Are Angle Grinder Blades Universal? | Things You Should Know. Angle grinder blades
WHAT ARE THE BEST CUTTING DISCS FOR STEEL ?
DIY users approaching projects in the metal fabrication field, where steel cutting is required, always have an initial question on what is the best abrasive product to efficiently cut through both stainless steel and mild steel. There are a few key determinants to selecting both the appropriate power tool for your project, and the most effective steel cutting abrasive for your project. For DIY users these factors depend largely on what type of material needs to be cut, the thickness of the metal that needs to be cut, and the accessibility of the metal area that needs to be cut. We aim to go through the best abrasive for the job below.
Best Power Tools to Cut Steel
Steel can be cut with a variety of power equipment, depending on the shape of the steel that needs to be cut. A bench mounted, drop saw will fit a 14” 350mm or 16” 400mm cutting blade, and this is most suitable for heavier steel work as the chop saw can cut through almost any metal with the correct cutting blade.
A bench mounted drop saw is particularly useful for cutting repetitive lengths of steel quickly and accurately. The limitation with this tool is that it will only cut at a straight 90º angle. For thin, fiddly auto work, a rotary or air tool may be your weapon of choice. These are particularly useful power tools to get into those hard to reach areas where heavier, bulkier tools cannot be manoeuvred. You can also cut metal with a hacksaw, however this is much more intensive work for something a power tool can do in a fraction of the time.
However, the most popular and versatile power tool to use to cut steel is an angle grinder, due to its size, affordability, and portability. An angle grinder can be purchased in a range of sizes to suit different sizes abrasive cutting discs. Each angle grinder will operate at a different RPM to suit the respective disc, therefore it is important not to fit an incorrect sized disc on an angle grinder. They will also have a guard that should never be removed to accommodate a wheel that is not meant for the grinder size.
An angle grinder includes a spindle washer and spindle nut that you’ll install in different configurations to accommodate thicker or thinner wheels or remove altogether when screwing wire wheels and cups onto the threaded spindle. The most popular angle grinder sizes in Australia for both professional fabricators and DIY users are 4″ 100mm and 5″ 125mm.
Choosing Profile of Cutting Wheel
There are two types of common cutting wheels to suit an angle grinder: Type 1, which is flat; and Type 27, which has a depressed centre.
Generally speaking, Type 1 wheels offer more versatility, especially when cutting profiles, corners or anything that requires the operator to cut up and over two different planes of cutting surface. Type 27 wheels, on the other hand, are ideal for getting into tight corners or overhangs. The depressed centre of a Type 27 wheel provides the extra clearance sometimes needed to get the job done. It is strongly recommend that the general DIY user purchases a flat Type 1 cutting disc which is the more popular type of wheel.
Choosing Grain and Quality in Cutting Wheels
The most popular grain used in the manufacture of abrasive cut-off wheels is aluminum oxide. This is a softer bond that results in a cut that is fast, smooth and easy-to-control.
These aluminium oxide cutting wheels can be purchased in INOX grade quality, which means the abrasive wheel contains no iron and therefore has the ability to cut both stainless steel and mild steel. If the cutting disc does not specify for use on Stainless Steel or have INOX stamped on the label, then it is most likely only suitable for mild steel cutting. As stainless steel is one of the harder types of steel to cut, a disc that cuts through stainless steel will cut through all types of metal including aluminium, sheet metal, rebar and other mild steels.
Choosing Thickness of Cutting Wheels
Cutting discs are available in different thicknesses, and the type of wheel you select depends on the type, shape and thickness of the steel that needs to be cut. For standard everyday jobs on either stainless or mild steel using an angle grinder, choose a 1mm or 1.6mm thickness in your disc.
For projects that involve thin metal such as sheet metal, choose a 1.0mm or 0.8mm thinner cutting disc. These thinner discs will sheet metal faster and as such, minimise discoloration and leave less work in the clean-up of the surface of the metal once you’re done.
When working with Aluminium, best results it is recommended to apply cutting wax or other type of saw lubricant to the cutting disc to preserve the life of the blade and avoid chipping. For heavier steel cutting jobs where you need to cut through a significant thickness of metal, select a 1.6mm or 2.5mm thickness of cutting disc. However, it is important to note that thicker wheels cut slower and generate more friction and heat through the cut — often discolouring the workpiece and requiring additional steps to finish.
