Being a newbie to DIY and trying to get more and more jobs done myself, safety is a concern to me. I recently bought a Makita 5" angle grinder to cut some metal balustrades, job done. I considered buying some wood cutting discs for it, which I have seen on-line - to do a few odd jobs around the house, but I found some dated Internet posts that strongly recommended against it, for the safety concern, I am guessing that it's for the grinder losing control. These posts where about 5 or 6 years old and from reading through, wood cutting discs were something not available then either. Now I wanted to ask the question again, am I safe to do so or is it a bad idea? Additional information - the kind of jobs I am thinking of using it for, would be mostly softwood and not thicker than 20 mm.
Any photos or links to indicate the specific type of wood disc you saw? There are some grinder attachments made for wood (not circular saw blades) that probably can be used safely.– StayOnTargetMay 27, 2018 at 12:32
1Using Bosch blades which have a continuous carbide cutting surface is no more dangerous IMO than cutting concrete (with diamond blades), which is not to say the latter is free of danger youtube.com/watch?v=V24AXmQVpO8. Nothing is perfectly safe with any cutting machines. Circular saws can also have dangerous kickbacks. Alas I can't find any comparative numbers between circ saw and angle grinder accidents, but circular saws dominated saw injuries in one Australian study.– FizzMar 11, 2019 at 11:07
Finally, I found some comparative stats: angle grinders resulted in about 4 times as many injuries as power saws in one survey. However nearly all power saw accidents recorded there required hospital admission, while only a small fraction of angle grinder accidents did (a quarter of the power saw admission). 1179 grinder accidents of which 79 required admission vs 273 power saw accidents of which 237 required admission. So I think my intuition and Bosch's choice of not making angle grinder discs with big teeth is good.– FizzMar 11, 2019 at 11:16
I only read as far as "Is it safe to use an angle grinder..."– Tyler DurdenApr 12, 2019 at 3:51
Bad idea...explained later. But yes, as long as you keep the blade guard on & of course it will "work". Though, it's quite wild compared to a Circular Saw or a smaller Trim Saw. However, "safely" is a bad gamble.
You're talking about multiples of higher RPM's & both accuracy & control will then be largely out the window compared to proper devices. One big problem area is ever so slightly twisting your cut (which is normal & not just common with grinders) & that twist binds to instantly & literally toss the grinder at you or any part of you or anyone else close by.
Grinders usually don't have a braking mechanism & very slowly free-spin down to a stop, you don't want to be the braking mechanism.
Thanks. Thats pretty much what I was looking for. I don't wish to take such a risk at all.– Ray_HackMar 14, 2016 at 14:20
Glad to hear it & thank you for airing on the side of safety. Your question will be very helpful to many others, so thank you. I think Makita has something similar as well, but I've had wonderful fun & results with Black & Decker's Matrix system. It really keeps your tool bin down to a fully portable size & everything actually works.– IggyMar 14, 2016 at 14:33
Besides safety concerns, an angle grinder is not designed to cut wood. It lacks proper torque, and spindle speed that is required to accurately cut wood. Even if you could control it, the cuts would not be close to accurate. The blade would most likely either bind, or skip across the work which is very dangerous to the operator. A decent run of the mill circular saw could be bought for under $50. It is definitely worth the investment. Mar 14, 2016 at 14:40
You're absolutely right! Grinding with the blade flat against the work & doing just a short sweeping bolt type cut are one thing, but trying to do a moving straight cut is damn near impossible.– IggyMar 14, 2016 at 14:45
My dad used a grinder to cut through rotten floorboard and hit a nail. It bounced right off the nail and his hand became the brakes for the disc. Thankfully no bone was shattered, but it split his hand open, needed to visit the emergency, and it took months to recover.– NelsonOct 9, 2020 at 14:25
Not safe not smart not at all a good idea. Even with a handle the weight to rpm ratio of an angle grinder make a bind or kick back a near death experience. I came within an inch of losing a thumb yesterday and will never be so careless and stupid again
Adding an answer because I happened to see a video on this which has a thoughtful and detailed analysis of why wood cutting / carving with an angle grinder can be so dangerous.
The video also has a "caught on video" moment of such an accident (no real gory details). IMO visualizing such an accident is very healthy mental preparation for this tool (or choosing not to).
My commentary / summary of what I got from that source:
The crux of risk, as I understand it, is this: one edge of the spinning cutter / wheel is moving in the opposite direction from the other. This means that a very small change in tool position can suddenly and radically alter the reaction force on the tool from the workpiece - it "kicks". When this happens you cannot react fast enough to counteract the almost instantaneous change.
Coupled with that effect wood as a material is fibrous and tends to grip the sharp pointed surfaces of cutting devices. This is considerably different from other materials like masonry or metal which are often worked with an angle grinder. A "kickback" type event seems to be far less likely or violent (in my personal experience) in those materials. So one's experience with a grinding those materials seems not to translate very well to using the same tool on wood.
I think the video is excellent overall but here's the key moment where the accident occurs: https://youtu.be/IIQu1e8DGUw?t=288
This example is using a carving cutter, not a circular saw type blade, but the risk seems similar.
(YouTuber: Stumpy Nubs)
No it's not safe at all. I would usually be a safe operator of power tools and all that but recently had an accident using one for the first time which resulted in my getting a deep wound just above my right pelvis. My heavy jacket took most abuse for me (saved me really) but the blade still struck into the side of me and I spent the night in hospital. I was very very lucky the damage was not worse. These blades I think should be banned for angle grinders
Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer. Jan 26, 2020 at 2:33
Bad idea this happened yesterday as it jolted back. Very dangerous just never get a wood blade for angle grinder
It works fine, with the correct blade. And the correct blade is critical. But you need to bear in mind, when it's not grinding an angle grinder functions like a circular saw (or plunge saw), in that it will only cut safely in a straight line. Try and deviate from that and it will jam and kick back - in the same way a plunge or circular saw would in the same conditions. If you're working on any remotely 'green' wood a chain blade is the only one to use.
Don't use grinders on wood. They are too light to be controllable. I just got out of hospital after a 4-inch chain disc jumped out of a holly log straight into my right knee. It dug right down to the knee joint - but thankfully missed all arteries and tendons. I have gruesome photos but hopefully my account is gruesome enough
You can cut the wood using the regular "steel" cutting blades. I use 3mm flat discs with no teeth.
The wood will char at the edges of cut, but if you don't mind the edges slightly burned and the smell, it can be used for small jobs. Mind that when cutting painted/laquered wood, the paint will melt as well, so ensure proper ventillation.
I don't know if this blade design existed when you first asked the question but it seems to me that this would work for demo or very rough cuts. I will use it to cut off Cypress knees.
1Link-only answers don't do well here because links tend to go broken over time (even Amazon links), so a description and photo of the product would help here. But I don't see why this product would be any safer - the product you linked to looks like a chainsaw style cutter embedded in a cutoff disk, and it would easily cut through flesh.– JohnnyNov 26, 2018 at 20:50
Use one of these youtube.com/watch?v=0ZZs0Ti7vtI– MiniMeNov 27, 2022 at 15:38