Angle Grinder Sizes. How to Choose the Right Size. Big angle grinder
Angle Grinder Sizes. How to Choose the Right Size?
The angle grinder, which is one of the most useful power tools comes in different sizes. It has a wide variety of applications, mainly because of its efficiency and flexibility of use. With a multitude of applications possible, the size of angle grinders will also vary to better suit differing projects. The following guide will explain the most common angle grinder sizes available and how they are effectively put to use.
What Size Angle Grinder Do I Need?
How you choose the size of your angle grinder depends upon the characteristics of the project at hand as well as your own personal requirements. In general, angle grinders of the smaller size range (below 6-inches) are better suited for projects that require precision while the larger models, 6-inches and above, are excellent for larger projects where heavy usage will be inevitable.
How the Size of an Angle Grinder is Measured?
The size of an angle grinder is measured by the diameter of the disc that is mounted onto the grinder. You also need to consider the power of the motor of the tool when evaluating an angle grinder’s capabilities.
This dimension also indicates the maximum disc diameter you can mount on the tool.
Generally, these two factors will correspond with each other. This can be observed easily as when a larger angle grinder disc is used, a more powerful motor is required to support the disc. In simpler terms: the bigger the disc = the more powerful the motor required vs the smaller the disc = the lower the amount of power output required. Disc width (diameter) is measured in inches and/or in millimeters, while the motor size is measured in terms of watts or horsepower. These terms will always depend upon the model and the location of manufacturing.
Angle Grinder Size Chart
Following are the different sizes of angle grinders in inches and millimeters and their approximate motor power in watts.
|Size in Inch||Disc in Millimeters||Approx. Motor Power|
|4.5 inch||115mm||700 – 1300 watts|
|5-inch||125mm||1200 – 1500 Watts|
|6-inch||150mm||1400 – 1600 Watts|
|7-inch||180mm||1200 – 2400 watts|
|9-inch||230mm||1600 – 2600 watts|
What Is the Most Popular Size Angle Grinder?
The 4.5-inches angle grinder is the most commonly used size. This site is easy to control, inexpensive, and offers better portability and handling.
Common Angle Grinder Sizes Their Uses
The best way to find the right-sized tool for your job is to consider the various uses of your angle grinder that you perform most often. Following are some of the most common sizes and the tasks they are suitable for.
4 ½ inch Angle Grinder
The smallest model on this list, the 4.5-inch angle grinder is excellent for when working upon light-duty projects where tasks could include light grinding, sanding, cutting metal, polishing, deburring of thin/soft materials such as sheet metal, tiles, or wood.
The advantage of this compact model size is that it is extremely safe to use (the risk of grinder kickback is minimal) and proves to be perfect for beginner operators who are just beginning to learn how to handle a grinder. The 4 ½ inch grinder is also an excellent tool for DIY, repair, and general home use.
Similar to the 4½ inch with its capabilities, but with a larger disc capacity and motor.
The 5-inch grinder can accommodate ½ inch extra of disc surface area and houses a slightly more powerful motor (with higher RPMs). This allows for the more Rapid completion of tasks and for a slighter wider range of capabilities when working upon heavier materials.
All of these while still offering good control and energy efficiency.
6-inch Angle Grinder
The 6-inch grinder is excellent for working upon small-medium sized materials of different hardnesses and proves to be very durable as machines.
The biggest advantage of the 6-inch grinder is its versatility; it can be used in small spaces and to great effect, for precision work as well as for heavier projects that require an extra boost of power. Industrial professionals use this grinder more so than DIYers.
This angle grinder size is perfect for a range of jobs including metalworking, brick cutting, woodworking, tile cutting, and more.
This is a relatively larger sized grinder that sits within the medium to large size range.
7-inch grinders are great as an all-round machine for heavy-duty or large-scale projects and are predominately used for working on concrete and metal. Compared to the small angle grinder sizes, the 7-inch houses a much larger motor and disc surface area, making it excellent for use upon projects where speed and durability are important while still maintaining a degree of controlled handling.
9-inch Angle Grinder
This grinder is massive in size and particularly dangerous when handled without experience. Despite this, the 9-inch grinder is by far the most productive when considering time efficiency and durability. It is great for all large-scale grinding works (eg: cutting thick steel or sanding large surface areas).
However, due to its exceptionally large size, this power tool is difficult to control and is not suitable for precision jobs.
According to Tasks
As we have already mentioned, the size that you need will completely depend upon the task at hand.
What Size Angle Grinder to Cut Bricks?
To cut bricks the larger models such as the 7 – 9 inch grinder are much more efficient. The large size discs will not only allow you to cut the bricks in a single pass but also works best for heavier workloads than the smaller models. Therefore, it makes sense to use a larger model as such for larger projects and vice versa with smaller models.
This means that if repeatedly cutting a multitude of bricks on a production line, a bigger grinder size is better for an operator’s overall efficiency.
Cutting Paving Stones
You will need a large 9-inch angle grinder to cut pavers. But I strongly recommend you consider a masonry saw to cut paving stones, concrete, etc. If you do not want to invest in a dedicated tool, you could use an angle grinder with a diamond wheel.
What Size Grinder for Welding Works?
The angle grinders of the smaller size range will prove to be more precise as well as allow for excellent handling. This is an attribute that would be great for unusual cut shapes or when working upon delicate sheet metals.
I recommend getting a 4.5-inch or 5-inch grinder with flap discs for weld cleanup jobs. You may need a larger size tool if you have to cut thick metal sections. Refer to the guide on angle grinders for welding for more details.
Understanding which angle grinder size would better suit your project is important and comes down to understanding the individual pros and cons of using a specific grinder size over another and also, visualizing accurately what your project requires.
- What Size Angle Grinder Do I Need?
- How the Size of an Angle Grinder is Measured?
- What Is the Most Popular Size Angle Grinder?
- 4 ½ inch Angle Grinder
- 5-inch Grinder
- 6-inch Angle Grinder
- 7-inch Grinder
- 9-inch Angle Grinder
- What Size Angle Grinder to Cut Bricks?
- Cutting Paving Stones
- What Size Grinder for Welding Works?
