The angle grinder is a versatile power tool that allows you to sand or cut through stuff like concrete, metal, and stone. Now, you might be wondering if it can cut through them, why not wood.
You might have noticed people use the angle grinder to cut wood by attaching angular blades. Well, that’s where things can get a little tricky, as you’ll also see lots of people advising against using an angle grinder to cut wood.
So, in this article, we will be discussing whether you can and should cut wood with angle grinders and investigate why people advise against it.
What are the real purposes of an angle grinder?
Though we are talking about cutting wood, an angle grinder is also used for polishing, sanding through different materials. Angle grinders have both corded and cordless variants with interchangeable blades.
Depending on the operation, users attach a blade that’s compatible with the material. Angle grinders are not meant for wood cutting; however, they can be managed if you want to cover several grounds with a single power tool.
Is it possible to cut wood with angle grinders?
The short answer to this question is Yes, and the long answer is still a Yes, but it’s a little tricky and somewhat unsafe. For dedicated woodcutting, a circular or brand is usually recommended by woodworkers. However, carrying a separate power tool for wood can add up to the heavy load of other tools.
In that case, you can use your angle grinder to cut wood with proper safety measures. Additionally, it would help if you were careful about the disc you are using. If you use a disc made for materials other than wood, the outcome won’t be good alongside the safety concerns.
Dangers of angle grinders
As a handheld tool, an angle grinder always risks getting out of hand in case of irregular motions. Additionally, as a standard saw, angle grinders don’t have guards and plates in place to safeguard your hand. One of the key dangers of cutting wood with an angle grinder is the kickback.
As mentioned previously, stuff cut or polished with angle grinders is much more dense and solid than wood. As a result, the cutting will be smooth at first as you cut wood with a metal-cutting blade. But in the meantime, a slight change in your hand motion can result in catastrophe, and you can end up losing your finger.
Another potential accident can happen if the disk of the grinder shatters. While running, the fragments can spill and lodge into the user’s body.
Things to keep in mind before cutting wood with an angle grinder:
Now that we know it’s entirely possible, let’s look at some of the critical factors to keep in mind before you cut wood with your angle grinder.
1. Choosing the right disc
Choosing a wood-compatible disc is the essential part of cutting wood with an angle grinder. Different discs are made of other materials, therefore separating their characteristics.
Angles grinders already have a lot higher RPM rate, ranging from 11000 to 15000 RPM, while a regular circular saw only has 5000 RPM. So using an aggressive blade as you use for metal may cut the wood, but the result won’t be satisfactory, and it’ll damage the wood too.
A dedicated wood cutting blade has a unique design and shape to cut through wood without causing any stress. When choosing the wheel, check out the instruction manual and ensure it’s intended for wood jobs.
Before installing the disc on the grinder, please look at it and ensure it’s in good condition without any dent. Otherwise, accidental shattering can happen.
2. Installing the blade
Now that you have chosen the right disc, it’s time to install it properly on the angle grinder. Without proper installation, the disc can come off during rotation. Even if it doesn’t come off, the wobbling caused by loose-fitting can lead to accidents and poor cutting results. During cutting, don’t forget to check the blade fitting continuously to make sure it’s secure.
3. Taking proper safety measures
Safety is an integral part of any angle grinder operation, even more so when cutting wood. Before starting the procedure:
- Make sure you wear safety equipment like goggles.
- Hand gloves.
- Mask to prevent wood debris from getting in your mouth and eye, causing an accident.
Additionally, you can secure the angle grinder to the work table with a clamp. If the grinder slips away from your hand, it won’t go far, causing further damage.
4. Start cutting wood
If you have completed the steps I mentioned above, it’s time to get to cutting. Angle grinders usually have a half guard that covers half of the blade. When you are holding the grinder, keep that half fence downwards to protect your fingers.
For a smooth cutting, point the teeth of the blade in the direction it’s spinning. When using an angle grinder on wood, you should always mark the cut with a pencil. This way, you have something to follow, and the motion will remain consistent.
Start with smaller cuts through slicing movements. Once you get deeper, you can start putting moderate and consistent pressure to work your way thoroughly. Make the slices at a 15-30 degree angle to minimize the kickback effect. Once you are done with cutting, turn the angle grinder off. If you plan to work again after some time, keep it someplace safe with the half fence up.
That’s a wrap for today. We hope you can cut wood with your angle grinder. We intentionally suggested the cordless grinders as they are less powerful, making them suitable for thin materials like wood.
It’s doable, and we tried to provide you with guidelines to pull it off. It isn’t too hard to master woodcutting with an angle grinder with enough practice and a proper blade. However, you shouldn’t try it if you are not fully confident about the procedure.