. This makes it possible to use it by hand or machine on varnishes, putties and paints.
  • Emery cloth: more suitable for curved or complex surfaces (with protruding parts, edges, etc), for metals, and when intensive hand sanding is required.

Abrasives of synthetic origin are harder and more resistant to wear. These are synthetic corundum, aluminous abrasives with zirconium oxide, carborundum (silicon carbide). All of them are suitable for intensive sanding, by machine or by hand.

Use anti-fouling paper for stripping paint, varnish, etc. For finishing sanding on metals, plastics, and lacquers, use special waterproof paper.

After having chosen the right kind of sandpaper, you’ll have to choose the right grain size.

In addition to the nature of the grains, it is their size that defines the roughness of an abrasive. The fewer the grains, the larger they are and the more aggressive the abrasive is. Their designations may vary from one manufacturer to another, but they are divided into general grades:

  • Extra coarse (16 to 40). For rough, heavily soiled or damaged surfaces (impact marks, deep scratches, etc.).
  • Large (50 to 60). Scratched or stained bottoms, big defects in paints and varnishes.
  • Medium (80 to 100). More delicate surfaces (furniture for example), with less marked defects and imperfections.
  • Medium-fine or fine (120 to 150). Final or intermediate sanding before applying the finish.
  • Fine or very fine (180 to 240). Final sanding or gritting between two coats of paint or varnish.
  • Extra-fine (280 to 400+). For between coats of gloss and/or dark varnish or lacquer.

From 400 and up, the abrasive is more suitable for bodywork, model making, and fine work.

Depending on the condition and nature of the surface to be sanded, the desired appearance is rarely obtained in a single operation. Most often it is necessary to start with a medium or coarse abrasive and finish with a finer grit.

Finally, there’s a choice to be made when it comes to the formats available.

Here a list of the most common formats available:

  • Sheets: These are available in several sizes (e.g. 230 x 280 mm), the sanding sheet is used by hand or better, on a sanding block.
  • Discs: Sanding paper in the form of discs is reserved for machines (orbital sanders or eccentric sanders), their accessories (sanding plates for drills and grinders) and some sanding pads.
  • Rolls: For more stationery uses, where stability is key.

Our Our Best Sandpaper Reviews and Comparisons Reviews and Comparisons

1. Miady 120 To 3000 Assorted Grit Sandpaper for Wood Furniture Finishing, Metal Sanding and Automotive Polishing, Dry or Wet Sanding, 9 x 3.6 Inch, 36-Sheet

Product Highlights

All grit sizes included: 120/220/320/400/600/800/1000/1200/1500/2000/2500/3000. Three sheets included for each size, for a total of 36 sandpaper sheets covering 12 sizes. Suitable for wet and dry sanding. Made of electro-coated waterproof silicon carbide. Size: 9 x 3.6 inches.

Features

  • All common grit sizes in one package
  • Electro coated waterproof silicon carbide

What We Like About Miady 120 To 3000 Assorted Grit Sandpaper for Wood Furniture Finishing, Metal Sanding, and Automotive Polishing, Dry or Wet Sanding, 9 x 3.6 Inch, 36-Sheet

Cheap, but the quality was decent, homogeneous, and waterproof. Includes all the sizes you’ll ever need.

What We Don’t Like About Miady 120 To 3000 Assorted Grit Sandpaper for Wood Furniture Finishing, Metal Sanding, and Automotive Polishing, Dry or Wet Sanding, 9 x 3.6 Inch, 36-Sheet

Three sheets aren’t enough for the more commonly needed sizes. Also, it wears down faster than more expensive alternatives.

PROS

  • Decent quality for the price
  • Waterproof
  • All sizes

CONS

  • Three sheets are insufficient for some sizes
  • Wears off quick

2. 3M 9019 General Purpose Sandpaper Sheets, 3-2/3-Inch by 9-Inch, Assorted Grit

Product Highlights

The abrasive used on these 3M general purpose sandpaper is made from aluminum oxide mineral. Fitting to sand metal, paint or wood.

Features

  • General-purpose sandpaper from the renown 3M brand
  • Aluminum oxide mineral

What We Like About 3M 9019 General Purpose Sandpaper Sheets, 3-2/3-Inch by 9-Inch, Assorted Grit

Good size for hand sanding. The three grit sizes were welcome too.

What We Don’t Like About 3M 9019 General Purpose Sandpaper Sheets, 3-2/3-Inch by 9-Inch, Assorted Grit

Too small for sanding blocks and too flimsy for intensive jobs.

PROS

  • Hand sanding standard size
  • Three grit sizes included

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Flimsy
  • Too small for sanding blocks

3. Fandeli Assorted Grits (80,120,220), sandpaper sheets, multipurpose for furniture, wood, metal, “9×11”, 25 sheet pack

Product Highlights

Fandeli sandpaper is made from Heavy-duty paper, suitable for all surfaces. The grains are made from Superior Aluminium Oxide Mineral to ensure a longer-lasting paper that doesn’t clog up that fast.

