How to & Guides

The Versatile Uses of an Angle Grinder

What is an Angle Grinder

Angle Grinder

Angle Grinders are handheld devices that offer a multitude of functions, including cutting, deburring, polishing, and grinding. It is a highly adaptable tool that provides excellent efficiency during use. Unlike a hacksaw, angle grinders deliver smoother cuts while maintaining safety, provided the necessary precautions are taken. Angle Grinders come in three types: electric, pneumatic, and gas-powered. Corded grinders, although not portable, generally offer more power. The attachments, such as discs, pads, cutters, and wheels, can be interchanged to suit various purposes.

Versatile Uses of Angle Grinders

1. Auto-body Work

Removing Paint

Angle Grinders are perfect for efficiently removing paint from large surfaces without damaging the underlying layer. This makes them indispensable in workshops for preparing surfaces for fresh paint.

Rust Removal

Angle Grinders excel in removing rust, especially when dealing with thin layers. Even heavily rusted surfaces can benefit from the grinder’s effectiveness.

2. Masonry

Cutting Ceramic Tiles

Standard tile cutters often struggle with cutting stone or ceramic tiles, but an angle grinder equipped with a diamond wheel effortlessly handles these materials. To ensure precision, it is important to follow these steps:

  • Create accurate markings on the front and back of the tile.
  • Securely clamp the tile to a workbench to minimize the risk of injury.
  • Activate the angle grinder and make a scoring cut on 1/8th of the surface.
  • Flip the tile, clamp it again, and cut through the back portion.

Removing Old Mortar

Cutting old mortar is made easier with an angle grinder and thick diamond tuckpointing wheels. This method removes mortar without damaging the bricks, providing a more efficient alternative to using a chisel and hammer. To ensure safety, it is recommended to wear a mask and keep the grinder away from flammable materials.

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Stone Cutting

For stone cutting, diamond blades are the best option. Although the process can be time-consuming, it yields smooth cuts. Using a small portable angle grinder allows for easier maneuverability, particularly when making bevel cuts.

3. Metalworking

Cleaning Metals

While the disc of the grinder can be used to clean metal surfaces, it is best to avoid it as it may alter the surface. Cleaning wheels, such as wire wheel brushes, are more effective in removing rust and paint. Although the finish may not be as clean as using a disc, it lasts longer. Remember to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying wires. Alternatively, plastic stripped discs covered in soft nylon and silicon carbide can remove non-fused coatings without damaging the metal surface.

Cutting Metal

Cutting through metals with a hacksaw can be a time-consuming process. Using an angle grinder fitted with a cutoff wheel significantly speeds up this task. Although effective on most metals, the grinder is especially useful for harder metals.

Polishing Metal

To remove scratch marks from metal surfaces, start with a sanding wheel. Then, switch to a polishing wheel to achieve a smooth and clean surface. Take care not to damage the material as the grinder’s high power can be quite potent.

Tool Sharpening

While it is not the recommended method, an angle grinder can be used for tool sharpening with the proper skill and control. This is especially useful for axe blades. Here’s how to do it:

  • Securely fix the blade and adjust the guard plate to deflect sparks away from you.
  • Position the grinder to match the blade angle and ensure the wheel faces the blade.
  • Make small passes in the same direction to sharpen the blade.
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For more precision and sharpness, a mill saw can be used.

4. Carpentry

Carving Wood

An angle grinder is excellent for shaping wood, providing the perfect amount of power for delicate cuts. Use an abrasive carving disc to achieve desired shapes, such as shaping the legs of a table.

Planing Wood

While a wood plane is the preferred tool for planing wood, an angle grinder with a carving wheel can serve as a good alternative. The carving wheel’s teeth resemble those on a chainsaw, so be cautious not to remove excess material by applying too much force.

Sanding Wood

For sanding wood, abrasive flap discs are a faster option compared to sanding paper. These discs come in various sizes to accommodate different finishes. Hand-sanded surfaces are difficult to distinguish from those sanded with flap discs.

Conclusion

Angle Grinders are versatile tools that offer a wide range of uses. They are affordable and readily available, making them a popular choice among craftsmen. Whether you’re working with metal, masonry, or wood, an angle grinder is a reliable and efficient companion for your projects.

For more information about angle grinders and other electronic tools, visit OnSpec Electronic, Inc..

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