3 Reasons I like Snap On Discs and How to Use Them

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Let me revisit one of my favorite tools. As you know, I like tools, especially ones that are easily modified and do good quick work. So one of my go-to tools in my Foredom arsenal is the Snap-on Disc.

Snap-on Discs Header

Let me give you my top 3 reasons I like them so much:

The first reason I like them is that they come in a large variety of sizes and grits, but I pretty much gravitate towards 4 different kinds.


The second reason I like the snap-on discs is that they are easy to trim. I have mentioned before that I like to reuse many or most of my tools and I have a huge pile of #12 Curved Surgical Blades that I have used to cut rubber molds. These blades are not sharp enough to cut molds anymore, but have many other uses.

Snap-on Discs (1) Snap-on Discs (2)

Snap-on Discs (3) Snap-on Discs (4)

Snap-on Discs (5)

To trim these discs once the edge gets dull, I mount these on a snap-on mandrel, back side out, and run the foredom at a pretty fast speed and trim off just a small amount of the disc. This enables a fresh cutting surface. Sometimes when the disc edge is a little out of round, I run the disc at a high rate of speed and rub it up against my bench pin. This wears the edge down and gives it a true running edge. I can now run this with confidence, very close to polished surfaces and stones. Once the “wobble” is out of the disc, I can do this easily.

Snap-on Discs (6) Snap-on Discs (8)

The third reason I can’t live without these amazing tools is the fact that you can use them with the grit on either the inside or outside of the Snap-on Mandrel, depending on what type of piece you are working on. I have a number of these mounted in different grits and different sizes and positions. They are quick to change out and quick to change sizes.

Snap-on Discs (9) Snap-on Discs (10)


Well, there ya have it, a little tool-time today.

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12 Responses to 3 Reasons I like Snap On Discs and How to Use Them

  1. Linda March 2, 2016 at 7:15 am #

    great tips as always!

  2. Trish Smith March 2, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    I recently subscribed to your site and enjoy the information you’ve been sharing. I’m quite new and find myself not using the sanding discs, and many other tidbits, because I’m often not sure what to use! Sounds silly but there are so many types of materials out there and also how the heck do you keep it all organized?

    • Doug Napier March 2, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

      Trish, it can be a bit overwhelming with all the tool and tool choices. Don’t let it intimidate you, just start slowly and keep focused and keep asking questions, lots of questions. Every jeweler has their own organization system, but there are things that help.

  3. Deedee March 2, 2016 at 9:48 am #

    Great tips Greg. Never knew they could be trimmed as they wear down. Now to find a ba
    D to do it with. I agree that these little discs are terrific! Thanks as always for sharing your expertise.

    • Doug Napier March 2, 2016 at 8:45 pm #

      Thanks as always Dee

  4. Wallace March 4, 2016 at 5:25 am #

    Brilliant post Doug.

    Thank you, for all you share.

  5. Tina March 5, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

    Love your posts and the font of information. Thanks so much for sharing. Great site.

  6. Dawn Crandall April 10, 2016 at 6:05 pm #

    I just tried sanding discs for the first time after metalsmithing for 15 years, and WOW! They are so effective, versatile, and an incredible time saver. I ordered all of the discs you suggested. If not for your “second reason,” I’m not sure I would ever have tried them. I was too hung up on the disposable factor, but trimming them extends their life. Doug, thank you for sharing your knowledge!

    • Doug Napier April 10, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

      Dawn, that is an awesome story. I am sure you will enjoy them.