Diablo Random Orbit Sanding Discs Review

Diablo PSA Discs
PTR Review
  • Durability 10.0
  • Availability 10.0
  • Selection 5.0
  • Value 7.0

In my opinion, these are the best sanding discs you can find locally. The standout performance comes from the courser grit PSA discs as they outlast anything else I’ve used, by far. If Diablo expands their 6” discs collection to include vented PSA at higher grits and in larger quantity packages, they’ll win my business there as well.

Overall Score 8.0 (out of 10)

Sanding is one of those tasks that seems easy on the surface, until you’re doing it for hours at a time on a regular basis. You quickly realize the importance of tool, grit, and disc/paper selection, as well as proper technique. There’s not a simple guide that will lead you to the right stuff; it’s just trial and error, and experience. But finding the right combination will leave you with a swirl-free finish, minimal fatigue, and time left over to check out the latest tool reviews on protoolreviews.com. These Diablo sanding discs came in handy, and it was great to see how well they held up to my normal fare.

So far, I’ve settled on the Dynabrade random orbit sanders for my wood sanding. When I first made the switch to pneumatic sanders, I was shocked at the difference. I found they were quieter, quicker, and offered me much more control. After going through a few cheaper brands, I tried the Dynabrade and it was as big a difference as switching from electric to pneumatic in the first place—so drastic, in fact, that I literally ordered a second one from my iPhone Amazon app within an hour of use. For paper selection, I’m 85% settled on PSA (pressure-sensitive adhesive) over hook and loop, but there’s a trade-off. With PSA I can’t change out the grit without trashing my current disc. But I feel that I have a better connection with the work surface so I can sand faster at higher grits, and the paper lasts longer.

Attaching the Diablo Sanding Discs

With hook and loop, I can swap out and reuse discs until they’re completely smooth, but there’s a thin cushiony layer between the backing pad and disc. When I’m sanding a lot, I find it’s very noticeable. I also find I have a tendency to apply pressure when using hook and loop to get it to work faster which is the opposite of what you should do for swirl-free results. As for brands, this is where I’m far from settled. Each time I need to order a round of discs I start by searching for something better than what I just had. When I caught wind that Diablo had recently made changes to their sanding discs and that they apparently stack up pretty well against the competition, I eagerly awaited my box of Diablo sanding discs to see how they would compare.

Out of the Box

A couple things to note about the Diablo sanding discs packaging and availability:

5” PSA discs

  • Solid only (non-vented)
  • 8 grits
  • 5pk – 50pk

 5” Hook and Loop discs

  • Vented only (universal pattern)
  • 6 grits
  • 5pk – 50pk

6” PSA discs

  • Solid only (non-vented)
  • 3 grits
  • 5pk

6” Hook & Loop discs

  • Vented only (universal pattern)
  • 4 grits
  • 10pk

If you use 5-inch discs, you’re in luck—whether you use PSA or hook and loop, you have many grits to choose from and several package quantities. If you use 6” discs (I do) you’re limited to fewer grit choices and smaller quantity packages. For me, this is less cost-effective, since I need to purchase 50-100 discs at a time. Regardless of size, you’re limited to hook and loop discs if you want to use dust collection. On the hugely positive side, you can buy all of these at your local Home Depot! I haven’t found another comparable disc within a week of delivery.

Sand in the Place Where You Live ♫♫…

The first thing I noticed about these Diablo sanding discs was how easy it was to get started with both the PSA and the hook and loop discs. The backing plastic peels off of the PSA discs incredibly easily and the hook and loop discs have universal vent holes so there’s no fiddling with alignment. When I first opened the PSA discs, I was disappointed not to see a starter tab for peeling back the plastic. Considering how difficult this step can be on other brands’ discs, I’d grown accustomed to the convenience of a starter tab. But I found it was a non-issue on the Diablo discs. And not having to align each vent hole on the hook and loop means you can literally put the disc on and go.

PSA tab

PSA vs Hook and Loop

In use, I was very impressed with the hook and loop Diablo sanding discs overall. Roughly 90% of all my wood sanding is done with 120-grit, and the Diablo options were 100 or 150. I found the 100-grit Diablo on par with the other brand 100-grit discs I’ve been using lately, and the 150-grit Diablo was surprisingly fast. I felt the 150 removed material almost as fast as the 120 I’d been using but left a smoother finish. It was very impressive!

I still prefer the feel of PSA better than hook and loop, but the Diablo sanding discs hook and loop performance was quite good. In fact, the hook and loop discs lasted as long, if not slightly longer than my others and they clogged less (I use epoxy as wood filler and the discs tend to get clogged when the friction creates too much heat).

Disc Comparison

The PSA discs I reserved for use on steel with my dual-action sanders. I’ve tested, seemingly, every disc under the sun trying to find the longest life disc for steel sanding (alumina zirconia, aluminum oxide, blue discs, red discs, white discs, oh my!), so I have a decent level of experience and can tell within the first 5 minutes of sanding whether or not the paper will hold up. With the 40- and 80-grit Diablo PSA sanding discs, I was easily going 50% longer than the best I’d found so far.

Edge Deterioration

Diablo Sanding Discs Conclusion

I’d initially thought this was a strict game of durability for steel, but then I noticed how the edges on the Diablo sanding discs were holding up compared to Indasa disc edges. The Indasa discs must be more brittle, so the edges break up and the paper becomes useless on inside corners. I guess I’ve found my new steel discs!

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