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How Often Do You Need To Replace Your Angle Grinder Disc?

Angle grinder with sparks coming off the disc
29 August 2023 490 view(s)

If you decide to purchase an angle grinder, you have a tool enabling you to cut and polish metal and various other materials. However, the angle grinder discs you use can influence its effectiveness. 

Worn discs can have various repercussions on your work and safety, such as reducing your control over the tool. To prevent this, replace the disc when damaged or worn out. 

But how do you know when the disc needs changing?

Whether you own a portable angle grinder or a larger equivalent, we explore when to change your angle grinder disc to maintain those exceptional results and what signs of damage to look out for.

Angle Grinder Disc Types

Man using angle grinder

When using an angle grinder, you must use the correct disc to gain the best results. For example, grinding discs (grit discs) are ideal for sharpening garden tools and preparing metal for future welding. Diamond-cutting discs, on the other hand, can cut materials like granite.

Always ensure you unplug your angle grinder before trying to replace the disc to prevent accidental injury. If you have a battery-operated tool, remove the battery before changing the disc.

Angle Grinder Disc Sizes

Angle grinder cutting fencing

Various sizes are available, and each tends to last for different durations. The typical disc sizes include the following:

  • The 115mm/4 1/2inch disc
  • The 125mm/5 inch disc
  • The 150mm/6 inch disc
  • The 180mm/7 inch disc
  • The 230mm/9 inch disc

Be aware that if you use smaller angle grinder discs, they usually need replacing more often than their larger counterparts. However, they are also a less expensive option.

When to Replace Your Angle Grinder Disc

1. Unusual Vibrations When Cutting

Angle grinder in use

One clear sign that your angle grinder disc may be worn-out or damaged is the presence of unusual vibrations during operation. While some vibration level is expected, excessive or irregular vibrations can indicate a compromised disc.

A damaged disc can significantly reduce your control and accuracy while cutting. The vibrations can make it challenging to maintain a steady hand, leading to imprecise cuts or even accidents.

Pay close attention to your angle grinder during operation to detect unusual vibrations. Stop using the tool immediately if you notice excessive shaking or wobbling motions. Inspect the disc for signs of wear, such as cracks, chips, or uneven surfaces.

2. Reduced Cutting Speed

Angle grinder cutting marble

Whilst still functional, a damaged or worn disc operates slower than its newer, intact counterparts. If your angle grinder disc doesn’t work as quickly as it once did, it may need replacing.

Whether you use your angle grinder professionally or at home, the slower speeds reduce productivity and efficiency, meaning you must work harder and longer to obtain the desired results.

To identify this issue, see if the angle grinder cuts through materials slower or takes more effort. A sharp angle grinder disc should meet little resistance when it cuts through a material, so the blade may be dull and need replacing if this is not the case.

3. Unfamiliar Sounds When Operating

Angle grinder cutting sheet

When using an angle grinder, paying attention to its sounds is crucial. Strange or unfamiliar noises during operation can indicate a problem with the disc.

One common cause of unusual sounds is loose or damaged components. If you hear rattling or grinding noises, it may suggest that the disc is not securely fastened or that the flanges holding it in place are damaged.

Ignoring these sounds can have profound implications. Loose components may lead to sudden disc detachment, posing a significant safety risk. Damaged or worn-out discs compromise performance, resulting in a lower-quality finish or uneven cuts. 

Recognising and addressing these unusual sounds is essential for ensuring the effectiveness of your angle grinder.

4. Visual Damage or Signs of Wear and Tear

Angle grinder cutting paving

Even if your angle grinder doesn’t make strange noises or vibrations, you may see visible damage indicators on the disc. 

Look at the disc and see if anything is out of place. Are there any cracks or chips? Are there any other abnormalities about the disc you can find?

These signs of wear and tear or damage can lead to less control over the tool and, therefore, an increased risk of injury or accident.

If the edge of the disk feels smooth, the blade has worn down, and the disc needs replacing. However, if you intend to identify the disc’s quality in this way, be aware that the edge is naturally sharp and can pose a risk of injury if it doesn’t need replacing.

5. Expiry Date of Cut-Off Wheels

Cutting wheel next to angle grinder

Like many other tools and materials, cut-off wheels have a limited lifespan. Various factors, including shelf life and the deterioration of bonding agents, determine the expiry dates assigned to cut-off wheels.

The expiry date indicates when the performance of the wheel may be compromised, posing potential risks. To find the expiry date, check the labelling on the wheel packaging. The date is often printed or stamped on the disc or its container. 

If you cannot find an expiry date or it has worn off, you should replace the disc.

Always prioritise safety by adhering to the recommended replacement guidelines. By replacing expired discs, you ensure optimal performance, minimise potential hazards, and enhance the longevity of your angle grinder.

Featured Product: Mirka CSD Disc 100x13mm

Mirka CSD 100x13mm cutting disc

For those wanting to remove rust and paint, the Mirka CSD Disc 100x13mm is the ideal solution. It has a maximum of 8000 RPM and can effectively cut material without leaving scratches.

You can also use this disc to remove spray or oxide from acid-proof or stainless materials, especially if on a welded joint.

Angle grinder discs are a crucial part of this tool, but you must ensure they are in optimal condition to get those perfect results. Knowing the signs of wear and tear allows you to identify when your tool needs an angle grinder blade change so you can get back to work as soon as possible.

If you change your angle grinder disc, ensure you do so safely. For example, unplug the grinder first and wear the correct protective equipment.

For those looking for other power tools, Heamar have a wide selection available to find the right equipment for your project.

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