Grit Material Type

Each grit material has different attributes, such as brittleness and hardness. When choosing a grit material, take into account the qualities associated with that grit material for the intended application. In some cases, two grit materials are blended to offer qualities intermediate to those materials alone. For example, aluminum oxide is durable, but silicon carbide is aggressive. A blend of silicon carbide and aluminum oxide would be more durable than silicon carbide alone, and more aggressive than aluminum oxide alone.

  • Aluminum oxide is a widely used and versatile abrasive material. It is a tough, fracture- and wear-resistant grit that works well with a broad range of materials, from metals to wood. Aluminum oxide is more durable than silicon carbide and often used for material removal and finishing.
  • Ceramic aluminum oxide is tougher than aluminum oxide, and is self-sharpening. It is formed in a process where alumina gel is dried and then crushed. These engineered crystals fracture and refracture at fine levels, to form a smooth, self-sharpening abrasive material. Ceramic aluminum oxide is most commonly used for medium-to-high material removal on metals.
  • Diamond is the hardest known material. It works well on most workpiece materials, such as many metals, glass, ceramics, and natural stone. Diamond is not compatible with steel, due to the carbon content in both diamond and steel.
  • Silicon carbide is a sharp, aggressive grain that offers high penetration, fast cutting, and high material removal even under light pressure. It is commonly used with softer materials like brass, plastics, and rubber, and abrasive materials like glass and enamel, but can wear out faster that aluminum oxide when used on wood.
  • Zirconia alumina is a self-sharpening abrasive that allows for a faster cut rate and longer life than aluminum oxide, due to its ability to fracture and refracture, creating new cutting edges. Zirconia alumina is often used for high stock removal on wood and metals.