Angle grinders are one of the revolutionary tools that have made a tough job like welding an easy ride for metalworkers. Dealing with firm, rigid, and dense materials like metals, stones, bricks, concrete, lead, aluminum, and marble used to be really grueling and demanding. Not anymore, thanks to the angle grinders.
If you are new to welding, construction work, or stone masonry then you must be in need of a master class angle grinder for sure. Never used one before? Fortunately, here you have all that you will ever need to know when it comes to disc grinders.
What Is An Angle Grinder And What Is It Used For?
An angle grinder can change your life as with it you can get your work done in less time than ever before. One of the other awe-inspiring advantages of this tool is that it is a multitasking tool. You don’t have to dedicate a large amount of money and space thanks to the disc grinder
It can not only be used to cut but can also polish, grind, level, and remove burs. There are a number of materials that this tool is compatible with. Don’t know What is an angle grinder and what is it used for? For your convenience, here I have compiled everything about angle grinders.
What Is An Angle Grinder?
An angle grinder is a beast when it comes to metalwork. It is a vigorous, sharp, convenient, and robust tool. If you are a welder, metalsmith, or construction worker then you can know how arduous, demanding, and time taking jobs these can be. You don’t have to do much work in order to get the job done as the angle grinder comes with a complete package. It can not only grind metal, cut through stones, or help you shape marble slabs but it can also help you polish, smoothen, and sand other materials too. How is it able to do all this? Scroll down to find out.
What Is The Working Of An Angle Grinder?
The angle grinder has a fast rotating metallic and razor-sharp disc that will rotate in order to cut through the hard materials. This metal disc is attached to a motor. The motor requires a large power supply in order to power the head.
Without a proper input voltage, the disc cannot get the job done accurately. So, input is supplied to the angle grinder. This input from the power source powers the motor. The motor in turn makes the disc rotate in a circular motion at a rapid speed. The sharp disc now expeditiously cuts and grinds.
No matter how thick the material that needs to be cut is, you can do it easily. The angle grinder comes with a safety feature and braking system which will get triggered when the angle grinder falls or something blocks the spinning of the metallic disc.
The brakes make the motor stop which in turn stops the spinning of the disc. This will help the users dodge any injury and reduce at-work accidents. One has to be really careful while dealing with such powerful tools as they are sharp enough to cause irreparable damage. Also, have a look at the difference between angle grinders vs oscillating tools.
Types Of Angle Grinders
All angle grinders are not the same. There are numerous sizes of angle grinders depending upon the diameter of the disc. There are also a number of disc grinders in the market on the basis of their power source. You must know what these different types are before buying one. You must keep the nature of your job and the place where you work in order to get the right disc grinder for you.
Here are some of the basic types of angle grinders depending upon the power source.
Corded Angle Grinders
These types of angle grinders are powered by electricity. They need a constant power supply to the motor of the angle grinders, so the disc keeps on rotating. Before getting this one you must know that you will need a proper power connection and electric supply in order to continue your work.
If you usually work outdoors or the area where your workshop is located usually has a power issue, then it is better to go with the next option. It has an electric cord and the length of the cord can limit your movement while working with these types of electric-powered angle grinders.
Cordless Angle Grinder
These angle grinders have a battery attached to the motor. The battery gives power to the motor to spin the wheel of the grinder. It is much easier to use as there is no cord attached to it that seems to come in your way of work. The battery is rechargeable, so you can charge it once you are done with your work.
The batteries are designed to charge easily and work for a longer time. The electric-powered ones are known to be powerful, but now there are many battery-powered ones that are competing with them successfully. Check out the best cordless angle grinders with long-lasting battery time.
Air Powered Angle Grinder
Air-powered angle grinders are the latest and updated version of angle grinders. These are one of the simplest, lightest, and easy-to-use angle grinders. There is no kind of electric power source. Instead, it uses air pressure to make the motor work. It is quite light and easy to handle. The position of the grinding wheel is parallel to the head so it becomes more compact than the previous two types of angle grinders.
Angle Grinders Sizes
The size of an angle grinder depends upon the wheel size that is attached to the head of the grinder. The tail region consists of the motor that powers the wheel. The diameter of the circular disc determines the size of your angle grinder. The larger the wheel is, the more power is required to spin at a fast speed. It is suitable for beginners to go for the smaller discs size as the angle grinder with a small disc is easy to handle and stable. It depends upon the use of the angle grinder and what must be the size of the disc.
