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Guide to Metal Grinding Tools

Guide to Metal Grinding Tools

There are wide applications of metal grinding tools from small fabrication units to large automobile industries. Grinding tools can be found from small hardware stores to professional workshops.

There are two types of metal grinders handheld grinders and stationary grinders. Handheld grinders include angle grinders, linear grinders, die grinders, and power drills. Whereas, stationary grinders include bench grinders and belt grinders.

Here in this guide, we will learn everything about the six best metal grinders along with their attachments, their applications, and important factors to consider before buying them.

So, here we go

Top Handheld Grinders (Metal Grinding Tools)

There are four main handheld grinders available for metal grinding:

  • Angle Grinder
  • Die Grinder
  • Liner Grinder
  • Power Drill

  • 1. Angle Grinder

    Angle grinders are the most important hand tools used for different metal fabrication jobs including cutting, grinding, and sanding. The angle grinder is the most common and multi-purpose grinding tool. The angle in the name (angle grinder) refers to a disc or wheel fitted at an angle to the power tool shaft.

    What Are Angle Grinders Used For?

    The angle grinders are commonly used for grinding and metal polishing jobs. Manufacturing industries utilize an angle grinder with abrasive wheels to remove unwanted and excessive material from the metal surface. They are also used for surface smoothening, sanding, and metal cutting.

    Angle Grinder Attachments For Metal Grinding

    Following are the best angle grinder tools for metalworking applications:

    • Cut-off Wheels- Cutting wheels are used for general purpose cutting of stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, and other metals.
    • Grinding Wheels- Grinding wheels are used to remove excess material. 
    • Sanding Discs. Sanding discs are mainly used for metal surface conditioning. The most commonly utilized sanding discs are flap discs, resin fiber discs, & surface conditioning discs.
    • Wire Brushes Wheels- Wire brushes are used to remove rust, paint, and other surface material.  Wire wheels polish and clean metal surfaces.

    Factors to Consider Before Buying an Angle Grinder

    Consider the following important factors before choosing an angle grinder:

    • Tool power and speed
    • Disc size
    • Purpose of use
    • Grinding or cutting metal nature (light or hard metal)
    • Power specification
    • Side handle (right angle or left angle)
    • Safety precautions
    • Ease to use

    2. Die Grinder

    A die grinder is a portable cutting tool with a wide range of applications. Die grinding tools are widely used for cutting, grinding, sanding, and polishing metals. This tool also plays a major role in subtractive manufacturing mainly metalworking and woodworking jobs.

    Die grinders can grind and cut metals in numerous ways. They can grind with abrasive grains or fine-grit points and can drill with carbide burrs or drill bits.

    What Are Die Grinders Used For?

    Die grinders are well-known metal grinding tools used by different metal fabrication industries. They are used to grind and smooth metal surfaces. Apart from metals, they are also utilized for woodworking (wooden cabinets, wood polishing, scrubbing, etc.).

    Die Grinder Attachments For Metal Grinding

    Following are the best die grinder tools for metalworking applications:

    • Drill bits- They are used to remove material and create holes.
    • Cutting blades- Metal cutting blades are used for cutting material and milling.
    • Flap wheels- Flap wheels are used to grind and finish hard-to-reach areas.
    • Spiral Bands- They are used to grind and remove imperfections, and burrs.
    • Cross Pads- Cross pads best tool for material finishing, fast grinding, and polishing.
    • Cartridge Rolls- Abrasive rolls are used to finish curved surfaces.
    • Quick Change Discs- These are easy-to-change discs used for grinding.
    • Wire Cup Brushes- Wire cup brushes are ideal to remove rust, weld, and paint.
    • Wire End Brushes- End brushes are used to remove, paint, slag, weld splatter.
    • Endmills- These are used for milling, reaming, and drilling.

    Factors to Consider Before Buying a Die Grinder

    First, understand your cutting material before choosing a die grinder. Also, consider the following important factors:

    • Cutting purpose
    • Grinding metal nature
    • Tool power
    • Safety precautions
    • Ease to use
    • Less costly

    3. Linear Grinder

    The linear grinder is also known as a flat surface finish or surface conditioning tool. They are blending and polishing machines. Linear grinders smooth down flat surfaces.

    What Are Linear Grinders Used For?

    A linear grinder is an essential metal finishing tool. They are used to grind metal and other non-metallic materials. This metal grinding tool reduces finishing costs and effortlessly works in aluminum, stainless steel, copper, brass, and other alloys. In linear grinders, there is a thick sanding drum that grinds down metals and creates smooth finished surfaces. Many automobile workshops utilize linear grinders for car surface stripping, sanding, and preparation.

