What is a Die Grinder?
What is a die grinder? Die grinders and rotary tools are handheld power tools used for grinding, sanding, honing, polishing, or machining material (typically metal, but also plastic or wood). All such tools are conceptually similar, with no bright dividing line between die grinders and rotary tools, although the die grinder name tends to be used for pneumatically driven heavy-duty versions whereas the rotary tool name tends to be used for electric lighter-duty versions. Flexible shaft drive versions also exist. The die grinder name comes from one of their earliest and archetypal applications, tool and die work, where they were used to create the precise contours of dies or molds. Especially before the advent of widespread CNC usage, they were heavily relied upon for contouring via manual skill comparable to a sculptor’s. CNC now provides much of the contouring for die and mold interior surfaces, but die grinders are still very useful for hundreds of cutting needs, from sculpture-like contouring in the absence of CNC, to cut-off of bar stock, to any of the cutting and grinding needs of fabrication, such as in the work of welders, boilermakers, millwrights, ironworkers (steel erectors), sheet metal workers (such as auto body workers and HVAC technicians), to woodworking (especially cabinet making), hacking, and other hobby or business pursuits. Die grinders are often used for engraving, cylinder head porting, and general shaping of a part.
Methods of cutting action
The cutting may be done in various ways, including:
Grinding with bonded abrasive stones (called by various names, such as mounted stones, mounted points, or grinding points) Machining with a burr or small drill bit or endmill Sanding with coated abrasive, such as small drums made of sandpaper mounted on an expanding rubber mandrel (also called an arbor) Honing with fine-grit mounted points Lapping with lapping compound and a mounted lap to embed it Polishing or buffing with cloth or fiber drums or flaps and polishing compound Types of cutters Mounted stones of many shapes and various [small or medium] sizes (also called mounted points or grinding points) Burrs of many shapes and various [small or medium] sizes (also called rotary files) Small drill bits Small endmills Small disc-shaped saw blades or milling cutters Small abrasive cut-off wheels, which work like saw blades except via abrasive cutting rather than sawing per se Small sanding drums Small sanding flap wheels Small cloth or fiber wheels, drums, and flap wheels (for holding polishing compound) Mounted laps Methods of holding the cutter The cutter is usually held in a collet, which is a convenient means of chucking in this application and provides the concentricity needed for high-RPM use. It also allows for quick changes in cutters. In some applications, other quick-change indexable chucking systems can be used, similar to the indexable chucking types now commonly found on consumer pistol-grip drills.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
The most universal safety precaution in die grinder use is to protect one’s eyes by wearing safety glasses.
Other common PPE in die grinder use includes:
Other eye and face protection, such as safety goggles (basically “safety glasses with sides too”) or a face shield, which is simply a polycarbonate window, hanging from a headband, between one’s face and the work. All eye protectors come in clear versions as well as various levels of shading (for grinding that produces enough sparks to warrant shading, like torching or welding do).
Hearing protection, such as ear plugs or headphones (die grinders are often quite loud, even just running unloaded, but even more so while cutting).
Skin protection, such as work gloves (and in some special applications, fire-retardant clothing because of the sparks, although the sparks are usually harmless in most applications).
Protection for the respiratory and alimentary tracts (mouth, throat, lungs, gut), such as simple paper masks or, in special applications, a respirator. Masks may be trivial in many applications but important in others. Any abrasive cutting generates dust, from both the abrasive itself and from the workpiece. Depending on the materials and amounts, masks may be needed.
Safety features built into the tool
Most pneumatic die grinder throttles (also called triggers) feature a spring-loaded “kickstand” mechanism between the throttle lever and the body of the grinder. This prevents the throttle from opening (being pressed down towards the body of the grinder) without operator intervention and inhibits accidental activation. It is similar in principle to the safety catches used on many handguns.
Tools with electric motors often have electrical safety features such as grounded cases (wired to a grounding conductor, which uses the grounding prong on a plug) or double insulation. Some may have both, but this is uncommon, because regulatory requirements require only one or the other.