The 8 Best Angle Grinders of 2023
Michelle Ullman is a home decor expert and product reviewer for home and garden products. She has been writing about home decor for over 10 years for publications like BobVila.com and Better Homes Gardens, among others.
Johnathan C. Brewer II is a licensed general contractor specializing in kitchen, bath remodels, and general construction with two decades of professional experience.
Angle grinders are handheld power tools that, depending on the blade or attachment used, can grind, buff, polish, cut, sharpen, and clean a wide variety of materials, including wood, metal, tile, and stone. Deane Biermeier, a licensed carpenter and general carpenter advises, “Angle grinders are highly versatile tools if you get the right one for your needs. The best for most DIYers are 4 1/2-inch disc models. Look for high torque, wattage (or voltage for battery operated ones), and variable speeds if you want top-notch results. These features make an angle grinder the most suited for common uses.”
We evaluated angle grinders based on power, versatility, reliability, and ease of use.
Makita XAG04Z 4-1/2-Inch Cordless Angle Grinder
- Brushless motor for longer run time
- Automatically adjusts speed and torque for optimal performance
- Excellent performance
For a top-rated, intuitive angle grinder that will serve you well, no matter how you use it, one of your best options is the Makita XAG04Z cordless angle grinder. This mid-priced tool is powered by an 18-volt battery (which is sold separately), so you won’t be limited by a power cord, yet it still delivers big in terms of power and speed. It accepts 4 1/2-inch or 5-inch blades and attachments, and weighs just 5.6 pounds, so it won’t tire you out, even on a lengthy work session. It has rubberized handles to help minimize vibration to your hands and wrists.
This angle grinder makes quick work of grinding, cutting, and sanding various materials, such as concrete, tile, pipes, and more. It features automatic speed-change technology, which adjusts the speed and torque during operation for optimized performance, no matter what you’re working on. The tool’s brushless motor is electronically controlled to prolong battery life, lasting up to 50 percent longer per charge.
This high-quality tool is well balanced and lightweight, yet it delivers impressive power that’s perfect for tackling just about any job, like cutting curves in cement backer boards.
Price at time of publish: 106
Power Source: 18-volt battery | Disc Size: 4.5 or 5-inch | Max. Speed: 8,500 rpm
Metabo HPT G12SR4M 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder
- Keeping power switch depressed is a bit tricky
- No variable speed control
You could easily spend a couple hundred dollars on a high-end angle grinder and all of its attachments, but if you’re just starting out with this tool, you may be better off with a budget option, such as the Metabo HPT (formerly Hitachi) G12SR4M 6.2-Amp 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder. This grinder has a top no-load speed of 10,000 rpm but does not have variable speed control capabilities.
This powerful angle grinder comes with five abrasive discs, as well as a storage case. The tool is compact and lightweight at just 4 pounds, which is great for control and versatility. Its unique side handle makes it comfortable for both right- and left-hand users, and it delivers impressive overload durability, increasing its reliability and lifespan. You can use this angle grinder on various metals, such as steel, bronze, or aluminum, as well as on slate, brick, and more. It’s especially handy for cutting and removing bricks.
Price at time of publish: 49
Power Source: Corded | Disc Size: 4.5-inch | Max. Speed: 10,000 rpm
DeWALT DCG412B Cordless 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder
- Well designed for easy use and handling
- Two-position side handle
- Powerful performance
Cordless angle grinders are often beneficial, as they’re more portable and versatile, since you’re not restricted by a power cord. For a high-end cordless angle grinder, you can’t go wrong with the DeWALT DCG412B, which can use either a 4 1/2-inch or a 5-inch grinding wheel. This is a lightweight, versatile, and powerful angle grinder that you can use for a variety of applications, such as sharpening other tools like an axe, chisel, or lawn mower.
The downside of this product is that the batteries and chargers are sold separately, but you definitely won’t be disappointed with the performance of this cordless tool. This grinder is perfect for a wide range of applications, including construction, maintenance, and even automotive work. It features a quick-change wheel release that allows you to switch discs without any tools, and the 8,000-rpm motor provides all the power you need for cutting and grinding a variety of materials. The handle can be adjusted in two different positions to suit your needs best.
Price at time of publish: 139
Power Source: 20-volt battery | Disc Size: 4.5-inch or 5-inch | Max. Speed: 8,000 rpm
Best Variable Speed
Bosch GWS13-50VS Variable Speed Angle Grinder
Most angle grinders operate at just one speed, but if you’re looking for a more versatile tool, you may want a variable speed angle grinder such as this one from Bosch. The Bosch GWS13-50VS is an 13-amp corded angle grinder that comes with a 5-inch grinding wheel, but it can also use 4.5-inch wheels. This is a highly-rated product that can operate between 2,800 and 11,500 rpm, making it suitable for a variety of applications, both professional or around the house tackling repairs or DIY projects.
This tool also has a variety of other features that give it more power and more control than other options. For instance, it features a two-position vibration-control handle for your comfort, as well as directed airflow that blows dust away from vital components in order to extend the life of the tool. It also has up to two more amps of power than previous generations.
Price at time of publish: 159
Power Source: Corded | Disc Size: 5-inch | Max. Speed: 11,500 rpm
Best for Concrete
DeWALT DWE402 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder
With the right disc attachment, angle grinders are even powerful enough to cut through concrete. If you’re looking for a tool to help you grind down or slice through this tough material, you may want to opt for the DeWALT DWE402, which has an 11-amp motor and a 4 1/2-inch grinding wheel. It’s designed to be comfortable and easy to grip, even on long work sessions.
This tool excels in terms of power-to-size ratio, delivering 11,000 rpm, yet only weighing around 6 pounds. It has a two-position side handle for a comfortable grip, and its dust-ejection system helps to ensure that particles do not enter the tool and compromise its lifespan. This is the grinder to choose if you want to make quick work of concrete surfaces, grind down floors, or deeply score sidewalks with ease. Use the grinder to level off an uneven garage floor or do similar tasks. Of course, you can also use it for other common angle grinder projects, such as grinding, buffing, or cleaning wood and other materials.