    Linear Grinder Attachments For Metal Grinding

    Following are the best abrasive drum wheels used with linear grinders for blending and polishing:

    • Nylon Wire Drums- Nylon wire drums are used for deburring and cleaning wooden floors.
    • Buffing Drums- Buffing drums are perfect for buffing and polishing metals and wood surfaces.
    • Non-Woven Drums- Nonwoven drums are perfect for removing small scratches.
    • Coated Abrasive Drums- These are multipurpose drums used for deburring and surface cleaning.
    • Surface Conditioning Drums- Mainly used for metal surface conditioning.

            Read: What are Grinding Wheels Used For

            Factors to Consider Before Buying a Linear Grinder

            Consider the following important factors while choosing a linear grinder:

            • Size of project
            • Anti-vibration handles
            • Tool power and speed
            • Purpose of use
            • Nature of grinding metal/alloys
            • Power specification
            • Safety precautions
            • Ease to use

            4. Power Drill

            A power drill or electric drill is a widely used drilling tool. The electric motor rotates with an attached metal grinding tool such as a spiral band, end brush, or a wire wheel to grind materials fast and smoothly.

            What Are Power Drills Used For?

            A power drill tool can be utilized for both domestic as well as commercial purposes. Power drills can be an effective grinder because they can work in small and hard-to-reach areas where other tools can’t work. They are used to grind and heavy stock removal from stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and other materials.

            Power Drill Attachments For Metal Grinding

            There are numerous power drill attachments available for metal grinding and they are similar to die grinder attachments. Such as,

            • Cartridge rolls
            • Wire wheels
            • Mounted flap wheels
            • Spiral bands
            • Cross pads
            • Wire cup brushes/ end brushes

            Factors to Consider Before Buying a Power Drill

            Consider the following important factors before buying a power drill:

            • Area of work
            • Nature of grinding metal
            • Power specification
            • Cordless or manual drill
            • Safety precautions
            • Ease to use

            Best Stationary Grinders (Metal Grinding Tools)

            The two most commonly available and widely used stationary grinders are bench grinders and belt grinders.

            5. Bench Grinder

            Bench grinders are a commonly available grinding tool in metal fabrication and hardware shops. This is a tabletop grinding machine that uses abrasive or grinding wheels to grind materials. 

            What Are Bench Grinders Used For?

            Bench grinders are mainly utilized for grinding, cutting, sharpening, and surface conditioning of other cutting tools (scissors, files, drill bits, and metal cutters). They are used to shape metals and remove unwanted surface materials. In a bench grinder, you can replace the grinding wheel with a wire brush wheel or buffing wheel to clean, buff, and polish your workpiece.

            Bench Grinder Attachments For Metal Grinding

            The bench grinder mainly works with two metal grinding tools, grinding wheels and wire brush wheels. Apart from these two attachments, you can also use an unmounted flap wheel with a bench grinder.

            • Grinding Wheel- Grinding wheels are utilized on large scale for grinding, cutting, and shaping materials.
            • Wire Wheels- Wire wheels are used for metal polishing, and to remove rust, paint, and other material from metal surfaces.
            • Unmounted Flap Wheels- Unmounted flap wheels are used for grinding aluminum, carbon steels, nickel alloys, aluminum, and cast iron.

                  Factors to Consider Before Buying a Bench Grinder

                  Following are the important factors you should consider before choosing a bench grinder for metalworking:

                  • Low-Speed Grinder
                  • Wheel size
                  • Nature of grinding metal
                  • Area of work
                  • Power specification
                  • Safety precautions
                  • Ease to use

                  Read: How to Select The Best Surface Grinding Wheel

                  6. Belt Grinders

                  Belt grinders (sometimes called belt sanders) are multipurpose metal grinding tools. Although there are quite differences in belt grinders vs belt sanders. The stationary belt grinder is widely utilized for heavy stock removal, metal cutting, and grinding rough surfaces.

                  What Are Belt Grinders Used For?

                  Belt grinders are a flexible tool so they are widely utilized for deburring, polishing, and different grinding applications. They are used to finish, grind, polish, and remove heavy stock materials. Knives sharpening is one of the most common applications of a belt grinder.

                  What are the Best Belt Grinder Attachments?

                  The Belt grinder requires an abrasive coated belt to grind metals effectively. Based on size and materials, a wide range of grinding belts is available to fulfill your needs. The common belt grinder attachments are- 2x36 grinding belts, 2x48 grinding belts, 2x42 grinding belts, 4x24 grinding belts. A 2x72 belt grinder attachment is the most popular and widely used by fabrication industries.

                  Read: What are Best Grinding Belts for Metal

                  Factors to Consider Before Buying a Belt Grinder

                  Look for the following important factors before buying a belt grinder:

                  • Cutting material type
                  • Belt grinder attachment (size & material quality)
                  • Cost price (belt grinders are expensive)
                  • Area of work
                  • Power specification
                  • Safety precautions
                  • Ease to use


                  Today, through this valuable guide, we have learned about the six most popular metal grinding tools as well as their work application and area of use. Hope you got the information you came here for.
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