/4″ carbide burs on 1/8″ heat treated steel shanks are perfect to fit your Dremel.
We will tell you the differences between single, double and aluminum cuts, and when to use them.
Choose Double, Single or Aluminum Cut Ball Shape Carbide Bur?
Our double cut carbide burs allow for Rapid stock removal in harder materials. The addition of the left hand flutes reduces the pulling action, allowing better operator control. You can reduce the size of the chips and use them at slower than normal speeds using our double cut burs.
Our single cut carbide burs are for general purpose and designed for cast iron, steel, some copper and brass, and other ferrous materials. Single cut will give good material removal and good workpiece finishes.
Non-ferrous are exactly what you would expect them to be. Use our cutting tools on non-ferrous materials such as aluminum, copper and magnesium.
Our USA made tungsten carbide burrs can be used on most hard materials including steel, aluminum and cast iron, all types of stone, ceramic, porcelain, hard wood, acrylics, fibreglass and reinforced plastics. If you use our burs on soft metals such as gold, platinum and silver, carbide burrs are perfect as they will last for a long time with no breaking or chipping.
Different cuts of carbide burrs will be best suited for certain materials.
Uses for Ball Shape Carbide Bur Die Grinder Bits
Carbide burs are widely used in metalworking, tool making, engineering, model engineering, wood carving, jewelry making, welding, chamferring, casting, deburring, grinding, cylinder head porting and sculpting. Our carbide cutting tools are used in the aerospace, automotive, dentistry, stone and metalsmith industries.
Carbide burs (burrs) are tools that are used for precision in cutting, grinding, and shaping the material with which they are being worked. Additionally, you can use them for deburring, where burrs, excess materials, sharp edges, and weld beads are removed. Use carbide burs in industrial tools, such as air tools (e.g., die grinders), engravers, flexible shafts, and pendant drills, as well as for hobbies (e.g., Dremel tools). Their uses are varied and diverse, such as jewelry work, metalworking, welding, woodworking, and cover a range of industries, including aeronautics, aviation, automotive, dentistry, and metal and stone working.
Carbide burs (burrs) are composed of titanium or tungsten; diamond is the only material on the Mohs scale that is harder and also used for drill tips. This means they are ideal for multiple purposes due to the fact that they maintain sharper cutting edges for longer periods of time due, and tolerate higher temperatures without warping when you apply friction. Carbide burs (burrs) maintain their sharp edges 10-20 times longer than a stainless-steel bur (burr), depending on the frequency of use and the materials used with.
All our USA made carbide bur cutting tools ship SAME DAY ordered by USPS Mail with online tracking.
We can also dropship the ball shape carbide bur die grinder bit, if interested in joining our FREE dropship program.
We accept debit and all major credit card payments including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and PayPal. Fast and easy secure checkout with no account or login required. If you have any questions, visit our FAQ page or contact us here.
The Best Die Grinder, According to 9,000 Customer Reviews
Welcome to the Thomas guide to the best die grinders 2023. Thomas has been connecting North American industrial buyers and suppliers for more than 120 years. When you purchase products through our independent recommendations, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Grinders are multifunctional electric or battery-powered items of equipment used on a wide range of building materials. General grinders are used for sawing, cutting, sanding, and brushing, due to the sheer force they exert on the material. Die grinders, on the other hand, obtain their cutting strength through high speed, rather than physical force.
Despite their horsepower rating of ⅓ or less, these tools can work at such fast speeds that they can accomplish detailed work, for which they are famous. Whereas most grinders are traditionally used for metalworking, die grinders have a variety of other DIY applications, including jewelry making, crafts, and any other hobby where a small-scale cutting or grinding tool is necessary.
On a professional level, if you are a car mechanic, welder, or body shop technician, you will also benefit from having a die grinder in your arsenal for detailing work. The buyer’s guide provided below aims to aid you in selecting the finest die grinder for your specific needs.
Here is a list of the best die grinders, followed by a buying guide to help you select the best die grinders.
