Gator Ultra Power Premium Sanding Discs

How do these discs stand up to conventional aluminum oxide discs? In a word, 'fantastic.'


Gator Ultra Power Premium Sanding Discs

Professional quality sandpaper makes the sanding job easier and quicker, enhancing your bottom line. Occasional users, or those with less demanding sanding applications, can get by quite nicely on consumer quality sandpaper. Over the past couple of decades I've used a variety of sandpaper, ranging from the excellent to the abysmal. For the past several years I've been using Norton 3X discs, and have been very satisfied with their performance.
A few weeks ago I received a sample of the new Gator Ultra Power Premium Sanding Discs from Ali Industries. These discs come in a 5" 8-hole pattern with either a H&L or PSA backing, and with 12 discs per pack. (Other formats are also available, including 2-1/2", 3" and 6" belts; 8", 9" and 12" no-hole PSA discs; H&L sheets for mouse and detail sanders; and on-stick paper for 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 sheet sanders.)
What distinguishes the Ultra Power discs from other sanding products is the use of zirconium oxide grit, rather than the more common aluminum oxide. Zirconium is a ceramic material with a cubic crystal structure (read more about ZrO2 here). Zirconium grits are harder and sharper than aluminum oxide grits, meaning they cut faster and last longer. This results in a sanding disc that is extremely durable and long lasting - Gator claims their discs will sand three times faster and last three times longer than other discs.
A resin top coating is applied to the Zirconium grit to help reduce loading. This shortens the time it takes to sand, prolongs disc life, and gives a better finish. Finally, Gator uses a heavy grade backing paper that is bound to the abrasive grit with a phenolic resin adhesive. This gives a stronger backing that won't tear as easily, and is much less likely to delaminate.

So, how do these discs stand up to conventional aluminum oxide discs? In a word, 'fantastic'. I can't gauge whether they last precisely three times longer, but they certainly last noticeably longer than other discs I've used. They cut aggressively and don't load up as much, even under vigorous sanding. The discs seem to run cooler as well. The edges fared very well, and didn't show the amount of fraying I've comes to expect with aluminum oxide discs. What's really nice is that the discs clean-up very nicely with a crepe cleaning stick.
At about $1 per sheet these are competitively priced with the Norton 3X discs, and, in my view, worth every penny. In Canada, Gator products are available at your local Home Hardware store; you may have to special order these Ultra Power Premium discs, but the sanding improvement will definitely be worth the wait.



  • 5" 8-hole pattern in PSA or Hook & Loop
  • Available in 4 grits: 50, 80, 120, 220
  • Zirconium oxide grit on heavy weight paper
  • Phenolic resin glue binds grit to paper

RETAIL PRICE:$11.99 (value pack of 12)
MODEL #:7731 (50 grit), 7730 (80 grit),
7729 (120 grit), 7728 (220 grit)
Carl Duguay, March 2010
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