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Your angle grinder is a powerful tool but without the right discs, you wouldn’t be able to achieve much with it. While an angle grinder won’t necessarily cost you the earth, these tools don’t always come with discs and other things you need to get started. So, you have to purchase your discs separately, especially if you want something a little more specialist.
If you’re new to using this type of tool, you may be wondering where to begin when choosing between the hundreds of angle grinder discs on the market. In this guide, we will be discussing everything you need to know to be able to confidently choose the right disc for the job.
Types Of Disc And Their Uses
One of the things that makes an angle grinder such a useful tool is that it can be used for so many different things. However, in order to complete these different jobs, you must ensure that you have the right discs or blades mounted to your tool.
If you do not use the correct type of disc, you risk damaging both it and your angle grinder as well as not achieving the results you were hoping for. The type of disc you will use will depend on the task at hand and, if like many people, you want to put your angle grinder to use in various ways, it may be worth investing in several different types. So, let’s get better acquainted with them.
Aside from their main use as a grinder, angle grinders make excellent cutting tools, especially for various types of metal. While it is possible to cut wood with these tools, you do need a special blade and we would always suggest going for a proper wood saw.
A cutting disc, sometimes known as a cut-off disc will make light work of cutting through metal sheets and metal poles. Furthermore, they are ideal for shortening bolts and cutting out welds. These discs are thin as this design helps them to create a much more precise cut but this also makes them much more hazardous.
When using a cutting disc, you must be mindful when changing the position of your tool as any sudden movements can cause the discs to shatter. For this reason, it is imperative that you always use the correct safety gear when cutting with this type of disc. What’s more, it is essential to choose good quality discs as opposed to being tempted by less expensive products.
As its name may suggest, the primary function of an angle grinder is to grind. This type of job requires its own disc but even here, there are different shapes and sizes to choose from depending on what you are trying to achieve. When choosing the right size of grinding disc, you should not only pay attention to the job you are doing but also the size of the angle grinder.
The grinding disc is mainly used to grind away materials when there is an excess that needs to be removed. The grinding disc is also ideal for removing little cuts and many workers will use this disc to prepare a metal surface before welding. Moreover, the action created by a grinding disc is frequently used to sharpen metal tools, such as those used in the garden.
When you are shopping for a grinding disc, you will notice that details about its ‘grit’ are given. This refers to how smooth and hard the disc is, in a similar way to how sandpaper is measured. When the grit number is higher, you’re getting a disc that is not as coarse whereas a low number tells you that the disc is very coarse. Typically, a lower grit will get things done more quickly but will create a rougher appearance to the material. Moreover, this level of grit is prone to creating more sparks, so safety should always be paramount. That said, a higher grit number disc will give you a smoother finish with fewer imperfections.
Once you have finished grinding, you may need to finish off the surface as there will probably be scratches. But you can still achieve this using the same tool provided you attach a flap disc. If your material is left with burrs and scratches, these can make handling it risky since they can cause cuts. Your flat disc, which is typically a lot smoother than a grinding disc, will easily remove these giving you a smooth, even surface.
To look at, and when you think about the job that they do, it would be easy to assume that flap discs are the same as grinding discs. However, you will notice a difference in smoothness and these types of discs are really only used for finishing. That said, much like a grinding disc, the flap disc comes in a choice of grits with higher grit numbers indicating a smoother disc.
One of the most common uses of the angle grinder is to remove mortar that sits in between masonry. When doing this type of work, a very specific kind of blade is needed and that is where your mortar rake will come in handy. You will typically use this type of blade when weatherproofing or repointing
Much like other types of angle grinder disc, the mortar rake is measured in grit but you can also get non-bladed mortar rakes that are perfect for jobs that require a little more precision.
It is vital to keep in mind that when using a mortar rake, a lot of dust will be created. If this is inhaled it can cause health problems so when using this type of disc, always be sure to wear a face mask.
If you are tackling materials that are difficult to cut such as certain types of hard stone or concrete, a regular cutting disc won’t stand up to the challenge. A diamond blade is made with diamond edges, although these are usually synthetic, and this robust design makes cutting through challenging materials much easier.
These are among the sharpest angle grinder blades and feature a cutting rim which dictates how durable the blade is. A higher cutting rim means that you will get a lot more usage out of any given blade. It is important to go for the highest you can as when cutting things like granite, you are going to need a very resistant blade.
One of the great things about diamond blades is that they can be used for cutting both wet and dry materials.
Polishing discs, which are sometimes called polishing pads are used to put the final touches on your material and will polish the surface to a high shine. You’ll often see these being used in auto body shops but they have a wide range of uses besides. That said, it is important to use these types of discs in an angle grinder with variable speed as polishing may require different speeds depending on the individual job.
While many of the other types of angle grinder discs are quite abrasive, these polishing discs are much softer and will provide you with a gentle polishing action. They do come in various shapes and sizes as well as featuring various materials. The type that you go for will highly depend on the look you wish to achieve.
If you are working with a piece of material that needs a little care and attention then attaching a wire wheel to your angle grinder is an excellent option. These discs are designed for cleaning a piece of metal and removing rust. They’re also brilliant for removing paint from the surface of the metal before you start working on it.
Unlike other types of angle grinder discs, the wire wheel is made up of a series of bristles attached to a circular base. While they do come in different designs and sizes, what you really want to be looking out for is the texture and density of the bristles as this will determine what jobs the disc is suitable for.
Wire wheels with bristles that are twisted and thick are typically much more abrasive providing you with a quicker way to complete the task. However, this does make them more aggressive so if you need a more delicate approach then going for a wire wheel whose bristles are straight and fine will be a better option.
When it comes to using your angle grinder for different jobs, using the same disc every time won’t produce the results you are looking for. What sets these tools apart from the rest is that they can be used for so many different tasks, so always be sure to choose the right disc for the job you are doing.