Thomas’ Top Picks for the Best Die Grinders 2023
To assist you in selecting the most appropriate die grinders for your needs, we’ve produced a list of the top die grinders currently on the market in each of the following categories.
Best Compact Die Grinder with Compressed Air: Ingersoll Rand 3107G Die Grinder | Buy Now
Best Heavy Duty Die Grinder: Makita GD0800C Die Grinder | Buy Now
Best Budget Die Grinder: WORKPRO Power Tools Air Die Grinder | Buy Now
Scroll down to read more about these best picks for the top die grinder, according to many happy customers.
listed in this article were as shown in US on amazon.com (USA) as of August 2022
Best Overall Die Grinder—DeWALT DCG426B
The DeWALT DCG426B is a 20-volt electric die grinder that produces 500 MWO and can handle grinding discs up to 33 mm in diameter. The brushless motor is powered by the same batteries and charger as any other 20V MAX tool from the brand. The lack of a power cord and its lightweight design make it convenient to carry and use for extended periods of time.
A powerful led light is positioned on the nose of the tool to improve visibility, the motor is shielded from debris by a mesh cover and, because of the dual-position convenient paddle switch, the handle may be gripped in a number of ways.
One satisfied customer wrote, “Ditching a cord, having an LED light, and adjustable speed? Holy smokes. Genius. The variable speed is extremely nice when you just have some light touch-ups in a tight spot. You don’t have to worry about grabbing and bouncing around all over the place.” They also commented that the battery life lasts all day on a 5AH for regular use.
Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 5 inches
Weight: 3.36 lbs
Best Cordless Die Grinder—Dremel 8220-2/28
The Dremel 8220-2/28 set is a 30-piece kit, which includes the cordless die rotary tool, a 565 multi-purpose cutting kit attachment, an A550 shield attachment, 28 Dremel accessories, two 2.0 Ah, 12-volt lithium-ion batteries, a charger, a plastic storage case, and an accessory case. The patented EZ Twist Nose Cap makes accessory changes fast and easy without the need for a wrench, and this unit is compatible with the whole range of accessories from Dremel.
You won’t have to worry about it running out of power as you would with some other cordless die grinders because the battery reaches a full charge in just 60 minutes, and a second battery comes included in the set. Variable speed control (5,000-35,000 RPM) is operated from the easy-to-use ergonomic switch located on the side of the product.
Even professionals were impressed by this cordless die grinder, and one wrote, “This thing is powerful. Runs for a long time on battery charge.” Another happy customer added, “It seems to be quite sturdy with a strong, reliable motor.”
Dimensions: 4 x 13.75 x 9.28 inches
Weight: 2.1 lbs
Best Pneumatic Die Grinder—Chicago Pneumatic CP875 Angle Die Grinder
Although the attached air hose may not allow for portability, the Chicago Pneumatic CP875 sports a compact, solid aluminum housing and a built-in air regulator, which, along with its compact size, can handle most tough jobs in limited spaces. These pneumatic power tools are considered heavy-duty die grinders and are mainly used for rough cutting (not to be confused with cutoff tools).
Mirroring our sentiments exactly, one happy customer wrote of this tool, “This little die grinder has some serious cajones; far more than you would expect for the size.” Unlike other models, i.e., corded electric die grinders or battery-powered cordless die grinders, pneumatic tools achieve speed control with a twist throttle for precise cutting. The series also has a kit that comes with 13 grinding wheels’ accessories and a carrying case.
As one of the many happy customers summed up, “This particular Chicago Pneumatic grinder has been my go-to for years. My last one lasted me five years before it finally gave out, and that was with HEAVY usage, oiled daily, and greased at least once a month.” They also commended it for being lightweight (“compared to the ones my coworkers use”), compact (“small enough to where it fits comfortably in my small hands”) and quiet.
