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How To Ensure The Safe Use Of Angle Grinders?

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Before using any power tool like angle grinders, you must consider the hazard associated with it to take suitable protective and safety measures to avoid any accident or injury. If you want to know if you can you buff with an angle grinder effectively, then the answer is yes because buffing is one of the operations of angle grinders in addition to grinding, cutting, polishing, and sanding.  

Angle grinders owe their versatility to the discs or attachments that perform the task, and for buffing, you must use the right type of disc to achieve the desired finish of the surface. Some people tend to use the terms buffing and polishing interchangeably because of the processes' similarity, but technically the operations are different. The discs used for buffing use loose abrasive on the wheel, whereas polishing wheels have abrasives secured to it.

Although buffing is light work compared to grinding and cutting, you must not take safety lightly because the dangers of using angle grinders remain the same. You must follow proper operational procedures without taking the safety features of the power tool for granted. It is imperative to ensure your safety when using angle grinders instead of relying too much on the in-built safety features that can prove ineffective due to lapses on your part.

Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned user of angle grinders or any other power tool, you must be in control of what you are doing. Consider the risks that can arise from using angle grinders like flying debris, sudden kickback, noise exposure, repetitive strain injury, and working near flammables/combustibles.  Following proper safety procedures can help mitigate the risks for which users must be familiar with the tool's safety feature and use appropriate safety equipment and accessories for protection.


Know the safety procedures and follow it

Following the necessary safety procedures can ensure the safe handling of angle grinders. Wear the appropriate PPE or Personal Protective Equipment such as safety glasses, face shields, hand gloves, earplugs, protective footwear, and a flame-resistant shirt.  Using the right PPE will ensure the safety of the user and those working in the vicinity.

The workplace environment where you use the angle grinder is vital for safe operations and must not have anything that can cause a hazard when working. It must be a well-lit environment, clean and dry, that can prevent electrocution and tripping hazards.

The environment should be free from flammable and or combustible materials in any form of solid, liquid, or gas that can cause a fire. There should be a minimal distraction in the environment because it is one of the biggest causes of accidents and injuries. Cell phones should be switched off or its use prohibited in the area where you are using the equipment.


Consider the fitness of the operator

The user’s ability to operate the Angle Grinder correctly is also a factor to consider along with his physical ability to handle the tool. Whenever the operator feels tired or fatigue, he should take a break and be in the right frame of mind that allows concentrating on the task. Never should you use the tool under the influence of substances.


Use the right tools

To ensure safe working, it is critical to use the right tools. Consider the type of application, which, if special, might need some specialized tool. The location and its accessibility determine which kind of tools will be right for the job. For example, an Angle Grinder will do no good if you are working in tight spots for which a flat head grinder or possibly a die grinder, along with a flexible shaft, would be more appropriate. 

To know whether you have the right tool, consider whether you need a grinder or slicer for the job. Next, consider if the wheel size matches the size of the machine and whether the grinder has the right type of guard installed correctly. Also, check the grinder rating, which should match the spinning speed or rpm of the wheel. Lastly, do not forget to check the direction of rotation of the wheel.


Be familiar with the safety features of the tool

All corded and cordless grinders have in-built safety features that protect the operator and help to manage and control the tool better. To absorb the kickback forces, the tool must have a mechanical slip clutch that reduces the chances of producing flying debris, a common hazard faced with cutting wheels.

The grinder must also have a mechanical safety brake to stop the tool in less than 2 seconds soon upon disengagement of the tool’s switch. Anti-vibration handles and an auto-balance feature add to the safety of the grinder. Drop secure is another safety feature that reduces injuries from tools dropped accidentally.

Ensure that the equipment supplier provides the safety accessories like side handle and guard at the time of purchase.


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