How to Cut Tiles, Stone and Concrete with Angle Grinder
Know how to cut tiles, stone and concrete with an angle grinder, get better project results! You can plan home improvement projects without paying for the expensive labor costs. You just have to buy the materials, angle grinder and discs, and get going with it.
Cutting Tiles, Stone and Concrete with Angle Grinder
You must always keep in mind that an angle grinder is a power tool. As such, you have to respect its capacity to cut through hard and soft materials. These include tiles, stone and concrete as well as skin, muscles and bones.
The cutting power of an angle grinder lies in two things. First, its sharp disc or blade are tipped with diamond, the hardest substance on earth. Second, it spins at more than 2,000 revolutions per minute (rpm).
The bottom line: You have to avoid direct contact with the spinning disc. You should have adequate protection from dust, debris, and projectiles.
- Always wear your personal protection equipment (PPE). This is true even for short jobs since the safety risks are always present with an angle grinder.
Safety goggles, dust mask, and ear protectors are a must for the protection of the eyes, ears and nose. Comfortable clothes without loose and long sleeves are also necessary. Steel-toed shoes are also preferable over sandals.
- Clear the working area of potentially hazardous objects. These include fire hazards, solid debris, and liquid spills.
Only the angle grinder, accessories and materials should be within your easy reach. If possible, you should clean the area of dust and debris from a previous job.
- Unplug the angle grinder when it’s not being used yet. You have to conduct a visual inspection of its entire body and check the disc. You may have to change the disc since even a small crack can affect its performance.
- Ensure the safety guard is in place. Never remove it for any type of job since it’s there for a good reason.
Always apply these safety measures before using an angle grinder. Even when it was working well yesterday, it may not do so today.
Picking the Right Grinder and Disc
For a DIY project, you have two main choices. First, the 115 mm wheel size is smaller, thus, its suitability for small tiles, bricks and stone. Second, the 230 mm wheel size is larger, so it’s best for bigger or thicker materials.
In both cases, the best disc for the job is a dry-cut diamond blade. It has diamond grits embedded in its steel rim. These are effective at cutting and grinding hard materials like tiles, stone and concrete.
Tip #1: Avoid cheap diamond blades since these aren’t effective. You will get more value because of their durability, longevity and efficacy.
Tip #2: Run the angle grinder with a new diamond disc for a minute or so before cutting. You can determine whether the angle grinder and disc are in good condition first. You’re reducing the risks of injury from broken or damaged parts.
Setting the Materials
When you’re cutting tiles or stone, you should elevate the work piece first. This way, the angle grinder will not come in direct contact with the ground. The work piece can also be cut cleanly since there are no impediments in the way.
Tip #3: Arrange a few small pieces of wood for mounting the tile or stone.
Applying the Right Techniques
Cutting metal with an angle grinder is a straightforward process. But it isn’t so with tiles, stone and concrete where refined skills are a must.
A few general tips:
- Guide the blade but never force it in any direction. You should avoid exerting too much pressure on the material lest it shatters.
You must also position the wheel so that it spins away from the material’s edges. The dust and debris will then fly away from your side.
- Tilt the blade when cutting circles.
- Mark the design or shape on the material before cutting.
When scoring circles, these are useful tips:
- Score the front of the material with the blade.
- Tilt the grinder approximately 30 degrees.
- Cut through the material about 1/16-inch deep.
- Cut around the circle several times. Make a deeper cut with every disc revolution.
- Maintain the same angle with each pass. Shave off the layers while cutting closer to the circle’s center.
For roughing out semi-circular cuts, similar techniques as cutting out full circles are used.
- Mark the cut.
- Score the tile’s face.
- Remove the excess material with straight cuts. (In contrast, making a full circle involves deepening the scoring cut)
- Make a series of radial cuts to complete the semicircle.
- Clean up the rough edges.
- Grind the edges for a smooth finish.
Master the basics of cutting and advanced techniques soon follow. You may even be able to make elaborate designs from tiles, stone and concrete.
Cutting tiles, stone and concrete with an angle grinder initially demands basic skills. But when you’re dealing with more elaborate designs, your cutting skills should level up. You may want to enroll in formal courses, read books, and watch videos.
Your ability to cut basic and elaborate designs on tiles, stone and concrete is a great skill, indeed. You can even make it your livelihood, such as a tile expert. Your home improvement projects will be better for it.
Regardless of your skill levels, you must always be conscious of safety measures. Angle grinders and their discs can be as much as you friend as your foe.