6 Best Angle Grinders as of 2023. Cheap angle grinder

How to Use an Angle Grinder

This article was co-authored by Alberto DeJesus. Alberto DeJesus is a Construction Specialist and the CEO of DeJesus Industries. With more than four years of experience, he specializes in high-end real estate development and construction. Alberto and DeJesus Industries have been featured on NBC News and have worked with numerous well-known companies, including Mazda, Amazon, and CVS. Alberto holds a Bachelor’s degree from Boston University.

There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 178,775 times.

Angle grinders are electric power tools with detachable grinding wheels that you can apply to a variety of jobs around your home, including sanding, grinding, cleaning, and cutting. When using a grinder, make sure you’re picking the right attachment for the job and using that attachment correctly. Always practice safety procedures when working with a grinder, as it can cause injury, both from the blade itself and from flying debris. [1] X Expert Source

Choosing and Applying the Right Attachment for the Job

  • Try buzzing off dirt that’s set on garden tools. It will even work on set-on cement.
  • Pick the cup wire attachment for flat surfaces and the wheel to get into crevices.
  • Make sure to pick the right type of blade for the project you’re working on. For metal, a cutoff wheel works well, and it’s fairly cheap.
  • For masonry, tile, and concrete, choose a diamond wheel. Read the attachment to know what materials you can use the wheel on. [4] X Research source
  • Don’t let the blade get too hot, as it will become very brittle. If it turns black or blue, give it a rest for a moment.
  • Check the wheel for the arrow showing you which direction it will rotate when on.

Operating an Angle Grinder Safely

Put on safety gear like goggles, long sleeves, and full-face protection. One of the main dangers of an angle grinder is flying debris, including pieces breaking off of the tool’s attachments. Protect yourself with safety gear so you don’t catch a piece in your eye. [7] X Expert Source

  • Put in ear plugs or cover your ears with noise-canceling earmuffs, as the sound from the machine can get very loud.
  • Wear a dust mask for particularly dusty jobs, like sanding and grinding mortar. [9] X Research source
  • Grab the handle with whatever hand feels most comfortable.
  • The deadman’s switch is a safety feature. If you accidentally drop the grinder, it will go off automatically.

Let the grinder come to full speed before applying it to the surface. Hit the power button to turn it on. Whether you’re cutting, grinding, or sanding, allow it to come up to speed to help you keep your actions smooth and consistent. For instance, if you’re cutting through metal or other materials, you’ll get a better cut if the cutting disc is at full speed first.

Move the angle grinder around constantly when sanding or cleaning. Don’t keep the tool in one place when sanding, as you could end up with gouges. For a smoother finish, move in a rotating motion over the surface. If you’re trying to smooth or clean one particular area, don’t hold it in place; just move it around and over the area until it’s to your satisfaction. [10] X Research source

  • With cutting, use the side of the wheel to cut the piece head-on, meaning you should hold the wheel perpendicular to the piece you’re cutting.

Keep the guard on no matter what you do. The guard may get in the way on some projects, but don’t take it off. It provides some protection from flying debris if the wheel or attachment shatters. It’s much better for the guard to take the hit then your torso or arms! [12] X Research source

Picking Angle Grinders and Accessories

Choose a 5-9 amp motor if you plan on using the grinder a while. If you want to use the grinder for a number of projects, try not to get the cheapest one. If you spend a little more, you can get a better quality machine. Pick a motor that pulls 5-9 amps, which will give you a little extra power and will likely stay in operation longer. [15] X Research source

  • That way, if you turn your grinder to max, you still won’t go over the max speed of the accessory.
  • A grinding disc with noise reduction and a handle that reduces vibrations can also make your grinder safer.

Community QA

Always wear eye protection and gloves, and point the grinder away from yourself; it might be a good idea to use it on a safe grinding area as well, along with clamps, vices, etc. Before grinding, examine the power cord, extension lead, plugs, sockets and power outlet for damage. Also, ensure that the grinding disc, guard, and attachments (including handle) are secure and correctly fitted. Lastly, inspect the grinding disc for damage; never use a damaged grinding disc, and never use a disc on a surface that might damage it.

