Spiral Band Abrasives
Abrasive spiral bands are small, round tubes of abrasives, coated with aluminum oxide or zirconia grains. Spiral bands, also known as drum rolls attach to a rubber expanding drum and then to a die grinder or drill. They are also commonly referred to as spindle sander drums or spindle sander sleeves.
Spiral bands are ideal for grinding in small areas or on contoured surfaces. The narrowest diameters go down to 1/4" which can get into some of the smallest areas you need to sand or to provide the flexibility and precision to finish ornate surfaces.
Wide spiral band sleeves are often used for smoothing out saw marks and the insides of hole cuts or grinding down contoured surfaces.
Different sized spiral bands are compatible with different tools, including die grinders, oscillating spindle grinders, and rotary drills. Please see the product description pages for more details on which band works with which tool.
Additionally, spiral band abrasives can be used manually without a tool attached when more precision and less aggressive sanding is required.
Expanding Rubber Drums for Spiral Bands
In order to use a spiral band with any of the above mentioned power tools, you will need to connect the sanding drum sleeves through a compatible expanding drum.
The drums are designed to allow space for the bands to loosely slide over the rubber drum. As the tool spins, the drum expands to create a tight fit for the spiral bands to stay in place without shifting while grinding.
Coated Spiral Band Abrasives
Aluminum Oxide -
These are a versatile and affordable option for sanding, grinding, and deburring with spiral bands. They are capable of grinding and sanding most ferrous and non-ferrous metals, wood, fiberglass, and plastic. Aluminum oxide spiral bands have a reddish/brownish color.
Zirconia Oxide (Zirc) -
This abrasive type is more durable and longer lasting than aluminum oxide, and slightly more expensive. They are great for grinding and polishing all ferrous and non ferrous metals, wood, fiberglass, plastic, and rubber. Zirconia Oxide bands have blue abrasive grains.
Surface Conditioning Spiral Bands
Surface conditioning spiral bands are non-woven abrasives made of nylon webbing infused with abrasive grains (similar to 3M Scotch-Brite™) rather than traditional coated abrasives like the aluminum oxide and zirconia oxide mentioned above.
This type of spiral band is designed to be less aggressive and best for blending metal surfaces, removing paint and rust, and conditioning a surface down to bare metal.
Empire Abrasives spiral bands are available in all of the grits you could need for most jobs. Our grits start at a coarse 36 grit for more aggressive grinding and sanding. From there we have multiple grits leading up to a very fine 320 grit for final stage sanding and polishing.
Spiral Bands vs. Cartridge Rolls
These two abrasives accomplish most of the same tasks, also using the same tools, but abrasive cartridge rolls are designed a bit different. Rather than being a single sleeve, like spiral bands, they are made of tightly wrapped layers of resin bonded abrasives. This extends the life of the abrasive by exposing fresh layers of abrasive grains as the used layers wear away from use. Additionally, cartridge rolls can also be found in a tapered shape instead for more maneuverability.