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Looks like the handheld angle grinder is the deadliest tool in the DIY arsenal....

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Looks like the handheld angle grinder is the deadliest tool in the DIY arsenal....

Was thinking of getting a Bosch 18V angle grinder to do some small interlock repair and cutting and realized that it is the single deadliest tool both at home and on the work site. It has by far the highest incidence of serious injury and deaths... and went on Youtube and see jokers like these operating the grinder with ZERO regards to personal safety:
Now I consider myself quite handy, having done lots of DIY projects such as enlarging the vent hood exhaust from 4 inch to 10 inch (rotary hammer, reciprocating saw etc) and doing custom woodwork to ensure perfect fit etc, doing my own concrete work, scaling a 20 ft ladder to install CCTV cameras and cables etc. BUT the angle grinder seems to the scarier one to handle...
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while the angle grinder can be a deadly tool, the onus is on the user to properly educate themselves on how to properly use any type of tool. in the video posted, the user should've had the handle attached to help control the tool and prevent any kickback
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o0vL wrote: while the angle grinder can be a deadly tool, the onus is on the user to properly educate themselves on how to properly use any type of tool. in the video posted, the user should've had the handle attached to help control the tool and prevent any kickback
Indeed but compared to the lowly hammer drill, the grinder's deadliness is on a level of its own. I think I'll just settle for a oscillating tool with masonry blade...
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Yup....i remember using an angle grinder many years back, the blade broke and a shrapnel flew pass my head...(I felt it touched my hair, or could be just the wind from the flying shrapnel)
since then I've never used an angle grinder ever again.

To be honest, I am surprise they didn't ban such tools...or require some sort of guard to prevent things from flying back at the operator..
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...I was using one to cut down an ABS toilet pipe. Moved my hand to get a better angle and not even thinking, accidentally touched the spinning 'disc'. Instantly it melted the meat off my finger/knuckle, actually melted the flesh right off, right down to the bone. All in the blink of an eye.

Yes, it has the potential to be a VERY dangerous tool indeed!
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Table saw, chain saw , nail gun and lawn mower are probably deadlier
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Chain saw, hands down is deadliest but maybe not the most commonly used tool. BTW a grinder can be scary but imagine using a chainsaw disk on a grinder. They're using for woodcraft and carving, there's a finger shredder.
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blackn54 wrote: Yup....i remember using an angle grinder many years back, the blade broke and a shrapnel flew pass my head...(I felt it touched my hair, or could be just the wind from the flying shrapnel)
since then I've never used an angle grinder ever again.

To be honest, I am surprise they didn't ban such tools...or require some sort of guard to prevent things from flying back at the operator..
Hence the need for the full face guard in addition to goggles - and the guard MUST BE on the grinder when cutting or grinding. Even that I see pictures online showing the broken blade almost penetrating the face shield.
hebsie wrote: ...I was using one to cut down an ABS toilet pipe. Moved my hand to get a better angle and not even thinking, accidentally touched the spinning 'disc'. Instantly it melted the meat off my finger/knuckle, actually melted the flesh right off, right down to the bone. All in the blink of an eye.

Yes, it has the potential to be a VERY dangerous tool indeed!
Yikes... at least there is minimal blood loss i guess...I think for PVC pipes wouldn't the grinder melt it? The good ole oscillating tool should suffice.
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l69norm wrote: Table saw, chain saw , nail gun and lawn mower are probably deadlier
An angle grinder is the most likely to cause injury mostly because of the nature of what it's cutting and the brute force way of cutting it. Most of the time, you're cutting concrete, metal, rebar, etc. and the cutting discs are under a lot of stress. The other tools above, if used properly, are relatively safe. However, even if you're using an angle grinder properly, the material is flying around, there's a chance the disc will shred and fly into your face (I remember a recall on Princess Auto Powerfist branded discs), etc.