Thanks! We’re glad this was helpful. Thank you for your feedback. As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a 30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy! Claim Your Gift If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even 1 helps us in our mission. Support wikiHow

best, angle, grinders, 2023, cheap

Join the axle pipe with the center point of the wheel, and make sure that the wheel rotates smoothly.

Thanks! We’re glad this was helpful. Thank you for your feedback. As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a 30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy! Claim Your Gift If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even 1 helps us in our mission. Support wikiHow

Choose/purchase the correct disc, be it for metal or masonry, and make sure it’s fixed correctly and tightly. Wearsafety goggles. Hold the grinder very tightly and proceed with caution.

Thanks! We’re glad this was helpful. Thank you for your feedback. As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a 30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy! Claim Your Gift If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even 1 helps us in our mission. Support wikiHow

Best Angle Grinders as of 2023

Angle grinders are among the essential tools that can be found in any respectable metalworking workshop. These handheld power tools can be used to grind, polish, cut, buff, sharpen and clean various materials, including metal, wood, tile, and stone.

best, angle, grinders, 2023, cheap

Much like any other power tool, angle grinders aren’t created equal.

Some are designed for heavy-duty cutting and grinding work, while others, particularly the smaller versions, are best suited for light grinding and simple DIY projects.

And with many angle grinders on the market claiming to handle all sorts of projects, finding the perfect one for your needs can be tricky.

Luckily for you, we can help with that! We evaluated angle grinders based on power, reliability, versatility and ease of use to create this guide. We’ve also included a handy buyer’s guide to help you make a more informed buying decision.

What Is an Angle Grinder?

An angle grinder is a handheld device with a rotating disc used to grind, polish, sharpen, or cut a variety of materials. They are available as corded or battery-powered cordless units.

What Is the Best Wattage for Angle Grinder?

Generally, the angle grinder’s wattage ranges from 500 to 2,500 watts.

The right grinder for your projects should have adequate wattage or else the work done will be lacking in quality. Here’s a breakdown of the various wattage you need for different activities.

  • For polishing – 500 watts
  • For grinding – 1,000 watts
  • For cutting through light materials – 1.500 watts
  • For cutting through heavy materials, like strong metals – 2,500 watts

If you’re planning on using your grinder regularly and extensively, it’s advisable to choose one with a higher wattage of at least 800 watts.

What to Look for When Buying an Angle Grinder

Consider a few things before picking the right grinder for your needs. The best grinders have unique features, different power sources, and some are best suited for specific jobs. Let’s take a look at the things to consider before buying an angle grinder for your projects.

Disc Size

An angle grinder’s disc size is indicative of its power and overall capacity. The larger discs are commonly used for more demanding work to produce a smooth finish in less time and thus indicate a more powerful tool.

For most DIY projects, a 4, 4.5, or 5-inch disc will suffice. Smaller discs are best suited for FOCUS jobs that require lots of precision. Larger discs may be more powerful than their smaller counterparts but perform poorly on more precise projects. However, a larger disc is the best suited for the job if you need to cut thick metal.

Power Source

Most angle grinders you’ll find on the market today are battery-powered.

However, you may also find corded or even compressed air options if you do your homework well. It’s important to pay attention to the grinder’s power source before committing to buy.

Cordless grinders are more expensive because they can reach spaces that their corded counterparts can’t. However, they are also limited by the battery power. If a battery dies when you’re working, you may have to pause your work for several hours as you wait for it to charge.

Corded tools can run for an extended period as you remain near a power source. However, they can also be limited by the length of the cord. They are also limited by your ability to find a power source. None of the options is better than the other. It will all come down to where you will be using the unit.

Speed

The grinder’s speed is also an important factor to consider.

The average grinder’s speed typically ranges between 5,000 and 10,000 revolutions per minute (RPM), though some top-end machines may go over 10,000 RPM.

