What You Need To Know About The Angle Grinder

Need to grind or cut certain materials like metal, concrete, stone, tiles or plastic? Need to sharpen blades? Or need to remove ugly rust or loose paint to smoothen a surface more quickly? An angle grinder will do those jobs perfectly and cleanly.

An angle grinder is a handheld power tool used for grinding, cutting, polishing, sanding and sharpening. Angle grinders can be powered by an electrical motor, a gasoline engine or a compressed air. It is also called a “disc grinder,” since it features a disc which is run to a high speed to perform several actions (cutting, grinding, polishing, etc.).

What Features Make Up or Go an Angle Grinder?

The angle grinder is quite a versatile tool, and its versatility goes down to the discs and other accessories. These are replaceable and each of them is made for a specific use:

1. Grit disc – Probably the cheapest option, a grit disc is also thinner (about 6 millimeters) compared to other discs. It is chiefly used to cut or grind certain materials like metal and stone.

2. Diamond disc – A diamond disc does the same function as the grit disc – cutting and grinding – but the former does them more quickly. A diamond disc is also safe to use since it won’t be likely to slip away from the grinder. The diamond disc has segments, and the rim of each segment is covered with a diamond coating. The coating gives the blades better durability and resilience. However, it is also expensive compared to other discs. 
When buying a diamond disc, you need to make sure whether they are wet or dry cut (a wet cut needs water in order to be kept damp, while a dry cut doesn’t need any water).

3. Wire wheel – Unlike other discs which are used for cutting and grinding, the wire wheel is primarily used for polishing surfaces. It can also be used for removing loose paint and rust.

4. Wood disc – A wood disc is designed to cut all types of wood. But a disc that’s intended to cut only wood tends to limit its all-around usefulness. It is better to buy a wood disc that has also the ability to cut steel. This is especially useful if you need to remove a nail or something else metallic that’s lodged in the wood.

5. Sanding disc/pad or abrasive disc/pad – As the name implies, this disc is used for sanding and polishing materials. Basically, it’s just sandpaper, and it can be attached to a soft pad or base which is then attached to the sander or grinder. Sanding discs are available in various degrees of coarseness.

6. Wire brush – Also known as a cup brush, a wire brush consists of a bundle of twisted wires under a cup, which attaches onto the grinder. A wire brush is used for removing scales, rust, or loose paint. It can also be used for polishing and deburring. There are actually different wire brushes on the market, mainly classified by size (diameter) and duty levels. There are wire brushes suitable for light removal of scales or rust, while others are specifically designed for use by high-speed angle grinders.

7. Spindle Lock
– This is a locking mechanism that allows for fast replacement and removal of accessories by stopping the wheel spindle from making rotations. With that said, the lock does come with a metal nut, which helps prevent any risk of locks happening while the power tool is activated. 

8. Auxiliary handle – Also referred to as a “side handle,” the auxiliary handle can be mounted on the right or left side of the power tool and operators that are right handed. Some models even include a three-position handle for greater maneuverability.

So regardless of whether you grind, sand, clean, or polish, an angle grinder is the right choice for your needs. Also, a grinder with some of most of these features will enable you to cover a bigger surface area, so if you’ll just be working with slabs or cutting mortar out, it’ll enable you to get most of the jobs done.

For DIY-ers, they can get by with a 110-volt (730-watt) general-purpose model. It is powerful enough for cutting and grinding, as well as for sanding, polishing, de-rusting and removing paint. Higher-powered versions (up to 1000 watts) are suitable for faster and more efficient cutting through thicker and heavier material.

What Can I Do with an Angle Grinder?

Though your initial perception might consider angle grinder is a single purpose tool, the power accessory can be put to use in a multitude of ways. The most common use involves sanding or grinding away excess metal, mortar, or stone. You can find construction professionals using angle grinders while making cuts, sharpening mortar and working on other metal-related projects. In addition to those common works, angle grinders can be used for a couple of other tasks.

