How To Use An Angle Grinder Correctly

How To Use An Angle Grinder Safely

This hand tool has become indispensable in various fields, especially in construction and metalworking. With its help, labor productivity is increased. The emergence of a large number of different attachments has led to a significant expansion of the functionality of the device.

But not all workers who regularly use it in their work know how to use an angle grinder correctly. It should be borne in mind that non-observance of the elementary rules of safe handling of the angle grinder is fraught with very dangerous injuries, sometimes fatal. Compliance with the operating instructions will help to avoid this. Tool integrity, the use of suitable personal protective equipment and the correct selection of discs for cutting and grinding various materials are important in preventing injury.

How To Use An Angle Grinder Correctly

Protective equipment used

The user must wear the following personal protective equipment while operating the angle grinder:

  • Protective mask or goggles that cover the eyes from all sides;
  • Gloves made of thick fabric or leather;
  • Special footwear (whole, stable) and work clothes;
  • A respirator that will provide protection against the penetration of small particles into the respiratory system when cutting concrete, glass or ceramic tiles, brick, porcelain stoneware, foam block, stone and other dusty materials.

When working with an angle grinder, the use of protective equipment is mandatory. It helps you work safer.

Which way the angle grinder can be cut

Before you start cutting the material, you should figure out which direction the angle grinder should turn: sparks from yourself or towards yourself. There is no definite answer among users, they work in both ways. If the nozzle rotates counterclockwise, the sparks (as well as the broken circle) fly in the opposite direction from the operator, but the recoil of the tool during jamming will occur to the user. In the second case, everything happens the other way around. For safety reasons, it is considered that correct rotation is when sparks fly towards the operator, because when the tool is jammed, the jerk of the tool will be in the opposite direction.

In any case, manufacturers recommend that the movement of the angle grinder and the rotation of its wheel be in the same direction. This greatly reduces the possibility that the disc will come out of the slot during workflow. But with this method, the markings on the material are often hidden by flying sparks.

You can change the rotation of the nozzle by moving the handle and cover to the other side. This is the simplest option (if possible). A more difficult way is to make changes in the electrical circuit of the device. But it doesn’t always help.

When cutting, it is necessary that the work plane does not change, and there are no distortions. Discs should be used according to the material being processed. So, concrete, tiles, stone are cut using circles of different diameters with diamond spraying.

How an angle grinder should not work

Safety when using the angle grinder should come first. According to it, it is prohibited:

  • Perform work manipulations without PPE;
  • Works in light clothing that does not completely cover the body (arms, legs);
  • Use a machine that is not equipped with a spark protection cover;
  • Without checking the performance of the tool at idle speed, start using it;
  • Work with a disc that is defective or unsuitable for the material;
  • Located in the plane of the cut;
  • Press with force on the tool;
  • Work so that the direction of rotation of the circle is towards the operator;
  • Do the work without taking breaks, because the hands get tired and it is difficult to hold the angle grinder firmly;
  • So that the workpiece to be processed is not fixed (for example, in a vice or clamps);
  • Sharpen metal parts with the side of the disc;
  • Cutting workpieces with a thickness exceeding half the radius of the circle used;
  • Finding unauthorized persons in the working area;
  • Touch the attachments until they cool down because they get very hot when cutting and grinding from friction;
  • When deepening the circle into the workpiece, turn on the tool;
  • Grind with thin discs;
  • Use attachments with a larger diameter than the angle grinder is designed for;
  • Position the workpiece so that the circle is pinched when cutting (the cut should be for breaking, not squeezing).

Safe use of a saw in an angle grinder is ensured by the fact that it is replaced only when the device is disconnected from the mains.

Operations that can be performed with an angle grinder

The angle grinder is a multifunctional tool. The drive mechanism in it is an electric motor, which, through a gearbox, transmits movement to a shaft with a replaceable nozzle attached to it. A general view of the device is shown in the photo below.

There are models on the market that differ in power and design:

Angle Grinder (Angle Grinder) FT-1318

Professional large angle grinder 230mm Stern AG230B

Powerful devices are powered by a three-phase voltage of 380 V, and household devices are powered by a single-phase 220 V. There are also low-power battery models.