A higher RPM model can cut through materials faster than a lower RPM model. Higher speeds will quickly translate to better results in the hands of a skilled artisan. However, in the hands of an unskilled person, even a higher RPM model may not produce the desired results.

The solution is to choose an angle grinder with variable speeds. With an adjustable speed grinder, you can adjust the speed to suit the task you’re working on.

Wattage

Wattage indicates a grinder’s efficiency.

In most cases, more powerful units will have greater speeds. A motor with high wattage should withstand heavy use, excessive friction, and other forms of operational stress better than the less powerful units.

Price

Last, you’ll want to factor in price, especially if you’re on a tight budget. The cost of angle grinders varies widely, ranging from 25 to 700, with some top-of-the-range models costing as much as 1,000.

But you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good angle grinder. You can find an excellent corded grinder for under 100.

We compiled this list of the best angle grinders taking the factors above into consideration as well as using the latest customer sentiment data and suggestions from our community of metallurgists:

DeWALT 20V MAX (DCG413B)

DeWALT is not new to power tools, angle grinders included. Founded in 1922, the company has been manufacturing grinders since 1967, making it one of the big names in the field.

Their 20V MAX, DC413B angle grinder is an excellent product that combines performance with speed. The cool thing about this cordless angle grinder is that it features the DeWALT E-Clutch technology, which senses the tool’s motion and reduces the mortar torque to a manageable level.

This model also has a kickback brake, designed to stop the grinder when a stall, pinch, or bind-up occurs during operation. Additional technologies include soft start and kickback brakes that manage the grinder’s speed, preventing it from reaching high speeds at once.

As for portability and ergonomics, this unit scores a mark due to its compact design, weight, and excellent vibration control. This 20V unit has a 9,000 RPM, which allows it to cut through materials faster.

Key Features

  • Disc size: 4-1/2 inch
  • Max speed: 9,000 RPM
  • Battery: 20V
  • Weight: 3.75 pounds
  • Additional features: Soft start, kickback breaks, DeWALT’s E-Clutch system

The DeWALT DCG413B is an excellent angle grinder for commercial and DIY projects. At a price of 167, the unit is reasonably priced for its features.

  • Brushless motor of the angle grinder requires no brush changes.
  • DeWALT grinder’s brake stops wheel in 2 seconds or less on average
  • Kickback Brake engages when a pinch, stall, or bind-up event is sensed and the electronic brake engages with maximum force to quickly stop the wheel, reduce the movement of the metal grinder and shut the grinder off.
  • Features E-Switch Protection. When the ON/OFF trigger switch has a no-volt release function. In the event of a power outage or other unexpected shut down, the trigger switch will need to be cycled (turned off and then on) to restart tool.
  • Two stage trigger requires two actions to activate tool.

Bosch 1375A Corded 4-1/2 Inch Angle Grinder

Borsch makes all kinds of home and industrial appliances, power tools, and angle grinders. Their 1375A Corded Angle Grinder is an excellent choice for those on a tight budget.

Weighing only 3.5 pounds, the 1375A corded grinder is small and lightweight. And its compact size doesn’t get in the way of performance. The unit is equipped with a powerful 6.0 AMP motor, capable of producing 11,000 no-load RPM for professional grinding applications.

Its versatility is also remarkable. Although the 1375A is small, it can easily cut through masonry projects. This unit is ideal for metal workers, plumbers, vehicle fabricators, and other professionals who use grinders regularly.

Additionally, the unit features an ergonomic design that provides a firm grip and outstanding user comfort. It’s designed with a sealed switch to prevent dust and unwanted materials from entering the switch mechanism.

Key Features

  • Disc size: 4-1/2 inch
  • Max speed: 11,000 RPM
  • Weight: 3.75 pounds
  • 6.0 AMP motor
  • Ergonomic shape
  • Epoxy-coated design for added durability

The Borsch 1475A Corded Angle Grinder is a compact yet powerful tool for professionals and DIYers. And for 59, this unit gives you the best bang for your buck.

