Selection of a wheel for any cutting job involves several factors. The desired end result is usually most important, whether it involves high-speed production cutting, or a precision, fine finish cutting application. Knowing the following information can help in the selection process.
• MATERIAL - Type of material to be cut: it’s hardness, size and shape, quality of cut sought.
• MACHINE - Type to be used: chop-stroke, oscillating or swing-frame, make and model, size, horsepower, spindle speed, how the workpiece is secured, wet or dry cutting.
• WHEEL - Dimensional features of wheel currently in use: diameter, thickness, arbor and reinforcement pattern, manufacturer’s specifications (name, grade, rpm).
Use a soft grade when:
• Machine has low horsepower.
• Good finish is important - fine grains normally used to provide minimum burr.
• Operators cut slowly.
Use a medium grade when:
• Softer grades do not provide enough cuts - longer wheel life is required.
• Cutting normal materials. Machine horsepower will support faster cutting rates.
Use a hard grade when:
• Maximum wheel life is sought.
• Machine has adequate horsepower (1 hp per inch of wheel diameter is recommended).
• Burr and finish requirements are minimal. (note that fast cuts will produce a reasonably good finish)