The angle grinder is useful for challenging jobs. Stones and metal can be broken down with it, as well as metal burrs and rust. In woodworking shops, an angle grinder is a standard tool. Which angle grinder, on the other hand, do you require? Which disc should you use for each operation, and how to use an angle grinder? This is what you will learn from this article.
There are a few things to consider when learning how to use an angle grinder. You’ll need to choose which angle grinder is best for the job, which disc to use, and how to get started in the safest manner possible. Thanks to the tips in this article, you will learn how to use an angle grinder.
Using an angle grinder isn’t difficult after you’ve made the necessary decisions. If you have the proper equipment and disc, your task will be much more pleasurable and productive. Go over all the tips and information in this article to learn how to use an angle grinder safely and effectively.
Related article: 8 Angle grinder basics you should know – best beginner tips
- How to choose your angle grinder
- Types of grinding wheels
- How to use an angle grinder
How to choose your angle grinder
Angle grinders are offered by different brands and come in different sizes. Each format serves a distinct purpose. It’s helpful to know which models exist and what they’re used for before learning how to use an angle grinder.
Cutting profiles, polishing weld seams, grinding metal, and cutting tiles to size can all be done with a lighter model. These are simple to use and can even be operated with one hand in some circumstances. In terms of weight, these are also the lightest machines. That is also the type that is most used by woodworkers. You can see me use mine from time to time in my YouTube videos as well.
You’ll need a bigger model if you want to cut strong materials like concrete, or if you want to create deep channels in the wall for sanitary and electricity pipes. In this part, you will learn to determine which is the right angle grinder for your jobs.
Compact angle grinders
Do you need an angle grinder that you only want to use occasionally? Should it only be used for small jobs? Then a compact device with a grinding wheel diameter of 115 or 125 mm is probably enough.
The smaller sizes are suitable for jobs such as cutting sanitary tiles, metal pipes and for deburring and sanding materials.
Due to the limited size, the compact angle grinders are easy to handle. The limited weight ensures that you can use them for quite a long time without a break.
In terms of engine power, the 115mm angle grinders are almost as powerful as the 125mm models. If you’re looking for the lightest device for the smallest jobs, choose a 115mm model.
Larger angle grinders
If you want to cut solid materials, such as concrete, bricks, and stone slabs, or if you want to cut deep grooves in the wall for sanitary and electricity pipes, you need an angle grinder with a power of 2,000 to 2,500 W.
You will also need an angle grinder with a 230 mm grinding wheel diameter to be able to cut patio tiles, for example.
If you have a woodworking shop like me you will hardly use this model. In my opinion, it is better to invest in a smaller angle grinder.
Battery or corded
Angle grinders are available in both cordless and corded versions. There are a few variances between these two categories that can have a significant impact on you. As a result, it’s a good idea to consider this before purchasing an angle grinder.
A corded device is the most appealing if you require continual power. An angle grinder with a battery is more suited if you want to work without any difficulties. As a result, having a socket nearby is no longer necessary, and you will never be inconvenienced by a tangled cord.
When using a cordless angle grinder, you must consider the additional weight of the battery, as well as the fact that you will be unable to continue if the power runs out. It’s a good idea to have a backup battery on hand for this.
If you can interchange batteries and continue working with a full battery while charging the empty one, working on a battery is preferred.
An angle grinder can have different handles. Both small and large angle grinders will have a handle on the body of the angle grinder, just like a handle that is angled at 90 degrees. Some smaller angle grinders have a soft-grip handle. Below, you can discover the major differences.
The front handle is usually at an angle of 90°, but the machines are easier to control if that angle is not completely perpendicular. An adjustable front handle is therefore a plus. This way you always have good control over the machine, which also benefits safety. With most devices, you can also attach the handle to the right or left.
An angle grinder also causes quite a bit of vibration. Opt for an anti-vibration handle, also known as a soft-grip to limit the vibrations you endure. If you have to work with the angle grinder for a long time, it will certainly make a difference in terms of comfort.
The protective cover keeps you safe from flying sparks and leftover particles by preventing contact with the rotating grinding wheel. The majority of models come with an adjustable protective hood. Depending on the model, the protective hood can be adjusted to 270 or even 360 degrees. This ensures that you are adequately secured, regardless of how you hold your smartphone. The protective cover may normally be adjusted without the use of any tools.
Because the angle grinder has so much power, it is optionally equipped with a speed limiter. In this way, you oblige the machine to maintain a constant load, so that you get an equal result.
When the machine is turned on, it can backfire if you are not equipped with its power. Machines equipped with a soft start or start current limiter will start up gradually, so you don’t get a blow when you switch on the angle grinder.
Types of grinding wheels
Depending on the material you want to tackle with your angle grinder, there are various types of grinding wheels available. So if you want to know how to use an angle grinder, it is very important to know these types of disks. That is why I go over the angle grinder discs in this article.
To remove rust
For removing rust, it is best to equip your angle grinder with a sanding brush. Depending on the material to be processed, the sanding brushes are available in different types of steel wire. You can also find abrasive brushes made of silicon carbide wire for working on wood. You can find sanding brushes in different shapes (cup brush, saucer brush, or round brush) and equipped with a twisted or a twisted wire.
If you want to sand with the device, you can equip your angle grinder with a flat sanding disc (also called fiber disc), which is supported by a backing pad.
In addition, there are the flap sanding discs, where individual elements are stacked on top of each other and overlap. Both the sanding discs and the flap discs are available in different sizes and also in different grain sizes.