Which is the best angle grinder | Cheap and best angle grinder | Angle grinder for home use

  • COMPACT: weighing only 3.75 pounds, the grinder is compact and ideal for metal workers, vehicle fabricators, plumbers and other professionals who use grinders on a daily basis
  • POWER: features a powerful 6.0 AMP motor to produce 11,000 no load rpm for professional cutting and grinding applications; the efficient motor was designed with an extremely small field diameter, letting the user grind or cut with ease
  • COMFORT: offers a 2-position side auxiliary handle specifically designed to angle to a natural position for maximum operator comfort; the top handle of the angle grinder is also ergonomically designed
  • CONVENIENT: features Bosch’s Service Minder Brush System to eliminate guesswork and stops the tool when preventative maintenance is required; A 5/8 inches to 11 inch spindle works with a wide array of sizes, mounting the most popular accessories
  • DURABLE: features an epoxy coated design to protect the tool from abrasive debris; also designed with a sealed switch to keep dust and debris from entering the switch mechanism

DeWALT 20V MAX (DC405B)

The DeWALT 20V MAX is another excellent angle grinder ideal for professionals who want a powerful grinder without sacrificing much on price.

The DC405B comes equipped with a powerful brushless motor capable of producing 9,000 RPM for professional grinding applications. It uses the highly rated 20V brushless motor for excellent power and features DeWALT grinder brakes that stop the wheel in 2 seconds.

As a part of DeWALT’s Perform and Protect line of products, the DC405B is equipped with Kickback Brakes that stop the wheel when a stall, pinch, or bind-up is detected. There’s also a power loss reset feature that prevents accidental restart in the event of power disruption if the tool is left in the “ON” position.

Key Features

  • Disc size: 4-1/2 inch
  • Max speed: 9,000 RPM
  • Wattage: 850 watts
  • Power source: Battery powered
  • Weight: 3.75 pounds
  • Additional features: Kickback breaks, power loss reset, powerful brushless motor

With a 4.7-star rating from over six hundred satisfied customers on Amazon, the DC405B is truly an exceptional product. And for 156, the item is on par with other products in its class.

  • Brushless motor of the angle grinder requires no brush changes.
  • DeWALT grinder’s brake stops wheel in 2 seconds or less on average
  • Kickback Brake engages when a pinch, stall, or bind-up event is sensed and the electronic brake engages with maximum force to quickly stop the wheel, reduce the movement of the metal grinder and shut the grinder off.
  • Power Loss Reset prevents accidental restarts following a power disruption when the tool is left in the “on” position.

Milwaukee 2680-20 M18 18V 4-1/2 Inch Cordless Grinder

Milwaukee is a brand that requires no introduction, and its cordless grinder is an excellent option to consider for your home and commercial projects.

The Milwaukee 2680 cordless grinder boasts a 4-pole motor capable of pushing 10,000 RPM, that’s excellent for most users. A Li-Ion battery with a voltage rating of 18V powers this unit. This grinder comes loaded with features that make it ideal for a variety of jobs.

Milwaukee has included a rubber textured handle and a 3-position plastic handle that gives you maximum control with the tool. On top of that, it comes with a wheel guard that can be adjusted to suit various applications requiring different cutting angles.

According to the manufacturer, the M18 is the only grinder on the market that offers the user a paddle switch for comfort and ease of use when operating in various positions.

The 5 Best Angle Grinders of 2022

Key Features

  • Disc size: 4-1/2 inch
  • Max speed: 10,000 RPM
  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Voltage: 18 Volts
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Additional features: paddle switch, tool free guard, 3-position side handle

The Milwaukee 2680 is an excellent angle grinder suitable for various applications thanks to its powerful motor and an array of features. And for 79, the tool will give you the best value for the money.

