An angle grinder is a very useful power tool that is perfect for cutting pieces of wood, metal or ceramics. It can even perform other tasks such as sanding and sharpening tools. While these tools have always been popular with professional tradesmen, they are increasingly being used in the homes of DIY enthusiasts, thanks to their functionality and very affordable price.
An angle grinder will make light work of repetitive or arduous tasks, giving you professional results with hardly any effort. It is important to find a model that can be operated quickly and easily, and that has an adequate amount of power for the jobs you throw at it. In this article we explain everything you need to know about angle grinders, to help you find the option that is best for you.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 Our Selection: The Best Angle Grinders
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Angle Grinders
- 4.1 What is an angle grinder?
- 4.2 What are angle grinders used for?
- 4.3 Is it possible to use an angle grinder as a sander?
- 4.4 What accessories can be used with an angle grinder?
- 4.5 How do I choose the right disc to use with an angle grinder?
- 4.6 What are the risks involved with working with an angle grinder?
- 5 Shopping Criteria
- 6 Summary
- When it comes to angle grinders, size matters. All models of these power tools, whether mini or full sized, have electronic speed controls. Different speeds are suitable for different tasks, and working with particular types of materials.
- Angle grinders use a variety of interchangeable discs and accessories. When making your purchase, you need to check that the model you are buying is compatible with the accessories you plan on using.
- The power rating is an important factor to keep in mind during the purchase process. If you want to use the grinder for household chores, it is best to choose a model with a power rating between 600 and 800 watts (W). For professional applications, go for a motor with at least 2000 W of power.
- Although most models will ship with some accessories included, most of the time you will have to buy the discs separately. Check carefully that they are compatible with your angle grinder and most importantly that they are the type you need for the work you are planning on doing.
Our Selection: The Best Angle Grinders
Angle grinders are compact and portable power tools, perfect for professional jobs and also for DIY tasks. However, finding the best option to suit your needs can be a fairly tricky task, due to the large number of different models currently available on the market. To give you an overview of the range of different options, we have prepared this list of the best angle grinders in four categories:
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Angle Grinders
When purchasing an angle grinder, there are several important factors that you need to consider. So that you can find out everything you need to know to make an informed choice, in this section we answer the most frequently asked questions about these useful power tools.
What is an angle grinder?
An angle grinder is a handheld power tool that most commonly uses an electric motor, with a geared head at a right-angle, onto which either an abrasive or cut-off disc is mounted. These discs must be replaced once they become worn out.
The type of disc that should be used will depend on the type of work being done. Angle grinders are very efficient power tools, that only consume a small amount of energy. They are capable of performing a huge variety of tasks, including cutting, filing, and polishing surfaces, if the correct type of disc is used.
What are angle grinders used for?
Angle grinders can be used for a wide variety of jobs, either around the home or for professional applications. The ability to use different discs makes them highly versatile.
They can be used for working with marble, ceramic, wood, metal or plasterboard, and are most commonly used for cutting, polishing or roughing tasks. Depending on the size of the grinder, it will be able to perform different types of jobs. For intensive work you will need a larger model, with a more powerful motor. However, for simple DIY tasks a smaller tool, or even a mini-grinder, will be a more suitable option.
Is it possible to use an angle grinder as a sander?
Angle grinders are very versatile power tools, as they are capable of being used with a wide variety of discs, even including discs specially designed for sanding. To use a disc of this type, you will need a rubber accessory that is used as a backing plate for the sandpaper. This will make it more durable and able to withstand the force applied when the disc is spun at high speed. Sandpaper that is designed to be used with an angle grinder comes is a variety of different thicknesses and textures.
Before you begin sanding, you must clamp down the material you want to work with, so that it won't move around and you are able to hold the grinder with both hands. You don't need to apply a great amount of pressure, just glide the rotating disc over the material you want to sand from side to side, and let the grinder do the work. It is super important that you always use adequate protective gear while working.
What accessories can be used with an angle grinder?
As we have mentioned several times throughout this shopping guide, angle grinders are able to perform a wide variety of different tasks provided you have the appropriate disc. Additionally, these power tools have lots of other accessories that make them even more versatile and easy to use.
Next, we breakdown the most useful accessories that we recommend using with an angle grinder:
- Cutting and grinding discs. An angle grinder cannot be used without a disc. Cutting and grinding discs are used to cut and work with lots of different types of materials, such as metals, ceramics, marble and wood.
- Wire brushes. These disc-shaped brushes are made with metallic wire and are used to strip paint from metal or wooden surfaces. They must be used with care, as they can easily damage the surface being worked on.
- Sanding discs. Suitable for light polishing and sanding. They are often used for preparing and finishing a variety of surfaces such as cement walls.
