An angle grinder is a handheld tool used in metal fabrication that’s designed to grind and polish, and you can choose from corded, cordless or pneumatic. Whether you’re searching for an angle grinder for an advanced DIY project you’re planning to undertake, or need to buy several of them for your large-scale metal fabrication workshop, the following guide should help you make a more informed purchase:
What are angle grinders commonly used for?
Used in a wide variety of industries, ranging from construction and metal fabrication to mechanical workshops and garages, angle grinders can be used for the following:
- Removing metals and sharp edges, cutting and shaping metal etc
- Cleaning and polishing metal surfaces, or flat surfaces like tiles or wood
- Removing rust from metal surfaces
- Shaping metal or wood and creating decorative edges
Should you buy a corded or cordless angle grinder?
Corded angle grinders must be plugged into an electrical outlet in order to use them, and are typically lighter in weight than their cordless counterparts, due to a lack of battery. Corded power tools naturally give you extended usage times when compared to cordless versions of the same tool, so you will need to think about where you will be using it.
Cordless power tools can be carried from site to site and even used conveniently while working at height, without the safety concerns related to trailing wires. Their longevity is less though, as the battery will need to be charged between uses.
Do you need a pneumatic angle grinder?
With compressed air as their source of power, pneumatic angle grinders are ideal for use in industrial-scale projects, and are lighter in weight than regular angle grinders, making them easier to manoeuvre. With no risk of the tool heating up or short circuiting, these tools are best suited for jobs in which a higher degree of precision is required.
Considerations to make when buying an angle grinder
There are a number of things to think about when buying an angle grinder, such as:
- The size of the disc
A grinder’s strength is directly proportional to the size of the disc, and depending on what you plan to use it for, you must select the most appropriately sized disc. Popular disc sizes are from 4.5 to 9 inches, but for larger grinding jobs on an industrial scale, a bigger disc will be required.
- Speed ratings
Small disc grinders tend to run at a higher rpm than grinders with bigger discs, and handheld grinders function at higher rpm’s: 5000-10000. For heavy-duty tasks, a higher speed rating is desirable, whereas for simple jobs involving polishing, a lower speed rating is recommended.
- Comfort of use
If you plan to use an angle grinder for extended periods of time, it’s important that you choose one with a comfortable handling-feel; you can now buy ones with anti-vibration handles. You want good grip, and if the grinder is too heavy or big, you might not find it comfortable to use for lengthier tasks.
- Power source
110v angle grinders are commonly used on construction sites and in metal fabrication workshops, whereas 240v is ideal for DIY purposes at home.
- Safety features
Angle grinders are undoubtedly useful, but they can be dangerous when used incorrectly or not maintained appropriately. Check for such features as kickback control, slow-start function, cut-off switch, anti-vibration handle and so on, all of which can help minimize the risk of anyone coming to harm while using the tool, or in the vicinity of the tool while it’s in use.
Fortunately, buying an angle grinder has never been simpler, and with reputable online sellers offering a variety of high-quality power tools at low prices, you’re only a couple of clicks away from kitting yourself out from the comfort of home.