  • PADDLE SWITCH: You can activate this grinder easily, even when you’re wearing thick work gloves, thanks to the paddle switch design
  • DEBRIS BAFFLES: An “L” shape molding near the grinding wheel picks up debris and prevents it from clogging up the tool’s internal components
  • TOOL-FREE GUARD: The guard is easily adjustable. All it takes is the push of a button, and you can have the guard adjusted for a variety of cutting applications at different angles
  • 3-POSITION SIDE HANDLE: Work with maximum stability with the help of the plastic handle, included in this kit
  • M18 COMPATIBLE: This Milwaukee power tool works with M18 18v lithium ion Milwaukee batteries. Compatible models include the 48-11-1860, 48-11-1850, 48-11-1828, and 48-11-1815, 48-11-1840, 48-11-1820

DeWALT Angle Grinder Tool (DWE43116)

The DeWALT DWE43116 is a high-performance hand grinder best suited for heavy-duty tasks of commercial nature. Powered by a 13-am motor, the DWE43116 can cut through metals and other materials faster and with ease.

The all-powerful 13.0-amp motor can produce 9,000 no-load RPM for professional grinding applications.

Additionally, the unit is equipped with DeWALT’s Dust Ejection Technology that ejects debris and dust particles that enter through the air intake vents. Customers on Amazon love its ease of use, good torque, and small form factor.

And with a 4.8-star rating from over seven hundred satisfied customers, you can be confident you’re buying a quality and powerful product.

Key Features

  • Disc size: 4-1/2 to 6-inch
  • Max speed: 9,000 RPM
  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Wattage: 1,700 watts
  • Weight: 5.7 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Additional features: powerful 13-amp motor, dust ejection system technology

The DeWALT DWE43116 is a beast of a grinder that has won the hearts of many due to its power and sheer performance. And for 129, the unit is competitively priced for its features.

  • Angle grinder has 9,000 RPM Rating
  • DeWALT angle grinder comes with 13-amp motor
  • Dust Ejection System of the metal grinder provides durability by ejecting damaging dust and debris particles that enter through the air intake vents.

Milwaukee 2485-20 M12 Angle Grinder

The Milwaukee 2485-20 M12 Angle Grinder is a force to be reckoned with in the angle grinder’s space. This grinder offers up to 0.3 HP, making it 20% more powerful than most angle grinders. Milwaukee says this product can deliver better, sustained performance than pneumatic die grinders.

Better still, the M12 angle grinder can push out anywhere between 0 and 24,500 RPM, making it one of the most powerful angle grinders on the planet.

Besides its sheer performance, the other impressive thing about the M12 is the package into which the company has managed to cram all that power. The M12 die grinder is only 4.5″ and weighs only 1.2 pounds.

Key Features

  • Disc size: 4-1/2
  • Max speed: 24,500 RPM
  • Power source: Cordless
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • 2″ Accessories POWERSTATE Brushless Motor Technology

The Milwaukee 2485-20 is the most powerful angle grinder on our list and is capable of delivering better, sustained performance than pneumatic die grinders. For 157, the product is in the upper price bracket, which is expected of a product with such features.

  • The MILWAUKEE 1/4″ M12 FUEL Right Angle Die Grinder is the first cordless right angle die grinder that delivers the performance and size and speed professional service mechanics demand.
  • The die grinder delivers 20% more power than pneumatic competition and features the Milwaukee POWERSTATE Brushless Motor Technology.
  • The cordless die grinder provides users with up to.3 HP performance, best-in-class size to help fit in tight places, and offers users greater mobility and access.
  • 20% Power Than Pneumatic0.3 HP Motor Output4-MODE RPM CONTROLGreater Mobility and Access
  • Optimum performance with 2″ AccessoriesPOWERSTATE Brushless Motor Technology

Wrapping Up

Finding the best angle grinder for your project can be daunting, considering the flood of options out there. We hope this guide will help you cut through the noise and find the best angle grinder.

How to Use an Angle Grinder

This article was co-authored by Alberto DeJesus. Alberto DeJesus is a Construction Specialist and the CEO of DeJesus Industries. With more than four years of experience, he specializes in high-end real estate development and construction. Alberto and DeJesus Industries have been featured on NBC News and have worked with numerous well-known companies, including Mazda, Amazon, and CVS. Alberto holds a Bachelor’s degree from Boston University.

