The Right Angle
The angle grinder is likely the most commonly used tool in our business, if not the most common certainly in the top two. We use handheld angle grinders in the field and facility shops to grind excess metal from welds, remove rust, and for special finishing operations. Since this tool is hand operated, the safety, efficiency, and quality of the work depend upon the ability and experience of the operator. As with all tools, there can be expected a certain amount of risk involved while operating. The angle grinder is no different. Aside from potential injury, angle grinders generate sparks. When required obtain a hot work permit before use. Keep the work area clear of debris and flammable materials. DO NOT use in areas where there is combustible dust accumulation.
High speed flying particles … a grinding wheel’s speed can be greater than a mile a minute
Grinding wheel coming apart
Inhaling dust and fumes generated
Explosion or fire from sparks and dusk generated by grinding
Sparks can ignite flammable or combustible materials nearby or below grinding operation
Electric shock from a frayed or defective power cord
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) from repetitive use or when working in an awkward position
Common Incident Causes
Using the wrong wheel for the job or grinder
Improper mounting of wheel or guard
Improper PPE use
Improper use of the grinder
Critical Angle Grinder Wheel Issues
Some wheels can be surprisingly delicate. They can be easily damaged if handled carelessly.
Store new wheels carefully in a dry area close to the grinding operation.
When carrying a grinder, do it very carefully.
Take special care not to drop it or to bump it against anything.
Never use a wheel that has been dropped or received a heavy blow, even if there is no apparent damage.
Replace wheels that are badly worn or cracked.
The Right Wheel for the Right Job
Always use the correct wheel for the machine’s size and speed, and the work to be performed.
At Wachs we have two types of angle grinder:
- Small Angle Grinder 1.5” Maximum RPM-25,000
- Large Angle Grinder 2” Maximum RPM -20,000
When replacing wheels ensure:
Wheel has no damage
Wheel is matched to the task
Max RPMs on the wheel does NOT exceed the grinders RPM.
Grinding wheel does NOT exceed the grinders capacity