Tips on Using Cutting Wheels on an Angle Grinder
Rule number one when using an Angle Grinder is SAFETY. This means; the correct wheel for that sized grinder, appropriate safety gear ( safety gloves. face shield, safety glasses etc), let the wheel do the work – don’t push it, and pay attention to what you are doing. It is important to use even pressure and consistent motion through the cut. Let the wheel do the work and use the weight of the tool to complete the cut. Pushing too hard increases cut speed but also generates heat and friction, which ultimately reduces wheel life and can be very dangerous.
A good abrasive supplier will stock a range of cutting discs for mild and stainless steel to suit the bench mounted drop saw, angle grinder and air tool. At Smith ARROW, an Australian company, we stock cutting abrasives to suit all different sizes drop / chop saws. air tools, rotary tools. roloc tools and angle grinders. We sell very high quality cutting discs for the metal fabrication market.
Smith ARROW is the only abrasives range in Australia to receive INDEPENDENT CERTIFICATION for our entire range of cutting and grinding wheels (equal to or greater than 100mm diameter) as complying with Australian Standard AS1788.1-1987 from SAI Global. As a result, Smith ARROW has been licensed by SAI Global to use their “5 Tick” Quality Certification Mark – one of the most recognisable and respected Quality Marks in the world – on the labels and packaging of all of our cutting and grinding wheels within this range under both our Smith ARROW Brand.
Along with a wide and ever increasing range of high quality industrial consumables that represent amazing value for money for our customers, Smith ARROW supply cut off wheels to suit all steel, in a range of thicknesses to suit your preferred application. View our entire cutting disc range here.
Are Angle Grinder Blades Universal? | Things You Should Know
Angle grinder discs are universal and interchangeable, so it’s possible to change them based on the job and the angle grinder model. However, since there are various types of discs, choosing the best fit can be quite challenging.
Even if you own the best angle grinder. changing the grinder discs from time to time is inevitable because they will wear down eventually.
An average angle grinding disc or blade usually lasts around two years, so you need to change it accordingly. Since these grinder discs are universal and interchangeable, you can easily change them based on your job requirements. There are different sizes and types of angle grinder discs, so read on!
What’s An Angle Grinder?
Before discussing the different angle grinder discs and their universal quality, let’s talk a bit more about the machine. Angle grinders, also called disc grinders, are portable power tools for polishing and grinding hard surfaces such as wood, metal, or concrete. They are pretty common in industries and workshops and widely used for construction, metalwork, and emergency rescues.
Depending on the angle grinder model, the power source might vary, such as compressed air, electric motor, or petrol engine. That said, the handheld cordless variant is commonly used in practical applications for its easy portability. You can also consider the following qualities while looking for the best angle grinder:
Furthermore, the disc size will largely determine the choice of the angle grinder. The two most common sizes are – 4.5 inches and 9 inches. These discs are universal and interchangeable, so you can use them with any grinder model and change them based on your job requirements. It’s best to use the larger discs for heavy-duty tasks, while the smaller discs are more suitable for delicate applications.
What Are Different Types Of Angle Grinders?
There are different types of angle grinders designed for different applications. You must understand their structural and functional differences to choose the most suitable option. Not to mention, the choice of your angle grinder disc will greatly vary depending on the functions of these different angle grinder models.
Cordless Angle Grinders
These angle grinders are highly versatile and can be used in industrial and residential applications. Since they do not require any power outlets, you can easily carry them anywhere you want without hassle.
These grinders are handy for performing grinding tasks while on a scaffold or ladder because you need not worry about tripping on trailing electrical wires. However, choose cordless grinders with powerful and high-capacity batteries to prevent the machine from running out of juice in the middle of your work.
Corded Angle Grinders
You’ll need a nearby power outlet to use a corded angle grinder because, as you can imagine, it requires an electrical power source to work. The corded variants are much more lightweight than the cordless versions because the latter comes with batteries.
Furthermore, you can fit large and small grinding discs with most corded angle grinders. However, choose a grinder with a smaller disc if you want to use the machine for minor cutting or grinding jobs regularly. You should also consider a corded model’s ergonomic design and vibration control before purchasing it.
