Due to their powerfulness, angle grinders can cause their operator as well as people around them severe bodily injuries. Therefore, it’s crucial for you to know angle grinder safety tips to make the most out of your power tool without hurting yourself in the process.
If you are interested in how to do that, then read our safety checklist below for starters.
- 11 Angle Grinder Safety Tips To Prevent Accidents
- Common Dangers When Working With Angle Grinders
- FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Final Words
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11 Angle Grinder Safety Tips To Prevent Accidents
Wear proper PPE
The first safety precaution is making sure that you’re properly attired. Before using your grinder, make sure that you’re putting on the necessary safety gear including a pair of working gloves, eyewear (preferably a full-face mask), a helmet, and overalls.
Because this type of power tool spins at high speeds, random bits of debris will be thrown at you on a regular basis. Their grinding wheels have been reported to break off and fly towards their operator. As a result, the importance of having the right safety attire cannot be overstated.
Only use grinders in proper condition
Your grinders must be in good working order. All their components must be properly screwed with no loose attachments. There must be no play in the tool’s handle and the grinding blade must be properly fastened as well as screwed in place. Make sure that the flange is fastened properly.
Use proper wheel
It’s critical to select the right grinding wheel for your job. Using the wrong blade for your power tool can cause damage to both the blade and the grinder body, as well as pose a risk to your safety.
Decide on the wheel size that you require before deciding on its type. The diameter of the discs typically ranges between 4.5 inches and 9 inches. Smaller wheels are appropriate for non-industrial projects, while larger ones are made for heavy-duty industrial purposes.
Examine your workpiece’s material carefully, then select the suitable angle grinder disc. There are a variety of shapes and sizes of cutting and grinding blades:
- Blades with grit (ideal for cutting/grinding metal and stone)
- Blades with diamond-tipped ends (suitable for cutting and grinding tougher objects)
- Blade made of wire (utilized for paint and rust removal)
There are many more types of blades available, and making a decision might be difficult, so choose cautiously.
Use the safety guard
The wheel guard must always be used when using angle grinders. The safety guards aren’t optional, unlike popular belief and you must have one in place before using your grinder. They are intended to deflect random bits of debris, as well as occasional sparks, away from the operator’s body. It might even shield you if the wheel breaks off.
A disc guard doesn’t obstruct operation in any way. The belief that it does may be true for older grinder models, but any newer one includes movable guards that won’t hinder your grinding or cutting procedure in any way.
A wheel guard’s significance cannot be overstated since on some occasions, angle grinder wheels have broken off and become dangerous weapons targeting at their operator, resulting in their severe injuries.
Stay away from flammables
Angle grinders should never be used near burnable materials. Any objects that can easily catch fire, like aerosol or gas cans, or an oily rag, should not be on your work site when you are using this tool.
The rationale for the precaution is self-evident. Angle grinders can generate lots of sparks while operating, especially when working with metals. It would start a horrible fire if those sparks fall on combustible materials surrounded.
Obviously, flames may quickly get out of control and damage your property, limb, and even life. So, it’s best to be careful and keep the flammables at a safe distance.
Start slow first
It’s critical to adjust the speed of your grinder wheel while it’s in use. As a general guideline, start slowly, find your flow, and gradually increase the speed as long as you are comfortable.
Difference grinding blades necessitate different working speeds. If you are uncertain about the best speed for your grinder-blade combo, consult with your vendor.
Don’t customize the grinder
Some owners want to alter their power tool, however, this isn’t something we recommend. If you want to make any changes to your angle grinder, get in touch with its manufacturer first. They might readily give you information on the reasons why some changes are alright while others are extremely harmful.
Only utilize angle grinder attachments that are specifically designed for it. If you try to rig anything to work, you will risk injuring yourself and the people around you. If you’re not sure whether a certain accessory will work with your angle grinder, find out by reading the tool description or call the manufacturer.
Inspect the damages before use
Accidental drops are bound to occur. It’s possible that you didn’t do it yourself but somebody else did. You can look to see whether the attachment has been damaged or if the grinder isn’t safe to use. Always examine the blade first, whether you’re dealing with a worn wheel or a new one.
