How to work with an angle grinder on metal

Working with an angle grinder for dummies

Backfire is a sharp, sudden throw of the angle grinder due to jamming of the rotating wheel. It is the greatest danger to the operator because it is usually accompanied by the destruction of the disc as well. When the disc is jammed, the reactive displacement of the tool is in the opposite direction to the disc’s rotation. Most often backfire occurs due to operator error or direct violation of safety precautions.

Our recommendations will help you avoid such a problem as backfire or, if it occurs, avoid severe consequences. Always use standard grips to hold the tool and do not hold it with one hand only. Stand firmly on the ground so that if the tool jumps off, you will not lose control of it. Always stand clear of where the tool will move to if it is struck back. If you move the angle grinder away from yourself, it can bounce right back at you.

Special care must be taken when machining edges and corners. Backfiring often occurs when the cut is completed, when the last lintel connecting two parts of the same object is cut

In such a situation to avoid problems it is better not to make the cut all the way to the end, but rather to remove the wheel from the opening and cut the lintel from the back side. If the tool should become jammed, switch it off and carefully remove it from the cut you have just made.

Despite all the difficulties and dangers, you are quite capable of working with an angle grinder yourself. Just follow our recommendations, they will help you perform the cutting and grinding without any problems.

Choice of disc

Each type of robot requires a specific blade with the right diameter and thickness. Small disc diameter is 125 mm, and large or frequently used. 250 mm. The thickness of the cut and its depth of cut depend on the diameter of the blade.

For cutting metal, you need to buy a cutting disc with a thickness of 1 to 1,2 mm, for professional cutting up to 2,5 mm. If you intend to make a shaped thread in thin metal, you need a disc with a small diameter or used.

Regardless of the size of the disc, a protective cover is put, it is used when cutting metal. When cutting metal, the flight of small particles is assumed, in order to avoid damage by small metal scraps set the shield.

How not to work with a dangerous tool

Don’t try to do the following:

work, angle, grinder, metal
  • There is no need to apply pressure to the angle grinder. The tool accomplishes its tasks by its own weight, but overloading it could only cause the disc to tip over.
  • Do not turn on the angle grinder if the angle grinder is in the material kerf.
  • When using an angle grinder, do not reach forward or get under yourself in an effort to cut as much as possible.
  • Do not work with the tool inadequate or unhealthy condition.
  • Do not hold the workpiece or material in your body weight (e.g., with your foot). it must be secured mechanically.

How to use the tool

Practitioners who often use an angle grinder are divided in opinion. The basic question of how to use the angle grinder when cutting metal, there is no single answer. Some users cut toward themselves, while others cut away from themselves. Both opponents are correct if certain guidelines are followed. Т.е. The machine can be used in the right- or left-handed position, with the disc rotating in either direction. The most important thing is to “get the hang of it.”.

work, angle, grinder, metal

Cutting backwards

The blade moves in a “clockwise direction. The main disadvantage of this method is that a sheaf of sparks and a stream of dust is directed to the worker. Therefore, when working with bricks or concrete it is necessary to wear a respirator to protect the respiratory organs. It is advisable to wear tight-fitting work clothing to minimize the risk of metal flows from the blade against your body.

Important! The shear of sparks from cutting is sometimes too intense and can cause clothes to catch fire, so protective clothing is recommended. It is recommended to keep the sleeves at the cuffs and the cuffs of the pants firmly closed to keep sparks from getting on your skin.

The main argument of the supporters of this method of angle grinder operation is the high degree of safety. When the grinding wheel is bitten, the wire feeder jerks in the opposite direction to the cutter, i.e.е. from it, which greatly reduces the chance of injury.

Angle Grinders 101 | How to Use an Angle Grinder

Tip! Changing the direction of movement of the wheel is when the guard is rotated by 180°. In doing so, the handle is twisted on the back side of the gearbox. It is very important to screw everything meticulously and make sure it works.

Cutting toward you

When you move the wheel “counterclockwise” is correct to cut in the direction of “yourself”, otherwise the machine is blocked, and the disk can crumble.

The main disadvantage of this method is a high risk of injury. When the wheel jams, the driving force causes the tool to be thrown toward the cutter. If you do not hold it at this moment, you can get bruises or cuts. Before you work with an angle grinder with this method, it is important to fully concentrate, distract yourself from minutiae, put your hands in front of you and strictly control the movement of the wheel. The slightest sensation of strain in the operation of the machine should be a signal to sharpen one’s attention to the limit.

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The advantage of this method is that the dust or spark flow is directed in the opposite direction from the worker. Safety precautions remain, but problems with dust or sparks on clothing or in the eyes are no longer a concern.

