Angle Grinders: How to Use Them


Angle grinders are versatile tools used for grinding metal and cutting tile, stucco and pavers, as well as sanding, polishing and sharpening. These tools can be purchased almost anywhere that sells power tools. Hand grinders are available in larger sizes, but most tasks can be accomplished with the popular 4-inch and 4-1/2-inch models. You can find inexpensive angle grinders, but if you plan to use the machine frequently or for demanding tasks like cutting stucco or cement, you should look for a grinder with a stronger motor.

Angle grinders are versatile because they can handle different wheels and accessories. Angle grinders come with a spindle washer and nut that you can install in different configurations to accommodate thicker or thinner wheels, or remove altogether when you screw wire wheels and cups onto the threaded spindle. To mount wheels and accessories, consult your manual. Abrasive wheels for angular grinders can be found at any hardware store or home center. Despite looking similar, each wheel is designed to perform a specific function. 

  • Metal Cleaning – Rust and flaking paint are easily removed with wire wheels. Angle grinder attachments with wire wheels and brushes are designed for different types of stripping, cleaning, and deburring tasks. Wire cup brushes are best for removing paint or rust from broad, flat surfaces. Wire wheels fit into crevices and corners better. 
  • Cutting Bars, Rods, & Bolts – You can cut most metal with a hacksaw if you’re patient. However, for quick, rough cuts, nothing beats a grinder. When cutting metal, use an inexpensive cutoff wheel.
  • Cutting Tile, Stone, & Concrete – With standard tile cutters, it is difficult if not impossible to notch and cut ceramic or stone tile to fit around outlets and other obstructions. Angle grinders fitted with dry-cut diamond wheels make short work of these difficult cuts.
  • Restoring Cutting Edges – When equipped with a grinding wheel, an angle grinder is an excellent tool for restoring edges on rough-and-tumble tools like hoes, shovels, and ice scrapers, or for grinding axes, hatchets, and lawn mower blades. Using a mill file will sharpen the edge of the grinder leaves. This method can also be used for other tools. Orient the grinder so that the wheel spins from the blade’s body toward its edge.
  • Cutting Out Old Mortar – For removing old mortar, grinding beats chisels and hammers. In the case of extensive tuckpointing, a grinder would be worth buying just to remove mortar. Old mortar is removed quickly and efficiently with thick diamond tuckpointing wheels.

Angle grinders can be used to complete the tasks described previously. If you’d like to learn how to use an angle grinder and what attachments are available, call Rentalex at (813)971-9990 or visit our Tampa Bay location.