My experiance with abrasive belts is you get what you pay for. Id rather spend about $6 a piece on the 3-M ceramic 967 yellow belts than buy 12 get 12 free deals. They just dont cut good. A good belt gives you control, a poor belt will walk all over and wear out fast and it is really tough to get good grind lines with them. I am sure s0ome will disagree!
I have some of those Industrial Abrasive belts and I'm not sure I'll ever use them up as I got so disgusted with them I ordered some 3M and Norton hoggers to use instead. The 3M's and Nortons are much better. The 'pricier' belts work out to be cheaper in the long wrong and also track better.
The 36 grit belts will profile OK and I *do* use them for that - -probably because I have a couple dozen left. I will not order them again when I run out. I'll order Norton 36 grit hoggers - again because it simply works out cheaper in the long run.
You can save money by using the cheap belts to profile handles, and save the 3M's for every thing else. After the cheap belts are no longer sharp use them to profile a few blades. Even for this they don't last very long.
I like the the 3M belts, and also Norton hoggers..
Cheap belts just dont cut it When you run into a problem, most times a fresh belt will clear things up.. Trying to stretch your belt life too far usually results in poor grinds, and mistakes..
<font face= CaslonOldFace Hv BT color=#990000 size=3><b>Yup, yup, yes , ya , uh-right, ok, um- hm, ditto, all the above.
<p>I too have used the Industrial abrasive belts and agree with all the above. I'll give'em this though; the grits between 80 and 220 (100,120,180) really work pretty well really and they seem (this last batch I got) to run much truer than any I've recieved in the past and that, is a major sticking point for ANY belt as one that wobbles is good for nothing when establishing the chorl; absolutely nothing.
One problem with the "less expensive" belts is that you never really know what you are getting. This batch may be good, the next is not so good. Some of these belts don't have a very good splice in them but you never know until you get them. I will use them for shaping handle material but that's about it.
With the premium belts the quality is consistent and repeatable. You KNOW what to expect.
When buying belts, I would recommend buying from a supplier that turns a lot of belts. Not so much the belts but the adhesive used at the butt splices do have a shelf life.
As far as knife supply houses go, I would recommend belts from Tru-Grit or Pop's although they all carry belts of some flavor. There are a number of abrasive suppliers out there, shop around.
I HAVE HAD GREAT RESULTS USING THE SCHROEDER BELTS, FROM GERMANY. TRY THIS PLACE OUT, THEY WILL SEND YOU A QUOTE SHEET, NO CATALOG.
ABRASIVES SOUTH INC.
THE PRICING IS CHEAPER THAN 3-M AND NORTON
I agree with you all I started with the cheap belts and I am teaching my self how to hollow grind.I could not beleave the difference
in the tracking and the control you have, the first one I used was the 967 3m I have a great line going with it and could not beleave it I was hollow grinding free hand no rest etc, the knife turned out great
now I have the rest to do.
good advice I am sticking with the 3m