You can use an angle grinder for grinding, polishing, sharpening, cutting, and much more. With their rapidly rotating discs, angle grinders are versatile power tools that can cut, grind, polish, sharpen, and clean a variety of difficult materials, including iron, copper, brass, brick, tile, stone, or mortar. Some tools rotate the discs with as little as 2,800 revolutions per minute (rpm), but some have variable speeds that can operate at a higher speed. You can change the speed and disc on the angle grinder in order to grind metal or polish metal according to the project’s goal, so it’s important to select the proper angle grinder for each project.
The tools can be powered by a battery or directly connected to a power cord to provide a constant supply of electricity to the motor. The cordless grinder is a great choice for small projects or specific cutting and grinding tasks. It may be better to invest in a corded angle grinder if you are going to use the grinder for an extended period of time. No matter which type users choose, they should always wear appropriate personal protective equipment such as a mask, safety glasses, gloves, and earplugs.
- Metal Grinding and Polishing: Angle grinders are primarily used to grind metal. It does this by using abrasive grinding discs made from aluminum, carbide, and diamond-tipped discs. Attach a grinding disc and turn the grinder on to start the disc spinning rapidly. Abrasive discs can be used to flatten, smooth, or completely remove pieces from metal. By using a smoothing or polishing wheel at a lower speed, the metal can be improved and the color enhanced. A smooth finish is achieved by removing a thin layer from the metal. Polishing wheels are made of soft materials, such as cotton, and they actually add a layer of polish to smooth metal surfaces to produce a mirror-like finish. A smoothing or polishing wheel may damage the surface if the speed isn’t adjustable. Remember that both smoothing and polishing require more time and patience than grinding.
- Cutting Metal: In addition to smoothing, polishing, and grinding away metal, an angle grinder’s rapidly rotating disc can also be used to cut through metal. Plumbing contractors often use this tool when working with galvanized iron or lead pipes. Welders frequently cut pieces of metal to clean up projects or prepare pieces for use as matches. Replace the abrasive grinding disc with a cut-off disc. Disks used for cutting off are thinner than grinding discs and come in different thicknesses. Because of the thin size, the spinning disc can more easily cut through metal than if you used a thicker grinding disc. Cutting discs are also more susceptible to bending and breaking because of their thin size. When grinding metal, allow the grinder to cut it at a moderate pace rather than trying to force it through at a fast pace.
- Cleaning Metal: Angle grinders can be used to remove paint, rust, and lacquer from metal surfaces. Take off chipped and peeling layers with a plastic stripping disc or a metal cleaning wheel without damaging the metal underneath. For removing paint, lacquer, and similar coatings that aren’t fused to the metal, plastic stripping discs are an excellent option. In order to remove these coatings from the metal, these discs are made with nylon webbed material and silicon carbide. You should use a metal cleaning wheel if you need to remove rust. The metal cleaning wheels are made by twisting together a series of metal wires to create an effective rust-removal tool. This wheel scrapes away rust from metal surfaces when it spins rapidly. Because broken wire can sometimes shoot from these wheels, wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
- Sharpening Tools: You can also sharpen other tools with angle grinders, such as lawn mower blades, axes, or chisels. Angle grinders should be equipped with abrasive grinding discs, and the tool’s blade should be properly secured in a vise to help you control and steady its movement. It’s important to align the grinding disc with the angle on the blade when sharpening tools with a grinder so that the sharpened blade will have the same angle of cut. By altering the cutting angle, you can significantly reduce the effectiveness of your tool and possibly ruin the blade. You can quickly sharpen your tools using a grinder, but you might want to use a sharpening stone afterward for a more precise edge before putting them away.
- Cutting Tile, Stone, and Other Masonry Materials: The angle grinder is mostly used for working with copper, iron, steel, lead, and other metals, but it is also capable of cutting through masonry materials such as tile, stone, and brick. Cut straight through these difficult materials by switching out the metal cut-off disc for a masonry cutting wheel. An angle grinder can be used to cut custom angles in tile to make a garden path from brick or stone, or to replace broken pieces of a backyard fire pit due to its precision. Metal cutting discs are fragile, but these wheels are made to withstand substantial strain. The material can still be chipped or broken if the grinder is forced through it. With older used cutting wheels, the risk of chipping and breaking increases, so be sure to regularly replace the masonry cutting wheel for smooth, clean cuts.
- Mortar removal: The exterior of a home can be repaired from leaks, drafts, and recurring insect infestations by replacing the mortar. The only way to remove the mortar without damaging the bricks is with an angle grinder. You can use either a thick abrasive grinding disc or a masonry cutting wheel to begin chipping away at the lines of mortar between the bricks.