Pneumatic Angle Grinders
Pneumatic angle grinders are the perfect combination of durability and performance and are ideal for shaping or cutting metal workpieces and working on metal surfaces. These are used for light-duty tasks requiring intricate details and precisions.
over, pneumatic angle grinders work with compressed air as their power source and come with air compressor units. They are perfect for high-precision jobs and are significantly more lightweight than any other angle grinder variants. On top of this, some pneumatic angle grinders have throttle levers allowing superb performance control for technical jobs like speed grinding or feather edging.
Variable Speed Angle Grinders
As the name suggests, you can control the speed of the cutting or grinding discs in these angle grinders depending on your job requirements. Thus, these models are suitable for various tasks, from minor residential applications to heavy-duty commercial jobs.
For instance, you can set the disc on this angle grinder at a high RPM while performing any high-precision job allowing you to add intricate details. Some of these angle grinder models also feature paddle switches to better control the disc rotation speed.
The grinding wheel in a straight-angle grinder is set at 90 degrees, making it ideal for cutting or grinding sharp corners, inner surfaces, and outer edges.
All you have to do is change the grinding stones on the disc based on the surface and job requirements, and you’ll be good to go. Not to mention, the unique wheel angle makes this grinder a much better choice than any standard angle grinder while working on sharp edges and tricky nooks and corners.
What Are The Different Types Of Angle Grinder Discs?
Now that you know about the different types of angle grinders, it’s time to discuss the types of grinder discs you can use for different tasks. You must know about the functions of these grinder discs, so you can choose the correct disc while using an angle grinder for residential or industrial applications.
Silicon Carbide Grinding Discs
These grinding discs are specially designed to work on metal surfaces allowing effortless cutting and shaping of metal pieces. Such discs allow easy removal of sharp metal materials without damaging the surface while grinding or cutting. Not to mention, these discs minimize the preparation time for the cutting process, so you can save a lot of time without the subsequent processing of the surface.
Cut-Off Grinding Discs
Cut-off grinding discs are your best bet if you want to work on hard materials, such as metal piping, bolts, rods, and rebars. Their cutting rim is made to withstand high friction without ruining the surface. This cut-off wheel can also sharpen metal surfaces during high-precision tasks. You can choose a specific disc size depending on your job requirements and grinder model.
Ceramic Sanding Disc
No one likes to look at old and peeling paints on their lawn furniture or house walls. The ceramic sanding disc makes it effortless to remove old paint and prepare the surface for a new paint job. These discs are also quite popular in woodwork projects because you can use them for coarse and fine sanding without much hassle.
Abrasive Wheels And Discs
As the name suggests, such grinding discs or wheels are made of an abrasive compound to seamlessly perform abrasion and grinding functions on rough and hard surfaces. An abrasive wheel or disc comes with two features:
- The abrasive grains: Allowing efficient cutting, sharpening, or grinding
- The abrasive bond: Combining and supporting the abrasive grains for the cutting process
They work quite well on stone or metals and can pair with different machine sizes. Even though the primary application of these discs is material removal, you can use them for the preparation and finishing of metal and stone surfaces.
Wire Brush Wheels
The wire wheels work exactly like a traditional wire brush but with much more power and efficiency. You can use a wire wheel on metal or masonry to remove rust or paint and prepare the surface. These wire wheels are also quite effective in removing burrs from rough-cut metal pieces.
Diamond Cutting Discs
If you’re confused about choosing what angle grinder blade for concrete surfaces, the diamond disc can be your best choice because it is specially designed to work on granite, concrete, masonry, and tiles. These discs and wheels have small diamonds fixed in their cutting rim, allowing you to cut through solid concrete surfaces effortlessly.
However, you must select the appropriate disc sizes depending on your power tool model and cutting technique. You can select a small diamond disc around 4.5 inches if you have smaller grinders for minor DIY household applications. These diamond discs are also suitable for wet and dry cutting.
Aluminum Oxide Grinding Wheels
Wood is much softer and more brittle than metal, stone, or concrete surfaces, so you have to use a specific type of grinding wheel while cutting or grinding wood. These oxide-based aluminum wheels and discs are ideal for woodwork projects and cutting crumbly materials, such as cutting boards, without damaging the surface.
