Friday, September 9, 2011

What’s So Great About A Grinder?

The Angle Grinder is probably one of the most underrated and unknown tools in my toolbox. Even when people DO know what an angle grinder is, they rarely realize how useful it actually can be. Buying a grinder can be a great addition to any tool collection. Grinders are inexpensive, very durable, very versatile, and can be used on a variety of jobs. They come in several of sizes, most common and the most controllable is the 4-inch model, which represents the size of the disks it takes. Disks come in many shapes and sizes and can cover a variety of tasks.

Using the correct disk or cutting wheel is very important since disks come in a variety of materials and thicknesses. Disposable metal and masonry-cutting wheels are the most commonly used disks. These disks are specific for each material and grind away as you use them. Hence they are only good for a handful of cuts until they shrink to the size of a half dollar and become trash. These disks, even though disposable, can cut just about anything put in front of them; assuming you are using the right disk for the right material.

A Diamond edged dry cut blade is another type of masonry cutting wheel used mostly for cutting ceramic tile and natural stone. This set up will take care of almost any cut when working with ceramic tile and can be used instead of an expensive wet saw. Granite and marble fabricators also have many uses for a grinder from making the cutout for your sink to polishing the stone smooth with water-cooled diamond grit sand paper. The grinder can also be used for sanding and shaping wood, sheet metal fabrication, sanding and polishing welds in metal and much more.

Some of my favorite uses for my grinder are using it to cope trim, quick cuts in metal (that would take forever with a hack saw), cutting circles and shapes in ceramic tile, sculpting wood, and cutting patio pavers. It’s not a tool I need every day but when I do, I sure am glad it's in my toolbox.


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