Best Angle Grinder Wheel for metal. Grinder metal cutting wheel
WHAT ARE THE BEST CUTTING DISCS FOR STEEL ?
DIY users approaching projects in the metal fabrication field, where steel cutting is required, always have an initial question on what is the best abrasive product to efficiently cut through both stainless steel and mild steel. There are a few key determinants to selecting both the appropriate power tool for your project, and the most effective steel cutting abrasive for your project. For DIY users these factors depend largely on what type of material needs to be cut, the thickness of the metal that needs to be cut, and the accessibility of the metal area that needs to be cut. We aim to go through the best abrasive for the job below.
Best Power Tools to Cut Steel
Steel can be cut with a variety of power equipment, depending on the shape of the steel that needs to be cut. A bench mounted, drop saw will fit a 14” 350mm or 16” 400mm cutting blade, and this is most suitable for heavier steel work as the chop saw can cut through almost any metal with the correct cutting blade.
A bench mounted drop saw is particularly useful for cutting repetitive lengths of steel quickly and accurately. The limitation with this tool is that it will only cut at a straight 90º angle. For thin, fiddly auto work, a rotary or air tool may be your weapon of choice. These are particularly useful power tools to get into those hard to reach areas where heavier, bulkier tools cannot be manoeuvred. You can also cut metal with a hacksaw, however this is much more intensive work for something a power tool can do in a fraction of the time.
However, the most popular and versatile power tool to use to cut steel is an angle grinder, due to its size, affordability, and portability. An angle grinder can be purchased in a range of sizes to suit different sizes abrasive cutting discs. Each angle grinder will operate at a different RPM to suit the respective disc, therefore it is important not to fit an incorrect sized disc on an angle grinder. They will also have a guard that should never be removed to accommodate a wheel that is not meant for the grinder size.
An angle grinder includes a spindle washer and spindle nut that you’ll install in different configurations to accommodate thicker or thinner wheels or remove altogether when screwing wire wheels and cups onto the threaded spindle. The most popular angle grinder sizes in Australia for both professional fabricators and DIY users are 4″ 100mm and 5″ 125mm.
Choosing Profile of Cutting Wheel
There are two types of common cutting wheels to suit an angle grinder: Type 1, which is flat; and Type 27, which has a depressed centre.
Generally speaking, Type 1 wheels offer more versatility, especially when cutting profiles, corners or anything that requires the operator to cut up and over two different planes of cutting surface. Type 27 wheels, on the other hand, are ideal for getting into tight corners or overhangs. The depressed centre of a Type 27 wheel provides the extra clearance sometimes needed to get the job done. It is strongly recommend that the general DIY user purchases a flat Type 1 cutting disc which is the more popular type of wheel.
Choosing Grain and Quality in Cutting Wheels
The most popular grain used in the manufacture of abrasive cut-off wheels is aluminum oxide. This is a softer bond that results in a cut that is fast, smooth and easy-to-control.
These aluminium oxide cutting wheels can be purchased in INOX grade quality, which means the abrasive wheel contains no iron and therefore has the ability to cut both stainless steel and mild steel. If the cutting disc does not specify for use on Stainless Steel or have INOX stamped on the label, then it is most likely only suitable for mild steel cutting. As stainless steel is one of the harder types of steel to cut, a disc that cuts through stainless steel will cut through all types of metal including aluminium, sheet metal, rebar and other mild steels.
Choosing Thickness of Cutting Wheels
Cutting discs are available in different thicknesses, and the type of wheel you select depends on the type, shape and thickness of the steel that needs to be cut. For standard everyday jobs on either stainless or mild steel using an angle grinder, choose a 1mm or 1.6mm thickness in your disc.
For projects that involve thin metal such as sheet metal, choose a 1.0mm or 0.8mm thinner cutting disc. These thinner discs will sheet metal faster and as such, minimise discoloration and leave less work in the clean-up of the surface of the metal once you’re done.
