Best Angle Grinders for Small Projects and Heavy-Duty Use
Review & Comparison, Last Update March 29, 2017
Are you looking for a versatile tool for cutting and grinding metal, concrete, or tile? If so, you need an angle grinder! Our review of 5 best grinders is here to help you pick the right model for your needs....Read more...Read less
Angle grinders are considered to be one of the most common power tools. This statement is well-grounded as a grinder can cut through tile, stone or metal, and remove rust or old paint. Naturally, such a large scope of application makes grinders helpful in professional construction and household tasks or repairs. The review covers 5 most popular models where you can choose the one that fully meets your requirements.
Additionally, consider our MIG welders and the review of chop saws that can prove useful for large metalworking projects.
What Features to Compare
Choosing an angle grinder, you should decide what you are buying it for. A household model with the power from 7А to 10А is enough for cutting small pieces, fine metal sheets, plastic as well as for polishing and grinding. If you need to handle concrete, stone or thick metalware, it's reasonable to pick an industrial-grade model from with the power from 10A to 15А (and more). The speed is another important parameter you should consider. It totally depends on a cutting wheel diameter. The bigger the wheel is installed, the smaller the speed a grinder delivers; and vice versa. The grinders fitted with small wheels run at 11,000 RPM and higher, while heavy-duty models deliver about 6,000 RPM.
Cutting Wheel Diameter
Considering the wheel diameter of an angle grinder, choose it in accordance with your cutting needs. Household models usually come with 4-1/2 - 5" wheels and can polish, remove rust and paint, cut sheet metal and tile. The 7" wheels (and larger) usually serve for cutting concrete, masonry, asphalt, thick metal, and other tough items. The grinders fitted with such wheels are able to perform long and withstand high loads. Choosing a wheel, consider the materials you're going to cut and the maximum rotating speed; these aspects should never be ignored! Pick a wheel the maximum speed of which is higher than the RPM of your grinder, otherwise, as it might shatter.
In this paragraph, we will consider safety features of a grinder for itself and its users. Firstly, almost each grinder is fitted with a lock-on button to prevent accidental starting. Secondly, some models feature spiral gears to reduce noise and deliver a better performance. Nevertheless, it's advised to use hearing protectors, no matter how noisy a grinder is. Also, some grinders come with restart protection and anti-kickback clutches for the user's safety. As for other safety features, dust protection is among the most important ones. The manufacturers protect their equipment by sealing the wires with resin or closing the bearings with washers. In addition, grinders are often protected against overload by aluminum or magnesium motor cases that cool down faster and are more durable than the plastic ones.
Convenience and Compatibility
Speaking of the convenience of an angle grinder, we would like to highlight the shock-absorbing handles that are desirable in eaсh model. As a grinder works, it inevitably vibrates, hence wearies your hands. So, these tools are often equipped with damping handles to reduce vibrations. We should also mention a wheel guard that may not be included in the package. This guard will protect you from grindings and sparks and deliver a clear view of the material you cut. A quick-release clamp of a guard will let you install it in a convenient position and resume working.
The GA7021 by Makita is one of the most powerful angle grinders available on the market. This tool can efficiently cut and grind pieces of metal, tile, wood, rubber, and plastic. The engineers of Makita used a robust heavy-duty metal, high-quality plastic, and a sturdy rubber to maximize the service life of this grinding tool. We would like to highlight the spiral bevel gears that make the tool quiet and provide its smooth operation. The armature coil is coated with varnish for dust protection. The pinions are hidden in the 'labyrinth' body to prevent penetration of dust and debris. The grinder comes with a cutting wheel, wheel guard, side handle, inner flange, lock nut, and the wrench.
Designed to Toil
Concerning this Makita grinder's performance, it is up to the mark. The powerful 15A motor swirls the spindle at 6,000 RPM. The machine handles cutting wheels up to 7" in diameter. This allows you to accomplish a wide range of tasks by using different-sized wheels of various types. Such capacity is provided by the spindle thread which is 5/8" - 11 UNC. To install a wheel, push the spindle lock and tighten the lock nut with a wrench. Thus, the grinder's performance is enough for cutting rebar, thick tile, bricks, or stone.
Weighty but Handy
The tools by Makita have always been high-performance and usable. As a confirmation, we liked the self-clamping mechanism on the grinder's wheel guard. Additionally, you should pay attention to the side handle that can be adjusted to 3 positions for a comfortable grip. Moreover, you'll be able to hold the grinder firmly even wearing the gloves, thanks to the ergonomic rubber coating on the handle. We'd like to note the easy brush replacement. To change brushes, unscrew a motor case, remove brushes, and install new ones, that's all. Finally, let's mention the grinder's weight of just 12.2 lbs, and it's pretty heavy. However, taking the power of the tool into account, its large weight is compensated by high performance.
