On projects that require steel cutting in the metal fabrication world, DIYers always have the initial question of what is the best abrasive product to cut stainless and mild steel effectively. There are several key determinants of choosing the right power tool and the most effective steel cutting disc for your project. For the DIY user, these factors largely depend on the type of material that needs to be cut, the thickness of the metal that needs to be cut, and the accessibility of the area where the metal needs to be cut. Our goal is to work through the best abrasives tools like a metal cutting grinder, more as below.
- Choice of Cut-Off Wheel Profile
There are two types of common cut-off wheels suitable for angle grinders: Type 41, which is flat; and Type 42, which has a flat center and a recessed center cutting disc with a recessed center.
- Particle Size and Quality Options for Cut-Off Wheels
The most common particle used to make abrasive cut-off wheels is aluminum oxide. This is a softer bond that allows for a fast, smooth and easily controlled cut.
The best abrasive for aluminum can be purchased in INOX grade quality, which means the sand aluminum wheels are iron-free and therefore capable of cutting stainless and mild steel. If the cutting disc is not specified for stainless steel or has INOX printed on the label, it is likely only suitable for mild steel cutting. Since stainless steel is a more difficult steel to cut, a disc that cuts stainless steel will cut all types of metals, including aluminum, sheet metal, rebar, and other mild steels.
- Choice of Cut-Off Wheel Thickness
Cut-off discs are available in different thicknesses, the type of wheel you choose depends on the type, shape and thickness of the 5″ 125mm side angle cut-off disc you need to cut. For standard day-to-day work on stainless or mild steel with an angle grinder, choose 1mm or 1.6mm thick grinding wheel and you could choose an angle grinder steel brush to use together.
For projects involving thin metals such as sheet metal, choose a 1.0mm or 0.8mm thinner cutting disc. These thinner discs will sheet metal faster, minimizing discoloration and reducing the amount of work to clean up the metal surface when finished.
When working with aluminum, it is recommended to apply cutting wax or other type of saw lubricant to the cutting disc to preserve the life of the blade and avoid debris. For heavier steel cutting jobs that require cutting larger thicknesses of metal, choose a 1.6mm or 2.5mm thick cutting disc. It’s important to note, however, that thicker wheels cut slower and create more friction and heat through the cut – often discoloring the workpiece, requiring additional steps to complete.
A good abrasive supplier will stock a range of cutting discs for mild steel and stainless steel to suit bench drop saws, angle grinders and air tools and teach the grinder tool uses. At BINIC, we stock cutting abrasives disc to suit all different sizes of drop hammers/saws, air tools and angle grinders. We sell high quality cutting discs for the metal fabrication market.