Next Day Delivery on 1000s of products

A Guide to Portable Angle Grinders

Angle grinder in use
8 June 2023 5 view(s)

Also known as a disc grinder, a portable angle grinder is a handheld power tool used for grinding, cutting, deburring, or polishing. It is a powerful tool, so it is vital that the user knows how to operate it safely and conducts sufficient maintenance to increase its lifespan.

The weight, size, power source, handle design, and guard can affect the tool's mobility, ease of use, and safety. Therefore, it's crucial to select a grinder that offers optimal portability and handling for the intended application.

But before we go into how you can use and look after your angle grinder, let us explain more about the tool and its benefits.  

What is a Portable Angle Grinder?

Portable Angle Grinder cutting metal

Whether you are a mechanic, plumber, carpenter, or an avid DIYer, you will find plenty of uses for your angle grinder.

You will need to change the disk of your grinder according to the task you wish to perform.

Use your angle grinder for a variety of tasks, such as:

  • Removing paint - An angle grinder is an effective tool to remove paint, particularly on metal, because it will not damage the surface beneath.
  • Removing rust - If you want to preserve healthy metal to prepare it for paint, you can use a wire wheel or brush attachment to remove layers of rust.
  • Removing mortar - Looking for a quick and efficient way to remove mortar from bricks? An angle grinder can effectively do this with a reduced likelihood of damaging masonry compared to chiselling.
  • Cutting ceramic tiles or stone - If you use a portable angle grinder with a cutting disc, an angle grinder smoothes tiles and stone, leaving clean, neat edges.
  • Cleaning metal - You can use angle grinders to clean tools like shovels.
  • Cutting and polishing metal - Angle grinders are compatible with all metals since this is their original intended use.
  • Sanding wood - Although angle grinders are unsuitable for intricate work, they can sand and shape wood, such as on large pieces of furniture.

Angle grinders are also used in emergencies by trained professionals, such as firefighters. 

The Benefits of Owning a Portable Angle Grinder

Man using Portable Angle Grinder

As you can see, you can use an angle grinder for various tasks.

Furthermore, an angle grinder will improve the quality of the results you achieve compared to other tools.

An angle grinder has many benefits, which are as follows: 

  • The tool is incredibly versatile, capable of working on metal, wood, stone, and other materials.
  • It is unnecessary to have many tools or to keep swapping them during a task; you can change the angle grinder disc (wheel) according to the job you are completing.

For example, you can use a diamond disc for cutting, or a flap disc to buff scratches.

  • By following the correct procedures, i.e. understanding how to use an angle grinder safely, you will find the tool reasonably easy to use.

Different Types of Angle Grinders

Row of Portable Angle Grinders

Which is the best angle grinder to use?

Well, there are various angle grinders to choose from, most of which are suitable for both amateur and professional purposes. 

There are also various ways an angle grinder can be powered. See some of the popular types of angle grinders below.

  • Air-Powered Angle Grinder - Also known as a pneumatic grinder, an air-powered angle grinder is powered by an air compressor. You can use this tool for long periods without worrying about it overheating.

Furthermore, you will be at no risk of having an electric shock with an air-powered grinder, so it is a handy tool if you're working in an environment with high moisture levels.

  • Corded Angle Grinder - Since you won't have to carry a battery, you should find a corded angle grinder light to use.

Additionally, corded tools tend to have a high power output.

  • Cordless Angle Grinder - A cordless angle grinder is a good choice if you require an angle grinder that you can easily transport. 

You won't have to worry about tripping over cables or accidentally cutting them during a task.

Safety Tips for Using a Portable Angle Grinder

Woman with safety goggles using a Portable Angle Grinder

To ensure you use your portable angle grinder safely and reduce the likelihood of any angle grinder accidents, below are some tips we recommend you follow:

  • Wear the correct PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), such as safety glasses, and remove any long, loose clothing or jewellery.
  • Check that you have the correct wheel size and type for the task. Follow the guidelines recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Fasten the discs properly. They can be loosened or tightened using a special pin wrench that comes with the grinder. The disc should not be overly tight, just a snug fit.
  • Warm up the angle grinder by letting it run for a minute before using it.
  • Use two hands when operating your angle grinder to ensure you have complete control of the tool.
  • Always use your angle grinder with its safety guards attached.
  • Ensure you stop and take regular breaks to rest your hands, which can prevent you from getting carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
  • Check that the disc has stopped rotating before putting the angle grinder down.
  • Never carry your angle grinder around while pressing the power button.
  • Remove the angle grinder plug from the socket before changing the discs.

How to Maintain and Care for Your Portable Angle Grinder

Clean Portable Angle Grinder before use

Weekly maintenance

  • You should thoroughly clean your angle grinder. Use a hose (on low pressure), a soft brush, and soap.
  • Blow on vents to remove any dust.
  • Ensure you spray heads and plates with the hose to remove dirt or build-up.
  • Check grinding heads, looking for any that are wobbling. If any are damaged, you will need to replace them.
  • Make sure you tighten any fasteners.

Monthly maintenance

  • Remove the grinding cover and check for damage.
  • Check wear and tear on the upper belt by tipping the machine back. Grab the grinding head and apply downward pressure to rotate the drum without allowing the head to spin. If the drum turns and the head does not, the upper belt is worn and needs replacing.
  • Test run your angle grinder in a tilted back position. If you hear any dissonance, replace the damaged component(s).
  • Inspect the carbon brushes. Replace them if they are less than 5mm long.
  • Check the 'STOP' function on your angle grinder (if applicable) to ensure it works as it should.

If you look after your angle grinder correctly, you will increase the tool's safeness and expand its life. 

Whether you need an angle grinder or other power tools, Heamar has a wide range available to order.

Related posts