Best Electric & Pneumatic Angle Die Grinders
The slide switch prevents accidental starting and allows you to switch the tool on and off quickly.
The grinder is weighty.
The Makita GD0601 will help you quickly debur any hard material, reaching for the distant spots with ease.
A high motor power allows working longer and faster.
The lock-on button is located awkwardly.
This DeWALT die grinder will let you process the produce of metal, wood, and stone. Moreover, you'll be able to work in sessions thanks to the "push-release" switch.
Due to the low vibrations, the tool allows more accurate grinding and doesn't fatigue your hands.
The speed isn't that high.
The Ingersoll Rand 301B is perfect for repair shops and car service stations where high output and lightness are essential for a long use.
Considering little air consumption, the DEWALT DWMT70783 is often used with air compressors. One of the best choices for at-home use.
Quite bulky for the tool of the kind.
With the DWMT70783 you will be able to work longer and in awkward positions with no feeling of discomfort.
The tool is petite and is easy to maneuver in tight places.
No speed control.
It's a handy and light grinding tool that allows working fast and noiselessly. This is an important feature when choosing a power equipment.
What is a Die Grinder
Anyone who has ever welded or cut metalware knows that metal surface isn't smooth and often requires the use of an angle grinder to buff it. Yet, in most cases, the problem isn't completely solved. If there are work spots at distant locations, an angled grinder simply won't reach them. Well, if that's the type of work you often need to do, we recommend you to purchase a special tool for this purpose, a die grinder. Looking similar to a screwdriver, this compact tool comes with a spindle spun either by air or electric power. The spindle holds a collet for abrasive and polishing attachments, cutting wheels, bits, etc. In this article, we will cover the main aspects one should consider when making a choice.
What Features to Compare
There are two types of die grinders you can choose from: electric and pneumatic. If you need a tool for a household use, go for an electric model. It is easier-to-use than a pneumatic model and it doesn't require compressors. The downside is, electric tools, in general, weigh considerably more due to the electric motors. Performance-wise, pneumatic grinders definitely win. They can be used during a longer period of time without overheating and hence, they suit for industrial facilities better. Pneumatic grinders are pricier and need standalone air compressors, so they are quite noisy and bulky.
Once you decide on the type of the tool, consider its performance. Fist of all, learn the power specs. Speaking of electric models, the higher the amperage is, the more powerful the tool will be and the longer it will work without motor overheat. The power of pneumatic models is measured by the air pressure delivered from the compressors. Most professional grade grinders work at 90 psi but with different air consumption rates. So, it's important that you take these rates into consideration too. Check the collet capacity; most models come with 1/4" collets. The speed parameter is no less important and should be chosen according to the materials you need to handle. For processing plastic or organic glass, pick a model with 2,000 - 3,000 RPM speed. If you mostly work with wood, metal and stone, we recommend you to opt for a tool with at least 20,000 RPM speed or higher.
Convenience of Use and Features
Any power tool should be convenient to use. If the grinder you choose appears to be too heavy, you won't be able to work with it for a prolonged period of time. Therefore, make sure to check its weight and size beforehand. In most cases, longer grinders are also much more convenient to operate than the shorter counterparts. Pay attention to the material of the body coating. Rubber-coated grinders will provide a more comfortable and reliable grip. Besides, rubber pads also dampen vibrations. Tools with a variable speed control will let you handle a greater variety of materials, while the lock-off button will ensure safety of use. A lot of manufacturers today supply their tools with convenient carrying cases. For those who work on construction sites and/or do contract jobs, the case will become a nice and useful addition.
Caring For A Motor
Let's start with the grinding machine by Makita. The GD0601 is a combination of plastic and aluminum with an electric motor inside. Right from the start, we'd like to note a special feature which is unique to many similar tools of the same kind. The Makita GD0601 features the system of channels that prevents the dust from getting inside the motor and bearings. Furthermore, the armature coil is sealed from the dirt with a protective zig-zag varnish that creates something akin a barrier when the tool starts to spin. Protecting the motor from the overheat, the manufacturer built in the vents on the front and on the rear of the tool.
