How To Cut Aluminium With An Angle Grinder

How To Cut Aluminium With An Angle Grinder

Prefer to watch rather than read? Find my video here!

Choosing the Right Disc

When cutting through aluminium using an angle grinder, it is important to choose the right disc.

A metal cutting disc that is one millimetre thick is ideal for cutting through thin aluminium, such as a door push plate.

It is not recommended to use an angle grinder to cut through thick aluminium, as it can be a slow process.

While there are aluminum-specific angle grinder discs available, they can be difficult to find.

A regular steel cutting disc will work just fine for cutting through thin aluminium. It is important to ensure that the disc is locked in securely before starting the cutting process.

Safety Briefing

Eye Protection

When using an angle grinder to cut through aluminium, it is important to always wear goggles. The abrasive disc of the angle grinder causes little parts of the disc to break away as you cut, and small fragments of aluminium will splinter off as well. Wearing eye protection is essential to avoid any potential eye injuries.

Mask

If you are cutting through brick or other materials that create dust, it is essential to wear a mask. However, when cutting through thin aluminium, wearing a mask is not necessary. If you are unsure or nervous, it is recommended to wear a mask.

Gloves

While wearing gloves is an option, it is not recommended when using an angle grinder. If the glove gets caught in the angle grinder and pulls your hand into it, it could end up being counterproductive. It is best to wear safety goggles when cutting through aluminium.

Remember, safety should always come first. When using an angle grinder, wear eye protection and take extra precautions if necessary.

Marking the Aluminium

To achieve a nice straight cut in aluminium, the first step is to mark up the aluminium and ideally have a nice straight line to work off.

A square can be used to draw straight and square lines. I like to use a sharpie to mark metals

Setting Up the Workbench

It is essential to keep the workpiece as stable as possible. If there is no lip on the workbench to put the aluminium against, clamp it down or screw a block of wood to clamp it down.

When cutting the aluminium with the angle grinder, keep it as close to the stable work surface as possible to prevent the metal from flapping up and down.

Cutting the Aluminium

Starting the Cut

Begin by creating a small nick on the first corner of the aluminium. This will set the path for the angle grinder to follow along the aluminium.

Continuing the Cut

Once the first nick is created, the angle grinder can be kept in that groove and the material can be slowly cut out. It is important to apply light pressure and let the aluminium do the work.

As the cut is made, the angle grinder should be gently rocked up and down, keeping it in the groove and letting the weight of the angle grinder cut through the aluminium.

It is important to keep a little bit of pressure towards the outside of the line to ensure that slipping out of the groove happens towards the waste side. Once the cut is complete, the waste piece can be snapped off and the aluminium can be cleaned off with a file to get a nice smooth edge.

Cleaning the Cut Edge

Once you have cut through the aluminum, use a file to clean up the cut edge. This will give you a nice smooth edge.

By following these steps, you can achieve a clean and smooth cut edge on your aluminum. Remember to wear eye protection when cutting with an angle grinder and consider wearing a mask if you’re cutting through brick or stone.

Sam Wood

Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!

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