The gearbox of the angle grinder is located at the side of the employee when working “towards yourself”, which reduces the risk of wrapping the overalls on the rotating parts. This is for right-handed people. Left-handed people have to adjust the machine individually.

Recommendation! It is often hard to unscrew the fixation nut after a disc jamming. To make it easier they usually cut a washer out of thin cardboard or rubber for this nut and put it in. After that, the nut will become easier to twist, and no reaming or heating processes are required.

Safety considerations

You can protect yourself if you know and follow safety procedures:

  • Never use a tool that is in a state of disrepair (disc has been replaced, it does not fit the material, overheating and smells bad).
  • Any movement in the area is carried out with the equipment unplugged.
  • Always wear personal protective equipment before starting work. If the work is done in pairs, the other person must also wear protection.
  • At the first signs of tool failure, you must turn off the mains and see what the cause is.
  • Do not use discs that are unsuitable for the work being performed.
  • Do not allow the equipment to overheat, periodically turning it off for 10-20 minutes to cool down completely.
  • The handle must be screwed tightly to the body and not drag in your hand.
  • If there are no skills in the work, to embark on serious operations with the angle grinder is not recommended.

If you suspect that a tool is faulty, it is better to have it checked by a specialist. Use of defective equipment increases the risk of personal injury.

How To Use An Angle Grinder. Ace Hardware

Some people know and willfully ignore elementary safety rules, putting their lives in danger. Only a responsible approach and observance of all operational rules will allow to avoid development of undesirable consequences.

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General safety precautions

Why an angle grinder is considered a dangerous tool? There are several reasons for this:

  • The rotating disc has a large open operating segment that is not protected by a guard;
  • you often have to work with an angle grinder without a reliable fulcrum;
  • abrasive discs tend to break into large and small pieces;
  • the high rotation speed of the nozzle and the high power of heavy models contribute to the scattering of splinters over a large distance.

When cutting the product is fixed, the angle grinder is firmly held with two hands, the operator stands at the side

When cutting, the workpiece is secured, the angle grinder is held firmly by two hands, the operator stands at the side

The safety of the angle grinder is inherent in the operating principle. Cutting of the workpiece is effected by the rotating disc in contact with the surface of the workpiece. And the contact area is the only support, because the angle grinder is held in the air by the operator. This specificity requires the skill to keep the tool stable in one plane. The slightest misalignment can cause a sudden, unexpected jerk. A first-time user should master the basics of angle grinder operation on small power models designed for a disc diameter of 115-125 mm.

Great danger comes from the abrasive cutting disc. The slightest fault can lead to an unexpected breakage with the angle grinder ripping out of the hands and unpredictable consequences. Therefore, you should always carefully inspect the disc for chips (nicks) or breaks (can be detected by idling) before clamping. These defects can appear not only during work, but also from careless handling of the tool: falls, blows and other external influences (for example, the tool was lying on the floor. it was accidentally stepped on by a foot).

How to avoid the danger of injury from a defective power tool?

The following measures will help to prevent the disc from flying off while working:

  • Check the cutting wheel for defects before each installation;
  • inspection of the nozzle before each use;
  • Work with the use of personal protective equipment: gloves, goggles or face shield.

The operator of the angle grinder must approach the tool in a calm state, must be attentive and careful. Anyone who is mentally unstable and can’t concentrate at the right moment. can’t even pick up this serious tool.

How not to work with dangerous tools?

When manipulating a dangerous tool is prohibited:

  • work without safety glasses;
  • wear light clothing with short sleeves that do not shield your body from hot sparks;
  • work without a safety guard;
  • use the angle grinder in operation without checking the condition of the abrasive disc at idle speed;
  • stand in the cutting plane zone. stand sideways;
  • exert great pressure on the tool with your hands. it cuts beautifully under its own weight;
  • constantly practice cutting the angle grinder on yourself, which can lead to injury from a broken disc;
  • work without interruption, because your hands accumulate fatigue from the weight and vibration of the angle grinder and can not hold it firmly;
  • work with an unsecured workpiece. someone must hold it firmly or securely fix the workpiece in a vise, clamping clamp, or other device;
  • grind parts by the side of the cutting disc. there are special tools for this purpose;
  • cut blanks with a thickness of more than half the radius of the circle. usually the workpiece should not exceed 1/6 of the diameter;
  • allow bystanders into the working area.
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eye and face protection when working with an angle grinder

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eye and face protection while working with the angle grinder

How to cut with an angle grinder: on or off

Angle grinders are in many households and garages, but most owners do not know how to hold and use the angle grinder correctly.

That’s why they make mistakes, which can lead to defects in the work, and even worse. to serious injuries. Remember that an angle grinder is a very dangerous tool.

Therefore, before you use it, you need to know a few safety rules.

