A die grinder is an interesting tool because, for the most part, people don’t know what a die grinder is. They may be familiar with an angle grinder, but they couldn’t pick one of the many types of die grinders out of a lineup if they needed to. Even though these tools are less known to the public, they play an incredibly important role in the development and production of many of the important tools and products people interact with daily.
What is a Die Grinder?
Shaun from Principal Power Tools said “A die grinder is a handheld, rotary power tool that rotates a cutting bit at high speeds for the purpose of removing material.” The cutting end of these tools is often rounded in nature and allows the cutting edge to go into places where traditional grinders can’t go, such as small or circular spaces. They were originally developed to work on metal dies or die-making tools (before the advent of the CNC machine, all machined parts were finished by hand) but are gentle enough to be used on other materials.
How Does a Die Grinder Work?
Die grinders typically revolve at very high speeds, allowing for the cutting edge (called grinding points or cutting wheels) to be pressed into areas that need grinding, buffing, carving, or reworking. By using such a small grinding surface, die grinders are particularly versatile and effective where other grinders fail.
Die Grinder vs. Angle Grinder
The common hand angle grinder has a flat cutting disk that is used for cutting steel, removing rust, or grinding welds, among other things. The die grinder does all these tasks as well but on different materials and in different spaces. If you are looking to cut through an angle iron, the angle grinder is the best bet. What happens if you need to remove rust from the inside of a cylinder? A die grinder is the only tool for the job.
How Are Die Grinders Powered?
Not all die grinders are created equal! The type of work you can do effectively depends upon what type of energy your die grinder runs on. One type of power (compressed air) provides more torque and force, while the other type of power (electricity), provides maneuverability and precision.
- Pneumatic Die Grinder (Air Powered)
- Portable Electric Die Grinder (Rechargeable Batteries)
- Corded Electric Die Grinder (Plug-in Power)
What is a Die Grinder Used For?
- Reworking Dies: the original use of die grinders was to grind and chamfer steel dies and die-making tools.
- Wood Carving: with the right blades, die grinders are excellent for carving wood.
- Sharpening Blades: die grinders can be used to put an edge back onto a blade of almost any size.
- Polishing Metal Surfaces: steel, particularly stainless steel, looks great when polished and often, regular polishing disks can’t fit into some of the places they need to go,which is when a die grinder is used.
- Auto Detailing: there are many rounded and tight surfaces on cars and trucks that need work and are too tight for a regular grinder to fit.
- Rust Removal: die grinders are particularly good at removing rust from metal surfaces.
- Polishing Non-Metal Surfaces: die grinders can be used to polish wood and plastic, assuming that the user has the right bit.
The die grinder continues to play a pivotal role in the manufacturing, automotive and industrial sectors, making it one of the most important and versatile power tools available today.