How to Choose the Right Hand-Powered Sanding Tool

  • 4 min read

The key to achieving a professional and smooth finish lies in the preparation. That leads us to the sanding tools aisle in your local store, where you can find various options, including different sizes, shapes, grits, hand-powered tools, powered tools, and accessories.

But how do you know which sander will make the preparation process a breeze? Let's dive in and help you find the ideal Haydn tool for your next DIY project!

As you may already know, Haydn offers a wide range of hand-powered sanding tools, offering a cost-effective option for surface preparation. It's important to clarify that when choosing a manual sanding tool, you may consider the type of job you will be doing and the grit of the sandpaper. Using too coarse paper on a smooth surface will create scratches while using too fine paper on a first coat of plastering will prolong the job.


Choosing the appropriate grit size of sandpaper is essential for achieving the desired results in your project, as it directly influences the level of abrasion and the suitability for various tasks. Lower grit numbers facilitate faster material removal, whereas higher grit numbers yield a smoother finish.

It's important to distinguish between 'grit' and 'grade.' Grit refers to the numerical rating based on the manufacturing process, such as 80, 100, and 220, while grade encompasses the general classification of sandpaper coarseness, including coarse, medium, fine, and extra fine. Each grade comprises a range of grits.

In the following chart, we explain the different grit numbers and their optimal uses.

 Sandpaper Grit



40 to 80

Coarse Heavy sanding, roughing up surfaces, fascia's, and weatherboards.


Medium Smoother sanding, removing imperfections, use on plaster patching.


Medium to Fine Final sanding for plaster walls prior to painting.


Fine Use on gloss paints between coats and fine sanding work.


Extra Fine Smoother finish with skim coats or final plaster sanding.


Types of Hand-Powered Sanding Tools

  • Haydn Radial Sander 230mm: Designed to reduce sanding time and increase control, this tool is ideal for sanding walls to prepare surfaces and between coats. It features a free 360-degree spinning, tilting head with a protective rubber bumper to reduce damage to adjoining surfaces. Additionally, it boasts a hook and loop system, making the replacement of sanding disks quicker and easier. For reaching higher areas and achieving better control, use it with the Haydn Extension Poles. Haydn offers replacement Sanding Disks in different grits, Sander Replacement Foam Pads for the hook and loop system, and Multi-Hole Vacuum Radial Sander replacement disks in various grits.
  • Sanding Sponges: These sponges are great for sanding flat, curved, and contoured surfaces. Long-lasting, flexible, and easy to use, they can be reused simply by rinsing clean with cold water. They are suitable for use between coats and before the final coating on plasterboard, wood, ceramics, metals, fibreglass, fibrous plaster, painted surfaces, and wallpaper. They are suitable for wet and dry applications and available in three different shapes and grits: Block Sanding Sponge, Angle Sanding Sponge, and Dual Angle Sanding Sponge.
  • Sandpaper: Also known as coated abrasive, sandpaper is used for removing material from surfaces, whether to make them smoother, to remove a layer of old paint, or to make the surface rougher for gluing. Haydn offers sandpaper for both dry and wet applications, and it can be used with the following applicators to make sanding easier and gentler on your hands:
  1. Haydn Pole Sander Head: It is ideal for sanding hard-to-reach areas when paired with extension poles. It features a swivel axis head and a universal threaded tip and is available in plastic and aluminium.
  2. Haydn Hand Sander: A heavy-duty sander great for smoothing and preparing surfaces for painting, including timber, plaster walls, and ceilings. It features a comfortable handle for easy gripping and sandpaper holders with nuts that securely hold sanding sheets in place while you sand. Available in metal or plastic.
  3. Rubber Sanding Block: Ideal for making sanding jobs easier and faster, this block is made from flexible rubber designed for fast loading and reloading of sandpaper. It provides efficient sanding over curved or flat surfaces.
  4. Cork Sanding Block: Crafted from compressed cork, this block strikes the perfect balance between rigidity for efficient sanding and flexibility to address subtle imperfections and wood variations. It not only accelerates the sanding process but also ensures optimal utilization of the entire sandpaper surface. Additionally, its malleability allows for easy carving into the shapes of various mouldings, offering a practical yet budget-friendly option.
  5. Polystyrene Sanding Block: An ideal solution for achieving a smooth, flat finish, this block's forgiving material makes uneven surfaces easy to work with. It is ideal for use in small, detailed areas.
  • Sand-screen: Designed for sanding drywall compound, plaster, and adhesive material, the sand-screen is intended for use with Haydn poles or hand sanders. Its mesh construction inhibits clogging and can be used on both sides, prolonging its sanding life. Available in three different grit grades: coarse, medium, and fine.
  • Steel Wool:An alternative hand-sanding tool composed of steel wire strands twisted together to create a dense pad. Available in various grades, each offering different levels of abrasiveness, steel wool is commonly employed for fine sanding and polishing both wood and metal surfaces.
Grade Purpose
Coarse Stripping, strips varnish, lacquer and paint, rodent control
Medium Coarse  Paint and varnish removal, remove wax build up
Medium Prepare wood for painting, cleans copper pipe and bowling balls
Fine Household grade – scour pots and pans, clean porcelain, tile and grout
Very Fine Polish bright metals, repair burn marks on wood or leather
Extra Fine Smoothing and polishing, sand between coats, remove wax
Super Fine Finishing grade – smoothest lacquer, varnish, and shellac