What is the importance of angle grinders? In case you aren’t aware, angle grinders are among the most important welding tools that rarely miss in any serious metalworking shop. They are handheld devices that use their consumable discs to shape or cut metal, grind grooves, smooth a weld and remove rust from metal.
When TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) or MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding, the importance of working on clean, neat surfaces cannot be overstated. Angle grinders help you smooth the surfaces, thus saving you hours of labor.
But, as you might be aware, choosing the right one is no walk in the park, especially for first-time buyers. You will need to consider several factors, such as whether you want a cordless or corded grinder, the revolutions per minute (RPM), the disc size, type of speed, the switch, and others. Worry not, though, we have got you covered!
In this buyer’s guide, we will highlight some of the leading products in the market and everything you need to be on the look-out for when buying one for your metal works.
|120 volts||6.2 pounds||15.6 x 5.9 x 4.8 inches|
|120 volts||13 pounds||5.8 x 15 x 10 inches|
|120 volts||5.29 pounds||11.4 x 2.9 x 12 inches|
|110 volts||4 pounds||10 x 4 x 4 inches|
|20 volts||3.75 pounds||12.2 x 4.7 x 6 inches|
|24||7.2 pounds||16 x 6 x 6 inches|
|120 volts||6.75 pounds||12.3 x 2.9 x 12 inches|
|18 volts||5.8 pounds||8.4 x 13.3 x 5.5 inches|
8 Best Angle Grinder Reviews
DeWalt DWE402 Angle Grinder
• Quick-change wheel release system that enables you to change the wheels with ease without using additional tools.
• Superfast rotations of 11,000 RPM to grind and smoothen your surfaces quickly
• 11A output
• Dust ejection system
• 3 year warranty
• 6.1 pounds
The DeWalt DWE402 Angle Grinder is among the leading products in this market. The tool comes with a paddle switch, which makes it fairly easy to start and stop, and a one-touch guard allows for 360 degrees guard rotation. The DWE402 was built to last as it boasts of a unique dust ejection system that ensures no dust gets stuck over time.
If you want a tool that is effective, fast, and durable, then you should consider the DWE402. The superfast 11,000 RPM ensures that you prepare your metal surfaces without wasting much time. Even better, the presence of a dust ejection system helps maintain the prime condition as it eliminates the risk of damage due to dust.
Makita 9557PBX1 Angle Grinder
- Tool-less wheel guard adjustment
- Slow start up paddle switch that makes stopping and starting the fairly easy
- Small 2-⅟2 barrel grip that makes it easier to move and manage
- Comes with a seal that protects the armature and motor from dust
- Light weight (4.5 pounds) for easy movement and management
- Comes with an aesthetically appealing aluminum case
The Makita 9557PBX1 Angle Grinder is a familiar name when it comes to top-shelve products. With 7.5 A power output, the grinder can help you smooth metal surfaces in a short time. Besides its impressive power output, the tool delivers 11,000 RPM, making it quick and appropriate for busy metalworking shops.
Although the Makita 9557PBX1 doesn’t have the highest power output in the market, its impressive delivery of 11,000 RPM makes it appropriate for busy metalwork shops. The product is lightweight, which makes it possible to use for long without fatigue creeping in. The presence of a seal helps protect the motor and armature from dust, consequently extending the lifespan.
Metabo WP9-115 Angle Grinder
- Corded, 8.5 A output
- 10,500 RPM
- 4⅟2 disc size
- Light-weight (4.6 pounds)
- Paddle switch
- Tool-less guard adjustment
Not many angle grinders can compare to the efficiency of Metabo WP9-115, which boasts of a fast and highly simplistic disc change system. With this German-made tool, you can switch between discs with the press of a button. Impressively, the Metabo WP9-115 comes with a ‘dead man function’ feature that makes the grinder shuts down once you remove your hands.
The Metabo WP9-115 is among the safest products in the market due to its automatic safety clutch that prevents kickback. The presence of a Metabo Longlife motor provides you with more power during use and allows the grinder to cool and run smoothly. This Germany-made beast is appropriate for first-time users and experienced metal fabricators alike.
Hitachi G12SR4 Angle Grinder
- 10,000 RPM
- Corded, 6.2A output
- Lightweight (4 Pounds)
- Switch slide
- Tool-less guard adjustment
- 4⅟2 disc size
If you are a beginner looking to learn the ropes of using angle grinders, then you should consider the Hitachi G12SR4. The tools are conveniently light-weight. They deliver 10,000RPM, which, although it is not as fast as other options around, is still convenient enough to get the job done.
