Tech

The Expiration Date for Angle Grinder Discs – Explained

With interest in DIY amongst UK households continuing to rise, many across the country are getting to grips with handiwork and self-powered home improvement for the first time in their lives. While putting up a shelf might not require the same knowledge as building a stud wall from scratch, knowing one’s tools is nonetheless an important part of any DIYer’s journey.

The chief reason for knowing your onions about tools is not to ensure the best possible results, though – or at least, not just for that purpose. Far more important is understanding how to use tools safely, in order not to injure yourself or anyone around you. Mishandling tools could cause serious injury, as could giving tools improper care and attention – which leads us to today’s subject. 

Every tool has a ‘shelf life’, so to speak, whether a point at which wear overcomes its utility, or at which it breaks entirely. This is just as true of hammers as it is of coping saw blades, even if the hammer has an extra generation or two over the latter. Still, watching out for the right signs can help you avoid injury, and replace your tools in a safe and conscientious manner. The same is true of power tools like angle grinders, as we are about to discover.

The Angle Grinder

Angle grinders are versatile handheld power tools, used for a variety of purposes from cutting metal and ceramic to abrading and polishing all manner of materials. Cordless angle grinders are used by DIY enthusiasts and professional contractors alike, to handily cut or grind pipes, tiles, and girders to size amongst other uses. Their versatility is due to the removable and replaceable discs you can swap out depending on your requirements. But a little-known fact about angle grinder discs is that they are perishable products.

Discs, and Expiration

Angle grinder discs in fact come with an expiration date, printed on the side of each one in the MM/YYYY format. The expiration date is there in order to the discs to comply with British Standards safety requirements, regarding ‘bonded abrasive products.’ The glue that holds the disc together can denature or allow water ingress over time, reducing its operational capabilities and increasing the likelihood of failure in use.

The Risks Inherent to Angle Grinder Use

There are numerous risks to be found in the use of angle grinders, not in the least relating to the safe handling and operation of such devices. Slipping with an angle grinder could cause an cut or abrasion, while the sparks produced by cutting certain metals could fly into the face or eyes, or even cause a fire.

Regarding the discs specifically, though, disc failure could result in disc fragments flying at high velocity, presenting serious risk to personal health. The expiry date given is a best-case scenario date, and discs should be retired before this date if used regularly.

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