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Longer-Lasting Sandpapers

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3M’s gold-colored FreCut sandpaper cuts faster, lasts longer and leaves the wood looking better than conventional paper. A great finishing tool, FreCut paper is now packaged as 3M’s SandBlaster series. 

Norton Abrasives also markets a high-performance abrasive paper.Norton’s 3X series takes dead aim at 3M’s SandBlaster, right down to the packaging.

Both papers claim to last up to three times as long as conventional paper. Both tout high-quality staysharp, aluminum-oxide grit that’s firmly bonded to the backing, uniformly sized for a consistent finish and stearate coated to resist clogging. Both have flexible backings that won’t crack or tear and are color-coded by grit sizes (60 to 400 grit), for convenience.

In use, I can’t tell the difference—Sandblaster and 3X both work great.Next time I’m at the home center or hardware store, I’ll buy the one that’s on sale.