Best Angle Grinders: Get Greater Control and Maneuverability
Use any of these professional cutting and grinding tools to complete detailing projects in your garage
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BY Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON October 23, 2019
An angle grinder, also known as a side or disc grinder, is an invaluable detailing tool in a service garage or auto repair shop. It helps you grind, polish, sharpen, and cut through metal and stone. We put together a list of some of the best angle grinders available that will make a great addition to your garage or workshop.
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Benefits of Angle Grinders
- Easy to use. The best thing about angle grinders is the fact that you can use them to cut thin metal. You don't have to use a plasma cutter for light projects. Angle grinders work as well, and they are easy to use.
- Versatile. Along with metal, angle cutters work on stone, tiles, stucco, and other kinds of materials. They don't only cut but also sand, polish, and sharpen different materials. Furthermore, they can clean the surface from paint, grease, dirt, or rust. All you need to do is to switch between various attachments, depending on the job.
- Adjustable. One of the main benefits of this tool is the fact you get to adjust it to any angle necessary to get the job done. You can set it up to full disc contact or the slight contact at the edge of the disc. That allows for more precision during the job. The tool also ensures secure adjustments, so you can safely work on a project.
Types of Angle Grinders
This type of angle grinder comes in a corded or cordless model. Corded tools are convenient and suitable for both construction and home purposes. They are quite powerful and able to tackle a wide range of projects. Cordless angle grinders are even more popular because they allow for excellent portability. They even work in areas without wall outlets. However, cordless angle grinders might be less powerful than corded ones.
Unlike the previous type, pneumatic angle grinders are powered by compressed air. They are quite powerful and maybe even more efficient than electric angle grinders. The discs on these tools spin fast, allowing you to cut both soft and hard materials. However, they do require an air compressor to work, and the discs might wear out quickly.
These are heavy-duty tools mostly used for professional and construction projects. They are heavy, large, and provide high power output. Professionals use them to cut and shape thick and hard materials. Hobbyists find gas angle grinders too powerful and overall inconvenient for light tasks around the house. Also, the main drawback to this type is the small reservoir that requires frequent gas refills.
Dewalt was founded in 1924 and is located in Towson, Maryland. It's a company that gained immense popularity among handypersons and professionals. With a wide offer in the categories of power and hand tools, accessories, and other gear and equipment, Dewalt is always one of the first choices on the market. The Dewalt DCG412B Grinder is one such product that proves to be very popular among customers.
Porter-Cable was founded in 1906 in Syracuse, New York. Now, it has headquarters in Jackson, Tennessee. The company is widely-known for producing all kinds of power tools and accessories, from saws and grinders to belts and chargers. We find the Porter-Cable Angle Grinder Tool ideal for those looking for quality angle grinders.
Black+Decker is a company that produces all kinds of tools, accessories, hardware, and home improvement products. It was founded in 1910 and is located in Towson, Maryland. Because Black+Decker stands behind its high-quality products, it's one of the most favored companies on the market. When it comes to grinders, the BLACK+DECKER Angle Grinder Tool is our favorite.
Angle Grinders Pricing
- Under $50: Inexpensive angle grinders are ideal for home purposes and small projects. They are efficient, compact, and easy to use. Although you might find them lacking some extra features for more versatility and durability, they are still quite reliable.
- $50-$100: For a few more bucks, you can get an angle grinder that can work on both thin and thick materials and provide more accuracy. At this price point, tools come with discs and other accessories for more convenience and easy use.
- $100 and up: Pricier tools are mostly designed for demanding projects and professional purposes. If you have some extra cash to spend, you can find high-end angle grinders that are built to tackle construction jobs and last for a while.
One of the first things to consider before the purchase is the overall power of a particular angle grinder. The power of an electric grinder is expressed in watts, and picking the right wattage is quite easy. The higher number of watts you get, the more powerful the tool will be, which further means it will grind faster and be able to withstand heavy use. However, you don't always have to go for extra powerful tools. Depending on the application, mid-range ones can work just fine.
Another essential thing to consider is the speed of the angle grinder. The average range in speed goes somewhere between 5,000-10,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). The faster the tool turns out to be, the better the grinding results will be. However, that might not always be the case.
Those who are not versed in using angle grinders might find using the tool at high speeds quite challenging. They might even damage the material they’re working on. Therefore, along with getting a tool with a wide speed range, it might be smart to get the one that has variable speed settings. The one that has this feature allows the users to select between different speed ranges according to the situation and each particular project.
Because angle grinders perform many operations, they use different discs to suit those applications. There are cutting discs, grinding discs, flat and wire discs, and many more. Depending on the project you'll be working on, you'll need to switch between various models. Therefore, consider which types you need and which ones work the best for you, so you can get all the necessary discs.
Disc size is also a crucial factor to consider. Most angle grinders use 4.5- inch large discs because they fit different surfaces and are easy to use. Also, small discs offer more precision for light and tricky tasks. However, they can be even larger depending on the surface, especially when it comes to using the tool for industrial purposes.
- Design. Although it might seem that the design of an angle grinder is not that important, it's just the opposite. It should feel comfortable in your hand and provide easy use. That can be achieved only with features such as anti-vibration and side movable handles, simple switches, spindle locks, and more. Overall, an intuitive and ergonomic design ensures more comfort on extended use, so you can perform different jobs with ease.
- Protection. Quality angle grinders are protected from outside threats that could cause malfunctions. The first thing to consider is the protection against dust because these tools often get completely covered in it. An angle grinder should be dust-sealed and preferably protected against water and other similar threats.
- Safety. Angle grinders can be very dangerous if not handled properly and when lacking some safety features. Each tool should be stable and reliable, allowing the user to work with confidence. Therefore, consider how safe the tool is and look for extra safety features. Handguards are a must-have because they protect hands from splinters and sparks.
Best Angle Grinders Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- Wear protective clothing to protect yourself from flying particles caused by the grinder. Wear a face mask, ear protectors, and safe work gloves to prevent any injuries.
- Secure the workpiece and ensure that no one is close to the work area to protect them from flying sparks. Also, keep flammable objects away from the workspace.
- Ensure that the grinder is switched off before connecting it to a power outlet. Also, ensure that the handle is firmly attached to the unit before lifting it.
- Test out all the safety components to make sure that there are no defects. The safety/user manual can help you identify the flaws.
Q: Are wheels on an angle grinder safe?
A: It depends on how well you know how to use the equipment. You should test out new wheels in a protected space before using them. To guarantee your safety, be sure to position the work piece so that all the dirt flies downwards, and avoid taking the wheels close to the edge. They may get caught up and kick back the object.
Q: Can an angle grinder cut through metal?
A: Angle grinders come with different discs or blades designed for working on different surfaces. You can find a disc that is suitable for cutting through tough metal or other hard surfaces, including rebar, concrete, tiles, and stone. Metal cutting discs are usually thinner and can cut through dimensional steel, pipes, metal plates, and sheet metal.
Q: What is a soft start?
A: Imagine buying an angle grinder that bursts into a powerful force every time you start it. Your hands would strain to control the tool and direct it to the surface. Soft start technology eliminates this problem. It ensures that the power tool starts off at a slower speed before it builds up to the right speed to handle the task at hand. It’s meant to reduce user fatigue when operating the tool.
Our top pick is the Bosch Angle Grinder. It can handle tough detailing jobs and has a durable design that’s protected from abrasion damage.
If you are looking for a cheaper angle grinder, consider the BLACK+DECKER Angle Grinder Tool.