Disc cutters (portable hand held machines) - Inhouse


  1. Basic maintenance
  2. Disc selection and mounting
  3. Basic cutting techniques

Range Statement:

  1. Inspections operational, routine, schedules.
  2. Plant and attachments cutter body, arbour bearing and guard, v-belt, cutting off wheels.
  3. Types of deficiencies cutter body, arbor bearing and guard wear damage, cutting off wheels wear or damage.
  4. Start stop procedures operating start and stop controls, emergency stops.
  5. Approved practice safety, manufacturers, organisation.
  6. Types of defects over running, misfiring, over heating, excessive and uncharacteristic noise, inadequate performance, pressure cutting, torsional loading
  7. Designated persons operatives, chargehand, foreman, supervisor.
  8. Prescribed format job card, work slip, report sheet

Element 1 - Basic maintenance

Performance Criteria

a) All appropriate tools and safety equipment are in evidence. 
b) Identification of cutter make and model are made 
c) Nomenclature of component parts is accurate. 
d) Cutter body is inspected for wear and damage and appropriate action is taken
e) Arbor bearing and guard are inspected for wear and damage  with appropriate action being taken.
f) V-belt inspection is carried out and appropriate tensioning is applied.
g) Cause and remedy of component problems encountered are identified.
h) Cleaning of all components is carried out in a correct an safe manner.

Element 2 - Disc selection and mounting

Performance Criteria

a) Approved advisory safety literature in evidence and is referred to.
b) Awareness of pertinent legislation appertaining to the schedule of  requirements is shown
c) Abrasive wheel characterisations and variable elements are understood.
d) BS marking system is observed to be used in wheel selection.
e) Safety in respect of examination handling storage and breaking of wheels is understood.
f) Selection of wheels is appropriate to the cutting operation to be performed.
g) Speed of spindle to speed of wheel is assessed for compatibility.
h) Mounting of the wheel is carried out with due consideration to flanges, blotters, and clamping nut securing the wheel.

Wheel is observed to be run at full operating speed with safe guard adjustment and suitable shielding.

Element 3 - Basic cutting techniques

Performance Criteria


All appropriate operative safety clothing is evidence and used accordingly.

b) Disc cutter and wheel selection is appropriate for cutting performance required.
c) Cutter pre-start checks are carried out safely in accordance with approved procedures.
d) Fuelling, oiling and starting procedures are carried out safely in accordance with approved procedures.
e) Stop mechanism is verified as being operational.    
f) The requirements of a clear working area and condition of operational ground space are assessed.
g) Clear safety instructions are given to any assistant on site.
h) Cutting techniques are carried out safely in accordance with approved procedures.

.A correct stance is adopted for each cutting technique observed.

j) Re-fuelling is carried out in a safe manner.
k) Checks on air filter, v-belt tension and wheel condition are observed at each re-fuelling.

Disc Cutter Questions

Underpinning Knowledge

Q1. How far from the starting /cutting are should fuelling take place?

Q2. What grade eye protection is required when using abrasive wheels?

Q3. What are the important features required of a cutting off wheel for handheld machines?

Q4. Name one national document which contains safety advice on all forms of cutting and grinding operations?

Q5. State the main safety feature which must be fitted to all portable hand held machines?

Q6. List 3 main types of injury which can result from the use of abrasive wheels?

Q7. At what diameter size must all wheels be clearly marked with their maximum permissible speed?

Q8. Why does the maximum permissible speed need to be indicated on the wheel?

Q9. What must be in place between the wheel and the flange?

Q10. What is the accepted abrasive wheel marking system?