Angle Grinder - A Tradesman’s Guide

in Diy

Angle grinders are useful for cutting metal, removing weld slag and burrs, minor shaping of metal parts, and removal of rust on existing rusted parts and structures.

For any portable grinder to be an effective tool, it must be both powerful and fast. Of the two, power is the most important, not because you are likely to bog the tool down from friction, but because a more powerful tool will not work as hard, which will help prevent it from overheating and burning out. Speed is important in your grinder because the faster the motor speed, the quicker it will remove whatever metal you are working on.

You must keep in mind that unlike other power tools, these tools are usually on for a lengthy period of time. If you are drilling holes, your electric drill is on for less than a minute per hole, with a chance to cool off between holes. When cutting boards with a power saw, the cut may require the tool to be on for two to three minutes, but that’s about it. On the other hand, removing excess weld can require a grinder to be on for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. More than anything, this is ultimately what causes these tools to wear out.

It is possible to change the abrasive wheel on an angle grinder and put a cut-off wheel or wire brush in place of the grinder wheel. This increases the utility of the tool, adding cutting and cleaning capability to what is already a very useful tool.

Like any power tool, when shopping for angle grinders, there are certain things to keep in mind. First of all, you want to consider the reputation of the manufacturer. Companies which have a reputation for quality products earn them because professionals learn that they can count on those tools to be dependable and have long life. Pick the tool up and see how comfortable it is in your hand. Remember, you are going to be holding that tool for long periods of time. You want something that you can hold comfortably, and that isn’t too heavy. Weight and discomfort result directly in operator fatigue.

High quality tools generally have the controls in easily accessible locations. Can you reach the power switch easily to turn the tool on and off? Is there a blade lock to make the grinding wheel easy to change? Are the motor brushes accessible for changing, without having to take the tool apart? All of these factors affect the ultimate value and use of the tool.

Remember, using any tool of this type can be dangerous. Be sure to wear safety glasses and work gloves while working.

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Paul Alan has 59 articles online

Screwfix is the UK's largest direct and online supplier of trade tools, accessories and hardware products. With over 30 years’ experience in the industry, we despatch tens of thousands of parcels every week for next day and weekend delivery to tradesmen, handymen and serious DIY enthusiasts all over the UK.

To view our range of angle grinders customers can visit the Screwfix website.

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Angle Grinder - A Tradesman’s Guide

This article was published on 2011/03/08