Dimensions: 4.2 x 7.5 x 2.6 inches
Weight: 1.1 lbs
Best Compact Die Grinder with Compressed Air—Ingersoll Rand 3107G
The Ingersoll Rand 3107G Edge Series is small and lightweight, weighing in at only one pound. It features a ball-bearing construction and is pretty sturdy, compact, and lightweight, allowing you to operate it anywhere with ease. It comes in straight and right-angle options, as well.
It runs on compressed air and has a ⅓ horsepower engine, a ¼.inch collet, a rear exhaust, and a self-locking throttle. Despite its small size, it has a high RPM of 27,000 that will blast through even the toughest jobs.
The curved grip provides better comfort and control, and the ergonomic design allows for superior torque precision, as well as increased productivity and safety, allowing you to use it all day without concern. Many customers commented on this tool’s high power, and compact design, and one wrote that it’s also “very convenient and perfect for sharpening a lawn mower blade.”
Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.25 x 1.75 inches
Weight: 1 lb
Best Right Angle Die Grinder—AIRCAT 6255
If you’re searching for a comfortable angle die grinder for those hard-to-reach spots, the Aircat 6255 has an angled head and ergonomic design that is made for working in difficult-to-reach areas. This tool is described as having good internal mechanics and has a 0.5 horsepower motor, and a free speed of 20,000 RPM.
This angle grinder features a unique silent technology that reduces vibration and noise levels (below 82dB) without lowering the working torque, making it ideal for working in a home environment. The AirCAT angle die grinder also has a feather trigger and a rear exhaust port design that safely directs air away from the user.
One customer, a novice, wrote that this angle grinder “is easy to handle. The trigger is the best of these types I’ve used with no false activations.” Another buyer, a professional mechanic with over 10 years of experience, agreed and wrote, “I love this Aircat angle die grinder… It is actually very easy to control your speed variety… The tool quality is built perfect; when you look at it, you know it’s not cheaply made.”
Dimensions: 7.1 x 3.1 x 1.5 inches
Weight: 1.19 lbs
Best Extended Die Grinder—Berkling Tools BT 6321-7
Anyone looking for a professional tool for tight spaces and difficult-to-reach areas will appreciate the size and convenience of the Berkling BT 6321-7. This product line also offers 7- or 12-inch extensions, as well as a straight and right-angle grinder, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Its pneumatic 0.5 horsepower motor makes it perfect for difficult applications like porting, weld grinding, and edge smoothing.
For grip comfort and cool air insulation, this power tool incorporates a strong composite rubber over-molded lightweight aluminum casing. The Berkling die grinder is designed for high-speed grinding and also has an air regulator on the handle for convenient access and adjustment of the motor speed.
Customers agree that this is a powerful die grinder, good for detailing and heavy-duty work. “l successfully ground a rounded nut on a catalytic converter and the tool served the purpose,” wrote one auto mechanic. “I like the weight of it. It’s not too heavy for extended use, and it’s good at getting into places a normal length die grinder won’t reach.”
Dimensions: 13.4 inches (L)
Weight: 2.87 lbs
Best Die Grinder for Tight Spaces—Astro APT-218
The Astro APT-218 is an ⅛-inch pencil die grinder designed for heavy-duty work in confined spaces. Unlike most die grinders, its size (5.2 x 14.5 x 19.7 inches) allows it to fit into practically any space, without sacrificing its power, as it revolves at 56,000RPM.
Its powerful motor can handle cleaning dies, rotors, and brake pads, so you can use it both for heavy-duty work and finishing touches, thanks to its precision bearings. As with most pneumatic die grinders, simply twist the throttle mechanism for speed variety and smooth operation.
One customer who works in aviation praised these “professional” and “spectacular” grinders, and described, “They spool up, have torque, and will shear ⅛ cutters if you let them get away from you.” Another professional wrote that “it is much, much thinner than a Dremel… You hold it like a pencil, rather than a Maglite, which makes it a great tool… Also, it’s air-powered so you can slow your roll by adding a little pressure and let up when you’re ready to get on with it.”
