Expertise: Facts About Grinder Cutting Discs

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Choose the right angle grinder disc for the job

Angle grinders are versatile workhorses – depending on the disk attached, they can perform a number of tasks, from cutting through tough materials, to grinding down surface imperfections or polishing and buffing metal or paint to a glimmering sheen. Grinders can also be useful for sharpening blades, axes and tools, and with some experience, it can even be used for the sculptural shaping of objects and materials.

Grinder discs are purpose made for their specified function, whether cutting, grinding, polishing or sanding. Using the wrong disk for the job at hand, e.g. attempting to grind with a cutting disc, poses serious safety risks and will cause damage to the tool’s motor.

Disks for various applications come in a range of sizes - the below are the most common:

  • 115mm – 4 1/2 inches
  • 25mm – 5 inches
  • 150mm – 6 inches
  • 180mm – 7 inches
  • 230mm – 9 inches

Now, let’s take a look at some of the different discs and what they are best suited for:

GRINDING DISCS

Man Working With Grinder

  • These discs are available in various formats for grinding metal or stone. Always ensure you check the disc label for its applications
  • These discs can also be used for sharpening tools
  • It is best practice to ensure a constant grinding angle of between 15 – 30 degrees, depending on the use
  • When grinding, always keep the disc moving around on the surface to ensure an even and smooth grind

CUTTING DISCS

Man Working With Grinder And Sparks Flying

  • These discs are also available in various formats for grinding metal or stone. There is also a Speedcutter disc available for woodworking. Always ensure you check the disc label for suitable applications
  • For tougher materials consider diamond cutting discs – as the name suggests, these discs are diamond tipped along its edges for cutting through tougher or brittle materials such as slate, marble, granite and asphalt. It comes in either wet or dry cut discs – the former needs to be kept wet while cutting, whereas dry cut discs can be used without lubricant.

SANDING & FLAP DISCS

Grinder Discs

  • These discs, in flap format, can be more effective in grinding down surface metals. Grinding discs can be more suitable for when there are tight corners that need to be reached
  • Sanding flap discs can also be used for creating a smooth finish on a welding seam. They come in a variety of grit grades from 40 right up to 400. 
  • When sanding, always ensure the disc is at a 5 – 10 degree angle to the surface being sanded, for best results

WIRE WHEEL & WIRE CUP ATTACHMENTS

  • Wire wheel discs usually come pre-threaded so you can just screw them directly onto the grinder without using the grinder’s wheel nut
  • These discs are available in both carbon and stainless-steel types. Always ensure you check the disc label for its applications
  • Wire wheel discs can be used before and after welding to create a smooth surface on metals
  • The wire cup attachment can be used for larger flat metal surfaces to be smoothed out
  • Wire wheels are best used for removing rust, scale or paint from surfaces

POLISHING AND BUFFING

  • There are a number of attachments for polishing and buffing paint or metal, including polishing sponges and mops to lambswool bonnets.

A FEW FINAL TIPS ON DISCS

  • Always check your disc for its maximum revolutions. The max indicated on the disc must always be higher than the max indicated on the grinder. This prevents disc breakage or potential injury.
  • Always ensure you have fastened the grinding wheel nut correctly. Some discs will require the nut to have the raised side down to fit the disc hole snugly, and others will require the nut to have the recessed side down. Always make sure the disc is fastened properly before plugging in the grinder.
  • When cutting, always ensure the disc is at a perpendicular 90-degree angle to the surface being cut.

Don’t let your project materials grind you down. Get the perfect sanding, shaping or slicing power tools for your needs at your nearest BUCO. Take a spin to your nearest branch today and find out about the best options for your build, from our friendly experts. 

Find your nearest BUCO here

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