Metal is a material that is used for various big and small scale projects ranging from building and construction to simple household tasks.
The strength and durability of the material make it a top choice for many construction workers. The question now is “How does a material so strong and durable get cut down to the required size for tasks?”
Well, if you are not new to construction and renovation, then you know there are many tools, both handy and sophisticated that are capable of cutting through metal efficiently.
However, this article isn’t about all of these tools or any of the sophisticated ones. This article is about one of the most convenient, cheapest, and handy power tools out there that are capable of slicing through metal. This article is about the angle grinder.
If you are familiar with using the angle grinder, this article will teach you new features of your angle grinder and if you are a newbie with this power tool, this article will give you a detailed introduction on how to use an angle grinder to cut metal perfectly and safely. So, let’s get to it.
What is an Angle Grinder?
An angle grinder is also known as a disc grinder is a multipurpose power tool used for cutting, cleaning, sanding, and a whole lot of other tasks.
The power tool looks like a short pole with a handle. It is really handy and easy to use. The angle grinder like most power tools also comes in both corded and cordless models.
The main advantage of the power tool is its diversity. With the right disc or attachment, you can use it for virtually any task.
The quote “don’t judge a book by its cover” is one that fits the angle grinder perfectly. At first glance, it looks like a small tool that is incapable of much, but this small tool will outwork many power tools in the market.
What Kind of Angle Grinder and Attachment Should You Use to Cut Metal?
This is a question many DIYers ask when it comes to using an angle grinder to cut metal. The truth is any angle grinder is capable of cutting metal because the power tool is specifically designed to cut and trim hard objects.
So you don’t need to worry about which angle grinder you get. Just make sure the one you get matches your budget and feels handy.
When it comes to cutting metal or any other material with the angle grinder, what you need to worry about is the disc that you will use.
Just like most cutting tools like the circular saw and the reciprocating saw, the angle grinder can also cut a variety of materials when attached with the appropriate blade.
For cutting metal with an angle grinder, you need a thin disc, like the “1.0mm cutting disc.” If you need a disc for long term use, you can request a zip cut blade.
The zip cut blade is fiber-reinforced which means it is very durable and effective, so you don’t have to worry about damages to your disc. Thin discs slice through metal quickly and leave a very fine cut.
What Are the Tools You Need to Cut Metal With an Angle Grinder?
- Your safety gear: this includes your safety goggles, a nose mask, and a pair of work or leather gloves.
- A measuring tape
- A metal disc
- An angle grinder
How to Use an Angle Grinder to Cut Metal
The steps below have been carefully drafted and explained to make your cutting task easier and faster.
Put on Your Safety Gear
When cutting through metal, there will be a few sparks due to the friction between the disc and the metal sheet.
Also, cutting metal means you will be working with hard surfaces and objects. It is therefore essential to protect yourself from any mishaps.
Place the Metal on a Flat Surface
Either you are cutting a metal sheet or bar, you need to place it on a flat surface like a table to ease the cutting process. You might need help if it’s heavy, so consider using a panel carrier to move the material to your work station.
Clampdown Your Metal Sheet or Bar
If you paid attention in physics class, then you know friction between metal creates a lot of vibration. If you never took physics class, well now you know. You need to make sure the metal to be cut is firmly pinned down to prevent unnecessary vibrations during cutting. If you don’t lock in the metal sheet or bar firmly, the vibration will make the sheet unstable leading to a poor result. Make sure the material is clamped in a way that the part to cut is visible.
Measure and Mark Out the Part of the Metal You Want to Cut
Use your measuring tape to take accurate measurements of the required size of metal needed. Then use a marker or a blunt object to indicate the points you want to cut on the material.
Attach the Thin Disc to Your Angle Grinder
To cut metal, you need to attach a thin metal disc to the angle grinder. This process is easy. If you have a different blade on the angle grinder, you need to remove the blade.
Make sure the angle grinder is unplugged if you have a corded model or remove the battery if you have a battery-operated model. Then press the spindle lock button located at the top of your angle grinder to lock your blade in place during removal.
You might need to hold the spindle lock button in place depending on the model of angle grinder you have. Loosen the clamping flange holding the disc in place with a wrench and take out the disc. Next, fit in the new disc.
Since you are fitting in a thin disc, place the flat side of the clamping flange on the disc. Screw-in the flange with your hand and use a wrench to tighten it.
Ensure the spindle lock remains pressed and take note of the blade guard during the whole process. Also, make sure the blade is attached in the direction that the blade spins. There are arrows on the blade and the grinder to indicate this.
Power-up Your Grinder
Angle grinders come in both battery-operated and corded models. Whichever model you have, make sure it is powered. Plug-in the cord if it’s corded or slot in the battery if it’s battery-operated.
Start Cutting the Point Marked on the Metal With Your Angle Grinder
With all the steps above followed, you can start cutting. Switch on the saw and press the trigger button. Some angle grinders have a special feature that allows you to lock the trigger at a particular set level.
This keeps the disc running even when you take your finger off the trigger button. If yours doesn’t have this feature, then you need to press the trigger yourself through the cutting process.
It is easier than you think. To get great results while cutting, ensure you follow the line or mark you drew on the material carefully.
Tips to Get a Good Cut on Metal With an Angle Grinder
Cutting metal with an angle grinder is easy, but the pointers below will ensure you get a great result.
- Take accurate measurements and mark out the points to cut before cutting.
- Always follow the marked line or point you drew on the material during measurement. This will give you a piece of metal that fits your need precisely.
- Keep a firm grip on your angle grinder while cutting metal. The structure of the material might cause vibrations and cause the disc to move slightly out of track.
- Always start slow. Do not be hasty while cutting
- Inspect all parts of the grinder before using it.
- Use the right disc always. For metal, a thin disc is vital.
There you have it. The steps and tips above will help you get a clean and straight cut on your metal sheet or bar using an angle grinder. Leave a comment below if you found this article useful and check out other articles on this website. Have a terrific cutting experience.