Dimensions: 5.2 x 14.5 x 19.7 inches
Weight: 0.8 lbs
Snap-On: Most Expensive Die Grinder Ever vs M12 & Makita
Best Heavy Duty Die Grinder—Makita GD0800C
The corded electric Makita GD0800C boasts a 6.6 AMP motor that can easily provide up to 28,000 RPM. The SJS technology in this straight die grinder is a mechanical brake that avoids harm to both the tool and the user by allowing the drive shaft to slide if the front grinding wheel is stopped by force.
This high-speed tool has a variable speed control dial that allows you to tailor the pace to the work at hand, ranging from 7,000 RPM to full speed. Soft start also reduces start-up reaction time, resulting in smoother starts and longer gear life. It also includes directional air-flow vents that divert the tool’s air output away from your face.
“In addition to its raw power, I also find the rigidity of the tool helps make even fine cuts more controllable,” wrote one happy customer, who also pointed out that it has a “multi-position removable side handle which adds greatly to the ease of controlling this workhorse.”
Dimensions: 5.43 x 17.91 x 3.66 inches
Weight: 3.5 lbs
Best Die Grinder Kit—Ingersoll Rand 307BK
The Ingersoll Rand 307BK die grinding set includes the 307B straight air die grinder, two wrenches, a 6mm collet, 10 abrasive stones in various shapes and sizes, and a plastic case to keep it all in. The die grinder has a maximum speed of 28,000 RPM and 0.3 horsepower, which, despite its small size, allows it to be used for deburring, polishing, porting, smoothing edges, and weld grinding.
This straight die grinder also has a narrow profile and, as the grinding head is in line with the tool body, it allows for reach through spaces where angle die grinders may not fit. You can also apply greater pressure on these tools and have more control over detailed work as it can exert up to 90 PSI.
It weighs a little more than the other die grinder from the same brand on this list, however, it’s still a lightweight tool. Many customers left rave reviews stating that they have been left satisfied with their purchase—especially considering the low price—as everything they needed could be found in this compact package.
Dimensions: 5 x 2 x 2 inches
Weight: 2.1 lbs
Best Budget Die Grinder—WORKPRO Air Die Grinder
For the budget-savvy novice or professional, WorkPro Air die grinder offers great value for money. This unit comes in both straight and right-angle die grinder options. These pneumatic models also feature two collets (¼ and ⅛ inches) and it also has a latch connected to the trigger mechanism that acts as a safety lock.
This budget option rotates at a maximum speed of 25,000 RPM, allowing for precise cutting, grinding, shaping, as well as sanding, and can withstand a maximum operating pressure of 90 PSI. It is lightweight yet sturdy and its ergonomic shape makes it perfect for extended one-handed use. The rear exhaust design produces less noise and keeps the exhaust out of your face.
Many pros using the tool left five-star reviews, and one customer, a professional who uses it daily, explained that even though “it is not as refined as some higher-priced brands, it is likely one of the best you can find in this price range.”
Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 5 inches
Weight: 0.73 lbs
The Best Die Grinders—Summary
To sum things up, if you are looking for an overall powerful die grinder that is portable and has many unique features, try the DeWALT DCG426B (US149.99, Amazon). On the other hand, if you prefer using tools with an air compressor, the Ingersoll Rand 307BK (US69, Amazon) 16-item kit is a stellar option.
For a more heavy-duty die grinder, the Makita GD0800C (US246.47, Amazon) boasts a powerful 6.6 AMP motor and can deliver up to 28,000 RPM (though it’s not intended for use with a cut-off wheel or as a cutoff tool).
Choosing the Best Die Grinder—Buying Guide
There are a few essential factors to consider before purchasing a die grinder that can meet your demands. It’s also worth noting that no matter how powerful a die grinder is, it is not advisable to use it with accessories for cut-off wheels or as a cutoff tool.
Die Grinder Considerations
These power tools are pretty straightforward, with a few options to pick from, and the end result is mostly determined by the type of tip used on the die grinder. Important factors to consider are the size, motor power, power source, and whether a straight or right-angle die grinder is more suitable for your needs.
