When a construction worker or handyman needs to do some polishing, cutting and grinding, he oftentimes turns to the grinder. This power tool is one of the most versatile ones a person can have in their tool arsenal. One of the most popular types of grinders is the angle grinder. These tools can be powered in one of three ways – compressed air, an electric motor or a petrol engine. Angle grinders can find many uses around the garage, construction sites, and even metalworking shops. They’re ideal for removing excess material and making notches and cuts.
As aforementioned, they have a lot of uses, despite their name suggesting they’re only good at angle grinding. These power tools work via electricity-powered discs that rotate very quickly. For the tool to run, the operator needs to depress a switch, and unless they let go, the grinder won’t stop. This dead-man-switch method is meant to protect the operator from serious injuries. The person operating the grinder grips the side handle for stability, and works on their task at hand.
You’ll come across two basic types of angle grinders – corded and cordless. Generally, the cordless models offer more portability, but less cutting power because they accept smaller discs. The reason cordless models accept smaller discs is because they’re smaller in size themselves, which can be seen as advantageous, because it means that you can use them for longer time periods without straining your arms. However, cordless models have a limited run time, and you’ll have to recharge them, whether that’s with gas, electricity or air.
That being said, you’ll have to pay attention to a couple of other details, such as motor power, speed ratings and comfort. Typically, you get what you pay for, as is the case with almost all other power tools. You might be tempted to buy a more inexpensive model, which would be fine if you intend to use it only occasionally, and for smaller projects. Power, performance, safety and convenience cost a little bit extra.
The speed rating, disc size and motor power all influence the overall power of the tool. The faster the disc rotates, the more optimally it can perform when cutting, sanding and grinding. However, more speed means higher risk of injury if not handled properly. A larger disc usually also means more power. The most common sizes are 115mm or 4.5 inches and 230mm or 9 inches. However, bigger is not always better, as smaller discs can make more precise cuts. Lastly, motor power is measured in amps, voltage and wattage. The common volt ratings are between 110 and 230V AC, the most common wattage ratings are between 500 and 2.500W, and the most common amperage ratings are between 3 and 15A.