How to use an angle grinder

How to use an angle grinder

Learn how to use an angle grinder and understand what an angle grinder is used for with our helpful guide to mastering this popular power tool.

What is an Angle Grinder Used For?

An angle grinder is a handheld electric tool that can be used for a variety of jobs including cutting, grinding and polishing.

  • Cuttings metal bars and rods
  • Cutting tile and stone
  • Cutting brick and concrete
  • Metal cleaning and restoration

If you learn how to use an angle grinder properly, you can make quick work of cutting tile, concrete or metal, as well as restoring metals by sanding, polishing, and sharpening.

For best results, there are a wide selection of angle grinder sizes which match specific cutting or grinding accessories, suited to each material and application.

Can an Angle Grinder Cut Anything?

Predominantly, an angle grinder is used for either cutting or grinding metal or masonry materials.

For example, an angle grinder can be used to cut metal items such as tube, bar, plate and sheet as well as masonry items such as paving slabs, brick and concrete blocks.

It is their ability to handle different cutting/grinding discs and accessories that makes angle grinders so versatile to use. Understanding how to use an angle grinder correctly, will depend on the user matching the correct accessory to the material, for safe and effective cutting results.

Angle Grinder Vs Straight Grinder

It is helpful to differentiate between types of grinders when choosing the best tool for the job.

Here are the key features of an Angle Grinder Vs Straight Grinder:

  • An angle grinder typically has a long straight body/handle with a metal gearbox at the end which converts the drivetrain by 90° and drives an abrasive or diamond disc. 
  • An angle grinder incorporates a spark guard to protect the user from sparks and debris. 
  • A straight grinder, or more commonly, a die grinder, is typically a long straight bodied tool which has a small chuck on the end and is typically used for de-burring metallic materials, grinding back weld lines or fine sanding of metallic parts. 

Cordless Angle Grinder

The most common types of angle grinder tools are powered by electricity; either corded or battery powered.

Cordless grinders can be used for the exact same applications as corded grinders, as they are typically produced in the same sizes and produce a similar RPM. 

Going cordless, battery pack operated will give you the freedom to move when using your angle grinder for handiwork. A cordless angle grinder, such as the Ryobi 18V ONE+™ R18AG-140S 115mm Cordless Angle Grinder Starter Kit is perfect for sharpening blades, removing rust, cutting patio slabs and so much more.

Operated by a two stage non-lockable switch for enhanced user safety makes this the perfect tool for DIY novices as well as more experienced users.

✓ Featuring a three position handle for increased flexibility as well as better control when grinding or cutting.
✓ Two stage non-lockable switch for enhanced user protection preventing accidental start up
✓ GripZone+ overmould handle increases user comfort and control
✓ Using the inclusive 4.0Ah battery, the Ryobi R18AG-140S can deliver up to 46 cuts of 13mm threaded bar on a single charge. Considerations for Cordless Angle Grinders

What to Look For in a Cordless Angle Grinder

There are several angle grinder sizes to match different applications so you must ensure you choose based on the work you need to complete. 

The main things to look for in a cordless angle grinder are disc diameter, max RPM and switch type. 

Switch type can be an important feature depending on safety requirements and environment:

  • The two main switch types are Lock-On and Paddle/Dead Man Switch. 
  • A Lock-On switch can be locked on as the name suggests, freeing up the user's hands to control the tool. 
  • A Paddle switch must be constantly pressed or squeezed by the users hand or finger to ensure the angle grinder operates.  If the user lets go or the angle grinder is dropped, the switch s released which stops the tool from working. 

There are several types of angle grinder disc, but the three most common types are Abrasive, Diamond and Flap Disc:

  •  Abrasive discs are the most common and cheapest on the market.  They are produced to suit applications such as cutting & grinding metal. 
  • Diamond discs are best suited to cutting masonry materials such as concrete slabs & blocks, sandstone and brick.  Diamond discs are not used for grinding. 
  • Flap Discs are typically constructed with a composite material base with sanding pads adhered to the structure.  This type of disc is typically used for grinding weld lines, removing rust and smoothing metallic objects before polishing.

Is a Brushless Angle Grinder the Best Option?

Another alternative may be a brushless angle grinder, so knowing whether a brushless angle grinder is worth investing in may come down to the battery life.

Brushless angle grinders’ battery life can be affected by several factors.  For the best runtime per charge, a brushless angle grinder with a high capacity battery such as 4Ah, 5Ah or 9Ah will give the best results.

If you use an angle grinder on a regular basis or need extra power then yes, brushless is the way to go.  Brushless grinders typically offer much higher RPM's when compared to brushed models, so will offer more power.  Brushless motors are much more efficient too, resulting in longer battery life per charge.

Choosing the Best Angle Grinder

If you need to cut or grind metal, or cut paving slabs or walling then an angle grinder is worth investing in. We have a variety of angle grinders and accessories to fit each model, suitable for your next DIY project.

Contact us today