If you’re a tradesperson, chances are pretty high that you’ve used an angle grinder before. They’re one of the most versatile tools out there and definitely among those with the widest selection in stores.
However, as much as we love them for their flexibility, they can also be very dangerous. Considering how many people use them every day, it’s scary to think about all the accidents that happen because someone got injured while using an angle grinder or something was damaged because it happened nearby.
To avoid this kind of situation, we have to become more careful and learn all there is to know about these power tools so we can do our job without putting anyone in danger. That’s why today we’ll take a closer look at the angle grinder and what it can do.
What is an Angle Grinder?
An angle grinder, also known as a side grinder or disc grinder, is a handheld power tool used for grinding, cutting and polishing different materials such as metal, plastic and wood. Modern models come with motorized discs that rotate at high speeds (between 4 000 and 8 000 RPM) and attach to the tool via a collet or arbor of the same size (Ø).
Angle grinders are relatively lightweight tools which makes them easy to use without straining your hand too much. They’re available in various sizes with most manufacturers making both small and large angle grinders for home users while professional ones opt for more powerful options.
The tool has a side handle and front grip to make it easier for you to work on a specific spot without losing control of the grinder, which is especially useful if you’re grinding tough metal objects. The way these power tools are designed makes them very versatile as they can be used for a wide range of applications around the house or workplace.
What Can an Angle Grinder Be Used For?
Since there are so many different types of angle grinders out there it’s impossible to list all the different things they can do. Although most people tend to use this kind of tool mainly for cutting metals or removing old paint from their walls, it turns out that depending on the model you have you can actually find a lot more ways to use it.
For example, some types of angle grinders are capable of sanding drywall and plaster while others can also be used for sharpening blades or tungsten carbide cutting tools . There are even models that have been specifically made to cut different types of stone which means you can use them to polish edges if needed.
To make sure you can find the best possible angle grinder for your specific needs, we recommend reading our buyer’s guide further down the page where we look at all the important details you should pay attention to before making a purchase. This information will come in handy if you need an angle grinder that multi-tasks or one that specializes in certain functions like polishing or grinding metal surfaces.
How Does an Angle Grinder Work?
Since the tool is mainly composed of different parts, let’s take a closer look at how they work together to make the grinder do its thing. At the heart of any angle grinder there’s always a motor which spins the disc at high speeds (between 4 000 and 8 000 RPM). The only way for this to be possible is if it has ball bearings inside since these components allow the metal disc to spin freely while staying in one place. If you take a look at older models, you’ll notice that most of them have two handles which means these power tools are classified as dual-action abrasive cut off saws . That means when you activate them, both the outer and inner discs start rotating at the same time.
This design makes angle grinders extremely versatile tools since they can cut, polish or grind different materials with relative ease. You just have to lock the trigger in place and hold it down while you’re moving the disc over the area you want to work on. As soon as you notice sparks appearing, it means that metal is being removed so you should stop using the grinder immediately .
