What Kind of Abrasive is Best for Your Application?

What are abrasives?Abrasives, commonly known as “sandpaper,” are used to polish or clean a hard surface by rubbing or grinding. While not made of sand – or paper – these smoothing tools can be created out a variety of different materials, all which range from fine finishing applications to heavy-duty cutting.

Is Sandpaper the Only Kind of Abrasive?

No – it’s just the most common kind. In industrial applications, abrasives like  Cutting or Cut-Off Wheels and Grinding Wheels can be paired with Pneumatic Right Angle Grinders, and  Abrasive Belt Tools to increase your plant’s or shop’s efficiency.

The two main groups of abrasives are coated and bonded.

Coated abrasives usually attach to belts, sheets, discs, and rolls. The term “coated” refers to the layered grits and grains over a surface. The classic sandpaper from everyone’s toolbox is considered a coated abrasive!


Bonded abrasives are designed for use with a grinding wheel and feature grains that have been bonded together with a binding agent or resin.


The type of material that bonded abrasives can cut depend on the grain type, bond material, and spacing – all of which we’ll cover in the next section.

What Are the Different Abrasive Grain Types & What Are They Used For? 


The classic sandpaper abrasive; While its cutting ability and durability are limited, flint is the most popular type of abrasive simply because it’s the cheapest. The grit on this natural sandpaper is created out of a natural grayish mineral.


Another type of common sandpaper, this natural abrasive is the next step up from flint. While it costs a little more, it also cuts better. Experts recommend using this reddish grit to sand bare soft wood (but not much else). Garnet has a medium hardness that makes it perfect for finishing applications.
Aluminum Oxide

Beloved by DIY-ers and manufacturers working with metal and wood, this synthetic grit is much more durable than the first two types of abrasive. Durable in applications involving tough cutting edges on a variety of workpieces:aluminum oxide abrasives are used for carbon, alloy steel, wrought iron, and bronze . Typically brown or reddish in hue, aluminum oxide can also appear blue, green, or yellow if mixed with a grinding aid or lubricant and is praised for its longevity when compared to other grains.

Pferd Type 1
Aluminum Oxide Cut-Off Wheel 

United Abrasives SAIT Type 27
Aluminum Oxide Cut-Off Wheel

Zirconia Alumina

Rough and tough cutting applications have no fear: this durable abrasive uses a mixture of aluminum oxide and zirconium oxide to create a durable surface. Zirconia Alumina Cut-Off Wheels work best with steel and steel alloys. Usually green or blue in color, zirconia alumina abrasives work best under high pressure that forces the grain to fracture and expose new sharp edges.
Silicon Carbide

With synthetic grit, silicon carbide abrasives are the hardest type of abrasive there is. Silicon Carbide gets sharper, smoother cuts on non-ferrous materials (rubber, stone, plastic, fiberglass, and glass), and cast iron, soft bronze, and aluminum . For fine smoothing applications, these abrasives can be used with oil or water. These abrasives, along with aluminum oxide abrasives, have mostly displaced emery cloth (also called black sandpaper). Silicon Carbide is known for its fast stock removal rates and friable grains that fracture sharply to expose new cutting edges for maximum efficiency.

Pferd Type 27
Silicon Carbide Grinding Wheel


Ceramic Aluminum Oxide

The top of the line abrasive, ceramic aluminum oxide capitalizes on the consistent breakdown of grains that good abrasives are known to have. Breakdowns form sharp cutting surfaces and brand-new cutting points, which are perfect when working with the hardest metals on precision grinding projects. Ceramic Aluminum Oxide Abrasives control the breakdown fracture rate down to the sub-micron level. They also provide the longest life and the fastest cut rate on metal applications and can be red or orange in color.

Pferd Type 27
Ceramic Oxide Grinding Wheel 

United Abrasives SAIT Type 27
Ceramic Grinding Wheel

Shop Our Selection of Grinding Wheels Here.


If you’re still not sure what kind of abrasive is best for your need or if you’re looking for a specific kind of abrasive, International Air Tool has your back. Contact us for expert advice on abrasive grades and types, at 800-608-5210 or info@intlairtool.com.

