Once you head out to the workshop store, your first question would be "What can you do with an angle grinder?"
Angle grinders are not only a great mobile cutting tool but can also be used for polishing, paint removal, and even buffing.
They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing for a diverse range of models that can be tailored for very specific roles.
Thus, we'll look at the different types of angle grinder available and how you can apply them to varying roles as needed.
Types of Angle Grinder
Attempting to distinguish the differences between angle grinders can be a little overwhelming at first as you'll want to make sure that the one you buy is not only appropriate for the task at hand but also offers a little extra functionality for possible future use.
The four primary types of angle grinder are:
These are corded units that run from the mains and can generate high amounts of power at the cost of convenience and mobility.
These are incredibly mobile and lightweight, making them extremely easy to transport from job to job. However, they aren't as powerful, so they can't effectively cope with heavy duty cutting.
Utilizing compressed air, these grinders spin their discs at higher RPM's, making them great precision cutters.
Offering the convenience of a battery-operated grinder with the power of a corded unit, petrol angle grinders are fantastic for heavy duty cutting. They simply need to be refilled regularly.
Disc Type and Applications
When asking "What can you do with an angle grinder?", perhaps the most determining factor will be the disc type since matching the correct disc type to the job at hand will drastically increase your productivity. Below, we've listed relevant applications along with a selection of disc types that should be used for each.
While it may seem odd to use an angle grinder for woodworking, they're actually beneficial when working on larger projects where you need to remove higher quantities of wood. For this, you'll want to use aluminum oxide discs that use an abrasive carving or flap design.
Buffing or polishing
Whether you're working with wood, steel or tile, angle grinders are great buffing devices to leave an incredible sheen on your project.
Possibly the application most associated with angle grinders, they are great tools when you need to shorten rebar or resize some paving. They are great for small household projects as well as heavy industrial use, but just make sure you buy the appropriate model.
Using a grinding disc allows you to soften edges after you've roughly cut them off. This will help clear stubborn and generally hard-to-remove obstacles.
Great for both woodworking and metalwork, sanding can smoothen surfaces as well as prep them for precision cuts. Just use an appropriate head depending upon the material in question.
Trying to remove mortar from brick walls is a very finicky job that can be both frustrating and time-consuming, but by using an angle grinder with an appropriate disc type and size, you'll easily be able to remove and replace the old mortar. You'll need to use tuck pointing discs for the most effective finish.
Paint and Rust Removal
Rather than handling a variety of different acids and chemicals, angle grinders can shorten the work of removing both paint and rust. You just need to attach a wire brush which will then quickly strip away the surface buildup on your item. This also works great for concrete covered items such as shovels and wheelbarrows.
Angle grinders are powerful tools that operate through spinning a variety of discs at speeds of up to 11,000 RPM; hence, it's imperative to handle them with care in order to reduce the chances of an accident. Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Securely fasten the handguard as well as the side handle to provide maximum control with reduced risk of injury due to slippage.
- Make cuts at 90-degree perpendicular angles to prevent the disc from glancing off.
- Take a strong yet relaxed stance to allow yourself to easily handle the angle grinder while still being able to move with ease.
- Wear a safety mask when working with metal, as the sparks are tiny red-hot pieces of the object that you're cutting. Similarly, wooden objects will also shoot small splints into the air. A face mask will prevent these from coming into contact with your face and most importantly, your eyes.
- Use a vice to secure objects that you are cutting, grinding, or sanding to provide the most secure and stable grip available.
- Wearing gloves is also essential as they will not only help protect your hands from injury but also allow you to freely interact with the item after cutting or grinding, as it'll be extremely hot due to the friction.
Angle grinders can be used on stone pavers or any variety of surfaces whether it be asphalt or kitchen tiles. They are an incredibly versatile tool that can meet the requirements of budding hobbyists and professional craftsmen. Just make sure that you use the right type of angle grinder and disc as well as use the tool with utmost precaution.