The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Using Wire Brushes

Wire brushes surface preparation and cleaning close up image from Right Angle Grinder brochure_25445Wire brushes are versatile for various tasks, from removing rust to prepping surfaces. But with so many options available, how do you choose the product for your needs? Don't worry; we've got you covered! In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about wire brushes and how to use them effectively.


What is a wire brush?


A wire brush is a versatile and indispensable tool consisting of metal wires arranged in bristles. It is designed to help with a wide range of tasks, including cleaning, surface preparation, and restoration. Wire brushes come in many different sizes and styles, such as brushes for grinders, drills, and even hand brushes. These brushes are designed to be able to scrub away dirt, rust, and other debris from a variety of surfaces, including metal and wood. Additionally, wire brushes can be used to smooth and buff surfaces, as well as to create unique textures and patterns. With their wide range of uses, wire brushes are an invaluable tool for any DIYer, craftsman, or professional.


Frequently Asked Questions


Can you use a wire brush on wooden surfaces?Wire Brush Application image_65460


Using a wire brush can help open the grain, create a more tactile feel to the surface, and achieve interesting textures and finishes. Use a hand brush in the direction of the grain of the wood, and then follow up with a surface conditioning disc or fine sandpaper to smooth the surface.  You can then leave the wood untreated or apply your chosen stain, varnish or polish.


Can you use a wire brush on bricks?


Using any wire brush on bricks or blocks is not recommended, as the wire will damage the surface.  If you want to clean the bricks' surface, we recommend the Norton Rapid Strip disc for angle grinders.


Can you use a wire brush on metal?


Metals such as aluminium, brass, copper, iron, steel and stainless steel are suitable for wire brushes.


They are widely used in metal restoration projects and can be used on large and small projects.  Need some inspiration? Watch the videos below on how you can transform old vintage items and leave them looking like new.


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Can I use a wire brush on an angle grinder?

Yes, we have a range of products for angle grinders. Watch Paul, our Norton expert, explain the different types of brushes and attachments available for angle grinders. Suppose you are wondering how to attach these products to an angle grinder. Each product for an angle grinder comes with an M14 thread so that this can screw directly onto your angle grinder.


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Choosing the Right Brush


When selecting a wire brush, consider the following factors:Wire brush group image from Right Angle Grinder brochure_26754 (1)


Wire Type


Norton wire brushes are available in carbon steel, stainless steel, and brass. Choose the appropriate wire type based on the material you'll be working on.


Wire Diameter


Use fine wires for light-duty jobs and coarse wires for heavy-duty tasks.


Filament Configuration


Wire cup brushes, wheel brushes, and end brushes come in different filament configurations. Crimped brushes offer flexibility, standard twist knot wire brushes provide rigidity, and stringer bead twist knot brushes offer the highest impact action.


Trim Length


The trim length refers to the usable filament on the brush. Longer trim lengths are ideal for irregular surfaces, while shorter trim lengths are suitable for more aggressive applications.


Proper Usage and Maintenance


To use a wire brush effectively, attach it to the appropriate tool (such as a drill or angle grinder) and apply gentle pressure. Move the brush back and forth across the surface you're working on, ensuring even coverage. It's essential to wear safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself from flying debris.

Right Angle Grinder with knotted wire brush_26033

After each use, clean the brush by removing any accumulated debris. You can do this by tapping it against a hard surface or using a wire brush cleaning tool. Regularly inspect the brush for worn or damaged bristles and replace it when necessary.


Wire brushes are invaluable tools for various cleaning and surface preparation tasks. You can achieve excellent results by choosing the right brush and using it correctly.


If you want a deeper dive into the world of wire brushes, check out our Norton Live session on "How to choose the best wire brush for the job."

Are you ready to unlock the full potential of wire brushes for your projects? We're here to support and provide expert guidance every step of the way.


Download our comprehensive brochure.


Delve deeper into the world of wire brushes with our meticulously crafted brochure. It's packed with valuable insights, practical tips, and expert recommendations to help you make well-informed decisions for your needs. Get your hands on this essential resource today!

Download Brochure


Find your local stockist


Experience the quality and versatility of our wire brushes first-hand. Locate your nearest authorized stockist and discover a wide range of high-quality brushes perfectly suited for various applications. Our dedicated partners will assist you in finding the ideal wire brush for your project requirements.

Find a stockist


Contact us for support


Have questions, need guidance, or seek expert advice? Our friendly and knowledgeable team is here to provide the support you need. We're just a phone call or email away, ready to assist you with recommendations, troubleshooting, or any other wire brush-related inquiries. 

Contact Us