It’s no secret that auto bodywork is one of the most detailed and delicate jobs in the world. That’s why it’s so important to have all the right tools for this job.
Auto body detailers are always looking for the best sanding blocks to help them finish their job.
There are many different types of sanding blocks available, so it can be difficult to find one that is suitable for all auto body projects.
To make your search easier, we have compiled a list of the top 5 sanding blocks on the market today. In this blog post, we will be reviewing those sanding blocks as well as giving you tips on how to choose the best ones!
Our 5 Best Auto Body Sanding Block Picks:
Here are the detailed reviews-
1. 3M 5441 Stikit Hand Block – 2-3/4″ x 7-3/4″
If you ask us what’s one of the very best sanding block for auto body products you can find online, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t immediately think of the 3M 5441 Stikit Hand Block – 2-3/4″ x 7-3/4″.
A high-quality, long-lasting product, the 3M 5441 Stikit Hand Block is the sanding block of choice for professionals like auto body technicians who often end up sanding a surface for hours on end.
To begin with, the product is designed with a highly palm-friendly, ergonomic grip, making it easy to use for hours of sanding without getting cramps. It also comes in both soft and firm density to allow for greater versatility.
On top of being extraordinarily ergonomic and versatile, the 3M 5441 Stikit Hand Block is highly durable and will survive years of use without showing any signs of wearing down.
- Long-lasting construction prevents wear and tear to the block
- Available as both soft and firm density with noticeable differences in grit
- Even pressure distribution throughout the sanding block stops finger marks on the surface
- The ergonomic handle takes the pain of sanding away
- At $28, the 3M 5441 Stikit Hand Block is more pricey than other sanding blocks of the same quality.
- Leaving sandpaper on for prolonged periods can create a sticky, hard-to-clean mess.
2. 3M 5684 Hookit Sanding Block Kit
The 3M (5684 Hookit Sanding Block Kit is another exceptionally well-rated product from 3M (no, we’re not gushing about them!). It contains seven blocks in popular sizes. If we’re being honest, it’s probably the most comprehensive sanding block kit available today!
Just like the 3M 5441 Stikit Hand Block, the sanding blocks that come with this kit are all ergonomically designed to reduce the fatigue of sanding a surface for hours on end. Their shape makes hand sanding an easy task, increasing the efficiency of any professional.
The sanding blocks use 3M’s own 3M Hookit system for securing and removing sandpaper sheets. To apply a sheet, just press on the abrasive sheet for a secure grip, and remove the sheet by peeling it away when you need to change it.
In our opinion, professional auto body technicians who don’t have the option of power sanding will love this product.
Multiple brushes also mean that the kit contains enough blocks for an entire workshop.
- The teardrop shape of the sanding blocks makes it easy to reach hard-to-reach places.
- Easily apply and remove sandpaper sheets using 3M’s unique Hookit system.
- The design of the sanding blocks prevents hand fatigue.
- Kit contains several different sizes of blocks to fit various sizes of sandpaper sheets.
- Many customers have complained of having problems applying sandpaper using the 3M Hookit system.
3. Tool Aid SG 89920 Sanding Board
The Tool Aid SG 89920 Sanding Board is a hand sanding block that has gathered good reviews across the board, and when you take the time to inspect the product, it’s not very surprising why.
The base plate to which the sandpaper sheets are attached is made of soft aluminum. This makes it susceptible to pressure, but it also means that you can bend it to fit on rounded fenders and such as required.
A wooden handle, curved to fit comfortably in most medium to large hands, is attached to the base plate. It comes with a hollow to fit your fingers through, and from our research, curves to hold your hand quite nicely.
It’s our pick for the average car hobbyist since only select others on this list can match the quality-for-price ratio of the Tool Aid SG 89920 Sanding Board. At just over $20 most of the time, it’s an affordable sanding block that provides excellent performance.
- Soft baseplate makes the sanding block suitable for restoration projects on older cars
- Uses secure lever-style clamps to hold the sandpaper sheet in place
- It fits the standard 2-¾” x 17-½” cut of abrasive paper, making it easy to find the sandpaper sheets it uses.
- The base plate is very soft aluminum, which can get damaged or even snap under pressure.
4. Dura-Block 5 Piece Auto Body Sanding Block Kit + DVD
You’ll find a shocking lack of information about the Dura-Block 5 Piece Auto Body Sanding Block Kit on eCommerce websites, but don’t take that to mean that this reliable sanding block kit is low-grade.
Instead, the Dura-Block 5 Piece Auto Body Sanding Block Kit is by all means and purposes made for the serious auto body technician who needs a wide variety of AF44 sanding blocks to get his job done with the highest quality.