Top Portable & Small Angle Grinders
Craftsman Angle Grinder
- 41/2 in. Grinder powered by 6 amp motor producing 12, 000 RPMs
- Tool-free guard makes for quick and easy adjustments
- Spindle lock for quick and easy wheel changes
- 3position handle allows for control in different applications
- Contoured overmolded handle for added comfort during use
- Compact: Weighing only 3.75 pounds, the Bosch 1375A Angle Grinder is lightweight, compact, and ideal for metal workers, vehicle fabricators, plumbers and other professionals who use grinders on a daily basis
- Power: The angle grinder features a Powerful 6.0 amp motor to produce 11,000 no load rpm for professional cutting and grinding applications; The Efficient motor was designed with an extremely small field diameter, letting the user grind or cut with ease
- Comfort: The 1375A offers a 2 position side auxiliary handle specifically designed to angle to a natural position for maximum operator comfort; The top handle of the angle grinder is also ergonomically designed
- Convenient: The angle grinder also features Bosch’s Service Minder Brush System to eliminate guesswork and stops the tool when preventative maintenance is required; A 5/8 inches to 11 inch spindle works with a wide array of sizes, mounting the most popular accessories
- Durable: The 1375A angle grinder features an epoxy coated design to protect the tool from abrasive debris; It was also designed with a sealed switch to keep dust and debris from entering the switch mechanism
Toolman 16 Pcs Angle Grinder
- Dia of wheel: 4-1/2in, Amps: 4.8A
- Speed: 11500BPM
- Double insulation protection system
- Ruggead cast aluminum gear case
- Double safety switch
WEN 94475 Angle Grinder
- 7.5-amp motor generates up to 11,000 disc rotations per minute
- Lightweight 4-pound body limits fatigue during long days on the job
- Arbor adapter allows for compatibility with both 5/8 and 7/8-inch arbor grinding wheels
- Reversible auxiliary handle attaches to both the left and right-hand side of the grinder
- Includes three grinding wheels, a compact carrying case, and a two-year warranty
Black & Decker BDEG400
- Metal gear case for durability and longer life
- 3 Position side handle provides added comfort and control
- Spindle lock for easy accessory changes
- Included Components: 4-1/2" Small angle grinder, Metal grinding wheel, Spanner wrench, Wheel Guard
- Narrow body for comfortable grip
Different Types of Angle Grinders
If you take a look at most modern angle grinder reviews you’ll find that there are two main types available: corded electric and cordless models. While these power tools share many similarities such as blades and motors, there are quite a few differences between them which become evident once users start testing them out.
Corded Electric Angle Grinders
This type of angle grinder is the most powerful one available and that’s because it gets all the power it needs from a wall socket. If you choose to go for this version, you’ll get an AC/DC electric powered tool which means it has both a battery and a motor. These types of grinder are perfect for people who need more power than their cordless counterparts but still want to be able to use them at home or in their workshop.
When it comes to power, there isn’t much difference between cordless and corded models since they both have around 7 amps even though some sources claim that special brushes can increase motor speed while having no effect on its overall efficiency . On the other hand, there is a huge difference when it comes to cordless angle grinders and their batteries.
While corded models can run for hours without stopping, cordless ones suffer from having relatively short battery lives. If you’re using this tool for just 15 minutes per day, then your battery should last around two years before it needs replacing . However, if you plan on using the grinder several times throughout the day then expect to change your rechargeable battery every few months which can get quite expensive in the long term.
Cordless Angle Grinders
Cordless power tools are more compact than their counterparts and that’s because they don’t need anything but a small internal motor which powers up the disc rotor . There’s no specific watt rating related to these types of angle grinders, but expect around 60 minutes or less of actual usage time. That means you’ll be forced to stop working if the battery is running low.
Even though this type of grinder uses a rechargeable battery to power up its motor, it usually comes with a charger which can fully recharge the device in 1 hour . If you use your cordless angle grinder several times per day then you should take advantage of this feature since frequent charging isn’t good for the overall lifespan of your tool.
Corded vs Cordless Angle Grinders
Once people are done reading different best cordless angle grinder reviews they start wondering whether they should go for an AC/DC version or settle on battery powered one.
That depends on your need and budget, but keep in mind that cordless models are usually less powerful than their AC/DC counterparts. What’s really interesting is that modern battery powered angle grinders can be used corded as well which means you’ll never run out of power since they can use a wall socket instead.
Cordless Angle Grinders vs Cut-Off Machines
If you already own an angle grinder or two then you may be wondering whether it’s better to use the tool for grinding purposes or buy a dedicated cut-off machine . The answer heavily depends on what exactly you want to do, but chances are that you won’t find any portable cut-off device which is as affordable as a decent angle grinder.
The truth is that cordless cut-off machines are extremely expensive and can’t be used for other purposes aside from cutting through metal sheets or concrete blocks . Angle grinders, on the other hand, can be used both as a cut-off tool and a regular grinder which means you won’t have to purchase another power tool if you already own one.