Wire Wheels & Brushes

Forney Industries Wire Wheels & Brushes

Light Cleaning and Surface Prep

This category of products is primarily designed for the Do-it-Yourself (DIY) consumer. They are not for the professional user that needs longevity or will be using them on a large project. While the quality of the product is high for the price range, professional users will be disappointed in the performance and life of these products. Forney has classified these as our “Red Cap Brush” program. This program includes all power brushes, wheel & cup used on angle grinders and wheel and cup with 1/4" hex shank to be used in electric drills only.

Heavy-Duty Cleaning and Surface Prep

The products in this category are classified by Forney as Command Pro®. They are for medium to heavy duty cleaning and debris removal for the professional user or the DIY customer that has a large amount of cleaning. This product is an upgrade from the “Red Cap” category for a customer that will use several of the lower cost products to get a job done. The Command Pro® product is more expensive, but will have a longer life to offset the extra cost.

Hand & Utility Brushes

More commonly known as scratch brushes. These brushes can be used by everyone from the DIY to the farmer and rancher as well as auto mechanics and professional welders.

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How to Select a Wire Brush

AngleGrinder-ProtectiveGuard.jpgWhen selecting a brush for an application, a number of questions need to be addressed. First, what is the job to be performed; e.g., deburring, edge breaking, polishing, cleaning, etc.? Second, what is the material that needs attention?

If the goal is to deburr a stainless steel tube that was saw cut, either an abrasive or stainless steel wire brush should be used in order to reduce contamination on the work piece. A carbon wire brush would deburr the part faster, but it would also leave traces of carbon steel that would cause the part to oxidize. Depending on the equipment used, either a cup or radial brush will perform the job.

Wire filaments vary from steel, stainless steel, bronze, brass and others. The most important trait of wire filament is wire hardness. Brass, bronze and copper filament are softer, and are used for softer materials (e.g. rubber or aluminum).

Trim length of the brush filaments is another important factor to consider. Brushes with longer trim lengths are less aggressive, but they have the flexibility to reach into curved or recessed areas. Short trim lengths create brushes that are more aggressive but less flexible.

Filament diameter is another consideration. Wire sizes range from 0.003” to 0.032”. Typically, a thicker filament is more aggressive. However, with wire, sometimes using a thicker filament has the opposite effect because the filament bounces off of the part.

Filament density also varies. Brushes with more dense filaments are more aggressive because there is more weight to support cutting points.

Usually the largest brush the equipment can handle is recommended. The benefits of this are twofold. Due to the size of the brush, the part can probably be deburred in one pass as opposed to two or more passes. The other advantage is that the brush will have to be changed less frequently, therefore causing less downtime for the machine.

The size of a job and/or amount of brushing required should be considered to decide if a low end or high end brush should be purchased.

As with any power tool, safety is a major concern when it comes to brush applications. Just as cutting tools dull and deteriorate over time, so do brushes. After a number of cycles, the wires fatigue, break and fall out of the brush. At high speeds, these pieces have enough velocity to puncture clothing and skin. When using brushes, it is a good idea to wear safety glasses, leather gloves and apron, a full-face shield and work boots.

Brush Configurations

For extra heavy-duty applications, wire filaments are twisted together to form multiple knots. The knots create extra support for the wire tips, resulting in higher aggression for applications such as weld cleaning and rust removal. Tighter knots make a more narrow brush face allowing it to reach into corners and cracks.

IP-brushes-group.jpgWheel or Radial: These brushes are center-mounted on a shank or arbor, and the outside edge or "face" of the brush contacts the workpiece.

Cup: The shape of this brush allows for many more filaments to contact the workpiece at once, resulting in much more aggressive brushing action. Can be used in hand tools such as angle grinders and drilling machines.

End: Filaments are packed into a small shanked cup. During operation, the filaments flare out to contact recessed areas.

Stem Mounted Brushes are generally used in portable air and electric tools for light to heavy duty work where space is limited. Diameters range from 1/2" - 4". End, Wheel and Cup brushes, crimped wire and knot type, are permanently mounted on a 1/4" steel shank.

Typical Power Brush Applications

Deburring Power brushes are widely used to remove burrs created by other machining operations. Power brushes can completely remove burrs without creating secondary burrs or leaving sharp edges. Unlike grinding tools, brushes are selective to an edge; they will remove the burr but none of the base material.

Surface Finishing Power brushes are excellent tools for improving surface finishes to gain a desired appearance. Brushes do not remove the base metal. They remove only the metal particles left on surfaces which have been ground or abrasive polished. Power brushing also tends to relieve stress created by other machining operations. Many different surface finishes can be obtained by using power brushes.

Cleaning Power brushes are distinctly suited for removal of surface film, dirt, rust, heat treat scale, weld slag, corrosion and paint.

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