Features

  • Heavy-duty paper
  • High-quality mineral grains

What We Like About Fandeli Assorted Grits (80,120,220), sandpaper sheets, multipurpose for furniture, wood, metal, “9×11”, 25 sheet pack

Sheet size is easy to adapt to a block or any other application.

What We Don’t Like About Fandeli Assorted Grits (80,120,220), sandpaper sheets, multipurpose for furniture, wood, metal, “9×11”, 25 sheet pack

Didn’t last as long as we hoped for.

PROS

  • Adaptable sheets sizes
  • All common grit sizes

CONS

  • Wore out too quick
  • Price for quality

4. HSYMQ 24PCS Sand Paper Variety Pack Sandpaper 12 Grits Assorted for Wood Metal Sanding, Wet Dry Sandpaper

Product Highlights

Each sheet is 9 x 3.6 inches in size. Available in grit sizes: 120/150/180/240/320/400/600/800/1000/1500/2500/3000

Features Waterproof Tensile Resistant Technology for long-lasting wet and dry sanding.

Features

  • Waterproof
  • Improved tensile strength

What We Like About HSYMQ 24PCS Sand Paper Variety Pack Sandpaper 12 Grits Assorted for Wood Metal Sanding, Wet Dry Sandpaper

Was very cheap, and we liked the included Ziploc bag for storage.

What We Don’t Like About HSYMQ 24PCS Sand Paper Variety Pack Sandpaper 12 Grits Assorted for Wood Metal Sanding, Wet Dry Sandpaper

Very cheap, flimsy quality. Grit wore off so quickly, we almost couldn’t differentiate between the different sizes.

PROS

  • Ziploc storage bag
  • Cheap

CONS

  • Flimsy
  • Irrelevant grit size

5. 3M 26060CP-P-G Pro Grade No-Slip Grip Advanced Sandpaper, 9-Inch x 11-Inch, 60 Grit, Pack of 18

Product Highlights

Professional grade clog-resistant paper for wet or dry sanding with an anti-slip back for proven less hand fatigue and efficiency.

Available in the grit sizes: 60/80/100/120/150/180/220/320/400. Size: 9-Inch x 11-Inch.

Features

  • Professional grade
  • Clog resistant
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Anti-slip back

What We Like About 3M 26060CP-P-G Pro Grade No-Slip Grip Advanced Sandpaper, 9-Inch x 11-Inch, 60 Grit, Pack of 18

We were impressed with the quality and performance. Lasting about four times longer than other “regular” sandpapers. We also liked the anti-slip back for the overall sanding experience, especially in small crannies.

What We Don’t Like About 3M 26060CP-P-G Pro Grade No-Slip Grip Advanced Sandpaper, 9-Inch x 11-Inch, 60 Grit, Pack of 18

More expensive than the “regular” sandpapers here on the list.

PROS

  • Superior performance
  • Long-lasting
  • Comfort and precision

CONS

  • Expensive (but lasts four times longer!)

6. LANNEY Sandpaper Assortment Girt 120 to 3000 Sand Paper with Sanding Block Sander, Wet Dry Variety Pack Abrasive Sandpapers for Wood Automotive Car Furniture Metal Polishing Finishing, 9х3.6”

Product Highlights

The grit is made from premium silicon carbide and electro-coated, to be used for wet and dry sanding. The backing paper used is KRAFT paper, that is flexible while being tear-resistant.

This package includes 3 sheets of 120/150/180/240/320/400/600/800/1000/1200/1500/2000/2500/3000 each, for a total of 42 sheets. Size: 9”x 3.6”.

Included too is a hand sander block made out of ABS, with foam for cushioning while sanding and a firm screw clamp.

Features

  • 14 grit sizes, 3 sheets each
  • Silicon Carbide, Electro Coated waterproof grit
  • KRAFT paper support
  • Included hand sander block

What We Like About LANNEY Sandpaper Assortment Girt 120 to 3000 Sand Paper with Sanding Block Sander, Wet Dry Variety Pack Abrasive Sandpapers for Wood Automotive Car Furniture Metal Polishing Finishing, 9х3.6”

Great bang for the buck. More than decent paper quality in all needed sizes. And a sanding block is included.

What We Don’t Like About LANNEY Sandpaper Assortment Girt 120 to 3000 Sand Paper with Sanding Block Sander, Wet Dry Variety Pack Abrasive Sandpapers for Wood Automotive Car Furniture Metal Polishing Finishing, 9х3.6”

Wet sanding metals wear the paper down quickly and the block won’t last you long either.

PROS

  • Cheap
  • Decent quality

CONS

  • Wet sanding metal
  • Sanding block

7. Auerllcy Sanding Sponge, Coarse/Medium/Fine/Superfine 4 Different Specifications Sanding Blocks Assortment, Washable and Reusable. (4 PCS)

Product Highlights

This Sanding Sponge is made from high-quality brown corundum and is washable and reusable. Included are four different grits: 60/80/120/220 (Coarse, Medium, Fine, and Superfine). Size: 4 x 2.8 x 1 inch.

