Abrasive Test: Discover if the abrasives you have been using are costing you time and money

Abrasive Test: Discover if the abrasives you have been using are costing you time and money

Recently Best Abrasives conducted an abrasive test, comparing 7 abrasives, 4 sandpapers from a large and well known hardware store (2 film-backed and 2 mesh) and 3 Mirka abrasives.

The 3 Mirka abrasives tested were Abranet Ace (mesh), Galaxy (film-backed) and Mirka’s newest abrasive - Ultimax Ligno. The test analysed the 7 abrasives over a period of 20 minutes, documenting data at each interval.

The test

The purpose of this test was to grade these abrasives on:

  1. Speed of cut 
  2. Clog resistance 
  3. Grams Removed
  4. Lowest Price (per grams removed)

  • We used a custom-built contraption to perform the tests which applied 3.5kg of consistent pressure and kept the sander in place.
  • We used high accuracy scales to weigh each piece of ply before and after conducting the test to establish the amount of stock removed at timed intervals. This will also allow us to determine what the cost per grams removed is.
  • We marked the ply with permanent marker to visualise speed of cut.
  • We conducted a physical observation to determine how susceptible to clogging the abrasive is.

Test parameters

Before conducting the test, we established the parameters of the test to ensure the test was conducted fairly and to ensure all factors were exactly the same for each test.

  • 3.5kg of applied pressure to sander and sander held in place.
  • We tested the abrasives using birch ply which was cut from the same sheet to get a fair and even comparison.
  • We timed the test, stopping at 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes and 20 minutes to gather the data at each time.
  • We used the same sander for each test, a Mirka Deros Sander with 5mm orbit set to 8,000 RPM.
  • All the abrasives are 80 grit.

The results

We were not surprised by the test results, but we were very surprised by how underperforming one brand in particular (from the major hardware store) was.

We know that in previous tests done by Mirka, they have proven that Mirka abrasives can last up to 10 times longer than other abrasives, and this was extremely evident with this particular abrasive.

This mesh abrasive (Test 3) did the most poorly in all categories. The tests showed that it was slow to cut, very susceptible to clogging, had the least grams removed (7 grams), and was the most expensive (33 cents per gram removed)!

The other 3 abrasives from the major hardware store did a little better. Test 4 also struggled a bit (it’s the same brand as Test 3, but is a paper-backed disc. Test 1 and 2 did better than Tests 3 and 4.

The 3 Mirka abrasives did well in all categories. The most surprising data from this test was how much more affordable Mirka abrasives are compared with the other brands.

Galaxy is the least expensive abrasive overall at $1.50 per disc (10 pack price), it is even more affordable when purchasing a 100 pack at 76 cents per disc. Galaxy is also the least expensive when looking at the cost per grams removed, at only 3 cents per gram.

Abranet Ace was the second least expensive abrasive at 5 cents per gram, Ultimax Ligno next, at 6 cents per gram removed.

All Mirka abrasives did well in all categories - they had good speed of cut, were low clogging, had the most grams removed and the lowest price per grams removed.

While Test 2 did well with speed of cut, the grams removed by the end of the test was not very high. Test 1 had medium speed of cut, but grams removed was actually higher than Test 2 by the end of the test.

The score

Below you can see the overall winner of the test was both Galaxy and Abranet Ace scoring 18 out of a possible 20 points, followed by Ultimax Ligno (coming soon to Best Abrasives) on 17 points.

You can try out Galaxy or Abranet Ace with no commitment by purchasing a 10 pack from our online store. Complete your own testing on the substrate you use the most, comparing it with Mirka - let us know your opinions and what you have found from your own test, we are always interested to know your feedback! 


Mirka Galaxy was released in 2022 and many of our customers have had good results. It stays exceptionally sharp for long periods of time thanks to its regenerative grains.

Abranet Ace is a new generation of Mirka’s pioneer abrasive Abranet, this mesh abrasive is always high performing, delivering high quality results and finishes to our customers.

Ultimax Ligno was specially designed for wood applications, we have trialled it on hardwood and it did exceptionally well. Ultimax Ligno is due in to our store in late June 2024 and will be available in 10 packs soon thereafter if you are interested in trying them out.

Take a look at the Abrasive test document.

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