The appropriate size to purchase depends on the type of job at hand. Smaller ones are best for auto technicians since larger versions will likely not fit between the exhaust pipe and the car’s floor. The size of the tool may not be as important for welders, and generally grind components that are put flat on a workstation.
The power you require, like the size, is determined by the project. The motor power directly regulates the speed of the grinding wheels. Generally, the more powerful the tool, the harder it is to slow down while applying pressure. Auto mechanics who use a die grinder with accessories, such as a fibrous cutoff wheel, to cut bolts and grind off gaskets may get by with a less powerful model, but professional welders should opt for high-speed and more powerful models.
Straight vs. Right Angle Die Grinders
Angle grinders should not be confused with angled die grinders. Die grinders, whether right-angle or straight, are smaller and lighter than angle larger grinders, making them ideal for on-the-go use. But both kinds are essentially useful for the same purpose. Straight grinders might be more comfortable to work with on components that are above head, such as grinding an exhaust; while angled die grinders can fit easily into tighter spaces.
Battery-powered cordless models are becoming popular, particularly among contractors working on remote job sites. The batteries on these units will need to be replaced often if you use the power tool for long periods. The battery pack also makes these cordless tools slightly bulkier and heavier than air-powered models.
If you own a high-quality air compressor, however, a pneumatic grinder may be the ideal option for you as you won’t have to worry about pneumatic ones running out of power. Corded electric models are also available and could be handy in a workshop, but they do have the limitation of a cord which could be an issue if working remotely.
We hope our review of the best die grinders has been helpful and you were able to pick the right die grinder or angle die grinders for your needs. For more suppliers of related products, including fasteners, socket wrenches, impact wrenches, small tools, and lug wrenches, consult our additional guides, or visit the Thomas Supplier Discovery Platform.
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The Complete Guide to Die Grinder Bits
The versatility of die grinders means this is the tool that you’ll be reaching for when there’s the need to grind, cut, carve, polish, shape or smooth just about any material you’re working on. This assumes that you have the right attachments.
When working with exceptionally hard materials like metals, stone, tiles or ceramics, carbide burrs are what get the job done faster, neater and with a professional finish. Their unmatched hardness paired with the high RPMs of the grinder means these tool attachments find dozens of uses in just as many fields, from welding, wood and metal working, automotive repair, general construction, dentistry, jewellery making and in any industry where quick stock removal is called for.
What Are Die Grinder Bits?
Carbide burrs, more commonly called die grinder bits, are the attachments used in rotary tools. They’re ideally used for smoothing, grinding, shaping, carving and deburring excess materials in a variety of workpieces. They come in different cutting profiles and shapes to produce different types of cuts. And you can find them in varying sizes.
What Are They Made of?
These aren’t the ordinary bits that you’d use in drills and impact drivers. They’re made of tungsten carbide, an alloy of tungsten and carbon and exhibit exceptional properties. The alloy is up to three times as hard as steel and has the highest compressive strength of any known metal.
It is additionally highly resistant to deformation, holds its own against high heat, has exceptional impact and abrasion resistance and is second only to diamonds as the hardest material there is. Tooling them also requires some serious CNC machining considering how hard they are.
Materials on Which They’re Used
Hardness and durability are where your typical die grinder bits run circles around everything else on offer. These things are meant to last and produce consistent results no matter what they’re used on. This will range from commonly-used metals such as stainless steel, iron, aluminium and copper, precious metals like gold and silver, and a wide range of plastics, to harder materials like ceramics, tiles, gemstones and masonry.
They also make easy work of both hard and softwoods. Surpassed in outright hardness only by natural and synthetic diamonds, the bits exhibit substantially longer run times than comparable burrs optioned in HSS steel, won’t show signs of wear or metal fatigue due to high working temperatures, and can be used without issue at real high RPMs.
Who Are They for?
