An angle grinder is a must-have power tool with rapidly rotating discs, wheels, or blades. This handheld tool comes in different types and sizes and can be bought or hired. How fast the discs rotate depends on the size of the disc. The bigger the disc, the slower it will rotate.
Though cutting metal with an angle grinder is the most popular, a grinder is quite resourceful and can be used by both professionals and DIY enthusiasts in woodwork, construction, and masonry. You can choose discs according to what work you want to do. In fact, the disc is the most critical aspect of a grinding tool.
How hard or soft a disc will affect how it works. The grinder disc texture is measured in grit; the lower the grit, the more the sparks and the rougher the finish. However, such discs remove materials faster.
Types of Angle Grinders
Though angle grinders are known according to the disc and their uses, other distinctions are just as important:
- Electric powered angle grinders. Electric-powered grinders are the most popular among professionals because they are easily accessible and cheaper than other grinders. The discs rotate when the electric motor is connected to a power source using a power cord.
- Battery-powered angle grinders. These grinders are cordless and can be used anywhere, especially outdoors, as long as the battery is charged. They are also ideal for spaces that are hard to get to. These grinders are powered by rechargeable batteries, and using the best rechargeable batteries can last you a while. Unfortunately, if you need to use the grinder for longer periods, a battery-powered grinder will not work.
- Petrol-powered angle grinders. Also known as gasoline grinders, these angle grinders are cordless and powered by gasoline. They are used for heavy use and can be bigger than other grinders. You need to exercise a lot of caution when using them cause they can be explosive.
- Pneumatic angle grinders. Pneumatic or air-powered grinders use compressed air to work Pneumatic grinders last longer, offer more power, and do not heat easily. They are ideal for use in explosive environments and underwater work.
Angle Grinder Uses
An angle grinder is a flexible tool with a myriad of uses spanning different industries.
Metalwork is the most common use of angle grinders. Angle grinders are usually used in iron and steel.
- Grinding metal. This is the most basic use of an angle grinder. A grinding or flap disc is attached to it to work on the metal as you like.
- Cutting metal. Angle grinders are used to cut bolts, rods, and pipes. With the right cutting disc, the grinder should be able to efficiently cut through metal. Though quite powerful, they may not work when cutting extensively large pieces of metal.
- Polishing metal. Attaching a polishing wheel to a grinder can be used to add an extra sheen to your metal surface. A polishing wheel is typically made with cotton. However, if you are unable to adjust the speed, the wheel may do more than polish.
- Cleaning metal. An angle grinder can be used to remove paint, clear rust, or clean metal surfaces. You can achieve this using a strip disc, wire wheel, or cleaning wheel. These discs will be able to remove any blemish or extra metal from your surface.
- Sharpening tools. Blades on tools can get dull with time, and angle grinders are great for sharpening other tools you have. It can sharpen the edges of axes, lawnmowers, and weed trimmers.
With a masonry cutting wheel, you can cut brick, stone, tile, and concrete. An angle grinder can cut tile and stone with precision as well as custom angles, which can help in house repairs and intricate garden paths.
Though grinders used in masonry can chip or break, they are more stable than those used in cutting. To avoid this, you may need to regularly replace the wheels.
Score the concrete before cutting it if you want a better and deeper cut. Ensure the blades are not dull or too hot. A dull blade will not cut properly, while a hot one can warp or easily get damaged.
There are specific discs that you can use on wood and wooden surfaces. Some discs are designed as chainsaws, which can be used for:
- Sanding wood. While an abrasive angle grinder can be used to strip metal, it can also be used for sanding. A disc with fiber brushes will give a smoother finish.
- Wood carving. Because of their power and speed, angle grinders can be used to curve wood, especially big chunks of wood.
- Planing wood. Wood planning requires precision, which you can achieve with a mechanical surface planer.
Unfortunately, woodwork uses are limited and cannot be used for smaller projects.
Angle grinders are sturdy tools that are quite often used in the automobile industry. Grinders with flap discs, grinding wheels, and paint stripping discs can be used to remove cut and shape metal for vehicle body parts and remove sealants and adhesives.
Now that you know how versatile the angle grinder is, it is one of the most useful power tools you should own. However, ensure that you adhere to all the safety rules. Wear all the protective gear, which includes a mask, gloves, safety glasses, and earplugs