An angle grinder (angle grinder) can do the following main types of work with various materials:

  • Cutting;
  • Grinding;
  • Polishing.

The angle grinder is designed to work with the following materials:

  • Concrete;
  • Metal;
  • Tree;
  • Glass;
  • Ceramic tiles;
  • Stone;
  • Brick;
  • Plastic.

The angle grinder is widespread both in everyday life and in industrial conditions. This is due to their broad functionality due to the following factors:

  • A large selection of different attachments from different materials to perform various operations;
  • Possibility of motionless fixation using special fastening devices;
  • Availability in some models of additional handles and several high-speed modes of operation.

At the same time, you must constantly remember that only special discs are used for processing each material.

General safety rules

Handle the angle grinder correctly to reduce the possibility of injury when working with the angle grinder. It is necessary to comply with the following rules of use:

  • Always use personal protective equipment. Operator’s health must be in good condition.
  • Before work, it is necessary to check the correctness and reliability of the casing fastening so that it does not fall off in the process, and sparks do not fly off to the operator.
  • Use only whole discs without defects (cracks, chips, fractures) and strictly as intended for processing a specific material.
  • A protective shield must be located between the operator and the circle to provide protection if the latter is destroyed.
  • Before starting work, you need to check the performance of the tool at idle for about 1 minute: uniformity of rotation at maximum speed, no vibration.
  • Before use, inspect any attachments to determine their suitability for use.
  • It is necessary to protect objects that can ignite from sparks with an asbestos or ordinary damp cloth: oily rags, fuels and lubricants, paper, solvents, ropes.
  • It is required to constantly securely fix the working attachments so that they do not fall off.
  • If it is possible to control the speed of rotation, set the speed recommended for cutting or grinding the working material.
  • Cut the tree very carefully, as hitting a branch can cause the tool to jerk out of the hand.
  • It is forbidden to install attachments from a circular saw due to the fact that they are designed for a different spindle speed.
  • Hold the tool with both hands.
  • Before starting work, it is necessary to remove all unnecessary and make sure that there are no objects on the cutting plane, except for the workpiece.
  • Take regular breaks from work.
  • If the working attachment is stuck, turn off the tool immediately.
  • Maintain a stable (balanced) body position.
  • The power cord must be kept away from the rotating part so as not to cut it or cause a short circuit.
  • Only after a complete stop of the circle is it allowed to release the tool from the hands.
  • When moving around the workplace, turn off the angle grinder, and this must also be done when turning off the supply voltage.
  • Only cut at full speed.
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The stated safety measures have been developed by manufacturers of angle grinders, as well as by special organizations (services) involved in labor protection.

A person working with an angle grinder must be adequate and in a balanced psychological state.

How to cut pipes

If it is necessary to work with pipes of great length installed on supports, then it is their hanging edge that should be cut. If this process is carried out between the supports, then the pipes will begin to bend under their own weight, which will lead to jamming of the disc.

In the process of work, it is not worth a lot of effort to apply to the tool. This can cause overheating of the device itself, as well as damage to the disk. After the cut has been made, a special disc is used to process it, but not the one used to cut the pipes.

How to cut an angle grinder correctly

It is necessary to cut tiles, metal, stone and concrete with different circles intended for a specific material.

Wood sanding

Sanding wood with an angle grinder involves three steps:

  • Preliminary preparation. If there are traces of varnish or paint on the surface, they must be removed before sanding. This requires an angle grinder with a special roughing attachment.
  • Rough sanding. For this stage it is necessary to use grinding and polishing wheels. If there are no such in the arsenal, you can take a regular disk and fix an emery wheel to it.
  • Fine grinding. If such a grinding is necessary for a wooden surface, to organize it, it is enough to put a zero grinding wheel on the disk.

How to choose an angle grinder

Choosing the right angle grinder is a guarantee of high-quality and durable tool performance. Therefore, the acquisition process must be taken quite seriously, paying attention to its main parameters: the diameter of the cutting blade and the power.