Price at time of publish: 129
Power Source: Corded | Disc Size: 4.5-inch | Max. Speed: 11,000 rpm
Best for Wood Carving
King Arthur’s Tools MERLIN2 Angle Grinder Universal Carving Set
- Perfect for woodworking or other small, detailed projects
- Variable speed
- Includes six discs
Many woodworkers use angle grinders to rough-sand their creations, but you shouldn’t use a standard grinder for more delicate applications when carving or carrying out other craft-related woodworking tasks. Instead, it’s best to get a tool that’s specially designed for use on wood, such as the King Arthur’s Tools MERLIN2 Universal Carving Set, which has a mini 2-inch grinding wheel. While more expensive than some other options, this set comes with everything you need to create intricate details and smooth finishes on wood surfaces, as well as most other non-metal materials, including plastic, rubber, fiberglass, and bone.
The mini angle grinder uses just one amp of power, saving you energy, and the kit comes with six accessories, including course, medium, and fine sanding discs. The grinder has a high-capacity fan and air vents that allow it to stay cool and be used for longer woodworking sessions. Plus, the textured, ergonomic design gives you better comfort and control.
Price at time of publish: 303
Power Source: Corded | Disc Size: 2-inch | Max. Speed: 13,000 rpm
Best for Home Projects
Makita 9557PBX1 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder
If you need an angle grinder to tackle projects around the house, it’s hard to go wrong with the affordable Makita 9557PBX1 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder. While it only has a 7.5-amp motor and a small barrel grip, that doesn’t stop it from doing a great job on a variety of home projects, such as cleaning tools and removing rust, buffing metal and other materials, smoothing rough edges, grinding down metal, or cutting tile. Its top no-load speed is 11,000 rpm.
In addition to the tool, this set comes with five grinding wheels, as well as a metal tool case to store everything in — a perfect addition to your home workshop. The extra-large paddle grip and ergonomically designed barrel make the tool easy to control and comfortable to work with, even when your projects go long. Plus, the tool is designed to protect the motor from dust and debris, which extends the life and improves the performance of the grinder.
Price at time of publish: 97
Power Source: Corded | Disc Size: 4.5-inch | Max. Speed: 11,000 rpm
Makita GA7021 7-Inch Angle Grinder
When tackling a big project that requires a lot of muscle, sometimes a smaller angle grinder just won’t cut it. That’s when you’ll appreciate the power and size of the Makita GA7021 7-Inch Angle Grinder. This powerful tool makes quick work of grinding or cutting through concrete, metal, and other tough materials. This grinder can break down an entire cast iron tub with relative ease and little mess, and it has a top no-load speed of 6,600 rpm.
The 15-amp motor runs smoothly, and the lock-on power switch makes it easy to handle the tool without hand fatigue. Like most large angle grinders, you’ll want to keep a firm grip as you work, as otherwise you might lose control. Luckily, the three-position side handle makes that easy. As you’d expect, this is a heavier angle grinder than the typical smaller version; the GA7021 is almost 19 inches long and weighs a little over 12 pounds. Still, if you have a big project, this is the angle grinder that will help you get the job done.
Price at time of publish: 155
Power Source: Corded | Disc Size: 7-inch | Max. Speed: 6,600 rpm
It’s highly versatile, it has plenty of power and speed, it doesn’t weigh too much, and it tackles a wide variety of materials. That’s why the Makita XAG04Z 4-1/2-Inch Cordless Angle Grinder is our top choice. But if you are looking for something budget-priced, and don’t mind sacrificing a little bit of versatility and advanced features, you’ll find that the Metabo HPT G12SR4 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder is a fine choice as well.
What to Look for In An Angle Grinder
As with many power tools, you’ll have two basic choices when it comes to angle grinders: corded and cordless. There are also pneumatic angle grinders, but they are mostly used in professional auto shops, not by the average DIYer.
Corded angle grinders require you to remain within reach of an electrical outlet, but in return, you gain more power and can have no fears of running out of power before you finish your task. Cordless angle grinders are very versatile, particularly when working in tight quarters, but there’s a chance that the battery will run down before you are finished. You can solve that problem, however, by having two batteries so that one can be in use while the other is charging.
Thomas Hawkins, a handyman, master electrician, and owner of Electrician Apprentice HQ, expands further, advising, “The corded versus cordless debate depends upon the project. If working in a tight area where you don’t need a lot of power but need versatility, go cordless. But if you’re not restricted in your movements and especially need extra power, go corded. It all boils down to what you’re trying to accomplish.”
The angle grinders that are most favored by the DIY set are smaller tools that take 4 1/2-inch or occasionally 5-inch discs. These angle grinders aren’t exceptionally heavy and are small enough to get into small spaces (most are around 12 inches long) and yet large enough to have the power to tackle most typical grinding, sanding, or sharpening tasks around the home, yard, or garage. You’ll find a wide range of both corded and cordless angle grinders in this size range.
Angle grinders that take 7-inch or 9-inch discs are more powerful but also heavier and not as easy to maneuver in tight spaces. Almost all of these tools are corded. While some DIYers might have a need for these large angle grinders, particularly if they do a lot of auto repair or major remodeling projects, more commonly professionals who need the maximum in size and power choose these tools for use in cutting through concrete, steel, or similar very hard materials.
The speed of an angle grinder’s spinning disc is measure in rotations per minute (rpm). Note that the speeds stated by manufacturers are normally the maximum speeds achieved by the tool when it’s not “loaded,” i.e., actively in use grinding or sanding. Remember also that the faster the speed, the hotter the disc becomes. Never run a disc at a higher speed than its stated maximum, as the disc could shatter, potentially causing severe injury.
Smaller angle grinders generally have maximum rotations in the 5,000- to 11,000-rpm range, and many have variable speed controls so you can tailor the speed to your needs. Larger angle grinders usually have lower maximum speeds, often in the 5,000- to 8,000-rpm range.