Have you ever tried the Diablo diamond cut off wheel
When working with Aluminium, best results it is recommended to apply cutting wax or other type of saw lubricant to the cutting disc to preserve the life of the blade and avoid chipping. For heavier steel cutting jobs where you need to cut through a significant thickness of metal, select a 1.6mm or 2.5mm thickness of cutting disc. However, it is important to note that thicker wheels cut slower and generate more friction and heat through the cut — often discolouring the workpiece and requiring additional steps to finish.
Tips on Using Cutting Wheels on an Angle Grinder
Rule number one when using an Angle Grinder is SAFETY. This means; the correct wheel for that sized grinder, appropriate safety gear ( safety gloves. face shield, safety glasses etc), let the wheel do the work – don’t push it, and pay attention to what you are doing. It is important to use even pressure and consistent motion through the cut. Let the wheel do the work and use the weight of the tool to complete the cut. Pushing too hard increases cut speed but also generates heat and friction, which ultimately reduces wheel life and can be very dangerous.
A good abrasive supplier will stock a range of cutting discs for mild and stainless steel to suit the bench mounted drop saw, angle grinder and air tool. At Smith ARROW, an Australian company, we stock cutting abrasives to suit all different sizes drop / chop saws. air tools, rotary tools. roloc tools and angle grinders. We sell very high quality cutting discs for the metal fabrication market.
Smith ARROW is the only abrasives range in Australia to receive INDEPENDENT CERTIFICATION for our entire range of cutting and grinding wheels (equal to or greater than 100mm diameter) as complying with Australian Standard AS1788.1-1987 from SAI Global. As a result, Smith ARROW has been licensed by SAI Global to use their “5 Tick” Quality Certification Mark – one of the most recognisable and respected Quality Marks in the world – on the labels and packaging of all of our cutting and grinding wheels within this range under both our Smith ARROW Brand.
Along with a wide and ever increasing range of high quality industrial consumables that represent amazing value for money for our customers, Smith ARROW supply cut off wheels to suit all steel, in a range of thicknesses to suit your preferred application. View our entire cutting disc range here.
Best Angle Grinder Wheel for metal
Are you looking for the best angle grinder wheel for cutting metal? There are so many good angle grinder wheels out there, that it can be hard to make the right decision.
What makes the best angle grinder wheel for metal?
When buying an angle grinder wheel for cutting metal you want to keep the following things in mind:
- What the grinding wheel is made of – In general, you want to choose a grinding disc that is made from Aluminium Oxide
- Grain concentration – The higher the grain of a grinding wheel the cleaner the cut. For dense materials like metal and steel, you want to use the highest grain possible.
- Durability – A high-quality grinding disc should not wear very fast.
- Price – Price is the final thing you want to keep in mind when looking for a grinding wheel. They may seem cheap but, in the long run, you can save a good amount of money.
Best angle grinder wheels for metal
These are our favorite angle grinder wheels for metal:
DeWALT General Purpose (DW4523)
- Made of aluminum oxide
- High grain concentration
- Very durable
- Best price/quality
How to Mount a Grinding Disc on an Angle Grinder | Norton Abrasives
Angle grinder wheels come in a million different grains and sizes. It comes as nobody’s surprise that DeWALT is one of the most popular disk manufacturers. They offer a three-year limited warranty on most of their products. Also, they are proven to be one of the best power tool manufacturers. You really can not go wrong with them!
These grinding wheels are ideal to pair with a DeWALT grinder. Read: The best DeWALT angle grinders to find out which are our favorite DeWALT angle grinders.
This grinding wheel is made of aluminum oxide. A longer-lasting and safer material than some other grinding wheels on this list.
The DeWALT DW4523 all-purpose grinding wheel can be used for all 4 1/2″ inch grinders.
Truswe metal Cut Off Wheel
- Compatible with all 4-1/2 inch angle grinders
- Made of aluminum oxide
- reinforced by double fiberglass mesh
- Great price/quality
Truswe is a less-known brand that specializes itself in grinding disks. For this reason, they produce some of the best quality angle grinding wheels on the market! This grinding wheel in particular is extra thin and super durable. Truswe metal grinding disks are made for 4 1/2 inch angle grinders.