If you have to cut thick materials then you should go for a large one. If your angle grinder has a powerful motor then you can attach a larger disc with it. Otherwise, the speed and effectiveness of your angle grinder will get affected. You cannot just attach any disc size with any angle grinder. The angle grinder arbor size and the angle grinder thread size will determine which disc size is appropriate for your disc grinder. Before buying a disc for your angle grinder you must see the size of the arbor and the number of threads the grinder has.
Brushed vs Non-brush Angle Grinders
You can find a brushed or a non-brush angle grinder in the market. These two types of angle grinders are named on the basis of the motor that is used in them. The motor is a crucial part of an angle grinder as it powers the wheel to cut, grind, and polish metals. Without a proper motor, an angle grinder is of no use. So, don’t know what the difference is? Keep reading to find out.
Brushed Angle Grinders
The brushed angle grinders are the ones that have a brushed motor fit inside them. These types of motors have two carbon brushes inside them. The carbon brushes are involved in moving the current that is provided by the power source to the armature of the brushed motor. Now the field created by the interaction between the current and the magnet inside the motor forces the armature to move. Hence the motor starts working and in turn, it makes the wheel of the disc grinder spin.
Brushless Angle Grinders
The non-brushed grinders are far better than the previous ones as they don’t have carbon brushes. The armature is replaced by a cylindrical magnet. The alternating currents between the electronics and stator create an electromagnetic field. The magnet is forced to rotate because of its position in the field generated. This rotation of the magnet makes the motor work. These types of grinders don’t get overheated easily even after numerous hours of working as the absence of brushes makes the motor reduce the friction.
Variable Speed Angle Grinder vs Non-Variable Speed Angle Grinder
There are many different types of disc that you can get attached to your angle grinder. It is just not about the size but also the material of these discs that matters when it comes to compatibility. You cannot run any kind of disc at a set speed on an angle grinder. If you want to experiment and work with different types of discs then you must go for variable speed grinders.
Non-variable Speed Grinders
The Non-variable speed grinders are the ones that have a pre-set speed by the manufacturers and you can only run the angle grinder at that speed only. The RPM of these angle grinders cannot be altered. There is no mechanism with which you can change the speed of rotation of these discs. It means that you have to be careful while using these ankle grinders as they usually have really high RPM.
Variable Speed Grinders
On the other hand, the variable speed angle grinders have a set range of RPM. You can change the speed of the disc within this given range. This feature helps the worker to use the grinders for many other functions such as polishing, smoothing, and cleaning metals. You can also use different types of discs other than the metal ones that are prone to melting or wearing at high speed. These types of angle speed grinders with alternating speeds are more beneficial as compared to the previous one.
What Are The Materials With Which An Angle Grinder Is Compatible With?
An angle grinder is a tool that is used for many different purposes. It is not limited to being used by metalsmiths only. An angle grinder can be used while dealing with a number of different materials other than metals. You can do wonders with this one simple tool. It is one of the most widely used tools in construction work. You can use it to cut, grind, polish, and clean many different materials. If you have never heard of materials other than metal when it comes to the use of angle grinders, then here are some of the surprising materials that can be dealt with by a grinder.
- An angle grinder is mostly used to deal with metals. It is used to cut, polish, sand, and grind almost all different types of metals. Whether it is aluminum, cast iron, stainless steel, copper, or brass.
- You can also use it to cut and shape different types of stones whether it is for construction or craft purposes.
- You can use an angle grinder to work with concrete as concrete slabs can be really tough to cut especially if you want to cut them in the desired shape.
- You can use it to cut bricks or to renovate a wall without damaging the size and shape of the bricks.
- It can be used to work with ceramic tiles.
- An angle grinder can also help you deal with woodwork.
What Is An Angle Grinder Used For?
Now that you know what materials that are compatible with an angle grinder, it is time to know the uses. You can work with an angle grinder on a number of materials. It allows the users to get the work done in less time and more efficiently. You can reduce the chances of error and increase accuracy.
An angle grinder also helps you make less mess as compared to other tools. You don’t have to fill your workshop with a number of tools, instead, you can get different discs for your angle grinder to make it a cleaner, polisher, grinder, cutter, and sander.
1. Grinding Metals
Well, it is obvious that a grinder will grind materials. When we hear the word grinding it clearly means that metals are the material that we are using the tool to deal with. You can use a disc grinder to grind metals. Whether it is aluminum, iron, steel, copper, brass, silver, or any other form of metal you can get through with an angle grinder on your hand. You can cut it, clean it, scrub it, or shape it. It allows you a limitless dealing when it comes to metals.