Five Reasons Why Manufacturing Professionals are Making the Switch to Coffing Electric Hoists

We all know and love our traditional Manual Chain Hoists (AKA: Chain Falls). They have a low initial price point, are well suited to lighter lifting, and don’t require electricity or compressed air. While there are some definite advantages to using traditional manual hoists, Coffing’s EC Series Electric Hoists are engineered with both high performance and versatility in mind.

Coffing Electric Hoists are designed for use on a variety of applications and don’t always have to be used exclusively with the heaviest loads to be lifted – they can be used for smaller scale projects as well (despite the conversation in our last article, where we explored the larger-scale NASCAR racecar production of their parent brand, CM/Columbus Mckinnon).

Let’s take a look at five advantages of using a Coffing Electric Hoist:

Increased Productivity

The first advantage of using an Electric Chain Hoist is simple: electric hoists are more powerful, effortless, and faster than manual chain hoists. Electric Hoists take the stress of lifting away from the operator and allow heavy materials to be lifted vertically and then moved horizontally if used in conjunction with a trolley.

Available with a variety of suspension options, the Coffing EC Hoists work well with rigid or swivel top hooks, lugs, plain, geared, and motorized trolleys.

More Productivity Features:

  • Five-Pocket Load Sheave: Provides smoother lifting, reduces chain wear, and increases chain and sheave engagement 25% (over hoists with conventional four-pocket sheaves)
  • Panel Plate: Get easy access to controls and motor leads for changing voltage on dual-voltage motors or performing hoist maintenance. Connection wires are numbered to assist with maintenance.
  • Limit Switches: Adjustable to regulate upper and lower load travel. Brass nuts are standard for improved switch setting and repeatability. Stainless steel limit switch shaft standard.

Higher Capacity Loads

With rated loads from ¼ ton all the way up to 5 tons, Coffing EC Model Hoists make it possible to comfortably lift a variety of different weight loads. Their lifts vary, too – with 10, 15, and 20-foot standard lifts available and a standard push button drop that’s 4-feet less than the hoists lift.

More Features:

  • Gearing & Transmission: First stage helical gearing on EC small frame; first and third stage helical gearing on EC large frame. Transmission gears are precision machined of alloy steel and run in an oil bath for longer, quieter operation.

Shop Coffing 1/4 Ton EC Hoists here.

Shop Coffing 1 Ton EC Hoists here.

Shop Coffing EC Hoist Trolleys here.

Lower Cost Over the Long Run

Increased efficiency and less stress on the operator helps lower workplace expenses. Once installed, the high carrying capacity saves manpower. Coffing hoists also come with a lifetime warranty on defects in materials and workmanship.

Increased Safety

Coffing EC Hoists were designed for safety: they incorporate a mechanical load brake, motor brake, and overload clutch as standard. Coffing Hoists offer the option of a large frame design that’s stocked full of strength and load bearing housings of ductile iron construction. There’s also a lighter weight option with non-load bearing housings of cast aluminum alloy and a small frame design (for motors up to 1 HP). Call for details (800) 608-5210.

More Safety Features:

  • Mechanical Load Brake: Weston type brakes control load lowering and prevent load drift. Holds rated load independent of multiple disc motor brake.
  • Multiple Disc Motor Brake: Heavy duty, direct acting design for positive load spotting and holding.
  • Overload Clutch: Protects hoist, operator, and supporting structures from damaging overloads, chain jamming, and reverse phasing.
  • Chain End Stop Assembly: Fits below dead end link on lifting chain for added measure of safety.


When well-maintained, electric hoists can serve you for many years. These Coffing Hoists are specifically built in compliance with ASME/ANSI B30.16, and CSA standard. Keep your machine in good condition with an annual inspection and cleaning.

More Durability Features:

  • Solid State Starting Switch: Standard on single phase units. Provides greater reliability and starting consistency than centrifugal switches. Fewer components to wear out or fail.
  • Ergonomic Designed Push Button Station: Fits operator’s hand for thumb or two-handed operation. 24 Volt Control available upon request. NEMA 3R (weather resistant). Constructed of glass-filled nylon for severe impact and chemical/corrosive atmosphere resistance.

