Best Angle Grinder for Wood Carving
Most angle grinders are for grinding, cutting, sanding, and polishing materials like metal and ceramic. Few of them are designed for carving wood, and that’s a problem because you can damage your workpiece or hurt yourself if the grinder accidentally gets away from you.
How do you find a wood carving grinder if they’re not built for woodworking? This checklist should help you narrow down your choices until you find the best angle grinder for wood carving.
Aim for a grinder that is under five pounds. You will have much better control of it. Don’t worry about getting less power; most angle grinders cut through metal in a couple of passes. Even the smallest grinder has about 6-Amps, which is enough power to carve wood for extended periods.
A smaller grinder will be easier to maneuver for complicated designs. You’ll also have enough power over it to reign it in quickly should it slip off course.
Disc Size Type
Wood carving grinders use 4 ½-inch grinding discs designed specifically for shaping wood. You want to ensure the grinder you pick supports discs of this size; otherwise, you won’t be able to use the right attachments.
A traditional grinder disc will snag when you try to carve wood with it. That’s a dangerous situation to put yourself in, especially since you risk severe injury every time you lose control of a grinder. It is vital that you get a grinder that fits the right disks for the job.
Safety features are crucial when carving wood with an angle grinder, so you’ll need an extra layer of safety. That’s provided by safety features that stop accidents before they happen.
A good example is the emergency shutoff. Grinders that have this feature automatically shut down when they snag or start to malfunction. A clogged grinder can suddenly slip from your hands and damage your wood, or worse, it can injure you severely. The auto-shutoff feature allows you to perform immediate maintenance, so it prolongs the tool’s life too.
A handguard is another must-have feature. It should be movable too, as that will protect you better when you’re doing detailed work. Some of them rotate a full 360 for optimal positioning.
The most useful features are those that make the grinder more convenient to use. One of them is an adjustable handle. It gives you so much extra control that you can shape intricate pieces while maintaining a good grip on the grinder.
Another feature to look out for is the spindle lock, which makes disc changes effortless. A spindle lock affords you the luxury of quick, tool-less blade changes, making your transition from carving to sanding painless.
Last but not least, variable speed control is necessary for precision and detail. It is also a safety feature that keeps the grinder firmly in your control.
Even with a buying guide, you may still struggle to find an angle grinder that carves wood simply because there aren’t too many out there. If you’re not sure where to start looking, here are a few decent options to check out first.
Black Decker (BDEG400) 4 ½-inch Angle Grinder
A perfectly affordable option is the Black Decker BDGE400, a 6-amp grinder in the thirty-dollar range. Despite being an entry-level tool, it sports an all-metal gear case and a narrow, comfortable body that’s durable and ergonomic. We usually see these features in mid-range grinders.
You can reposition the handle to three sides: top, left, and right. That’s extra control and comfort while taking on extended projects or carving from difficult angles. Luckily, there’s nothing difficult about how the tool works, even when it comes to switching accessories. It features a spindle lock, so you can switch grinding accessories quickly and without tools.
This angle grinder weighs just under four and a half pounds and is around five inches across. Its compact body is one of the reasons why it’s one of the best angle grinders for carving wood.
DeWALT (DWE4011) 4 ½-inch Angle Grinder
The 7-amp motor in the DeWALT DWE4011 runs on AC/DC power and can achieve a maximum of 12,000 RPM. Since it’s equipped with overload protection, it’s a hard worker, a powerful grinder for hardwoods, and for designs that call for faster material removal.
One of its most prominent features is the protective guard. It’s called a one-touch guard because you don’t need tools to adjust its position. Sadly, you can’t say the same about accessory changes on this tool because it needs a hex wrench for basic swap-outs.
But, a ‘Quick Change’ release lets you swap out the wheel quickly without needing any tools. The convenience extends to its handling, where a removable, 2-position side handle gives you more control over the powerful grinder.
Its slim body is ergonomic enough to handle delicate applications on wood, and the movable handle lets you carve or sand from multiple angles in comfort.
Bosch (1375A) 4 ½-inch Angle Grinder
If you’re bent on finding the lightest grinder to work with, here is one that weighs only 3.75 pounds. Its compact stature is still enough to carry a 6-amp motor with a no-load speed of 11,000 RPM.
