Things to Know Before Buying an Angle Grinder
An angle grinder is an extremely versatile tool that can be used for a variety of cutting, grinding and polishing jobs. This is why they are so commonly seen on construction sites, and in auto garages and workshops.
Angle Grinder Usage
Angle grinders work by using rapidly rotating headgear to which you can affix a variety of interchangeable abrasive discs or blades. The fast rotation makes these super powerful tools that can cut through the most difficult of materials, including metal, concrete and stone. However smaller grinders can also be used for more delicate work such as cutting ceramic tiles or polishing metal.
As well as cutting the materials above, an angle grinder can also be used to grind away burrs left after cutting metal with various other power saws. In addition, grinders can be used to clean rust and dirt from metal as well as to polish it. This versatile tool can even be used to remove paint and sharpen tools.
Angle grinder tools can be used with a large range of accessories – e.g. diamond-bladed cutting discs for tile cutting to abrasive discs for sanding, grinding and polishing to wire brushes for cleaning.
Angle grinders are fast and powerful tools. It is important to take great care when using them and always wear appropriate safe clothing including safety glasses.
Angle grinders come in a variety of sizes – the most common are 115mm and 230mm. Most grinders in this review are of the smaller size, since that is perfectly suitable for most home and DIY needs. However if you are cutting large sheet material or slabs then the larger machine would be more appropriate. Make sure you choose the right size accessories for your tool.
The smaller 115mm angle grinder is lighter and easier to use, and is certainly the best angle grinder for beginners. The smaller size also provides a greater level of precision and is most suited for jobs such as trimming tiles, sharpening blades and grinding and polishing intricate metal work.
Safety Precautions When Using an Angle Grinder
Angle grinders are fast and powerful tools and should be used with the utmost caution. Always wear safety googles or a face shield and gloves when using one. In addition, always make sure the guard is properly adjusted for the job you are undertaking.
When using a new wheel, run it for a minute or two in a protected area to make sure it is not faulty or damaged.
Always align the wheel so that it spins away from sharp edges. This will prevent the wheel from catching and throwing the work or causing the grinder to kickback.
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Angle Grinder FAQs
How do you use an angle grinder to cut metal?
An angle grinder is the perfect tool for cutting metal. You will need a metal cut off wheel to complete the job. Never be tempted to use a stone cutting blade for cutting metal as this could result in the metal breaking up and fragments flying off. Once you have fitted your blade, secure the item you wish to cut and then use light pressure to apply the angle cutter. The grinder will do the rest.
How do you use an angle grinder to cut tiles?
To cut ceramic tiles, stone or concrete you will need a stone cutting or diamond blade. Diamond blades are quite expensive, but they get the job done and last a long time. If you attempt to cut very hard materials with inferior blades you will get poor results and probably ruin the blade. Diamond blades are available in ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. As the name suggests one type can be used dry while the other needs to be kept wet while in use.
Cutting these materials is the same as cutting metal, but with items such as stone you may have to apply a little more pressure and the angle cutting will take a lot longer.
How do you use an angle grinder to clean, grind, sand and polish materials?
Angle grinders are ideal for cleaning, polishing and grinding. The secret is to use the right wheel for the job. Cleaning rust and dirt from metal can be done with a wire cup brush or wire wheel. Grinding discs are available for both metal and stone. Abrasive discs and sanding discs are also useful for cleaning up and smoothing work.
Flap sanding discs are a particularly useful attachment as they can clean, sand and even grind a little. They are also very long lasting. Flap sanding discs are available in rough and smooth grits and these can provide a very nice smooth finish. Finally you can purchase polishing pads for your grinder to polish both metal and stone.
Can you use an angle grinder to sharpen blades?
You can use an angle grinder to roughly sharpen blades. You should attach the blade to a secure surface with a clamp and then carefully take the grinder to the edge of the blade to begin sharpening. If the blade you are sharpening begins to get hot, stop and let it cool down otherwise you can damage the blade.
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