They are made of Aluminum oxide. These fibers stick together making this grinding wheel safer than others on this list. The aluminum oxide will not shatter and will wear less than other materials.
The only thing to keep in mind when buying Truswe grinding wheels is that they come in a pack of 50.
EZARK metal Cut-Off Wheel
- Made of iridium-plated white corundum
- Fast, precise, and clean cutting performance
- Tough abrasive cutting discs
- Decent price/quality
EZARK grinding disks are made of Iridium-plated white corundum. These are in general a bit more durable than standard Aluminum oxide disks.
However, the biggest drawback of corundum is that it has a higher risk to shatter. Therefore we recommend extra safety protection when you are using these grinding disks.
Unfortunately these disks also only come in a pack of 25.
Are you looking for an angle grinder that can be used with these wheels? Check out our guide: Best cordless angle grinders
Frequently asked questions
Can I use an all-purpose grinding disk for metal?
You can! However, keep in mind that these wheels tend to wear out quicker while grinding metal compared to a dedicated metal grinding wheel.
What started as a passion for power tools has now grown to become our full-time job. With our team of 4 people, we are constantly reviewing the latest tools on the market!
Grinder metal cutting wheel
In this third installment of our “Training the Apprentice Series” on grinders and their various accessory options, we’re going to take a look at another set of common options, bonded cut-off wheels and diamond cut-off wheels. If this is your first time with this series, or you’re new to grinders in general, maybe take a minute to read up on the introductory article about grinders and their applications and accessories. The second part covers hard grinding wheels vs flap discs.
If you’ve come this far with the series, you’ve probably realized the versatility of the die and angle grinder. Grinding, cutting, sanding, notching, polishing, sharpening, and cleaning are all possible, depending on the wheel you’ve chosen. In this article, we’ll be looking at two options that revolve around the task of cutting through hard material. Bonded cut-off wheels and diamond cut-off wheels both excel at cutting work, but each has its pros and cons. Let’s take a look at each. Hopefully, by the end of it, you’ll be able to make an informed selection more suited to your particular need.
Bonded Cut-Off Wheels
These wheels seem to be the standard for cut-off wheels that you’ve probably seen the most frequently. The basic design of the bonded cut-off wheel is almost identical to the bonded grinder wheel we talked about in the last article. A resinoid bonding material holds thousands of sharp, abrasive grains together so that the wheel can cut effectively. As the bonding and the grains wear away, new, sharp grains are exposed, maintaining the wheel’s cutting efficiency.
Bonded abrasive cut-off wheels come in two main varieties: a flat, type 1 wheel and a type 27, which sports a raised center hub. Some of the decision about which one to use will come down to your own preference, although depending on the tool manufacturer’s suggestion, you might not have a choice. You might find yourself limited by the size of the guard on the tool as well, but when in doubt, read the manufacturer’s specs.
As with grinder wheels, the grains in these cut-off wheels can come from a variety of materials. Aluminum oxide works well with steel, while silicon carbide works well for nonferrous materials. Zirconia alumina and ceramic alumina are also both viable options for a variety of different applications. These tend to last longer than the aluminum oxide wheels, but they cost a bit more too.
Diamond Cut-Off Wheels
An alternative to the abrasive cutting wheel, the diamond wheel consists of a metal wheel covered on its cutting edges with a diamond coating. Basically, polycrystaline diamond is manufactured in a high-intensity laboratory process. Diamond particles get fused with a carbide substrate and brazed onto a tool body to provide the wheel’s cutting edge. Since diamonds have such a high resistance to wear and tear, diamond cut-off wheels will outlast their bonded abrasive counterparts by a significant margin. In addition, diamond cut-off wheels can stand up to a variety of materials, like steel, sheet metal, stainless, rebar, ceramic, stone, etc.
Pro’s And Con’s
Both the bonded cut-off wheels and diamond cut-off wheels have a few pro’s and con’s to consider. Over the life of the wheel, the bonded abrasive wheel will cut faster in most applications than the diamond wheel. But, it will wear out much faster as well. I’ve been told that diamond wheels cut faster for the first few cuts, then drop off significantly. However, after the initial drop-off in speed, the cutting efficiency stays pretty consistent until the blade wears out. Meanwhile, the high cutting speed of the bonded wheel stays consistently fast, but you might have to change out worn discs pretty regularly.
