How to Get a Better Finish With a Steel Wire Brush

Posted by Sandpaper America on May 12th 2022

How to Get a Better Finish With a Steel Wire Brush

When you combine high surface speeds with reinforced steel wire tips, you can a remarkably powerful abrasive tool that works well for all metal finishing applications. Steel wire brushes are a common staple in every workshop. They are highly versatile, manufactured in all sorts of configurations, and non-loading, meaning they do not accumulate residues and debris from metal coatings and paint.

Whether you are working with long filament brushes, low-density brushes, or short-trim brushes, the right techniques make all the difference when it comes to producing a flawless finish. Continue below to learn some tips on how to get a better finish with a steel wire brush.

Steel Wire Brush Applications

The most common applications for steel wire brushes are surface prepping and finishing, but other applications include deburring, rust (oxide) removal, and weld cleaning. Regardless of your intended application, working with metal surfaces is better done with the right steel wire brush approach.

To achieve the best finish possible with steel brushes, it is important to use the highest speed that is the safest. Furthermore, you should occasionally reverse your direction. Other tips include matching the right type of wire with the intended application, regularly cleaning your steel brushes, and lastly, choose heat-treated, oil-tempered steel wire.

High Speeds That are Also the Safest

You must use the proper ratio of pressure to speed when working with cutting tools like steel wire brushes. By matching the right surface pressure and speed to the application of metal finishing, you are securing a more promising result. Never exceed the manufacturer’s maximum safe free speed (MSFS) or RPM rating.

Compatible Steel Wires

To get the best finish, you must choose the right steel wires for the application. You can opt for a general purpose brush, like crimped-wire, or you can choose a more application-specific wire, like knot-wire brushes.

Direction Change-Ups

When using steel wire brushes to finish metal, it is smart to reverse your direction every once in a while. Failing to do so can result in premature wear and tear on the wire wheel. Just turn the brush over 180 degrees to change your direction.

Regular Cleaning

Your steel wire brushes should be cleaned on a routine basis. This increases their lifespan and performance value, plus ensures a predictable finish. Store them properly to abate rust and contamination. Do not use a steel brush on stainless steel after you have used it on carbon steel, as this can cause cross-contamination of carbon particles, which causes rust formation.

Heat-Treated and Oil-Tempered

By using higher quality brushes like heat-treated, oil-tempered steel wire brushes, you can ensure a better metal finishing result. Heat-treated, high-tensile steel is another great option. These are important for industrial applications.

Are you looking for quality sandpaper for your metal finishing needs? Call Sandpaper America at 1-800-860-SAND for Cloth X-Weight Belts, Zirconia Belts, Flexible J-Weight Belts, and more, all for metalworking. We offer simple and convenient online ordering, bulk orders, phone orders, custom orders, and more!

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