A standard 4 1/2 "angle grinder can handle a little 1/4" steel, but if you're cutting a lot of 1/4" or thicker steel, you need have a torch or a plasma arc cutter. It will ultimately wear through any thickness of steel that the disk is large enough to penetrate fully. If you run into problems with your angle grinder breaking down too soon, try replacing the blade assembly.
An angle grinder with an abrasive metal-cutting disc is ideal for cutting many types of metal, including bolts, angle iron, rebar, and even sheet metal. However, as you use them, the discs wear down fast, cut slowly, and reduce in diameter. Instead, we recommend utilizing a diamond blade certified for ferrous metal cutting. These blades can be purchased pre-mounted on a tool called an angle grinder cutter bar. You simply attach the cutter bar to your existing unit and use it like any other grinder.
The first step is to determine exactly what type of cut you need and then find a tool that can make it. Most metals can be cut with an angle grinder, but there are some things to consider before you start. For example, if you're cutting steel, you'll need to choose an abrasive disc that's suitable for that material. You can also buy specialty discs that are designed for specific workpieces; for example, there are grinding wheels made of silicon carbide for cutting glass or sapphire sheets.
Angle grinders come in two main styles: rotary and linear. Rotary angle grinders use a rotating wheel as their cutting head. This head can be replaced by other tools that fit inside the housing of the unit. For example, you could replace the wheel with a flat disk (called a "disc" or "abrasive plate") that cuts using friction and heat produced when it spins rapidly against the surface to be cut.
You can successfully slice through hardwood material with a three-teeth angle grinder blade as long as you match the rotation of the blade with your grinder. It is a multipurpose 4 1/2 inch angle grinder disc that is great for cutting, carving, sculpting, and shaping wood. The metal shaft will not split or break and the disk itself is made of tool-grade steel. There are two types of blades included with your grinder: flat grinding plates and cylindrical grinding cups.
Flat grinding plates have a very high volume throughput and they are used for general purpose grinding and cutting applications where a smooth finish isn't necessary. They come in sizes from 3/4 to 2 inches and are available in ceramic, leather, and polyurethane materials. Ceramic plates are harder than leather or polyurethane discs and they tend to last longer. Leather discs are less abrasive and they wear faster but they look good while they last. Polyurethane discs are flexible and they can be shaped without breaking like rubber discs but they don't last as long because they aren't as hard. They are recommended for use on softer materials such as wood, plastic, foam, and rubber.
Cylindrical grinding cups are used for precision work where a close fit between the cup and the object being ground is required. They come in sizes from 7/8 to 2 inches and are made of tool-grade steel or stainless steel.
Angle grinders sand their way through the metal, producing a tremendous amount of heat. They accomplish this swiftly, so the outcome seems to be a straight cut. The problem is that several of the tools I discovered operate best with sheet metal that is 16ga (1.5875mm) or 14ga (1.984375mm). Stainless steel is usually either 18ga (1.5mm) or 20ga (1.25mm), so it's thicker than what these angle grinders are designed for.
The best option is to hire a professional cutting tool such as a hacksaw or circular saw to cut stainless steel. You should consider how experienced the cutter is before you let him or her take your money. Some people have enough experience to know when to stop the saw early so the blade doesn't break.
Others might not be careful enough and will go on too long, causing the blade to wear out prematurely. Still others might use a technique called "skiving," where they slowly remove material from the side of the cut to create a beveled edge. This looks nice, but it adds more work and can cause other problems if not done properly. Skiving is only useful for soft materials like aluminum, because hard materials like stainless require a full-depth cut.
Finally, some people might try to cut stainless with an angle grinder. This is not recommended because the metal is thick enough that it would take a long time and be very inefficient using this method.
When cutting sheet metal with a high-quality angle grinder, you have additional cutting depth options. It's also simple to use because it's lightweight and portable. Almost no cutting-edge features must be sacrificed. #5. Use caution not to grind away more metal than you intend.
The most difficult part of cutting sheet metal with an angle grinder is keeping track of how much material you're removing. You need to make sure you don't remove so much metal that you end up with a thin strip instead of a nice even circle or square. The other danger zone is when you start removing too much material too quickly; you could end up grinding right through the metal if you aren't careful!
To avoid ruining your angle grinder's blade, try not to go past 1/4 inch per pass. That'll give you plenty of time to replace the blade before you need it again.
Of course, if you have experience machining metals then you probably don't need me to tell you what to watch out for. You should know how much material to remove on each pass to get an even cut without grinding through.
As long as you follow these instructions, you should have no problems cutting sheet metal with an angle grinder.
We recommend using an abrasive saw to cut steel for out-of-position cuts and sharp angles, such as a hand-held circular saw or a die grinder. If you can afford it, a plasma cutter is ideal for free-hand and plate-type steel cutting. If you can't afford plasma, use a Sawzall. They are cheap and effective.
You can easily cut through metal using an oscillating power tool, such as the 20V Maxlithium Sonicrafter Oscillating Multi-tool. When cutting metal using oscillating saw blades, it is best to begin at a slower speed. This will allow enough time for the blade to vibrate and reduce the risk of injury from being hit with spinning metal fragments.
When cutting metal with an oscillating tool, use reduced speed to avoid heating up the blade. Avoid applying pressure when cutting or you may experience kickback.
Metal cuts faster with an oscillating tool than with a fixed one, but you should still start off slow to avoid burning yourself on the moving parts. An oscillating tool is also useful for smoothing sharp edges before finishing work.
Multitools are common tools for carpenters who often need to cut several different types of materials. Because of their wide variety of tools, they are also useful for other professionals such as painters and plumbers who may need to cut wires or pipes.
Multitools can be bought new or used. Used ones will usually only cost a little more, so this option is good if you plan to cut metals frequently. However, because they have not been used previously, there is a chance that they could break down later on.