Most often, buyers are afraid to purchase professional models, choosing units with low power. However, this is completely unfounded! The fact is that it is precisely in machines with low power that discs are often jammed when the device simply cannot pull it out.

Professional models are safer to drive than low-powered ones.

Therefore, for beginners, the best choice would be a tool with a power of 900-1000 W, with a spindle speed of about 10,000 rpm and with 125 mm discs. Such technical characteristics make it possible to saw iron.

For working with metal surfaces, it is better to use models that are designed for a 115 mm disc and are powered by a battery. However, as practice shows, their considerable cost does not always justify itself in household use.

If the selected model suits you in terms of technical characteristics, but it is inconvenient to keep it in the process of work, you should think about another option.

Features of work

Using this tool requires following several guidelines.

  • It is necessary to hold the tool with both hands during work. This will allow you to hold it in case of a possible return impact and minimize its displacement.
  • Work should only be done on a flat surface without feeling out of balance.

Only hold the angle grinder with two hands, otherwise there is an increased risk of injury.

  • The power cord is located on the opposite side of the drive to prevent damage. A cut cord may not only cause a shockwave from the unit, but also cause a short circuit.
  • The tool is firmly gripped until the blade comes to a complete stop.
  • To change the cutting location, turn off the angle grinder. Otherwise, the surrounding objects may be accidentally hit.
  • In the event of a power outage, it is imperative that the instrument itself be disconnected from the network. This is done so that when electricity is supplied, it does not start work without operator control.
  • The process of work heats up the discs to a significant extent, therefore, after turning off the angle grinder, they must not be touched until they have completely cooled down.

How to cut metal

Protective cover is able to protect the operator in case of damage to the disc.

If you need to work with metal, but there are no relevant skills, it is better to practice on unnecessary metal products. In general, a number of recommendations must be followed:

  • It is safe to apply only radial forces to the circle. Changing the plane during the cutting process will cause it to break and create a risk of injury.
  • It is recommended to cut this material using the lower half of the blade (in particular its proximal part).
  • For long-term operation of the unit, it is necessary to take a half-hour break every 5 minutes.
  • It is possible to cool the discs and thereby extend their service by slightly watering the cut area.
  • When working with aluminum, drip kerosene onto the cut (if the sheet is thick).
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How to use an angle grinder: rules to follow

In the process of working with an angle grinder, some rules must be observed:

Wheels heat up quickly during operation, so do not touch them until they cool.

  • Hold the angle grinder firmly with both hands. If the tool is held securely, even a kickback will not cause the tool to move strongly.
  • Body position should be stable, balance should not be disturbed.
  • The power cord should be located away from the circle that rotates. This is to ensure that it is not cut or caught by the disc. In this way, short-circuiting or stopping of the disc can be prevented.
  • The angle grinder should not be released from the hands until the wheel has completely stopped. This should be done in order to avoid any third-party elements snagging around.
  • If you need to move from one place to another, the instrument must be turned off. The circle can grab clothes and other items.
  • If a power failure occurs during operation, you will need to turn off the angle grinder so that when power appears, the tool does not suddenly start working.
  • During operation, the circles will become very hot, so they should not be touched until the moment they cool down.
  • During work, no strangers should be in the room, because flying fragments and sparks can harm them.
  • The wheel must only come into contact with the material being processed at full speed, otherwise it may start to jam.
  • Grinder manufacturers recommend cutting so that the movement of the tool and the rotation of the wheel are the same. This will prevent the wheel from exiting the slot. Most of all people working with this tool break this rule. This is due to the fact that with such cutting, the sparks that fly out from under the circle will hide the markings, and this may make it impossible to drive a circle along the mowing line, which was planned.
  • During the cutting process, it is necessary to ensure the correct placement of the tool. The cutting line must pass by the user. When the wheel is jammed, the jet motion of the angle grinder will pass to the side.
  • The guard must be located between the user and the tool.
  • Do not press on the angle grinder while cutting. The cut should be carried out smoothly, by the own power of the tool. Overloading can lead to a skewed wheel and the likelihood of wheel jamming. The user must necessarily correct the stroke of the angle grinder by lightly pressing on it in the necessary places.
  • If you plan to cut profiles, then the cut should be started at a small cross section.
  • You cannot turn on the angle grinder if the wheel is in the middle of the material being processed.

