10 Angle Grinder Uses in Metal and Woodworking, Masonry & More

Angle Grinder Uses in Metal and Woodworking, Masonry & More

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So, you’ve just purchased an angle grinder for your own DIY projects or for your team’s upcoming on-site projects. Either way, you may now be wondering what you can accomplish with this tool in hand. Naturally, you’re likely aware that you can use this tool in its default mode to grind down metal.

But what else can it do? After all, it’s one of the most versatile tools around, much more so than the bench grinder for example.

This guide will dig deep into the kinds of tasks you can complete successfully by utilizing an angle grinder. Many of these uses are related to metalworking and fabricating, as you might expect. But at the same time, you might be surprised at how this tool can be used for woodworking and masonry work as well.

With all of these uses in mind, you’ll surely be able to find a chance to pull out your angle grinder on almost every project going forward.

4 Angle Grinder Uses in Metalworking

Before going to the more niche uses of the tool, let’s look at metalworking.


First, let’s look at the most obvious use.

Chances are, your unit will come packaged with at least one grinding disc attachment. With this disc, you’ll be able to remove access material from the surface of metal objects. In practice, these grinding discs allow you to accomplish a large number of key fabricating jobs, including deburring, smoothing, and chamfering.

Be aware that, although this is an angle grinder’s original purpose, it comes with some restrictions.

In particular, grinding can cause the disc used to heat up fairly rapidly due to friction. As such, those who intend to do a lot of grinding with an angle grinder should have a few discs to rotate through over the course of their task. Otherwise, they will risk damaging their blades beyond repair.

Grinding with an Angle Grinder

Paint and Rust Removal

Angle grinders are great at removing all kinds of materials besides metal, too. For example, with a wire wheel attached, an angle grinder can be converted into a paint removing machine. To that end, professional mechanics and body artists routinely use these tools to complete even the most complex paint jobs.

In that capacity, an angle grinder can take paint fully off of a car’s body with just a few passes.

That’s not all, though.

With the same wire wheel, an angle grinder can also be used to remove rust from a corroded piece of metal. This is particularly true when the rust layer is fairly thin and has not penetrated the metal’s inner structure. Auto mechanics also use their angle grinders for this purpose, especially when restoring old cars and car parts.


Let’s say that you have a piece of finished aluminum or steel that you want to buff up before mounting into its final location. But without a power buffing tool, you might spend hours of hard labor trying to restore your metal’s shine.

hat doesn’t have to be the case if you have an angle grinder with a polishing head, though. With these two parts combined, you can polish up a wide variety of metals without investing in a single-use power tool.

Do keep in mind, though, that using an angle grinder for this purpose requires a bit of extra work on your part. Traditional buffing tools are designed to apply pressure as they scrub. Angle grinders don’t do this by default, so you’ll need to apply some light pressure to get the most out of their polishing potential.

Polishing with an Angle Grinder


Perhaps the second most prevalent use for an angle grinder is its ability to cut through metal. Specifically, an angle grinder equipped with a tapered cutting blade is fully able to slice through small- and medium-gauge metal with relative ease.

In this capacity, angle grinders are routinely used on professional construction sites, especially when it comes time to cut into sheet metal or cut through rebar.

Cutting with an angle grinder is easier said than done, though.

As you’ll quickly find, you’ll often need to make multiple passes over the surface of a metal workpiece before it will be fully cut through. In addition, cutting metal with an angle grinder is sure to send out a fair bit of debris, not to mention sparks.

Because of that, you should be fully kitted out in PPE that covers your skin, eyes, mouth, and ears.

Cutting with an Angle Grinder

2 Angle Grinder Uses in Woodworking & Carpentry

Next, let’s take a look at using an angle grinder when working with wood in one way or another.


Practical uses for angle grinders in a woodworking shop are few and far between. However, a fair number of amateur woodworkers can vouch for this tool’s ability to effectively sand down a rough cut of wood.

To do that, you’d likely need to grab an abrasive flap disc, which is traditionally designed for grinding down metal. Then, you’d want to carefully run it over the rough wood surface until it is optimally smoothed.

