The Best Angle Grinders: How To Choose The Right One

The Best Angle Grinders: How To Choose The Right One

Using an angle grinder can be strenuous, challenging, and even dangerous. Considering how many things can go wrong while you’re operating a high-RPM power tool with the ability to cut rebar in half, it’s ideal to brush up on your power tool safety before embarking on your next angle grinding activity.

Part of working safely is working with the right tool for the task at hand. From electric corded workhorses to portable angle grinders with handy tech features, we have everything you need to know about the types of angle grinders and how to find the best ones. Read on for details, including the seven best angle grinders on the market.

Bottom Line Up Front

For tough tasks ranging from slicing through rebar to grinding down metal and concrete, we recommend the DeWalt DWE402 Angle Grinder. Its 11 Amp motor is more than enough to power through most heavy-duty tasks, and the corded power means you won’t ever run out of juice.

Quick-change wheels add convenience, and a dust ejection system helps eliminate the cloud which always seems to surround us while we grind and cut. DeWalt’s DWE402 is our top pick, but if it’s not the right one for you, read on for more about the best angle grinders for a variety of applications.

Different Types of Angle Grinders

Angle grinders are heavy-duty grinding tools for a variety of tasks such as tackling tough grinding, sanding, and sharpening tasks. Uses of an angle grinder include cutting iron, steel, various other metals, roof material, brick, stone, concrete, PVC pipe, slate and tile, and rebar. You can also use an angle grinder to sharpen and polish a range of tools, such as garden equipment and blades.

Here we’ll look at the types of angle grinders available including power options and disc types.

Electric Corded

Electric corded tools often provide the highest level of performance, a fact which is true of angle grinders. Consistent power and a heavy-duty motor mean you can tackle even the most resistant materials and cut through them with relative ease.

Electric Corded Angle Grinder

Electric corded angle grinders are ideal for professional shops and home settings where power is readily available. The only drawback is that of corded power tools in general; sometimes operator error results in cutting through the cord altogether. Keep in mind you’ll need to take as much care—if not more—with your angle grinder’s cord than with other power tools.

Battery Powered Cordless

Only a few years ago, the most powerful type of tool on the market was a corded model. Today cordless, battery-powered power tools can perform just as well as electric corded types and at a comparable price point.

Battery powered angle grinders typically rely on 18V or 20V rechargeable batteries and can go anywhere for grinding jobs. Don’t forget to keep spare batteries on hand so that you can keep working while alternates charge. Keep in mind, that the more demanding the tool, the more batteries you’ll need to keep running for an entire project.

The downside of battery powered angle grinders is you’re often compromising on overall performance. It can be tough to maintain consistency with cutting when you keep losing battery power. For go-anywhere grinding and cutting applications, though, a battery-powered tool is the best choice.

Gas

Gas-powered angle grinders are far less common than alternative power sources these days, but they do exist.

Pneumatic

Air-powered tools are popular in many heavy-duty shop applications, but DIYers appreciate the consistency and ample power, too. A pneumatic angle grinder uses compressed air to power its motor and must maintain a connection to the air source while working.

You might not need a pneumatic angle grinder at home unless you work out of your garage, and we’ve skipped those models of grinders in our best-of list for the simple fact that they’re uncommon in the realm of DIYers.

Disc Types

Because angle grinders are such versatile tools, a range of disc types help adjust the grinder to each task. Different disc types exist for cutting, grinding, sanding, and polishing. Not every tool will come with discs for all purposes while others will have a set for various surfaces.

Make sure you stock up on plenty of wheels which are compatible with your angle grinder (check the user manual) and choose the right ones for the cutting or grinding task you have in mind. Four main types of grinder discs suit nearly any grinding and cutting application;

  • Grit discs can cut stone and metal
  • Diamond discs have a reputation for being safer than other disc types because they’re less likely to fall off. You can typically cut and grind faster with a diamond disc than with other types.
  • Wire wheel discs help with polishing and buffing surfaces, including removing paint and rust.
  • Wood discs are for wood cutting only, though some types can also manage to cut through fasteners which may be embedded in the wood.

Pneumatics Angle Grinder

How to Find the Best Angle Grinders

Learning how to cut material with an angle grinder presents a bit of a learning curve, and the tools can be extremely dangerous. Our first recommendation is to learn the safest way to handle and operate an angle grinder before beginning any task, especially if you’re new to power tools in general.

To find the best angle grinder, consider the following factors, as well as the parameters of your next project.

Disc Types

Depending on the task you wish to complete, you may need more than one type of angle grinder disc. Some grinders come with a full set of discs for different surfaces and jobs while others have a distinct purpose, such as cutting or polishing.

Interchangeable discs are often preferred, so look to see if the angle grinder you are considering comes with or accepts alternative disc types.

Motor Power

Many sizes of angle grinders are available, but typically, the size of the wheel increases as the motor power increases. If you have a big or particularly demanding surface to cut or grind, a larger motor and wheel size is a good move.

If you have a smaller, more detailed project to complete, going for a smaller motor will help you complete precise tasks without getting out of hand.

