The angle grinder is an incredibly versatile tool because of the different kinds of cutting discs that can be used when working on a variety of materials. With each cutting disc and each type of material comes a new set of considerations and these have a significant influence on setting the speed of your angle grinder. Cutting at the right speed can make all the difference in establishing a professionally finished job and maximizing operator's safety. Much depends on choosing a suitable speed for the material you are cutting.
Different Materials Require Different Speeds
An angle grinder slices through the material you are working on by grinding rather than cutting. Because of this, the speed at which the disc turns is a key element to maximizing the performance of the tool. You can easily set the speed on your angle grinder to suit the individual requirements of a job. In many cases, starting with the disc on a slow speed setting is advisable. Use the slow setting to establish a groove in the material. You can increase speed once you are confident that the material is cutting well and that the wheel is moving effectively without overheating or jamming.
Slow The Speed Down If You Experience Problems
If you experience problems when cutting materials with your angle grinder, consider slowing down the overall speed. When the wheel is cutting at a fast speed, it can be harder for the operator to control the way the disc is fed to the material. Working slowly will allow you see what's happening through the disc guard while completing the task safely with satisfactory results. If your angle grinder wheel is turning too fast through a dry material, it may cause excessive juddering or vibrations so you won't be able to achieve a smooth cut. A slower speed often rectifies this problem.
Polishing at Lower Speeds
Despite the angle grinder being classified as a heavy duty tool, it does have a number of uses when it comes to more delicate work and this can make the adjustment of speed very important. Having the wheel or disk on a slower setting is often suitable when you are using the grinder to polish or trying to achieve a burnished finish on materials like steel.
Standard domestic angle grinders are capable of speeds of between 2000 to 7300 RPM (revolutions per minute). The best way to determine what speed you need to set your angle grinder at is to run a test. This is especially important if you are working with a material that you haven't worked with before.
Try out different speeds on an off-cut or test piece. This way, you won't be wasting valuable materials through mistakes. In general, harder materials respond better to higher speeds while softer materials can be ground or cut through at a lower RPM. As a general rule, use low settings of around 2000 RMP for burnishing metals and high speeds in the region of 5000 to 7000 for cutting hard materials.