Angle grinders are a great tool to have for personal or professional work, being highly versatile and delivering smooth concrete surfaces when used for concrete grinding.
However, learning to use new power tools can be daunting (and even dangerous) – running the risk of damaging your tools or property, or even doing bodily harm.
That’s why it’s important to know the ins and outs of using power tools beforehand, especially ones as handy as the angle grinder!
This will give you a greater success rate while ensuring you’re aware of the risks and are less likely to make mistakes when concrete grinding.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- What the angle grinder is and what it’s used for
- Different types of angle grinders and how to choose the right one
- Concrete grinding techniques and top tips
- Safety practices and precautions to follow.
Understanding Angle Grinder Concrete Grinding
Angle grinders can be used for concrete grinding to create a smooth, level, and polished surface. When you need to remove surface adhesives such as paint, an angle grinder is the tool you’ll typically reach for.
Concrete can be difficult to work with since it’s nearly impossible to remove once it’s set.
As such, an angle grinder is a true must-have for working with concrete – and this is also precisely why you’ll find an angle grinder on most construction sites!
They are small, easily portable, and can go anywhere you need them to go – including around doorways or pillars to create a consistent smooth surface when concrete grinding.
The ability of the angle grinder to produce a fine, precise, and polished surface means that it is also useful for projects involving concrete such as finishing concrete benchtops or furniture, sculptures, and even for prepping or finishing concrete walls.
All in all, angle grinders are a great tool for concrete grinding as they always provide a consistent finish and their small size and mobility mean they’re perfect for a variety of projects.
As long as you’ve got an angle grinder, the right attachments, and a vacuum cleaner, you’ll be able to turn your concrete project into a finely polished piece of work to be proud of!
Types of Angle Grinders for Concrete Grinding
There are of course a variety of angle grinders you can choose from when you’re working on a project that calls for concrete grinding.
There are electric models and cordless models, as well as a wide variety of power capabilities and disc size compatibility.
For grinding concrete, you need to consider the type of project you’re preparing to tackle.
For example, if you’re working on polishing the whole surface of a floor, a small angle grinder may not be the best option for this.
Getting an angle grinder that is compatible with a larger disc is important when you’re taking on a more heavy-duty task. If you’re just doing a small, fine project, an angle grinder with a smaller disc compatibility is fine.
There are also two primary types of discs that attach to angle grinders: grinding discs and cutting discs.
Cutting discs are designed for precision cutting through concrete and other surfaces, and are unlikely to serve your purpose if you’re looking to finish, level, or smooth a surface.
For concrete grinding, it’s important to pick an angle grinder that’s compatible with the grinding discs you’ll need for your project.
There are also a range of features that angle grinders incorporate, depending on the price.
For instance, you can get angle grinders that reduce vibration and have adjustable guards to protect you from flying debris.
Concrete grinding is one of the more heavy-duty uses for angle grinders, so while I’d recommend getting an angle grinder that offers these features for easy maneuverability, they’re definitely not necessary to get the job done!
Angle Grinder Selection
Angle grinders are rated by RPM – Rotations Per Minute. Since concrete is such a hard and abrasive surface, it’s important that the RPMs are at least 10,000 or higher no matter what model angle grinder you get!
This is to make sure you’ll have enough power to grind through the concrete to give the level of polish you’re looking for in your project.
Higher power ratings on angle grinders usually correspond to a higher level of grinding capability. Since concrete is such a hard surface, it’s recommended to use an angle grinder with a power rating of at least 7 amps/1000 watts.
Again, due to the nature of concrete grinding projects, there are certain models of angle grinders that are made from higher-quality materials and are more likely to last under the high demands of the job.
Models with high-durability features such as reinforced metal housings are ideal for concrete grinding.
There is a range of disc sizes that you can get for your angle grinder; for concrete grinding, however, the ideal size is between four and seven inches.
This will provide a comfortable level of maneuverability while still being effective for a range of tasks. Remember: small discs are better for detail, and larger ones are better for heavy-duty jobs.
Concrete grinding can cause a high accumulation of dust, so angle grinder models with dust shroud attachments are also a great option for concrete grinding projects.
Concrete Grinding Techniques
Concrete grinding is easy with the right preparation and techniques. However, there are a few important things you need to know before you start to ensure success; we’ll get into those so you can get started!
Before you start, it’s important to make sure you assess the surface you’re about to grind to make sure you’ve got the right tools at hand!
You’ll need to look for things such as adhesives that need removing, as well as whether any large imperfections will need grinding down or if it’s just a straightforward surface polish. This will help you to pick the best grinder disc for the job.
It’s also crucial to clean the surface you’re about to work on before you start grinding.
This may seem like a small unnecessary step, but believe me – using an angle grinder on sticky residue or debris is not an ideal situation and can damage your tool!
Now that your surface is prepared, it’s important to pick the best grinder disc for the job.
Install a diamond polishing pad if you’re polishing or an abrasive disc for leveling. Be sure to install the disc before plugging in the tool and turning it on!
Ensuring an even consistent result is key, especially since the angle grinder is such a small tool. It’s recommended to divide the surface you’re working on and grind each section methodically so you get an even coverage.
Start slowly and build your way up until you get the result you’re looking for; if you grind too quickly at the beginning, you can cause damage that’s difficult or even impossible to fix.
Tips for Efficient Concrete Grinding
Don’t rush when you’re working on concrete grinding!
It can be tempting as concrete seems so tedious to get through, but you want an even, smooth surface that can only be achieved with careful consistency.
Once you’ve worked through your sections from the outside in, you may need to go back over the whole area to ensure it’s completely smooth and level.
Dealing with Problem Areas
You may come across problem areas such as cracks or imperfections while you’re angle-grinding your concrete surface.
However, these are usually easy to deal with; you can use an abrasive disc to grind down the unevenness for drastically uneven surfaces.
If you run into small cracks in your concrete while angle grinding, you can fill these with concrete and then continue once they have set. If the cracks are larger, be sure to chase the crack by grinding down the rough edges of the crack first before filling it.
To finish, you can attach a finer polishing disc and go over the surface once more for that professional shine and smooth, polished appearance.
Cleaning and Safety Practices
Cleaning up is the final step; be sure to give the surface a thorough sweep and even a wash with a water blaster if necessary!
Disposing of concrete dust and debris responsibly is equally important. If you’ve got large quantities of concrete debris, recycle it if you can; some recycling plants or even concrete suppliers will accept cement waste.
Otherwise, it’s wise to dispose of concrete waste in your nearest landfill.
Safety Precautions and Avoiding Common Pitfalls
The most important step for concrete grinding with an angle grinder is safety! Before you start, make sure you don your safety gear; goggles, gloves, protective boots, dust mask, and earmuffs are all highly necessary before you start.
Ensure you read all instructions and specs on your tools before using them. Some discs have a maximum speed that you need to make sure will work with the grinder you’re attaching it to.
It’s also crucial to make sure your discs are attached properly and tightened before you start to avoid any serious accidents.
Angle grinders are great tools that are versatile for a variety of different tasks. If you follow the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you’ll be able to complete jobs that look professional and polished.
Always keep safety as your priority before you start using an angle grinder, and have fun!