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History of Power Tools Series |The history of angle grinders

An angle grinder, also known as a side grinder or disc grinder, is an electrically or pneumatically operated, hand-held grinding machine. They may be used for cutting into a work piece or removing excess material from a work piece. Depending on the application, there are numerous discs that might be used with an angle grinder. For instance, here are some types of discs for these tools:

•    Cut Off Discs
•    Abrasive Grinding Discs
•    Sanding Discs
•    Grinding Stones
•    Polishing Pads
•    Wire Brush Wheels

angle grinders history
Vintage Angle grinders

The thing we know certainly is that somebody, somewhere, at some point in time invented them because they were surrounded by rough and difficult-to-cut metals. Maybe that’s all that matters. There are conflicting stories about who invented the angle grinder. One story claim that it was invented in 1954 by a German company named Ackermann + Schmitt. In 1954, Ackermann + Schmitt unveiled the first high-speed angle grinder, called the DL 9. Another story says that Thomas Joseph invented the first angle grinder in 1973. Either way, this tool is relatively new to the power tool scene. The first story makes more sense, since portable devices, equipped with a cutting disc and operated by an electric motor, with which hard materials (such as stone, concrete, metal) can be cut, are still called Flex among tool enthusiasts. The word goes back to an invention by Hermann Ackermann and Hermann Schmitt, who founded a company in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt in 1922 to manufacture and market their invention. They had the ambition to produce and sell hand grinder, which under the model name M6 has come true and thus revolutionized the trade.

The first angle grinders of the two inventors were still very heavy objects. They were made of solid cast iron and had no handy shape. Although their weight and size had made them easier to handle, their use still required a great deal of effort. Due to the lack of a mechanism to prevent the spread of force, very strong hands and arms were required to master this machine. One of these models, the DL9, is still regarded as legendary today. Unlike today’s models, at the beginning of their distribution, these machines were not all that durable and would not be able to meet today’s safety standards. Today’s models are not only safer and more durable, but also lighter in weight and easier to use. Thanks to a modification in the design by the manufacturers in 1984, it became possible that an angle grinder was no longer just a machine for rough work, but could also be used for special operations. These include: Polishing work, stone grinding and drywall grinding.
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history of angle grinder

Over time, the angle grinders have changed their faces times and times and were continually developed and improved from a simple plaster cast saw to a multifunctional specialist for grinding, sanding, scouring, perforating, and polishing.  The two main brands that played a major role in angle grinder’s development and moved forward neck and neck were Flex and Fein and the golden era of this improvement was the late 90s. In this period, the chassis saw has developed into an application solution for vehicles. then, the angle grinders started allowing users to grind workpieces that previously could only be machined by hand. Meanwhile, Flix developed dedicated systems for the sensitive polishing of automotive paint and lacquers, furniture, and natural stone floors. The grinding disc, in the shape of a spherical triangle, and the rotary-oscillating motion achieved optimum grinding results even in previously inaccessible areas. The next step was introducing a new method of treatment of burnishing for surfaces – without transition lines or shadow on metal and stainless steel. After a few steps forwards, that happened in the late 20th century, the speed of the development decreased. The next gigantic leap was the introduction of cordless angle grinders, which relieved DIYers from the binding with a cord and let them roam freely in their workshops. the next few years after introduction of cordless tools were more of a trial and error and the manufacturers tried to modify this new technology. The batteries were causing different problems in devices’ cooling mechanism. In 2015 Fein jacked the battery cells with a cooling material that actively reduces the build-up of heat. After different safety and cooling systems and the convenient and tool-free sander changing system, being powered by a lithium-ion battery and then connectivity and control via Bluetooth have been the latest technologies that are added to the angle grinders. This advanced connectivity, which was engineered by German experts of the Bosch company, allows tradies to operate the tool via a smartphone or tablet device and receive updates on the tool’s performance as well as tips for troubleshooting in real-time. For instance, if the angle grinder shuts down due to overheating, users will be alerted directly on their smartphone as to the reason and what they can do to fix the problem. These batteries make 1,800 fittings possible with only one battery charge. All and all sanders have undergone numerous changes in their history and no one knows what will be next one. Maybe it would be a change in size, shape, or application.

Related Article: Everything About Power Tools History

Sources:

https://www.klingspor.nz/lowdown-on-grinding/angle-grinder

https://www.flex-tools.com/en/company/history/

https://www.gettoolsdirect.com.au/

https://www.region-stuttgart.de/

Taylor Miller

This is Taylor Miller; I have 24 years of age and I have graduated with the bachelor of mechanical engineering. After years of working in different tool shops as a seller, I decided to open my own tool shop. As it is always hard for many people to choose a power tool, I see the need to explain everything about power tools.

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