Ask the Mechanic

Safety Tip of the Month February 2024

(Steve Thompson)

Operating a portable grinder with a cutting disc can be very dangerous. A cutting disc is not a grinding disc, although both should never be used without a full-face safety shield and welding gloves. Shown in this photo is a small hand-held grinder with no guard and a worn-out disc attached compared to a new disc. Grinding discs and cutting discs can separate, and when they do, the broken pieces can crawl up the back of your hands and arms, not to mention put out an eye. We use this same safety equipment when we operate a chop saw. These discs can also explode under certain conditions.


-- Write Steve Thompson at Ask The Mechanic, 2204 Lakeshore Dr., Suite 415, Birmingham, AL 35209, or email, and be sure to include your phone number.