Sizes

As mentioned, in most cases, the bigger the motor, the bigger the wheel, so looking at what applications you’re likely to use the angle grinder for can help you narrow down the size choices. Most angle grinders measure either 4 ½ or 5 inches, but sizes do vary and can make the difference between a simple task and a frustrating (and potentially dangerous) one.

Durability

Grinding rough surfaces like concrete and tile require a high level of power. Manufacturers go about the durability in different ways. Materials vary from plastic to rubber to metal, and it’s common to see a backing pad or disc on an angle grinder which offers flexibility or more resistance, depending on the application of the tool.

Ergonomics

Your first requirement for purchasing an angle grinder is likely its power level. Beyond how quickly and efficiently it works, an angle grinder also benefits from a bit of attention to ergonomics. Angle grinders are powerful tools, so keeping a good grip on your tool is paramount in not just completing your project but also in preventing injuries.

Look for an angle grinder with comfortable grips, auxiliary handles, and non-slip rubber or other materials to prevent slippage and dropping. Noise levels also add to the comfort level you’ll experience while using the grinder, so noise output is the final consideration we suggest looking at.

1. Meterk Electric Angle Grinder

Meterk Electric Angle Grinder

Meterk calls its electric angle grinder professional grade, and with enough power for most tasks with a comfortable in-hand fit, we can’t disagree.

  • 6 Amp motor
  • 4 ½ inch disc
  • Spindle lock for disc/accessory changing
  • Trigger lock-on
  • Ambidextrous and angled auxiliary handle
  • 12,000 RPM
  • 750W max output power

For most wood and metal grinding and cutting projects, Meterk’s angle grinder has the power and practicality to perform under pressure. Move to grinding concrete, however, and it’s unlikely the 6 Amp motor will keep up.

In most DIY and professional applications, the 6 Amp motor is plenty efficient, and the comfortable grips help make the tool handy. An ergonomic handle, plus a movable auxiliary handle (you can also angle it), ensure comfortable grinding even as dust flies.

Pros

  • Multiple aux handle locations/angles
  • Ergonomic handle

Cons

May not handle grinding concrete; relatively low Amps

2. DeWalt DWE402 Angle Grinder

DeWalt DWE402 Angle Grinder

DeWalt’s DWE402 can make quick work of even the most demanding tasks thanks to its tool-free tech and ample power output.

  • 11 Amp motor
  • 11,000 RPM
  • 1400W max output power
  • Two-position side handle
  • Dust ejection system
  • Quick-change wheel release

Swapping out wheels is easy, even without a wrench, thanks to DeWalt’s Quick-Change wheel release mechanism. DeWalt also uses automatic shutoff technology to power the tool down when the brushes require replacing, helpful for avoiding burnout and other damage.

Dust ejection helps keep your work area clean, and a one-touch guard protects you and your materials from slip-ups. Safety on the trigger aids in promoting safety, and there’s no lock-on option, which some users may not like but which is an added benefit for preventing injuries.

Pros

  • Dust ejection system
  • Quick-change wheel release

Cons

  • Bulky in-hand

3. BLACK+DECKER BDEG400 Angle Grinder

BLACK+DECKER BDEG400 Angle Grinder

A do-it-all entry-level angle grinder with comfortable handle positioning and a lightweight feel, BLACK+DECKER’s BDEG400 has enough power for most household tasks.

  • 6 Amp motor
  • Three-position side handle
  • One-touch rapid shut off
  • 10,000 RPM
  • Spanner wrench included

Entry level is the keyword here; BLACK+DECKER’s BDEG400 might be the best angle grinder for you if affordability tops your list of requirements. If you hope to grind concrete or metal, you might want a heavier-duty model, but for light household tasks, the BDEG400 fits the bill perfectly.

A one-touch power button is simple to operate and allows you to shut down rapidly. An ergonomic three-position side handle allows you to customize the grip of the tool, and an included spanner wrench allows for disc changes without too many headaches.

Pros

  • One-touch power button
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Requires spanner wrench to swap discs (included)

4. Makita 9557PBX1 Angle Grinder

Makita 9557PBX1 Angle Grinder

Makita’s attention to detail on the 9557PBX1 angle grinder helps make it a durable and powerful contender.

  • 7.5 Amp motor
  • Weighs 4.5 pounds
  • Lock-on feature for continuous operation
  • AC/DC switch
  • Extra-large paddle switch
  • Aluminum case included
  • 11,000 RPM
  • Five grinding wheels and a diamond blade

From the labyrinth construction, which keeps the motor and bearings clean, to the lightweight design (it weighs in at 4.5 pounds), Makita has the 9557PBX1 dialed in. A 7.5 Amp motor delivers 11,000 RPMs and has an extra-large paddle switch for easy operation.

Move the side handle to where it works best ergonomically, lock-on for continuous operation as necessary, and get ready to tackle and finish off any angle grinding project that crops up. An aluminum tool case is also a nice feature, as are the included grinding wheels to get you started working immediately upon its arrival.

