You know how comic-book superheroes seem to be able to fit an unlimited supply of gadgets into their utility belts? Angle grinders are the power tool equivalent of that. From cutting rebar to removing paint or sanding wood, there’s almost no limit to the versatility of an angle grinder.
What to Consider Before Buying an Angle Grinder
The best thing about an angle grinder is its versatility, and key to that is the angle grinder’s interchangeable spinning circular blade. This blade can be held at a variety of different angles to achieve the desired effect, whether that’s getting a clean cut or smoothing out a surface. But the brilliant thing about an angle grinder is that you can swap out the blade for a range of different tools. For example, a wire brush extension can be used to clean rust from a tool or break up caked-on dirt on a shovel. A dry-cut diamond wheel can be used to make even cuts on tile, and a thick grinding wheel can be used to restore the cutting edge of other tools. Once you familiarize yourself with the applications, you’ll see potential projects everywhere you go.
With any power tool, safety is essential. But angle grinders are particularly powerful tools. They can shoot sparks while cutting metal. They can potentially kickback, or the blade can break if held at an improper angle. That means that protective eyewear is a must. And since these tools are loud, it’s also a good idea to wear earplugs. If you typically treat instruction manuals as friendly suggestions, you’ll need to actually read the instructions for the specific tool you’re using. They’ll instruct you on the proper angle, typically within 5 or 10 degrees. This will ensure you get the result you want and minimize the risk of injury.
How We Chose the Best Angle Grinders
When picking out the best angle grinders, we turned to trusted brands like DeWalt, Milwaukee and Bosch. But while an angle grinder from any trusted brand will get the job done, there are other factors we considered that can elevate the safety, ease-of-use and efficiency of these machines. For example, several of our top picks feature paddle switches. Paddle switches require continuous contact to operate. That means that if you let go of the switch, the unit will cease to run — this is a great safety feature if you happen to drop the tool. There’s also an angle grinder on this list that utilizes a brushless motor, a type of motor that’s notable for reduced friction and greater efficiency. In addition, we looked for corded and cordless options, so you can find the angle grinder that best suits your needs.
If you’ve got a big DIY project to tackle, then these are the angle grinders to get.
1. DEWALT Angle Grinder Tool, Paddle Switch
In terms of safety, paddle switches are one of the best innovations among angle grinders. This option from DeWalt has one. The way it works is that the machine is kept on by leaving your hand on the paddle, rather than an on/off switch. That means that if it slips out of your hand, it’ll switch off. The machine has a powerful 11-amp motor that can put out 11,000 rotations per minute. The dust-ejection system spits debris out of the tool, preventing damage to sensitive parts like the motor. On top of the safety features, the tool is also convenient. A quick-change feature means you can swap out the tool you’re using without a screwdriver.
Pros: Paddle switch ensures safe and easy operation. Powerful 11-amp motor. Dust-ejection system that prevents damage to the inside of the tool.
Cons: Somewhat heavier than other options on this list.
2. Milwaukee Angle Grinder
This grinder from Milwaukee is a reliable and powerful grinder. But what makes it truly exceptional is that it’s cordless. It’s able to deliver substantial power without you having to be tethered to the nearest outlet. It’s also a brushless motor, which helps deliver more power and extends the motor’s life by reducing friction. Plus, the paddle-switch design is more comfortable and keeps you safe in the event that the grinder slips from your grip. As an added convenience, you can swap out the accessory without needing any tools.
Pros: Only cordless option on this list. Features a brushless motor for extra power and less overheating by reducing friction. Paddle grip for comfort and safety.
Cons: Battery is not included.
3. BLACK+DECKER Angle Grinder Tool
For a lower-powered (and affordable) machine that can still keep up, consider this pick from Black + Decker. It has a 6.5-amp motor which is still plenty of power for many applications: it reaches 10,000 RPMs. The rotating, three-position handle makes it easy to control from a variety of positions; from the left of the machine, the right, and the top. A spindle lock allows for easy, no-tool replacement of the accessories.
Pros: Powerful and affordable. Rotating handle makes it easy to control the machine from various angles.
Cons: Traditional on/off switch, rather than the easier and safer paddle switch.
4. Bosch Angle Grinder
This grinder from Bosch delivers decent power in a small package. At only 3.75 pounds, it can be easily handled for long periods of time, but the 6-amp motor can put out 11,000 RPMs. The auxiliary handle can be detached and mounted on either side of the unit, making it comfortable for right and left-handed people or situations where you’re working at an awkward angle. There are also a few accessories included: a protection guard, a flange kit, a spanner wrench, and an abrasive grinding wheel.
Pros: Affordable angle grinder that weighs under 4 pounds, making it comfortable for long-term use. Detachable handle, so it can be used in various positions.
Cons: On button can be difficult to switch, and it does not have a paddle switch.
5. Avid Power Angle Grinder
A good angle grinder doesn’t have to be expensive. This option has a solid 7.5-amp motor with 900-watt maximum output power. The integrated spindle lock makes it easy to swap out tools as needed, and the handle can be adjusted to two different positions for comfortable holding. Included with the angle grinder are two metal grinding wheels, two cutting wheels, two carbon brushes, one spanner and one flap disc.
Pros: Affordable angle grinder that comes with multiple grinding and cutting wheels. Two-position handle.
Cons: Not as powerful as some of the other options.