Grinder for cutting metal
An angle grinder, also known as a side grinder or disc grinder, is a handheld power tool used for grinding, abrasive cutting and polishing. This type of hand-held power tool does not have a cutting blade but a grinding wheel. You can sand and polish different surfaces to sharpen tools and grind materials with it.
Top Angle Grinder Uses?
Angle grinders spin at magnificent speeds, so with the correct cutting disc fitted, it can be used for cutting through different types of materials, such as metal, bricks, aluminum, steel, wood, stone and concrete. They can also be used for making plunge cuts in tiles if you need to remove a section.
Grinding Discs are used for grinding down metal or stone to shape it or smooth down a freshly made cut. They will also smooth out fresh welds as well as remove grout and mortar, providing a fast material removal in many situations. Depressed center grinding wheels will handle tough right-angle grinding applications. Deburring is essential after cutting metal, as the angle grinder will often leave behind jagged edges.
Angle grinders can also be used for polishing metal thanks to their high RPM. The main tool for doing so is a flap disc or wire wheel. They provide Rapid cleaning action on many materials. These versatile grinder attachments will clean, polish and deburr all-in-one. Whilst grinding discs are great, and often an essential after cutting through metal, they may cause some scratches to be left on your workpiece. This is where your flap disc will come in. Wire brushes are also great at removing stubborn paint from a variety of surfaces.
The angle grinder is small and convenient enough to be held by hand.
After installing the blade,the sharp blade can easily cut materials such as wood and metal.
After installing the grinding disc, it is easy to make the rough cutting smooth.
The exhaust vent on the machine facilitates heat dissipation, which allows the machine to work longer.
Fun Facts About Angle Grinder Size
A Do you know the size of angle grinder is not determined by the length of the tool itself but by the size of the disc? The most commonly-used grinder disc size is with a diameter of 12.5 cm, which is suitable for cutting wood or metal with a maximum thickness of 2-3 cm. But it is not recommended to use it for cutting stones or concrete. The 18cm discs can be used for small pieces of wood, thin metal and aluminum, which are 4-5cm thick. The 23 cm discs can cut larger pieces of any material that is 7-8cm thick. Normally, smaller discs can spin way faster and leave a clear cut.
Taken with Canon EOS M6 Mark II
Angle Grinder Dicks
Ordinary Abrasive Consolidated Abrasives are abrasives that are consolidated into a certain shape by a bonding agent and have a certain strength. Generally composed of abrasive, bonding agent and pores, these three parts are often referred to as the three elements of a consolidated abrasive.
According to the different abrasives used, it can be divided into ordinary abrasive consolidated abrasives and super-hard abrasive consolidated abrasives. The former is made of ordinary abrasives such as corundum and silicon carbide, and the latter is made of super-hard abrasives such as diamond and cubic boron nitride.
For grinding concrete and metal use grinding disk.
Try a diamond tuckpointing wheel to remove mortar.
For cutting metal sheets, pipe, tile, masonry, and wire use a cutting disk.
To remove rust and paint use brushing wheels.
Ceramic or white aluminum oxide disks are available for cutting and grinding harder steels such as stainless steel.
Diamond coated disks can be used for cutting brick, stone, concrete, slate and roof tiles.
These are a relatively new innovation and similar to disks used for cutting masonry. The edge of the disk is coated with diamond particles. These have three major advantages over traditional bonded abrasive disks:
- The disk is steel and much less likely to shatter.
- No use-by date issues unlike bonded abrasive disks.
- Cutting doesn’t produce sparks.
Thinner disks are used for cutting metal sheeting such as roof cladding. These cut quicker with less friction so there’s less damage to protective coating/paint on sheets. However, they also wear away somewhat quicker.
Centro de Formación en Soldadura
When attaching your disc, check the specification. The max RPM on the disc should meet or exceed the max RPM of the angle grinder you plan to use. If the rated speed of the disc is lower than your grinder, chances are that the wheel would fly apart.
Unlike drill motors that run at about 700 to 1,200 rpm, grinders spin at a breakneck speed of 10,000 to 11,000 rpm. They’re fast enough to be scary! As angle grinders can quickly remove lots of material, sparks are created too. Put on safety gear like goggles, long sleeves, and full-face protection. You can lower the risk as much as possible by positioning the tool properly. Your chances of getting injured can be reduced if you ensure that sparks and debris fly away from your body. What’s more, the lifespan of your work clothes will be longer!
