Scotch Brite Wheels on Bench Buffer?

Anyone have any advice/insights on Scotch Brite wheels on a bench buffer or 4" angle grinder?


Doubt it would stay on, might be dangerous. I’ve used them fine for low rpm drill based scrubs, orbital Sanders, and oscillating tools. They fall apart fast under those conditions as they are meant for hand scrubbing. I have a bench sander but it’s a much higher rpm, so I haven’t tried it. Note I’ve had these pads dangerously grab when used in rotational applications. The safest seems to be oscillating applications. At a high rpm, you might hurt yourself or create a projectile it the pad grabs the object you are trying to clean or buff


Scotch Brite - is 3M’s brand of non-woven abrasive. I see that they fabricate different sorts of deburring wheels presumably for use with bench grinders:

My take is that 3M is a very large and reputable company - and would not produce these products if they were overly hazardous - assuming proper procedures are followed and the right PPE is worn.

In our metal/pipe fabrication business we used some Fein tools - including one that spun drums that were made of “scotch-brite like material” They worked well for polishing.

Metabo makes something similar

Oh I didn’t know they were professional versions, mine are all rigged with my own velcro backing and those are probably safe. I made my own. Didn’t know commercial versions were available.

you will see scotch brite pads on sanders and bench grinders in most aircraft hangars.

It’s my prefered product for cleaning or smoothing I use the same at home. With AL you can’t use a wire wheel, or you shouldn’t use wire wheels. and grinding melts AL if not very careful. So you cut something and want is smoothed in a hurry - safely - scotchbrite wheel on a air motor or whatever.

Paint removal - scotch brite (or the knockoffs) usually stand up decently to the chemicals so you can scrub the plane after it’s been coated with remover (aircratt safe paint remover is often a hydrogen peroxide type product - as it leaves the primer alone)

So yes - great products.

Aluminum will also clog the teeth of files meant for use on ferrous and some other metals. There are files with tooth geometry meant for use with aluminum. Early in my work life - there were lots of folks around who had worked in the aircraft industry during WWII - and they talked about using hot lye (sodium hydroxide) to clean aluminum off of files - just dip the file into a bucket of hot lye! I wonder what OSHA would have to say?

Well while that is true - I was going more for the dissimilar metal contamination route. Often files for AL are made of SS or similar non-ferrous materials - so as not to induce corrosion in the grains. Its the reason you won’t find AL oxides for sand papers - or you shouldn’t.

But yes the tooth profile is different too - good point.

The hot lye would be interesting. I wonder if the buckets were next to sand buckets, you know for safety.