Well, this grinder is recommended to those looking for an efficient tool for cutting masonry and metal, since high power and large wheels of the tool will do that perfectly.
If you are confused about the replacement of the grinder's brushes, there is nothing to worry about. As you can see, the access to brushes is fast and effortless.
This Milwaukee angle grinder is an example of M18 series of cordless tools manufactured by the company. This fact itself is a reason to buy this grinding machine, as its battery is compatible with any tool of the above-mentioned lineup. The grinder is made of sturdy plastic and features a rubber insert for a better grip. We should also note that the motor is protected from overloading and lives longer, extending the machine's service life. Thus, the grinder stops working when it gets overcharged, telling you to make a pause. What is more, the L-shaped air inlet prevents keeps metal debris away from the tool and excludes its cut-off.
Let's consider the performance of this grinding machine. It's equipped with the 4-pole motor that delivers an impressive power. The unit contains no rubbing elements, hence it lasts longer. This Milwakee tool is powered by an 18V battery, yet it's not included, and you can optionally pick a battery of the capacity you need. The machine can be fitted with 4-1/2" wheels for simple tasks such as polishing or removing paint. Also, you'll be able to cut sheet metal and other medium-depth parts. The grinder speed reaches 9,000 RPM and allows fast job completion.
Works Where Others Fail
Now, let's consider the convenience features of this grinder. We'd like to stress that this grinder is highly usable since it's cordless. The machine is fitted with a lock-off button that you need to press prior to the trigger, preventing the grinder from injuring your hands during work. The option to adjust the handle in three different positions allows you to use the tool at the most convenient angle. Another safety feature here is a self-clamping wheel guard that allows you to set the right position of the tool with a single flip.
We have no doubt that this cordless grinding machine is the best choice for those working off the power supply or doing simple jobs.
Get Your Battery
Choose a battery with the capacity that fits your working needs best. Commonly, it's better to use batteries from the same brand.
Just like any DeWALT tool, this angle grinder staggered us with a high assembly quality and wonderful functional capabilities. The machine is made of branded black and yellow plastic and, surprisingly, comes without rubber insets. Hence, we recommend using gloves to firmly hold the tool. As for reliability, we should mention large spiral cogs that provide longer life and quieter operation. In addition, the Dust Ejection System™ throws dust and chips out of the grinder, protecting its mechanism from damage. Also, we discovered the brushes that switch the motor off when they wear out. In conclusion, we'd like to single out an efficient cooling system that provides the air circulation across the grinder, cooling all its components down. The package includes a two-position side handle and a wheel guard.
As compared to other angle grindered reviewed on our shortlist, the motor of this one comprises 40% more copper, which makes it much more durable and wear-resistant. As a result, the grinder can work under pretty high loads and spin the wheels with a diameter of up to 4-1/2". The speed of the motor makes 11,000 RPM and cannot be varied, so, you should consider this when selecting the grinder. The wheels are mounted on the spindle with a 5/8 "-11 thread, and the spindle can be locked by pressing a special button. Generally, this compact tool allows polishing, cutting fine metal or brickwork.
The manufacturer of this grinding machine has done a great job and made its tool really convenient. We'd like to note the wheel guard that can be turned 360 degrees. This feature makes the grinder “flexible”, adaptable, and versatile. Also, the tool is fitted with a handy paddle switch and a safety lock-off button that prevents its unintentional starting. In addition, the model features a lock-on button for more convenient use of the tool. Thus, you won't have to hold your finger on the trigger all the time while you grind. A quick-change wheel release is another distinctive feature that allows replacing the wheel within less than a minutre with a conventional hex wrench.
So, this DeWALT grinder is a wonderful choice for those who need a small and lightweight tool for high-speed cutting and grinding.
All-round Cooling System
The air circulates all over the grinder's body and cools down its componentry very effectively.
The Bosch AG50-11VSPD is just the tool for long-term use. Its casing is made of Makita-style blue plastic with two rubber insets for a reliable grip. The body is perforated to prevent overheating and ensure a long lifetime. Furthermore, the motor features carbon brushes which serve twice longer than conventional counterparts. The Service Minder™ system automatically tracks the condition of brushes and stops the motor when they need replacement. The motor winding is covered with epoxy to protect the tool from dust and metal particles. As the independent testing revealed, this angle grinder serves 9 times longer than its rival models.
Pick the Speed You Need
The variable speed is the main advantage of this grinder. It varies from 2,800 to 11,500 RPM. This useful feature allows cutting into metal and concrete, as well as fragile materials such as ceramics and plastic. The tool features a control dial for speed adjustment. The powerful 11A motor withstands high loads and allows long cutting or grinding. The machine is compatible with 5" wheels, which is enough for household needs. To install the wheel, lock the spindle and tighten the wheel with a hexagonal wrench.