Existing remedies

Figure 1. Masks and safety goggles used when working with an angle grinder.

During operation, sparks, abrasive particles, scales and various debris will appear that can get into the eye, which will lead to injury.

The glasses or the mask that replaces them must be covered. This is due to the fact that scales or sparks will fly along a complex trajectory, and therefore can fall behind a protective mask or goggles. It is recommended to purchase a mask that has a safety net. The blows from the fragments of the circle are so strong that an unprotected mask cannot withstand the blow. Masks and goggles can be seen in fig. 1.

The safety guard is the main barrier that stands between the user of the tool and the wheel that rotates at high speed. You should be aware that circles break quite often. Users who regularly use an angle grinder have experienced this at least once. In most cases, the destruction of the circle occurs in the process of clamping (jamming) it in the slot.

The protective cover should be installed so that sparks and scale are not emitted towards the user. In fig. 2 shows how the casing can protect in case the circle breaks during rotation. The fragmentation sector will be set by the opening in the protective casing.

Figure 2. Protecting the casing of the angle grinder if the wheel breaks during rotation.

The casing must be fixed in such a way that the possibility of its arbitrary reversal is excluded. In some cases, it may be inconvenient to work in the casing, however, remember that in no case should it be removed. If this is done, then the person working with the tool will not be insured against negative consequences.

There are other personal protective equipment available. Gloves or mittens are also mandatory elements for protection while working with an angle grinder. Hands will be located near the rotating circle, therefore they should be protected from sparks, debris and other elements. It is recommended to purchase thick leather gloves to protect your hands. Cotton products will not provide reliable spark protection.

A dust mask or respirator is used only if it is planned to process stone materials without the use of dust extraction devices.

Clothes must be narrow, well-tucked in. Loose parts can be tightened in a rotating circle.

How to use an angle grinder correctly?

Elements that will be needed for work:

  • Angle grinder with desired wheel.
  • Protective cover.
  • Safety glasses or mask.
  • Mittens or gloves made of thick material.

It is not allowed to pick up the instrument while unhealthy, tired or drunk. This will entail negligence, which is costly in the process.

What circles are allowed to use?

Each type of processed material has its own abrasive tool. It is not allowed to use circles that are not suitable for the corresponding type of operation.

Diagram of an angle angle grinder.

Under no circumstances should large discs be mounted on an angle grinder if they are not intended for this tool. Small-sized angle grinders have high rotational speeds when compared to large-sized machines. A large diameter circle (both new and used and reduced in diameter) may not withstand high speeds, as a result of which it breaks. This is dangerous because the protective cover must be removed to install a large diameter circle. Too much load from rotating a large diameter wheel can cause excessive bearing wear and shorten tool life.

Broken circles are not allowed. Such circles include those that have cracks, chips, dents, deviations from flatness or roundness. This leads to kickback and extensive damage to the circles with the formation of traumatic situations.

One of the most important safety requirements in the process of working with an angle grinder is the inadmissibility of using saw wheels in an angle grinder, which are intended for working with wood. This is due to the fact that there are a large number of tragic cases that occurred as a result of mounting saw wheels for working with wood on an angle grinder.

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Assembly diagram of angle grinder.

Wood is a heterogeneous material in which knots can cause kickback. Nails can also be found in this material. Angle grinder has high RPM, as a result of which the saw blade can quickly become dull.

After mounting the tool, you will need to check it at idle speed for at least 1 minute at maximum speed. During the process, the wheel should rotate freely without touching the protective casing. The vibration should be the same as usual.

How to use an angle grinder correctly?

The angle grinder is a traumatic tool. Despite this, this tool is used quite often, because the angle grinder is an indispensable assistant in many types of work.

Angle grinder device diagram.

How to fix processed materials?

Both hands are used when working with an angle grinder.

