Non-woven belts are made of an abrasive impregnated nylon material that is often used for the scratch pattern it leaves. It leaves a very uniform scratch pattern typically used in applications where a satin finish is desired. Surface Conditioning comes in four different coarseness levels. The coarsest one is a brown color and it provides a scratch pattern of 60 grit. The medium is a red color and provides a scratch pattern of 80 to 120 grit. The fine is a blue color and provides a scratch pattern of 150 to 180 grit. The ultra fine is a grey color and it leaves a 220 grit finish. Surface Conditioning works on materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, fiberglass and plastics, and nonferrous alloys. They are great for getting rid of imperfections in a surface making it smooth and burr-free. Surface conditioning is also great for a consistent finish in fewer steps.
Keep in mind these recommendations are guidelines: the actual non-woven material is not officially rated in terms of grit. However, these recommendations match our (and customers experience) of what to expect.
Coarse: 40 to 60 grit
Medium: 80 to 120 grit
Very Fine: 150 to 180 grit
Ultrafine: 220 grit
6" x 48" belts offer the best middle ground between heavy duty grinding and finer detail work blades can require—e.g. sharpening or detailed handle work. This makes the 6" x 48" size one of the most common belt sizes for knife making for profiling, bevel grinding, detailed edge sanding, surface conditioning, and sharpening.
Common machines our customers use for 6" x 48" belts come from manufacturers such as Jet, Rockford, PRM, Kalamazoo, Multitool, and Burr King.