Which Sanding Pads? 3M Stikit, Powerpad, Custom?

I just bought a new sander/polisher for doing board repair. Now I need a sanding pad or pads. Which should I buy? I’ve found 3M and Power pads. They come in different hardness. I assume I need a stiff one for heavy removal and flattening, and I need a softer one for contour and finish work.

Are there other brands?

Which hardness should I buy?

I heard of a guy that made a super soft pad by glueing urethane foam to a hard plastic backer.

I’m a novice so advice is appreciated.

For small repairs, get the smaller 6" PowerPad in Medium density. If you will do a majority of large panel areas, then go with the larger size.

The soft pad would be good for finish texture sanding and on rails. I’d recommend Ferro Industries ultra soft 6" disk. You can make one using 1" thick cushion foam. Glue it to a hard rubber disk and take a sanding block to its’ edge while running the sander.

Mostly that little medium pad will get you places, like between fins etc. that make your job easier.

I really like the Ferro pad (x-soft) for doing rail work. A little harder to find but worth the hunt… harder pads are for flat work, softer ones for curves… you need a really soft one for rails. You can make your own too, read up in the archives for tips, eg use of denim as a top layer on the foam…Good luck