FCI Trigon 180 Sanding Tool

Written by on December 2, 2019 in Product Reviews, Sanding and Dust Collection with 0 Comments

A Sanding Solution You May Not Know About…

The Trigon 180 Sanding Tool is an intriguing option for paint and drywall pros who prefer something better than the old school rectangular pole sander head. This tool has little in common with cheap pole sanders. It is made out of lightweight and robust aluminum, not plastic. And it has many engineering features that make it fun and efficient to use.

It is a smart piece of triangular geometry…

Trigon 180

Conformity is Key

The Trigon is a great corner and detail sander with a unique triangular shape. It is also competent on the open road of walls and ceilings because of its size.

Trigon 180
Tale of the tape…

The Trigon has 56% more surface area than the traditional rectangular pole sander. As a result, it is unlikely to flip during use and damage surfaces.

The manufacturer, Full Circle International, is known for engineering solutions to make paint prep easier. This sanding tool allows the user to enjoy a full range of motion on the wall, because the center hub on the frame of the tool articulates smoothly in all directions. This allows you to change direction without stopping or taking the tool off the wall.

The Trigon has a cushy foam base pad, so the attached abrasive conforms to inconsistencies in the surface being sanded. We all know that most substrates aren’t truly flat. Firm base pads skip over valleys and burnish high spots. Many manufacturers overlook this important quality in sanding tools.

All About Forward Motion

The base pad is enclosed by a soft rubber perimeter that serves as an edge protector. So, you can sand with some energy into corners and tight spots without gouging adjacent edges.

This is critical in sanding drywall corner joints, because the joint compounds are often soft and easy to mar. The perimeter padding also comes in handy on previously painted walls that need to be scuff sanded prior to painting.

The base pad can be replaced if it ever wears out. The replacement will include the rubber perimeter edge guard, and the white hook and loop layer.

Trigon 180

Trigon 180 Abrasives

The sanding sheets use hook and loop technology to attach to the base pad (described above). The back of the sandpaper attaches to the white layer on top of the foam base. The white layer is permanent to the foam (do not peel it). It is a tight connection, the abrasive is unlikely to ever come off the base pad during use.

Hook and loop is a nice upgrade in the pole sanding category. It was near impossible to get an abrasive super tight to the base with the old clamp style of attachment on traditional pole sanders.

Common grits at many online and retail suppliers include 100, 150 and 220 for the Trigon. This grit range covers most wall and ceiling prep needs. The abrasive is a high quality stearated aluminum oxide paper. It is sharp and effective on raw drywall or painted surfaces.

Aluminum oxide is a great type of abrasive for sanding walls and ceilings because the granules are hard, and they wear down slowly. So, the abrasive sands finer as it ages.

Also, drywall compound and paints are hard on abrasives, causing them to load. A stearated abrasive means that at a near microscopic level, the abrasive self-lubricates. This helps the paper to resist loading and clogging under the friction and heat of heavy use. And, there is no negative impact to the walls that you will be painting.

You can expect to get good mileage out of the abrasives. They are sold in 5 packs for about $5 at most suppliers.

Bang for Buck

The Trigon 180 attaches to any threaded paint pole. It also easily converts to a hand sander by pulling the center hub and using a supplied adaptor. The Trigon 180 tool sells for about $40. There are other (much) pricier options out there.

Trigon 180
Hand sanding attachment

This type of tool is a great option for pros and diy-ers who don’t need a power sander on a pole for wall and ceiling prep. The Trigon 180 is lightweight, well-designed and easy to use. Pole sanding is hard work, so the low weight and fully articulating hub make the process quicker and less fatiguing.

Prep tools show their value by helping you to avoid causing any cosmetic damage while creating smooth results. The purpose of both prep and painting is to efficiently improve surfaces. The Trigon 180 should please most people in the “user friendliness” category and make prep more tolerable. We have had ours for many years and it has paid for itself many times over.

Do you have experience with the Trigon 180 or questions about it?

If so, please share in our comment section below.

Scott Burt

Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you!

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