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I had never owned (or used) an angle grinder before, but for cutting the paving slabs on my new garden patio I needed one to cut the slabs to size. When buying power tools I have nearly always chosen Black and Decker as they always seem to be very reliable and it is easy to buy spares or accessories. I bought the Black & Decker CD500 angle grinder from the Black & Decker shop at The Yorkshire Outlet (near Doncaster) for £20. At this shop they sell reconditioned tools (fully guaranteed) for about 75% of the normal price. Also the staff at the shop are very knowledgeable and very helpful when you are buying tools. The only difference is that you do not get the tools in a pretty box. Angle grinders come in different sizes and of different powers, but as I only really wanted the tool for the patio job I did not see the point of buying a larger cutter. The CD500 has a 115mm cutting disc and a masonry disc came free with the grinder. I thought the angle grinder would be heavy and difficult to use, but this was not the case at all. The grinder is very comfortable to hold with two different handle positions, for left or right handed users. There is also an adjustable safety guard for cutting in awkward places, or at unusual angles. The on/off switch is a slider, which clicks on when in use and just has to pressed to be released and a spring action returns the switch to the off position. The grinder cut our paving slabs very straight, but it did produce a fantastic amount of dust. Everywhere was covered in dust, including most of neighbour’s garden, our windows and ourselves. You must make sure that all your windows and doors are closed when cutting with the grinder. The discs are easy to change and two special spanners are provided with the grinder for doing this. Each disc cut about 15 paving slabs for us and they cost about £1.50 each. The discs do not get blunt, they just get smaller, until they are too small to use. It is very important to use safety equipment when cutting with the grinder. We wore gloves, goggles and dust masks. Black and Decker also recommend ear protection. Can I also recommend that if you are anywhere near the person using the grinder you also wear safety gear. I say this from personal experience, as I was working on the patio as our eldest son was cutting some slabs for me. Of course I was wearing a dust mask, but I did not have any goggles on. A very small piece of dust hit me on the face and burnt a mark on my face. This made me jump and was not very painful, but this could have very easily have been in my eye. The discs get very hot (they glow red sometimes) and so any pieces flying off are very hot. I was lucky that time and now I don’t go anywhere near when anyone is cutting unless my goggles are on. The discs spin at 10,000 rpm and this is certainly an awesome tool to use. We have been very pleased with the angle grinder and even though it is only the smallest disc size for grinders, it has certainly been up to the job. I haven’t yet used the grinder for sanding or cutting metal, but certainly for masonry cutting I can highly recommend it.
Standard angle grinders, are lightweight and useful, but oh dear: aren't they small. I am the proud owner of a DeWalt D490: This is a 2000 watt, 9 inch angle grinder, built to take hard usage. De Walt is the professional arm of Black and Decker, and their tools have a funky yellow body, which helps you not to lose them on site. [allegedly] There is a generous length of quality cable attached,, the front handle can be place in any one of three positions, and the guard over the blade is also adjustable. This powerful beast will take the standard range of blades: metal cut, metal grind, stone cut, and now that they have come down in price, dry cut diamond blades- my next purchase when I have a patio to lay! Beacause of the larger blade size, you can cut right through slabs along their length, instead of scoring with a smaller grinder, and praying, when you give it a tap, that it'll break where you want. kerbs are not much more of a problem either, though you'll have to come in from both sides. Cutting all the way leaves a nice clean edge which can be left on show without looking out of place- an advantage if cutting coping stones for a wall, etc It's great for cutting slabs and kerbs for patios and garden edging, cutting a groove for flashing a roof, trimming angle iron, cutting up old water tanks, and steel pipes, cutting channels for wiring, openings for new windows/doors/lintels plus anything else you can dream up. With these more powerful tools, you MUST be safety-concious: Always wear goggles/safety glasses Hearing protection is a definite yes A breathing mask is desirable as well Remember that it's better to look a bit strange for a while, rather than to permanently damage your faculties Before switching on, make sure that you have firm footing,a good grip of the tool, and prepared for the 'kick' as it starts up- it's the reaction to a powerf ul motor and blade spinning into life. Once it is spinning, remember that it won't move the same way as you might expect because of the gyroscopic action, and also don't try to overstretch- stop, move position and start again. [even 'no more nails' isn't much use with severed feet] To sum up: it's big, it's capable, it won't let you down, You need to supply the brains for safe usage
I bought a B&D Proline angle grinder 4 years ago and have found it to be an indespensible tool. It is well made, easy to use and quick to change disks. It was fairly expensive compaired to the cheap imported ones but have found it to be worth the extra. I had always considered these to be just for the motor trade ie cutting and grinding of metalwork. There is so much more to these tools, they can be used for a variety of jobs. I have a sanding pad with disks which allows easy grinding down of rough timber, the job can then be completed using a finishing sander. These sanding disks are especially useful for reducing end grain eg taking a bit of the height of a new door, this can be difficult and timeconsuming to do otherwise. They can also be used to cut / grind stone,concrete, slabs etc.Metal can be cut and ground in the same way. The correct disk must be used however as using the wrong one can cause it to shatter. Safety equipment is a must, goggles etc. Once to get one you'll be suprised at just how often it comes in handy. Ease of use: Durability: User's Manual: