Angle grinders are multipurpose tools that can sand, polish, and sharpen in addition to grinding metal, cutting tile, stucco, and pavers, and routing out mortar. It will be useful when you acquire how to use an Angle Grinder tool.
An angle grinder is a crucial piece of equipment whether you’re working on small projects around the house or undertaking a full-blown fabrication project. Even though it’s a fairly straightforward power tool, spending a few minutes getting familiar with it will guarantee success and safety.
Keep reading for some advice on how to use an angle grinder like a pro.
Table of Contents
What is An Angle Grinder?
An angle grinder is a power tool that can be used for different projects. You can sand and polish various surfaces to sharpen tools and grind materials, as well as cut metal, aluminum, concrete, bricks, pavers, wood, and other dense materials.
For a variety of tasks, angle grinders can be used with various disc types. Different sized grinders are available for purchase. The one with 10 to 12 cm grinders is the most common. For more precise work, the power tool may be cordless or have different motor powers.
Angle Grinder Sizes
The angle grinder size is determined by the size of the disc, not the length of the tool itself. Smaller discs spin much more quickly and leave an unmistakable cut in the ground.
The grinder disc size with the largest diameter is 12 cm. It can be used for small tasks like cutting wood or metal with a maximum thickness of 2-3 cm. It is not advised to use it to cut concrete and stones.
For small pieces of wood, thin metal, and aluminum that are 4-5 cm thick, the 18 cm discs can be used. Larger pieces of any material that is 7-8 cm thick can be cut with the 23 cm discs.
How to Use An Angle Grinder?
Using the right kind of cutting disc is essential for successful angle grinder use. Avoid using discs that are damaged or broken because they may shatter or throw out pieces while being used, creating a potentially dangerous hazard. Additionally, there are differences between grinding and cutting discs. Grinding cannot be done with cutting discs because of their thinness and sharp edges.
- Verify that the grinder is securely fastened and that the bolts are tight. You might find it strange to learn this, but discs also have an expiration date. The disc may become damaged as a result of moisture and rust.
- Don’t force the disc to cut by pushing it into the material. This might cause the power tool to overheat. Instead, tilt the grinder so that sparks are directed away from you, let it reach its maximum speed, and then gently press it against the material you are cutting. The disc should always be at a 90 degree angle; twisting it could cause it to bend or even break.
- Cut the fabric all the way through. Discs have a tendency to stick in materials, so don’t stop spinning before you’re done. Let the piece you’re cutting hit the ground before stopping the tool. Let the component cool for a few minutes before handling it because it will be hot.
9 Tips to Use An Angle Grinder Tool
1. When Using An Angle Grinder, Protect Yourself!
It is advisable to put on personal protection equipment before using an angle grinder. The angle grinder is actually a loud, messy tool that kicks a lot of debris around. Furthermore, you aren’t constantly polishing or grinding. The work frequently requires cutting. Cutting wheels have the potential to become high-speed shrapnel if you are careless with them or just have bad luck.
For these reasons, it’s in your best interest to put on hearing protection, long sleeves, gloves, and a face shield. In the end, you don’t want to take a hot piece of cut-off wheel to the moneymaker. If you don’t want pinholes in your clothes from flying hot metal, wear protective outerwear when using a grinder.
Pro Tip: A cutting wheel bursting apart on you at 10,000 RPM is no laughing matter. When it occurs, you have no control over it. Therefore, whenever using a cutting wheel—even when using a guard—you should always wear a full face shield. The guard and adequate eye protection are frequently sufficient because using a flap disc and grinding don’t typically present the same level of risk.
2. Perform a Ring Test on Grinding Wheels
We recommend doing what’s known as a “ring test” on any grinding wheel before affixing it to your grinder. In fact, bench grinders can also be used for this. Basically, you hang the grinder wheel from a pencil or other project. Then use a screwdriver handle or other similar non-metal tool to gently tap it. Turn it 180 degrees, then repeat. A wheel in good condition should let out a distinctive metallic “ringing” sound.
