Different Angle Grinder Discs and Accessories
DeWalt angle grinders are extremely versatile as a result of the wide selection of accessories and attachments that can be installed onto the spindle of the machine.
Some discs are designed to be used with certain materials – this will be clearly stated on the surface of the disc or wheel.
Abrasive Grinding Discs
Abrasive grinding discs are the most commonly used type of angle grinder accessory. They are usually around 6mm (¼”) thick and are mainly used to grind either stone or metal.
The discs are made up of a resin compound containing abrasive grains. As the surface of the disc is worn down through use, fresh grains are revealed to provide renewed cutting action.
Abrasive Cutting Discs
Abrasive cutting discs are also made up of bonded abrasive grains, but are usually only between 1mm and 3mm thick. The edges are thinner and sharper than grinding discs to enable them to cut through material with the minimum of effort.
There are many different types of cutting disc, for dealing with various kinds of metal and masonry.
Diamond Cutting Discs
Some cutting discs are diamond-tipped to enhance cutting performance. Diamond discs are used mainly on masonry.
They are more expensive, but make a much cleaner and faster cut than abrasive cutting discs. As they will outlast dozens of abrasive discs, they represent good value for money.
Sanding discs are less aggressive than grinding discs and can be used to sand and prepare both wooden and metal surfaces.
Some sanding discs can also be used to remove rust or shape plastic.
They are manufactured in different grades of coarseness, or grits, ranging from 16 to more than 100.
Discs with lower grits are coarser and able to remove stock more quickly, so are suitable for rough wood and metal sanding, whilst discs with a higher grit are smoother and give a finer finish. Selecting the correct grit is critical to ensuring successful sanding or polishing.
Flap discs are made up of small pieces of sandpaper which are layered on top of one another and stuck on to the disc in a spiral.
They can be used on both wood and metal, although different discs are needed for each material. The discs vary in terms of the abrasive material used and the stiffness of the backing material.
Available in different grit sizes ranging from 40 to 120, flap discs are an improved version of the sanding disc and can be used for light-duty grinding as well as aggressive sanding applications.
They are very versatile. Among other things, they can be used to eliminate deep scratches and gouges in wood, and to round unnecessarily sharp edges.
Carving wheels are designed to be used specifically on wood. The edge of the wheel resembles a chainsaw blade and, when installed in an angle grinder, can be used to aggressively carve and smooth wood.
This attachment can also be used to cut other non-metallic materials such as rubber, MDF and plastic.
Wire wheel attachments are used to rapidly remove rust or strip paint, and are usually made out of high tensile steel or brass. There are several different types, including wheel brushes, cup brushes and knotted wire wheels.
They can reach into small corners and crevices, and are particularly good at tackling stubborn rust, weld splatter and corrosion marks.
Mortar Raking Accessories
Mortar Raking Wheel
Some types of mortar, such as soft lime mortar, can be removed with a hand chisel. However, the harder mortar frequently used in modern building construction can be more effectively removed with a 115mm grinder equipped with a diamond mortar raking wheel.
Mortar Raking Attachment
Alternatively, a mortar rake attachment and adaptor that fit on to the spindle of the angle grinder can be used for this task. For more information see: How to attach a mortar raking starter kit in Wonkee Donkee’s separate guide to mortar rakes.
Mortar Raking Kit
Professional builders or other tradespeople who work a lot with bricks and mortar may prefer to get a specialised mortar raking kit which includes a built-in dust shroud and easy depth adjustment feature. For more information see: Introduction to the DeWalt Mortar Raking Kit.
While you can buy all of the above attachments separately, it is more cost-effective and convenient to buy a set of discs that can be used for a variety of grinding and cutting applications.
All discs and wheels have a maximum operating speed that is printed on the side. This maximum operating speed should never be exceeded otherwise the disc may disintegrate.
For tasks such as mortar removal that produce large quantities of harmful dust, it is advisable to use a dust extractor, also called a surface grinding shroud, with your angle grinder.
Shrouds are used with a dry vacuum specifically made for use with power tools. They work by capturing the dust produced and directing it down a hose and away from both the angle grinder and the user. This creates both a safer and cleaner working environment.