What are the pros and cons of angle grinder?

An angle grinder is a handheld power tool that can be used for various tasks, such as cutting, grinding, polishing, and sanding different materials. Angle grinders are versatile, powerful, and portable, but they also have some drawbacks that you should be aware of before using them. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of angle grinder, and provide some tips on how to choose and use one safely and effectively.

The pros of angle grinder are that they are easy to use, versatile, powerful, and affordable. The cons of angle grinder are that they can be unstable, noisy, messy, and dangerous.

Pros of angle grinder

Easy to use

Angle grinders have a simple design that makes them easy to operate and maneuver. They usually have a trigger switch or a paddle switch that controls the speed and power of the tool. They also have an adjustable guard that protects the user from sparks and debris. Angle grinders can be used with one hand, and they have a small-diameter barrel grip that provides comfort and control.

Versatile

Angle grinders can be used for a wide range of applications, depending on the type and size of the disc or attachment that is attached to the tool. Angle grinders can cut, grind, polish, and sand various materials, such as metal, wood, concrete, tile, stone, and more. They can also be used for tasks like removing rust, paint, and mortar, sharpening blades, and cleaning surfaces. Angle grinders can accept different types of discs, such as abrasive, diamond, wire, flap, and sanding discs, as well as brushes, wheels, and pads.

Powerful

Angle grinders are powerful tools that can deliver high speeds and torques, depending on the model and the power source. Angle grinders can be corded or cordless, and they can have different power levels, measured in amps, volts, or watts. Corded angle grinders are usually more powerful and consistent than cordless ones, but they require a power outlet and a cord. Cordless angle grinders are more portable and convenient, but they depend on batteries that need to be charged and replaced. Angle grinders can have speeds ranging from 5,000 to 12,000 revolutions per minute (RPM), and torques ranging from 6 to 13 newton meters (Nm).

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Affordable

Angle grinders are relatively affordable tools that can be found in most hardware stores and online platforms. The price of an angle grinder depends on the brand, quality, features, and accessories that come with the tool. Angle grinders can cost anywhere from $30 to $300, depending on these factors. However, you can find a decent angle grinder for around $100 that can perform most common tasks.

Cons of angle grinder

Unstable

Angle grinders are not very stable tools, as they have a single rotating disc that can create a lot of force and vibration. This can make the tool hard to control and steer, especially when cutting or grinding hard or thick materials. Angle grinders can also kick back or bind when they encounter resistance or obstacles, which can cause the tool to jerk or slip out of the user’s hand. This can result in injuries or damage to the material or the tool.

Noisy

Angle grinders are noisy tools that can produce a lot of sound and noise when they are in operation. The noise level of an angle grinder depends on the speed, power, and type of the disc or attachment that is used. Angle grinders can have noise levels ranging from 80 to 120 decibels (dB), which is equivalent to the sound of a jet engine or a rock concert. This can be harmful to the user’s hearing and cause annoyance to the surroundings. Therefore, it is recommended to wear ear protection and avoid using angle grinders in residential areas or at night.

Messy

Angle grinders are messy tools that can create a lot of dust, sparks, and debris when they are used. The dust, sparks, and debris can fly in different directions and land on the user, the material, the tool, or the environment. This can cause health problems, fire hazards, or damage to the equipment or the property. Therefore, it is advisable to wear eye protection, gloves, and a mask, and to cover or remove any flammable or sensitive objects from the work area. It is also important to clean the work area and the tool after using an angle grinder.

Dangerous

Angle grinders are dangerous tools that can cause serious injuries or accidents if they are not used properly or safely. Angle grinders can cut, burn, or electrocute the user or other people if they come in contact with the rotating disc or the power source. Angle grinders can also break or shatter if they are overloaded, overheated, or dropped, which can result in flying fragments or parts that can injure the user or others. Therefore, it is essential to follow the safety precautions and instructions that come with the tool, and to use the right disc or attachment for the job.

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How to choose and use an angle grinder

If you are looking for an angle grinder, there are some factors that you should consider before buying one. These include:

  • The size and type of the disc or attachment that you need for your project. Angle grinders can have disc sizes ranging from 4 to 9 inches, and different types of discs for different materials and purposes. You should choose a disc that matches the material, the task, and the power of the tool.
  • The power and speed of the tool. Angle grinders can have different power levels, measured in amps, volts, or watts, and different speeds, measured in RPM. You should choose a tool that has enough power and speed for your project, but not too much that it can damage the material or the tool.
  • The power source and cord length of the tool. Angle grinders can be corded or cordless, and they can have different cord lengths. You should choose a tool that suits your work environment and your mobility needs. Corded angle grinders are more powerful and consistent, but they require a power outlet and a cord. Cordless angle grinders are more portable and convenient, but they depend on batteries that need to be charged and replaced.
  • The features and accessories of the tool. Angle grinders can have different features and accessories that can enhance the performance, safety, and comfort of the tool. Some of these include:
    • A variable speed control that allows you to adjust the speed of the tool according to the material and the task.
    • A soft start feature that reduces the initial torque and prevents the tool from jerking or kicking back when it starts.
    • A spindle lock that allows you to change the disc or attachment quickly and easily.
    • A side handle that provides extra grip and control over the tool.
    • A dust extraction system that collects the dust and debris from the work area and prevents them from entering the tool or the user’s lungs.
    • A carrying case that protects the tool and its accessories from damage and makes it easy to transport and store.
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Once you have chosen an angle grinder, you should follow some tips on how to use it safely and effectively. These include:

  • Read the manual and follow the instructions that come with the tool. Learn how to operate, maintain, and store the tool properly.
  • Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, such as eye protection, ear protection, gloves, and a mask. Avoid wearing loose clothing, jewelry, or long hair that can get caught in the tool.
  • Check the tool and the disc or attachment before using it. Make sure they are in good condition and compatible with each other. Replace any damaged or worn parts.
  • Secure the material and the tool. Clamp the material to a stable surface and hold the tool firmly with both hands. Keep the cord or the battery away from the disc or the power source.
  • Start the tool and let it reach full speed before touching the material. Apply gentle and steady pressure and move the tool along the material. Do not force or overload the tool. Stop the tool and let it stop completely before setting it down or changing the disc or attachment.
  • Clean the work area and the tool after using it. Remove any dust, sparks, or debris from the work area and the tool. Store the tool and its accessories in a dry and cool place.

Conclusion

Angle grinders are useful tools that can help you with various projects, but they also have some drawbacks that you should be aware of. By understanding the pros and cons of angle grinder, and by choosing and using one correctly, you can make the most out of this versatile and powerful tool.