Mortar removal

It’s hard to imagine someone carrying out a tuckpointing project with the help of an angle grinder. The power tool can do a great job at eliminating loose and aged mortar when used in conjunction with a diamond wheel of tuckpointing. In fact, it doesn’t even harm the adjacent brick, therefore preventing the hard labor required for hammer and chisel usage.

Blade Sharpening

In addition to polishing and cutting, angle grinders can also be utilized for sharpening garden and home tools. A few household instruments that need a makeover not only include lawn mower blades, axes, and hatches, but also implement such as ice scrapers, shovels, and shows. When carrying out such tasks, it’s important to keep the blades tightly clamped to a worktable before you attempt any sharpening. That’s because it can be extremely dangerous to work with a tool that isn’t properly secured.

Best Angle Grinders to Buy

Where to Buy
DEWALT DWE402 11-Amp Paddle
Milwaukee 2780-20 M18 Fuel
Makita 9557PBX1
Bosch 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder 1375A

1. DEWALT DWE402 11-Amp Paddle

This compact angle grinder comes with a 4.5-inch diameter workhorse that’s corded (120 volts) and performs better than most other brands. Users also get the benefit of a paddle switch, Quick-Change wheel release, 360-degree one-touch guard and dust ejection system. You’d also find oversized brushes on this particular model; these are present to deliver 2x the life. Moreover, the auto shut-down feature switches off the device when a replacement is needed for the brush to avoid unnecessary damage. The no-load 11,000 RPM does its job well.

What makes it stand out?

The spiral bevel gear and ejection solution are strategic inclusions that prevent most causes of tool damage.

2. Milwaukee 2780-20 M18 Fuel

This cordless angle grinder works best when it’s used with the REDLITHUM XC5.0 batteries. While most similar grinders struggle with a 5-inch wheel, 2780-20 can work with any of those. Its RPM clocks at 8,500, and the tool also sports the brand’s proprietary features like the brushless motor and the cordless Redlink setup. The grinder can take on the most challenging of jobs, even ones that are carried out in an auto repair shop and service garage. The Red-Link Plus Intelligence system featured on the Milwaukee 2780-20 works to minimize the overheating of batteries and motors.

What makes it stand out?

The cordless angle grinder also gives you access to the POWERSTATE brushless motor, which is also exclusive to the manufacturer’s brand. Another nice addition is the option to make tool-less adjustments.

3. Makita 9557PBX1

This is an AC/Dc corded grinder that comes with a 7.5 AMP motor that can clock an RPM of 11,000. It excels in durability, which means it’s a viable investment for prolonged use. Its safety features, power and design make it an ideal choice for mid-range DIYers and novices alike. The 4-inch grinder of the power tool is also comfortable to use. It is lightweight, include a big paddle switch, and has a small diameter grip for reducing movements when the tool kick backs. Some users would also find the tool’s capability to toggle lock-off lock-on feature for continued operation as handy. The 9557PBX` is also purported to last longer than similar tools in the power tools tier.

What makes it stand out?

The unique design features such as labyrinth seal and secure varnish helps minimize debris and dust during usage. The secure zig-zig varnish also accommodates the armature from all the debris for many years to come.

4. Bosch 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder 1375A

This is a cost-effective and lightweight grinder that is ideal for prolonged tasks. The Bosch 1375A Angle Grinder only weighs 3.75 pounds and it is ideal for vehicle fabricators, metal workers, and other professionals who can’t accomplish their jobs without a portable and reliable angle grinder.

This angle grinder is powered by a 6.0 amp motor that produces 11,000 RPM (no load) ensuring a fine cut or grind on any material. With its epoxy coated built, the Bosch 1375A is not only powerful and lightweight but also a durable angle grinder.

What makes it stand out?

The top handle of the Bosch 1375A is ergonomically-designed to prevent stress while working and it is also equipped with a  2 position side auxiliary feature for easy adjustment and maximum comfort of its operator.

Final Verdict

With one of the angle grinders from above, you’d be able to carry out home renovation and improvement projects without hassle. It’d also save you from having to ask someone to lend you this power tool. Invest in an angle grinder from a known manufacturer to ensure the tool supports your various jobs for years to come.