Bits attached to the end of die grinders and other rotary tools are used across a range of varying professions and fields. Most often this means anyone working with metal and wood. They are basic necessities for metalworkers, welders, smash repairers, tool makers, plumbers, and mechanics, as well as woodworkers, carpenters, joiners and construction workers.
over, the bits can easily drill into plasterboard, brick and concrete. The list can also be populated with less obvious professions. Smaller bits are used by artists, sculptors, jewellers and dentists. Lastly, the attachments are useful in any household or commercial work that requires general material removal, smoothing and cleaning.
There are more than a few benefits when comparing die-grinding bits and ordinary burrs or traditional grinding wheels and files. First, they are much more efficient in quick material removal, making them the choice for heavy-duty and industrial applications, as they save both time and money.
The burrs can remove more material in a single go, won’t break, crack or deform and with low wear will last much longer. They are also easier to use without the typical vibrations, waste scrap and noise, as well as adaptable and versatile across a range of different uses and materials.
What to Look for When Buying
Different uses mean the bits come with either a single or double-cutting profile. Single-cut burrs have a single cutting profile or ‘flute’ that runs from the top to the end in a spiral. This is ideal for:
- Quick heavy stock material removal
- General smoothing and cleaning
Materials that single-cut options work best in can range from ferrous metals like stainless and tool steel or cast iron, as well as aluminium and copper.
Double-cut options have two intersecting sets of flutes. This allows for much smoother surfaces and cleaner finishes in both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, but is particularly good in softer metals like aluminium and mild steel, in addition to wood and plastics. Use double-cut bits in:
- Light to medium stock removal
- Light milling and deburring
- Fine finishing and smoothing
- Surface cleaning
Besides the differences in use and the materials, they work best in single and double-cut options and also are distinguished by how they operate. The first produces larger chips, so getting the finish you want may take longer. Additionally, double-cut types are easier to control with the finer cutting profiles and are the ideal type for beginners.
Shapes and Sizes
Bits are available in a range of shapes. Choosing the right shape determines where and how the bits can be used. Go for ball burrs if you need concave or hollowed-out cuts, tree-pointed burrs when working with sharper acute angles and for rounding off edges and cylindrical burrs for smoothing and deburring flat surfaces, or when working at right angles.
Flame and oval carbide burrs are ideal for rounded contouring and end milling, and countersink burrs in either 60 or 90 degrees in bevelling, countersinking and chamfering. To extend the versatility and the jobs that the bits will come in handy, buy a set of die grinder burrs in different shapes.
Sizes refer to the diameters in the cutting head, as well as the shank. This can be stated both in imperial and metric units. Burr diameters range between 1/8 to 1 inch or 3 to 25mm in the cutting head with the most common size being 1/4 inch or 6mm. Shank diameters also differ and range from 1,6 to 16mm, meaning besides die grinders, carbide burrs are also suitable for smaller rotary tools like Dremels and pendant drills. The shanks can also be in standard or extra-long lengths, helpful when working in tight spots.
Summing It Up
Often it’s the attachments and not the tools themselves that will have the last say on how your project turns out. Anyone that needs versatile, dependable and long-last bits for shaping, smoothing, carving, deburring and general grinding applications should have a long look at what die grinder burrs are capable of, and the benefits they bring to your line of work.
Using a die grinder
New to the trade and curious about grinders, or grinder accessories, but don’t want to expose yourself as a dum-dum by asking someone more informed? Starting a DIY project, but not sure if a grinder is the right tool for you? Do you just happen to be fascinated by spinny, grindy things? Well, look no further than this installment of the “Training the Apprentice” Series over here at ShopToolReviews.com!
As the resident greenhorn on staff, I haven’t been able to fool anyone around here about the limits of my grinder knowledge. So, I’ve been tasked with researching and learning the answers to some basic questions about grinders and their uses. And, as long as I’ve already outed myself as an ignoramus on the subject, there’s no reason for you to have to do the same; just continue reading, and benefit from the fruits of my labor!
In the first part of this series on grinder accessories, I’m going to be looking to present a brief overview of grinders. We’ll look at a few accessory options and various grinder applications. While the information probably won’t be exhaustive, it might help inform other novices like me.