To cut through hard materials
You can use your angle grinder for grinding hard materials such as concrete, granite, brick, and natural stone, and for softer materials such as masonry stone, sand-lime brick, and asphalt. Diamond wheels disks are normally used for such applications.
Specific diamond wheels can be found for each material, but there are also diamond wheels available for varied use. You can find the diamond discs in three versions: with a wavy, closed or segmented edge.
The more diamond grains incorporated into the cutting edge of diamond discs, the more durable it is. The hardest material from nature is therefore used for the hardest work. Sawing reinforced concrete in half or making fitting pieces for your bathroom tiles, it’s all possible with the right diamond wheel.
The classic diamond disc has an edge that consists of several segments. The notches in between and in the blade itself make the work a lot smoother. They ensure that the disc does not expand too much due to overheating and thus does not pinch, and they disperse the dust so that you have a better view.
In order to be able to work quickly yet accurately in very hard stone types, there are discs with a serrated edge. These give a better grip on the workpiece and prevent splintering of the material. For real precision work, it is best to choose a disc with a full edge, so you get the cleanest straight cut.
To cut through metal
To cut through metal, you do not need a diamond wheel, but a specific cutting wheel. Yet here to one disc is not the other, and there are separate discs for stone, iron, non-ferrous metals, and stainless steel. If you want stainless steel to still be rust-free after cutting, you require a blade that is produced without iron, sulfur, or chlorine. Here too it is, therefore, worth taking a look at the packaging.
Among the cutting discs, you can choose between cup-shaped and flat discs. Cup-shaped cutting discs are sturdier, but with the flat, you can cut deeper.
The grinding wheels used for deburring are generally a bit thicker than the cutting wheels. In the shop, you will find grinding wheels for general use, grinding wheels for metal, and grinding wheels specifically for stainless steel. You can recognize them by the fact that they are thicker and always cup-shaped, so they are more resistant to the necessary sideways movements. The hardness and structure (porosity) of the disc largely determine the quality and therefore also the price of the disc.
If you often have to alternate between cutting and deburring, you can also do this with a combination wheel that is suitable for both. You don’t have to keep switching disks. The disadvantage of this type of combination wheel is that the result will probably not have the same level of finish as when using a specific cutting or grinding wheel.
If you want to polish with the angle grinder, you must mount a backing pad on your angle grinder with a polishing disc or polishing disc on top. The speed that an angle grinder can generate makes this tool a suitable machine for polishing certain materials.
What to look for when buying angle grinder discs
First and foremost, think on the dimensions of your sharpener. Do you have a big machine for producing wall slots or a tiny machine for cutting pipes? In any instance, select a disc that is the same size as the blade’s outer diameter and the diameter of the shaft hole. 115, 125, and 230 mm are common disc diameters. It’s crucial to know which disc diameter fits which angle grinder, especially for small angle grinders.
The maximum speed of the disc is also essential. That should be at least as high as that of your sharpener. Also, select the right disc for the function of the materials and applications for which it is to be used. All this information should be on the packaging and on the disc itself. Reading this is saving yourself a bad buy or worse.
How to use an angle grinder
An angle grinder is a very rewarding tool during construction and renovation, but the right handling method is important to get good results with it. To know how to use an angle grinder, I have listed a few tips.
The right angle grinder for the job
Look for an angle grinder that fits your work, with the right accessories. A light machine is sufficient to grind faience or pipework to size. Grinding a whole heap of stones, making trenches in the structural work? Then you need a sturdier size angle grinder.
Conversely, it is more difficult. Don’t assume that you can do a nice job with a model with a lot of power for intensive use. Angle grinders that are designed to cut stones are unsuitable for deburring a weld or de-rusting a garden fence. The tool is so powerful that you threaten to shoot through your work.
Before you start using the angle grinder
Examine your angle grinder to see if it’s still in good operating order. If a disc no longer has the correct diameter, it must be replaced. The disc can break if the circumferential speed surpasses a particular threshold.
Also, double-check that you’re using the appropriate disc for the job. Cutting discs, for example, should never be used for deburring. Before utilizing a grinding wheel or brush, make sure it is free of defects. Before you begin sharpening, double-check that the disc is still securely attached.
Adjust the angle of the guard when sharpening so that the sparks are directed away from you and you have a good view of the workpiece.
Secure the workpiece that you want to work on as well. It can then not shoot away during grinding and in addition, the grinding wheel can not get stuck in the workpiece.
How to use an angle grinder safely?
When using an angle grinder, always use safety glasses to safeguard your eyes. Wear protective gear and tight-fitting safety gloves to protect your hands from sparks. Ear protection is recommended if you want to use the angle grinder for an extended period of time. Fine dust is released when sharpening stone. As a result, it’s best to use a dust mask.
Turn the angle grinder off and wait for the disc to come to a complete stop before setting it down. Never press on the side of the disc to shatter it. That will very certainly result in an accident.
Make sure your work area is cleaned up. You don’t want to tip over materials lying on the ground and fall with your angle grinder still running. A clean workshop is a safe workshop.
How to change an angle grinder disc?
Before changing the disk, always remove the plug from the socket. A wrench, which is usually included with the angle grinder, is used to replace a grinding wheel. The spindle lock guarantees that the angle grinder’s spindle is blocked when pressed. You can unscrew the disc and replace it while keeping the spindle lock pressed.
Some devices work with a click system, where you do not have to hold down the button while you unscrew the disc and attach the new disc. This can be useful because you have two hands free to replace the disc.
When purchasing a new disc, always make sure that the disc you buy has the correct characteristics. Not only the disc diameter is important, but also the speed that the disc can handle. The machine should never make more revolutions than indicated on the disc.
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