Pros

  • Lock-on feature
  • Includes an aluminum case
  • Wheels and diamond blade included

Cons

  • Changing blade requires tools

5. Makita XAG09Z 18V LXT Angle Grinder

Makita XAG09Z 18V LXT Angle Grinder

If cordless is your favorite way to work, Makita’s XAG09Z is the responsive and technology-focused angle grinder for your toolbox.

  • Electric brake for quick stops
  • Active Feedback-Sensing Technology (AFT)
  • Automatic speed change
  • Brushless motor
  • Weighs 5.7 pounds
  • LED charge level gauge
  • Bare Tool
  • Comes with INOX grinding wheel and cut-off wheel

Makita calls its XAG09Z an angle grinder and cut-off model, and they include both types of wheels with the bare tool. Use any 18V battery from your collection to power it up and enjoy tech features like an electric brake for quick stopping and Active Feedback-Sensing Technology, which prevents injuries and damage by stopping the tool if the wheel force-stops.

Efficiency is key with the brushless motor, and Automatic Speed Change Technology helps make the most of whatever battery life you have left. Speed and torque automatically adjust for the best performance under any conditions.

Pros

  • Automatic speed/torque changing
  • Electric brake
  • Portable battery power

Cons

  • Heavy

6. Hitachi G12SR4 Angle Grinder

Hitachi G12SR4 Angle Grinder

Compact yet heavy-duty, Hitachi’s G12SR4 angle grinder offers the features you want for rough-and-tumble operation.

  • 6.2 Amp motor
  • 980W max output power
  • Spindle lock
  • Trigger lock-on
  • Quick-off feature
  • Removable side handle
  • Weighs 4 pounds
  • Includes case and five wheels

Built like a tank yet surprisingly lightweight for its bulk, Hitachi’s G12SR4 grinder has the basic features every handyperson wants for DIY purposes. A lock-on mechanism allows you to grind comfortably without using both hands to operate the power switch and the quick-off option makes break time easy too.

A spindle lock makes accessory changes easy, and the angle grinder comes with five wheels plus a plastic carrying case. The only drawback we see is using the power switch is awkward while trying to handle the grinder, especially while wearing gloves.

Pros

  • Spindle lock for easy accessory changes
  • Lock-on mechanism

Cons

  • Power switch location is awkward

7. Porter-Cable PCC761B 20V MAX Cut Off/Grinder

Porter-Cable PCC761B 20V MAX Cut OffGrinder

Cordless and completely portable, Porter-Cable’s PCC761 20V MAX angle grinder can complete many household jobs in no time.

  • 8,500 RPM
  • Spindle lock
  • Three-position side handle
  • Tool-free guard
  • Two cutoffs and one grinding wheel
  • Tool only
  • Single speed

For grinding surfaces and cutting less resistant material, Porter-Cable’s PCC761B delivers the power and convenience most DIYers need. Just grab a 20V battery and pop it on, and the PCC761B is ready to grind and cut. Consider some backup batteries, though, since the grinder tends to work through them rather quickly.

Single-speed operation handles most tasks, but the tradeoff with going cordless in the Porter-Cable is a dip in power output. For most tasks, apart from cutting through rebar and concrete, the PCC761B delivers ample performance.

Pros

  • Portable battery power
  • Tool-free accessory swapping

Cons

  • Tool only
  • Quick battery drain

Comparing the Options

Product Motor Power Source Discs Best for…
Meterk Electric Angle Grinder 6 Amp 120V corded 3 grinding and 3 cutting Small household tasks
DeWalt DWE402 11 Amp 120V corded No extras included Heavy-duty jobs
BLACK+DECKER BDEG400 6 Amp 120V corded One grinding wheel Light tasks only
Makita 9557PBX1 7.5 Amp 120V corded Five 4 ½-inch wheels plus Makita diamond blade Rough cutting tasks
Makita XAG09Z Brushless 18V cordless INOX grinding wheel and cut-off wheel Cordless operation and cutoff tasks
Hitachi G12SR4 6.2 Amp 110V corded Five abrasive wheels Heavy-duty jobs in rough conditions
Porter-Cable PCC761B High-performance 8,500 RPM 20V MAX cordless One cutoff and two grinding wheels Household tasks

Final Thoughts

Finding the right angle grinder is the first step to tackling even the most arduous tasks. Once you pick the best tool for the job, it’s important to review the manufacturer’s guidelines and safety information.

Many angle grinders come with only a handful of wheels, so it’s crucial to find the proper replacements—otherwise, you might wind up with discs flying, posing a hazard to you and anyone in your immediate area. Once you have the right equipment in hand, though, it’s smooth sailing (or slicing) with our top seven choices for the best angle grinders available.

You might also be interested: The Best Bench Grinders: Choose The Right One!

Head Builder

With a passion for home renovation projects of all kinds, we provide real user reviews, guides, how to articles to help any homeowner achieve their dream home. Whether you want to use electric or hand tools, our advice will help you build. From bathrooms to attics, to kitchens, we cover them all with skilled insights and real-life advice you'll love.

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