2. Cutting Materials
One of the other obvious and widespread uses of an angle grinder is cutting different materials. You can cut through thick and dense objects with the help of an angle grinder easily. The sharp disc is powered by the motor which revolves because of the alternating electromagnetic field inside it. The high speed when combined with the sharp-edged material of the disc, makes the angle grinder the most vigorous tool out there. Here are different materials that can be used to cut through with the help of an angle grinder.
- Metal sheets, pipes, rods, or bars.
- Ceramic tiles or slabs.
- Concrete materials.
- Cut the Mortar filled in an old or incorrectly constructed wall.
- To shape and cut stones.
- To cut bricks.
- To cut through wood.
3. Polishing Metals
It is not necessary that an angle grinder can only be used to make new things with metals. You can also use it to renovate old materials too. Many metal objects get old and scratched over time. The outer shiny finish of such metals fades away easily. You don’t have to worry as you can make it as good as new by polishing the metal. If you are thinking that an angle grinder can scratch but not polish metals then you are wrong.
Can’t understand how an angle grinder is able to do that? You just have to attach a soft disc that is specially designed and dedicated to polishing old or new metals. Just put a polisher disc on the angle grinder, add a polishing chemical on the metal surface, and turn on the disc grinder at low speed to polish the metal effectively. Although you can do this with your hand, a grinder makes you able to polish large surfaces without much effort in less time.
4. Sharpening Metals
Sharp tools like knives, swords, axes, blades, stones, and cutters can lose their sharpness with time. These worn-out tools can make your work difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating. You can use an angle grinder as a sharpening tool. You don’t even have to get a new disc for it as the metal discs that are used for cutting can also be used for sharpening these different tools.
Your blunt knives are of no good and need to be sharpened. All you have to do is turn on the grinder and place it securely at an angle that is convenient for you. Now slightly make contact between the knife and the sharp metal disc. The rotation of the wheel will make the blunt edges of the grinder sharp and good as new after a few contacts. You can use it for all kinds of knives, axes, chainsaw chain teeth, cutters, and even for sharpening other metal discs too.
5. Getting Rid of Damaged or Worn Out Parts
If you are dealing with metals on a daily basis then you must know how much damage rust can cause. A single mistake can cause metals to get rusty. The rust covers the whole metal surface available and causes damage to your business. You can use an angle grinder to get the rusty layer off of metal sheets, pipes, and slabs. If a part of something has become dented, damaged, or deformed, then you can just get rid of that small area instead of wasting the whole thing.
Yes, it might surprise you but one of the most mind-blowing applications of an angle grinder is that it can be used to clean things. Cleaning requires a lot of scrubbing and brushing. It can make your hands hurt easily if you are into the cleaning business. Using an angle grinder can be a creative and time-saving trick when it comes to cleaning. You don’t have to work hard as an angle grinder can do it for you.
There are many different types of discs available on the market including the foam ones. You can attach these foam discs to the grinder. Make the surface wet and apply soapy water to it. Now turn the grinder on and make sure to use the air pumped ones as they have no electric connectivity. The grinder will revolve and scrub the surface making it clean and shiny. You can wash large glass windows, cars, washrooms, and buses with the help of an angle grinder.
How To Use An Angle Grinder?
Despite being a vigorous tool, an angle grinder is not very complex when it comes to operating this machine. Although, you have to make sure that you have taken all the required precautions to keep you safe. You have to check the guard and safety breaks before turning them on. First attach the grinder to the power outlet, mark the place where you have to make a cut, set the speed, and turn the angle grinder on. The disc will start spinning. When you make contact with the base, the disc will cut through it.
Concluding Angle Grinders Guide
An angle grinder is an innovative, time-saving, hassle-free, and life-saving tool that can completely change your life. If you work with hard materials like metals, woods, concrete, stones, marbles, or bricks, then you can rely on a disc grinder to help you get your work done effortlessly in no time. I hope that now you know everything regarding what an angle grinder is and what is it used for? It will help you save space and do multiple tasks when it comes to welding, construction, cleaning, grinding, cutting, or repair.
Hi, I am Pete Fagerlin, carpenter by profession and working on different DIY projects is my passion. For more than a decade, it’s been my weekend hobby to dig into different tools for my favorite DIY projects which helped me to become knowledgeable about different DIY tools. With a combination of my profession and passion, I am here to collaborate with Adam Wilson to share my DIY tools knowledge with the MechanicsGear readers.