Examining this grinding machine, we have found a few convenience features. An accessory handle is one of them. It's comfy and elastic, so it efficiently reduces vibrations thanks to the special mechanism in its fixing point. Further, the wheel guard can be adjusted manually and that's a positive design feature as you don't need to look for a wrench or a screwdriver. We should also note a sliding paddle switch that prevents the tool from accidental starting and eliminates the need for you to hold it. The grinder itself is pretty lightweight and therefore, can be operated literally by anyone. We'd recommend it for all handymen who work with different types of materials and wheels of different sizes. Superb versatility!
When working with any of the home improvement tools, don't neglect a protective outfit. A respirator mask is a must to protect your breathing tract from dust and fine metal grindings.
Even a Tuckpointing!
You'll be able to install the tuck pointing blade on this angle grinder and make decorative joints on the brickwork.
The Porter-Cable PC60TPAG has a solid body that makes this tool highly durable. Two cutting wheels (included in the package) were the first things we liked about this angle grinder. One of the wheels is intended for cutting, while another one is meant for grinding metal. What is more, the tool comes with two guards for cutting and grinding wheels, respectively. These components make the grinder safe for your body and protect the wheels from damage at the same time. The PC60TPAG model is fitted with the trigger lock-off lever to avoid unintentional starting the motor. If you suddenly drop the tool, the motor and, consequently, the wheel will stop since the switch automatically returns to the OFF position.
Being rather powerful, this angle grinder isn't quite fit for a long-term operation. With a 7A motor power that isn't too high here, the grinder yet delivers great 11,000 RPM that allows its use for cutting through metal, bricks, tile, etc. With it, you will also be able to polish and grind different surfaces. The model is compatible with 4-1/2" wheels, which is enough for most medium domestic jobs. Whether you need to cut a piece of metal, grind welding joints, or peel an old paint, the machine will fulfill any of these tasks in a fast and easy way.
Using this grinding machine, you'll definitely appreciate its handiness largely owing to the weight of just 4.1 lbs. It allows working as long as you need without hand fatigue. The tool is supplemented with a side handle that can be mounted to 3 positions for comfortable cutting in any occasion. Furthermore, the handle is grooved for a better grip. Like the majority of angle grinders, this one features a self-clamping wheel guard for fast removal and installation. Finally, we'd like to remind that a grinder generates plenty of sparks, so wear protective goggles to protect your eyes from injuries.
Generally, this Porter Cable grinder can help you cope with cutting metal and masonry even in your home workshop. Being an energy-efficient and lightweight machine, not surprisingly it is so much favored by DIYers worldwide.
How to Hold a Grinder Right
The image below shows how to position an angle grinder for safe and efficient cutting.
A: It's an electric tool used for grinding, cutting, and sharpening metal and other materials.
Q: Which types of grinders are there?
A: There are three types of grinders you can buy: electric (cordless or battery-powered), pneumatic, and gas-powered; electric models, however, are most common.
Q: What are angle grinders used for?
A: The grinders are usually used for grinding, cutting, cleaning, sharpening, deburring, sanding, and polishing. These machines handle a wide range of materials for cutting and grinding wood, sheet metal, metal bars, bolts, rebar, plasterboard, tiles, bricks, concrete, and stone.
This tool can be used for sharpening other tools, such as pruning shears and lawnmower blades.
Grinding machines can also be used to sand and shape wood or to polish hard surfaces such as stone.
Q: How do angle grinders work?
A: These machines work by receiving power from electricity, batteries, gas, or air. A tool houses gears and a motor attached to the spinning shaft. Once the shaft starts to rotate the attachment (a wheel, a brush, a polishing pad, a sanding disc, etc., the process of grinding or cutting begins.
Q: What kinds of brushes are used for grinders?
A: Grinders use small brush pads or blocks made of carbon. These brushes prevent dust and debris from getting inside the motor or pinions.
Q: How to cut metal with an angle grinder?
A: The process usually requires following these simple steps:
1) Attach a cutting wheel to your machine (make sure your grinder is compatible with a wheel and the wheel guard is available). Use a standard metal cutting wheel for softer metals, or a diamond wheel for harder metals.
2) Secure it with a clamp (cheap) or a vice grip (more expensive).
3) Start cutting the metal and be ready for a forceful, fast, and inaccurate cut.
Q: How to replace a cutting wheel?
A: Here's a short step-by-step guide of a wheel replacement procedure:
1) Usually, a grinding machine comes with a hex wrench or another tool for a wheel replacement.
2) Put this tool on the nut or flange of the wheel and loosen it.
3) The wheel should come off.
4) If your model spindle supports a new wheel, place it, and tighten the nut of the flange.
Q: Can the sparks from an angle grinder cause injuries?
A: They can if they come up against you. If you often need to machine hazardous chemicals, they can also cause harm to your respiratory tracts. Therefore, it's highly recommended to wear a protective outfit, like gloves, sleeves, safety goggles and apron when working with an angle grinder.