Angle grinders are versatile tools that can perform a variety of tasks for both DIY and commercial projects. They are particularly useful if you do a lot of work with metal or masonry, including concrete, brick, or stone. You just need the right blade or attachment. As the name suggests, this is the perfect tool for grinding away burrs, imperfections, and rough edges on metal. You can also use your angle grinder to buff or polish metal, remove paint and rust, and cut straight or curved lines. When it comes to masonry, use your angle grinder to cut through concrete, brick, or stone. It’s a great tool for removing mortar from between bricks or underneath tile, and it works well to cut tiles when laying a new floor, countertop, or tub surround.
- Use a pencil to mark the desired cutline on the top of your paver. Flip the paver over, and mark the cutline underneath, as well.
- Don protective gear, including safety goggles and a dust mask. Cutting pavers creates a lot of dust, and you don’t want to damage your eyes or respiratory system.
- Set the paver on a flat, sturdy surface that isn’t slippery. If necessary, lay a rubber mat underneath the paver to prevent slipping or sliding as you work.
- Start with a shallow cut along the marked cutline. Continue to make shallow passes with the angle grinder until the cut is around 1/2 inch deep.
- Flip the paver over, and trace the bottom cutline with your angle grinder, making shallow cuts until you’ve reached around 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep into the paver.
- Set the paver on a flat, raised surface so the unneeded portion of the paver hangs over the edge.
- Tap the unneeded portion of the paver with a hammer or mallet. The paver should break along your cutline.
- Repeat the process with the rest of your pavers.
- First, gather up your safety equipment. Cutting metal with an angle grinder produces a lot of sparks, tiny shards of metal, and noise, so you’ll need sturdy work gloves, protective goggles, ear protection, and closed shoes. Be sure that your clothing is not loose or dangling, and that you are not standing on slippery or wet flooring.
- Using chalk or a marker, sketch your desired cutline on the metal. You can also use an awl to scratch the line, if desired.
- Clamp the metal piece securely to a workbench or other flat surface.
- Turn on your angle grinder, and let it reach full speed before gently setting the blade against the metal. Hold the tool firmly with both hands.
- Slowly work your way along the cutline. Do not force the angle grinder or abruptly change directions. Let the tool lead the way forward while you hold it securely.
- Once you’ve finished cutting, let the tool come to a complete stop before setting it down.
- If necessary, switch to a grinding blade, and grind away rough edges or flash along the edges of the cut metal.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article is edited and updated by Michelle Ullman, the tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home, but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs.
For this roundup, she considered dozens of angle grinders, taking into account features, power, price, and brand reputation, as well as reviews from both professional and DIY buyers, and advice from Thomas Hawkins, a handyman, master electrician, and owner of Electrician Apprentice HQ, as well as Deane Biermeier, a licensed carpenter and general contractor and a member of The Spruce’s Home Improvement Review Board.
Rely on a quality angle grinder for cutting, grinding, carving, and a host of other tasks.
By Timothy Dale and Tom Scalisi | Updated May 20, 2022 11:08 AM
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Angle grinders are versatile power tools that can handle a variety of projects, such as cutting iron pipe to replace a faulty valve, carving wood to craft furniture, cutting tile for a backsplash, and removing grout from between tiles.
Interchangeable rotating discs—some made for cutting and others with an abrasive edge for grinding—can be swapped out based on the application. For safety, a guard sits between the disc and the handle to protect the operator.
If you’re ready to add this tool to your collection, read on for more on its capabilities and what to look for in the best angle grinder. Each of the top picks below was selected after an in-depth review of the market and thorough product vetting.
- BEST OVERALL:Makita XAG04Z 18V LXT Cordless Cut-Off/Angle Grinder
- BEST BUDGET:Metabo HPT 4.5-in 6.2-Amp Angle Grinder
- UPGRADE PICK:DeWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Cut Off/Grinder
- BEST CORDED:Porter-Cable Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch (PC750AG)
- BEST LIGHT-DUTY:Black Decker Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch (BDEG400)
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY:DeWALT Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch (DWE402)
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Angle Grinder
There are a few things to understand before clicking “add to cart” on just any old angle grinder. The best angle grinders may have unique features, different power sources, and some might simply be better suited to particulars. The following points are worth considering when shopping for a good quality grinder.
Angle grinders come in sizes, denoted by a number that refers to the maximum diameter of the grinding wheel or disc it will handle. For most DIY projects, a 4-, 4.5-, or 5-inch disc will suffice. In fact, these compact sizes and weights are ideal for DIYers, as larger discs can become unwieldy or tedious to work with.
Larger discs (up to 9 inches) are more commonly used in industrial situations by professionals cutting through thick pieces of material. As the disc gets larger, the grinder itself must be larger to handle the cutting strength. This translates to a heavier tool that’s likely to cause hand fatigue sooner than using a small angle grinder.
Angle grinders are available as corded models (which plug into an electrical outlet) and cordless (which use a battery).
- Corded grinders typically generate more power at a consistent level due to the direct connection to the outlet. But corded models restrict the user to a physical location, limiting range without an extension cord. The cords can also be a tripping hazard and, therefore, a nuisance while working on a project.
- Typically, cordless grinders lack the sheer power of their corded counterparts. And functionality depends on battery capacity, so a dead battery could mean downtime in the middle of the project. On the plus side, cordless angle grinders offer hassle-free mobility and are better for use in tight spaces.
Angle grinder speed is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm). Speeds typically range between 5,000 and 10,000 rpm, though some very robust grinders reach up to 12,000 rpm. Keep in mind, however, that the rpm rating is under “no-load” conditions, meaning that the disc isn’t cutting or grinding anything, just spinning in the air. Once the disc is cutting or grinding, that speed will lower considerably.
Obviously, the higher the rpm, the easier and more quickly the tool can cut through the target material. But the disc also becomes hotter at higher speeds and could be vulnerable to rupture—an injury risk. Be sure to use the correct disc for the task, and note the maximum supported speed marked on the disc. For example, a disc rated at 7,500 rpm that is running faster can break under the force, sending shards of the grinder wheel flying.
Angle grinders measure power output potential in volts (V) and amperes (amps). Cordless angle grinders use volts to measure the power available from their battery, with most cordless models using 18-volt or 20-volt batteries and outliers ranging from 7.5 volts to 24 volts. The “magic number” in most cordless power tools is 18 volts to 20 volts, offering the best mix of affordability and functionality.