A flap disc works almost like a wire brush but comes with flaps instead of wires. The flaps allow a seamless combination of the welding beads with the metal disc for effortless cutting and grinding.
Angle Grinder Blades Final Thoughts
The best and most effortless way to cut or grind hard surfaces, such as metal, concrete, stone, or wood, is to use an angle grinder. Whether you’re working on a DIY household project or a large-scale industrial project, you can choose any angle grinder model and grinding disc to get the job done.
The choice of the grinding disc will largely depend on your job requirements and the material you’re working on. Diamond discs are undoubtedly the most durable and sharpest among all grinder discs and work well on concrete and masonry.
But since angle grinding discs are interchangeable and universal, you can consider using other discs of different sizes to cut or grind different materials. Whichever grinder disc or power tool you choose, read through the safety features to avoid any serious injury.
How to Change an Angle Grinder Wheel
We show you several ways of how to change an angle grinder wheel. You can do this in any number of ways—even if you’ve lost your spanner wrench. Don’t worry, all hope is not lost!
Note: Want to see a video of how to change an angle grinder wheel using these same methods? Check out our YouTube tutorial!
How to Change an Angle Grinder Wheel with a Spanner Wrench
Here’s how to change a grinder wheel with a spanner wrench:
- Locate the wheel lock button (usually on the top). Press it down and rotate the wheel until you feel it lock into position.
- With the button held down, place the two knobs of your spanner wrench into two opposite holes on the flange holding the wheel in place (the flange is the round nut-looking piece that holds the wheel in place.
- While pressing down the wheel lock button, turn the spanner wrench counter-clockwise until you feel the flange loosen.
- Hand thread the flange off.
- Slip your new angle grinder wheel on, and reverse the process.
How To Use An Angle Grinder. Ace Hardware
How to Replace an Angle Grinder Wheel Without a Spanner Wrench
Sometimes you misplace your spanner wrench – it happens a lot unless the wrench stores on the tool the way Skil’s PWRCore 20 angle grinder does.
Here’s how to change an angle grinder wheel without a spanner wrench:
- Hold down the wheel lock button and turn the wheel until it locks in place.
- With gloves on, grab the wheel and turn it counterclockwise until you feel the flange release.
- Hand thread the flange off.
- Swap the wheel and reverse the process.
This method works, but there are a couple of considerations. First, I’m not as confident in tightening the wheel by hand, so I always use a spanner wrench to make sure it’s tight enough.
Second, thin abrasive cutting wheels are more prone to breaking or weakening with this method, so we don’t recommend you try it with those. You could inadvertently create a situation where your cutting wheel fails with dangerous consequences.
Many Pros do another take on this by running the wheel against concrete to loosen it rather than by hand. Either way works and carries the same warnings. I personally find loosening by hand easier.
The Easiest Way to Replace a Grinder Wheel
My favorite way to replace an angle grinder wheel involves switching out the stock flange with a Hilti Kwik-Lock flange. We originally used on Hilti’s 36V grinder and find it an excellent upgrade for any model that has the same 5/8-inch arbor.
The genius of it is a design that allows you to hand thread and tighten/loosen with just your bare hand. It’s perfectly secure and super-simple.
In the event your grinder wheel helps tighten it down too much, two holes let you get a spanner wrench in to work it back off.
Here’s the easiest way to change an angle grinder wheel:
- Hold the wheel lock button down and turn the wheel until it locks.
- Turn the Kwik Lock flange counterclockwise by hand until it loosens. You’ll feel some spring tension movement first before it breaks free.
- Hand thread the flange off.
- Swap the wheel and reverse the process.
The downside is that these flanges cost a little more than 50 each. That might be too steep for a DIYer. Having a couple of these on hand for Pros that use grinders often can make life easier, though.
How to Use your Diamond Blade with an Angle Grinder
Undoubtedly, there is a very high demand for diamond blades across various world industries today.
Diamond blades are uniquely crafted and usually have diamond fittings designed to help them get a firmer grip on hard materials. The diamond blade can be an excellent addition to your angle grinder, primarily if you use the machine in heavy-duty capacities.
In this article, we’ll learn about the diamond blade’s effect on your angle grinder and look at some tips on how to use your diamond blade with an angle grinder.
