Cutting Steel with an Angle Grinder

What You'll Need
Measuring Tape
Scratch Awl
Cutoff Wheels
40-grit Flapper Wheel
Safety Goggles

An angle grinder is an electronic power tool that has many uses. It can cut, grind, sand and polish various materials and surfaces, depending on your project and application. It is a very versatile tool that can accomplish these things easily, just as long as you know how to use it and you use the appropriate discs for the job. For example, if you want to use your angle grinder to cut through steel, you will need cutoff discs to do the job.

Step 1: Safety

Especially when working with power tools, safety must come first. Before doing anything, put on all safety gear especially the safety goggles because tiny metal particles could be flying about and they might get into your eyes, which could be disastrous.

Step 2: Marking the Cut

Lay down the steel on a table and pull the tape measure along its surface and determine which portion you would like to cut. Mark two points (preferably the edges) on the line the tape measure is making. Use the scratch awl to make the two marks. Remove the tape measure and get the straightedge. Connect the two marks together with the straightedge and use the scratch awl once again to make a line between the two points.

Step 3: Prepping the Angle Grinder

Attach the cutoff wheel to the angle grinder. Refer to the instructions of your equipment on how this is done since this procedure may vary. Be careful when attaching the cutoff wheel since it could injure you. Turn on the grinder. Be careful, if you’re not used to the force it generates, this power tool can fly out off your hands, so grip it tightly. As the wheel is spinning, line it up to the mark that you made on the steel.

Step 4: Cutting the Steel

As the angle grinder is aligned to the marked line, slowly let the wheel touch the surface of the steel, making sure that it is still aligned to the mark. As it hits the steel, there is a tendency for the angle grinder to slide off course so hold it tightly and keep it steady. Move it back and forth along the line until you get the hang of the pressure needed to cut through the steel. As you go back and forth along the line, chances are, your cutoff wheel will become dull and you may have to change it. You will notice it becoming dull when it does not cut through the steel as effectively as it did at the start. Keep doing this process until you finally cut through the steel.

Step 5: Finishing

Remove the cutoff wheel and replace it with a 40-grit flapper wheel. Run the angle grinder along the newly cut edge of the steel in order to smooth it out. This removes any sharp steel sticking out that could injure someone. Set your angle grinder aside and let the steel cool down for a couple of hours before you touch it.