Voltage readings on corded angle grinders only indicate whether they can be used with 120-volt or 220-volt power outlets. Shoppers can assess the power output potential of corded models by checking amperage, which ranges from 5 amps to 15 amps. Larger discs will require a larger output, so for a 7- or 9-inch grinder, expect it to have a higher power output potential.
The guard on an angle grinder is a crucial safety measure that covers half the disc. Its purpose is to protect the user’s hands, by preventing sparks and debris from flying toward the user, and to protect surfaces from damage when using the grinder in tight spaces.
Some angle grinders have a movable guard, and others have a fixed guard. The movable option is more popular as it allows for left-handed or right-handed use and can adjust to better protect the user from flying debris. If left untightened, however, a movable guard can fall off the unit. Fixed guards are more robust, and there’s no risk of them coming off a grinder.
How to prevent bluing and burrs when cutting with an angle grinder
Because angle grinders are fast, powerful tools, they can recoil a bit upon power-up. This is particularly true if the grinding wheel is large and heavy. The recoil from the motor can result in the angle grinder jumping in the user’s hands, potentially causing serious injury.
To combat recoil, soft-start technology reduces the power output to the motor at first, slowly increasing until the angle grinder is fully up to speed. This throttled control over the power output prevents an angle grinder from recoiling during start-up, increasing safety while also reducing the jolt to the user’s arms and wrists.
Tips for Buying and Using an Angle Grinder
Keep these tips in mind when choosing and using an angle grinder.
- The most common DIY projects where an angle grinder will be of use—such as cutting tile or pipe, metalworking, or removing grout and mortar—rarely require more than a 4.5-inch grinder.
- The ongoing vibration of an angle grinder can cause what is known as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), with symptoms including pain and cold sensations in the user’s fingers, loss of grip strength, and a loss of sensation in the fingers and hands. An angle grinder with cushioned or vibration absorbent material on the grip can protect hands from ongoing vibration.
- Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) including safety glasses/goggles, hearing protection, and respiratory protection when grinding.
- Check the grinder before use to ensure the disc and guard are properly attached and tightened. Discs and guards can become loose between uses. Tighten them before connecting the power to the angle grinder.
Our Top Picks
While all that information on the best angle grinders ought to be helpful when shopping, there’s really no substitute for hands-on testing. Tom had the pleasure of personally putting all the following angle grinders through their paces during a recent metalworking project.
Each of the models reviewed passed our tests and met our standards (see “How We Tested,” below), though Tom found some models better for specific tasks than others. Note that all of the following models feature movable guards and screw-in handles.
Makita XAG04Z 18V LXT Cordless Cut-Off/Angle Grinder
The Makita XAG04Z is worth checking out by anyone looking for the best cordless angle grinder performance. This top-rated angle grinder features an 8,500 rpm top speed thanks to its brushless motor and the 18-volt lithium-ion battery. It can handle 4.5- and 5-inch discs.
We found the XAG04Z excellent to work with. While it doesn’t boast the highest top speed, the automatic speed adjustment enabled it to maintain speed during tough cuts and grinds. We noticed very little vibration thanks to the rubber over-molded grip and handle, and the lock-on switch proved to be a huge plus.
The only downsides I see: Assembling the two-piece handguard was a little awkward, and it would be nice if the tool came with a battery and a charger.
- Automatically adjusts speed and torque settings
- Slow start keeps the tool from jumping
- Lock-on switch
- Very little noticeable vibration
Get the Makita angle grinder at Amazon, Walmart, The Home Depot, and Ace Hardware.
Metabo HPT 4.5-in 6.2-Amp Angle Grinder
When it comes to DIY projects and budgets, not everyone can afford top-of-the-line tools every time. So those hoping to save cash and still get a quality grinder may want to give this corded model from Metabo HPT a look. It uses 4.5-inch discs, has a 6.2-amp motor, and spins at up to 10,000 rpm.
This is one of the best 4.5 inch angle grinder options for the money, and the Metabo HPT’s usefulness was somewhat of a surprise. I enjoyed how compact and lightweight it was in my hand. The location of the power switch is very convenient, especially during cutting.
The lock-on feature allowed me to kick it on and leave it on—very helpful in my project. My only complaint is that the Metabo HPT lacks the power of other corded models, and the 6.2-amp motor seemed like it could overheat during all-day use.
- Lock-on switch for long use
- Lightweight angle grinder (only 4 pounds)
- The most compact of all the grinders tested
- A little lacking in power compared to other corded models
- The 6.2-amp motor isn’t ideal for all-day use
Get the Metabo angle grinder on Amazon and at Lowe’s.
DeWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Cut Off/Grinder
DeWALT’s 20V Max XR Brushless Cut-Off/Grinder cordless angle grinder could be the ultimate upgrade for pros and DIYers who take their tools seriously. This cordless model utilizes the brand’s 20-volt Max XR lineup, and its brushless motor spins 4.5-inch discs up to 9,000 rpm.
My experience with this DeWALT model was just as I expected: great portability and truly outstanding power. It made short work of cutting and grinding, without a cord to get in the way. The grip and handle both feature thick rubber, keeping vibration and fatigue to a minimum.
The safety features are certainly a plus: The electronic brake stopped the disc within 2 seconds (other models can take up to 10 seconds), and simply knowing that there is a kickback brake instilled confidence.
- Safety includes two-stage trigger, electronic brake, and kickback brake
- Excellent ergonomics and anti-vibration
- Plenty of power
Get the DeWALT angle grinder at Amazon, Walmart, and Lowe’s. Check for a refurbished DeWALT on Amazon.
Porter-Cable Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch (PC750AG)
This Porter-Cable product is one of the top corded angle grinder options for dependable power. This model features a heavy-duty 7.5-amp motor that spins a 4.5-inch disc at speeds up to 10,000 rpm, providing plenty of speed and power for workshop use.
