As good and varied as current power sanding options are, some sanding chores are best done by hand. That’s probably why Festool, a company known for its high-quality portable power tools, recently released a new line of hand-sanding abrasive implements.
Dubbed the Granat line, the abrasives come packed in a Festool Systainer case, so they can easily be packed along to a job site with other Systainer cases or conveniently stored in the shop.
The bulk of the new Granat products are sponge-based sanding tools designed to easily mold to unusual shapes. The coarsest sponge tool is a classic 60-grit hand block that has the grit on four sides with four sharp corners. Moving up to 80-grit, the sponge block gets more interesting. It has one conventional corner, a rounded edge and an acute angled edge, making it very versatile.
Moving up to the 120 and 220 grits, the sponge block becomes much thinner and even more flexible than the thicker blocks, which are already surprisingly supple. Another difference that’s not so positive is the 120 and 220-grit blocks don’t have the grit number printed on them, so it’s not so fast to identify them when you are fishing in the case for the grit you need.
When 220 is just not fine enough, the Festool Granat series offers some ultrafine pads that go from 500 to 1500 grit in a flexible format with abrasive only on one side. It’s almost more like a cloth than a sanding block.
Of course, the ultimate in flexibility is the three grits of synthetic abrasive wool included in the kit, fine, medium, and course. And, if you prefer conventional 8x10 sanding sheets, Festool has that covered, too, with sheets in popular grits of 80, 120, and 220 with a very flexible cloth-like backing.
I’m still always going reach for a power sander first, but when I need to do detail work, these sanding options by Festool, are very attractive. You can learn more at www.festool.com.