If you’re a tradie, you’re probably familiar with Mirka’s tools but do you know about its history? Mirka is a globally expanding company with 15 subsidiaries located in Europe, North and South America and Asia. Its headquarters and production are located in Finland. More than 90% of its products are exported and sold in more than 90 countries.
They are the pioneers of dust-free solutions and offer dustless tools suitable for all your sanding needs. Their products are high-quality and ideal for a range of needs such as construction or painting purposes. This blog will focus on one of their bestsellers, the Leros wall sander, but first we’ll explore why dust is bad for you.
The history of Mirka
Mirka itself has a rich and interesting history. It was founded in 1943 in Helsinki by the engineer Onni Aulo. Despite obstacles and strict regulations at that time, Onni Aulo succeeded in just half a year's time to learn how to manage the production process. The company decided in 1962 to move to Kiitola in Jeppo, where they had found suitable premises. In 1966 Oy Keppo Ab bought Mirka and the two companies were merged in 1973. In the early 1960’s, a considerable part of Mirka's products were exported to the USA, as well as to Great Britain and Iceland. By the end of the 1970's, exports amounted to 54% of the total turnover.
Mirka decided to give up the cheap bulk products and concentrate instead on product development and high class industry products. In 1969, the first high class products reached the market and in the same year the manufacturing of self-adhesive discs started, which remains the most important product group today. Since the new products required better production equipment and enlarged facilities, it was decided in 1972 to invest in a modern factory which was ready the following year.
In 1977 parts of the production were moved to Oravais. The Oravais factory has been gradually expanding over the years, most recently in 2003. The factory in Jeppo has been gradually expanding during the 1980'es and 90'es. The automated warehouse, the Jumbo Tower, Mirka's landmark in Jeppo was ready in 1996 and in September 2004 the newest building, hall 9 and office facilities, were inaugurated. Today Mirka is an international company and a member of the KWH Group.
Why is dust harmful to your health?
You may be wondering why Mirka has taken such a focus on dustless tools. What’s the harm in a bit of dust? As it turns out, there are quite a few harmful side effects that come along with dust exposures. Sanding paint creates a lot of fine dust which can be easily inhaled and irritate your eyes and lungs. The dust may also contain harmful substances such as lead, chromium, and abrasives from sanding disks. Definitely not something you want to inhale!
Harmful types of dust
There are multiple types of dust that you may be exposed to while sanding and it’s best to avoid them in order to protect your health, which is where Mirka’s tools for a dustless sanding solution come in! Let’s take a closer look at some common types of dust and why you should avoid them.
- Silica dust
Silica dust is particularly harmful. It is released as fine dust, 100 times smaller than a grain of sand. These fine grains can remain dust-born for hours and penetrate deep into the lungs. Unfortunately, there is no treatment to reverse this damage, so it is vital to minimize exposure to this dust to avoid long-term health implications.
- Lead dust
Lead-based paint is often found in older buildings. Exposure to its dust over time can lead to lead-poisoning, which is a particular risk for young children. Lead poisoning can involve serious symptoms such as developmental delays and neurological changes. To avoid such harmful side effects, it’s particularly important to minimize exposure to this dust.
- Timber dust
Timber dust is also known as sawdust or wood shavings. It is composed of small chippings of wood. Reported health effects from exposure to timber dust include skin disorders, asthma, and irritation of the nose and throat.
- Asbestos dust
Asbestos has a reputation for being harmful. Hazardous asbestos exposure occurs when you inhale or swallow asbestos dust. Since no amount of asbestos exposure is considered safe, health experts recommend that all necessary precautions should be taken to avoid exposure to it.
When is a LEROS sander used and how does it work?
A Leros Sander can be used in a variety of situations, such as on new gyprock or sanding between coats of paint. It all starts with Mirka’s Abranet. It is a net abrasive containing thousands of holes, providing unmatched dust extraction. There is also a wide range of options to choose from depending on your needs, such as aluminum oxide, ceramic or silicon carbide grains - ranging from very coarse to fine grits. They also offer sandpaper and sanding films, Iridium and Novastar with hole patterns designed specifically for ultimate dust extraction.
What does Leros stand for?
Do you know what ‘Leros’ stands for? It’s not just a random word! In fact, it stands for ‘Long Electric Orbital Sander.’ Pretty easy to remember, right? Meanwhile, ‘Deros’ stands for ‘Direct Electric Random Orbital Sander’.
What makes Mirka’s Leros Sander Special?
One of the features that make Mirka’s sanders particularly unique is the sanding paper they use. In general, sanding paper has up to 15 holes - whilst Mirka has a whopping 1000! This means that you can achieve a much more consistent scratch pattern and not have to worry about constantly replacing the sandpaper.
Sanders are notoriously noisy but Mirka’s expert design means it is very quiet. It also has low vibration, meaning that it is comfortable to use. This is particularly important for painters or plasterers who will be sanding for long periods of time. It is also very lightweight and compact, meaning that it can be easily transported in vans and around the worksite.
Mirka’s Leros Sander is the first sander in the world to feature a pivoting head. This means that you can reach up to great heights and sand straight down the wall without having to adjust your body. Using this sander also allows you to achieve Level 5 surface preparation - leaving you with no scratch pattern and an ultra-smooth finish.
Worried about back and shoulder pain from using a heavy sander? The Leros has its motor located in the head, and a clever weight transfer design means that it feels lighter than ever when sanding a wall. Other brands of dustless sander which have the motor located in the base of the tool don’t allow for a weight transfer.
The random orbit design of the Leros sander allows it to glide along a surface whilst rotary design is less smooth.
How can a Leros sander benefit tradies?
The use of a Leros sander can help tradies upsell their services to a client. Given the many benefits of using a dustless sander, a client is more likely to choose a tradie who uses one. After all, its dustless design helps to protect the health of your family, friends, pets, and is also better for the environment. It also helps prioritize the health of the tradie themselves, so they can continuing doing their best work while in top shape. The design of the Leros sander can also help tradies to save money. They can use the same hose as a Deros sander without the need to by a new one.
The clever design of the Leros sanding head and backing pad allows its operator to work very close to corners to give perfect results from any angle.
All Mirka power tools are protected by a two year standard warranty so you can sand in peace, knowing that your tool is covered if anything goes wrong. You can also get an additional 1 year of warranty by registering your tool within 30 days of purchase. Warranty registration has never been easier, all you have to do is visit Mirka’s website or download and register on the myMirka app!
The myMirka app also gives you vibration, speed, and usage data right at your fingertips. The Leros has an integrated vibration sensor and Bluetooth technology to allow it to transmit data to the app.
Mirka has introduced a shorter length version of the popular Leros sander. The new Leros-S sander features the same best features as the original Leros, but now in a shorter and even more easily handled length. It also has two dedicated grip points to allow for full control when sanding large surfaces.
Another premium alternative to the Leros sander is the Deros. It is the most compact, ergonomic, and easy-to-use sander in its class. Its random orbital sander design gives you:
- Powerful performance, thanks to the brushless motor
- Clever features, integrated vibrations sensor and Bluetooth® low energy technology
- Innovative design
It is very low weight (only 1kg!) making it perfect for all professionals. It is easy to move around without the need for an external power source. Its low design gives you ultimate control over the sanding process as your hand is closer to the surface.