How do I choose the right disc to use with an angle grinder?
In order to choose the most suitable disc, you first need to take into account the kind of work you are planning on doing. You won't want to use the same disk for polishing as you will for cutting for example, for each task a specific disk is needed. You will also need to consider the type of material you will be working with. Keep in mind that angle grinders cannot be used for cutting wood, for this task a circular saw is a more appropriate power tool.
To find the disc that is most suitable for the type of work you are planning on doing with your angle grinder, please consult the following table:
|Cutting||For cutting ceramics, porcelain,
sheets, tubes, angles and squares.
Use ultra-thin discs between 0.04" and 0.08".
|Grinding||For leveling a surface.
For eliminating excess material.
For smoothing edges after a cut.
For removing welding debris.
|Sanding and Polishing||For sanding and polishing metal, stone or wood.
The material that can be worked on, will depend on the type sandpaper being used.
|Brushing and Shaving||For removing metal oxide.|
|Metal||Use discs with a thickness between 0.03" and 0.12" for cutting. For grinding use a disk with a thickness of 0.24".|
|Construction Metals||For the most demanding jobs, a diamond disc should be used.
They can be used for cutting tiles, pavers, bricks and other tough materials such as concrete or granite.
Other special discs for porcelain, ceramics and stoneware can also be used.
|Wood||There are no disks available for cutting wood.
Grinders are not designed to saw, as they burn wood due to the velocity of the rotation.
|Multi-Use Discs||Suitable for any type of material.
They can be used for very basic cutting and roughing, without the need to change the disc.
What are the risks involved with working with an angle grinder?
The use of angle grinders has become more widespread with the development and improved performance of these power tools. In order to avoid significant injury, it is important that you operate them with the proper amount of care at all times.
To help you to use your angle grinder safely, we have prepared the following guide that details some of the main risks:
- If you do not have a proper mask, you could inhale toxic dust produced during cutting or grinding.
- Incorrect posture while operating an angle grinder can result in muscle damage or an accident.
- Damage to your hearing can occur from the noise produced by the grinder.
- Operating the grinder above the maximum speed rating can cause the disc to shatter, potentially resulting in serious injury.
- Not attaching the disc properly can result in it falling off while being used, which can be very dangerous.
When choosing an angle grinder, it is important that you take several important factors into account. In order to find the option that best suits your needs from the wide range of models currently available on the market, just keep the following criteria in mind when making your purchase.
Type of Angle Grinder
The type of angle grinder you should buy will depend upon the type of work you plan to do. For precision jobs or for working on small surfaces, the best option is a mini-grinder, as these types of tasks can be tricky, and finesse is more important than raw power.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a power tool that can handle any type of professional job you throw at it, whether in a workshop or on a construction site, the best option is to go for a larger angle grinder. They have very efficient and powerful motors, that will allow you to work all day, and are suitable for even the toughest materials.
In the same way the type of angle grinder you choose will be determined by the kind of work you plan to do, the same can be said of the power rating. Mini-angle grinders have much smaller motors with a rating between 500 and 800 W. Although they can be used for just about any type of job, you will not be able to use them over a long period of time, as they will eventually overheat.
Larger models of angle grinders are specifically designed for professional work, and usually have a power rating in excess of 2000 W. These powerful tools will allow you to work on any type of material, and can handle large surfaces, while being operated for extended periods of time. They often have cooling systems and are able to tackle the toughest jobs.
The weight and size will determine how you can use your new angle grinder. A more powerful tool will definitely be heavier and more difficult to handle, due to the weight of the larger size of the engine, the disks and any cooling system it uses. On the other hand, a mini-grinder will be much more manageable and less tiring to use.
In terms of ergonomics, you need to find a model with an adjustable handle, and a speed control system that is easily accessible. An important feature that is often overlooked is the ability to change the disc without the use of a special tool.
Angle grinders can be dangerous tools to use. The discs can break during operation, potentially causing serious injury. Look for a model that includes some kind of shield protection system covering the disk. It is also advisable to choose a device with auto shutoff, so that the disc won't keep spinning if you accidentally lose control, or drop the angle grinder.
For any DIY enthusiast, an angle grinder is an extremely useful power tool. It will allow you to perform lots of different types of repair tasks, as it can cut, sand and polish all kinds of materials with precision.
In order to find the model that best suits your needs, just follow the criteria we set out in our buyer's guide. Make sure that the angle grinder you decide to buy comes with all the accessories, and the correct disks, that are necessary for how you plan to use it.
If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, please leave us a comment and be sure to share it with your friends and family, so they can also find out about these amazing tools!
(Source of Featured Image: Sasin Tipchai: 1914362/ 123rf.com)