Cutting discs might be damaged during delivery or dropped by mistake while being stored. Before utilizing the disc, check for chips, cracks, and other damages to ensure that it performs at its fullest potential and keeps you and other people safe.
“Remember not to use an attachment if you’re unsure whether it is faulty or not.”
Let the grinder warm-up before use
Whether you’re using a grinder for the beginning of the day, getting it from another person, or returning after a break, let the power tool spin for a minimum of 1 minute with the attached wheel before operating it on any material.
This allows the grinder to warm up and reach its full speed, as well as gives you the opportunity to feel, see, and hear whether it’s in good operating order.
Always use with two hands
One of the most important safety precautions is to keep complete control of the grinder at all times. It’s critical to always keep both hands on the power tool in the proper places.
With 2 hands on the machine, you have a lot more control and leverage. One hand should always be on the handle and the other on the grinder’s back.
Moreover, never press on the machine’s power tool when carrying the plugged grinder around.
Maintain the tool regularly
You should follow the manufacturer’s decisions for maintaining and servicing your power tool. Angle grinders are complicated machines that need to be maintained regularly. To avoid premature wear and tear, you should change the machine’s oil per few months, for instance.
To maintain your power tool, you should find and follow its manufacturer’s recommendations.
Common Dangers When Working With Angle Grinders
If you don’t follow safety precautions properly, what are the potential risks and hazards of using an angle grinder?
The grinders’ high speed can generate lots of friction which causes the small metal particles to heat up. Little particles come off metals, forming sparks. This is also the most obvious risk, but they are less dangerous than other possible dangers.
Sparks, which land on you or your attire, are unlikely to harm you. Nevertheless, this does not imply that they are completely safe. Whereas they aren’t hot enough to burn your thick-skinned body parts, sensitive skin can still find the sparks painful.
A significantly more severe issue to be aware of when working with angle grinders is abrasive wheel shattering.
When in use, the blades can break, which would normally be a minor annoyance. However, due to the high speed at which most grinders work, the disc debris can be dangerous when it flies off.
Therefore, you should use wheels made of tough materials, like diamond, if possible since they are unlikely to break off.
If you have to deal with kickback, you must exercise caution, especially with angle grinders.
Recoil is not particularly harmful by itself, but the actual danger arises when you are no longer in control of or drop your grinder as a result of the kickback. Consequently, it may result in the wheel hitting something or somebody at full speed.
Another consequence of recoil is the abrasive blade breaking or shattering, which in turn can also hurt the operator.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. How dangerous are angle grinders?
Angle grinders are potentially hazardous power tools since the potential consequences of their kickbacks are major injuries.
Moreover, they usually spin between 9,000 and 11,000 RPMs, and the distance between the tools and your torso, face & hands are just a few inches. If you mishandle it, its wheels can break off. This results in shards caught in your or bystanders’ eyes or other body parts, posing a risk of death.
Angle grinders with a diameter of 9 inches have been forbidden in several job sites because of their greater risk of injuries. The higher a grinder’s size and power, the more serious the kickback and gyroscopic effects will be.
2. Do angle grinder sparks hurt?
Sparks are essentially glowing steel dust. Nevertheless, most of them fly off away from you, and even if some do fall on your body, their little mass will not leave you any burn marks. However, those with sensitive skin still have to pay attention to these sparks.
3. How do I stop an angle grinder kickback?
You may avoid this issue by ensuring that you’re using the suitable blade for the job and that the speed is adjusted correctly.
Kickback incidents are more likely to happen when discs are dull and poorly set. So, ensure that you know how to mount the discs and replace them when they become rusty.
4. Can I use angle grinders in rain?
If you use them in the rain or other wet conditions, you risk receiving an electric shock. This may frighten you, causing you to drop your angle grinder and may injure yourself.
Additionally, coreless power tools are not waterproof, so if their cooling slots get wet, the machines could be ruined.
Powerful angle grinders can get you caught up in serious accidents, which can bodily hurt you and other people. Therefore, handling power tools safely for both bystanders and yourself should be your top priority. Following our angle grinder safety tips will help you to achieve this goal.