Out of all the different types of grinders available, by far the most common and widely used ones are angle grinders. Ask any handyman which tool do they turn to when it comes to cutting, grinding or polishing, and chances are he’ll say the angle grinder. This handheld power tool is powered by one of three possible ways: an electric motor, a petrol engine or compressed air.
You can find an angle grinder Australia wide in hardware stores, home improvement stores, or online. Depending on what you intend to use the angle grinder for, the models will vary. Typically, the most common uses for angle grinders are blade sharpening, mortar removal and sanding away or grinding away excess stone, mortar or metal.
The disc sizes of the grinder can vary. The most common disc size for angle grinder Australia wide are 115mm, 125mm, 150mm, 180mm and 230mm. As a general rule of thumb, the smaller the size of the disc, the faster it will operate. For instance, a 115mm grinder will operate at roughly 10000 RPM, whereas a 230mm angle grinder will operate at roughly 6500 RPM. Because of this, the smaller discs also tend to wear out faster than the larger ones, but they’re cheaper so there might not be any advantage or disadvantage to this.
Furthermore, the angle grinders operate on either 110V or 230V AC, and their wattage typically ranges from 500 to 2500 or more watts. The higher the wattage of the grinder – the more power, and the more powerful the grinder – the larger it will be. However, bigger is not always better, as the size comes for the price of maneuverability and comfort.
Angle grinders are typically comprised of:
- a side handle (it is attached by a screw and can be placed to either side of the grinder to accommodate both left and right-handed users);
- a spindle lock (it locks the spindle when the disc needs to be swapped);
- a dead man switch (it should be held in the ON position in order for the grinder to work. In case the user lets go of the grinder, the grinder will automatically turn off, preventing injury).
Besides the aforementioned components, you should also look for:
- vibration damping handles which reduce the vibrations of the grinder;
- safety clutches which disconnect the disc in case it gets jammed;
- a soft start mechanism which will reduce the “kick” the grinder has when first switched on.
These components or features make the grinder a safer tool, and it’s highly recommended that you pay attention to them when buying.
Grinders are very useful and versatile tools, but they are also very dangerous, therefore, they should be treated with caution. Don’t put the grinder down after use before the disc completely stops rotating. Also, wear all the necessary protection gear, including: a face mask, gloves, eye protection and ear defenders. Make sure to protect yourself, especially if you’re working on metals, which produce a lot of sparks when being worked out, since they can be painful on your skin and may cause a fire hazard if they fall onto something flammable.