Portable Saw Cut-Off Wheels: It’s All About Safety

Posted on May 13, 2019

On most construction and job sites, portable/gas saws are essential tools. They allow the user to make fast cuts on a variety of materials, whether cutting angle iron, strut, rebar, metal decking, concrete or asphalt. A portable/gas saw can be a perfect tool — provided the operator utilizes the correct and SAFEST wheel for the job.

United Abrasives offers one of the most comprehensive lines of portable/gas saw cut-off wheels in the industry. We have eight unique formulations that cover a broad range of applications. In addition, United Abrasives’ cut-off wheels are made in the USA and exceed the ANSI standards for safety!

So, what do you need to know?

Safety Tips

A few helpful tips always go a long way to successfully and safely using a cut-off wheel. When using our wheels, always:

  • Use heavy duty wheels on high-speed, gas powered saws
  • Not all wheels are created equal. Many low-price cut-off wheels are made from inferior raw materials that can potentially fail
  • Be sure to use the correct wheel for the material you are cutting
  • Be sure that when mounting a new wheel, that the spark plug wire is disconnected from the saw and that the proper flanges are in place and in good condition

As with many abrasive products, misuse of a cut-off wheel can lead to wheel breakage and injury. So, with that in mind, be sure to:

  • Wear proper safety personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Visually inspect all wheels before mounting for possible damage
  • Never use gas saw blades with any water or lubricants
  • NEVER hold the material being cut in your hand or with your foot
  • Wait until the wheel comes to a full stop before reaching for any cut pieces
  • The ANSI safety code B7.1 outlines safe operating condition for all abrasive cutting and grinding wheels and must be followed
  • NEVER allow operators to make a cut, then remove the bur from the cut against the side of the wheel. These wheels are designed for cutting on the periphery of the wheel ONLY! Grinding on the side of a wheel can damage its interior fiberglass reinforcement, leading to breakage and potential injury
  • If using a high-speed saw, be sure to use a heavy duty cut-off wheel

Which Wheel Should I Use? It’s All About the Material and Tool

With eight unique formulations, United Abrasives has a portable/gas saw cut-off wheel for the most common materials used on a job site.

Heavy duty wheels: Designed with greater amounts of reinforcement for use on high speed saws

  • A24R: Designed for the professional, the A24R aluminum oxide wheel provides consistent performance while delivering long life. This blade is ideal for cutting structural steel, angle iron, rebar and pipe
  • XFC™: Specially formulated for extremely fast cutting without binding. Ideal for cutting a wide variety of structural steel, pipe, angle iron and rebar. Also cuts stainless steel and high tensile alloys efficiently
  • Hobo®: This wheel is designed for cutting mainline, secondary spur rail steel and heavy structural steel and bar stock. This blade features rugged fiberglass reinforcement for maximum safety
  • Brute™: Designed for cutting metal decking, thin metals and sheet metals. The extremely hard bond and unique fiberglass allow this blade to cut in the most demanding applications where other blades fail
  • Ductile™: Utilizing a combination of aluminum oxide and silicon carbide, this blade is ideal for cutting ductile pipe (very hard steel cased pipe with a cement lining), water mains, cast iron and extra hard metals. Also works great for cutting hydraulic hose and PVC pipe
  • C24R: Designed for cutting stone, brick, soft aggregate, masonry, concrete, schedule 40 and 80 pipe.
  • Big M.A.C.™: Special silicon carbide grain is ideal for cutting Masonry, Asphalt and Concrete. This unique wheel lasts approximately 40% longer than general purpose concrete wheels

Standard wheels

SAIT Pro: Designed for fast cutting of ferrous metals. Our best value wheel.

Still Need Help?

If you’re still unsure which product is right for your job, check out that product application search we mentioned above (click here to access it), or feel free to contact us directly.

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