The Porter-Cable grinder felt truly in its element on my metalworking project, handling cuts and grinds nicely. While it doesn’t have the most power compared to others on our list, it’s pretty close. It’s also one of the only grinders to feature a traditional trigger switch, which I felt was easy to use and more intuitive than most. I also really liked the top-mount position for the handle attachment, as it can make cutting much more manageable.
The one negative worth mentioning is that vibration control isn’t top-tier, so although it can take all-day use, the user’s hands and wrists might tire.
- Top-mounted handle position
- Comfortable trigger switch
- The 7.5-amp motor has plenty of power
Get the Porter-Cable angle grinder at Amazon, Walmart, and Lowe’s.
Black Decker Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch
If you’re searching for the best angle grinder for wood carving, sanding, grout removal, and other light-duty projects, Black Decker’s Angle Grinder Tool might be a wise choice. This affordable model features a 6-amp motor that produces up to 10,000 rpm of speed, and it’s compatible with 4.5-inch grinding and cutting wheels.
Black Decker markets this model at light-duty, DIY-type users, and that’s where it excels. This very affordable model is easy to use, thanks in part to its lock-on trigger. The three-position handle mounting system works for plenty of scenarios, such as cutting and grinding at unusual angles. Just don’t expect the Black Decker to handle heavy-duty jobs like large metalworking projects for any length of time, as it only has a 6-amp motor.
- Plenty of capability for the price
- Three-position handle, including top-mount
- Trigger locks into position
Get the Black Decker angle grinder at Amazon, Walmart, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ace Hardware. Check for a refurbished Black Decker on Amazon.
DeWALT Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch (DWE402)
Heavy-duty projects like production welding and cutting require a grinder that can keep up, and DeWALT’s DWE402 can handle the job. This burly machine features an 11-amp motor and spins 4.5-inch grinding and cutting wheels at speeds up to 11,000 rpm.
I found the DWE402 to be the ideal grinder for my work, though not everyone will need its power and high-speed capabilities. It cut through angle iron faster than any other grinder, and it made short work of my large, lumpy, amateur-grade welds (though it’s definitely a pro-grade tool, and the speed-boosting button on the handle base helped a lot).
While this is one of the best variable speed angle grinders, neither the DWE402’s vibration control nor its grip got much attention on the drawing board.
- Pro-grade capability
- Very fast and powerful
- High amperage motor for heavy-duty work
Get the DeWALT angle grinder at Amazon, Walmart, and Lowe’s.
With portability and power in mind, the Makita XAG04Z is a great choice for almost any home workshop, though pros may also appreciate this model. And for those who need the best angle grinder for cutting metal and other heavy-duty weld materials, the DeWALT DWE402 has the power and speed to match.
How We Tested the Best Angle Grinders
Sometimes, I have the best job in the world. I’ve had a project on my plate for months now (building a welding cart), and it just so happened to be the ideal project to test these top angle grinders. I used the same set of cutting and grinding wheels for each model to make apples-to-apples comparisons.
I used each grinder to cut through angle iron, switching grinders between each cut until I felt comfortable with the strengths and weaknesses of each model. I recorded myself cutting all the pieces for the welding cart in order to determine how long each cut took and how easy it was to use. After cutting all the pieces, I welded the cart together (rather heavy-handedly, I admit, as it’s been a few years since I last welded).
With those big, burly welds to address, I used each grinder to knock them down to flush. Again, I noted ease of use and handling. In the end, I had all I needed for these honest angle grinder reviews—as well as a cart for my new welder.
Shopping for a Used or Refurbished Angle Grinder
Historically, most people would baulk at the idea of spending good money on a used or second hand tool, but today’s refurbished models are not the dubious equipment found at a neighborhood yard sale. For some time, reputable manufacturers and retailers have been offering refurbished or renewed products like angle grinders alongside new models.
The idea is that when a commercially viable fix is possible, it cuts down on waste—which is always a good thing. It may also offer buyers the opportunity to acquire products that might otherwise be outside their budget.
These should not be tools that have been beaten to death for 364 days and returned on the day the warranty expires. It’s true that often they have been tried by another buyer but will have been returned within a relatively short return window. Other times, they might be tools damaged in transit or in the warehouse.
So are refurbished angle grinders any good? In our opinion, yes. There’s every chance they could represent a real bargain. There are some interesting offers on refurbished or renewed angle grinders at Amazon and Walmart among others. However, care and common sense is needed.
- Specify the type of angle grinder you want first. Look at new models. Then see what you can get on the refurbished market that comes close to those specifications.
- Keep a tight rein on your budget. It’s easy to get carried away. The idea here is to save money, or get better value.
- You should be looking for a substantial cost reduction. If the saving is only saving 10 percent or 15 percent, it might be better to buy new. Make sure you know exactly what is included. Cordless tools often won’t include battery or charger, for example.
- Be sure to check warranty and return periods before you order. Don’t make assumptions, even if you bought from the retailer before.
While refurbished, reconditioned, or renewed tools are often excellent, there’s always a chance it could be a dud. Buy from a reputable source. Check the angle grinder as soon as it arrives so you can get your money back if there’s a problem.
Even with ample background on the best angle grinders, you might have some additional questions. Here, we answer some of the most common queries about angle grinders, so check for the info you need below.
Angle Grinders 101 | How to Use an Angle Grinder
Q: What kind of tasks can I use an angle grinder for?
The most common uses for angle grinders are metal grinding and cutting, such as steel for welding or metal piping. However, they’re also useful for wood carving, refinishing, and other projects. Some farriers even use them to trim hooves.
Q: How does an angle grinder operate?
After attaching the correct disc for the job, hold the angle grinder in two hands for safety and security (the tool’s initial torque will cause it to jump). Push the trigger down or hit the power switch, and the disc will start rotating. Move the grinder until the rotating disc contacts the material you want to cut or grind.
When finished, release the trigger or switch off the power button and wait for the disc to stop rotating completely before placing it in a safe location, keeping in mind that the disc is still hot due to the friction caused during operation. Unplug the power cord or detach the battery and allow the tool to cool down.
Q: How much does an angle grinder cost?
An angle grinder can range in price from just 30 to over 200, though it’s more common for these tools to cost about 80 to 100.
