High speed wire brushes…

Posted on September 19th, 2007 in Driving Emotion,Technologies by Julian Edgar

twisted-wire-brush.jpgMaybe everyone already knows about these – but I didn’t and since I have discovered them, they’ve been extremely useful.

What I’m referring to are twisted wire brushes designed to screw onto angle grinders. You take off the grinding disc (and then leave off the screw collar – don’t lose it!) and then screw the wire brush onto the shaft.

The angle grinder spins the brush so fast that the amount of material you can quickly remove is amazing. Compared with a wire brush you might use in an electric drill, you have much better control (using two hands rather than one) and can achieve results perhaps 20 times as fast.

For example, today I needed to clean up the exterior of a big muffler. It’s stainless steel but of the sort that slowly rusts. There was corrosion all over it and I wanted a clean surface to paint. Literally 5 minutes of work with the angle grinder-driven wire brush had it looking so good I even considered not painting it! (But I did anyway.)

However, when using the brushes, you must wear full protection – goggles, ear-muffs and good clothing. The brushes tend to shed wires and at the speed they’re travelling, they could do eyes very serious damage. In fact, if you have a clear full length face mask, I’d suggest using that.

When buying, take along your angle grinder (with disc removed) so that you can be sure of getting the right thread size. The twisted wire brushes are available at hardware stores and tool suppliers.

2 Responses to 'High speed wire brushes…'

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  1. Peter said,

    on September 20th, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    I have to agree and re-emphasize the safety aspect. The amount of small lengths of wire shed by these things is incredible – you’ll be picking them out of your clothes for weeks to come. You certainly don’t want to be picking them out of your eyes!

  2. Ben said,

    on September 20th, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    I have more trouble with wire coming off the drill and die grinder items than these… One problem I find with these stiff, large wire brushes is that small amounts of metal are sometimes taken away. But this is much less than with any kind of sandpaper.

  3. todd said,

    on September 23rd, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    You must look at the 3m or similar blue pads that do the same but without the wire going everwhere. Abailable in the grinding section @ bunnings tool shops. These will strip paint off panels with no warping or carving parent metal. Work faster too!