What Is An Angle Grinder? And What Is It Used For?

What Is An Angle Grinder? And What Is It Used For?

If you have recently started to engage with DIY and fixing stuff around the house, but without any prior experience laboring with tools or fixing things, then you may start to get stuck on which tool to use for which job, and what each tool is even used for.

With an angle grinder you may be missing out on a seriously versatile, practical and useful tool that could make your DIY jobs much, much easier. But what is an angle grinder? And what sort of jobs would you use it for?

We found out so you can get back to work with ease, here’s our guide to the humble angle grinder.

What Is An Angle Grinder?

What Is An Angle Grinder?

An angle grinder is a handheld power tool, most commonly it either has a power cord you can plug into an outlet, or they are battery powered.

The main thing worth noting about an angle grinder is that the main component is the rotating middle circle.

On top of this rotating device you can add many different types of ‘discs’ which can suit many different purposes for both wood and metal, cutting and burring, sanding and finishing.

The grinder works, depending on the disc used, by applying some degree of pressure either to the face of the disc for burring or sanding, or to the edge of the disc for cutting through a material.

For these reasons, the swappable discs, the angle grinder remains a very versatile tool, here are some ways you can use an angle grinder in tandem with different attachments.

Using An Angle Grinder On Wood

To use an angle grinder for wood, you need to buy the right discs or attachments for your angle grinder.

For example, one common use of an angle grinder in the world of woodwork and carpentry is to use a sanding disc to speed up sanding tasks by double the time.

Most sanding discs are essentially just sanding paper, so they can often wear down quickly due to the power of the grinder disc’s revolutions.

In any case, you simply apply pressure to where you want to sand with the face of the spinning disc.

Another use of an angle grinder with a wood attachment is a wood carving disc. A wood carving disc operates in a similar way to the sanding disc but utilizes a more protrusive face to the disc. 

The disc’s face comes out allowing you to use the revolutions of the disc to carve out wood. This is ideal for any luthier practice, making guitars, as you can make wood into hollow shapes that fit together, or just bore out shapes for different parts.

Moreover, another common use of the angle grinder is to cut things, and wood is not exempt from this. You can buy discs with toothed edges which are perfect for cutting through wood quickly. 

With these three discs your angle grinder can fulfill the function of three or more separate tools, all you have to do is change out the disc.

Using An Angle Grinder On Metal

Using An Angle Grinder On Metal

Using an angle grinder on metal is often quite similar in application to using it for wood, however, you will need specific discs for metal which are harder and more durable.

For example, these discs are made for cutting through metal, they are extra thin to get the best cut but also try to deal with the potential vibration you get in your arms when cutting through metal which can sometimes be uncomfortable.

To use them you rely on the sharp edge that is rotating like a chainsaw that allows you to cut through most things.

Another use of the angle grinder with metal is to burr the metal or sand it which can be useful to remove oxidation or rust from old metal, as well as wearing down its first layer.

For this purpose you can buy abrasive discs that will help remove material from the surface of metal, you use these much like a sander for wood.

Safety When Using Angle Grinders

There are some safety issues to be aware of when using an angle grinder, especially when using it with metal.

Setting The Correct Speed

Each grinder will have an RPM setting which determines how many revolutions per minute happen, there is a correct speed to be used when using a certain disc.

It is important that the RPM speed lines up with the disc you are using or your grinder could lurch and potentially hurt you or someone else.

Personal Protection Equipment

No matter what you are cutting you should always wear personal protection equipment when using an angle grinder. As you are grinding things there will be debris flying that can be dangerous and potentially get in your eyes.

You should wear a mask to protect yourself from both wood shavings in your eye and even worse sparks from metal.

For the same reasons you should also wear gloves, sparks and splinters will bury themselves in your hands and arms otherwise which isn’t fun.

Check Who Is Around

One thing worth noting for safety is who is around you. If your dog or children are running around while you are working, this could put them at risk.

Whether that is from sparks, breathing sawdust, or sanding discs flying off at 10000 RPM, there are dangers you should concern yourself with especially when others are around.

Final Thoughts

We hope you learned something today from this article on angle grinders. They are a really useful tool that can fulfill the function of many other tools by simply swapping out the discs on the angle grinder.

With this said, an angle grinder can also have a huge variety of uses on different types of materials such as metal, wood, and even masonry.

If you plan on working with any of these materials, particularly metal and wood, then it can be a really good idea to consider using an angle grinder as a tool.

Ben Jones

When it comes to selecting the right tool for the job there are some important factors that you have to consider. I hope by sharing some of my knowledge I'll be able to educate you on a range of grinders so you can get the job done.

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