Q: How do you cut metal with an angle grinder?
Use a metal cutting disc on an angle grinder to cut through lead, iron, copper, and other metals without a problem. The rotating blade slices easily through metal, but it’s important to wear safety glasses and gloves because a significant amount of sparks are produced during the grinding process.
Q: How do you cut pavers with an angle grinder?
Angle grinder equipped with masonry discs can be used to cut through paving stones without much difficulty. Measure and mark where you want to cut the paver, then position it on a workbench. Turn the grinder on and start to slowly cut into the paving stone. Once you have started the cut it will be easier to accurately finish cutting through the paver.
Q: How are the discs on an angle grinder changed?
First, unplug the grinder or remove the battery. Then remove the nut that holds the disc in place, using the factory spanner included with the angle grinder. Replace the disc and tighten the nut bolt using the factory spanner.
Q: How can I remove the disc with vise grips?
Grinder discs are secured with a specialized nut that is usually tightened or removed with an included spanner. However, if you lose the spanner the nut can still be removed with a set of vise grips. Simply tighten the vice on the grinder blade, locking it in position, then use your hand or a screwdriver to turn and remove the locking nut.
Q: How do you properly recycle an old angle grinder?
Instead of tossing your old angle grinder in the trash, take it to a local electronics recycling location. Typically, the municipality or town will have a program for recycling electronic tools and other devices, though some home improvement stores, like Home Depot, also offer tool recycling programs.
Tips on Choosing the Right Small Angle Grinders
Before getting to a point of selecting one small angle grinder as the best one for your projects, it would be beneficial to learn what an angle grinder is in more general terms. Angle grinders, also known as side or disc grinders, are portable power equipment used for grinding and polishing. They’re utilized in a wide range of sectors and vocations, including metallurgy, construction, and emergency rescue.
An electric motor, a gasoline engine, or compressed air can all be used to power the angle grinder – or in this case the small angle grinder. For practical purposes, the portable angle grinder is the most widely used and recognized type. Cutting discs having a diameter of up to 115 mm are used in small angle grinders. They’re great for cutting metal, but they rapidly run out of steam when it comes to concrete.
When purchasing a small angle grinder, or bigger kinds, keep the following aspects in mind:Motor powePower sourceRPMArbor size
Angle Grinders of Various Types
Angle grinders are divided into three main categories, each with its own set of applications. To make an informed purchasing selection, it’s critical to grasp the distinctions between each variety.
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Cordless Angle Grinders
Angle grinders with cordless power are utilized in a wide range of applications. These grinders may be moved from one location to another without needing to be connected to a power source. When it comes to doing ladder and scaffold-based grinding jobs, cordless grinders are especially useful because there are no trailing wires to provide a trip hazard. To eliminate the worry of a regular mains power connection, it is recommended to pick models with large capacity batteries.
Corded Angle Grinders
In some cases, the guarantee of a dependable power outlet will be necessary, as corded angle grinders can be used as long as they are linked to the power source. Small angle grinders that are corded are generally less in weight than cordless versions. If you’re planning to use your grinder for modest cutting chores on a regular basis, get one with a tiny disc. You should also consider the ergonomics and vibration level of the grinder you’ve picked.
Pneumatic Angle Grinders
Pneumatic angle grinders are suitable for cutting and shaping metal workpieces because they combine performance and durability. This type of small angle grinders is mostly utilized for light-duty operations that need a lot of accuracy. Pneumatic grinders need the use of an air compressor, but they are well-suited to high-precision applications and are far lighter than conventional angle grinder models. Furthermore, some come equipped with throttle levers, allowing for precise control while doing specialized chores like feather edging and speed grinding.
Depending on the discs attached, here’s a summary of the most typical uses for air angle grinders:
- Grinding: Using moderate pressure at an angle, the material will be smoothed to perfection. Surface preparation and material removal are among the activities included.
- Cutting: For precise pipe or metal cutting, smaller wheels are utilized.
- Angle grinders are excellent for sanding woodwork.
- Deburring: Air grinders can quickly remove pestilent burrs or material remnants.
- Chamfering: wheels may be used to create bevels and grooves as well.
- Angle grinders are also used to remove welded connections and smooth them out.
Angle Grinder Sizes
The size of the angle grinder is defined by the size of the disc, not the tool’s length. Smaller discs spin more quicker and produce a clean incision in the surface.
Grinder discs with a diameter of 12 cm are the most frequent. It may be used for modest projects such as cutting wood or metal up to 2-3 cm thick. It is not advised to use a small angle grinder to cut stones or concrete.
Small pieces of wood, thin metal, and aluminum that are 4-5cm thick can be utilized with the 18cm discs. Larger chunks of any material up to 7-8cm thick can be cut with the 23 cm discs.
What to Look for in a Small Angle Grinder
small angle grinders can usually hold a disc that are seven inches in diameter or smaller. They’re found on a number of angle grinders and may be utilized for a variety of cutting and grinding tasks. The 4″ and 4 12″ sizes are the most popular. These grinders can generally handle wheels up to 7 inches in diameter, with smaller models able to handle 3 inches discs.
The small angle grinders should ideally feature a brushless motor, which eliminates the need to change brushes on a regular basis. The cordless model’s brushless motor will also allow for efficient operation, reducing heat build-up and ensuring that the tool lasts for a longer length of time.
The kick back brake is an important safety element that ensures the wheel of any small angle grinder stops immediately if it becomes stuck. This will keep the instrument from falling loose and inflicting significant harm. Some angle grinders also have two-stage triggers, which need the safety switch to be turned off before the trigger may activate the tool. This reduces the possibility of unintentional starts while changing CDs.
Small Angle Grinders ; Our 3 Suggestions
A 115mm angle grinder is a more versatile power tool since it is smaller. A smaller cutting disc allows for more precision while operating, therefore we recommend a 115mm small angle grinder if you wish to trim tiles to form, sharpen blades, or cut and grind more complicated stone and metals tasks.