Check out a configured Coffing EC Hoist in action:

Speed up your production while decreasing your operating costs, for years to come.

Still interested in a manual chain hoist? No worries – we can get you one of those too. Reach out to our team at 800-608-5210 or info@intlairtool.com.

Already have a Coffing Hoist? What have you done with it? We’d love to see!

The Switch to Faster, Safer NASCARS: A Case Study on Stewart-Haas Racing

In 2007, NASCAR introduced the “Car of Tomorrow” (COT) Template to offer a solution to the concern of driver safety. These templates serve as a restriction to racing teams (and their assembly facilities) because they require each car to be built to the same NASCAR specifications and guidelines of bodywork and chassis design.

The only issue with these NASCAR Cars of Tomorrows is that they don’t have much flexibility – meaning that every shop that builds cars for NASCAR must use the same large aluminum template to make sure that the requirements are met.

For most shops and manufacturers, this switch meant that they had to find a way to maintain (or even increase) efficiency while handling these new templates. Stewart-Hass Racing, one of the NASCAR assembly manufacturers, they were looking to keep production up while repetitively lowering, raising, and positioning these car-sized templates over and onto the cars themselves, with enough precision to not damage the expensive template or the even more expensive car.

Who is Stewart-Hass Racing?

Stewart-Hass Racing is a title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Hass. They helped build the cars for their three entries from Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick, and Tony Stewart in the elite Sprint Cup series out of their 140,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Kannapolis, North Carolina. They cover all parts of NASCAR building, from research and development, to assembly, and testing.

Their old shop set-up was a common electric wire rope winch that they mounted to a mobile A-frame gantry. While this method worked, it was a tedious and time-consuming challenge for their shop crews. Here’s a brief overview of the process that their team went through:

First, they raised the template, rolled the gantry with the template into the work area, positioned it over the car, then lowered it; After they checked the tolerances, they raised the template and rolled it away to continue working.

And all of that with the winch’s slow lifting speed, unreliable brake, and abruptness: all potentially dangerous to the template, brand new car, and operator.

How’d they fix it?

Tired of being slowed down, Stewart-Hass Racing decided to make a change: they installed an overhead crane system in their primary garage. In this system, they included six CM Chain Hoists (ShopStar Hoists, to be specific – with 250 lb. capacities and 20 ft. of lift). They also installed one 500 lb. capacity CM ShopStar in their Research and Development Area.

To position the NASCAR design template onto the under-construction cars, the shop paired the hoists over the three car assembly areas. With a more reliable brake than the wire rope winch, the Shopstar is equipped with a dual braking system that ensures the load will hold.

This switch to Columbus Mckinnon increased their productivity in all areas: not only did Stewart-Hass get the efficiency that they’d been craving, but they also got improved operator safety and confidence (as well as extra protection for the car and template). Repetitive raising and lowering ended up going by faster, with the ShopStar’s H4 duty cycle and 16 ft/minute lifting speed.

“[Lifting the templates off the car is] something that has to happen quickly, efficiently, and quite often. We converted over to the Shopstar because of speed, dependability, and the braking system; it made our process much more efficient by switching over,” says Greg Zippadelli, Competition Director at Stewart-Haas, “So, this makes our job a lot easier, has sped up our process significantly, and you know in racing that’s what matters.”

The CM ShopStar electric chain hoist was designed for commercial and industrial applications, featuring an H4 duty cycle (300 motor starts/hour) and capacities up to 1,000 lbs. The compact frame was constructed with a rugged cast aluminum alloy frame that’s both lightweight and durable. Safety features such as a dual braking system, 10 pocket lift wheel, and standard protector overload device ensure that heavy loads can get where they need to go.

But that’s not the only electric chain hoist offered by Columbus Mckinnon – the CM Lodestar is an economic powerhouse, available in both the Next Generation Series and Classic Series. Look up at the ceiling in any manufacturing plant and see it riddled with the classic orange hue from these industry standards. The CM Lodestar Hoist handles up to 3 Ton Capacities, making it ideal for heavy duty industrial applications. Made in the U.S.A., these H4 duty standard hoists are easy to install and maintain.

