An angle grinder is a versatile tool. If you know how to use an angle grinder, you can use this power tool for grinding, sanding, and even cutting metal & other materials. Since there are versatile angle grinder uses, it is used by many professionals. Thus, it is commonly used in construction farms, workshops, DIY projects, and homes.
If you have a grinder and a proper grinding disc or grinding wheel with it, you can replace about 10 other power tools. Not only that, you can hardly find an alternative to this tool.
But, like other power tools, you have to be very careful when using them because one wrong move can be dangerous.
Once you learn to use an angle grinder, you will find endless possibilities of using the power tool. We have discussed all the security features and precautions in this article. Let’s start:
Overview of an Angle Grinder
These handheld power tools are also known as disc grinders and side grinders.
Depending on the power source, There are a few types of grinders. One is an electric grinder powered by electricity. An air compressor drives another, so it is called a pneumatic grinder.
Recommended Reading: What Air Compressor Do I Need for Sandblasting?
Another one is called a cordless grinder. A rechargeable battery runs these, so these are called cordless angle grinders.
The power source provides power to rotate or spin the spindle inside. It allows the angle grinder disc to rotate at very high speeds and allows metal or other materials to be cut or sanded.
Grinding Discs & Wheels
There are various grinding discs & wheels for different purposes. For example, suppose you want to suck up harmful dust from the work surface, you can fulfill your purpose by adding a grinding dust shroud attachment to your angle grinder.
Like this, you can add a wood cutting wheel for DIY projects, a grinding disc for polishing & grinding, sanding disc for sanding. If you want to cut metal, concrete, or stone, attach a metal cutting wheel to your angle grinder.
Not only that, there are many more supporting discs and wheels such as strip disc, abrasive wheel, abrasive disc, diamond disc, cutoff wheel, ceramic sanding disc, etc.
You need to know all this to improve the grinding experience.
Common Angle Grinder Uses
Although you can find about 10+ types of discs based on different tasks, you can mainly get three primary outcomes from an angle grinder.
Cutting sturdy materials is one of the prominent usages for angle grinders. Depending on what material you want to cut, you need to choose the cutting wheel. You can cut metals like steel, stainless steel, galvanized steel, iron, cast iron, copper, aluminum, metal sheets, metal tubes, etc. Not only that, if you have the correct cutting disc, you can also cut concrete, stones, granite, marbles, bricks, etc.
Another significant role an angle grinder can play is as a sanding machine. By attaching a sanding pad, polishing wheel, wire wheel, or similar wheels, you can sand, smooth out, or polish different surfaces. You will see different discs available for sanding or smoothing out different metals, wood, concrete surface, paints, etc.
Note: If you don’t have a electric sander for car paint removal yet, add a sanding disc to your grinder and convert your grinder into an auto paint sander.
The third important thing you can do is sharpen various objects. Those metal items that need sharpening now and then can be completed with the correct disc. You can sharpen lawnmowers, spades, axes, etc., with an angle grinder’s grinding disc or cutting discs.
Holding and handling a grinder is the key to sharpening any material perfectly. It comes with experience. With expertise, these task becomes easy.
How to Use an Angle Grinder?
Using an angle grinder can be tricky at first. Once you get familiar with the tool, you can smoothly operate it and get your desired outcome. Also, keep in mind that different surfaces require different skills and techniques. Here we will discuss the best way to operate the angle grinder 4 steps:
Step 1: Clean up Nearby Area
First and foremost, you need to clean up the area where you will be working. As it is a powerful tool, you need to use it sincerely. Minor negligence can cause disasters.
a. Ar first, make sure no children around your working area,
b. Ensure that the cord attached to the grinder is not in your way of working,
c. Remove any flammable substance from the working area. While cutting or grinding, there will be sparks, and fire can break out,
d. Ensure that nothing is on the way of your grinding work—anything like earphones, jewelry, or even your clothes,
e. Never work in a wet area or near water,
f. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
Step 2: Put on Safety Gear
Once you have cleared up your working space, the next thing is for you to get ready for the work. Put on your PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), especially while performing heavy work.
You must wear safety goggles or shields, protective hand gloves, a hard hat, and steel toe boots. Moreover, even if you are working on a personal project at home or workshop and not wearing a PPE suit, you must wear a long sleeve shirt and full-length pants.
Step 3: Select Compatible Accessories
You need to use the best compatible accessories to do your job efficiently. Many sizes are available in angle grinders, and different sizes are perfect for different tasks.
a. Size of Disc
The standard and most versatile size is a 4 or 4 1/2-inch angle grinder. With the tool, you need a 4.5-inch diameter wheel or disc. Otherwise, it will not work. Similarly, you have to choose a wheel or disc according to the grinder size.
b. Type of Disc
If you wish to cut metal, you will need a cutting wheel, not flap discs. On the contrary, a flap disc is needed for smoothing out the surface. Similarly, you will need a paint stripping disc for paint removal, a woodcutting wheel for cutting woods, etc. Selecting the right disc for the right job is mandatory.
c. RPM Compatibility
RPM stands for rotation per minute. It indicates the speed or number of disc rotations in a minute. The larger the number, the more speed the disc has. Cutting wheels with more speed can cut metals faster.
Every cutting wheel or disc will have its maximum RPM written on its top or manual. You need to find out the maximum RPM of the disc and make sure you are not going over the mentioned speed. Otherwise, the disc can break or shatter and cause harm.
To supply power to your machine, you need to attach a motor. The most suitable motor can make or break your work with the grinder. Usually, it is better to choose a motor that pulls 5 to 15 amps of electric current. Also, for 110 and 230 volts AC, the wattage must be between 500 to 2500 watts.
Step 4: Start Using/ Working with the Angle Grinder
Once your working place and grinders are all set, the next thing is to start the task. Keep in mind that you need to place the material you want to work on in a stable position. You can use clamps to hold them tightly in the right position. Depending on the grinding disc and task, hole the grinder properly.
It can vibrate once you switch it on as the wheel starts spinning. So you have to good strip.
If you want to cut through a material, you need to hold the grinder wheel at 90-degrees. It will make a straight cut and work most effectively. Holding it straight without bending it will also help with precision and clean cut.
Use the edge of the wheel to cut, and do not move it back and forth. Let the cutting wheel rotate and cut through the material.
You need to hold the wheel at a 5 to 10-degrees angle for sanding. The wheel’s outer edge will contact the surface you are working with. You need to move around the grinder throughout the surface to keep this angle. Keep moving until all the spots are sanded or smoothed out.
You might have to work at an angle between 15 to 30 degrees when sharpening something. Based on what you are sharpening; the angle might vary. Measure the angle of the edge of the object that you want to sharpen. Then you can keep working, holding the grinder at the same angle so that the structure stays the same.
However, the primary purpose is to make the edge sharp by creating a tapered or sloped shape.
Tips for Using Angle Grinder
- Run the grinder before starting on a surface. Ensure the wheels work fine and are attached correctly.
- Clean up the surface you are working on. Dirt or debris on the surface can scatter and cause disturbance while working.
- Turn off the switch and unplug it when you are not working or replacing the cutting wheels.
- Angle grinder wheels or discs are prone to shatter. So always wear protective gear.
- Let the wheel or disc stop spinning entirely before putting it down.
In The End
An angle grinder can work with many components. So you will need this tool in your regular life in many ways. That’s why you have to learn how to use an angle grinder properly to help you in your work.
So better start practicing now and see how valuable it can be. You can start by doing some small projects and gradually get into bigger ones.