The Dura-Block sanding block kit contains a ⅓ sanding block, ⅔ block, a full-size block, a long block, and a marine block, making it the most versatile kit we’ve seen yet.
The blocks themselves are machined out of solid foam material, giving them unmatched durability and equalized pressure that results in a perfect, ripple-free finish.
- The versatility, number of sanding blocks, and inherent high quality make this a perfect option for serious auto body shops.
- Closed-cell EVA foam material allows the blocks to take a lot of pressure without showing any signs of damage.
- The kit comes with a bonus DVD guide to block sanding and surface preparation from the trained staff of Steve’s Auto Restoration.
- With most sites selling it for just above $220, this is by far the priciest set of sanding blocks we’ve seen yet.
5. Warner Sanding Block Hand Sander, 34436A, Dimpled Rubber
Shaped for efficiently sanding everything from corners and flat surfaces to curves and rounded areas, the Warner Sanding Block Hand Sander is a sanding block that’s aimed for total convenience.
Fitting an even ¼ sandpaper sheet, this sanding block features a unique design that makes it particularly easy to use.
You load the sandpaper in by pressing the little black tabs at the top, allowing you to load and remove sandpaper sheets quickly. To secure the sander, you just need to click the red plastic sides into place, automatically securing it.
We’d be lying if we didn’t say that the Warner Manufacturing Store hit the nail on the head with this sander. It’s incredibly comfortable to sand with this hand sander, and at just under five bucks, it’s one of the cheapest single hand sanders on this list too.
If you’re looking for a reliable sanding block for one or two projects, we will go so far as to say there’s no better choice than the Warner Sanding Block Hand Sander!
- Features a dimpled rubber surface that allows you to adjust for surface imperfections
- Unique design holds sandpaper sheets more securely than usual hand sanders
- The product is very cheap. Like, seriously affordable.
- Gaps in the plastic under the sandpaper sheet can create consistency issues during sanding.
Best Sanding Block for Auto Body Buying Guide
When deciding on a sanding block, there are a few things to consider. Go through these criteria carefully so that you can pick the right product-
The material used for making the block is crucial to its overall strength and longevity. It is also important that you choose a material that can withstand heat without getting damaged or warped by it.
Generally speaking, cheap blocks are made out of wood while quality products are made from rubber or plastic base material to withstand abuse in the worksite.
Type Of Abrasives Used
Sanding blocks are normally made with different types of abrasive materials such as aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, etc. Aluminum oxide is often considered the best abrasive material for sanding blocks.
The grit size is used to describe the sharpness of abrasive material, and it’s measured in micrometers (μm). Sandpaper has a standardized way for measuring its grits using numbers from 60-grit going up until 2500-grit. The higher the number, the finer the sandpaper.
Sanding blocks are available with grits ranging from 60-grit to 1500-grit. You will be using low grits for rough shaping, while high numbers are used for final touch-ups and polishing work.
Size Of The Block & Design
The size and shape of a sanding block are important as well. A good design will let you get into tight spaces and corners easily.
If you choose a small-sized product, then it will be difficult for you to use it on larger surfaces like doors or hoods. On the flip side, if your product has too much surface area; then it will be tough to handle.
Look for products that match your job requirements. If you need different types of blocks, I recommend going with sets.
Weight and Ergonomics
The weight of the sanding block is also important. Generally, heavier blocks work better when you are working on large surfaces like doors or roofs.
It’s a good idea to balance out the weight in your product with its ergonomics; i.e., how easy it is for you to hold and maneuver around while using it? A good product will let you easily work on your car without causing fatigue.
Efficient Sandpaper Usage
Sanding blocks with efficient sandpaper usage will not only save you money but also make your job easier.
Normally, if the block doesn’t offer good utilization of abrasive material; then it is a sign that there’s excess space inside and you might end up buying another sheet for using on those difficult spots.
Price Of The Block
Last but not least, you should check the price of your preferred product so that you can get an idea about its value for money. If it is too cheap or expensive; then do more research on them before making a decision as cheaper products mostly are quality compromised!
Choosing the best sanding block for auto body repairs is way more complex than you’d think. We had to consider how ergonomic the handle was, whether the product could be used for hours without resulting in hand cramps, the product’s durability, and how securely it held the sandpaper sheet.
After considering all of that, we’d say the winner is the durable yet high-performance 3M 5441 Stikit Hand Block – 2-3/4″ x 7-3/4″. This is by far the most high-quality sanding block we’ve seen yet, and way worth the investment you’ll put into it.
It’s followed closely by the Dura-Block 5 Piece Auto Body Sanding Block Kit + DVD, which wins its spot for its versatility and user-friendliness.
The sheer number and types of blocks present make the Dura-Block set worth considering. Only for professional body repair shops, though, as it carries a hefty price tag!