Angle grinders are really great tools to have in your workshop, and depending on the type you have, they can be used for both metal and wood, although metal is more common. They can also be used to cut concrete.
Just like all power tools out there, though, they require maintenance and care. That’s especially the case with the blade, otherwise known as the disc, which is of course the main component required for this tool to function properly.
When your angle grinder’s blade wears down, it needs to be changed. That is exactly what we will cover in detail here.
When Should You Replace an Angle Grinder Blade?
If you are wondering how to know when it is time to replace the blade on the angle grinder, it’s not all that difficult. There are a few main factors and indications to keep your eye on, ones which will tell you when it is time to get a new one.
The first sign that your angle grinder blade needs replacement is if it has worn down to the point where it is taking you significantly longer to cut through something than when the blade was new. If it took just one minute to cut through a small pipe with a new blade, and now it is taking much longer than that, it’s a sign that it is time to make a replacement.
It is also important to replace a blade if they are damaged in any way. While these blades are very durable, they are not without fault. If the blade has any cracks or dents in it, or any chips missing (ones which leave the blade a little less than circular), it needs to be replaced. Using an angle grinder with a damaged blade is very dangerous as it can splinter during use.
Finally, another sign that it is time to replace on a blade on your angle grinder is if it has worn down to the point where it is so small that using it is no longer viable. Remember that angle grinders come with guards, and when the blade becomes too small, the guard will get in the way of proper use.
How to Change an Angle Grinder Blade
Although replacing the blade or disc on your angle grinder may seem like a difficult process, it really isn’t. As long as you know what you are doing, you can make a total blade replacement in a few easy steps and in a couple of quick minutes.
Let’s go through a simple step by step process on how to change an angle grinder blade right now.
Step 1: Disconnect the Power
Before you can get to replacing the angle grinder’s blade, you first need to ensure your own safety, and this means disconnecting the tool from any and all power sources. You never want to perform any sort of maintenance on any power tool when it is connected to power.
This can result in the angle grinder turning on while you are trying to replace the blade, and that, in turn, can cause serious injury. So, for a corded model, simply make sure that it is not plugged into an electrical outlet, and for cordless angle grinders, make sure to remove the battery pack.
Step 2: Use Factory Spanners to Remove the Blade
Now is the time when you will need factory spanners, special wrenches designed just for this purpose. One of the wrenches looks like a fork and the other looks like a generic wrench. To make life easier for you, these tools should be on hand.
So, you need to find the two holes that are set in between the blade and the motor of the angle grinder. Insert the wrench that looks like a pronged fork into these two holes. Use the other wrench, the normal looking one, to secure the bolt at the bottom of the disc (this is how the blade is held in place so that it does not move while loosening the nut).
You will see a small arrow where the disc is mounted. Use the pronged wrench and turn it in the opposite direction of this arrow, while using the normal wrench to hold the blade’s bolt in place. Now all you have to do is to turn the nut until the blade loosens and comes off.
Step 3: Mounting a New Blade
The final step here is to mount the new blade. This is done in the same way as the old blade was taken off, just in the reverse order.
Take the old blade off, get your new blade, and place it on the drive bolt.
Use the normal wrench to hold the bolt in place below the blade, and then use the pronged wrench and insert it into those two holes discussed in the above step. Now, while holding the nut with one wrench, take the pronged wrench and turn it in the appropriate direction until the blade is secured firmly in place.
How to Remove an Angle Grinder Blade Without Any Tools
If you don’t have the factory spanners to replace the blade, there are ways of replacing the blade on your angle grinder without them.
Option 1: Using Improvised Spanners
Use a vice grip to secure the bold holding the angle grinder’s blade in place.
Take a screwdriver and insert it into one of the holes where you would have put the fork-like wrench. Pull or push the screwdriver in the opposite direction of the arrow on the disc.
You may need to hit the screwdriver a few times with a hammer to loosen the bolt enough to remove the blade.
Option 2: Using No Spanners
You can try using the palm of your hand to hit the blade in the opposite direction as indicated by the arrow on the blade. This should allow you to loosen the nut just enough to unscrew it the rest of the way with your fingers.
That said, you will still need tools in order to tighten the new blade enough for safe use.
Option 3: Using Pliers
If all else fails, you can try using a pair of pliers to simply break and snap the old blade off in pieces, although this will leave the nut in place, and this will still need to be loosened and removed in order to attach the new blade.
As you can see, replacing an angle grinder blade is not hard, but it does help if you have the right tools.
If this is something that you will be doing on a regular basis, it’s best to buy yourself a pair of angle grinder spanners. They only cost a few dollars but will save you a lot of time and will make the process a breeze.