Angle grinders have cutting discs designed to cut very dense materials like metal and stone. But can you cut wood with an angle grinder? Let’s find out if this tough cutting tool will work with wood and some of the best and safest wood cutting tools in this informative woodcutting guide.
A short answer is YES. An angle grinder can work with wood BUT with some huge risks. In fact, professionals would tell you to use other types of saws to cut wood and not to risk using an angle grinder.
Here are the reasons why:
- Angle grinders have abrasive blades
Most angle grinder blades are abrasive blades and thus, it’s not good to cut wood which is a combustible material. You can end up setting a block of wood on fire if you try to cut it with abrasive angle grinder blades.
- Kickback may happen
Kickback is when there is barely any resistance to the material being cut and the cutter becomes out of control. An angle grinder is a very powerful, high-speed tool that’s used on metal, stone, or concrete. All these are very dense materials and thus, kickback is close to impossible.
But when you cut a piece of wood with a grinder, even a very tiny change in your hand position can cause the grinder to move out of position.
The kickback is instantaneous and you may not have enough time to move your fingers or your arm. You can end up being seriously hurt if you continue.
- Almost all angle grinders don’t come with an electric brake
Angle grinders can’t slow down in case of an emergency as most don’t have an electric brake system. Therefore, in case of an accident, you may not have enough time to turn of the grinder from the plug. The grinder will continue to spin out of control until someone else comes to help you.
How to cut wood safely and very quickly?
Using an angle grinder is not a smart idea to cut wood. If you want to cut wood fast and evenly, you can use other types of saws that are safer and more efficient.
Use a circular saw
A circular saw can help you cut through wood safely and efficiently. Circular saws come with brushless motors that produce just the right amount of power therefore you won’t lose control.
A good circular saw comes with a 7 ¼ – inch blade with just the right depth at 2 – 9/16-inch. This is just right for cutting larger boards. Choose a versatile circular saw that can bevel up at 57 degrees for improved versatility to cut difficult shapes and sizes.
A good quality circular saw to try is the Dewalt DCS570B, a 20V 7 ¼ -inch circular saw. This one has ergonomic handles for easy use and is corded so you won’t run out of power for all applications.
Use a miter saw
If you want to cut larger pieces of wood quickly and in the most efficient manner, we recommend getting a compound miter saw. A good 12-inch saw can take the heaviest workload and is great for cutting large floorboards and lumber into smaller, uniform pieces.
Choose a miter saw with a dependable brushless motor to give you the best power and speeds under load.
We recommend a saw that can bevel to the left and right at varying degrees plus, a miter saw that will provide extreme accuracy. Miter saws are safe and are a must for anyone who wants to seriously take up woodworking.
Upgrade the blade of your angle grinder
If you don’t have access to a miter saw or a circular saw, you can always use an angle grinder but make upgrades on the blade. Go for a saw blade that has 3-teeth rather than a blade with more teeth or a crosscut teeth assembly.
Match the grinder with the speed of the rotation of its blade so you can cut through wood with a 3-teeth grinder blade safely and without any worries. Why a 3-teeth blade? This type of blade can move at high speeds but won’t cause any kickback.
The drawback of using this type of blade for your angle grinder is that it’s hard to find from local hardware stores and shops. It’s quite new and you might only buy this from a specialty blade shop. You may also try searching for this blade on Amazon or eBay.
What are angle grinders good for?
If angle grinders are not good for wood, then what can you do with them? Angle grinders can cut and grind metal, stucco, tile, and pavers. These tools are so versatile, they can also sharpen metal, polish, and sand different surfaces.
Angle grinders come in different sizes and thus are appropriate for a variety of tasks. Affordable angle grinders can help you polish, cut tiles and sand items but we recommend using more powerful grinders to handle more demanding cutting and polishing jobs.
Also, angle grinders come with a variety of accessories to help you work on different jobs. You can cut dense materials with a grinder blade and use another tool to polish and sand your project. Finishing different projects is easy if you have an angle grinder.
But no matter what size and power rating your angle grinder has, it’s important to use it while wearing safety gear. You must wear safety items like safety goggles, worker’s gloves, masks, and earplugs. As much as possible, take special courses or training on how to use power tools especially if you’re using one at work.
So, can you cut wood with an angle grinder? It’s now clear that you cannot use an angle grinder to cut wood. Wooden materials are not as dense to handle the fast-spinning powerful blade of an angle grinder. You can get seriously injured if you continue to do so. If you want to cut wood, use safe cutting tools like a miter saw or a circular saw instead.