What Is An Angle Grinder Used For: Making the Most Out of a Versatile Tool

Everyone usually owns a drill, circular saw, or an impact driver in their toolbox.

But what about an angle grinder? What is an angle grinder used for?

If you are working in metal fabrication, masonry, or working on different DIY projects, you may already know about angle grinders and are considering buying one.

So, if you want to know more about this portable yet powerful tool, let’s get right into it.

Table of Contents

    What Is an Angle Grinder?

    An angle grinder is a handheld power tool that, depending on the attachment or blade used, can buff, grind, cut, polish, sharpen, and clean a wide variety of materials, including metal, wood, stone, and tile.

    It is often powered by electricity, directly from an electrical outlet or a battery.

    With a powerful torque and an operating speed of roughly 12,000 revolutions per minute (rpm), the tool rotates the discs and can be switched between polishing and grinding metal.

    So, it’s crucial that you know how to use your angle grinder and set it up correctly before beginning each operation.

    What Is An Angle Grinder Used For?

    An angle grinder is the most versatile tool you may ever need among the power tools available in the market.

    It is a staple in every workshop or shed and can be used in copper, iron, brick, brass, stone, tile, or mortar.

    What’s more, with the right disc, it can replace other power tools and make even the most challenging tasks quicker and easier to do. That is why it is the perfect tool for many DIY projects.

    An angle grinder’s primary use is to grind metal, essentially smoothing out in a similar way a sander is used for wood.

    Think of the best angle grinders as highly powered multi-tools that can adapt themselves to many or all types of work.

    Over time, angle grinders have been modified for other functions, integrating cutters and other attachments that make it a tool that can be used for different purposes.

    Let us take a look at some of its common uses.

    1. Clean Metal and Remove Rust

    Using the correct attachment, this tool allows you to remove old paint and even rust from metal without harming the paint underneath.

    It is helpful around the house, especially when cleaning metal garden furniture or metal pipes.

    Many angle grinder discs made specifically to remove paint and rust are available.

    They resemble little circular scouring pads and are frequently constructed of silicon carbide, a ceramic material that resists corrosion.

    2. Cut Metal

    An angle grinder can easily cut metal if a cutting disc is used instead of an abrasive one for grinding.

    It’s often used to cut galvanized steel pipes and sheet metal and shorten metal fasteners, during the construction or remodeling of a home.

    Avoid using an angle grinder when cutting copper pipes. Pipe cutters are the best tool to utilize because they make a clean cut that will later be used for soldering pipes together.

    However, you may be putting a lot of effort to smoothen and straighten the cut without using an angle grinder.

    3. Cut Tiles

    There are several techniques to cut tiles, but not all of them work well for cutting smaller pieces with more precision.

    A small angle grinder, in particular, can be a terrific way to cut them, including holes larger than you’d need from just drilling into the tile.

    Another advantage of an angle grinder is that it can cut dry, which creates less mess than a wet tile cutter.

    However, you must be careful to use the right cutting disc, particularly if you’re choosing between different types of stones, porcelain, or ceramic tiles.

    As a general rule of thumb, serrated blades are perfect for natural stone, while notched blades work best for porcelain.

    Lastly, flat diamond-tipped blades are ideal for ceramic tiles.

    4. Sand

    Sanding is another way to use an angle grinder tool. It can be used to provide intense sanding for a variety of materials, including metal and wood.

    Angle grinders tend to be better for taking on difficult sanding operations.

    They can have a flapper disc or sanding discs, which makes sanding hard surfaces easier.

    However, it can take a lot of time when used on wood, especially with a finer grit.

    5. Sharpen Tools

    You can use an angle grinder tool with abrasives discs to sharpen bladed instruments and knives that have become blunted through the years.

    You can use it to sharpen chisels, scrapers, garden tools, lawn mower blades, and every tool with sharp edges.

    This gives you the chance to get more use out of these items, saving you money by not having to buy more and reducing waste.

    However, it is crucial to use it properly. The abrasive disc must match the blade’s angle exactly.

    You also need to watch out that the metal tool doesn’t get too hot from being near the spinning abrasive disc.

    If this happens, you will just make the instrument blunter and less effective.

    Before using an angle grinder to sharpen any tools, firmly clamp the tools into a vice. Keep it cool while in use, keep the disc moving on the blade, and dampen it with water.

    learn what is an angle grinder used for

    6. Remove Mortar

    It is difficult to remove mortar without damaging the bricks. Hence, an angle grinder helps in getting the job done.

