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What is the recommended use for the sisal polishing wheel?

  • What is the recommended use for the sisal polishing wheel?  The sisal polishing wheel is recommended specifically for the purpose of first stage heavy duty cutting and polishing.

  • What is the material of the sisal polishing wheel?  The material used in the production of the sisal polishing wheel consists of both sisal cloth and cotton cloth

Agave sisalana cactus plantagave sisalana cactus plant

Understanding Sisal Buffing Wheels

Sisal buffing wheels are robust polishing tools primarily used for buffing metal surfaces. These discs are made from a buffing material that is rougher than most other buffing wheels and possesses natural grease-absorbing properties. Their stiffness and abrasiveness make them suitable for more intensive tasks, allowing for increased pressure on the surface being polished. These durable polishing wheels can operate at speeds of up to 3,200 RPMs. The 8” buffing wheels can reach this maximum speed, while the 6” sisal buffs are advised to operate at up to 2,700 RPMs. Sisal buffs are compatible with bench grinders, bench polishers, and lathes. Before buying any sisal polishing wheel from Empire Abrasive, ensure that the arbor size is compatible with your tool.

What Exactly is Sisal?

Sisal is a natural fiber derived from the long, green leaves of the 'Agave sisalana' cactus plant. It is native to southern Mexico but is now cultivated worldwide, including in Brazil, Africa, and Asia. Sisal is known for its strength, durability, ability to stretch, affinity for certain dyestuffs, and resistance to deterioration in saltwater. The process of extracting the fiber from the leaves is known as decortication, where leaves are crushed and beaten by a rotating wheel set with blunt knives, so that only fibers remain. 

What is the Purpose of Sisal Buffing Wheels?

Due to their stiffness and abrasiveness, sisal buffing wheels are not suitable for polishing softer metals and are generally not used for the final stages of color buffing.   The sisal fibers are traditionally used for twine, rope, paper, cloth, wall coverings, carpets, and dartboards. It's also used in buffing wheels because of its rough texture and durability. The sisal buffing wheels are used for heavy cutting and cleaning on hard metals. They are ideal for aggressive action to cut buff harder metals like stainless steel or iron when used with the recommended Black Emery buffing compound.

What is a Stitched Buff?

Stitched buffing wheels are a specific type of buffing wheel that features circular stitching around the wheel's center in a spiral pattern. This stitching not only holds the wheel together but also stiffens the construction for more aggressive polishing. The closer the stitching is to each parallel line, the stiffer and more durable the buffing wheel becomes. A stitched sisal buff should not be mistaken for a cloth buffing wheel with a similar name. Cloth spiral sewn buffing wheels have a design similar to sisal ones, but they are made of a softer material that is not as effective against harder metals and can be used for later-stage polishing and some color buffing.