psa discs

What is a PSA Sanding Disc?

These are abrasive sanding discs that are meant to be conveniently attached to your sanding machine by way of a Pressure Sensitive Adhesive, aka PSA.  The self-adhesive backing easily attaches to various power tools such as orbital sanders, rotary sanders, disc sanders and belt disc sanders.

Paper vs Cloth Discs

The backing of these abrasives discs are usually made up of either cloth or paper.  The PSA discs made with cloth backing offer more strength and tear resistance, which works best on heavy-duty grinding.  The paper backed PSA discs offer more flexibility for lighter sanding and finishing.

How to Remove a PSA Sanding Disc

The first thing you should do is unplug your sander or remove the battery or other power source.  Then you should be able to just peel up the edges of the disc, starting from one edge and pulling it back across to the other side.  Make sure to remove any leftover residue after removing the disc to avoid bumps caused by adhesive build up under the next sanding disc installation.

If you are experiencing trouble removing your sanding disc, try one of these tips to peel it off.

  • If it is a small attachment that can be removed, stick it in the freezer to freeze the adhesive, which can make it easier to peel

  • High temperatures from a heat gun or even a hair dryer can be used to melt and loosen the backing adhesive to peel back easier

  • Some people have luck using solvents like lacquer thinner, mineral spirits, or acetone to break up the adhesive

PSA Disc vs Hook & Loop Discs

Instead of using a sticky adhesive like PSA discs, the backing of hook and loop sanding discs use strips of material like Velcro to attach the disc to your sander.  The hook and loop system makes it convenient to attach and remove the abrasive disc effortlessly.  Since PSA discs cannot be reattached after removal, they are used more often for larger jobs where the same grit and abrasive material will be needed until the sandpaper has worn out.