If you’re someone who’s experienced in home improvement projects, or you’re interested in learning how to use an angle grinder this article is for you. We’ve gathered expert advice on how to choose, start and master working with angle grinders.
Let’s jump right in.
What is Angle Grinder?
An angle grinder is a handheld power tool with multiple purposes. It’s used for cutting, grinding, deburring, finishing, and polishing. Also known as a side grinder or disc grinder, this tool is widely used in woodworking, plastic cutting, metal machining processes, construction, and home renovation projects.
A normal angle grinder consists of rapidly rotating discs, a side handle (for two-handed operation), an adjustable guard, and geared head. The tool can be powered by compressed air or an electrical motor. The motor is what drives the geared head, which is mounted on the right angle and holds the disc or wheel that performs the job (sanding, polishing, grinding, etc. )
What Do You Use An Angle Grinder For?
The angle grinder was originally created to support rigid abrasive discs, but today can be used in a variety of jobs thanks to the access to long-sleeved interchangeable power sources that support higher energy uses. An angle grinder operates by rotating discs with a high amount of torque and an average operating speed of about 12,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) Some models have variable speeds and can work as low as 2,800 rpm.
By changing the speed of rotation and the type of disc, you can alternate between grinding and polishing metal, and other materials. To ensure your angle grinder function properly you have to appropriately equip it for each project’s goal before starting. The jobs angle grinders perform depends on their speed range. The tool can cut, grind, polish, sharpen, and clean a wide range of tough materials, like iron, copper, brass, brick, tile, stone, or mortar, tile, pavers, and more. It is also commonly used in carpentry. You can even use it to remove rust and lose paint
How To Choose Your Angle Grinder?
The angle grinder as we’ve mentioned so far is a versatile tool that you can use for a variety of jobs. Choosing the right type of grinder depends on the purpose you intend to use it for. Angle grinders can be both cordless or directly connected through a power cord, so the type you choose will depend on the place you intend to use it in. Cordless grinders are a great option for short projects or specific cutting or grinding tasks that don’t need to be near an electric supply system.
However, if you need to use the grinder for more than an hour, it may be better to invest in a corded angle grinder. Another thing to consider when buying your grinder is the type of grinding wheel or disc you will need. Different grinding wheels serve different purposes. For example, diamond grinding wheels are great for work on hard materials like concrete, porcelain, carbide, and gemstone cutting, whereas CBN grinding wheels should be used on steel alone.
Moreover, when you choose your grinding discs you have to consider its diameter, wattage (the higher the more powerful the cut), speed of your angle grinder, and power source. Most importantly, when you choose your angle grinder, take into account the type of safety features it has built in. Functions like a slow start, anti-kickback, and paddle switches will help you prevent injuries and work more confidently, especially if you’re just starting.
How to Safely Use Angle Grinder At Home
As a starter, the safe use of an angle grinder requires you to wear safety gear. Always make sure you are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) that includes a long sleeved shirt, mask, safety glasses, work gloves, shield, and earplugs. Working with angle grinders is no joke, accidents with the tool do happen and can be quite severe, so taking precautionary measures is a must.
Here’s what else to keep in mind when working with an angle grinder.
- Organize your working space. Get rid of a potentially hazardous clutter that can get inflamed by angle grinder sparks. Any flammable materials (gasoline, diesel, gas cylinders, solvents, sawdust, paper, etc) should be stored in another place.
- Light your working space properly. Make sure you have good visibility while working with an angle grinder.
- Keep power cables in order. Any cabling and flexes should be behind you, so you don’t cut them or trip over them.
- Properly ventilate your working area. If you work indoors make sure you open a window or a door to ensure the grinding fumes, dust, and other particles don’t create risks for your health.
- Keep away from rain and water. Do not use your angle grinder outdoors when it’s raining or when the tool is wet.
- Take any type of jewelry off. These can be dangerous to wear around power tools in general and especially while working with angle grinders.
- Make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby. No matter how careful you are when working with an angle grinder you should also be prepared for the event of a fire.
- Keep children and pets away from your workplace.
These are some of the precautions you should take when preparing your working area. Here are a few tips for when you are operating with the angle grinder.
- Unplug your grinder when changing grinding wheels
- Safely attach the handle and maintain a tight grip with both hands
- Use the guard
- Test your new wheels in a protected area for a minute or two before starting your job to ensure they are not defective
- Grind in such a way that the work debris are directed downward
- Orient the work so that the grinding wheel spins away from sharp edges
- Ensure your workpiece is safely clamped and secured
- Store your grinder out of children’s reach
These are a few basic safety tips to keep your work with angle grinders risk-free and enjoyable. Your DIY creations shouldn’t because of any risks. The more strict you are with following an angle grinder’s safety use measures, the more enjoyable your projects will be.
Learning how to use power tools might no longer be everyone’s priority, but the skill remains one of the most useful to have, especially if you’re someone excited to tackle home renovations, DIY, and construction projects by yourself. The angle grinder is a type of tool that takes your skills to the next level.
Once you master how to safely use it at home you’ll have the confidence to tackle any project involving wood, metal, plastic, tiles, and masonry and earn the title of advanced DIY-er! We hope our tips give you the knowledge to complete your next building project. Let’s get grinding!