It comes with an auxiliary handle that you can position on two sides. This handle angles into a more natural position to improve user comfort. The top of it is grippy and comfortable to hold for extended periods.
This Bosch packs an interesting bit of technology called the Service Minder Brush System. It stops the tool once it needs preventative maintenance, saving it from potentially irreparable damage. Its durability is further assured by the use of an epoxy coat and sealed-switch design, which protects it from the abrasive debris it generates.
Porter-Cable (PCEG011) 4 ½-inch Angle Grinder
Weighing four pounds and measuring four by five by thirteen inches, this Porter-Cable angle grinder is comfortably small. Its compact plastic body is built around a 6-amp motor that’s capable of up to 12,000 RPM, but its gearcase is solid cast metal for extra heat resistance and durability.
It comes with a 3-position adjustable handle, which gives you better control when you need to approach the workpiece from multiple angles. It also features several safety features, including a no-volt switch and a tool-free guard.
The no-volt switch cuts off all power to the tool following a power disruption. Its job is to prevent an accidental restart if the tool’s power switch is in the “ON” position. The tool-free guard is easy to adjust as you work, giving you better protection and minimizing downtime. You’ll also spend less time changing the wheel thanks to the integrated spindle lock, which only needs a single wrench.
DIY Carved Wood Wall Art
This post may contain affiliate links. This won’t change your price, but may share some commission. Read my full disclosure here.
I’m in love with my newest piece of wall art, and making it was a lot easier than it looks! Check out this power carved wood wall art and tell me where you think it should go.
I’ve got a little bit of picture overload for you today. It’s honestly due to a number of factors:
- I loved the way my project turned out
- I loved that I didn’t have to put on makeup to be in these photos because my face is covered up
- Even though my face is covered up, I look like a badass in these photos
- This project looks harder to do than it actually is
- This is part of a blog/YouTube hop called the #WoodArtChallenge
Watch: DIY Power Carving – Wood Wall Art!
Don’t know about the Wood Art Challenge yet? Well, in a nutshell, around 25 of us DIYers/makers (bloggers, Youtubers, Instagrammers, etc.) are all teaming up to present you guys with a single hive mind creative challenge: make a piece of wall art that is SQUARE and made out of WOOD.
Thassit. That’s the challenge. And that means with so many ways to interpret that, there are LOTS of DIY ideas in store for you guys today! Just look to the bottom of this post for others who are participating.
As many of you guys know (unless you’re new here because of the hop thing, in which case hi, stay awhile, we get weird around here… in a good way), I would call myself a woodworking “beginner”. Even though I’ve got plenty of house fixing shenanigans under my belt, there’s a whole other world of power tool fun that I am just now starting to learn more about. And that’s how I found myself using an angle grinder to make a block of wood look like fabric.
Or twisted metal? Or maybe just crumpled paper? I still can’t put my finger on precisely what I think it resembles most, but it definitely doesn’t look like anything I’ve created out of wood before!
It was actually inspired by an artist I follow on Instagram, nugeandwood. My attempt was, of course, pretty small and quick compared to his giant, awe-inducing carved sculpture (which takes anywhere from a few weeks to a couple months to complete). Seriously guys — you’re missing out if you haven’t seen his stuff yet!
The best part of it is, my DIY version doesn’t use a lot of tools to accomplish; the tools you would need to purchase are well within a normal DIY budget too, so this makes it a great beginner’s woodworking project!
What you’ll need:
- eye/ear/clothing protection, and a breathing mask (this is a very sawdusty project! don’t breathe all that in!), a hat is good too
- 1x8x8 poplar board (if you choose another hardwood, keep in mind that hardwood species carve differently, or so I’ve read)
- 4 1/2″ angle grinder (I bought mine, but there’s a very good chance a neighbor has one… Harbor Freight has them pretty cheap too)
- 4 1/2″ carbide cup wheel from Harbor Freight (only 10, and no, this is not sponsored)
- 4 1/2″ sanding disc in 40 or 80 grit (I preferred 40)
- lots of sandpaper: extra coarse (around 40 grit), coarse (60-80 grit), medium (100-150 grit), fine (220 grit), extra fine (400 grit)… a lot of this you’ll probably already have, and you can also buy finishing discs for your 4 1/2″ angle grinder if you wish, but you will likely have to hand sand a little
- cling wrap
- bar clamps
- painter’s tape
- wood glue
- wood stain (I used Varathane in Golden Mahogany because it dries super-fast)
- triple thick gloss glaze spray
- flush mount hangers (I LOVE these!!)
note: list contains affiliate links – for more on that, see here.
