grinder sparks

Angle Grinder Sparks – Safety Precautions

When you’re using an angle grinder, sparks are often flying. In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about angle grinder sparks. We’ll cover what they are, what causes them, and how to stay safe when using a power tool, angle grinder.

What does Angle Grinder Sparks mean?

angle grinder sparks

When talking about angle grinder sparks, it’s easy to mistakenly interchange the term sparks with the term dust. A little-known fact is that many sparks are actually tiny pieces of metal. Yes, there are small amounts of iron filings in the air when you’re using your angle grinder machine. However, if you want to be specific, the angle grinder sparks that are actually hot enough to burn, you should be called welding sparks. At least this way, we’re not confusing the two.

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Why Angle Grinder Sparks?

grinder sparks

First, let’s answer a common question, why do angle grinder sparks happen? There are a few reasons.


A hot grinder disc rubbing against the work surface is one of them. Sparks tend to fly more when you’re using worn-down angle grinder discs for example, if it’s already been dulled by grinding down metal. This is because there is no longer a smooth surface for the correct disc to contact. The sharp edges of the metal bars you’re cutting also increase sparks in the cutting process.


Another reason is that metal grinding creates hot swarf (metal fillings). As well as being bad for your respiratory system, these small pieces of metal are hot enough to cause sparks when they rub up against something else.


Lastly, although less common, you can get sparks when the angle grinder discs unbalance and hit the flat surface at an angle. This is likely to happen when you’re not working in a secure or stable position. So, for example, if you’re standing on top of an unstable ladder, sparks are almost guaranteed to fly.

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Are Angle Grinder Sparks Dangerous?

grinder sparks dangerous

Yes, angle grinder sparks are dangerous. If you can see or feel them, then they’re hot enough to burn skin. Instead, they fly off the disk at incredibly hot temperatures. Although they do not necessarily spark from a fire, you should treat every angle grinder spark as a potential burn. Quality grinders of common sizes might lessen the danger.

What to do if you get Angle Grinder Sparks?

  • The first thing to do is let go of the angle grinder. It might sound an obvious piece of advice, but at least a few people have received painful burns because they didn’t let go of their grinder when they saw the sparks coming.
  • Next, if you think you can safely get away from the sparks, you should try to direct them away from yourself. In some cases, this might mean moving your body out of the way. If you’re not near any flammable material, then another option is to shift the sparks with your free hand or even a piece of cardboard.
  • Finally, treat a burn as you would any other if it does happen. Angle grinder sparks can really hurt, so apply cooling water to the area. There are gel packs you can buy that seal cover the wound and help to cool it down further.

Safety Precautions and Guidelines

Follow these tips while using an angle grinder to stay safe from sparks:

1. Keep the Angle Grinder Plugged In

If you’re using an angle grinder, then it’s best to keep it plugged in. This way, if sparks do fly, then they will hit the protective case of the grinder rather than your skin. Once it cools down, carefully unplug the angle grinder and turn it off.

2. Wear Protective Gear

Safety gear is never a bad idea. On top of wearing a mask to protect yourself from dust and other airborne particles, you should also wear goggles. The sparks coming off the angle grinder can travel more than 15 feet (4.5m), so you need to make sure your eyes are covered for eye protection with safety glasses. Also, ensure to use a dust mask and hearing protection for safety features.

3. Angle the Grinder Away

You can avoid getting sparks altogether by angling the grinder at a 90-degree angle to your body. Of course, this means that you’re working against gravity, but it’s a small price to pay for safety.

4. Buy a New Grinder

As well as wearing the right safety gear, it would help if you also were using a quality angle grinder. Older angle grinder models are likely to produce sparks much more easily than newer ones.


How Hot are Metal Sparks from a Grinder?

Spot welders and other common types of metal arc welding machines create sparks that reach temperatures of 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,800 Celsius).

Can Angle Grinder Sparks Cause a Fire?

Yes, they can cause fires. Sparks that travel more than 8 inches (20 centimeters) away from the angle grinder are likely to start fires.

What Metal Makes the Most Sparks?

Soft metals such as aluminum and magnesium make the most sparks. These are also the easiest with which to start a fire.


Now that you know all about Angle Grinder Sparks, be sure to stay safe while using your grinder. Remember to always wear the appropriate safety gear and keep a fire extinguisher on hand. Choose the ideal tool from a wide variety of ear protection, dust mask, and keep your safety switch close for safety requirements. If you do experience any sparks, remember to follow the guidelines. Stay safe and enjoy your projects.

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