Often a handyman will need to do some polishing, cutting or grinding, and in those times an angle grinder is his most trusted ally. Most commonly found in auto garages, construction sites or metalworking shops, this power tool smooths any unwanted or excess material and makes cuts or indentations. Essentially, the angle grinder is the tool that applies all the power, but the piece of equipment that actually does the dirty work of grinding and cutting are the grinding discs.
The important thing to know is that even though you can use the same angle grinder for years on end, angle grinder discs are expendable items that you’ll need to replace regularly. Moreover, different types of jobs call for different disc grinding. For that reason, there are specific grinding discs meant to cut a variety of materials like wood, stone, concrete or metal alloys (aluminum and steel).
You might have seen these discs at any hardware store, but even if you haven’t you can easily recognize them by their distinct round and thin CD-like look. And like certain music CDs, they also produce the same ear piercing sounds, therefore you need to also protect your ears on top of making sure you are 100% safe when using an angle grinder. Regarding the material they are made of, there are two types of grinding discs: classic discs with synthetic resin and diamond discs.
Classic discs use synthetic resin as a binder and are the more basic type. They differ according to their purpose, so you can choose from discs for cutting aluminium, stainless steel or regular steel. Diamond discs on the other hand, can be used to cut through the strongest of materials such as stone, carbide cutting tips, concrete and gemstones. Luckily, they aren’t completely made out of diamonds or they would be unattainable for most of us. The cutting edge covered with a thin layer of diamond grains and their whole production process is the reason they are more expensive than classic discs. However, with the technological advances, diamond discs’ price has dropped and made them more affordable for regular jobs involving cutting plastic, ceramic or steel.
When wondering what size of disc grinding jobs need, consider the power of the angle grinder. The larger the power – the bigger the size of the disc. The most popular sizes are 115mm and 230mm. However, in some cases, a handyman might need a pneumatic grinder which uses a smaller than the normal disc.
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of disc thickness too. There are two types of discs – 1.0mm and 3.0mm. The 1.0mm discs reduce the wear on materials, cause less heating and vibrate less, which results in less sparks and odour. These types of discs also speed up the cutting process and require less effort. The 3.0mm have a longer time of use and are significantly cheaper.