Angle grinders, also known as side or disc grinders, are small power tools used to grind, polish and cut other materials. They can be electric powered, gas powered, or pneumatic. The Tool Library currently has two electric angle grinders available for checkout.
Angle grinders are used for a wide variety of projects. I have personally checked out the angle grinders from the Tool Library to smooth down the sides of a worm bin I was making. I’d taken an old metal trash can, drilled large holes in the bottom and the sides, and was left with a bunch of pokey edges that I wanted gone both to prevent injuries to my fingers and to prevent injuries to the bugs I wanted visiting the bins. I was able to use the grinder to smooth down all the rough edges around the holes I’d drilled.
Angle grinders are good for more than just polishing metal trashcans. They can also cut through a variety of materials like tile, steel and mortar, they can help remove rust or paint from metal, and even sharpen blades. They are commonly used in metalworking and in construction, but they can also be used in emergency rescue situations.
To do each of these jobs, angle grinders need different types of discs. Cutting discs are obviously for cutting material, but the type of cutting disc will determine what kind of material the grinder can cut through. As well, there are a variety of sanding, grinding, and polishing disc. There are standard sizes discs, but make sure that you know which of the Tool Library grinders you are getting before you purchase discs so that you get the right kind. If you’re lucky, your angle grinder rental will come with a disc or two donated by the last person to use the tool, but it probably won’t be the right kind so plan on purchasing the correct disc at your local hardware store.
Safety wise, the basic rules apply for this power tool. Always wear safety goggles and ear protection when using an angle grinder. As well, when using a grinder on metal, be sure to do this in an open area with no flammable materials around. Wear solid, non-flammable clothing. When the grinder is grinding on metal, it can send sparks in every direction. My first time using an angle grinder, I wasn’t warned about that in advance and experienced a scare as sparks went flying every direction in my garage. Luckily nothing happened and I redid my set-up so to prevent any potential fires. I did, however, dub the angle grinder with the nickname of Lighting Tool as a result of the experience.
The West Seattle Tool Library has a collection of over 1,500 tools currently available, is free to use and run primarily on user donations. Our entire inventory is available online. For more information on becoming a member, please visit our website. If you are interested in volunteering at the Tool Library, please contact us at: email@example.com
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