The Hitachi G12SR4 is pocket-friendly as it does not cost as much as its counterparts with superior RPMs and power output. The product comes with a slide-switch that is left mounted, which helps out in switching the grinder off to enhance safety. Its lightweight nature makes it appropriate for use, especially for first-timers who are not used to handling such devices.
DeWalt DCG413B Angle Grinder
The DeWalt DCG413B Angle Grinder is, without doubt, a leading product when it comes to the cordless category. It weighs 3.75 pounds without battery, making it highly appropriate for continuous usage due to its lightweight nature. The DeWalt DCG413B utilizes a paddle switch and has a tool-less guard adjustment. The delivery, however, is slightly lesser (9000RPM) than those of corded grinders that use greater power sources.
The DeWalt DCG413B is a perfect option when it comes to high-performing cordless grinders. The DeWalt cordless comes with a brushless design that delivers 57% more run time, meaning you won`t have to change between brushes regularly. To use this cordless tool, you will need to use a 5 amp hour battery or more for optimum usage. The kickback brake is highly-convenient as it immediately engages a stall or pinch is detected, preventing the wheel from moving.
Makita 9564CV Angle Grinder
- Corded, 13A power output
- 2800-10,500 RPM
- 3 Pounds
- Slide switch
- Tool-less guard adjustment
- 4⅟2 disc size
When it comes to versatility in usability and efficiency, not many angle grinders compare to the Makita 9564CV. The unique Makita 9564CV comes with variable speed in the range of 2800-10500 RPM, which allows you to switch between different disc speeds depending on your task. It, however, doesn’t have a paddle switch to accompany its tool-less adjustment feature.
This powerful and highly versatile grinder is like no other. It is appropriate for metalwork shops that perform light polishing as well as hard metal fabrication. The presence of labyrinth seals in the Makita helps prevent dust and tiny metal particles from clogging up the discs. The variable speed control makes the Makita 9564CV Angle Grinder a perfect option if you perform different applications in your metalwork shop.
Metabo WEV15-125 Angle Grinder
- 4 ½ inch disc size
- 5 pounds overall weight
- 2800-9600 RPM
- Corded, 13.5 A power output
- Tool-less adjustment feature
The Metabo WEV15-125 Angle Grinder boasts of variable speed in the range of 2800-9600, making it appropriate for various uses in the metalwork shop. It also boasts of a tool-less guard adjustment feature on top of its fairly light-weight of 5.5 pounds.
The Metabo WEV15-125 Angle Grinder is a versatile tool due to its variable speed, which allows for both low and high-speed applications, making it appropriate for a busy metalwork shop. Metabo is a well-established German brand known for its durable products. Another impressive feature of the Metabo WEV15-125 Angle Grinder is its increased overload capacity that protects the device from overheating during use. The electronic soft start allows for easy start-up.
Makita XAG04Z Fuel Angle Grinder
- Powered by brushless motors that increase run time by up to 50%
- Slide switch
- Wire mesh intake
- Soft start up
- 6 pounds
- Tool-less guard adjustment
The Makita XAG04Z Fuel Angle Grinders are powerful cordless tools that manage an impressive 8500 RPM. The product is easy to use and complement its 4 ½ inch disc size. The Makita XAG04Z is cordless, meaning you don’t have to deal with cords during use.
The Makita XAG04Z is among the most powerful cordless grinders in the market. With an impressive RPM of 8500, you can use the device to perform heavy welding tasks. The soft start-up makes it easy to use while the wire mesh intake protects your device from spoiling due to dust and stray metal particles. The Makita XAG04Z Fuel Angle Grinder is a powerful alternative if you prefer cordless grinders.
What are the Uses of an Angle Grinder?
Although you can use an angle grinder to perform several welding functions, the main uses are cutting metal and cleaning metal surfaces before and after welding. Read on to know more about the uses of these tools.
Cleaning the Metal before Welding
To prevent potentially detrimental weak welds, it is crucial to clean up surfaces that might have paint, grease, dirt, or rust before welding. Failure to clean the surface might lead to defects like porosity as the impurities more often than not contaminate the weld, making it weak over time. If you are dealing with a metal surface with grease, be sure to remove it with a solvent, then proceed to wipe it dry.
An angle grinder is your best friend when it comes to cleaning any metal surfaces to remove stubborn impurities as you prepare the metal for welding.
Cleaning the Weld
Whether you use TIG or MIG welding, it is not uncommon to leave unattractive and messy slag after welding, and you don’t want your recently welded surface looking untidy. While you could use a chipping hammer, sandpaper or a wire brush to clean up the surface, a grinder will get you better results quicker.
Here`s a tip to keep in mind when cleaning the weld: always hold the grinding disc completely flat on its face as you point it towards the metal to avoid cutting into the metal. Always keep an eye on the surface you are cleaning to ensure that you don’t eat into the clean metal.
