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Grinding Wheel vs Flap Disc vs Sanding Disc

Grinding Wheel vs Flap Disc vs Sanding Disc

The most important factor to consider when using an angle grinder for DIY projects is the type of attachment. The grinding wheel, flap disc, and sanding disc are the most common angle grinder attachments, but they are utilized for different jobs.

Grinding wheels are most commonly used for various grinding, abrasive cutting, and machining jobs, while flap discs are used to conform and shape metal, and sanding discs are used for sanding metal, wood, and other materials.

Apart from this, there are more differences between the grinding wheel, flap disc, and sanding disc. Keep reading to learn more about each of these grinder attachments.

Difference Between Grinding Wheel, Flap Disc, and Sanding Disc

An angle grinder is one of the most important power tools to cut metal. If you want to remove excess material from a metal surface, you can use a grinding wheel and a flap disc. However, the flap disc produces less spark than the grinding wheel. For effective sanding and metal finishing, you can use a sanding disc. Let's go deep,

Grinding Wheel or Abrasive Wheel

A grinding wheel, also known as an abrasive wheel, is an abrasive tool used for grinding and shaping metal. For effective grinding, there are thousands of cutting points on the surface of the abrasive wheel. The grinding wheel is designed with sharp-edged abrasive grains to fulfill various grinding and metal cutting requirements. This metalworking tool is perfect for heavy stock removal, rough mixing, and surface grinding applications.

What Are Grinding Wheels Used For?

Grinding wheels are mainly used to remove excess material from metal surfaces. This wheel is also used to cut rust, weld spatter and weld slag. Grinding wheels are available in different grits, like sandpaper. Low grit wheels are coarser and have a high material removal rate, while higher grit wheels are softer and have a low material removal rate. Both high and low grit grinding wheels are used for grinding, finishing, cleaning, and metal polishing.

Flap Disc

A flap disc wheel is an abrasive tool made up of different abrasive coated "flaps" layers. Flap Discs are an excellent angle grinder attachment for effective grinding and metal finishing. Flap discs produce less gouging and burning and provide cooler cutting than grinding discs. They are mainly used for metal grinding, finishing, deburring, paint removal, and rust removal. This abrasive tool is perfect for shaping ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

What Are Flap Discs Used For?

Flap discs shape metal and remove deposited welds and slag from the surface. They remove metal more slowly than grinding wheels and produce less spark. Flap discs are less durable than grinding wheels and can wear out quickly if not stored properly. They are safer and easier to use than other abrasive tools. While grinding and finishing, the flap disc generates less vibration and heat. For more information, read what is a flap disc used for.

Sanding Disc

A sanding disc is another angle grinder attachment used for sanding metal, wood, and other materials. While angle grinder rotary sanding for wood doesn't provide the same high-quality finish as a random orbital sander or orbital sander, it's generally good for most DIY projects. Start with a low-grit sanding disc and gradually increase the grit, each time gently stroking the angle grinder across the surface of the wood.

What is Sanding Discs Used For?

As the name suggests, sanding discs are used to sand metal, wood, and plastic materials. Sanding discs are available in almost all grit sizes. They are designed to get extra finishing (perform sanding before polishing). However, a sanding disc is not perfect for heavy-duty tasks such as removing large amounts of material and aggressive grinding. Also, using a sanding disc to remove welds or slag can destroy the disc. 

You can also use hook and loop discs instead of sanding discs and sandpaper to polish, remove rust and paint, and finish metals, wood, plastics, ceramics, and glass.

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