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What Can You Use an Angle Grinder For? 16 Great Uses

angle grinder

The angle grinder is easily one of the most underappreciated tools. There are about 100 different ways you can use an angle grinder, yet they are also affordable and compact. Since these tools come with so many attachments and abilities, you definitely should add it to your arsenal.

As the name suggests, angle grinders have a cutting head at an angled position on the drive shaft. This allows the tool to be used for sharpening, polishing, and cutting. Depending on the model you get, they can come in many sizes or be corded or cordless.

To find out the most popular ways an angle grinder is used, read on. Although this article does not cover every single use for the angle grinder (because that would be completely excessive and long-winded – nobody would want to read that!), we do give you the most popular and versatile uses for it.

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General Uses

No matter your exact use for an angle grinder, there are four main purposes: grinding, sharpening, polishing, and cutting.

1.  Grinding

man grinding with angle grinder
Image Credit: Freepik

Given that angle grinders have the word grind in their name, they can obviously grind. This makes them great for removing excess material like rust or cleaning up jagged edges. Since it is handheld, it is much easier to get into hard to reach places for grinding purposes.


2.  Sharpening

knife sharpening
Image Credit: Pixabay

Angle grinders are great for sharpening purposes. Whether you are sharpening metal, tools, or stone, the angle grinder can sharpen the material so that the edge is crisp, sharp, and straight.


3.  Polishing

random guy using TORQ 10FX Random Orbital Polisher

A grinder in and of itself cannot polish, but many options come with polishing attachments. With these attachments, you can polish scratched old metal so that way it is shiny. Although you can polish items with your hand, using an angle grinder for polishing will get the job done faster.


4.  Cutting

man cutting using angle grinder
Image Credit: Freepik

Angle grinders can work at such a high speed that they can cut through many materials, ranging from softwoods to metal. This makes them much more versatile and powerful than many saws. Still, their cutting power means that they are loud and dangerous if not used properly.

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Auto Work

The auto industry is one of the most popular places that use an angle grinder. Angle grinders are especially useful for bodywork.

5.  Paint Removal

Almost all paint removal jobs utilize an angle grinder and a wire coup. Together, these two tools can remove a lot of old paint on flat services without damaging the metal. Although the metal will need to be polished before adding paint, angle grinders are a super fast, efficient, and safe way to remove old paint.


6. Rust Removal

man repairing rusty metal

Because of the grinding power of angle grinders, they are great for removing rust from an auto body. They can grind up the rust without damaging the healthy metal underneath it. The same goes for eroded sections. The angle grinder can completely remove the oxidized metal so you can reach the healthy metal and repair the damage.

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Metal Work

Angle grinders are so powerful that they are useful for metal work. From metal cleaning to metal cutting, angle grinders can really satisfy many needs for metal work.

7. Metal Cleaning

If you have an old metal tool, you probably know that there might be some dirt and grime that is nearly impossible to wipe down. An angle grinder with a wire wheel can help remove that grime without damaging the metal underneath.

Dirt, paint, rust, and cement are no match for an angle grinder. You can even use a cup attachment for flat surfaces and a wheel attachment for crevices on some tools.


8. Metal Cutting

man cutting metal with angle grinder
Image Credit: Freepik

Metal cutting requires a whole lot of power and speed. Angle grinders are heavy-duty enough that they can cut metal with certain attachments. With the right attachment, an angle grinder can actually cut through metal in seconds. In comparison to other tools, a grinder is much better at cutting super-tough metals.


9. Metal Polishing

person using DEWALT Angle Grinder Tool

Despite the power that an angle grinder brings, they are also delicate enough to polish metal. You can use a sanding disc to remove scratches and then use a polishing disc or buffing pad to give your metal that perfect shine.


10. Tool Sharpening

Angle grinders are a good alternative to a bench grinder for sharpening your tools. Although it will require a lot of control, it is a great option for a more portable sharpening choice.

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Masonry

Since angle grinders are so powerful, they are able to cut through many of the stones and materials used in masonry work.

11. Ceramic Tile Cutting

cutting tiles with angle grinder
Image Credit: Pixabay

Ceramic tiles are no match for angle grinders. These materials can cut through the tiles so that the edges are still crisp and even. In many ways, the angle grinder will work as a wet tile saw, but it does need more precision.


12. Old Mortar Removal

man using angle grinder
Image Credit: Freepik

With the right attachment, you can easily remove old mortar for masonry work. When you do this, you can actually clean out the mortar without chipping the bricks. Although this job will create a lot of dust, it is much easier and more efficient for removing mortar without the risk of damage.


13. Stone Cutting

man cutting bricks with angle grinder
Image Credit: Freepik

Due to the angle grinder’s power, they are great for stone cutting, and they aren’t very difficult to work with either. They can cut through many different types of stones so that the cuts are smooth and even. You can even opt for a small grinder for added mobility.

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Carpentry

In addition to super dense materials, angle grinders are great for softer materials like wood. Because of this, you can use angle grinders for carpentry purposes as well.

14.  Wood Carving

You can use an abrasive carving disc to cut through wood pulp easily. This is especially true if you want a rough shape for the wood.

Still, you do need to approach wood carving with caution when using an angle grinder simply for its power. You don’t want more delicate carving to be done with an angle grinder because it is simply too powerful.

15.  Wood Planing

If you have a large planing task, then an angle grinder is a great alternative to a traditional planing tool. You will want to use a carving wheel for planing purposes. Be careful, however, that you don’t accidentally switch to sanding mode.

man cutting wood with angle grinder

16.  Wood Sanding

If you do want to sand, though, you can use an angle grinder for that too. Some attachments like abrasive flap discs can easily smooth out wood quickly and efficiently. There are also a lot of different grit ranges, meaning that you can get the perfect sanded finish for your exact needs.

Angle grinders are especially great for wood sanding because the result looks identical to if you had sanded it by hand, but it doesn’t take near as long.


Safety Note

Since an angle grinder is so powerful, you can very easily injure yourself if you don’t use it properly. No matter why you use your angle grinder, make sure to practice good safety measures. Wear goggles and gloves, no matter what.

Also, pay careful attention as to where the angle grinder is going. You don’t want it to cut into your hand accidentally. As you are using the angle grinder, hold it firmly, and avoid any kickback.

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Final Thoughts

Angle grinders are incredibly versatile. Whether you work in carpentry or metalwork, the angle grinder is a great investment since you can use it for so many purposes. Just select the power, motor size, and attachment that is perfect for your need.

No matter what, though, make it a priority to be safe when using this tool. It is easy to accidentally harm yourself with a powerful and versatile tool as this one. Wear protective equipment and don’t act goofy when using it.


Image credit: Kristopher Radder, Wikimedia

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