Putting a cutter in my angle grinder?

I have never used anything but grinding (what, blades, inserts, disks?) in my Makita 4.5" angle grinder, but today I need a cutting disk. It is much thinner, so it just spins. The retaining nut is flat on one side and flanged on the other. If I turn it around so the flat side is down, rather than the flanged side down, it seems to work okay. But I don't have the instructions, so I don't know if this is actually proper. Any catastrophe happen if I use it like this? If so, how do I mount the cutting disk?
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In mine, it's the arbor washer that's "flanged" (it's actually a small increase in thickness immediately adjacent to the hole - so I'll call this the convex side).
The instructions say to use the convex side for thick wheels, and the flat (actually, in my case it's slightly concave) side for thin wheels.
Check your grinder to see whether it seems more logical to flip the arbor washer rather than the nut.
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Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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Toller wrote:

Makita's website's "Service" section and look at the online manual. It seems likely to me that any method of attachment which keeps the blade centered and can be locked down tight would probably work well enough but since the manual is only a few clicks away why not be sure?
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John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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It says my idea is correct, but also says to use a guard that covers the bottom of the disk. As long as I have the bottom pointed away from me, that shouldn't be critical, should it?
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Toller wrote:

As long as the wheel doesn't shatter. Had that happen to me once, I was wearing goggles. So of course the shrapnel went no where near my face. Right into my other hand.
If you just keep everything out of the line of rotation you *should* be ok.
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I recently put the guards back on my grinders. I have four. I bought a Makita die grinder for a cut off tool that has a thin blade. Before that, I used a thin flat blade in a 4.5" grinder. I like the die grinder much more because it has a flat mandrel, and both of my hands are farther away from the cutting point.
I have been welding now for 31 years. I would put an angle grinder in the top three tools I consider to be the MOST dangerous. When they bind or jump or shatter, it's over within 1/1000th of a second. At 14,000 rpm, that's fourteen revolutions.
The point on the rotating device (cutting wheel, grinding disc, sander, wire brush, flapper, whatever) at which you contact the work is critical. As with a chainsaw, when it touches the wrong part of the rotating portion, it can kick. Learn where that is, and give this little chainsaw all the respect it deserves.
YMMV
Steve
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Excellent post, except for one small point: 14,000 RPM is revolutions per _minute_. 1/1000th of a second is .233 revolutions ;-)
A more useful perspective is that of tip speed. 233 revolutions per second has the rim going at approximately 230 feet per second.
(pi * D * 233 / 12)
If your eyeball is 2' away, you get blinded in 1/100th of a second.
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Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) wrote in

Well,you should be wearing,at minimum,eye protection anyways. Better,a face shield. Only a dumbass would grind/cut with no eye protection.
--
Jim Yanik
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The flanged side is to center the wheel, and should face the disk. You will notice there's a lot of clearance between the shaft & the disk - the job of the flange is to get it centred before it's tightened.

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I have an older Black & Decker angle grinder that simply will not hold a cutting blade. The blades last about 2 minutes before the center busts out of them. A friend of mine has the exact same grinder and he said the same thing.
I bought one of those off brand cheap grinders last year. It sold for $20. After the holidays they were selling it for $12, and it came with 3 grinding wheels. I figured the wheels alone were worth hald that price. Well, I have been very pleased with it. It uses cutting wheels perfectly, and works like a champ. I now use that one for cutting and my old one for grinding. If they have these cheap ones on sale again this year, I will get another one. The brand is Tool Shop, sold at Menards. Normally I dont buy those cheap tools, but for that price I gave it a try. I figured it was worth the price if I only used it to cut the nails off used lumber. I rarely pull them anymore, just grind them off. (I mean big nails, not little lath nails).
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