International Air Tool & Industrial Supply Company is proud to partner with Columbus McKinnon and offer these hoists worldwide. Browse all CM Hoists and their accessories here.

Have any questions about what kind hoist would best suit your needs? That’s what we’re here for! Give us a call at 800-608-5210 or shoot us an e-mail at info@intlairtool.com and our well-informed team can help you out.

How Cleco’s New Line of 1.25 kW (1.7 Hp) High Performance Right Angle Grinders Re-Defines the Word “Powerful”

Designed to increase productivity, the new Cleco Production Tools Pneumatic Right Angle Grinders feature a strong 1.23 kW (1.7 Hp) motor.

The combination of a high-performance motor with a compact and lightweight body is ideal for grinding applications of any degree in foundries, shipyards, machine shops, and rolling stock in the rail transport industry. With high-impact dual-layer composite housing, this line of Pneumatic Right Angle Grinders is extremely durable and fits all Type 27, Type 27 threaded hub, and Type 1 abrasive discs.

Not only do the new Cleco pneumatic grinders have a long life of rigorous use ahead of them, but they also come with a spindle lock and a versatile 270˚ adjustable guard for increased productivity and better leverage in small spaces. Maximize material removal rates over, and over again, with the standard rear exhaust overhose and ergonomic, anti-vibration handle (which also enables quieter operation, less operator fatigue, and increased comfort).

When asked about what makes the Right Angle Grinders different, Cleco Production Tools’ Global Product Manager, Dave Bigg, says:

“Our industry is centered around making tools that increase productivity and workflow. Cleco’s new Right Angle Grinders have the power you need and the features you want, at an exceptional value.”

Here’s a Quick Overview of the Features of Cleco’s Right Angle Grinders:

  • Deliver maximum power with a high-performance 1.25 kW (1.7 Hp) motor
  • Make quick and easy abrasive changes with spindle lock
  • Access tight spaces easily with a versatile 270˚ adjustable guard
  • Withstand wear, pressure, and damage with dual-layer, high-impact composite housing
  • Increase comfort while decreasing operator fatigue with an ergonomic, anti-vibration handle
  • Enjoy quieter operation with the rear exhaust overhose standard
  • Fits all Type 27, Type 27 threaded hub and Type 1 abrasive discs
  • Use in a wide range of applications with the 4”, 4.5” and 5” disc size models

Get more information here:

See the Brochure for Cleco’s new Pneumatic Grinders here.

Read more information about these 1.7 Hp Pneumatic Right Angle Grinders on Cleco’s digital experience.

What’s your favorite feature from the new line of Pneumatic Right Angle Grinders by Cleco?

Interested in seeing if the Cleco Right Angle Grinders are right for your needs? Feel free to reach out to us at 800-608-5210 or info@intlairtool.com with your comments, questions, or quote requests.

A Quick Checklist for Better Airtool Longevity and Productivity

If you’ve decided to make an air tool purchase, before you place that order, think about your current air compressor. Do you need a new one and if so, which one is right for you? Here are a couple of points to consider: will it be used for consumer DIY jobs, professional contractor applications or the more weighty commercial/industrial work? A second important factor is the frequency of use. Will it be used occasionally or every day? What are the spacing requirements – can it be moved? Consider the level of noise, your electrical requirements, accessories, ease of maintenance, parts and the availability of service. In addition, before purchasing accessories for your air tools, find out the inlet size, inlet type (NPT or BSP), air consumption (dynamic pressure) and hose diameter.

Now that you have the right air compressor, tools and accessories you need for the job (you can also take a look at what International Air Tool and Industrial Supply has to offer), don’t hesitate to ask us questions. It’s highly important that an air tool operator has a good understanding of the vocabulary and specifications of the air network before starting a project. This is also necessary to get the maximum production out of your tools.

There are two essential points to always keep in mind:

  • The dynamic air pressure of 90 psi/ 6.3 bars at the tool inlet
  • The air-flow recommendation of the tools’ manufacturers

Tool manufacturers use “torque”, “air consumption”, and “maintenance cycles” which are measured with a standard dynamic air pressure of 90 psi (pounds per square inch) /6.3 bars. This is a reference to the pressure required at the tool inlet. To ensure the best productivity and energy savings, the pressure drops that occur in the section between the pipe-end and the tool should be kept to a minimum.

