LAST UPDATED: 5th January 2023 by The Editorial Team
Summary: Step by step guide and video showing how to use an angle grinder safely, use an angle grinder to cut metal, use a grinder to clean rust or paint and use a grinder to sharpen blades.
Using an angle grinder
Grinders have a very wide range of uses, from cutting and grinding metal to sanding, polishing and sharpening. The other uses can involve tasks such as routing out mortar and cutting other tough materials such as masonry, concrete and tile. A very powerful tool; the grinder should not be used lightly. All safety and correct handling procedures should be observed.
Despite its power and dangerous reputation, the grinder is a very useful tool that can complete jobs that would otherwise take several minutes or more in just a few seconds.
Angle grinder tips
- The ability to attach various different wheels to the grinder is what makes it able to take on so many different tasks. You should know the wheel you need for the job you are about to undertake. It is also important that the grinder you purchase or hire is powerful enough for the task. For tougher jobs look at grinders with more powerful motors.
- If you want to remove rust, dried cement, tough grime or old paint from metal surfaces, you can attach a wire wheel. There are a variety of wire wheel brushes that can be used to suit your particular job. Some jobs with small crevices will need smaller wire wheel brushes.
- Cutting through solid metal will require a metal cut-off wheel. Attach this to the grinder and allow the weight of the machine to cut through the metal.
- Safety is of paramount importance. You should wear face mask and gloves at all times. Make sure that you unplug the grinder when changing wheels. Angle the way you work the grinder so that any debris flies away from you and people around you. Use the guard whenever you can.
Using an angle grinder to sharpen blades
- Sharpening blades is another useful application for this tool. You can use a grinder to sharpen garden tools, such as a spade or an axe. You can also you use a grinder to sharpen lawn mower blades, or similar blades.
- Fit the blade that needs to be sharpened into a clamp or vice so it will not move.
- Adjust the grinder guard so it deflects the sparks away from you.
- Before you start make sure the wheel of the grinder spins away from the blade you are sharpening.
- You will want the grinder wheel to meet the blade angle. Turn on the grinder, letting the wheel get to full speed before coming into contact with the blade.
- Slowly and lightly slide the grinder across the blade in order to sharpen the edges. When in contact with the blade make sure you move the grinder in one direction, rather than back and forth, keeping it at the same angle throughout.
- Make sure you have a bucket of water and cloth ready to keep the blade cool. Overheating can cause the blade to blunt quickly.