The integrity of that metal ring is a sign of the grinder wheel’s robustness. A wheel that has been cracked either internally or externally typically stops vibrating at the damaged point, preventing a clear ring. While the ring test does a good job of giving you an idea of the integrity of the wheel, you should also proceed with a quick visual inspection.
Mount your grinding wheel as soon as you are reasonably certain of its integrity. The final step we advise you to take before beginning is to let the wheel spin for 15 to 30 seconds on its own while pointing it away from your face. This makes it easier for you to determine (by feel) whether it is correctly centered, mounted, and whether there are any wheel balance problems.
3. Angle Sparks Away from Your Body
Angle grinders quickly remove a lot of material, so position the tool safely to minimize risk. Angles must be chosen carefully when using an angle grinder for various tasks and with particular attachments. Your risk of injury is decreased if sparks and other flying objects stay far from your body. Additionally, your work clothes will last longer!
4. When Surface Grinding and Using Flap Discs
When surface grinding, use the flat portion of the wheel and keep the tool’s angle with the work surface between 20 and 30 degrees. Place the back of the blade guard facing your body. The flap disc should be moved over the material in a fluid back-and-forth motion. Allow the wheel to do the work, but feel free to exert enough pressure to make sure you’re getting things done.
This technique makes it possible to quickly grind down welds in order to prepare them for painting.
5. How to Hold An Angle Grinder When Using Cutting Wheels
Since you want to use the edge of your wheel to cut into the work surface, you should approach cutting straight on. The cutting wheel should not be bent in any way. The guard always ascends in this mode to shield you from debris. Your risk of early disc failure is reduced when you wear a face shield. Remember to move the guard until it is between the cutting disc and your face.
Also—and this might go without saying—never “plunge cut” a cutting wheel into the material. Kickback and loss of control are guaranteed when cutting at the 12 o’clock position. Instead, make a downward cut as seen in the picture above.
6. Guard Yourself Against Kickback
Every time the grinder wheel abruptly stops, there is a kickback. At the pinching point, this forces the grinder to rotate in the opposite direction. You can protect yourself by learning how to use an angle grinder in a way that prevents this. This can occur in cut-off applications when the waste piece sags under its own weight, suddenly pinching the blade and causing the tool to convert all that rotational energy into a kickback event.
Use blade guards properly and support your material so that it doesn’t sag when making an abrasive cut to prevent this.
When grinding down material with abrasive wheels, kickback is another possibility. Possible kickback points can cause damage to and/or abruptly stop a wheel at corners, edges, and other places. Be careful to use the auxiliary handle in a way that gives you leverage to defend yourself if this happens. Never, ever use one hand to operate a grinder!
7. Using a Grinder for Light Work Or Sanding
Hold the tool at an angle of 5 to 10 degrees to the work surface when sanding. For pretty much all grinder applications, apply only minimum pressure. You should delegate the labor-intensive task to the tool and the abrasive accessory.
8. Your Accessories Need to Match the Rpm of the Grinder
When installing your wheel, disc, or cup, make sure to read the manufacturer’s specifications. The maximum RPM of the accessory must be equal to or higher than the maximum RPM of the grinder you intend to use. You run the risk of the wheel flying apart if the accessory’s rated speed is lower than your grinder.
9. Never Use Toothed Blades on a Grinder
I don’t care if a company offers circular saw-style blades that fit your grinder. These devices spin much faster than any handheld circular saw does. Never use toothed blades on a grinder. That includes those “wood carving chain discs” that use chainsaw teeth as well as anything with carbide-toothed blades. Just don’t do it.
Final Words on How to Use An Angle Grinder Tool
Angle grinders use a wide range of cutting and grinding wheels, like the diamond wheel in this illustration.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to leave a comment below. You should now be able to use an angle grinder tool like a pro.