Working direction and angle grinders – pros and cons
Section 1: Introduction to the Angle Grinder
The angle grinder is a portable power tool used to grind and polish hard surfaces. It is also loosely referred to as the disc or side grinder in some quarters.
Angle grinders enjoy an unrestricted multi-functionality that keeps them useful across numerous industries today, including; ceramic, concrete, wood, PVC PIPE, etc. Various types of angle grinders are available today, and you can use them all with diamond blades.
When talking about power tools, the angle grinder is one of the most widely used power tools in the world today and is available in various sizes. However, the hand-held version is the more popular because of its flexibility.
The angle grinder is a very versatile machine and can with various fittings and accessories. This versatility makes it immensely popular among other power tools and useful across multiple industries.
There are different types of angle grinders, and all are very widely used in the world today. Some of them are listed below;
- Electric Angle Grinder
- Battery-Powered Cordless Angle Grinder
- Pneumatic Angle Grinder
- Gas-Powered Angle Grinder
There are various things to be wary of while using your diamond blade with an angle grinder. Undoubtedly, fitting your angle grinder with a diamond blade is a welcome addition that will profoundly affect your machine and whatever activity you carry out with it.
Here are a few things to note while using your diamond blade with an angle grinder.
- All diamond blades should examine for defects and or damages before fitting on the angle grinder. It would be best to check your diamond blades out before installing them on an angle grinder to avoid all unnecessary complications while using your machine.
- Diamond Blades are abrasives and should, therefore, be handled with care. If not handled with care, your diamond blade tends to become worn out and experienced reduced service life.
- Always endeavor to avoid fitting a blade that is too tight or loose on your angle grinder. Finding blades that are the perfect size for your machine is crucial. When one is too tight or loose, it also leads to complications and will affect your machine’s performance.
- Store your diamond blade on a flat rigid surface or specially designed racks. You can also hang small diameters on a peg for safety. The safety of your diamond blade and angle grinders should be paramount, and if you do not consider this, it will be harmful in the long run.
- Always keep your machine’s protective guard in place and ensure that it is properly adjusted to direct debris away from you. Safety is a big issue regarding angle grinders and diamond blades. Keeping your machine safe also includes maintaining a protective guard at all times.
- Always replace damaged or distorted flanges before fitting the diamond blade on your angle grinder. Always run routine checks on your machine to single out damaged or distorted parts of the device and fix them before you get to work.
- Always remove the diamond blade from the angle grinder before storing your machine or transporting it to another location.
Section 3: Benefits of Using your Diamond Blade with an Angle Grinder
Combining your diamond saw blades with angle grinders offers great long-term benefits. Some of them are listed below and can help you greatly in your numerous endeavors.
Longer Life Span
Using a diamond blade with your angle grinder gives you a longer life span as diamond blades are much stronger than conventional blades. Diamond blades have strong wear resistance and can help your angle grinder last longer.
Another exciting benefit of using the diamond blade with an angle grinder is the quality of performance associated with using the diamond blade.
Diamond blades have very high resistance and cause less heat during usage. The diamond blade can absorb more heat than other blades and is perfect to use with an angle grinder.
Diamond Blade: Cost-Effectiveness
The efficacy of the diamond blade makes it very cost-effective due to the tremendous reduction in equipment wear and tear and operating time. It makes the diamond blade cheaper to use with your angle grinder for extended periods.
Section 4: Diamond Blade: Feedback
Over the years, I have helped some colleagues transition from conventional angle grinder usage to using the diamond blade with it. Here is what some of them have to say;
My angle grinder is a huge part of my construction activities. Over the years, I have learned how to save costs using the diamond blades with my angle grinder. It helps me to cut back on the cost of wear and tear and improves the efficacy of my angle grinder over an extended period. Since I switched to using diamond blades with my angle grinder, I’ve experienced profound changes in my machine performance, and I look forward to many more years with my angle grinder.
Section 5: Call to Action
The angle grinder is a very productive machine, and understanding how to use it best is a plus, especially if you’re well-rooted in the field.
Using your angle grinder with a diamond blade is a decision you will not regret undertaking and is sure to improve the performance of your machine over an extended period. One of the best decisions you’ll make today is to navigate through here and surf through some of the best diamond blades in the market currently.
Diamond blades are the most reliable in the market and can cut through the hardest material known to man.