It is not a good idea to stop the disc before you’re completely done because the disc can stick in the material. Let the part you’re cutting fall on the ground and stop the tool then. The part will be hot so let it cool down for a few minutes before touching it.
This can overload the power tool. Instead, angle the grinder so that sparks are thrown in a different direction from you, and allow the tool to develop maximum speed and press it gently onto the material you’re cutting. Keep the disc on 90 degrees all the time and avoid twisting it because it can bend or break.
This may come as strange to you, but did you know that discs have an expiration date too? This is because moisture and rust can damage the disc.
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.
For sanding, apply the tool at a 5°-10° angle to the work surface. For grinding, try a 15°-30° angle; make sure you’re using the flat part of the wheel when using this attachment.
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!
If the wheel is still spinning, it can move around on the surface you set it on. Apply the braking system of DEKO angle grinders and you don’t need to wait for it to come to a full stop.
How to Use an Angle Grinder to Cut Metal?
One of the most popular power tools found in any hardware store, the angle grinder can be used for a wide variety of purposes. From grinding, cutting, and polishing all kinds of materials to sharpening blades and dull edges, this tool is definitely a favorite among woodworkers, metalworkers, and DIYers alike. There are many projects that can be tackled with this piece of equipment, but this time we’re going to FOCUS on how you can use an angle grinder to cut metal and everything else you need to know to do it.
How does an angle grinder work?
Before we start, it might be useful to understand how an angle grinder works first. This tool can be powered by an electric motor or compressed air, and either be corded or cordless. The grinding and cutting are carried out by a disc or wheel that spins at a high speed, usually between 8000 and 11000 RPM. Mounted on a geared head driven by the motor, a disc is a thin, round attachment that wears away as it’s used until it becomes small and needs to be replaced. When a disc is thicker than ½ inch, it’s called a wheel, which is generally used for stripping old paint, removing rust, and polishing. There are many styles of discs and wheels available to suit all kinds of tasks, making the angle grinder a very versatile piece of equipment worthy of being part of your arsenal. As regards features, most grinders nowadays come with an adjustable guard and side handle to allow a safe two-handed operation.
What types of metal cuts can I do with an angle grinder?
Equipped with an angle grinder, you can make rough cuts on small and medium gauge metal stock such as sheet metal, aluminum, rebar, and other mild types of steel. Cutting through dense materials like angle iron and cast iron, and hard items like rods, bolts and metal piping can also be done by attaching the right disc or wheel.
What attachment do I need to cut metal with an angle grinder?
As we’ve mentioned before, discs come in different grains, thicknesses, and sizes. To cut through most types of metal, you’re going to need a metal cutting disc, also known as an abrasive cutoff disc. This type of disc has an edge made of aluminum oxide, a softer bond that results in fast and smooth cuts. For projects that involve thin metal, you should choose a 1.0 mm or 0.8 mm cutoff disc to make a quick job of cutting your piece, leaving a cleaner finish, and minimizing discoloration. There are other types of discs, such as the iron-free stainless steel cutting discs, which, as the name suggests, are used to cut through steel and stainless steel. For this task, you should go for a 1 mm or 1.6 mm disc. For heavier steel and harder metals, such as cast iron, you will need a diamond disc that’s between 1.6 mm and 2.5 mm thick. Bear in mind that thicker wheels cut slower and generate more friction, inevitably leading to discoloration and requiring extra smoothing and polishing steps. Before buying a new disc or wheel, you should make sure that it’s the correct size to fit your angle grinder, and that the maximum RPM of the disc or wheel is higher than that of the tool to prevent damaging either of them and injuring yourself.
How to use an angle grinder to cut metal?
The hacksaw is usually the go-to tool for cutting metal, since that’s what it was originally designed for, after all. However, if you want to make a quick job of it with minimal effort on your part, then using an angle grinder is the way to go. So, let’s go step by step and see what you need to do to cut metal with an angle grinder.
- Safety goggles – to protect your eyes from sparks and debris produced by cutting.
- Earmuffs – to protect your ears from the loud noise produced by the grinder.
- A dust mask or face shield – to avoid inhaling any fumes or dust produced while cutting.
- Gloves – to prevent accidental cuts on your hands.
- Safety boots – to protect your feet from any pieces of metal that might fly down.
