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Air-powered grinders are used in all sorts of material manipulation efforts. Because of the many attachment discs, you can use, you can transform an angle grinder into completely different tools.
For example, an angle grinder used as a cutting tool is just one disc change away from being a sanding tool, or a paint removal solution.
What Are Pneumatic Angle Grinders Good For?
The biggest difference between air-powered tools and electrical tools is obviously what powers them. With pneumatic tools, you get a tool that is a lot more durable than electrical (think years versus months). Also, pneumatic tools are safer because they don’t heat up as easily and there is no risk of a short circuit.
At TFT-Pneumatic, we specialize in pneumatic tools for industrial uses, such as bolt cutting, surface preparation, weld seam removal, and more.
The fact that it’s powered by air also makes them perfect for use in explosive environments and even underwater. In the case of the use of angle grinders, the possibilities are endless. Depending on the task, attaching different wheels will give you different applications.
The wheel size ranges from 2″ to 9″. Each has its own usage span, grit (level of abrasiveness) and attaching method, making the level of grinder customization extremely high.
That said, here’s a rundown of the most common uses of air angle grinders depending on the discs attached:
- Grinding: gentle pressure at an angle will smooth the material to perfection. It includes tasks as surface preparation and material removal.
- Cutting: smaller sized wheels are used for precision pipe or metal cutting.
- Sanding: angle grinders are a perfect choice for woodwork.
- Deburring: the pestilent burrs or material leftovers are easily dealt with by air grinders.
- Chamfering: wheels can also be used for making bevels and grooves.
- Weld removal: smoothing the welded joints is another common use of angle grinders.
How To Use A Pneumatic Angle Grinder
An angle grinder is a common tool found in toolboxes and workshops across the country. They are usually used in construction and fabrication as well as by mechanics and homeowners. What makes these handheld power tools so useful is their versatility. Angle grinders come in various sizes and with different kinds of discs can perform many different tasks.
The Sizes of Pneumatic Angle Grinders
Angle grinders are measured by the size of the wheel they use. Common sizes are between 4 and 12-inches. Pneumatic angle grinders are available in smaller wheel sizes down to 2-inches. Because pneumatic angle grinders come in smaller sizes they are ideal for use in projects located in small and tight areas. Hard to reach places are no match for a small pneumatic angle grinder.
The Uses of Pneumatic Angle Grinders
In addition to different wheel sizes, there are different discs that can be attached to the wheel. The specific type of disc will indicate the type of work that can be done with it. For example, discs can be chosen that will allow the pneumatic angle grinder to be used as a cutting tool. Others permit sanding, polishing, material removal and other tasks.
The Discs Used with A Pneumatic Angle Grinder
The abrasiveness of a disc is known as the grit. It refers to the size of the material that is on the disc. For sanding as an example, different grit sizes will allow for rough or fine sanding. Other discs are designed for specific jobs. Diamond cut off discs can be used to cut through various materials including metals. Discs with polishing pads are used for buffing.
How To Use A Pneumatic Angle Grinder
Air tools require 90 PSI of clean, dry air. An air compressor system with a filter, regulator and lubricator is recommended. Use only hoses that are dry. You can ensure this by draining all hoses and the compressor tank each day. Using the correct size hoses and fittings, fasten them tightly to the air compressor and the pneumatic angle grinder.
Turn on the air compressor and set it to 90 PSI. Hold the pneumatic angle grinder in the air with both hands and use the finger closest to the safety switch to activate it. Give the grinder a few moments for the power to build up. Firmly gripping the grinder, lightly touch the grinding drum to the surface of the piece to be worked on.
With slow and steady strokes, move the grinder across the work piece. Continue doing this until you have completed the task required with the angle grinder.
When you have finished your project, release the trigger and the safety should automatically lock in place. This prevents accidental start-ups. Turn off the air compressor.
Because there will be air pressure still present in the hose, trip the safety on the angle grinder and slowly squeeze the trigger to release the pressure. Disconnect the hose from the grinder.
Following disconnection from the air hose, remove the disc from the angle grinder. Use a clean cloth to remove dirt, oil, and grease from all surfaces of the angle grinder.
If it is in need of lubrication, use air tool oil and follow the instructions on the container for details. Store the tool in a safe location that is clean and dry and out of reach of children.
If you choose to conduct an inspection of your pneumatic angle grinder at any time make sure it is turned off and not connected to an air supply. Check the grinder before each use.
What Is The Equipment Needed To Use An Angle Grinder?
A pneumatic angle grinder requires an air source and means of getting that air to the tool. This means an air compressor and hoses with proper fitting attachments.
Personal safety equipment required to use an angle grinder includes wearing safety glasses, a full face shield, gloves and hearing protection. Additional safety gear may depend on the workspace.
What Should The Work Area Be Like To Use An Angle Grinder?
The Work Area
The work area you intend to use the angle grinder in should be well lit. Even in cramped areas, you will need to be able to properly see what you are working on and the progress being made.
Where possible, the work area being used should be clean and tidy. A cluttered and disorganized workspace will present risks that could lead to accidents and injuries.
Be sure to angle the tool so that material coming off the wheel is going away from you. Also, protect others in your work area by keeping them clear of the immediate area.
In addition to the safety gear suggested above, there are other steps required in order to keep you safe from accidents or injury when using a pneumatic angle grinder.
Do not wear loose clothing, tie back long hair and remove any jewelry. Pay attention to the work you are doing and use common sense when you are working with any kind of power tool.
Choose another day for your project if you are feeling tired or are under the influence of medication, drugs or alcohol. If you are not alert, there is the possibility of an accident occurring.
Additional Tips To Keep In Mind
Always use the correct wrenches or adjusting keys that are designed specifically for your pneumatic angle grinder. Use only the discs that are the right size and match for your tool.