There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 178,775 times.

Angle grinders are electric power tools with detachable grinding wheels that you can apply to a variety of jobs around your home, including sanding, grinding, cleaning, and cutting. When using a grinder, make sure you’re picking the right attachment for the job and using that attachment correctly. Always practice safety procedures when working with a grinder, as it can cause injury, both from the blade itself and from flying debris. [1] X Expert Source

Choosing and Applying the Right Attachment for the Job

  • Try buzzing off dirt that’s set on garden tools. It will even work on set-on cement.
  • Pick the cup wire attachment for flat surfaces and the wheel to get into crevices.
  • Make sure to pick the right type of blade for the project you’re working on. For metal, a cutoff wheel works well, and it’s fairly cheap.
  • For masonry, tile, and concrete, choose a diamond wheel. Read the attachment to know what materials you can use the wheel on. [4] X Research source
  • Don’t let the blade get too hot, as it will become very brittle. If it turns black or blue, give it a rest for a moment.
  • Check the wheel for the arrow showing you which direction it will rotate when on.

Operating an Angle Grinder Safely

Put on safety gear like goggles, long sleeves, and full-face protection. One of the main dangers of an angle grinder is flying debris, including pieces breaking off of the tool’s attachments. Protect yourself with safety gear so you don’t catch a piece in your eye. [7] X Expert Source

  • Put in ear plugs or cover your ears with noise-canceling earmuffs, as the sound from the machine can get very loud.
  • Wear a dust mask for particularly dusty jobs, like sanding and grinding mortar. [9] X Research source
  • Grab the handle with whatever hand feels most comfortable.
  • The deadman’s switch is a safety feature. If you accidentally drop the grinder, it will go off automatically.

Let the grinder come to full speed before applying it to the surface. Hit the power button to turn it on. Whether you’re cutting, grinding, or sanding, allow it to come up to speed to help you keep your actions smooth and consistent. For instance, if you’re cutting through metal or other materials, you’ll get a better cut if the cutting disc is at full speed first.

Move the angle grinder around constantly when sanding or cleaning. Don’t keep the tool in one place when sanding, as you could end up with gouges. For a smoother finish, move in a rotating motion over the surface. If you’re trying to smooth or clean one particular area, don’t hold it in place; just move it around and over the area until it’s to your satisfaction. [10] X Research source

  • With cutting, use the side of the wheel to cut the piece head-on, meaning you should hold the wheel perpendicular to the piece you’re cutting.

Keep the guard on no matter what you do. The guard may get in the way on some projects, but don’t take it off. It provides some protection from flying debris if the wheel or attachment shatters. It’s much better for the guard to take the hit then your torso or arms! [12] X Research source

Picking Angle Grinders and Accessories

Choose a 5-9 amp motor if you plan on using the grinder a while. If you want to use the grinder for a number of projects, try not to get the cheapest one. If you spend a little more, you can get a better quality machine. Pick a motor that pulls 5-9 amps, which will give you a little extra power and will likely stay in operation longer. [15] X Research source

  • That way, if you turn your grinder to max, you still won’t go over the max speed of the accessory.
  • A grinding disc with noise reduction and a handle that reduces vibrations can also make your grinder safer.

Community QA

Always wear eye protection and gloves, and point the grinder away from yourself; it might be a good idea to use it on a safe grinding area as well, along with clamps, vices, etc. Before grinding, examine the power cord, extension lead, plugs, sockets and power outlet for damage. Also, ensure that the grinding disc, guard, and attachments (including handle) are secure and correctly fitted. Lastly, inspect the grinding disc for damage; never use a damaged grinding disc, and never use a disc on a surface that might damage it.

Thanks! We’re glad this was helpful. Thank you for your feedback. As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a 30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy! Claim Your Gift If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even 1 helps us in our mission. Support wikiHow

best, angle, grinders, 2023, cheap

Join the axle pipe with the center point of the wheel, and make sure that the wheel rotates smoothly.