Sparks thrown by bonded abrasive cut-off wheel vs. rebar.
Diamond cut-off wheels will tend to be the safer of the two options. Bonded cut-off wheels tend to throw off more sparks than diamond cut-off wheels, since both the work material and the grains and bonding of the wheel are being simultaneously ground down. This is not the case with diamond wheels, as the only thing generating sparks will be the work material. Granted, more sparks looks way cooler. But, if you happen to be working near anything flammable, bonded abrasive cut-off wheels might give you more trouble.
Also, breakage occurs more frequently with bonded wheels as well. Should you bind up your wheel in the work material, the chances of a bonded wheel exploding become much greater than the sturdier metal base of the diamond cut-off wheel. Of course, the chances of this happening are mitigated by following manufacturer recommendations for speed and material, but the fact remains that bonded wheels are just more brittle.
Sparks thrown by diamond cut-off wheel vs. rebar.
While you have a greater selection of options with a bonded disc, a diamond wheel probably has a greater spread of what materials it can handle. It is probably also going to be more effective with ceramic tiles and concrete.
Cost Vs Benefit
Another consideration comes down to cost. Bonded abrasive cut-off wheels cost less than their diamond coated counterparts. Of course, you will wind up replacing them more often, which offsets their overall cost when compared to a high initial cost of the diamond wheel. A 2 bonded wheel seems much cheaper than a 13 diamond cut-off wheel until you consider that you might have to use 10 of them to get through the same amount of cutting. At that point, the cost-per-cut of the diamond wheel is much cheaper than the bonded wheel. Ultimately, your decision will revolve around how much work you’ve got ahead of you, and how much you’re willing to spend.
Ultimately, you have a few considerations to make when deciding which wheel suits your needs best. What material are you trying to cut? How important is cutting speed to you, or is safety your number one concern? Is versatility important? Finally, how much are you willing to spend?
Both bonded cut-off wheels and diamond cut-off wheels have their merits. There probably isn’t a clear-cut “better” choice for most applications. Although you will find a few jobs for which a diamond wheel might operate more efficiently, like tile and stonework, your choice with most applications will come down to a matter of preference.
Of course, whichever way you lean, you will want to do things to extend the life of your wheel while also keeping yourself safe. Use a grinder that offers a good amount of amperage; more amps equals more torque. Be sure not to use too much pressure when cutting, and let the grinder do the work for you. It is good to know that the thinner your wheel, the more susceptible it is to bending and breaking in a jam. Before using your grinder, check your cut-off wheels for signs of damage, wear, or grime. And finally, practice proper safety techniques; the differences between cut-off wheels won’t matter all that much to you if you’ve put yourself in the hospital.
You’ll find Chris behind the scenes at Shop Tool Reviews. When he doesn’t have his hands on tools himself, he’s often the man behind the camera lens making the rest of the team look good. In his free time, you might find Chris with his nose jammed in a book, or tearing out his remaining hair while watching Liverpool FC. He enjoys his faith, family, friends, and the Oxford comma.
Types of Angle Grinder Wheels and Discs
An angle grinder is a much more versatile power tool than you might think at first glance and can be found in almost any trade industry, from construction to metalworking and even woodworking.
What makes them so versatile is the many different angle grinder wheels and discs that can be used with them, such as grinding wheels, cut-off discs, flap discs, and more. With these different wheels, you’re capable of doing everything from cutting metal sheets to removing paint.
Our trusty angle grinder disc guide will walk through the different types and how they’re used. Afterward, you’ll better understand how each one works and which one you need to accomplish a specific task.
Grinding wheels, sometimes called grit discs, are easily the most recognizable of any of the discs available and the most popular due to their general-purpose nature. They are available in several different sizes up to 10-inches and varying degrees of thickness to tackle specific projects.