How I Made This Wavy Carved Wall Art
Cut pieces to size
Cut down the 1×8 poplar into 6 roughly-equal pieces (it’s ok if it’s slightly off). Line them up the way you would like to establish the block you’ll carve into. Be mindful of the layers below; you’ll carve through parts of the top boards to expose lower layers.
Cover your work surface with cling wrap and tape the ends with painter’s tape (to prevent you from gluing your wood block to your work table).
For my version, I had two scrap pieces that had been Kreg Jig‘d together for another project I forgot about ages ago. Since these pieces formed a 90-degree angle, they were perfect for using as temporary clamp pieces in the next step.
Glue and clamp the entire block together
I glued 2 stacks of 3 pieces each of the poplar, side by side. This sounds confusing, but it’s not. Just make two equal stacks of your poplar pieces and glue them in order. Be sure to cover the layers in between and the side where the two stacks touch with an ample amount of glue.
If you have or make clamp helpers like I did, put painter’s tape on any sides that will touch the glue… just in case.
With the glue still wet, clamp the ever-loving crap out of the wood block so that it will dry as one solid piece. Be sure to clamp the sides together and the layers (clamp vertically and horizontally).
Cut to square and sketch your carving
Since the top and bottom ends of the block aren’t perfectly square, now is the time to cut the excess off so you have a truly square block. Sorry, them’s the rules.
I used the back of my block to sketch out a few lines of where I thought “folds” of my make-believe wood fabric would be, along with giving the carving disc a few test runs to make sure I had a good handle on it.
With my carbide blade attached, I went to town on my wood block. Gently, at first, then more aggressive.
It made surprisingly quick work of the wood, and I began to learn how to control the curve and carve of the disc to get the shape I wanted.
This part was the quickest and most fun! It really only took an hour or two to carve the bulk of what I wanted. When I felt I had a better handle on how to get the shape, I went in again for a second pass to get things smoother.
Ugh. This part. No fun. But I highly recommend getting a 40-grit sanding disc to attach to the angle grinder as well. This made getting those first big chunks sanded away to a smoother result. I tried again with the 80-grit one, but it left lots of bumps and I regretted it.
(For those who might suggest the Arbortech Turbo Plane to avoid/reduce all the sanding — I do know of the tool. I think it would be awesome to try one and haven’t yet tried it myself. But for a beginner’s project, it doesn’t make sense to recommend a blade that costly. Usually budget is a reason for DIYing and/or part of the roadblock for why someone might not try to DIY, so I’m not going to recommend it here. For professional woodworkers or those who intend on churning out multiple carved pieces, that would be worth giving a try though.)
After trying a few other battery- and corded- assisting tools to sand down the remainder, I had to resort to good ol’ fashioned sandpaper for the rest. I hated this part because I was already tired from carving.
Stain and seal.
At first, I was really tempted to go with a bold color, like blue or green, since the grain reminded me of a topographical map. I picked out a brown stain instead, because I was worried that the few lines where I used wood glue to connect pieces would not take stain and/or detract from the rest of the piece. I’m sure with more glue-up practice and better clamps, I could see fewer lines from the glue. Either way, I still loved the result!
Hang and admire your work. ?
After way too much dry time (it rained for two days and things just would. not. dry.), I got fed up and finally hung my piece using some of my favorite hangers (they allow the art to sit flush on the wall). I love it!
For now, it’s hanging in the entryway, but I may move it at some point.
What do you think? What color would you have picked? Would you have put a frame around it? I considered so many possibilities on this one, that the options are still pretty tempting. I’d love to hear your ideas.
P.S. If you’re wondering what those pictures taped to my garage wall are all about, check that out here. K is a real prankster.
