An angle grinder is a versatile tool that every handyperson should have in his or her toolbox. This tool allows you to grind a variety of materials, including metal, tile, stucco and pavers. It also routs out mortar, sands, polishes and sharpens. With so many capabilities, it’s definitely safe to say that an angle grinder is a tool that you are going to want to have in your repertoire, whether you are a professional contractor or a do it yourself.
While an angle grinder is certainly a useful tool, finding one can be a bit of a challenge. Why? – Because there are so many options to choose from. To help you find the best angle grinder to meet your needs and make the best choice, we have compiled this handy buyer’s guide. In this guide, you will find a wealth of information related to angle grinders that we hope will help you find the best option for your needs.
Types of Angle Grinders
Angle grinders can be used for a variety of tasks, so being aware of the different types can be advantageous. You want to make sure that you have the right angle grinder for the job that you plan on doing so that the tool will help you complete the task in an efficient manner.
There are four main types of angle grinders:
- Electric angle grinders
- Battery powered angle grinders
- Pneumatic angle grinders
- Fuel powered angle grinders
Electric Angle Grinders
The electric angle grinder is one of the most popular types of angle grinders. This type of grinder utilizes mains power to work the motor. The electric angle grinder is comprised of a cord, which is used to plug the tool into an electrical outlet. There are a variety of voltages available, and larger, more powerful grinders tend to be the most powerful. The downside of an electric angle grinder is mobility. While you can use an extension cord to increase its range, you still need to be situated within fairly close proximity to an electrical outlet.
Battery Powered Angle Grinder
Battery powered angle grinders are cordless, which is their main advantage. Because you don’t need to have direct access to an electrical outlet, you can use a battery powered grinder virtually anywhere. When the battery runs out of power, it can be plugged in and recharged, so if you plan on buying a battery powered grinder, it is recommended that you have two batteries so that one can be used while the other one is charging. The downside of a battery powered grinder is that it is usually less powerful than an electric grinder.
Pneumatic Angle Grinder
A pneumatic angle grinder is powered by compressed air. They are generally small in size, but don’t let the size fool you, as they tend to product a significant amount of power. While they generally work faster, they do tend to run out of power quickly, which means you need to power up more often during use.
Gas Powered Angle Grinder
Gas powered angle grinders are also cordless, which makes them very mobile. They tend to be the largest of all angle grinders, which is why they tend to be used more often in industrial applications. While they are portable and powerful, gas powered angle grinders do have certain downsides; you have to make sure that you have the right type of gas, you have to pay for the gas, and you have to make sure that you have enough gas to operate the tool.
Factors to Consider When Buying an Angle Grinder
Because an angle grinder is such a versatile tool, it’s no wonder that they are so popular. There are several options to choose from when it comes to angle grinder, but before you purchase the first type that you find, there are certain factors that you should first take into consideration. By taking these factors into consideration, you can ensure that you will choose the best grinder for your needs.
The Disc Size
An angle grinder utilizes a disc to perform its tasks. Generally, the large the size of the disc, the more powerful the motor is. The sizes of grinder discs vary greatly. The most popular disc size is 115 ml, or 4.5 inches. Pneumatic grinders tend to have smaller discs, which makes them ideal for jobs that require more precision.
Power of the Motor
The voltage, amp ratings and wattage varies from grinder to grinder. In regard to current, you generally have a choice between 100 and 230 volts AV, while wattage tends to range from 500 to 2,500 watts. The amperage of this tool ranges from 4 to 15, and the number directly correlates to the power of the motor. While lower ratings are fine for jobs around the house, if you are a contractor or you plan on doing heavy duty work, you will need a grinder that has more amps.
Angle grinders offer an incredible amount of speed. While in operation, the disc makes anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 revolutions per minute (RPM.) If you have a job that requires more precision, look for a grinder that operates at a higher RPM.
You certainly want to make sure that you will be comfortable operating your angle grinder. The size and the weight of the tool will have a direct impact on your comfort level. Unless you plan on using the tool for a large construction project or an industrial job, you may want to opt for a smaller unit, as it will be more comfortable to operate.
Because they are handheld tools, many people assume that angle grinders are safer than other large power tools; however, that is the wrong assumption. Because they pack a lot of power, angle grinders can be exceptionally dangerous if they are not used properly. Make sure that the grinder you choose offers safety features, such as an automatic stop, to ensure you will be as safe as possible while operating the tool.
Of course, you also want to take the price into consideration when purchasing an angle grinder. Generally speaking, the larger, the more powerful and the more features the tool offers, the more expensive it will be.
Angle Grinder Features
Angle grinders can be outfitted with a variety of features. These features are intended to make the tool easier and safer for you to use. Here is a look at some of the common safety features that are available that you may enjoy.
The best angle grinders are outfitted with brakes. These brakes are a key safety feature and they stop the wheel from spinning in less than 2 seconds.
A safety clutch is a safety feature that is usually reserved for larger angle grinders. This feature improves the safety and handling of the tool while protecting you from kick back.
This is another feature that is usually reserved for lager angle grinders. A soft start makes the tool easier to handle and to start up. It also prevents the grinder from wrenching or twisting when it does start up.
A spindle lock feature makes is easier to change discs and accessories.
An adjustable guard provides protection from sparks and other debris that can be kicked up while grinding various materials.
Adjustable Side Handle
An adjustable side handle enables the angle grinder to be used with either the left or the right hand, which makes the tool much more versatile.
Anti Vibration Handle
An anti vibration handle will make the angle grinder much more comfortable to use, which in turn makes it easier to use, especially if you plan on using it for extended periods of time. An anti vibration handle helps to reduce hand fatigue and improves your control over the tool, as well as your maneuverability.
Best Angle Grinder Brands
There are several manufacturers that produce angle grinders, which can make the task of finding the best one to suit your needs a daunting one. To help you weed through all of the options, we have taken the time and done some extensive research, and we have also tested a variety of angle grinders from various manufactures. After our assessment, we have concluded that the following angle grinders are the best of the best.
Makita is one of the most renowned producers of power tools in the world. This manufacturer produces a variety of angle grinders in different sizes and that offer an array of features. We particularly liked how easy the Makita angle grinders were to use, and how comfortable they were to operate.
Hitachi is another highly regarded manufacturer of power tools, and their angle grinders are among the best on the market. They offer angle grinders that suit a variety of needs and that boast an array of features, making this brand a great choice for both DIY enthusiasts and professional contractors.
Just like the wide range of other power tools DEWALT produces, their angle grinders are made of exceptionally high quality and use the most cutting edge techniques. Their grinders are very easy to operate and are some of the safest on the market.
Ingersoll Rand is one of the best known names in the power tool industry, and for good reason; they use the most advance techniques to produce some of the highest quality tools available. Their angle grinders are expertly manufactured and provide pinpoint precision. We liked how simple it was to use the Ingersoll Rand angle grinders, and the expert precision they delivered.