Grinding wheels come in varying grit levels. Lower grit numbers are more coarse, while a higher numbered grit is going to be less coarse. Low-grit grinding wheels are perfect for rough, quick work where you aren’t as worried about the finished look of your project. If you want a smoother finish, go with a high grit grinding wheel.
The main use for a grinding wheel is removing excess material from the surface of a project. Other uses include preparing metal for welding, cleaning up cuts, and several other uses, which is why a grinding wheel is considered an all-purpose disc.
Cut-off wheels look similar to grinding wheels, but they serve a much different purpose. The distinguishing feature of a cut-off wheel is its thin design, which allows them to make more precise cuts in metal bars and sheets. Due to their thin design, these discs can be dangerous, so be sure to wear the proper protective gear.
Wheels come in different thicknesses, each with its own pros and cons. The thinner the disc, the quicker cuts can be made, but the more brittle they’ll be. A thicker disc is stronger and less likely to warp during a cut. If the disc is bent in an odd direction, it will shatter, sending shards around the room that could prove hazardous or lead to serious injury.
Cut-off wheels are used primarily for cutting different metal pieces, including metal bars, tubes, and small pieces of sheet metal or plates. They can also be used to cut out welds or shorten bolts that are too long.
A flap wheel doesn’t look like it, but it works very similarly to a traditional grinding wheel. It separates itself by providing a much finer finish to your project and is commonly used for finishing work. The disc is made of many overlapping abrasive sheets, called flaps, hence the name. There are several grit options with the same method of the higher number of grit, the smoother the finish.
You’ll usually switch to a flap wheel after a surface has already been worked on with a grinding wheel. As the flaps wear away, new grit is exposed, so the wheel will always operate at peak condition until all the grit is gone. They work well for removing minor imperfections, such as burrs or scratches, and removing rust or polishing a surface. These types of angle grinder wheels are commonly found in autobody shops and metalworking and fabrication trades.
Wire wheels have varying styles with different purposes in mind, but generally, they all have the same general makeup of wires protruding from a circular base. They feature either thick, twisted bristles, which are more abrasive for faster, easier work, or thinner, straighter bristles, which are less abrasive for finer, precision jobs.
These types of angle grinder attachments are used to remove rust quickly or to polish hard metal. They can be used on softer materials but can lead to scratches on the surface, so proceed with caution. Wire wheels are also a good solution for removing paint from a surface.
Diamond Cutting Wheels
Diamond blades are typically the toughest blades on the market, and diamond cutting wheels are no different. The edges are embedded with diamond grits. Due to their hardened design, they tend to last longer than other blades. The higher the cutting rim, the longer the disc will last and the more durable it is.
You can work quickly and easier on the majority of applications. Diamond discs can be used on some of the toughest materials out there, such as masonry or stone, in both wet and dry cutting operations.
Paint Stripping Wheels
Paint stripping wheels sometimes called strip discs, are a common alternative to wire wheels when removing paint from a surface. They work best when working on materials that are a little more delicate, such as soft metals, wood, or fiberglass, as they won’t scratch the material.
The poly-fiber material used in strip discs makes them better suited for working on softer surfaces without damaging their surface. They also can be used to remove epoxy or other residues.
Concrete Grinding Wheels
Sometimes you may need to remove concrete from your surface or polish concrete entirely, and there’s a grinding wheel attachment for that job. Concrete grinding wheels come in many shapes and forms. These wheels are made of solid materials, such as fiberglass and other abrasive materials, to handle the tough structure of concrete.
Concrete grinding wheels can handle many other materials such as masonry, granite, marble, stone, and other hard materials. Their makeup allows these discs to be long-lasting over time, but eventually, they’ll wear down, so you’ll want to replace them when they begin to chip.
As always be sure to follow proper safety procedures when using an angle grinder and wear any applicable personal protective equipment. A vital thing to consider is the disc size and RPM of the angle grinder need to match to avoid damage to the disc, which can lead to injury. The top manufacturers of power tools are developing new safety technologies every day to make work with your angle grinder safer for you and those around you.
Shop all of your angle grinder wheel attachment needs from some of the top brands, such as Milwaukee, DeWALT, Diablo Tools, Makita, Bosch, and more at Acme Tools.