How to cut properly

First of all, you need to hold the tool correctly. Right-handed users hold the angle grinder with their right hand. The wheel is on the left side of the machine, and the gearbox is on the right.

You must hold the tool with your left hand by the handle that is screwed into the housing. The correct position of the handle is upward. The blade guard must cover the blade and your hands and keep the sparks away from your hand.

For left-handed grinders, the handle is screwed into the other side of the body and the guard is rotated and locked in position.

[attention type=green][attention type=red][attention type=yellow] tool manufacturers give three main tips for working with an angle grinder: keep your hands firmly on the cutting line, stop and do not start the machine if the disc jams. [/attention][/attention]

Each person must decide for himself or herself how and in which direction to cut, taking into account that the angle grinder throws out in different directions during jamming.

Cut away from yourself

This is a very good way, but it is important to observe one condition. to cut from yourself, with sparks under your feet. In this case, when biting the blade, the angle grinder is thrown out, so it is not able to cause any harm. In this case, the outlined line for the trimmer of the cut is perfectly visible, besides, there is very little chance of doing something wrong. The disadvantage of this method is that sparks fly on your pants and under your feet.

Cutting on yourself

This method has many supporters. It is important just to remember that when you drive the angle grinder on yourself, sparks must always fly in the other direction. This minimizes the risk of the disc jamming. Although there’s always a risk. That is why you must always move the tool away from the cutting line when it is pulled toward you.

Safety precautions when working with an angle grinder

The use of grinding and cutting power tools is classified as hazardous activities. Therefore, when working with an angle grinder you must consider the possibility of direct or indirect exposure to health hazards:

  • cold or heat;
  • poor lighting of the workplace;
  • Strong noise, vibration from the machine;
  • High physical strain;
  • Rotating parts of the equipment;
  • Dropping objects (materials to be machined);
  • Sparks and solid particles flying off;
  • Working at height, depth, or in a confined, hard-to-reach place;
  • danger of electrical injuries.

To minimize the effects of hazards, and as a consequence, to save life and your own health, you can follow the safety rules for the operation of appliances that have exposed rotating parts. This requires the use of personal protective equipment (PPE for short), good fastening of the work pieces, choosing a safe place, starting and finishing work correctly.

Personal protective equipment

The name PPE, or personal protective equipment means means for individual use, which are used to protect against contamination, prevent or reduce the effects of harmful and dangerous factors.

For most workers, it is protective clothing appropriate to the profession. It usually includes pants, jacket, headgear, closed shoes.

Since the angle grinder is a high-risk tool, clothing is supplemented by other means of protection:

  • Goggles or face shield;
  • Noise-proof headphones or earplugs (ear plugs);
  • Vibration-isolating gloves;
  • A respirator, especially when cutting stone, tile, concrete or slate.

Goggles will protect against sparks, small chips, or the blade being ground. The use of ear protectors or ear plugs helps to keep noise out and prevent hearing problems after work. Gloves will protect against abrasion and vibration. And a respirator against the large amount of dust that forms.

Securing the work pieces to be machined

All small and medium-sized parts must be securely clamped in a vice or with clamps. When clamping, you must provide a safe place for the possible fall of the cut parts.

Sometimes it is necessary to grind large parts or constructions with an angle grinder that cannot be clamped in a vise. These may include:

In such cases, make sure that the surface to be machined is securely fixed (standing or lying down), that it is not unstable after machining, and that the part to be cut does not fall on the worker or others. At the slightest hesitation it is necessary to support with supports, jacks, or to fasten and secure the slings to the surrounding metal or reinforced concrete constructions.

Safe workplace

Regardless of where the workplace is located. in the garage, in the country house or on an open area, it must be well lit, meet elementary safety requirements.

Requirements for the equipment of the workplace:

  • A workbench, table, shelf, cupboard or drawer should be installed for storage, as well as placement of devices, tools for productive safe work.
  • All immovable equipment must be securely placed (fastened) on the floor.
  • Surfaces of workbenches and shelves must not be smaller than the processed parts and tools in use.
  • The surfaces of workbenches are made of sheet steel, aluminum, other noncombustible materials.
  • Vise must reliably clamp the processed parts. On the surfaces of the vice jaws there should be a cross-cut of 0,5. 1 mm depth at every 2. 3 mm.
  • The vise is mounted so that the workpieces to be machined are at the level of the worker’s elbow.
  • When the vice is closed, the gap between jaws must not be more than 0,1 mm. Handle and jaws must be free of burrs and chipping.
  • The movable part of the vice should not fall out when fully unscrewed and move smoothly, without jerks.
  • The floor around the workbench, as well as the entire work area must be dry and level.
  • Sockets for power tools are located above the level of the work surface of the workbench.
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What do you need an angle grinder, how to use it, a manual for dummies

Angle grinder or angle grinder got its name because of the country where they were produced. The first grinders were exported to the USSR from Bulgaria, at that time they were not multipurpose and allowed only to grind various surfaces. the design of the clamping tongs has been modernized later on, and enables a multifunctional application, which will be described below.