Now, let's cover some of the key capabilities of the tool. The Makita GD0601 is powered by a 3.5A motor and delivers the speed of 25,000 RPM. This speed is constant, therefore, the tool is suitable for handling only hard materials. Should you need to buff weld joints, polish surfaces or cut burrs on workpieces, the Makita GD0601 will cope with the task. It's worth saying that any power tool, when used at a high speed, entails noisy operation. So, the norm noise level to expect will make around 73 dBa. As for the capacity, the Makita's collet will take the bits up to 1/4" in diameter and can be fitted with the cutting wheels of up to 1-1/2" in diameter. This angle die grinder comes with two wrenches for handling the collet and fixing attachments.
Reaching Every Spot
Speaking of the convenience features, we'd like to mention its narrow grip with a removable rubber casing. So, if you work without a side handle, it's advisable to keep this casing on to have a better grip on the tool and protect your hands from the generated heat after long use. In addition, we'd like to note a paddle switch which is typical of angle grinders. To trigger the tool, you should slightly push the switch and then slide it. When doing this way, you will protect yourself from injuries that can be caused by accidental starting. The Makita GD0601 is pretty long and is a good fit for reaching narrow and awkward places. The weight of the tool, though, isn't big at all and makes 3.7 lbs only.
On a whole, this grinding machine can be recommended to all users needing to process and enhance home articles. It will also suit those handymen for whom electric power supply won't be an issue.
You Will Pick It Out From the Crowd
When going through electric-powered die grinders to make this review, we couldn't go pass the DWE4887, a power tool from the renowned manufacturer that DIYers all over the world can pick out of the thousands due to its brand black and yellow design and excellent power characteristics. Like you'd expect from a rotary tool, the DWE4887 features a switch with a lock-off button. When using the tool at high speeds, this is really important to avoid accidental triggering and prevent serious injuries.
As for the performance characteristics, the speed of the spindle works at the constant 25,000 RPM speed. This means it is suitable only for working with metal, stone work and hardwood. If you decide to grind softer materials, it may easily fuse and ruin them, so better not. Powered by a 4.2A motor, the DWE4887 die grinder boasts pretty long operation time and can work almost continuously without stops. The collet here is compatible with the bits up to 1/4" and can take all grinding attachments within 1-1/2". Just like most die grinders, this one comes with two wrenches for the collet.
Push and Hold!
Let's examine the convenience features. The first thing you will notice is the button near the paddle switch which, as we've mentioned before, locks the switch, preventing the tool from unexpected starting. This way, you can either fix it for continuous grinding or keep pushing it for brief jobs. A good thing about the DWE4887 is that it works equally well from both AC and DC current. This comes especially handy for those who use power generators. What's more, despite rather high power, the model is pretty light, weighing only 3.65 lbs. The overall length of the tool is 14" and it's enough for reaching cavities and distant work spots.
We presume that this model can become a great option for a household use like touchups of cut or welder metalware, as well as for buffing hard materials with attachments up to 1-1/2".
Ingersoll Rand 301B
Ingersoll Rand 301B
The Ingersoll Rand 301B is a pneumatic machine designed for commercial use. An all-aluminum body and ball-bearing design determine the tool's high load bearing capacity, heavy-duty use and the reduced level of vibrations. As you've probably noticed, the spindle is positioned at the angle convenient for handling different surfaces and work spots. And, unlike straight models, this angled die grinder works for tight places much better.
The power of the Ingersoll Rand 301B angle die grinder totally depends on the supplied air pressure and may reach up to 90 psi. Thus, the machine is able to run at 21,000 RPM sufficient for buffing wood and metal. To start removing the burrs, though, you will need to install the bits up to 1/4" in diameter. That's what the collet can take. And that's actually the same number for the capacity of the air intake valve. Mind that all pneumatic tools tend to consume air quite fast. The Ingersoll Rand 301B takes 6 CFM of air on average but this figure may grow up to 24 CFM under higher loads. We should also add that air-operated machines are quite noisy; the sound level of the grinder is 105 dBa.
