Flap Discs vs Grinding Wheels

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The Flap Discs are coming!! The Flap Discs are coming!!! Well, they have been for the last 20 years, and it is time for everyone to embrace and understand the benefits of these sandy discs. There was a lot of hype when these first appeared in shops. They could do it all and would eventually overtake mankind! Years later, mankind still going strong, but concurrently so are these flap discs. They have evolved as one of the most versatile cutting tools or abrasive you can find. They have multiple personalities- damn aggressive with some pressure or calm and collected with lighter push on their neck. You can grind, blend and finish with one grit. You can even grind and polish with some versions.


These were first brought to the market as a finishing tool in the automotive industry. They were developed as a highly effective and efficient version of a fiber disc. They are made in over laying “layers” that act as cushioned backing, and allow more grit to be called upon when needed. Brilliant concept in terms of usage efficiency, as a traditional Fiber Disc only use the outer 1/3 of their grain- exactly where the flaps are placed. Developed as an alternative to a traditional fiber disc, but with a built-in backing pad- either fiberglass or plastic.


The “business” end of any flap disc is the coated material. Coated material technologies have improved dramatically through recent years. Grains have been developed and refined to allow a broader range of base material and applications. Ceramic grains are the buzz these days due to their longer life due to their micro-fracturing nature. Coated abrasives provide the most efficient use of any grains- provided they are electrostatically manufactured. When an individual grain is seated into the coating in the correct orientation, they will hold longer and cut longer. Pair these flap discs with a variable speed angle grinder and you will increase life another two-fold.

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