Angle Grinder Safety Tips
Angle grinders are a great tool to have around the shop, but they can also be pretty dangerous. These things are powerful machines, so it’s important to be aware of any possible safety hazards. But don’t worry, with these helpful tips we’ll help you operate your angle grinder safely and effectively!
Your angle grinder uses a powerful motor to rotate the grinding wheel at speeds up to 11,000 RPM, sending tiny debris flying across your workspace at incredible speed. If one of these little shards hits your eye, it could cause serious damage. That’s why it’s critical to protect your ears, eyes, and face from this debris using a face shield. Gloves, long sleeve clothing, and long pants should also be worn to prevent possible injury to the rest of your body.
It should be noted that there is a debate regarding the use of safety gloves while operating an angle grinder due to concerns of the gloves catching on the rotating blade. This is a concern when it comes to operating tools with rotating components that you place your hands near, such as a drill press or bench grinder. However, as you should always operate your angle grinder with two hands on the tool, far away from the blade, we recommend wearing gloves to protect yourself from debris.
On top of the debris, noise can be a hazard as well. Maybe you don’t mind the noise now, but it can still damage your hearing so make sure to wear ear protection at all times.
Inspect Your Grinding Wheel
A damaged or rusted grinding wheel can pose an additional set of problems for you when operating the angle grinder. It’s also important to spin your grinding wheel at the speed for which it is rated. If you exceed your wheel’s recommended speed, you run the risk of chipping, cracking, or breaking it, which can cause injury (and ruin your grinder). Knowing your tools is key to safety, so make sure you know what your grinder can handle and what it can’t. Pushing your machine further than recommended may seem like not a huge risk, but when operating at such a high speed even a little break could cause a big injury.
Do Not Remove the Handguard
It’s easy to get overconfident when you’ve worked with a machine for a while, but the handguard on your angle grinder is there for a reason – to protect you and anyone nearby. DO NOT remove it. No matter how confident you feel, a single mistake is all it takes to cause a serious situation.
Use Proper Technique
Knowing your tools is important, but knowing how to properly use them is even more so. Even if you’ve used an angle grinder for a while, you’re going to want to double-check that the technique you’re used to is the right one.
Our recommendation is to grip the grinder firmly with both hands and keep your body in a stable position whenever operating the machine. This will help prevent injury when the grinder is running. It is also important to secure your workpiece with a clamp to prevent it from moving. You’ll want to position the grinder so any debris that is removed moves away from you.
Be Aware of Your Environment
Now that you know your tool and know how to handle it, it’s important to check what’s going on around you. Make sure your environment is completely safe and secure. Never operate your angle grinder near any flammable materials or substances. Also, be sure that anyone in the vicinity of your workspace knows what you’re doing and is wearing the proper safety gear. It’s always good to have a first aid kit in your workplace, in case anything should go wrong.
Put Away Your Grinder Safely
Once the job is complete it’s a good idea to unplug the grinder or remove the battery to make sure there is no risk of it turning back on. This is essential to do before changing wheels or performing maintenance. You’ll also want to be sure that you give your grinder a quick inspection when the job is complete. If you notice anything off about your machine, fix it now so you’ll be ready to go next time, and if you need parts don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with over two million manufacturer-approved replacement parts! Shop Angle Grinder Parts >
When storing your grinder make sure it is in a safe place out of the reach of children, and not in a place where anyone could accidentally touch or trip over it.
Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to using your angle grinder confidently and safely. For more tips and tricks, check out the entire eReplacementParts Blog