Consider the Noble And Majestic Grinder
Before jumping into the various accessory options and their respective applications, it might be helpful to look at what a grinder actually is, and what it does.
Basically, a grinder is any tool that works by spinning a rotating head holding an abrasive attachment. Generally, this spinning happens quickly and with a low amount of torque. Measured in revolutions per minute, there are grinders that can reach speeds of up to 30,000 RPM. Grinders come in a few varieties, but the two we’re concerned with today are of the handheld variety: the die grinder and the angle grinder.
The die grinder is a high-speed, handheld rotary tool that holds a small diameter grinding bit. One example is the recent video review of the Milwaukee Cordless Die Grinder M18 FUEL. It can look and work similarly to a drill, though the two tools will be torqued and powered much differently (the die grinder will have a much higher RPM, but a much lower amount of torque). Die grinders can be used in a variety of applications, such as grinding, honing, sanding, polishing, de-burring, or machining. Typically used in metalworking, these grinders can be applied to plastic and wood as well.
An angle grinder, also known as a side grinder, works like the die grinder, but the rotating head is held at a right angle to the motor. Typically, the angle grinder and the die grinder will be used to accomplish different tasks, though they could probably be interchanged for most applications. Angle grinders generally use larger grinder accessories and can tackle grinding, cutting, cleaning, polishing, and sharpening applications.
A Wealth of Grinder Accessories
Of course, the application for which you can use your grinder depends on available accessories. At this point, there is a variety of options. From cutting wheels to polishing wheels, grinding discs to flap discs, wire wheels and cup brushes, the function of the grinder depends on the disc or wheel it’s attached to.
For instance, a wire wheel works well for metal cleaning applications. A wire cup brush will strip rust and flaking paint from wide flat areas really well, while a wire wheel fits more easily into crevices and corners.
Grinders can cut through metal bolts, sheet metal, stainless steel, or even rebar. Metal cut-off wheels are relatively inexpensive. These cut-off wheels can come in a variety of materials, from aluminum oxide to diamond plating to ceramic abrasives. We put some of these new diamond wheels to the test in the Lenox MetalMax Cutoff Wheel video review.
Diamond plated wheels are also effective for scoring or cutting through stone and ceramic tile. You can get into some deburring applications with a die grinder and a silicon carbide or aluminum oxide deburring wheel. A general grinding disc can help with restoring cutting edges like mower blades.
Cup grinding discs help shape and smooth out concrete and stonework. Grinders can work well in tuckpointing applications as well. Diamond tuckpointing wheels can remove old mortar without damaging bricks.
These are just a few examples of what can be accomplished with a grinder. Die grinders and angle grinders are capable of more, but the applications remain dependant on what kind of attachments you can get your hands on. You can browse your local hardware store to get an idea of what other attachments are available.
Of course, as with any power tool, you should practice proper safety precautions when operating a grinder. It takes one quick Google image search of “grinding wheel accident” (just take my word for it; the image results are haunting) to see the merit in wearing a protective face shield and gloves.
Sparks and flammable things don’t mix, so if you plan on working with metal, wisdom dictates that you operate your grinder far away from your gas-soaked rags.
Clamping down your work before sticking your grinder to it is generally a good idea, as you’d probably prefer not to inadvertently send your work spinning off into the air, wild and free.
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And, of course, these things make better tools than toys. So, be mindful of how accessible you make your grinder to any children.
What’s To Come
This seems like a good place to leave off for now. We’ve covered some of the basic functions of the handheld grinder, as well as some of the available grinder accessories. We’ve even touched on some safety precautions. In the next installment of the “Getting To Know Your Grinder” Series, we’ll FOCUS in more detail on some specific applications and accessories. So, look for that in the coming weeks. Hopefully, by the end of the series, you’ll have a decent theoretical knowledge of how to use your grinder for a variety of tasks. And, with any luck, you’ll be able to avoid looking like the biggest dum-dum on the job site.
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.