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Sandpaper Grit question

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  • Member since
    June, 2016
Sandpaper Grit question
Posted by Pwaszak on Monday, March 05, 2018 9:10 PM

Hey all,

Novice here with a question regarding sandpaper. When someone says, 'I sand my coat with 1500 grit sandpaper', what measurement system are they talking about? US? FEPA? Micromesh? Is there an accepted standard that people refer to 9 times out of 10?

Thanks in advance!

Edit: just for reference, I'm researching what grit to sand a primer coat with 


  • Member since
    May, 2017
  • From: ohio I want to leave
Posted by armor 2.0 on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 9:31 AM

I don' know what brand sandpaper your getting but some brands tell you on back of package what different grits are used for like 3m sandpaper look at back tells what different grits are used for.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 9:41 AM

The higher the number the finer the grit. For primer you want to work down to very fine polishing cloths starting with around a 1000 and goiung down to about 8000

'I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so'

On the bench: Hasegawa 1/72nd Ju 188A

                      Fine Molds 1/72nd Me 410

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 9:48 AM


Here's a nice article detailing the subject throughly:

Have a nice day


All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, March 07, 2018 6:46 AM

I had no idea of the measurement criteria (thanks, Pawal).  But at least here in the states, I have never found a confusion.  All the sandpaper and emory cloth I have ever boughtin a long modeling and car painting lifetime has the same numbering scheme, so just going by the numbers seems to work here.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, March 08, 2018 2:15 PM

The grit number is the number of sharp particles per square inch, at least here in the US.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.



  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Saturday, March 10, 2018 8:43 AM

Hi ;

 Hey , Baron , I second that motion !

  • Member since
    October, 2010
Posted by hypertex on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 12:54 PM

The meaning of the number varies by country/manufacturer. Higher numbers are always finer, but compare Testors 800 grit sanding film to 3M wet/dry, and and the difference is night and day. Problem is, manufacturers rarely tell you which scale they use (even in the US). The Euro standard has a "P" before the grit number, you may have seen this in a woodworking store.

And then there is Micromesh, which uses a different scale altogether.

Here are links to a couple of conversion charts. I find them quite helpful. Note that if you are using 1500 grit in the US ANSI standard, then switch to 1800 in Micromesh, you are actually getting a coarser grit, not finer.



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