As the title says. Is it ever NEEDED to be removed? I read somewhere that when sanding or using the flat wire I should remove it, elsewhere I read that wire cup brushes must be used with a guard. Is there any truth to that?

I'm not asking about personal preference, or "better viewing", etc, I asking about a situation where using a guard would be more dangerous or worst than not using it.

After some research on safety and dangers of the angle grinder, I find a aptly quote that sums my thoughts: "If I need to remove the guards of a tool, maybe I'm using the wrong tool for the job".

  • 1
    Isn't every situation more dangerous without safety guards? Well...actually, I take that back. I suppose at times safety guards could, in theory, give false security and that without them, one might arguably be much more aware of what they are doing. (But, in general, I agree with that last quote...)
    – DA01
    Oct 12, 2013 at 3:55
  • I completly agree with you, but after seeing so many videos and reading so much on online forums about guard removal, I thought that MAYBE there is some occasion where it is justified. Oct 12, 2013 at 11:33
  • Is there a reason for this question? I never had to remove it but I wouldnt hesitate to remove it. Need the gaurd though so you can lay it down with the wheel still spinning. Im too impatient to wait for it to stop.
    – Justin K
    Oct 12, 2013 at 14:40
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    Had to take off the guard so I could use a diamond blade to cut through thick sidewalk concrete. The result was a decent cut at a far lower cost than rental on a pavement saw. Sometimes cost/hassle are factors in determing what the "right tool for the job" is. ebay.com/itm/like/180695632861?lpid=82 Oct 12, 2013 at 18:51
  • @WayfaringStranger, I just began to use a angle grinder, but I'm pretty sure that diferent sizes (4.5", 7", 9") work at different RPM, therefore using a disc from a bigger size (like a 7" on a 4.5") could be really problematic. Not to mention that concrete could bite the disk and kick-back at you... Oct 12, 2013 at 23:54

2 Answers 2


I have found removing the guard to use a product like this makes sanding welds flush extremely quick and painless. At this point you are just using an angle grinder as an overpowered sander, so the dangers of using an unshielded grinder are reduced.

The danger of the grinder comes from applying force to the edge of a perpendicular spinning disc, which creates the possibility that some piece of material will be caught and flung back to the operator, which is why the guard should be positioned between you and the tangent of the disc you are working on. If you use a disc like above you are directing the force perpendicular to the spinning disc so the forces are not as great.


I needed to remove some paving stones that were next to a wall. The mortar pointing could not be accessed with the angle grinder without removing the guard.

As I needed to relay these stones I did not wish to risk damaging them by forcing them up without cutting the pointing first.

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