A Practical Solution
Covering convenience features, we'd like to note an all-metal throttle lever with a spring loaded lock to prevent the tool from accident triggering. When you press the lever, the lock folds up and returns automatically when the lever is released. Another advantage of the Ingersoll Rand 301B is that its body isn't prone to chopping or peeling and will look intact for many years of use. Given that the tool isn't equipped with a motor, its weight is also incredibly small, only 1.02 lbs. The total length is 5.27".
This die grinder will be useful for large polishing projects. It may also come handy for those, working in fairly big workshops, garages, etc.
Plastic or Metal?
In addition to electric tools, DeWalt is manufacturing air-powered equipment. The DWMT70783 is a great example. Casting a quick look at the tool, it's easy to think it's all made of plastic. Yet, you couldn't be further from the truth. The black body that looks plastic is nothing more but painted heavy-duty aluminum with a rubber pad for a firmer grip on the tool. Similar to other grinders, this model has a trigger with a self-locking mechanism. Thus, the trigger can be pushed only when the lock is put down. On the other hand, the trigger should be pressed as long as the tool works, which may be inconvenient. Taking into account that the spindle here is straight, we'd recommend the DWMT70783 for those projects where an angle grinder is just too big.
To operate this grinder, you need an air compressor that delivers at least 90 psi to provide the speed of 25,000 RPM. The machine is faster than some pneumatic models but is less expensive. Still, DeWALT has always attracted customers with top quality products and affordable prices. The grinder is fitted with a 1/4" collet and the air intake valve of the same diameter. By the way, the average air consumption is within 2.2 CFM which isn't a lot at all, considering the high-performance specs. The manufacturer recommends using the hoses at least 3/8" in diameter.
As for the convenience of use, you get a variable speed control, adjustable with a screwdriver. Might sound like a lot of work but not when you try it. Still, the advantages of using a grinder with a spindle speed are worth a little bit of effort. With the DeWalt grinder, you will be able to handle all types of materials, from hard metals to fragile organic glass and plastic. The option to use the tool on low settings will let you perform more accurate grinding. Backed by 3 years manufacturer warranty, this DeWalk DWMT70783 offers you robust performance, quality design and long service life.
Chicago Pneumatic CP875
Chicago Pneumatic CP875
Down With Rubber!
The Chicago CP875 is a powerful pneumatic die grinder from one of the leading USA producers of air-operated machinery. What we liked about this tool is its robust aluminum design, containing no other compounds. You will find here neither plastic inserts nor rubberized pads. The tool features an all-metal construction. With that said, we'd recommend you to wear some rubberized gloves for a firmer grip. As seen from the picture, the Chicago CP875 is an angled die grinder that can be used for buffing and polishing almost all surfaces and anywhere.
The Happy Medium
It's time to consider the capabilities of this model. Forced by a compressed air, the spindle gyrates at 22,500 RPM which is a medium rating. To operate properly, the pressure of the air fed to a grinder should be within 90 psi. This is a common requirement for a pneumatic tool, though. The collet is consistent with the bits up to 1/4" in diameter. This capacity is enough to use attachments for polishing and dressing. Furthermore, you can use small grinding wheels and bits for cutting fine metal parts or expanding holes. In any case, this kind of the tool is irreplaceable in your home workshop. Speaking of the air consumption, this machine consumes 11 CFM and this number can reach 22 CFM when the tool is used under higher loads. So, choosing the compressor, consider its output pressure to provide the required air flow.
Maneuverability is the Key
Now, we'll review the features of this grinder. The most obvious one is the lack of the speed control, which isn't typical of air-powered tools at all. This might seem rather strange at first, as you will need to adjust the speed by pushing the trigger. But as the time goes, you'll get used to it and won't consider as a problem. The length of 4.88" and 1 lbs of weight makes the Chicago CP875 very mobile. Even though we didn't find its operation loud, we'd still recommend you to wear some hearing protection. Working with power tools isn't quite safe, therefore you should take care of your health and play safe.
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