In truth, though, this method of sanding is technically an overkill. Indeed, you’re at a much greater risk for tearing up your wood workpiece’s surface with one of these discs.

Instead, you should consider using an oscillating multi-tool with a sanding attachment or a dedicated sander. These can effectively cut your sanding time in half.


Some woodworkers have also claimed success at cutting through their raw lumber with an angle grinder and metal cutting disc in hand. While this would be theoretically possible, you’ll likely find the result to be subpar. Still, if you want to learn how to do it, read this guide.

Also, because of the design of a metal cutting discs edge, you’ll have a much greater risk for a blowout when cutting in this way.

Instead, consider using purpose-made woodcutting saw such as a circular saw or table saw.

2 Angle Grinder Uses in Masonry & Concrete Work

While an angle grinder is not an ideal tool for woodworking, it certainly can be useful when working with masonry and concrete.

Cutting Tile and Other Masonry Materials

Many professional masons and tile layers keep an angle grinder on hand for accomplishing a wide variety of cutting tasks. Specifically, a skilled user can mount a diamond cutting disc onto these tools and use them to efficiently slice through fragile tiles as well as dense cinder blocks and pavers.

Uniquely, cutting tile and masonry materials in this manner can be done “dry.” This is in opposition to so-called “wet cutting,” which can be messy and time-intensive in many masonry settings. Be aware, though, that dry cutting masonry materials with an angle grinder is a messy business. It tends to throw up a lot of debris, so proper mouth and eye PPE should always be worn.

Using Angle Grinder for Masonry

Removing Mortar

Many angle grinder owners don’t know that this tool can be used to efficiently remove mortar. In truth, it can, which makes it a major asset to masons who are deconstructing an existing structure.

This job requires a tuckpointing wheel, which is often diamond-tipped to give it more abrasive strength. This construction also ensures that the old mortar is effectively pulverized without chipping the surrounding blocks.

As with tile and stone cutting using an angle grinder, participants in mortar removal via an angle grinder should be fully aware of how much debris it creates. Mortar dust is particularly harmful if inhaled or allowed to set in the eye.

As such, this job also requires eye and mouth protection at all times.

Other Common Uses of Angle Grinders

Finally, let’s take a look at a couple of angle grinder uses unrelated to the above.

Metal Tool Sharpening

Metal tool sharpening is necessary from time to time. But many DIYers simply don’t have access to a bench grinder that can make that happen. In a pinch, an angle grinder can actually be used to accomplish the same ends.

So long as you have a fine grinding head attached, this tool can effectively bring your tools back to a like-new edge.

However, sharpening tools with an angle grinder is not an easy task. That’s because it requires the user to carefully angle the entire unit and maintain that angle while grinding down the edge. A guard plate would also be prudent because this task is likely to produce a shower of sparks.


While the practice is not all that common, angle grinders can also be used to accomplish some drilling jobs. To do this, though, you’ll need to purchase a specialized drill chuck that itself can be mounted onto your angle grinder’s accessory spindle.

With that mounted on, you’ll then be able to attach a variety of specialized drill bits that can work their way through everything from wood to bricks.

Drill Chuck for Angle Grinder

More often than not, you’ll want to opt for the toughest drill bit you can afford when drilling with an angle grinder. This is because you’ll want to maximize your drilling efficiency while minimizing friction whenever possible. This can usually be accomplished with a carbide-tipped bit, similar to those use for traditional drilling.

Diamond-tipped angle grinder drill bits are also available to those who intend on using their angle grinder for this purpose on a regular basis.


Can you believe how much you can do with just a single angle grinder?

Regardless of whether you’re engaged in metalwork, woodwork, or masonry work, you’re sure to find at least a few uses for this great multi-purpose power tool. In fact, you might even feel empowered to branch out and try a new project with your angle grinder in hand.

Just remember to pick up the right disc, wheel, or bit that can make those cutting, grinding, sanding, and polishing jobs a breeze.