Grinders Buying Guide
Angle grinders aren’t just at home in an auto body shop. These workhorses can tackle a wide variety of grinding, cutting and sanding tasks around the home and provide significant power and versatility to the competent user.
What makes an angle grinder so versatile?
The secret is the discs. Canadian Tire carries a range of interchangeable discs than can allow you to handle a variety of tasks.
- Abrasive discs are used mainly for metal cutting and grinding
- Abrasive cutting discs or diamond cutting discs are used for stone or masonry
- Wire brush discs rapidly remove rust or strip paint
- Flap discs are ideal for sanding
Getting a grip on long vs. short-handle grinders
Both long-handle and short-handle grinders offer advantages.
Long-handle grinders feature a "rat tail" extension at the back. The extra distance between the rat tail and the auxiliary handle provides additional leverage for greater control. This design is common in larger, heavier grinders. The on/off switch is located within easy reach of the handle and usually has a lock-on button so that you can enjoy the convenience of continuous running.
A short-handle grinder is easy to recognize because there is no "rat tail" and the main part of the body acts as the handle. These grinders tend to be smaller and less powerful than larger, rat tail models. The on/off switch is located towards front and can be found either on the top, the bottom or at the left side of the body. The switch will either be of a "slide" or "paddle" design and will provide a lock-on position for continuous running. Grinders with a side-mounted switch can only be used by right-handed persons.
Important features to shop for
- Disc guard: This protects you from flying debris. The guard should be adjustable so that no matter what position you're grinding in, it will be between you and the disc.
- Disc types: Wire brushes are designed for the rapid removal of rust, paint and dirt from surfaces. Grinding discs are available in a number of grades to grind welds, fiber glass and metal. Cut-off discs are also available for a variety of materials and applications.
- Movable side handle: Repositioning the handle allows you to hold the tool in the most comfortable position for the task. Side handles can typically be moved two or three positions. Other models come with a D-handle that provides great overhead grip and can be moved to forward and back positions to accommodate cutting or grinding.
- On/off switch: Make sure it's easy to reach. The switch should also have a seal to protect it from dust and debris.
- Power: Bigger jobs require more power. Planning to grind away rust or old paint, or to sharpen lawnmower blades? A 4 to 6-amp grinder will do the job very well. For grinding and occasionally cutting metal, a 7 to 9-amp grinder is best. For heavy duty use choose a 10-amp or higher grinder.
- Spindle lock: This feature makes it easier to switch discs. Simply push this button to prevent the spindle from rotating when you unscrew or tighten the disc retaining nut.
Tips for safer grinding
- Even smaller sized grinders are powerful tools and should not be taken lightly. Always use two hands and a balanced body stance for safety and greater control.
- Start the grinder before the brush or disc come into contact with your material.
- Always read the instruction manual or consult a Canadian Tire Sales Associate before using a new tool or starting an unfamiliar job.
- Protect yourself from flying debris by wearing professional safety glasses or a full face shield.