If you are using your grinder in a setting where you are standing, maintain proper footing. This will prevent you from losing your balance and possibly injuring yourself while working.
Secure Your Work
If your workpiece can be secured either by clamps or by some other means, you will be able to work better having it held in place. This reduces the chance of losing control of the grinder.
What are some of the best air-powered angle grinders?
It’s hard to say whether an air angle grinder is better than the other. It really all depends on what you need it for. So think of this list as recommended tools, rather than the best tools.
Pneumatic Angle Grinders Available for Rent or Purchase
All of these air-powered angle grinders are available for purchase or rental. We’ll provide you links for each, and you can Request a Quote. We will get back to you shortly, with costs and shipping solutions.
Air Powered Angle Grinders
This 4″ Pneumatic Angle Grinder FA-30X-2F is a small but powerful tool made for reaching tight corners. It fits nicely in one hand and it’s perfect for sanding, polishing, removing material, and even cutting, if you use the right wheel. The FA-30X-2F is an impressive tool, especially when you consider its size and power. If you need powerful tools for work on shipyards, foundries and virtually any metal surface, the FA-30X-2F is perfect. You can read more about this tool in our Air Tool Spotlight.
This angle grinder is a powerhouse. You can fit a 7″ wheel to it for heavy duty work done in mining, foundry, rolling stock, oil, gas and more. You will get the best benefits from the FA-70 with highly abrasive tools. Its exhaust mechanism maximizes the output zone, which gives you even better performance regardless or air conditions. This is a very comfortable tool to use, with its thin body and side handle.
Preventing Air Angle Grinder Accidents
Air angle grinders are a common industrial tool that uses heavy-duty, abrasive cutting discs to cut through steel, concrete and other solid materials. As you can imagine, it is important to be cautios when using them. Most operators get trained properly, but it’s still a good idea to know these safety tips.
Start off Small
If you are new to angle grinding, always start off with small tasks and work your way up to bigger projects. Being over-confident in your ability to use heavy-duty tools, or failing to respect the power of the equipment, can result in accidents. When using any new tool, build up your comfort level gradually by using it on small tasks or sample pieces of material.
You Can Never Be Too Familiar With Your Equipment
Tool misuse is the cause of many serious industrial accidents. When it comes to workshop safety, one of the most important things to keep in mind before starting any project is knowing how to properly use your tools. Read the instruction manual carefully, and always use tools the way they are intended.
When using a pneumatic air grinder, you must pay especially close attention to how you direct the force of the pressurized air. When starting your project, first get a feel for the level of power the grinder is putting out, so you know how to apply the correct amount of pressure to accomplish the task at hand.
Use the Right Disc for the Job
The ability to switch out different wheels and accessories to work on a wide range of hard materials is what makes angle grinders so versatile. You have the option to install hundreds of different discs to work on materials such as steel, concrete, asphalt or ceramic. Though these wheels may look similar, they are all designed for specific tasks. Always make sure you use the correct disc for a given job. For example, never use grinding discs for cutting, or vice versa.
The vast diversity of angle grinder discs also creates a correspondingly wide range of potential hazards you must keep in mind at all times. Since discs offer different levels of grit and hardness, you must always follow the specific directions and uses for each disc. Also, stay vigilant about any additional hazards that may apply to the specific materials you are cutting. For example, if you’re cutting something like ceramic tiles, it’s essential to keep them lubricated with water throughout the cutting process.
Different Materials Require Different Speeds
An angle grinder slices through materials such as concrete by grinding, rather than cutting. Due to the way angle grinders are designed, the speed at which the disc turns is one of the most important ways to maximize the tool’s performance. You can change the speed on your angle grinder to suit the material you are working on with each separate project. It’s always a good safety practice to begin on the slowest speed setting, and use that setting to establish a cutting groove in the material. You can gradually increase speed once you feel confident that the grinder is cutting the material effectively, and that the wheel is moving smoothly without overheating or jamming.
If you run into problems cutting something with your angle grinder, consider decreasing the speed for greater control. Though it can be tempting to rush through a project, when you work more slowly, you can complete the task safely with better results.
Wear Safety Gear
Like any power tool, you should respect the appropriate safety precautions when working with an angle grinder. Avoid wearing loose clothing that could get caught up in the equipment. Protect your eyes from the debris angle grinders create by wearing goggles or a protective face shield. Round out your gear with heavy-duty, cut-resistant gloves, ear protection, and a dust mask.
Always Operate the Grinder Safely
Like any power tool, angle grinders can be very dangerous if you use them inappropriately. When using your angle grinder, do not apply excessive pressure when it’s in use. For example, never push down harder when trying to grind down a tough material such as concrete or metal.
For greater safety and ease of operation, always use the handle on the side of the angle grinder to maintain maximum control when grinding. Also, never leave the disc guard off when you are using the tool—it’s there to protect you. Because the guard is transparent, you will still be able to observe the progress the cutter is making.
Inspect Your Equipment Regularly
Angle grinders are highly durable and relatively low-maintenance pieces of equipment, but that doesn’t mean they never experience wear and tear. Often, power tool owners neglect to properly examine their equipment to make sure it’s in good shape and fit for use, which can lead to accidents.
After each use, wipe the outside of your angle grinder with a damp cloth. If you have an air compressor, blow some compressed air on all parts of the grinder, especially the air vents, to force out dust particles that may clog the motor and cause it to burn out. Check both the power switch and power supply cord and make sure they’re in good working condition. Tighten any screws that have become loose.
Finally, never use a cutting disc without checking for signs of wear. If you see a crack in a disc, discard it immediately—a broken disc is highly dangerous to use.