For sandpaper there are two choices, the Festool paper, of which there are numerous types, and Abranet abrasive. Now the Festool abrasives are not exactly cheap, and it’s impossible to buy less than 10 in a packet… and there don’t seem to be any “test packets”, full of a range of abrasives (well except for the “125mm Sanding Disc Set” with 150 assorted discs) . For the cost of the sander, they could almost include this, instead of the lonesome 80-grit sanding pad. The Abranet is aluminum oxide bonded to a tough polyamide mesh. From the cost perspective, the Abranet averages about C$1.45 a disc, whereas the Festool Rubin2, Granat and Brilliant 2 range between C$1.80 and C$2.00 (Lee Valley pricing for a pack of 10). Pricing reduces significantly when buying in bulk packs. For example the Granat abrasive is C$2.00 each when bought in a pack of 10, C$1.00 in a pack of 50, and C$0.80 in a pack of 100.
Festool offers a multitude of abrasives.
- Rubin 2 -(close-coated aluminum oxide) this is the primary one for raw wood. P40-P220
- Granat – (hardened aluminum oxide abrasive with ceramic grit and stearate coating ) used for solid surfaces, plastics, composites. P40-P1500.
- Brilliant 2 – For use with paints and varnishes. P40-P400. P40 to P60 for rapid removal, stripping stubborn paints and finishes.
- Saphir – (aluminum oxide) For sanding thick coats on hard surfaces, P24-P80. Suitable for sanding wood, paint, plastics, fiberglass, composites, concrete and steel.
- Titan 2 – (aluminum oxide) Suitable for solid surface and automotive finishes.P80-P3000
- Platin 2 – (silicone carbide) Suitable or finishing fillers, finish coats, solid surface, fiberglass and plastics. S400-S4000
- Vlies – (aluminum oxide fibre-mat) Suitable for cleaning, scouring and scuff sanding a wide range of materials. A100-A280
I would suggest Rubin 2 for rough sanding, followed by Brilliant 2 for higher end 320/400 grit sanding. I have used Rubin 2, 120 grit, followed by 180 grit, followed by Granat 220 grit for finishing hard maple to obtain an uber smooth surface. I have also used a Granat 320 to finish sand drywall, and it does an exceptional job.