Make sure to choose the right FRL (filter, regulator and lubricator). One FRL per tool is recommended and make sure the lubricator is topped up with oil. If you are unsure, the consultants at IATIS can help you. Remember, every airline accessory can create a pressure drop, so choosing the right one will improve safety and ergonomics as well as significantly reduce this occurrence.

In addition, when choosing the right hose think about its diameter, length and material. If you can, keep the hose diameter large. Choosing a shorter length will increase both its mobility and flexibility. Choose a material that is right for the work environment (e.g., exposure to heat, cold or friction). At IATIS, we recommend the use of hose whips to reduce hose bending and to protect against whiplash. The hose whip will also reduce the vibration transmission to the operator.

There are three diagnostic steps you can take to make sure that your air-compressor, accessories and tools are working as intended.

  1. 1)Read the FRL gauge regulator valve, measure dynamic pressure at the tool inlet and calculate the accessory air pressure drop.
  2. Check your tool manufacturers’ recommendations for tool inlet dimension, hose minimum size and tool air consumption.
  3. Make final measurements and any adjustments so the dynamic air pressure at the tool’s inlet reads 90/psi 6.3 bars.Remember, pressurized air can generate damages both material and physical. Make sure that all pipes, hoses and fittings have a rating of the maximum pressure of your compressor. Follow safety precautions and regularly inspect your airlines for defects. Repair or replace any defective equipment immediately. If you have any questions about your air tool network, get in touch with someone from the IATIS team and we’ll be happy to help you out. From air compressors to tools and accessories, we are your local pneumatic industry experts.

Interested in learning more about getting the most out of your pneumatic tools? Feel free to browse through our website www.intlairtool.com, send us an e-mail at info@intlairtool.com, or give us a call at 800-608-5210 for more information.

Introducing Cleco Industrial Air Impact Wrenches | Tough Tools. Easy Choice.

Trust Cleco air-powered impact wrenches for your toughest jobs

Whether you’re putting together a cargo ship, employed on an aviation project, working on an assembly line or automobile, Cleco’s new line of air-powered impact wrenches will deliver the performance you’re looking for. Unlike competitors such as Chicago Pneumatic (Japan) or Ingersoll Rand (China), Cleco® is a long-standing premium brand, made in America. Its expertise the result of over a century of designing, testing and manufacturing tools for a wide range of applications. The Cleco line of tough tools have long been the easy choice for increasing productivity while enhancing the users’ experience with simplicity of set-up, ease of use, as well as comfort and safety.

At International Air Tool and Industrial Supply Company, we know what important characteristics demanding technicians look for in an impact wrench: ratchet design and the maximum torque of the motor. Each of Cleco’s new line of pneumatic impact wrenches are built to deliver more controllable torque than ever before. Each model is also designed to maximize operator comfort and efficiency, increasing productivity and lessening fatigue.

The new Cleco line of impact wrenches are perfect for:


  • Lug (wheel) nuts
  • Driveshaft (CV) nuts
  • Subframe bolts
  • U-bolts/Pinch bolts
  • Construction fixings
  • Large fixings
  • Over-torqued fixings

The CWC Premium Composite Series offers users preferred features like quiet operation and lightweight design. Its one-hand push button forward and reverse action helps to maximize productivity. The CWC offers the ultimate balance of performance, ergonomics and durability.


The CWM, the “tough boy,” or Premium Metal of the new series, is the most powerful and rugged of the three. Engineered for heavy duty applications such as maritime vessels or under the wings of aviation projects, the CWM impact wrench combines a hard-hitting twin hammer mechanism and an armored metal body that can withstand years of rugged use and abuse. Easy to operate with work gloves on, the CWM also has a soft-touch grip that protects against slip, temperature and vibration. The impacting mechanism ensures trouble-free high performance in even the most challenging work environments.

