Whether you’re in the process of a project, making some home adjustments, or carrying out a DIY, you may be wondering, what metal thickness can an angle grinder cut?
Angle grinders are among the most versatile power tools available on the market. Therefore, it’s no surprise that this tool is used consistently in a range of trades.
You can find angle grinders prominent in plumbing, the automotive industry, and many other industries.
These grinders are primarily used for polishing and refurbishing metal materials, and with the right disc equipped, it comes as no surprise that you can use them with stainless steel surfaces.
However, like most power tools, you shouldn’t jump straight into handling an angle grinder without any precautions.
Therefore, throughout this article, you’ll find a few precautionary safety tips, as well as everything you need to know about angle grinders and information regarding what metal thickness they can cut.
What Can Be Used To Cut Metal?
If you don’t have access to power tools such as an angle grinder, and you’re living in the 20th century, then your neck most often would be a hacksaw.
These are good for simple DIY projects such as cutting through metal stock, and, with enough huffing and puffing, you may even be able to power through thicker metals.
However, if this doesn’t sound like the best option for you, you could always join the rest of society in the 21st century and use an angle grinder for all your metal projects.
Jokes aside, if you’re using the appropriate cutting wheel or grinding disc for the model of your grinder, then you should be able to cut and grind through metal materials with a breeze!
Whether this is sheet metal, rebar, or angle iron – an angle grinder can cut through just about anything!
The Mechanism Of An Angle Grinder
As previously mentioned, angle grinders are one of the most relevant power tools on the market for cutting metal.
As a result, there are many different types of angle grinders; varying in size and models with or without a cord.
If you’re looking for an angle grinder, then it’s recommended to purchase a cordless model. These consist of more than enough power and offer greater versatility.
However, whether or not your power tool has a cord could be seen as irrelevant to some who simply want a tool to cut through metal.
What most people look for in an angle grinder is its cutting capacity and size. With this in mind, the most popular grinder seems to be the 4-½ inch model.
If you choose a corded grinder you should then expect the power capacity of the motor to be approximately 9 amps, this should provide you with ample power to cut through even the toughest of metals.
On the other hand, if you’re going down the cordless route, you should avoid an angle grinder that uses a brushless motor with anything less than a 20V Lithium-Ion battery.
In terms of capacity, these grinders typically pertain 4-½ inches and have the capacity to withstand materials ranging from steel fabrication, copper pipework, mild metal, or concrete restoration.
Moreover, on top of all this, a decent angle grinder should comprise a comfortable hand, a protective blade or disc cover, and a spinner washer.
Once you understand all the different specifications, you may be wondering how an angle grinder cuts metal.
Well, this is generally due to the fact that an angle grinder can reach up to 15,000 rotations per minute.
For a singular hand-held power tool, this is a lot of horsepower! However, is it enough to cut through thick metal?
What Thickness Of Metal Can An Angle Grinder Cut?
The ability of an angle grinder to cut through the different thicknesses of metal really depents on the type/size of disc you are using.
On top of this, the thickness of metal is also a determining factor – providing you with an estimate of the potential cutting depth.
To cut through thick metals, you’ll need to select the appropriate disc thicknesses that best suit the requirements for your project.
For instance, if you are using the most popular angel grinder at 4-1/2 inches, fitted with a flat diamond cut-off blade that is designed for cutting either mild or stainless steel.
If you’re looking to cut through stainless steel, then you’ll need an iron-free disc ranging between the sizes of 1mm or 1.6mm.
For cutting through thin metal materials including sheet metal, then using a cutting disc between the sizes of 0.8mm or 1.0mm would be best.
Whichever disc you choose, they’ll both create a clean-looking cut while preventing any potential discoloration from the metal.
This is due to the reduction of blade thickness which results in minimizing heat transfer to the metal.
To use an angle grinder to buff or cut aluminum or metal, it is ideal to invest in a type of saw lubricant which will increase the lifespan of the metal disc and prevent any possibilities of it potentially chipping.
Moreover, if you’re looking for an angle grinder that will cut through more heavy-duty, industrial metals such as iron or structural steel including angle iron, then you are going to need a thicker cutting disc between the sizes of 1.6mm and 2.5mm.
Although, you should keep in mind that cutting through thick, dense metal with a 2.5mm cutting disc does contain some drawbacks.
In some instances, you may find that your finished cut of metal will exhibit some signs of discoloration which is mainly due to the large disc-equipped, performing at a reduced blade speed.
The reason it happens is largely due to the increase of friction between the angle grinder and the piece of metal.
Therefore, there is a correlation between the density of the metal you’re intending to cut and the given result it will produce.
If this is the main factor for you, you could always consider a different power tool when cutting metal.
For instance, either a metal chop saw or a metal cutting circular saw are the usual tools that can cut with finesse and precision, and can be considered a priority if you’re looking to cut metal.
However, if appearance isn’t the main factor for you and you’re looking to make quick and efficient cuts, then, by all means, you can whip out the trusty angle grinder.
Just remember to utilize the recommended disc when cutting different sizes of metal.
For whatever reason, you may be looking to cut metal and the only power tool option available is an angle grinder.
Well, don’t fret as angle grinders are mighty power tools that have the ability to cut through many different types of metal, thick and thin.
Although, this all depends on the disc fitted. Hopefully, this guide has informed you on what thickness an angle grinder can cut.