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So another beginner question from me ..... Could anyone give a brief over view of what is used for what on a grinder ?

So far I've used:

1.0mm cutting discs and they seem to be ok on chassis gauge material.

I've hardly used the thicker discs, for grinding - as I usually have ended up using flap discs to flatten off my welds.

Flap discs (though I don't know what grade takes off how much in real terms)

and I've just bought a wire wheel to try ...

Is there anything I'm missing or basics to share ?

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On the 4.5" grinders I use 1mm cutting discs, standard cutting discs, grinding discs (rarely), 60grit flap wheels, 80 and 40grit soft pads, strip and clean wheels, cup and radial wire wheels, and very occasionally some scotchbrite flap wheels

I like to use dronco stuff if I can get it at the right price, and I try to hold a stock of every consumable appropriate to the level of usage (I buy 1mm discs by the 100, but flap wheels by the 10, and grinding discs individually)

If you are also using a bigger grinder like a 9" or 7" its well worth marking the guard at the size suitable for your 4.5" grinder so that spent discs from the larger machine can be repurposed on the smaller machine. If you do this you'll likely never buy a 4.5" grinding disc again as the worn down 9" cutting discs are perfect for this role :)

As far as Land Rover specific discs then wire wheels of all sizes, cutting and grinding are the essentials for me. A selection of flap discs or soft pads and a strip and clean disc in stock for the odd job are handy to have and won't break the bank. Strip and clean are great for rust repairs as they remove rust, paint and other carp without clogging like a flap wheel


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Make sure the metal you are cutting is held tight as vibration will kill 1mm discs in seconds , and as Lewis said worn down 9" discs

can be used in the 4.5"

Use plenty of PPE and when wire wheeling think about direction of rotation as you approach edges and if poss use the screw-in handle too



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Thanks everyone - that's a huge help !!

If forgotten about those strip and clean discs - I used one ages ago and was working really well, though I ended up wearing it away really quickly on too abrasive a surface - that I probably should have had a flap disc on.

What are they like for stripping (thick) paint off body work ? Should it be used in conjunction with a paint stripper ?

Are the soft pads the same as the flexi pads listed on eBay ? I hadn't even realised they did these for grinders.

Good call on the PPE - I'll get a face mask and fit the side handle for the wire wheels.

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I didn't have much luck stripping thick paint with them, they tended to clog and wear out fairly quick. They worked well on thin paint and the wear-rate was probably due to buying cheapo versions. The flapwheels certainly work but damage Defender bodywork.

In the end I got the cheapest orbital DA sander from Screwfix and bodged the dust collector to mate up with an old Henry hoover, sanded a whole 90 back to alloy in a day and the noise didn't annoy the neighbours quite so much :)

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As above be very careful with the wire wheels. I find them worse for flinging bits out when they're new. I've had a few lodged in my face and arms recently! You have to be very aware of which way it will drag you when it catches!

I use 1mm disks for cutting, flap disks for cleaning up for welding. Even the rough ones will get metal smooth and shiny, so I don't tend to get many different ones. Wire wheels are priceless for rust and paint removal, although you end up plastered in paint/dust/wire. As well as using the flap disk for weld prep, I find the wire wheels good for cleaning up without metal removal. Also the powerfile is useful for weld prep.

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Good for areas which kill flap discs like returns, end of angle sections etc. I tend to use flap discs more for titivating things, and the soft pads for the hard work, they are far cheaper

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I find dronco stuff much better than right lines.

You can get thin cutting discs for 9" grinders wich still cut well but are much more robust than the thin ones when you get them in the 4 1/2" grinder.


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What grade did you use on the DA ? I think I've been given a cheap air one I could try.

40 grit for initial stripping then 80 and eventually 200, I didn't bother with wet and dry etc because it was only Nato green being sprayed onto dented panels. The Dewalt pads last a lot longer than Titan branded versions also.

I think you need quite a high CFM on your compressor to run an air version, it was too much for the little 25l compressor at home. My 240v cost less than £20 and I can't fault it :)

Another vote for Rightlines also. 4 or 5 of us clubbed together to buy disks and it made it a lot cheaper. :i-m_so_happy:

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By soft pad I mean something like this http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/381194775373

I use strip and clean wheels on car bodywork/paintwork. We got given a ford KA a few months ago, I put two sills on it for the MOT and used the strip and clean discs extensively then

+1 for these,

that and 1.0mm cutting disks is pretty much all i use. occasionally use grinding disks but not too often.

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Personally I prefer the 5" over the 4 1/2" (have 4 of them some by the bench the others where I work) The 5" gives you that bit extra use of the disk, thats why I prefer them

As for my brands I use "smith & arrow" brand most, as they are cheapest.... they are also one of the quickest to use up, for the distance cut I use more disks but the price is low enough to more than cover the extra disks used.

Best trick to make the 1mm cutting disks last is hold the guard with your thumb and forefinger and rest your little finger on the work this will allow you to control the vibrations that kill the disc's... I also try to cut with the disc just through the work, this is more important if you have trouble holding the grinder steady, the shallower the disc is the better it handles any wobble and the longer it lasts

Grinding disc's I haven't really found any difference that makes me buy one brand over another... do watch out for the very long lasting disc's or more to the point don't use em lol yes they last problem is they don't grind the work very well you'll waste alot of time using them

Open weave paint stripping disks are great at removing paint and surface rust problem is they don't like sharp bits or edges... run over your surface first with a grinding disk paying attention to the edges of welds and seams and anywhere you have to reach into.... trick is to brake the surface with the grinder your not there to polish it (this leaves edges to the paint that catch and strip back way faster), pay attention to any weld splatter or sharp bits of welds/seams etc these are the bits that eat these disks (grinding disk worth $1.50 stripping disc worth $8.50) next when you use the stripping disc keep it as flat as possible... if your having issues with these or flap discs blocking up go to a coarser grit, simply put your using the wrong grade for what you want to do

Finally a little tip for when your flap discs and stripping discs are worn down (you'll need two grinders to do this) put your worn flapper/stripper disc in one grinder and a grinding disk in the other, holding the grinder with the flapper/stripper in it up against a bench or something to steady it while its going you use the other grinder with the grinding disc to cut it down in size and expose a fresh edge to use....

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