You don’t need to use a plasma cutter when cutting out thin metal. You can use grinders provided you use the right cutting disc. An angle grinder can help you cut out thin metal surfaces without having to source for other equipment. It’s quick, and it can save you money.
Factors to Consider when Buying an Angle Grinder
We promised to help you out in your search for the best angle grinders around. Here`s a quick checklist of everything you need to consider as you look to select the tool that suits you best.
Corded or cordless
When it comes to portability, cordless machines are more preferred compared to their corded counterparts. With cordless angle grinders, you will need to use batteries since corded grinders rely on electric power to function. As a result, corded grinders are usually heavier than corded grinders.
Besides additional weight, these tools cannot manage high output as they rely on battery capacity to function. We recommend carrying an extra set of batteries if you plan on using a cordless angle grinder when outside your workshop. If you want higher power output, we recommend getting corded grinders as they can operate non-stop for long without having to recharge or make battery replacements.
Grinders with higher rotations per minute generate greater forces when in use. Remember, it is crucial to always check on the maximum RPM of a wheel before setting it in your grinder. Using discs with lower RPMs than your grinder might lead to the damage of your disc.
Variable or Fixed Speed
Angle grinders with variable RPMs allow you to increase or reduce overall RPM speeds. Tools with variable speeds are preferable if you intend to use them to polish sensitive metals or surfaces. With a fixed speed tool, you will not be able to change the overall speed when welding.
Angle grinders with high amperage can perform heavier projects than their counterparts with slightly lower power outputs. Beginners should try out 7-8 amps before upgrading to the standard amps of 9-10. Heavy projects like thick-pipe welding will require higher amperage and larger discs like the Makita GA7021, which has an output power of 15A.
Angle grinders use different types of discs or wheels that include cutting discs, wire discs, flap discs, and grinding discs. Each wheel or disc performs different purposes, which means you might be required to interchange regularly depending on the type of welding job.
Cutting Discs are usually the thinnest and are used to cut metals. Compare this to Grinding discs, which are usually 5mm or thicker and are good for clearing slag or smoothening rough surfaces. Flap discs are appropriate for creating smoother surfaces as they are usually coated with sandpaper. Wire discs will help you polish your metal surface without eating into the metal. They help clean out sensitive surfaces.
As you can observe from the angle grinder review above, most grinders use discs with diameters of 4 ½ inches. The 4 ½ inch discs are appropriate because they are easy to fit into different surfaces, lightweight, and easy to use. Industrial angle grinders use discs as large as 9 inches depending on the type of surfaces.
Ease of Changing the Disc
When selecting grinders, we recommend settling for products that have easily interchangeable discs. Point to note, though, never change your wheel or disc when the power is on.
Welding is a fairly high-risk activity, especially if it is you lack the necessary experience. As such, we recommend taking adequate safety-enhancing measures. Always wear safety goggles and gloves when handling grinders. Check on items such as safety guards and switches when buying your preferred angle grinder. Heavy grinders usually come with increased risk of injuries, more so if the weight is above your handling capacity. Consider your overall strength and usability before settling on a particle product.
Type of Switch
Be careful when it comes to selecting grinders based on switch types. Paddle switches are usually turned on by the fingers, which is ideal for most welders. Slide up switches are also appropriate, especially if you want to turn your grinder off with ease.
A lighter angle grinder will be easy to carry around and use. Additionally, smaller dimensions are appropriate since they can be used on the smallest of surfaces. But, for industrial projects, you will need a larger tool, which will be heavier and more difficult to operate. First-timers or hobbyist welders should start with small-sized grinders as they build up experience and confidence.
Price and Warranties
Since your machine will be put to constant use on tough and potentially heavy metal surfaces, it is crucial to select a long-lasting, high-quality angle grinder. The best brands like the DeWalt DWE402 come with lengthy warranties that guarantee you will use the products and get value for your hard-earned cash.
Now that we have exhaustively discussed some of the best grinders in the market, the ball is in your court to select the one that suits you best. The ten angle grinders we have reviewed are proven performers and are guaranteed to serve you well in all your welding and metal fabricating activities.
As you buy your grinder, be sure to keep factors such as safety, switch types, RPMs, and wheel/disc types in mind as they will help you select the tool that best suits your needs. Also, if you choose to go the cordless way, remember always to carry an extra set of batteries when leaving the workshop.
We recommend the DeWalt DWE402 when it comes to corded grinders due to its high power output, 11000 RPM, and adequate safety enhancements. The Makita XAG04Z Fuel is our best cordless grinder pick as, it has an impressively high RPM of 8500, which is quite high for a cordless angle grinder.