Angle grinder Makita GA 6021 C is suitable for cutting tiles. Photo

External design angular grinder associated with its purpose: elongated body, which houses the gearbox and electric motor, the body itself has a molding for the handle on the side of the working part is fixed side handle and the grinding disc itself, which is closed by a protective case. Multifunctionality of angle grinder provides a change of nozzles-discs, which are selected depending on the type of work and working surface. Discs and nozzles are mounted on the special seat and screwed on with a spindle or a clamping washer.

To the main tasks of the angle grinder include: grinding and polishing rough surfaces, cutting ceramics and stone, glass, concrete monolith, wood, etc it all depends on the choice of nozzle.

Cutting, metal work and more

Cutting metal with an angle grinder is quite common. Special cutting-off wheels are used for this: either solid discs, which are thin circles with a single hole for fastening to the spindle, or perforated discs that have oblong slots from the edge of the disc to the center. A peorage is required to allow the disc to cool itself with air.

To master the operation of an angle grinder, it is essential to become familiar with its construction. Structurally, the tool consists of the attachment head, i.e., the spindle, which holds the accessories, i.e., grinding and cutting discs, an elongated or rectangular body, and one or two handles. The equipment depends on the requirements for the type of work with the angle grinder:

Important! Never operate the angle grinder unless the equipment is secured to the spindle with a clamping flange and nut. A wrench is used for this purpose.

How to saw away or toward you

If the angle grinder is part of a machine for cutting ceramic, wood or stone slabs, it is allowed to cut on itself if two rules are followed:

  • The operator’s body is at the side of the cutting line.
  • The machine is equipped with additional safety guards which restrict the movement of the angle grinder beyond the working area.

If the angle grinder is in the user’s hands and is only held by hand, cutting on itself is categorically forbidden. All movement on the surface must be firmly backwards.

Important! Circle on the angle grinder rotates in a clockwise direction, if you do the movement from themselves, the rotation of the circle and the independent movement of the angle grinder can be combined, it appears reinforcing resonance, and the angle grinder can “fly out” of hand. You must therefore hold the tool firmly in your hand.


The classic grinding procedure is performed as follows: if there is no possibility to connect a vacuum cleaner to the hood, the work must be performed in the open air. If working indoors, it is best to use some padding material as dust collectors, such as old newspapers. The cover on the disk to protect the operator and not impede vision.

AEG 451410 WS13-125XE angle grinder at work. 220Volt photo

When working, the following technique should be followed:

  • The wheel is held to the surface at an angle of 3-5 degrees, light reciprocating movements are performed. If pressure is applied to the disk, the wood can be dented and tapped.
  • For some types of wood is advisable to use discs with different roughness. with a large at first and fine abrasive on completion of work.
  • If the wood surface needs to be varnished, then after the angle grinder is better to apply a belt or rotary sander.


In order to create a polished surface, first applied angle grinder, then the belt sander, and then the liquid lacquers and polishes.

The work shall be carried out as follows:

  • The grinding wheel is used for the initial surface finish. The disc is held with almost complete contact with the surface; the disc operates without pressure from the user.
  • Thin sheets of wood or metal are clamped with a clamping clamp and set against the stop.
  • Angle grinders can be used to produce perfectly smooth, mirror-like surfaces in soft wood or metal. But additional machining is required for harder types and grades.


In order to effectively remove paint or polishing residues, it is necessary to use discs with a disk-shaped disc surface lined with sandpaper of different roughness.

  • The disc is held at an angle of up to 30 degrees and feeds in a reciprocating motion without pressure.
  • Clamp thin sheets of wood or metal to the base plate.
  • With an angle grinder, you can remove only the base of the old coating, after all, you will still need to process with a belt sander.

Tips for beginners

Beginners, before using an angle grinder, it is recommended to study the manual, as well as remember a few lessons from the experts.

  • Thick-walled parts and blanks are cut in a straight line.
  • When machining long workpieces, start cutting from the hanging edge.
  • After you finish cutting metal with the angle grinder, the edges are treated with rust preventive compound.
  • To cut concrete, granite, ceramics, you can use the circles on the stone.
  • Cutting of gas cylinders is performed only after the gas with condensate has been removed.

Angle grinder is a tool that is widespread in professional and domestic use. It allows you to solve a wide range of tasks. Observance of safety precautions, preparation of the place and competent choice of discs will allow to achieve quality cuts.