- Tightly fitting clothing – to avoid fabric getting caught by the disc.
Preparing your workspace, workpiece, and grinder
Declutter your workspace and secure the floor to prevent any accidents and avoid tripping and falling.
Next, you should mark the place where you want to make the cut. You can use a scratch awl or a permanent marker to outline the design. Once that’s done, you have to hold your workpiece firmly in a bench vise or clamp it down to your workstation to prevent dangerous slips.
Finally, before you plug the tool into the power source, you need to set the disc. To do this, you just have to open the spindle and insert the correct metal disc (we’re going to discuss this in detail later on). Then, you should fasten the spindle nut in place.
Remember to always check that both the tool and the disc are in good conditions before using them.
Cutting the metal piece
Now we can start with the fun part, learning the proper technique for cutting metal with an angle grinder:
- If your grinder is corded, plug it into the power source.
- Adjust the guard so that it’s positioned between your body and the tool.
- Once you turn the angle grinder on, allow the disc to reach full speed to achieve smoother and better results.
- Holding the tool firmly with both of your hands, set down the disc lightly on one of the lines you’ve previously marked at a 90° angle.
- Start cutting by moving the grinder back and forth along each set line. Don’t apply too much pressure and let the tool do the job for you to avoid kickback.
Depending on the thickness of the metal, you might need to apply some pressure, but make sure you do it slowly and carefully.
And that’s it, simply continue the process until you reach the other end of your outline and the piece is cut.
If you need to change directions while cutting, avoid doing it suddenly to ensure that the cut remains precise, and you don’t lose control of the tool.
Finishing the cut
In most cases, cutting metal with an angle grinder will lead to sharp edges that can make your workpiece dangerous to handle. Luckily, you can use the same tool to smooth them and deburr your workpiece.
This step is optional, and whether you carry it out depends entirely on the type of finish your project requires. However, we highly recommend that you do it as it won’t take long and might prevent accidents.
Simply remove the current disc and insert a flapper wheel instead. Position the tool at a 10°-15° angle over the sharp edge and gently run it along the surface, applying even pressure.
Now you’ve learned another of the many uses of an angle grinder!
When you get down to it, cutting metal with an angle grinder is not really a difficult task. As long as you follow the safety procedures and equip your angle grinder with the right disc or wheel, you can slice most metals with ease.
However, you might need some practice before you can achieve clean and efficient cuts. You might want to consider trying out your tool on a piece of scrap metal before getting to work on your piece.
Thanks for reading our guide on how to use an angle grinder to cut metal! You now know the basics of how an angle grinder works and how to operate it. All that’s left is for you to perfect your technique!
Hello and welcome to PowerToolGenius! My name is Liam and for the last 9 years, I have worked extensively with various power tools and accessories. I have tested hundreds of different brands and models and understand the industry extensively and have been working with tools my entire life!
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How to Use an Angle Grinder – 9 Tips to Grind Like a Pro
We got our Pro team together to give you some tips on how to use an angle grinder from basics to some advanced techniques and shortcuts. Angle grinders are controlled by either a trigger, paddle, or switch. They spin a disc at an incredible rate of speed for the express purpose of sanding, grinding, or cutting.
Due to the Rapid advancements in lithium-ion battery technology, the many angle grinder uses have expanded dramatically. This makes it a versatile tool used by a wide range of professionals. With so much flexibility at your disposal, the angle grinder also has a steep learning curve compared to many other tools.
– When Using an Angle Grinder, Protect Yourself!
Before you use an angle grinder, you’ll want to grab some personal protection gear. The reality of the angle grinder is that it’s a loud tool that kicks a whole lot of debris around. Plus, you’re not always grinding or polishing. Oftentimes, the job entails cutting. If you get sloppy with a cutting wheel or simply have bad luck, that wheel could turn into high-speed shrapnel.
For these reasons, you’ll do yourself a favor if you grab some hearing protection, long sleeves, gloves, and something to shield your entire face. You don’t want to take a hot shard of cut-off wheel to the moneymaker, after all. A grinder can also ruin your clothing, so wear protective outerwear if you don’t want pinholes in your clothes from flying hot metal.
Pro Tip: Having a cutting wheel fly apart on you at 10,000 RPM is no joke. There’s nothing you can do when it happens. As a result, you want to always wear a full face shield when using a cutting wheel—even when using a guard. Grinding and using a flap disc doesn’t typically present the same level of danger, so the guard and adequate eye protection are often enough.
