What Ruined My Sander’s Hook-and-loop Pad? by Reader Submitted • Sep 30, 2014 Print Print I bought a Porter-Cable 5″ hook-and-loop 390k random orbital sander. I saw my mate had used it to sand down some filler and the filler wasn’t fully dry, so I cleaned the pad straight away. I wasn’t pleased with him! He had used the new Mirka Abranet discs. Now the pad won’t keep any sanding disc on it anymore. I wonder if it was the effect of him using the sander to sand filler? Or, is it the Abranet discs which have affected the pad, and that’s what has caused the loss of the hook-and-loop pad’s “stick?” Maybe these pads just aren’t what they used to be… On the old Porter-Cable sander I bought a DeWALT-brand pad and it didn’t hold the sanding discs either, so I naturally thought the DeWALT product was sub-standard to Porter-Cable. Have any of your readers had this happen? – Tony Barker Chris Marshall: For those who are unfamiliar with Mirka’s Abranet, it’s a mesh-style abrasive with thousands of tiny holes in it. Those help a sander’s internal dust collection system draw away the sanding swarf more effectively than paper-type abrasives with just five or eight holes in them. However, from what I can learn, Abranet discs come with standard “loop” backing for use with hook-and-loop sanders of all types. The discs aren’t designed exclusively for Mirka sanders. Tony, if the pad on your sander is truly clean and it still won’t hold sanding discs, my guess is that the hooks were damaged by overly aggressive sanding. Maybe when the abrasive’s effectiveness diminished during the filler sanding, the user pushed down harder to compensate for it instead of stopping and switching discs or evaluating the situation more carefully. So, the Abranet didn’t cause the problem; quite possibly, the method of sanding did. Unfortunately, I can’t venture a guess as to why the DeWALT-brand sander pad isn’t working for your sander either.Tim Inman: Without seeing, I’m just guessing. But here’s my best guess. The “hook” part of the hook-and-loop system has probably been either loaded with debris or (more likely) crushed. When these little plastic hooks get mashed down from heavy-handed abuse, they can’t grab the soft fuzzy “loop” part on the sanding disc. You’re probably looking at replacing the sander plate. They are available; you’re not the first one to have this experience.