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How To Use an Angle Grinder

Aug 17, 2007
If you weld or fabricate metal, you know how important an angle grinder is from start to finish. Grinders are available in variety of sizes. So it's important to choose a size that is appropriate for the task at hand. Larger grinder can cover more area with their larger wheels but are heavier and can cause fatigue. A smaller size may be more appropriate and manageable for smaller jobs.

Each wheel has an rpm rating. Be sure that the wheel has a rating equivalent or greater than grinder's maximum no-load rmp. Toolprice provides fast grinding wheels at a reasonable cost. This recommended level is usually on a tool's nameplate. The variety of wheels you can equip grinders with (wire, wire cup, stone, sanding, flapper, and diamond masonry joint blades) makes them highly versatile. Selectin the proper wheel is not only a safety measure but also lends to better control and efficiency. Some manufacturers label wheels with symbos to designate the right applications.

Angle grinders are used for metalwork and fabrication such as grinding down welds. They are also used in construction, and for masonry projects such cutting concrete, or chasing crack along a wall. They are commonly used in workshops, service garages and auto body repair shops. Angle grinders can be dangerous due to the high rpm involved and the sparks and bits of metal that fly off as they cut. Another danger is a cutting disk can explode when improperly used, so eye protection must be used.

While these risks can cause serious injury, use of proper safety gear will greatly reduce the risk. Because angle grinders use a light weight abrasive disc, most injuries are not threatening. Even an exploding disc tends to produce a nasty scrape or "road rash" type injury, rather than the serious injuries possible with tools such as a circular saw.

Safety equipment should be worn while using this, or any power tool. Goggles or a face shield should always be worn along with ear protection. A respirator is recommended, especially when grinding toxic materials like lead based paint. Gloves and long sleeves have pros and cons in terms of protective value and risk. More brittle metals can produce shards and splinters that may stick in the hands and arms while grinding, but this is not common. Gloves and long sleeves should be tight fitting, as loose cloth actually poses a greater threat: it can catch in the wheel and pull the operator's hand into the blade.

Grinder manufacturers are continually making modifications for improved safety, comfort, and better performance. For example, some new angle grinder models have cut vibration by 60%. The vibration reduction handle system was first offered in small angle grinders and is now available in larger angle grinder models.
About the Author
Joe Russell is the new products editor for Toolprice. You can learn more Toolprice at http://www.toolprice.com
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