– Perform a Ring Test on Grinding Wheels
We recommend doing what’s known as a “ring test” on any grinding wheel before affixing it to your grinder. You can actually do this on bench grinders as well. You basically suspend the grinder wheel from a pencil or other project. Then, gently tap it with the handle of a screwdriver or similar tool—anything not made of metal. Rotate it 180 degrees and do it again. A wheel in good condition should let out a distinctive metallic “ringing” sound.
That metallic ring comes indicates the integrity of the grinder wheel. An internally- or externally-cracked wheel typically stops the vibrations at the damaged point—preventing a clear ring. While the ring test does a good job of giving you an idea of the integrity of the wheel, you also want to follow up with a quick visual inspection.
Once you’re reasonably certain of the integrity of your grinding wheel, go ahead and mount it. The last thing we recommend before starting is to run that wheel on its own (pointed away from your face) for 15-30 seconds. This helps you know (by feel) if it’s properly centered and mounted and if there are any issues with the wheel balance.
– Angle Sparks Away from Your Body
Because angle grinders quickly remove lots of material, lower the risk as much as possible by positioning the tool properly. Using an angle grinder in different applications and with certain attachments calls for different angles. Ensuring sparks and debris fly away from your body reduces your chances of getting injured. Your work clothes will last longer, too!
– When Surface Grinding and Using Flap Discs
For surface grinding, use the flat part of the wheel, maintaining a 20°-30° angle between the tool and the work surface. Position the blade guard at the back toward your body. Use a smooth back-and-forth motion to guide the flap disc over the material. Let the wheel do the work, but feel free to apply enough pressure to ensure you’re being productive.
You can really grind down welds quickly in preparation for painting using this method.
– How to Hold an Angle Grinder When Using Cutting Wheels
You should tackle cutting straight on since you want to use the edge of your wheel to cut into the work surface. Be careful not to bend the cutting wheel in any direction. In this mode, the guard always goes on top to protect you from debris. Wearing a face shield also protects you against premature disc failure. And remember—if the guard isn’t between the cutting disc and your face—move it until it is.
Also—and this might go without saying—never “plunge cut” a cutting wheel into the material. Cutting at the 12 o’clock position is a recipe for kickback and loss of control. Instead, cut downward as shown in the image above.
– Guard Yourself Against Kickback
Kickback occurs any time the grinder wheel stops suddenly. This forces the grinder in the opposite direction of the rotation at the point of pinching. Knowing how to use an angle grinder in a way that avoids this can keep you safe. For cut-off applications, this can happen when the waste piece sags under its own weight—suddenly pinching the blade and causing the tool to transfer all that rotational energy into a kickback event.
Guard against this by properly using blade guards and by supporting your material properly so it doesn’t sag when making an abrasive cut.
You can also experience kickback when using abrasive wheels to grind down material. Corners, sharp edges, and other areas present possible points of kickback that can damage and/or stop a wheel suddenly. Take care to use the auxiliary handle in a way that gives you leverage to protect yourself should this occur. Never EVER use a grinder with one hand!
– Using a Grinder for Light Work or Sanding
For sanding applications, hold the tool at a 5°-10° angle to the work surface. For pretty much all grinder applications, apply only minimum pressure. You want to let the tool and the abrasive accessory do the hard work.
– Your Accessories Need to Match the RPM of the Grinder
Check the manufacturer’s specs when attaching your wheel, disc, or cup. The max RPM on the accessory should meet or exceed the max RPM of the grinder you plan to use. If the rated speed of the accessory is lower than your grinder, you run the risk of the wheel flying apart.
– Never Use Toothed Blades on a Grinder
I don’t care if a company offers circular saw-style blades that fit your grinder. These tools operate at a significantly higher RPM than any handheld circular saw. You NEVER want to use toothed blades on a grinder. That includes those “wood carving chain discs” that use chainsaw teeth as well as anything with carbide-toothed blades. Just don’t do it.
Additional Pro Tips on How to Use an Angle Grinder
If you’ve got any additional tips or tricks on how to use an angle grinder, feel free to leave a comment below.
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.
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.
Angle Grinder Fixed Stand Angle Bracket Holder Support Metal Cutting Machine
- 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.
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.
pipe cutting demo with angle grinder
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.