An angle grinder is a powerful tool that can be used for cutting, grinding, and polishing various materials. It can also be dangerous if not used properly, as it can cause injuries from flying sparks, debris, or broken discs. Therefore, it is important to follow some safety precautions when using an angle grinder, such as wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
One of the most common questions about angle grinder safety is whether you should wear gloves or not. The answer is: it depends. There are pros and cons of wearing gloves when using an angle grinder, and the best choice depends on the type of gloves, the type of disc, the type of material, and the type of task.
Pros of Wearing Gloves
Wearing gloves can offer some benefits when using an angle grinder, such as:
- Protecting your hands from cuts, abrasions, burns, or infections caused by sharp edges, hot surfaces, or contaminated materials.
- Reducing the vibration and impact transmitted to your hands, which can cause fatigue, numbness, or musculoskeletal disorders.
- Improving your grip and control over the tool, especially if the handle is slippery or cold.
- Providing some insulation from electric shocks, if the tool or the material is live or has static charge.
Cons of Wearing Gloves
However, wearing gloves can also have some drawbacks when using an angle grinder, such as:
- Increasing the risk of getting your gloves caught in the disc, which can pull your hand into the tool or cause the disc to break or shatter.
- Reducing your sensitivity and feedback from the tool and the material, which can affect your accuracy, precision, and quality of work.
- Interfering with the operation of the trigger, switch, or guard, which can compromise your safety or efficiency.
- Causing discomfort, sweating, or allergic reactions, especially if the gloves are too tight, too loose, or made of synthetic materials.
How to Choose the Right Gloves
If you decide to wear gloves when using an angle grinder, you need to choose the right type of gloves for the job. Here are some factors to consider:
- The size and fit of the gloves should be comfortable and snug, but not too tight or too loose. The gloves should not have any loose threads, cuffs, or flaps that can get caught in the disc.
- The material and design of the gloves should be suitable for the type of disc and the type of material you are working with. For example, leather gloves are good for metal and stone, but not for wood or plastic. Cut-resistant gloves are good for cutting discs, but not for grinding or polishing discs. Wire mesh gloves are good for wire wheels, but not for abrasive or diamond discs.
- The level of protection and performance of the gloves should match the level of risk and demand of the task. For example, thicker and heavier gloves are more protective, but also more restrictive. Thinner and lighter gloves are more flexible, but also more vulnerable. You should also check the ratings and certifications of the gloves, such as ANSI, EN, or ISO standards.
Wearing gloves when using an angle grinder is not a simple yes or no question. It depends on various factors, such as the type of gloves, the type of disc, the type of material, and the type of task. You should weigh the pros and cons of wearing gloves, and choose the right gloves for the job. You should also follow other safety precautions, such as wearing eye and ear protection, using the correct disc and guard, inspecting the tool and the disc, and keeping a safe distance and posture. Remember, an angle grinder is a useful tool, but also a dangerous one. Use it wisely and safely.