Sanding net vs paper. Which abrasive disc is the best?

Sanding Net Disc VS Paper Disc

I made a comparison between sanding paper and mesh sanding discs. I had already used net abrasive discs but had not stopped at a real comparison.

In this article, I will explain the differences and which discs to choose for our orbital sander.

Which one performs better?

I will tell you right away that from the point of view of sanding performance, the results are very similar, so the difference is all in the details.

Details that we will now analyze.

Which abrasive discs did I choose for testing?

For this test, I chose Mirka’s mesh abrasive discs, and I used the Grit 100 and Grit 320 (You can consult our guide if you want to know more about the various Grit tables.) at the time of writing have a cost of about $ 1.2 and $ 0.88 (the grit 320 is discounted, the regular price is $ 1.66) per disc.

Mirka 9A-241-100 6-Inch 100 Grit Mesh...
  • 100 grit abrasive grain for fast material...
  • 6 inch disc for material removal and finish...
Mirka 9A-241-320 6-Inch 320 Grit Mesh...
  • 320 grit abrasive grain for fast material...
  • 6 inch disc for material removal and finish...

To make a precise comparison, I picked Mirka discs also for paper discs and always in the 6-inch versions of Grit 100 and Grit 320 from $0.50 to $0.40 per disc. I found only the versions without holes, which I applied by hand to allow the dust to be vacuumed.

The price comparison is not perfect because small packs are more expensive and because disks without holes are, on average cheaper. However, the price difference between the two versions is evident.



For mesh abrasive discs, it is necessary to use a Pad Hook Saver.

Some recommend using a pad protector even when using paper disks. Still, if it is optional in that case, network disks make it mandatory.

In fact, the mesh discs, having a wider mesh structure, let the hooks of the Pad pass, and the risk is to damage them with the expensive consequence of having to replace all the backing pads.

As a Pad Hook Saver, I chose this one from 3M, which costs only $12 and protects excellently.

3M Hookit Clean Sanding Disc Pad Hook Saver,...
  • Cost-effective
  • Maximizes the life of your 3M Hookit Pad or...

Mesh Abrasive Pros

  • better dust extraction
  • more resistant to irregularities and cracks

Net Sanding Disc Cons

  • Expensive
  • with the same surface area, it has a lower abrasive mixture



Sanding Paper Disc Pros

  • lower cost
  • high availability
  • A high density of the abrasive mixture

Net Sanding Disc Cons

  • Poor passage of dust
  • On edges or irregularities, it breaks easily

How did they behave?

I must say that I was impressed by the way in which the network disks manage to suck the dust that practically does not settle on the disk but is sucked by our sander.

Another aspect where I was pleasantly impressed was when I smoothed the edges and parts where there were cracks. In these falls, the network disk resisted mistreatment while the paper disk was torn.

Of course, however, network disks are very expensive. If we want to use them, it is better to take advantage of the various offers that there are on Amazon. They also last less than traditional paper discs. This is due because, in the paper disc, the abrasive mixture covers the entire surface of the disc, while in the mesh one, because of its structure, it has less. However, it must be said that the shorter duration I noticed, especially on the Grit 100, while on the Grit 320, the duration of the network disk lasted slightly longer.

Are sanding net discs worth the price?

Will I buy abrasive net discs back despite the higher price and higher consumption? Probably yes, especially if I have to perform work on paints or putties where a lot of dust is produced. Connect our orbital sander to the vacuum cleaner. With these discs, you can eat almost all the dust.

I will remain with good and cheap abrasive paper discs for the rest of the work to be done on the wood.


This comparison probably deserves further tests with different products and brands. It must be said that these Mirka network discs are advertised especially for sanding work on cars or painted surfaces, and I must say that I agree.

Maybe in the next few months, I could try the Diablo network disks or those of 3M that have excellent reviews, even for woodwork.

As for paper discs, they undoubtedly have the advantage of price, so if I have to sand large surfaces or do a long sanding job, I will continue to use them predominantly.

Diablo SandNet 220 Grit 5” Sanding Disc -...
  • Premium aluminum oxide grit blend for fast...
  • Includes free connection pad for easy...


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