Thanks! We’re glad this was helpful. Thank you for your feedback. As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a 30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy! Claim Your Gift If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even 1 helps us in our mission. Support wikiHow

Choose/purchase the correct disc, be it for metal or masonry, and make sure it’s fixed correctly and tightly. Wearsafety goggles. Hold the grinder very tightly and proceed with caution.

Thanks! We’re glad this was helpful. Thank you for your feedback. As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a 30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy! Claim Your Gift If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even 1 helps us in our mission. Support wikiHow

What Is an Angle Grinder, and How Can It Help Your Metal Fabrication Work?

See all 9 photos 9 photos

We’ve done several articles on metal fabrication as it relates to off-road vehicles, including tubing bending. tubing notching or coping. corner gussets. building rollcages. buying steel, and more. And although several tools are needed for all of these undertakings, quite possibly the most versatile tool that we use for any and all metal fabrication is the electric 4 ½-inch angle grinder. It’s a fairly inexpensive and common tool that can be changed slightly, by using different heads or discs, to suit several different jobs. Because of this, we find ourselves using an electric angle grinder practically any time we are doing any kind of off-road metal fabrication. Here are some details on this versatile tool, one that can take the place of many others and that we definitely would not want to fabricate without. As with any tool, use proper eye protection, gloves for hand protection, and earplugs for hearing protection—a must when using a grinder. Be safe out there, follow warning labels, and use common sense.

What Does an Angle Grinder Do?

The main job of an angle grinder is to grind metal. Many grinders include one type of grinding wheel, a grinding stone, when you buy them, but there are several types of grinding wheels available, and each does a slightly different job. The ability to change wheels is what makes this tool so useful and versatile. It can cut, clean, grind, chop, shape, sand, and more.

See all 9 photos 9 photos

Grinding Stones: Stones are hard and great for removing metal fast. They can also be used to gouge out bad welds or shape steel plate or tubing. They can get hot fast, and they can be unforgiving and can cause unintended damage if used too aggressively.

See all 9 photos 9 photos Grinding stones are kinda the big hammer in the grinder tool box. They are not terribly easy to use and the results are kinda rough, but they do the job at hand.

Flap-Wheels: We don’t know who the first person to create a flap-wheel for an electric angle grinder was, but that person deserves many, many congratulations. This is probably our favorite grinding wheel, and it can do many, many jobs. Our fab tool setup includes four or five angle grinders, and you can bet the one we use the most has a flap-wheel attached. This tool can be used to smooth the edges of plate and tubing, to grind down welds, clean off paint and dirt, and more. It’s also great for coping tubing or adding a bevel to plate for a good weld. These discs are fairly forgiving and easy to control when doing precise work, too—even on plastic (see below).

See all 9 photos 9 photos We’re unsure if it’s just us, or if flap-wheels are really that versatile, but we use this style of grinder wheel more than any other. They can grind, shape, sand, clean, and more. They can gouge metal, but they are very useful for all-around use. It’s surprising how fast you can remove hard metal with what is basically just sandpaper.

Sanding-Discs: These are little more than some coarse sandpaper cut into a round disc with a hole in the middle, and they make a great tool when trying to maintain a flat surface. Unlike stones or flap-wheels, which can gouge metal, a sanding-disc keeps the surface that you are grinding down a weld on or cleaning plasma-cutter slag from relatively flat.

See all 9 photos 9 photos Sanding-discs definitely have a place in the fab world. They are great at grinding flat surfaces, cleaning slag from plasma- or torch-cut parts, and more. They don’t gouge so you can’t really use them to shape metal unless the shape you are going for is flat.

