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Cut & Grind

Hand-held angle grinders have long been used extensively in the metal fabrication and welding industries; however, they also now are being used more frequently in the mechanical contracting, autobody, masonry, and stone-working industries for grinding, cutting, and polishing. This expanded usage speaks to the versatility of angle grinders, which can accommodate a range of accessories, such as resin-bonded grinding and cutting wheels; diamond wheels for cutting and surface grinding; abrasive disks; flap disks; wire brushes; nonwoven abrasives; and even diamond coring bits. Nonetheless, the most common applications involve grinding and cutting with resin-bonded wheels.
To use the grinder safely:

  • 1. Always use the proper, correctly positioned wheel guard. Never use the grinder without a guard. The guard should be adjusted so that the least amount of wheel is exposed toward you. Many grinders have wheel guards that do not require tools for adjusting, which means adjustments generally can be made quickly and easily.
  • 2. Never use a grinder if its no-load speed (RPM) is unknown.
  • 3. Never use a wheel larger than that for which the grinder is designed, e.g., a 7-in.-diameter wheel on a 6-in. grinder.
  • 4. Don't use the grinder without a side handle. Use both hands. Never operate a grinder in a one-handed manner; should the wheel jam, it would be almost impossible to maintain control of the grinder, even if it were equipped with a slip clutch.
  • 5. Position the power cord clear of the spinning wheel.
  • 6. Never lay the grinder down until the wheel has come to a complete stop. (Grinders with electric or mechanical brakes minimize the waiting time.)
  • 7. Be sure the switch properly turns the grinder on and off. If not, do not use the tool until necessary repairs are made.
  • 8. Ensure that the grinder is unplugged before mounting or removing a wheel.
  • 9. Read the instruction manual supplied with the grinder before use. (Unfortunately, this basic step is very often ignored.)

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