Are you looking for a hand tool that can perform multiple operations like cutting, grinding, polishing, and sanding and save lots of effort and time besides achieving precision and flawless finish? Then you must use the Angle Grinder, which is highly versatile and convenient to use. DIY enthusiasts cannot do without this tool. Even if you might think about omitting any other tool from your toolbox, you can never do without the angle grinder. The name of the tool bears hint about the way the grinding wheel or cutter attaches to the device at the right angle to the gear head. Although it is easy to use and control the angle grinder, you must know the safety precautions besides knowing the most common size of the equipment that can meet your multipurpose needs.
A variety of angle grinders are available in the market at various price points. The level of usage, your budget, and experience in handling the equipment, determines which one is right for you.
Types of angle grinders
Angle grinders mostly derive their power from electricity, although it can also be driven by compressed air (pneumatic) or gas.
The electric angle grinder is the most popular hand tool as it draws power from an electrical outlet or battery. It means that you can buy corded or cordless equipment depending on your use by considering that the corded machines are heavy duty. Cordless angle grinders are suitable for light and medium-duty applications, which make it ideal for DIY users.
Gas-powered angle grinders are for heavy-duty operations and mostly used in construction sites as it can cut through bricks, steel, and blocks. The equipment is robust, and its use is also complicated, making it suitable for industrial use.
Pneumatic or compressed air driven angle grinders are the ones you see in most auto shops. Compressed air supplies the power to drive the tool, and it suits professional use because of its high price and professional design.
Angle grinder for home use – size and features to look for
Small Angle grinders best suit domestic use, and you can choose a wheel size of 4 inches or 41/2 inches and the overall length of the tool about 12 inches. These are available in electrical and pneumatic versions, and you can choose the corded type if you go for the electric variety. The range of wheel diameter for small angle grinders is between 3 inches and 7 inches.
Since convenience of use is the top priority for DIY users, the angle grinder must be small and lightweight with low or no maintenance. Motors with brushes need more maintenance as the brushes need frequent replacement, and to avoid it, choose angle grinders with brushless motorsthat does away with the changing of brushes. They prolong the tool’s life besides allowing cordless models to run more efficiently while keeping it cool.
The kickback brakes provided with the tool bring the wheel to a dead stop in its track if the moment it senses some obstruction. This will prevent the possibility of the tool wrenching from your grip due to sudden disruption.
Chose a tool with a two-stage trigger that requires switching safety switch off before the trigger can start the tool. The safety arrangement lowers the risk of accidental starts that can mostly happen when changing the discs.
The tool must have some vibration control to reduce the uncomfortable feeling during continuous use and prevent numbness that can develop when using it for a long time.
A variable-speed tool is most preferred because you can control the speed with the trigger to ease off if you want to go slow with the polishing disc or due to heat buildup.
Aspects to consider when buying an angle grinder
- Motor power – The type of use determines the motor power of angle grinders that ranges from 500 watts to 2500 watts and consumes current from 4 amps to 15 amps. Usually, a 1000-watt motor should suffice for routine domestic maintenance jobs.
- Disc size – The motor power of angle grinders has a direct relation to the disc size, meaning grinders with bigger discs have high powered motors. Disc sizes can vary between 3 inches to 9 inches, but for grinders with discs smaller than 4 inches, you must go for a pneumatic angle grinder.
- Speed ratings –The speed of angle grinders can vary between 5000 rpm and 10,000 rpm, but for domestic use, machines with lower speed should be good because handling high-speed tools require a professional skill. High-speed machines are risky if not handled correctly.
The handle of the grinder should be an essential consideration because the handle size relates to the safe handling of the tool. Choose an adjustable handle that allows using both your hands when operating the tool.