I've cut concrete with an angle grinder and when I looked up, I think I covered a couple of city blocks with concrete dust. I've cut lag bolts and the sparks were impressive.
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Cordless Bosch has not many RPMs and with a diamond disk cutting brick is pretty safe, even for sensitive beginners.
Disk has no teeth. Just a liittle common sense, it is a basic power tool.
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Thanks for the heads up OP. I plan to buy a grinder in the future to smoothen out the concrete foundation walls of my house prior to parging. Even a miter saw can be deadly if you hold whatever you are cutting incorrectly. Can't imagine what a grinder would do. Definitely I would be watching some videos before I begin.
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it's a highly useful, versatile tool but is very dangerous. i seen some guys at work bevel/cut steel pipe for welds with no safety glasses or face shield and have never gotten hurt because their experienced, which to me is crazy. sometimes i have to resort to cutting metal in confined spaces without the guard because its so tight.

you just have to think as your cutting, maneuver the grinder/object in certain ways so you don't pinch the blade. my buddy was cutting a piece of cast iron pipe in the ceiling with safety glasses on, a tiny piece of shrapnel landed behind the glasses and into his eye. apparently it began to rust, now he wears those "ski-like" goggles :D
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Si98 wrote: Thanks for the heads up OP. I plan to buy a grinder in the future to smoothen out the concrete foundation walls of my house prior to parging. Even a miter saw can be deadly if you hold whatever you are cutting incorrectly. Can't imagine what a grinder would do. Definitely I would be watching some videos before I begin.
I think a smoothing out concrete walls is much safer if you use an adapter and attach something like this:
gotrice wrote: it's a highly useful, versatile tool but is very dangerous. i seen some guys at work bevel/cut steel pipe for welds with no safety glasses or face shield and have never gotten hurt because their experienced, which to me is crazy. sometimes i have to resort to cutting metal in confined spaces without the guard because its so tight.

you just have to think as your cutting, maneuver the grinder/object in certain ways so you don't pinch the blade. my buddy was cutting a piece of cast iron pipe in the ceiling with safety glasses on, a tiny piece of shrapnel landed behind the glasses and into his eye. apparently it began to rust, now he wears those "ski-like" goggles :D
Yah those tiny metal flakes flying off will do some serious damage hence full face mask is extremely recommended. Or else get the full surround safety goggles.
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I think the problem with the angle grinder is that it can do so many different things - all while using it improperly and using the wrong discs. For example, many people will just use the grinding disc for everything, including cutting. Let alone ask how many people actually wear face protection.
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jm1 wrote: An angle grinder is the most likely to cause injury ...
I think by statistics for injury, its table saw followed by chain saw and circular saw. Angle grinder isn't in the top 5
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Most of the comments seem to be trying to blame the tool, but it really is the stupidity of the operator which is the issue.

Some people seem to want to use tools, which require thought, observation and simple common sense.
They lack those.

I've seen the results of the simple kitchen knife, used by idiots.
Many people hold the item in their hand, and cut towards it (or worse, their body).
You can't blame the knife.

Some people just seem born with common sense and skill, and others would hurt themselves with scissors within minutes.

--
While on the subject of angle grinders, here is a tip to users.
Get in the habit of setting the tool down on its back (disk up).
That way if it is still spinning when set down, it doesn't "helicopter" like the Tasmanian Devil.
That gets especially interesting with 6" angle grinders.
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l69norm wrote: I think by statistics for injury, its table saw followed by chain saw and circular saw. Angle grinder isn't in the top 5
I've seen a finger get cut off by a table saw, it's no picnic. Recently I came across a table saw called SawStop. You have to see it in action. It's pretty amazing.

It detects the electrical conductivity of human flesh and lowers and destroys the blade before you proceed further. Maybe a nick and a band-aid, or no mark at all.
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Grinders are the one tool that to this day I still take a deep breath before using it. Even just holding it in your hand as it's on, you can feel the immense power it has.

I think the problem is, with any power tool, is with experience the user can become a bit lax with the tool they're using and almost forget just how deadly it can be. A close call will always bring you back to reality. I've seen experts wield nail guns and circular saws like they're kids toys and it always makes my stomach turn.

One time I was cutting ABS pipe with a mitre saw (I got lazy), and the piece I was cutting was small, so my hand was close to the blade. I made sure to hold the ABS pipe as hard as I could against the base, but as soon as I brought the blade down, the pipe kind of got sucked in towards the blade with the blade cutting a spiral into the pipe. My hand got millimetres away from the spinning blade before my reaction kicked in to pull it away. After that I stopped everything, took a few minutes to appreciate what happened, and reminded myself that safety is #1.
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