A concrete grinding wheel for an angle grinder is an indispensable tool for a mason constantly dealing with concrete. However, you should know that the angle grinder is only one part of the equation, as you must select the right concrete grinding wheel for the angle grinder. Choosing the right grinding wheel is essential for the effective operation of your angle grinder. Consequently, we’ve taken the initiative to list some tips that you will find quite helpful when selecting the right grinding wheel for concrete.
Table of Contents
- 1.Know the Abrasive Components: Grits or Grains?
- 2. Consider the bond strength.
- 3. Determine the shape of the wheel
- 4. Identify the grade of the grinding wheel.
- 5. Determine the finish you’re looking to have
- 6. Consider the wattage of your angle grinder.
- Final thoughts
Figure 1 – A metal grinding wheel in action
1.Know the Abrasive Components: Grits or Grains?
Concrete grinding wheels and other abrasive tools comprise two major components – the abrasive grains that do the cutting and the bond that holds the grains in place while they cut. The percentages of grain and bond plus spacing in the wheel determine its structure. The nature of the abrasive also decides the kind of materials the wheel will be able to cut. Each abrasive type is distinct in its unique properties, such as – strength, toughness, hardness, and resistance to impact.
Manufacturers use aluminum oxide as a very common abrasive in making grinding wheels. This abrasive works well for hard materials such as carbon steel, concrete, high-speed steel, alloy steel, wrought iron, and the like. Understand that there are different types of aluminum oxide abrasives; each of them comes with its designation. Plus, you can use them for different cutting and grinding operations.
Once you’ve established the grain texture, you should consider the grit size. The grit size is the size of individual abrasive grains in the wheel. Coarser grains allow for the rapid removal of material, plus you can use them when the finish isn’t important. Coarser grains come in small sizes – 10, 15, and 25, while higher numbers such as – 70, 100, and 180 are fine-grit wheels. They are quite suitable for fine finishes.
Figure 2 – A steel grinding wheel cutting metal rods
2. Consider the bond strength.
If you want the abrasives on your concrete grinding wheel to cut efficiently, then the wheel must contain the proper bond. The bond is the material that holds the abrasives in place to enable them to cut more effectively. The bond should also wear alongside the abrasive grains, as it will expose sharper grains. Primarily, there are three types of bonds for concrete grinding wheels. Each of these bonds gives distinct characteristics to the grinding/cutting action of the wheel.
Before you select any bond for your concrete grinding wheel, you should consider factors like the operating speed of the wheel, the grinding operation, the right precision, and the material in question. Most grinding wheels come with vitrified bonds, which are very porous, strong, and rigid. They remove stock materials rapidly, and they grind to precise requirements. On the good side, they are resilient to water, oils, acid, and harsh temperatures.
Figure 3 – A metal angle grinder
3. Determine the shape of the wheel
Concrete grinding wheels come in a variety of shapes. Most of us probably think that grinding wheels come in one straight shape, but it’s not true. As with other factors, you should consider the wheel’s shape when selecting a concrete grinding wheel for an angle grinder.
On some wheels, you will find the cutting face on the side of the wheel. These wheels usually take the names of their shapes, such as – cup wheels, cylinder wheels, and dish wheels. In some cases, manufacturers fuse-bond abrasive sections of various shapes to form an intermittent continuous side grinding wheel. Wheels with cutting faces on both sides are best for grinding the teeth of grinding tools and other hard-to-reach surfaces. These considerations should come into play when selecting a grinding wheel for concrete.
Wheel diameter is an important factor when selecting a concrete grinding wheel for an angle grinder. Angle grinders with bigger wheels tend to be more powerful.
Figure 4 – A set of diamond grinding wheels
4. Identify the grade of the grinding wheel.
You can find out the strength of a bond in the grade of the grinding wheel. You can tell if a bond is hard if the spans between each abrasive grain are resilient and hold the grains well against the grinding forces that try to loosen them. You can also tell a soft-grade bond if minimal force is required to release the grains. The relative amount of bond in a wheel determines its hardness.
Hard-grade wheels allow for longer wheel life and jobs requiring high-horsepower machines. You can also use them for jobs with narrow or small contact areas. Soft-grade wheels are best for rapid stock removal, jobs with a large or wide contact area, and materials such as carbides, steel, and concrete.
5. Determine the finish you’re looking to have
The amount of stock you want to remove is also a critical consideration, as this plays a massive role in the finish. Coarser grits will perform with rapid stock removal well since they can withstand heavier cuts and greater penetration. However, if you want a nice finish, you’ll need a finer grit wheel for your grinding operations. You also need to pay critical attention to the horsepower of the angle grinder as a high RPM can exert a tremendous that may allow for the rapid removal of the material.
The finishing you’re looking to have should also influence your choice of wheel shape, as this is also crucial. In this regard, you should invest more in soft-grade wheels as they require minimal RPM to expose the abrasive grains. It allows you to regulate horsepower.
6. Consider the wattage of your angle grinder.
The wattage is quite important as it will feed the grinding wheel with the power to cut or grind the material in question. Speed is also of immense essence here; you will need an angle grinder that can match your work speed, which is also congruent to having a high-wattage tool.
If you’re looking to cut hard materials like concrete and the like, you should go for a material with high wattage, as this will also allow you to use your angle grinder for a long time.
Figure 5 – A mason using an angle grinder
You frequently Asked Questions about selecting a grinding wheel for your angle grinder.
What is the available concrete grinding wheels for angle grinders?
As we’ve stated earlier, grinding wheels come in various types and shapes. For concrete grinding wheels, you will likely find cup wheels, cylinder wheels, circular wheels, and the like. These wheels are distinct for specific purposes. Depending on your operation, cutting, polishing, or grinding, you will undoubtedly find a grinding wheel that suits your needs. There are also wheels with coarse grits and those with super fine grits. However, your job should influence your choice of a concrete grinding wheel.
Can I use a concrete grinding wheel on other materials?
Well, concrete is a hard material, and this sole fact allows concrete grinding wheels to work well for other hard materials. You can use your concrete angle grinder to cut or grind other hard materials. However, if you do this, you must do so with a diamond concrete grinding wheel, as diamond grinding wheels are sturdy tools that have proven to be quite resilient. Using other concrete grinding wheels to grind or cut other grinding wheels might reduce your grinding wheel’s lifespan. If you wish your angle grinder to last, diamond grinding wheels are the way to go.
Where can I get the best concrete grinding wheel for my angle grinder?
Getting the best concrete grinding wheel for an angle grinder is crucial and strongly depends on the manufacturer you’re buying from. If you’re looking to purchase quality concrete grinding wheels for your angle grinder, then we recommend purchasing them from NC Cutting Tools; why? NC Cutting Tools are one of the prominent manufacturers of diamond grinding tools.
Let’s not forget that diamond grinding wheels can easily pass as concrete grinding wheels, given their sturdy and resilient nature. Grinding wheels from NC Cutting Tools have a penchant for outlasting most grinding wheels on the market. You can easily spot them in most workshops as they are a reputable diamond tool company. You can look up some of their reviews and testimonies.
With the tips above, you can conveniently select the right concrete grinding wheel for an angle grinder. Ensure you use this tip as you would a buying guide. Also, you will find concrete grinding wheels from NC Cutting Tools, a perfect description of everything we’ve discussed above. Are you looking to start your project? Feel free to get your hands dirty with the best tools on the market.