High torque at an unbeatable value, the CV Series is lightweight, balanced and comfortable, an ideal tool for general industrial production. The CV is practical and rugged for quick repair jobs and maintenance work. It offers Cleco performance at a great value.

Air impact wrench users often say the tool has the best power to weight and power to volume ratio making the extra investment in an air compressor, air line, and fittings worthwhile. With regular maintenance Cleco impact wrenches generally last longer than the competition and each wrench has a one or two year warranty. Whatever industry you’re working in, International Air Tool and Industrial Supply can provide you with the tools, parts and components you need to get the job done, and if you’re looking for an impact wrench, we recommend you try the new Cleco brand.

Interested in learning more about Cleco pneumatic impact wrenches? Feel free to browse through our website www.intlairtool.com, send us an e-mail at info@intlairtool.com, or give us a call at 800-608-5210 for more information.

How Does A Pulse Tool Work?

Reaction-less Assembly Tools That Offer The Utmost in Precision…

Pulse nutrunners (pulse tools) are discontinuous-drive tools. They apply torque in small increments rather than in one continuous blow. When the fastener is running free, the tool doesn’t pulse and the driveshaft spins rapidly. Free speeds of 4,000 to 8,000 RPM are typical for pulse tools, with some smaller pistol-grip models topping out at 10,500 rpm. Once the fastener is snug, the tool begins pulsing, that is, applying short bursts of torque that only last a few milliseconds. Depending on the degree of hardness of the joint, 10 to 15 pulses is usually enough to tighten a fastener. Note: Due to their nature, pulse tools are not recommended for soft joints.

The source of the pulses is a unique hydraulic mechanism that consists of two rotating, cylindrical parts. The first part, called the casing, has an oblong inner chamber filled with hydraulic fluid. It’s connected to the tool’s air motor. The second part, called the anvil, fits inside the casing. The anvil is connected to the tool’s driveshaft and is bisected by two blades that are pushed outward by springs. These blades separate the chamber into two halves. As the casing rotates, the anvil’s blades contact the inner wall of the chamber, thus generating pressure.

When the tool is running at free speed, the casing and anvil rotate in unison. At this point in the cycle, the blades are not touching the inner wall of the casing, and there is no pressure on the hydraulic fluid. As the fastener provides resistance to rotation, the anvil begins to slows, but the casing continues rotating at its original speed. The blades are pushed inward toward the anvil’s center, compressing the springs. The oblong shape of the chamber combined with the compression of the blade springs reduces the volume within the chamber and increases pressure on the hydraulic fluid.

As the casing continues to rotate, fluid pressure accumulates and the anvil rotation begins to hesitate slightly. Hydraulic pressure increases, pushing against the blades and forcing the anvil to rotate. When the anvil is displaced 90 degrees from the casing, the blades are fully compressed at the seal point, which is the narrowest section of the oblong chamber. The hydraulic fluid reaches maximum pressure, and the anvil comes to a virtual stop. At this point rotational forces on the anvil are also maximized.

When the anvil pushes past the seal point and begins to move forward, the blades are again forced outward. Fluid pressure drops, and the anvil accelerates, starting another pulse cycle.

The key advantage of the pulse tool design is that the hydraulic fluid absorbs most of the vibration from the fastening process. Because torque is applied in short pulses, torque reaction is almost non-existent. Thus, allowing a pulse tool to be used without a torque reaction arm and still ensuring proper ergonomics.

Interested in learning more about pulse tools? Feel free to browse through our website www.intlairtool.com, send us an e-mail at info@intlairtool.com, or give us a call at 800-608-5210 for more information.

International Air Tool (I.A.T) Teams Up with ORS NASCO to Gain Access to over 600 lines of Quality Industrial Products

International Air Tool & Industrial Supply Co. has entered into an agreement with wholesale giant ORS NASCO to provide customers access to a huge variety of industrial products at deep discounts. By teaming up with ORS NASCO, International Air Tool can stay true to its mission of systematically supplying customers with complete pneumatic tool,diaphragm pump, and hoist solutions. If you have a specific make, model, or part number you are currently looking for, please feel free to email our Customer Service Department or call us toll free at (800) 608-5210.