Cutting

Cutoff Wheels: Much like a grinding stone, although much thinner, a cutoff wheel on a grinder is great for making cuts in all kinds of metals. It basically turns your angle grinder into a miniature chop-saw that can be used to cut metal and more. Cutoff wheels are good for making precise and relatively straight cuts in tubing, sheetmetal, and plate. If you doubt us, just look at all the quick videos on metal fabrication online—almost all of them rely on an electric angle grinder with a cutoff wheel. We also like to use cutoff wheels to remove brackets from axles and framerails—we just cut at a 45-degree angle into the weld, toward the unwelded root of the bracket, then whack the bracket with a hammer and we’re nearly done. You can also sometimes use a cutoff wheel to make a slot for a flathead screwdriver in a broken bolt.

See all 9 photos 9 photos If we use the flap-wheel most on our angle grinder, we probably use a cutoff wheel second-most. It’s great for cutting welds, making plunge cuts in sheetmetal, cutting rectangular tubing, and maybe some mild grinding. Cutoff wheels can also be dangerous. They don’t like being forced into a curve, and can come apart quickly, becoming hot, sharp projectiles. Be careful!

Cleaning

Wire-Wheels: Like a wire brush, wire-wheels are great for cleaning surfaces before and after a weld. These tools are great for removing less stubborn weld splatter, or cleaning off rust, oil, or paint from an area you are about to weld on. As said, they are like a wire brush, but with the speed of the grinder they remove more material faster. Just be careful as they also tend to eject metal wires at high rates of speed.

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Sanding-Discs: Yeah, we touched on it briefly above, but it bears repeating: There isn’t a much better way of removing paint, surface rust, or slag from torch- or plasma-cutting than using a sanding-disc on an electric grinder. Again, this tool keeps the surface flat, and although a flap-wheel will do a similar job, it can gouge the surface.

Sheetmetal and Plastic

Cutoff Wheels: Again, we mentioned these earlier, but didn’t get all the info we wanted to share out above. When working on sheetmetal, a cutoff wheel is a great way to start a cut, by plunging the relatively thin blade into a flat sheetmetal surface. We often do this to start a cut in sheetmetal that we may finish with an air-saw or reciprocating saw. You can also cut plastic with a fresh cutoff wheel, but know that they often melt the plastic creating a substance similar to napalm that is hot and sticky and will burn you if you touch it.

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Flap-Wheels: You know we like flap-wheels because they are very versatile for metal-work, but they also are a great tool for cleaning up cuts in sheetmetal and on plastic. With some practice, you can use a flap-wheel to smooth out a wheelwell cut made by a plasma cutter, reciprocating saw, or other method. They are also great for shaping cut edges in plastic fender flares, fender liners, moldings, and even interior plastic parts. They too will, while grinding plastic, melt it, turning it into something akin to napalm, sticky hot goo that will burn flesh if you get it on you.

Corded or Cordless

Until recently, all we used were corded electric angle grinders or smaller pneumatic air grinders (below). That’s because, although battery-operated equivalents were available, the batteries were easy to use up in short order. With frequent or prolonged use, a corded angle grinder is our preference, since you don’t have to stop part way through a job to charge or even just to swap a battery. Still, the portable nature of a cordless angle grinder can’t be denied.

See all 9 photos 9 photos Twist-on sanding pads are what we use most on our pneumatic angle grinders, with these 3M-style abrasive pads coming in a close second. You can do some shaping with a pneumatic grinder and a sanding disc, but they tend to catch more in corners and on sharp edges than when used with an electric grinder. You can also use pneumatic grinders with some wire-wheels or brushes, and mandrels for cutoff wheels are available as well. The cutoff wheels are small and thus very useful in tight spaces.

Similar Tools That Do Almost the Same Thing

We mentioned pneumatic angle grinders (above), and the fact is that they can often be used to do the same jobs as an electric angle grinder. You can add sanding-discs, cutoff wheels, wire-wheels, and a few other types of cleaning heads to a pneumatic grinder. Also, they are often more compact and easier to control than an electric angle grinder. We also love them for cleaning up gasket surfaces when used with a 3M-style abrasive wheel. Truth is, in a pinch, if all you had was a pneumatic angle grinder or two, they could take the place of an electric angle grinder. But for us, there just is no fabrication undertaken without our favorite tool.

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