The Virtues of Thin Grinding Discs

Updated: 21 Feb 2013

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The Virtues of Thin Grinding Discs

Metal cutting wheels (disks) for angle grinders come in a number of thicknesses. I've always used the thicker 3mm ones in my handheld angle grinder, because they ought to be more robust and less likely to shatter.

3mm thick metal cutting wheel

I needed today to cut out some rusty old bolts holding the timber uprights of my carport to steel brackets embedded in brick piers. Here is one of the bolts - as you can see it definitely needed replacing.

Very rusty bolt

The first ones I did with the 3mm disk. Slow, lots of sparks, lots of grit flying, lots of heat.

Well, why not give the thinner 1mm disks a go? Here you can see the 2 thicknesses side by side

1mm and 3mm disks
1mm metal cutting wheel

The thinner wheel fits neatly in the grinder.

1mm wheel in the grinder

How did it go? Very well. You probably should not try it for heavy cutting, but for slicing through the old bolts, it was much, much better! Faster, fewer sparks, less grit sprayed around and less heat.

I should not have been surprised. I bought the 1mm disks for my cheap metal cutting drop saw, made from a $20 pressed metal gadget and another 100mm angle grinder. It works very well, slicing through even 50x50x3mm square steel tubing with ease. If you look closely, you can see I later on squeezed a 115mm disk into it, to give a bit more cutting depth.

If you decide to try out the thin cutting disks, please be safe:-

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