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Understanding the different quick change disc attachments

In the world of abrasives there are many different ways to attach an abrasive disc to a variety of tools.  Some are straightforward, while some are not.  Whether you work with metal or wood, this helpful article will differentiate the different attachment methods and help you decide what is best for your application. 

Let us start off with the two most common types of attachment for 5 and 6 inch random orbital sanding discs. 

Hook & loop backing

Commonly known as Velcro or in 3M's case they use the trade name Hookit.  This type of attachment uses two mating surfaces.  The hook part almost always resides on the back-up pad itself while the loop portion resides on the disc.  Hook & Loop offers a very convenient and fast way to change out worn discs in a production setting.  Just rip it off and slap a new one on.

Example of the Loop portion

hook velcro disc

Not all hooks are created equal.

This is the most common hook for all around use

 disc pad hook

"J" hook style found on pads designed for more aggressive sanding or polishing pads 

 disc pad J hook

"T" hook style found on pads designed for high RPM tools, such as light grinding, deburring, and stainless steel finishing 

 disc pad t hook

PSA or Pressure Sensitive Adhesive

These can also be known as sticky back or 3M's trade name Stikit.  As it's name implies this type of attachment uses an adhesive that is applied to the disc to secure it to the back up pad.  Backup pads designed for PSA type discs have a smooth or slightly textured vinyl face that the adhesive sticks to.  Main advantages of a PSA attachment is durability and it is less prone to giving an inconsistent finish as the disc nears the end of its life. 

 vinyl faced disc pad psa

Back up pads for rotary tools, die grinders, and disc sanders 

Roloc, twistlock, quicklok are trade names for 4 different styles of attachments of the disc to the back up pad.  Other manufacturers have versions of 3M's proprietary Roloc system, but all are universal enough that they will work with each other.  The term Roloc has become synonymous with this type of quick change attachment.  Below are some examples.

 roloc disc pad mandrel installation 3M TSM

The 4 styles consist of TR (most popular), TS, TSM, and TP.  The graphic shows what the disc side profile looks like.  Each requires a different style back up pad to be compatible with the disc attachment. 

 Roloc attachment types

Disc side material   TR: plastic    TS: plastic     TSM: metal      TP: plastic 

Roloc, twistlock, quicklok backup pads have styles that look like these. 

                TR                         TS & TSM                                    TP

 roloc tr pad roloc ts & tsmRoloc TP disc pad

All of these types of pads will use this style of mandrel designed to fit in any tool with a collet that accepts a 1/4 inch mandrel.

1/4 inch roloc mandrel retainer

Be sure to check out our wide selection of various discs for both Wood and Metal working.


See the variety of quick-change discs available

At Abrasive Boss, we have a number of discs available. See our wide selection.

View Quick Change Discs 

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