Don’t forget, this is a WOOD ART CHALLENGE and a number of other folks are participating, so go check them out!
Is It Possible to Use an Angle Grinder for Cutting Wood?
A good angle grinder can easily cut through metal, masonry, and even concrete. But is a good idea to use an Angle Grinder for Cutting Wood? Before you bring out your trusty angle grinder to maul that would-be piece of lumber, consider the following factors.
Angle Grinder for Wood Cutting, Yay or Nay?
Yes, is the quick and idiotic response. However, it isn’t ideal, and most professionals advise against cutting wood with a metal cutting disc. You must understand how to utilize Angle Grinder for Cutting Wood and which blades to apply. However, there are also significant dangers associated with using an angle grinder for woodcutting, so understanding what to expect can help you stay safe. What is the reason behind this? Because cutting a flammable material like wood with an abrasive blade on a grinder might result in disaster. Aside from the obvious one, there is also another potential hazard associated with using Angle Grinder for Cutting Wood
Because of the density of the material, there is more resistance when using a high-speed power instrument like a grinder to create a cut on a piece of metal, or even when attempting to cut concrete with a diamond saw blade. With wood, however, this is not the case. When utilizing Angle Grinder for Cutting Wood, a lightweight material, a tiny change in posture, such as simply bending your wrist, might cause the grinder to dramatically shift direction. When this happens, your response time may be insufficient to reverse the virtually immediate change, and you may find yourself with an out-of-control grinder running at 15,000 RPM. Plus, most grinders don’t have an electronic brake and are sluggish to stop spinning, and I’m guessing you don’t want to get in the way of an enraged grinder flying through space and time.
Injuries Caused by Inappropriate Use of Angle Grinder for Cutting Wood
In a study conducted by a group of hand surgeons in Japan based on the records of 15 patients treated for angle grinder injury between 2017 and 2018, it was proven that the lack of knowledge about the machine’s capacity was the main reason of these injuries. Not knowing about the potential hazards of using an angle grinder for cutting wood may result in untreatable and permeant damages.
Therefore, if we get back to the question here, can angle grinders also be used to cut wood?
The best answer would be: Yes, of course. An angle grinder can cut wood because it has the strength and capability to do so. That does not mean, however, that using an angle grinder for cutting wood would be the optimum of the situations. Although an angle grinder is useful for little projects, you should think hard before using it on a major project.
What Angle Grinder Blades Are Best for Cutting Wood?
An angle grinder has its purpose if you’re simply seeking to cut little woodcuts (like the edges of trim) or carve portions of wood. However, either a three-tooth wood cutting disc or a wood carving disc should be used. When it comes to using an angle grinder for cutting wood, the correct kind of blade is required. So, let’s look at a few alternatives for the greatest wood-cutting blades.
Let’s start with the question of whether a normal blade can be used to cut wood. This is a common mistake made by novice users, and it is something you should avoid. Cutting with a normal blade is possible, but the safety is inadequate. The grinder might rise and fly off the table you’re working on if something goes wrong. You might be badly injured if you rotate at high speeds. Instead of attempting to use a regular blade, you should seek for one of the woodcutting blades listed below to assist reduce the chance of an accident while maintaining the smooth and accurate appearance of your project. Rotating at high speeds might cause serious injury. Instead of attempting to use a standard blade, go for one of the woodcutting blades mentioned below to help decrease the risk of an accident while keeping the smooth and precise aesthetic of your project. Choose a wood carving disc for an angle grinder that will operate on both soft and hard woods. A disc with the strength required for woodworking, as well as the proper form and design to undertake woodcutting operations with ease.
Angle Grinder for Cutting Wood: 3 Top Picks
A wood carving disc made specifically for an angle grinder is available (flex). Wood, laminated flooring, parquet (hardwood), aerated concrete, plasterboard, and plastic are all safe to operate on because to the unique form. If you require a woodworking tool for an angle grinder (flex), you’ll need a Speed-cutter disc. The GRAFF Speed-cutter woodworking disc features only three teeth, allowing the angle grinder to achieve an acceptable level of radial resistance at a Rapid rotation rate.
