Hand Brushes Information

Hand held brush for cleaning and burnishing non-populated printed circuit boards. A gentle brushing action will remove oxidation from copper and soldered surfaces. No water or solvent is required to produce a cleaning action.Hand brushes have a handle or hand grip to allow the brush to be held in a hand and rubbed against a substrate.  They have bristles mounted in a wood, plastic, metal handle, or stem such as scratch, welders, twisted-in-wire, and plater brushes.

Brush Fill Materials

Brush fill materials of hand brushes consist of natural bristles, synthetic filaments, abrasive filaments, or metal wires.

  • Abrasive filament - Abrasive-filament surface conditioning and finishing products consist of fine abrasive particles within or on the surface of a brush's bristles.
  • Metal wire - Metal wire is a stiff, hard material used for aggressive brushing applications where surface material or other residue needs to be removed.
  • Natural bristle / hair - Natural bristle or hair filament is a classification of organic filaments that have been derived from living tissue (either plant or animal).
  • Synthetic filament - Synthetic filaments are man-made materials such as polymers, plastics, elastomers, glass, and carbon fibers.


Hand brushes fill materials are moved manually against a surface to abrade, strip, clean, descale, apply paint, polish, remove dirt, or to provide other specialized actions. According to the usage, hand brushes are again classified into several types.

Cleaning hand brushes are used for cleaning and come in various sizes, including very small brushes for cleaning a fine instrument, toothbrushes, the household version that typically comes with a dustpan, or the broomstick. Cleaning brushes also include brushes for cleaning the toilet, cleaning vegetables, washing glass, finishing tiles, and sanding doors.

Paint hand brushes are used for applying paint or ink. These hand brushes are usually made by clamping the bristles to a handle with a unit called ferrule. Short-handled hand brushes are used for watercolor or ink painting, while long-handled hand brushes are for oil or acrylic paint. Decorator hand brushes and artist hand brushes are also fall under this category.

Scratch brushes are a common type of wire brush that are used to scrape surfaces or remove waste products, scale, or corrosion. Toothbrush style brushes have a long handle with short brush length and short trim length.

Welder’s brushes have a configuration useful for cleaning welds, electrical contacts or electrodes, and welding gun tips. Welder brushes typically consist of a scratch brush with wire fill. Some welder brushes may have integral chipping hammers or scrapers for the removal of slag and scale.

Twisted-in-wire brushes have bristles mounted to and extending radially from a center twisted wire. According to Gordon Brush Mfg. Co., Inc., "A twisted in wire brush is known by many names, such as spiral, tube, flue, bottle, pipe, boiler or power brushes."

Plater brushes are densely filled with a fine metal wire fill material to avoid scratching before or after plating. 

Cylinders brushes or roller brushes have bristles or filaments extending radially from the outer diameter of a central cylindrical hub. Examples include paddle wheel cylinder, spiral wound - core mounted, spiral wound - radial coil / wound strip. Coating rollers or paint rollers consist of cylindrical tubes covered with fiber, filament, and sponge or foam material. Coating rollers are rotated over a surface transferring paint, primer, or other coatings to the substrate.

Disc brushes with bristles spread in one face or radially. Disc brushes have bristles mounted to a cylindrical plate. The full plate of bristles allows you to cover large surface areas where cleaning, deburring, or other brushing actions are required.

Key industries that use hand brushes include automotive, aerospace, industrial, building and construction, MRO, repair, and marine.


Special features of hand brushes include the usage of small and miniature brushes to reach into and clean small cavities, tubes, and recesses. Some hand brushes are made one tuft at a time to ensure quality. Each tuft is tied individually and set with a food-safe adhesive into a hard maple block. Hand brushes may also be available with a foam block. These types of hand brushes are also available in colored nylon as well. 

Anti-static abrasive products consist of or are coated with an additive chemical to reduce or eliminate static charge generation. This is an important feature for certain wood sanding applications. Anti-static brushes are fabricated from materials that are neutral or near neutral on the triboelectric chart.

The tape, film or laminate can conduct electricity and protect from electrostatic discharge (ESD) or provide EMI / RFI shielding. The brush is electrically conducting with a surface resistivity of 102 to 104 ohm.

Hand laced brushes made with the fill material manually laced into a metal, wood or plastic handle, block or split core. Each tuft of fill material is sewn in place with a wire or nylon cord. Hand laced or hand drawn brushes are typically viewed as the high quality end of the hand held brush range.

Designed and constructed for use with food and beverage, medical, pharmaceutical and other cleanliness intensive applications. Sanitary indicates the brush can be easily cleaned or sterilized for critical food, medical or pharmaceutical processing applications.

Static dissipative products are partially conductive (semiconductive) and slowly remove built-up electrostatic charges. The brush is electrically semiconducting or dissipative with a surface resistivity of 105 to 1011 ohm.

Product has larger integral holes for vacuum dust, dirt, rust, and other removed debris.


Hand brushes must adhere to certain standards and specifications to ensure proper design and functionality.

  • A-A-59193: This specification covers expanding type of wire brushes for use with boiler tube cleaning outfits, and fixed sectional type of wire brushes for hand cleaning interior walls of boiler tubes.

Image credit:

Eraser Company, Inc.


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