EasyCutGrind from Bosch
On the DIY market, the EasyCutGrind is the smallest and lightest of small angle grinders. Metal and carbide multi-material cutting discs are included with the EasyCutGrind, and are suited for metal, carton, wood, laminated, and plastic materials. A free hand cutting adaptor, which is also included in the delivery, makes it simple to cut off tiny workpieces. The offered accessories are completed by a grinding disc with three sanding sheets, which allows for grinding and deburring operations.
- Cuts a variety of materials, including circular wood, plastic, cardboard, and even metal. Small grinding jobs or edge deburring can be done using the additional grinding disc.
- DIY, adjustment, and repair work are all made easier with this multifunctional cordless cutting grinder, which has a cutting depth of up to 14 mm.
- Simple and secure to use: Automatic shut-off, 2-step activation, and ready-to-use in seconds.
DeWALT Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch, 11-Amp (DWE402K)
The Dust Ejection System prevents harmful dust from entering the tool, One-Touch GuardTM for 360-degree rotation, and Quick-ChangeTM Wheel Release for simple wheel removal are just a few of the features included in the DWE402K 4-1/2″ (115mm) Small Angle Grinder Kit.
- The angle grinder’s 11amp AC/DC 11,000 RPM engine is intended for quicker material removal and better overload protection.
- The Dust Ejection System extends the life of the metal grinder by ejecting harmful dust and debris particles that enter through the air intake vents.
- The DeWALT angle grinder has a low-profile gear box that allows it to fit into small places.
- The Quick-Change wheel release eliminates the need for a wrench to remove the wheel.
- The One-Touch Guard allows you to rotate the guard 360 degrees in a single motion.
- Accidental start-up is prevented by a paddle switch with a safety lock-off.
- Wheel flanges that match enable for the usage of common accessories.
Ronix 3151 Mini Angle Grinder, 1000W, 11000 RPM
If you need assistance with deburring, sanding, blending, and finishing, a small angle grinder will be exactly what you need. The Ronix 3151 Mini Angle Grinder is tiny and compact enough to reach those hard-to-reach spots, yet its strong 1000W engine is powerful enough to do the job quickly and effectively. It boasts an ergonomic slender body design for easier usage in a variety of working environments. It also includes an ergonomic 2-position shock-proof side handle to reduce vibration and assure uninterrupted operation.
- Effective and powerful No-load speed of a 1000W motor is up to 11000 RPM.
- 2 vacancies.Ergonomic thin body design for more convenient operations in various working environments.Anti-shock ergonomic side handle reduces vibration and allows for sustained low-fatigue work.Ergonomic slim body design for more convenient operations in various working environments
- A direct airflow system cools the motor, resulting in more consistent performance.
- Fast disc guard change that allows the user to set the guard at a variety of working angles
- System for replacing carbon brushes that is simple and quick
- An anti-dust switch minimizes dust penetration, which is especially useful in construction applications.
- A new locking pin system with a safety mechanism that speeds up disc changes.
Use of a Small Angle Grinder
Small angle grinders.just like any other angle grinder- function by attaching a range of replaceable abrasive discs or blades to a fast-revolving headpiece. The Rapid rotation makes these instruments very strong, allowing them to cut through even the toughest materials such as metal, concrete, and stone. Smaller grinders, on the other hand, can be used for more delicate tasks like cutting ceramic tiles or polishing metal.
A small angle grinder can be used to grind away burrs left after cutting metal using different power saws, in addition to cutting the materials listed above. Grinders may also be used to remove rust and grime from metal, as well as polish it. This multi-purpose tool can even remove paint and sharpen instruments.
Angle grinders can be used with a variety of attachments, including diamond-bladed cutting discs for tile cutting, abrasive discs for sanding, grinding, and polishing, and cleaning wire brushes. Angle grinders are strong and quick instruments. When using a small angle grinder, exercise extreme caution and always wear protective equipment, including safety glasses.
Angle grinders come in a range of sizes, with 115mm and 230mm being the most popular. The majority of the grinders in this evaluation are small angle grinder of a smaller size, which is ideal for most household and DIY requirements. If you’re cutting huge sheets of material or slabs, however, the larger machine will be more suitable. Make sure you select the correct accessory size for your tool.
The 115mm angle grinder is the best angle grinder for beginners since it is lightweight and easy to operate. The smaller size also allows for more accuracy, making it ideal for tasks like tile trimming, blade sharpening, and grinding and polishing complex metal work.
Safety Precautions When operating Angle Grinder
Angle grinders are strong and quick equipment that should be used with extreme caution and small angle grinders are no exception. When using one, always use safety goggles or a face shield, as well as gloves. In addition, constantly double-check that the guard is appropriately set for the work at hand.
To ensure that a new wheel is not defective or damaged, run it for a minute or two in a safe location.
The wheel should always be aligned such that it spins away from sharp edges. This will keep the wheel from grabbing and tossing the work, as well as causing the grinder to kickback.
- How do you cut metal with an angle grinder?Cutting metal with an angle grinder is a breeze. To finish the task, you’ll need a metal cut off wheel.
- What Can Destroy a Small Angle Grinder?There’s always the chance of damaging the abrasive wheel, no matter what angle grinder you’re using. The abrasive wheels must be properly mounted on the matching tool.
- How do you cut tiles with an angle grinder?A stone cutting or diamond blade is required to cut ceramic tiles, stone, or concrete.
- Is it possible to sharpen blades with an angle grinder?An angle grinder can be used to sharpen blades in a rough manner. With a clamp, hold the blade to a stable surface, and then gently move the grinder to the blade’s edge to begin sharpening.
- Is it possible to get angle grinders that run on batteries?Yes, there actually is a large range of battery-powered cordless angle grinders.
- How deep can a 4” grinder cut?The diameter of the cutting wheel differs significantly from its cutting depth; for example, a 4″ grinder can penetrate as deep as an inch and a half.
The small angle grinder should ideally include a brushless motor, which reduces such a need to replace the brushes on a daily basis. The kickback brake is a critical safety feature that instantly stops the wheel when it becomes stuck. This will keep the instrument from becoming loose and inflicting major harm. Some angle grinders have two-stage triggers, which need the safety switch to be turned off before the trigger may discharge. This reduces the likelihood of unintentional disc changes that result in a start.