What Is an Emery Cloth?


Quick Answer

Emery cloth, also known as black sandpaper, consists of fine, abrasive particles of aluminum oxide attached to a fabric backing. Metalworkers use the material to remove paint and rust, smooth burrs, polish surfaces and hand-fit parts.

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Full Answer

The cloth's grit size determines its functionality. Emery cloth with a low rating, such as 40 or 46, files with rough results. Cloth with a rating of 220, 320, F or FF produces a high polish.

Since emery cloth bends more easily than traditional sandpaper, woodworkers also use the product to smooth intricate shapes. Emery cloth use has declined due to the invention of more precise machine grinders and powered hand tools.

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