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I'm trying to decide what kind of resin to buy. I would like a quality resin but I don't know enough about the manufacturers to know if there IS a better or more efficient resin.

* I've not seen any "quality" issues with Resins sold and used for 20 years. Everyone uses the same "standards".
I have a 9x48" tank, my water quality report says total hardness is 19-37 grains/gallon. I was looking at the Nelson Corporation cation resin and the Purolite C-100E. Will one soften water noticeably better (or longer) than the other?

* No.
Is there another resin for my residential use that I am overlooking? Any help would be appreciated - Thank you.

**
You can buy gasoline from a "recommended brand", but if you select 87 Octane, than that is what you are getting.

The same is true of resin "brands".
They all use the same "ion exchange" to remove hardness mineral ( calcium, mangenesium ) and also iron from the water filtered through them.
see How A Water Softener Works.

They come in several different "colors" ( black, brown, orange, and white are the most common ).


There is 8% Resin ( commonly used and Recommended ),

* Other types / brands are:

And Fine Mesh ( not commonly used, and we generally DO NOT Recommended, see why at bottom of this page ),

Also you'll see 10% Resin, which some claim ( I'm not convinced ) will hold up longer if the water source is chlorinated.

And Purolite C-100E is just another "BRAND".
And we offer it because some people either believe it's "better" or they only want a product "Made In USA".
The majority of Resins ( and other water treatment products ) are made outside of USA ( i.e. China ).
https://www.softenerparts.com/Purolite_C_100_E_Cation_Exchange_Resin_C_100E_USA_p/23c100e.htm
Some WELL WATER might require an additional resin to be used.
A special resin for
Tannin Removal ( sometimes called "white resin" )
and it is used specifically for removal of color ( tannins ) from the water.
And we generally have used / recommend this as an Addition to water softening Resins,
and used in the same tank as a top layer of about 6 inches ( or 1 lbs. per inch of tank diameter ).
Although a really "bad" color issue can require a separate tank just for the "Tannin" resins, but this is rarely necessary.

https://www.softenerparts.com/Tannin_Macroporous_Anion_Resin_A2950_White_Resin_p/90a850.htm

***
We recommend High Capacity Resin,
here:

and our Resin Replacement Guide / Directions,

here:

*** Why I don't "like" or "recommend" Fine Mesh,
The biggest "issue" with Fine Mesh is the Pressure Drop through the tank. * Because the beads are smaller, and the slots in the distributor are smaller.
2nd - cost more
3rd - special bottom distributor REQUIRED<
4th - gravel recommended / required?
5th - never noticed the Fine Mesh working "better" than Standard Mesh
6th - does not last as long as standard mesh in average application