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What Can You use an Angle Grinder For?

angle grinder
Image credit: Kristopher Radder, Wikimedia

Angle grinders are a versatile home tool that gets its name from the cutting head positioned at an angle to the drive shaft. Depending on the kind of head attachment you use, they can be used to sharpen, polish or even cut.

They are available in a variety of sizes, but the most useful sizes are 4 and 4.5-inch grinders. They come corded or cordless or pneumatically powered and in a variety of motor powers.

Although you can pick one up for not much money, if the work you have to do with it is demanding — say, cutting masonry — you’ll want to spend a little more on something with a more powerful motor, say upping from a basic 5-amp motor to a 7-amp motor or more powerful.

There is a range of attachments available for whatever job you have for it. You’ll want to make sure you have the right one for the job before getting started.

Polish and sharpen

Refurbishing existing tools is a primary use for an angle grinder. They are handy for removing rust from tools left out in the rain, or for general maintenance on them. You can also use them to sharpen tools that really just require an edge rather than a properly sharpened blade.

sharpening a knife
Image credit: fernandozhiminaicela, Pixabay

If you have a shovel that’s been dinged up by use, for example, you can restore it to peak effectiveness by cleaning it off before polishing it up and restoring its edge with an angle grinder. You can also sharpen lawnmower blades and two-handed pruning shears with it.

Cutting steel and masonry

Beyond use as a tool to maintain tools, with the right attachment an angle grinder can take its place as a frontline cutting tool. Install a cutting wheel, and you can cut metal, including steel rebar. With the right model, you can work it in close and cut off the heads of nuts that are frozen in place.

angle grinder cutting steel
Image credit: Lacholazarovphotos, Wikimedia

Install a diamond cutting wheel and you can cut brick and other kinds of masonry. Again, this is pretty heavy-duty work for an angle grinder and if want to put that kind of consistent wear and tear on your motor you’ll want to spend a little extra upfront on a powerful one.

Safety first

We’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you that no matter what you use an angle grinder for, that safety has to come first. By its very nature, it will toss a lot of debris into the air, so goggles are a must. So are gloves. Always make sure that you pay attention to what it is cutting into and hold it firmly. It can always kick back and injure an unwary user.


Angled grinders are versatile hand tools that combine power with different attachments to maximize your investment. They come in a range of power sources, from pneumatic to cordless models with batteries, and in a range of motor sizes so you can select the right one for the work you need done.

There are a wide range of attachments available so that the kind of work you can do is as varied as the models you can do it with. You can use an angle grinder to repair and maintain your other tools but grinding off corrosion or sharpening a dull blade. With different kinds of cutting wheels, you can also use it as a front-line tool to chew up masonry and shorten steel rebar.

When buying one, make sure you find one suitable for the jobs you need done. Too little power for too much work will wear out your tool quickly, and ultimately risks damaging it. Don’t overlook basic safety, either. Angle grinders create a lot of flying debris. Outfit yourself with proper protective equipment.

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