Angle grinders are versatile tools that are used in many workshops around the country. They are used for cutting, grinding, preparing surfaces, polishing, sanding, and sharpening. The type of disc used will determine what the grinder will be used for.
In recent years, battery operated power tools have become very popular. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery makes it easy and convenient to be able to work onsite where there is no power outlet. That being said, corded models are typically more powerful because they can draw on more power.
There are a wide range of corded and cordless models available on the market, and many people will invest in one of each for different times.
How to Use an Angle Grinder Safely
Whether you use an angle grinder each day for work or just occasionally, it’s important to be aware of how to use one safely. The rapidly spinning disc can cause significant injury and it’s always a good idea to approach the use of an angle grinder safely. Here are some safety tips:
Expiry date: All angle grinder discs have an expiry date beyond which they are not safe to use due to deterioration of the materials. Before you use any disc on your angle grinder, check the expiry date first and toss it out if it’s expired.
Environmental checks: The sparks generated by any angle grinder can be a possible fire hazard, so you should always clear the immediate area of things such as gas cylinders or flammable materials. It may also be best to avoid using the angle grinder on a very hot day where there may be dried grass or other plants that are highly flammable. More than one fire has been started this way!
Safety checks: Even before you turn on the angle grinder, you need to do some safety checks of the tool first. Check to see if the handle is screwed in properly, first of all. Second, you’ll need to check the vents. If they are clogged up with dirt—which can happen if you use the tool regularly—you’ll need to clean them out so that the grinder won’t overheat during operation. It sounds obvious, but you’ll also need to check that the guard is in place, too.
Unplug: When you’re in the middle of using it, you might be tempted to make adjustments to the tool while it’s operating. You should never do this. Always turn the angle grinder off first and unplug it before making any big changes, such as changing the disc.
Beware of sparks: Angle grinders can generate a lot of sparks during use, especially when cutting through metal. Before you start up the grinder, it’s essential to set the guard at a 45 degree angle so that it prevents the sparks from hitting you or anything else. The guard will also ensure that if the disc breaks during operation that it will not fly out and injure you.
Wear goggles: You should always wear safety goggles that have the right safety specification. A visor will be even more effective at ensuring that your face is protected as you’re using the angle grinder.
Dust mask: Lots of people wear safety goggles, but forget to wear a dust mask. If you’re cutting through masonry, for example, the dust that is generated can enter your airways if you’re not wearing a mask. This may exacerbate respiratory conditions such as asthma, and may also cause long-term lung diseases.
Protect your ears: When an angle grinder, even the smallest angle grinder, is operating, it will be very noisy. It’s important to wear ear plugs during operation to protect your ears from damage.
Protect your hands: You should always wear leather gloves when cutting through steel. This is because the edges that have been cut can be very sharp and may cause injury.
Protect your feet: If you’re using an angle grinder in a work environment or home workshop, you should wear steel capped safety boots or shoes. This will protect your toes from injury if you happen to drop a piece of masonry or steel on them as you’re using the angle grinder.
Wear an apron: The sparks generated by this particular tool can be intense. If you value your safety, you should wear a leather apron so that the sparks don’t damage your clothing.
An angle grinder can be had for a low price if you look hard enough, but never confuse its low price with the fact that it is a serious tool. Angle grinders can certainly be dangerous if you’re not careful.
What Kind of Angle Grinder Should You Buy?
If you’re looking for an angle grinder, there are plenty on offer. Investing in a small angle grinder can be of great benefit, especially one that has a lithium battery. These types of angle grinders can be useful when portability is the number one priority.
Seven Angle Grinders to Consider
If you’re in the market for an angle grinder, here are seven to consider:
1) Craftsman Angle Grinder
This small angle grinder is notable due to its relatively svelte size. Its size should certainly not undercut its power though.
Accommodating disc sizes of 4.5 inches, this small grinder offers a full six amps of power. This is more than enough to cut through masonry when required. It also generates up to 12,000 RPMs, which is impressive for the size of this tool.
Quick disc change: The Craftsman features an easy to use spindle lock that accommodates fast changing of discs.
Three position handle: Apart from the comfortable contouring on the handle, it also features three separate positions, which allows anyone to use this angle grinder in different ways and still remain comfortable and safe.
Tool free guard: The guard is a necessary safety feature of all angle grinders, but this one can easily be adjusted without having to use an additional tool, making it quick and convenient at any time.
Low price: This small angle grinder provides excellent value for the money.
Not ideal for every job: The size of this grinder and the power on offer means that it won’t be suitable for every single job. It may not be suitable for bigger tasks, such as cutting through thicker metal.
This is an excellent unit to choose if you’re looking for a small angle grinder.
One of the smallest angle grinder models in this list, the Bosch weighs less than four pounds, making it ideal for daily use where fatigue may be a concern. Despite the small size, it still offers six amps of operation and 11,000 RPMs of grinding power.
Two handle operation: Offering a side auxiliary handle, as well as a top handle, the Bosch is comfortable to use.
Tough and durable: Featuring a dust proof mechanism over the switch and an epoxy coated exterior, this small angle grinder is tough and durable for long-term use.
Having only one operational speed means that it may not be as flexible as some other grinders
This may not be the smallest angle grinder on this list, but it certainly offers a lot of power for the money.
Offering up to 7.5 amps of power, this grinder is definitely more powerful than many offerings. This also means that it can generate 11,000 RPMs.
Lightweight: Despite its power, this angle grinder only weighs four pounds in total. This makes it ideal for daily use where fatigue could be a factor during long-term operation.
Disc adapter: Not all angle grinders can accommodate smaller and large discs, but this WEN model features a special arbor adapter that allows it to accommodate either 7/8 or 5/8 inch discs. If you already have a collection of discs, this may be a useful feature.
Reversible handle: We’re not all right-handed, which is why the reversible handle of the WEN is a great feature.
Useful inclusions: If this is your first angle grinder, the included discs and a carry case will be of interest.
This angle grinder is louder than many on the market
Some people find that it isn’t as well balanced in the hand during operation
The metallic exterior of the SKIL boasts durability despite the fairly low price.
As with many angle grinders, the six-amp motor offers 100,000 RPMs and is suitable for most angle grinding tasks. The SKIL may not be a premium model, but the tough metal housing for the gears suggests otherwise.
Compact: It may not be the smallest angle grinder, but the sleek design is compact and comfortable to hold and use.
Vibrations no more: The handle of this model features vibration reductions, which makes it ideal for regular use.
Good value: The SKIL is one of the least expensive angle grinders to feature metal gear housing and comfort features, making it an excellent value for the money.
Even though other angle grinders come with included discs, this one does not, which may be problematic for some people
Some users have found that this model is underpowered for heavy duty tasks
A cordless angle grinder is ideal if you want a compact grinder that is portable.
The NoCry grinder features a 20 volt rechargeable battery that can generate 10,000 RPMs. This slightly lower power than competing models means that it won’t be suitable for all tasks, but is ideal for someone at home.
The battery features fast charging in under two hours, which makes it very convenient
The included four-year warranty is twice as long as many other competitors, making it a good investment
The paddle switch on and off trigger right near the fingers makes it very easy to turn on and off
As one of the smallest angle grinder models, this one may not have the power to complete heavy tasks
If you need an angle grinder, there are plenty of great choices on the market. The angle grinder itself is a relatively new kind of power tool, but it’s entirely possible to find a good one for a very good price. Just make sure that you adhere to all of the safety guidelines and invest in the one that’s powerful enough to do all of the tasks required. If you are interested in other small appliances, check out our compact garbage disposal guide.