    You can replace the mortar on your house to keep away insects and stop leaks and drafts.

    Use a thick abrasive grinding disc or a masonry cutting wheel that can handle soft masonry work to start chipping away at the mortar lines between the bricks.

    The little disc easily fits through these openings, and with careful handling, the majority of the mortar may be entirely removed without ever coming in contact with the brick.

    Then, all that is needed to considerably reduce heat loss and perhaps lower your energy costs is to simply fill the mortar joints with fresh mortar.

    7. Cut Concrete and Pavers

    An angle grinder with segmented diamond-tipped discs will be able to cut concrete. Everything from cutting pavers for landscaping to cutting blocks can be done with this.

    You can either wet cut or dry cut; wet cutting is often better for more intricate cuts and is less taxing on both the user and the blade.

    8. Polish

    Several angle grinder models come with polishing attachments that can be used in polishing metal, making old, scratched metal shiny and look almost new.

    Although you can polish anything by hand, utilizing an angle grinder will speed up the process.

    Using a lower speed setting, a polishing wheel can improve the finish of the metal and enhance its color.

    The smoothing process removes fine layers from the metal, giving it a clean finish.

    Polishing wheels are made of soft materials, like cotton, and they actually add a layer of polish to get an immaculate finish on smooth metal surfaces.

    But remember that smoothing and polishing take more time and patience than grinding.

    How to Choose the Best Angle Grinder

    With the many uses of an angle grinder, you must ensure you have the best tool you get your hands on.

    Thus, before buying your angle grinder, here are some things that you need to consider:


    Angle grinders come in two main varieties: corded and cordless, just like other power tools available in the market.

    There are also pneumatic angle grinders, but most people who make their own home improvement utilize them in professional auto shops.

    Obviously, corded angle grinders require you to keep them close to an electrical outlet.

    In exchange, you get more power and have less of a worry about running out of power while using it.

    On the other hand, cordless types are quite adaptable, especially when working in small spaces.

    The main problem is that the battery will probably die before you are done with your task.

    Hence, having an extra battery will allow you to use one while the other charges.


    An angle grinder’s spinning disc is measured for speed or rotations per minute (rpm).

    However, the speeds listed by manufacturers are often the top speeds the tool can reach when not “loaded,” for instance, while actively being used for sanding or grinding.

    Remember that the disc gets hotter as the speed increases.

    Never run a disc faster than the maximum speed specified for the particular disc, as the disc could fracture and cause serious harm.

    Most smaller angle grinders have variable speed controls so that you may adjust the speed to your needs.

    Their maximum speeds typically vary from 5,000 to 11,000 rpm. In contrast, the maximum speeds of larger angle grinders are often lower, frequently in the 5,000 to 8,000 rpm range.

    Disc Size

    Most DIY makers prefer smaller instruments that accept 4-1/2-inch or sporadically five-inch discs as their preferred angle grinders.

    These angle grinders are lightweight, small enough to fit into tight locations, yet powerful enough to do the majority of common grinding, sanding, and sharpening jobs around the house, yard, and garage.

    Angle grinders of this size range are available in both corded and cordless varieties.

    On the other hand, the power of angle grinders that use seven-inch or nine-inch discs is greater.

    However, they are also heavier and more difficult to maneuver in confined locations. Most of these types are almost all corded.

    How to Use an Angle Grinder Safely

    Since an angle grinder’s motor may spin at faster speeds than drill motors, keep the following safety measures in mind:

    • If this is your first time using the machine, it is crucial that you thoroughly read and follow the manual.
    • Wear the appropriate protective equipment, such as safety shoes, glasses, and gloves, to prevent accidents.
    • Always keep away from bystanders, especially children and pets.
    • Make sure you unplug the grinder before changing the grinding wheels.

    Where to Use Angle Grinders

    What is an angle grinder used for? Well, angle grinders have a huge range of applications.

    It is an excellent investment because it can be used for various tasks, regardless of whether you work in metallurgy or carpentry.

    Simply choose the motor size, power, and attachment that are ideal for your needs. However, always prioritize your safety when using this tool.

    With such strong and adaptable equipment at your disposal, it is simple to hurt yourself unintentionally.

    Be sure to wear safety gear and hold it firmly to avoid any kickback.

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