Using an angle grinder can be hard work, to maximize the productivity of your angle grinder there are a number of factors that have to be considered, such as choosing the right abrasive and knowing how to use it properly.
If angle grinders are completely unknown to you, and you’ve only just started using one for a project that you’re working on, it can be difficult to operate it, nevermind knowing how to get the best performance out of one.
But fear not, we’ve compiled a few of the best tips that will help you improve your cutting performance. So keep reading if you want to find out how to enhance the efficiency and performance of your angle grinder.
1. Make Sure To Properly Clamp The Workpiece
When you’re working on a piece of metal it has a tendency to shift about if it isn’t secured to a work surface, which makes it much more difficult to cut.
If you’ve clamped your workpiece too far away from the cut line, it could cause more vibrations which may damage the wheel on your angle grinder. If it’s too close you may not be able to get an accurate cut, as you won’t be able to actually see the cut line.
To ensure neither of these things happen, clamp the workpiece at a level that feels most comfortable to you, where you will be able to control the workpiece and ensure your safety whilst you’re cutting it.
If you don’t secure it properly you’re making life much harder for yourself!
2. Use A Slicing Motion Through The Cut
Using a slicing motion, like you would with a knife can drastically improve the performance of the wheel. If you’re using downward pressure whilst cutting the workpiece it can lead to the wheel becoming dull much faster.
A slicing motion is much better to use as it will allow the wheel to move with ease through the workpiece, instead of cutting straight down which will force the wheel through the metal.
Using these sofer rhythms will ensure that your wheel lasts longer and you get a much nicer cut through your workpiece.
3. Follow The Direction Of The Rotation
On most angle grinders there will be an arrow on the head that shows the direction that the wheel is rotating when it’s in motion.
You’ll want the wheel to be rotating itself into the workpiece rather than away from it, as it will allow the wheel to cut faster whilst using less effort on your part.
It can also be quite dangerous if the wheel is rotating away from the workpiece, as if there is any kickback this will send the wheel toward you.
For those that don’t have an arrow on the head, like die grinders, make sure that you pay extra attention to how the wheel is spinning and what direction it is spinning in.
It’s also important to note that if you can hear the wheel binding in the cut, make sure to take the wheel back out and inspect that there are no cracks or any damage in the wheel, and then continue. Don’t restart the wheel when it is already inside a cut.
4. Don’t Use More Force Than Necessary
Like we mentioned before, using too much force or pressure can be the death of a wheel in no time. Whilst increasing the force to make the angle grinder cut faster might seem like a good idea, it’s really not.
The excess pressure you’re using won’t make the angle grinder cut any faster, it’ll just make it heat up and build more friction which will shorten the lifespan of your wheel much faster than if you were using the slicing motions we mentioned previously.
Make sure to let the wheel do more of the work than you, remember you shouldn’t be putting huge amounts of effort into the cut, the wheel will do it for you, which will not only improve the performance, but save you from getting a tired arm within the first few minutes!
5. Make Sure You Use The Right Wheel Thickness
If you want the wheel to cut smoother and faster, then make sure that you use a thinner wheel, the only downside is that it won’t last as long as a thicker wheel.
A thicker wheel face is useful for when your workpiece is quite thick or hard and it’ll provide much more abrasive contact with the workpiece, and the thicker wheel will also generate much more friction and surface contact which can allow you to cut through the material better.
What wheel thickness you need will depend on the job that you need it to do, if speed is of utmost importance, then you’ll need to use a thinner wheel which will affect its longevity.
If the material that you’re working on is thicker, then you’ll need a thick wheel that is capable of cutting through your material, the thickness will depend on how thick your material is, but you’ll have to settle on the wheel cutting much slower and generating more friction.
Make sure that your wheel thickness is correct for the material that you’ll be cutting, as it can have detrimental effects to the wheel’s life and performance.
6. Approach From A Proper Angle
Angle grinders are meant to cut in a straight, precice line. To make sure that these cuts are as straight as possible, you should come in at a 90 degree angle (the hint is in the name!) and hold the angle grinder perpendicular to the work surface.
If you’re using an improper angle to cut the workpiece, it can lead to binding which can severely affect the life and performance of your wheel, and can even damage it, rendering it useless.
If you’re using a thinner wheel, then using the angle grinder at a 90 degree angle is much more critical so that the wheel can last longer.
A thicker wheel is generally much more forgiving, so if you don’t approach the workpiece at an exact 90 degree angle, a thicker wheel will last much longer.
It can be difficult to find the most comfortable position when using the angle grinder at an angle, so you should find a position that actually allows you to see the line when cutting at an angle whilst simultaneously finding the most comfortable position for your body and most importantly, your arm, so that you can follow the proper technique to ensure your safety.
Make sure that when you’re cutting, that you’re doing it from the point of least resistance. In simple terms, if you’re cutting a square or a corner, make sure to start from the sharp corner which will have the least amount of surface area contact.
Those are the 6 tips to help you improve your cutting performance!
The most important thing to remember is to follow the proper technique and understand how a cutting wheel works, so that you can most importantly ensure your own safety, improve the durability of the wheel and maximize the amount of productivity and efficiency the wheel has to offer.