How to use an angle grinder

Angle grinders are  tools that can be used in a  range of functions such as grinding metal, routing out the mortar, and cutting stucco, tiles, and pavers.

 The power tools can accommodate different wheels and accessories adding to their versatility. While large angle grinders are available, some of the most popular sizes are the 4-in and the 4-1/2 in. Angle grinders are commonly used for:

Sharpening and grinding

This is one of the most common uses of an angle grinder. All that you need to do is to install the grinding wheel and the tool will be ready to grind, smoothen welded joints, get rid of excess materials, and carry out deburring. Remember that the metal blade can easily overheat when using an angle grinder.

When the temperature reaches the recrystallization point, the cutting edge will lose its hardness leading to the edge turning bluish-black and will easily wear down. To prevent such a problem, ensure that the grinder remains in motion when in operation. Ensure that the metal is often drenched in a wet cloth or sponge.

How to use an angle grinder

Metal cutting

If you have the patience, many metals can be cut using a hacksaw. However, if you want to make some quick and rough cuts, the grinder is the right option. On top of rebars, you can use it to cut angle iron, rebar, rusted bolts, and welded wire fencing. You can use the cheaper cutoff wheel for such metal cutting tasks.

When you attach a cutting wheel to the best angle grinders, it can turn into a metal cutting power tool. In fact, construction workers often use an angle grinder to cut rebars for concrete reinforcement. Take note that cutting metal is a heavy-duty task and, therefore, you will need to invest in a powerful angle grinder.

To cut rebars with a metal grinder, start by placing the metal cutoff wheel in the angle grinder. You should then prop up the extended rebar side and secure it well. Drop the cutoff wheel into the metal and allow the tool’s weight to do the cutting. Ensure that the shorter end falls freely so that the blade isn’t bound.

Cutting ceramic tiles and concrete

Concrete pieces and tiles are essential materials that are used in renovation and construction projects However, cutting these materials to fit around outlets and other hindrances can be a very difficult task.  It’s almost impossible to use the normal tile cutters. The good news is that you can use an angle grinder fitted with a dry-cut diamond wheel to cut these materials. All you need to do is to attach a dry-cut diamond disc, making the task easier. This helps remove dust from the cut and allows the wheel to cut faster. It is important not to twist the grinder when in use as this can cause the disc to warp and with the lower quality blades, they can segment themselves.

However, you need to remember that if you’d like to cut in a straight line, you’d better use a professional tile saw. In fact, these saws are commonly used in construction projects. But if you’d like to replace old tiles, an angle grinder may be enough. When using an angle grinder to cut tiles, you will need to work with a cutting disc that is specially made for use in masonry projects, also known as a diamond blade. While the diamond blade cost more, it last longer and cut faster.

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How to cut tiles with an angle grinder

There are several steps you need to follow when cutting tiles with an angle grinder. These include:

  • Mark the tile outline. Ensure that you have clearly marked the cut well at the front and back of the tile. Make sure that the tile is clamped to the workbench and the outline is scored around 1/8 in-deep with a diamond blade.
  • Sharpen blade. Ensure that the blade is properly clamped with a vise on the workbench. The grinder should then be oriented and the blade guard adjusted to ensure that the sparks are deflecting away from your body and face. The grinding wheel should then be aligned with the blade’s angle grinder. You can now start the grinder and move the grinding wheels steadily across the blade even as you put a little pressure.

Metal cleaning

 

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If there is cement caked on your tool or rust, you can use a wire cup to clean it off. However, you need to ensure that the brush is spinning away from the edges rather than into the edges. Otherwise, this will cause the brush to catch on the edges and the grinder may hit back at you.

A wire wheel and brush angle grinder attachment can be used for various cleaning, deburring, and stripping tasks. While cup brushes are suitable for stripping paint and rust from wide and flat surfaces, wire wheel can easily fit into tight corners and crevices. Brush and wheel attachments are available in different styles. Go through the packaging to determine the most suited for your task. Also, ensure that the thread is matched to the grinder’s spindle thread.  While nearly all angle grinders have a spindle thread of 5/8-in, there are a few exceptions.

Grind mortar

You can also use an angle grinder to remove any old and loose mortar. Passing two or three ½-in.deep pass will work better in clearing joints than using an old hammer and chisel. If there is a lot of tuckpointing to be done, you should buy one of the best angle grinders to remove mortar. For removing mortar, you should find the thicker diamond tuckpointing wheels.

Conclusion

The above are some of the tasks you can accomplish using an angle grinder. You can familiarize yourself with the various grinder attachments available to determine the right one for your job.

Further Reading:

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