You already know that you need to choose the right abrasive and use it properly if you want to minimize your costs and maximize your output when you’re welding or fabricating metal. It’s all too easy to grab whatever abrasive is handy when you’re in a rush or have a deadline to meet, but using the wrong abrasive for your machine or ignoring safety rules can be risky. The results? Lower-quality finished products, increased costs and lost productivity. No one wants any of that.

So how do you choose the right abrasive for specific tasks? Glad you asked. Look at these tips and at the table here to make the right choices and use your grinding wheels and discs safely.

Right Choices Matter –What is the Right Choice for Your Operation?

Abrasive products come in various levels of performance, which Norton conveniently labels “good,” “better” and “best.”

Which should you choose? Your choice involves balancing the results you want with the cost you’re willing or able to pay. If initial price is your primary consideration, choose good abrasives, but be aware that a lower purchase price up front may not end up being economical in the long run. When you’re running high-productivity applications and have to keep initial abrasive prices in mind, it’s time for better abrasives. Consider the best abrasive products when maximum productivity and lowest total cost are critical to your operation.

When testing abrasive products to determine the best solution for your operation, there are three objective measurements to consider; one of which must remain constant between products being tested. These measurements are time, material removed, and product wear. By holding one of these constant and measuring the other two, you can come up with an objective comparison between multiple products. For example, you could grind for 10 minutes with each product, and measure how much material was removed and how much of the abrasive products were lost; this is often measured by weight. Alternatively, you could run each product to the end of its life, while measuring how much material it removed, and how long it lasted. Finally, you could remove a set amount of material while measuring the time and abrasive wear. Each business has unique priorities; following these test methods will allow you to select the right choice to meet yours.