Mastering the Angle Grinder: Understanding the 7 Types of Discs


  1. Grinding wheel
  2. Cut-off wheel
  3. Flap disc
  4. Wire wheel
  5. Diamond disc
  6. Stripping disc
  7. Ceramic sanding disc

The angle grinder is one of the most versatile power tools. The reason for this is that an angle grinder has a variety of different grinder discs which can be swapped out, depending on the task at hand. You see, mastering the angle grinder can take quite some practice, given how many different gradients and sizes there are. However, by the end of this article, you should have a much clearer idea as to what the seven different types of angle grinder discs are, and what they can be used for.

Disc Type Description Common Uses
Grinding wheel Disc-shaped with a ribbed edge Grinding rough metal edges, fabrication jobs, smoothing fresh welds
Cut-off wheel Thin profile with a tapered edge Cutting into metal stock, slicing into metal (plate metal, rebar, bolts)
Flap disc Similar to fine sandpaper Removing metal burrs, sharp corners, buffing out scratches
Wire wheel Metal wire fibers (straight or intertwined) Removing rust, paint, and adhesives from metal surfaces
Diamond disc Contains abrasive diamond shards Excellent cutting for extra-dense metals, precision tasks
Stripping disc Uses poly-fiber material Gently removing paint, epoxy, and glue from metal surfaces
Ceramic sanding disc Extended life compared to other discs Tasks similar to flap discs, high sanding capacity, durability

1.Grinding wheel

First, we’ll start with the obvious choice; the grinding wheel. These are disc-shaped and tend to feature a ribbed edge that is suitable for grinding rough metal edges with rapid succession.

Grinding discs are most often used for all kinds of fabrication jobs that require a fresh and smooth finish. You can also use a grinding wheel to smooth out a fresh weld.

2.Cut-off wheel

Angle grinders can also be used to cut into the metal stock, using a cut-off wheel.

Cut-off wheel discs tend to have a thin profile with a tapered edge that makes them suitable for slicing into metal (plate metal, rebar, bolts, and so on).

Thinner cut-off wheels can become unstable so make sure that you use a thicker cut-off wheel when going after stronger metals.

3.Flap disc

Flap discs are used on jobs that require the user to handle the metal in question. Think of them as fine sandpaper, but for rougher metals.

Flap discs are used for removing metal burrs, sharp corners, and provide enhanced precision.

Certain flap discs can be used for buffing out scratches as well-ideal for renovating metal.

4.Wire wheel

Wire wheels can be used for tasks such as removing rust or paint (and other adhesives) from metal surfaces and rendering them ready for work.

The metal wire fibers are either straight or intertwined, maximizing their abrasive quality.

Wire wheels do vary significantly in quality. As such, you should always avoid cheap wire wheels that are likely to degrade quickly (flying wires are a nuisance).

Again, always wear PPE, as wire wheels can be very dangerous after extended use.

More info: Safety Tips for Using an Angle Grinder.

Angle Grinder Discs
Angle Grinder Discs

5.Diamond disc

A diamond disc can come in several different forms; however, most are designed for cutting.

  • Diamond discs provide excellent cutting for extra-dense metals.
  • Diamond discs have a layer of abrasive diamond shards, making them excellent for blitzing through various tasks.
  • Diamond discs can be expensive and thus should be reserved for priority jobs where speed and precision are a must.

6.Stripping disc

Where a wire wheel disc can be used to remove paint and rust efficiently, they can often scratch the underlying metal if not careful. As such, having a stripping disc in your toolkit is handy for when the more delicate tasks present themselves.

A poly-fiber material is used on stripping discs for gently removing paint, epoxy, and glue. from metal surfaces.

If working with wood or fiberglass, a stripping disc is far more appropriate than a wire wheel.

7.Ceramic sanding disc

Ceramic sanding discs are the least commonly used, even though they have an extended life compared to their counterpart discs.

A ceramic sanding disc can do just about all of the tasks that a flap disc can.

A great benefit of using ceramic is the fact that they do not overheat.

Some high-quality ceramic sanding disks can provide a higher sanding capacity, coupled with superior durability.

To access more content: Angle Grinder is suitable for various purposes.


The angle grinder is a versatile power tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, from grinding rough metal edges to removing rust and paint from surfaces. By understanding the different types of discs and their uses, you can master the angle grinder and achieve a smooth and precise finish. Remember to always wear proper PPE and use the appropriate disc for the task at hand to ensure safety and efficiency.

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