If the weight of the part that is being processed cannot guarantee its immobility during operation, then the material will need to be securely fixed with a vice or clamps on a heavy structure. In no case should you start work holding the part in your hands. This can violate several security requirements at once:

  • The angle grinder cannot be held with one hand, both hands must be used.
  • The workpiece must remain stationary.

As a result of improper fastening, the workpiece will certainly begin to move, which can cause the wheel to jam with a reverse impact.

In the process of laying the workpiece, it is necessary to exclude its bending, especially if this narrows the cut. If there is a bend, then the circle can be clamped in the cut, as a result of which a reverse impact will occur. A correctly installed part should have stops at the edges and in the cutting area.

Which angle grinder to choose

If you are faced with the question of how to properly work an angle grinder, then you should know that not only attachments are different, but also angle grinders. They are presented in different classes, including:

  • Industrial;
  • Professional;
  • Domestic.

The latter option is suitable for use for a limited time every day. A professional angle grinder can work for several hours every day. As for industrial equipment, it is a device that works almost tirelessly. The instruments are also different in appearance. Thus, the body can be supplemented with one or two handles as well as vibration-absorbing handles.

What is an angle grinder for?

When you look at modern angle grinders, you will notice that they are able to cope with many tasks, including:

  • Polishing;
  • Grinding;
  • Cutting glass, tiles, stone, plywood, concrete, brick and metal.

A specific abrasive tool should be used for each type of work and material.

General advice for working with an angle grinder

In order to understand how to work properly an angle grinder, you should familiarize yourself with the range of attachments, among which. Brushes and circles. The former are intended for polishing and cleaning surfaces. In this case, you can polish the welds and clean the metal from rust. Different circles can be used for different tasks, depending on the composition. Some can cut ceramics, while others are suitable for metal. You can familiarize yourself with this information by looking at the instructions on the disc or packaging.

Fire safety and fastening of parts

The operator needs to ensure that no one is in the cutting plane. Until the disc has come to a complete stop, do not let go of the tool. You should not touch the rig before it cools down. The working area should be free of flammable objects, namely:

  • Solvents;
  • Fuel;
  • Rope;
  • Rags.

If you are interested in the question of how to properly work an angle grinder, then you should think about securely fixing parts. Everything that is processed and cut must be fixed. As an exception, there are elements that will remain motionless under the influence of their own weight, this should include slabs and stones. The part can be fixed in a vice. In the absence of such an opportunity, you should use the help of a partner who will fix the workpiece or pipe with an adjustable wrench. It is forbidden to hold workpieces in your hands.

Rules and guidelines

After fastening the wheel, the tool should be started and checked in idle mode. Within 30 seconds, the equipment is run at maximum speed. If you have not noticed any extraneous sounds and vibrations, and the protective casing does not touch the disc, then you can start work.

Quite often, novice home craftsmen ask themselves how to work an angle grinder correctly. Before starting the manipulations, the operator himself should prepare, for this you need to wear:

  • Special clothing;
  • Safety glasses or mask;
  • Respirator;
  • Heavy gloves.

The operator needs to remove all jewelry, such as watches and bracelets, because they can be wound around a circle. You should not start work if you are tired or in AL-KOH drunkenness. Eliminated the use of saw blades for wood when working with an angle grinder.

Basic rules for cutting

When cutting a workpiece, it is important to make sure that you follow the basic rules. The line of the cut should pass by the person, but not rest against him. If the disc is seized, the jet propulsion of the equipment will bypass the operator. It is important to provide protection with a cover. It should be located between the employee and the circle.

There is no need to apply excessive pressure to the tool. The unit will be able to cope with tasks using its own weight. Whereas overloads will cause the circle to skew. The inclusion of the angle grinder when the disc is in the profile of the workpiece is excluded. You should start cutting the profile from the place where the cross-section is the smallest.

It is important to remember that a lot of dust will be generated when cutting tiles, concrete and stone. Respiratory organs should be protected from it. Some manufacturers produce hoods with a nozzle for a vacuum cleaner. You can also suppress dust with water, directing a jet into the cut. If you need to work on opening the wall, you must be prepared for the fact that reinforcement, pipe or cable can get under the circle. This will certainly cause kickback. Stay clear of the cutter line to avoid injury.