- All-In-One Carving Tool
- No Overheating
- PROVEN MATERIAL
- T TOVIA 5 Wood Carving Disc for Angle Grinder
People have been utilizing circular saw blades with angle grinding machines for woodworking for many years, which is dangerous! An angle grinder’s large number of teeth paired with its Rapid RPM rate frequently results in finger amputations and other serious accidents!
- All-In-One Carving Tool
- No Overheating
- Proven Material
- Ronix 3210 Mini Angle Grinder
No one can refute Ronix 3210’s capability. Our clients love this power tool because of its strong 2400W motor, 8000RPM no-load speed, 180mm wheel diameter, and ergonomic features. To turn it on, all you have to do is plug it in and press the anti-dust button. Because of its air-flow cooling mechanism, working long hours will not be a problem for the 3210. Working with an angle grinder has become so simple and comfortable thanks to the development of various ergonomically designed features in such a power instrument. Three-position anti-vibration side handle, rotating main handle, quick-change disc guard, and locking pin system are among the features.
- Professional heavy-duty 2400W powerful motor that enables high performances
- 3 positions anti-shock ergonomic side handle, minimizes vibration and reduces fatigue during long time working
- Rotary main handle which accelerate working in different angles and improves user comfort and control
- Soft start switch system that ensures the safety of operation
- Direct airflow system which cools the motor for more reliable performance and higher overload capabilities
- NSK anti-dust ball bearings which ensure long lifetime of the motor and make it work more smoothly
- Quick change of disc guard that allows the user to place the guard in different working positions
- Easy and fast carbon brush changing mechanism
- New locking pin system for easy and fast disc changing and safety mechanism
- Anti-dust switch which reduces dust penetration, especially in masonry working conditions
Is Using an Angle Grinder to Cut Wood Effective?
Using an angle grinder for cutting wood raises a number of obvious safety hazards. However, if you take the proper precautions, use the proper three-tooth cutting disc, and just need to trim a few corners here and there, an angle grinder is a feasible alternative.
Carving, sanding, and shaping are all operations that angle grinders excel at. You can shape wooden materials like a master craftsman with a wood carving disc attached to your angle grinder.
Tips and Tricks to Avoid Mistakes
While using an angle grinder for cutting wood, however, the least you can do is to always wear the proper PPE, such as safety goggles, ear protection, and cut resistant gloves, which are the absolute least minimum when working with a grinder. Keep in mind that the guard should never be removed unless the power supply is disconnected. When cutting any material with a grinder without a protection, you might end up in the hospital.
- The first mistake to avoid is driving too quickly. When performing something potentially harmful, it’s natural to want to get it over with as soon as possible. In this case, you could wind yourself paying a high price for it.
- One of the most crucial aspects of using an angler grinder to cut wood is to go slow and careful with your motions. As a result, take your time. If you hurry the job, you risk receiving a kickback from the grinder, which might result in serious injury.
- Keep in mind that you’ll almost certainly need to become used to cutting at an angle. Your inclination will be to cut straight down, but this will increase your risk of harm. Instead, try making each cut at a small slant. The angle will perform better and cut more accurately because this tool is designed to carve wood rather than cut it.
- What blades should I use when using an angle grinder for cutting wood?If you intend to use an angle grinder for small trimming or little jobs as such, select a proper three-tooth cutting disc.
- Should you use an angle grinder for cutting wood?No, it’s a last-ditch attempt that should only be used if you don’t have any other options.
- How to use an angle grinder in woodworking?This handheld power tool can be used for grinding, sanding, abrasive cutting and polishing wood.
As you can see, the debate over whether or not angle grinders should be used to cut wood is not simple. The reason for this is because this tool may be too strong for most wood products, increasing the risk of harm from backlash. However, you do have options when it comes to cutting wood with a grinder, as you can simply replace the disc to a three-tooth disc for minor projects. While we believe there are certain advantages to utilizing an angle grinder for carving, shaping, and sanding, you must be completely focused and aware of the grinder’s limitations in contrast to other instruments. When attempting to create accurate miter cuts or ripping boards of wood, if you have access to a circle saw, table saw, or even a miter saw, you’d be better off going that route.