Features

  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • 4 sizes

What We Like About Auerllcy Sanding Sponge, Coarse/Medium/Fine/Superfine 4 Different Specifications Sanding Blocks Assortment, Washable and Reusable. (4 PCS)

They are really great for wet sanding and are long-lasting too. The four different sizes were accurate and practical too.

What We Don’t Like About Auerllcy Sanding Sponge, Coarse/Medium/Fine/Superfine 4 Different Specifications Sanding Blocks Assortment, Washable and Reusable. (4 PCS)

Be careful though with very rough surfaces, which will tear up the edges pretty quickly.

PROS

  • Great for water sanding
  • Long-lasting
  • Four practical sizes

CONS

  • Edges are the weak spot

8. 3M Pro Grade Reusable Sanding Kit, Sanding tool and Sandpaper, Variety Pack with 80, 120, and 220 grits

Product Highlights

The sanding block is made to last with a strong hook for a secure fit. The grit is made from a Premium Mineral using the same technology found in Cubitron II Industrial Abrasives. Includes 80/120/220 grit sizes.

Features

  • Secure handle
  • Industrial quality

What We Like About 3M Pro Grade Reusable Sanding Kit, Sanding tool and Sandpaper, Variety Pack with 80, 120, and 220 grits

The handle is very comfy and secure. Velcro back for added security. Very high quality, long-lasting abrasive.

What We Don’t Like About 3M Pro Grade Reusable Sanding Kit, Sanding tool and Sandpaper, Variety Pack with 80, 120, and 220 grits

Five sheets aren’t enough. Especially when these are going to be hard to find in any regular hardware store since they’re Velcro-backed.

PROS

  • Comfortable
  • Secure
  • Superb quality

CONS

  • Not enough sheets included
  • Uncommon Velcro-backed paper

9. Dura-Gold Premium – Wet or Dry – Variety Pack – 3-2/3″ x 9″ Sheets – 5-Each of (150, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000) Automotive Woodworking – Box of 50 Sandpaper Finishing Sheets

Product Highlights

Premium Wet or Dry Sandpaper is made from Durable Silicon Carbide. The package includes 5 sheets in the grit sizes: 150/220/320/400/600/800/1000/1500/2000/3000.

Consistent grit surface for a uniform finish.

They’re intended for dry or wet sanding. Size: 3-2/3″ x 9”.

Features

  • Durable Silicon Carbide
  • Consistent surface
  • Dry or wet sanding

What We Like About Dura-Gold Premium – Wet or Dry – Variety Pack – 3-2/3″ x 9″ Sheets – 5-Each of (150, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000) Automotive Woodworking – Box of 50 Sandpaper Finishing Sheets

Very high-quality sandpaper that lasts. All sizes are included, even the ultra-fine ones for a superior smooth finish.

What We Don’t Like About Dura-Gold Premium – Wet or Dry – Variety Pack – 3-2/3″ x 9″ Sheets – 5-Each of (150, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000) Automotive Woodworking – Box of 50 Sandpaper Finishing Sheets

When dry sanding they clog up faster than expected.

PROS

  • High-quality wet sanding paper
  • Many sizes included

CONS

  • Reduced performance when dry sanding

10. LANHU 3000 Grit Sandpaper for Wood Furniture Finishing, Metal Sanding, and Automotive Polishing, Dry or Wet Sanding, Multipurpose Sandpaper, 9 x 11 Inches, 25-Sheets

Product Highlights

9 x 11 inches Professional grade sandpaper. The grit is made from Silicon Carbide, electro-coated for a more homogeneous surface. To be used wet or dry. Available in the sizes: 60/80/120/150/180/220/240/320/400/800/1000/1200/1500/2000/2500/3000 and sold in 10/15/20/25/40/50 sheets per pack.

Features

  • Silicon Carbide, electro-coated professional grade sandpaper
  • Many sizes available
  • Wet or dry sanding

What We Like About LANHU 3000 Grit Sandpaper for Wood Furniture Finishing, Metal Sanding, and Automotive Polishing, Dry or Wet Sanding, Multipurpose Sandpaper, 9 x 11 Inches, 25-Sheets

This sandpaper proved to be excellent for dry sanding. Long-lasting while not clogging up too fast.

What We Don’t Like About LANHU 3000 Grit Sandpaper for Wood Furniture Finishing, Metal Sanding, and Automotive Polishing, Dry or Wet Sanding, Multipurpose Sandpaper, 9 x 11 Inches, 25-Sheets

When wet sanding it proved to be less ideal: warping corners and overall weakness when wet.

PROS

  • Excellent for dry sanding
  • Long-lasting

CONS

  • Warping when wet sanding
  • Weak when wet

Final Verdict

We choose the 3M 26060CP-P-G Pro Grade No-Slip Grip Advanced Sandpaper with its superior quality, precision, comfort, and durability as the winner. It might seem expensive for some sandpaper, but it will last you much longer. Up to four times more. And you’ll be rewarded with an overall enhanced experience in the meanwhile.