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Which angle grinder is best?

Angle grinders are the unsung heroes of the toolbox — the underappreciated weapon in the arsenal of any person looking to have a well-rounded lineup of tools. Using an impressive array of gadgets and attachments, an angle grinder makes it easy to prepare surfaces for painting, carve wood, cut metal and complete a host of other simple DIY tasks.

The DeWalt Angle Grinder Tool is a durable, versatile tool to start with. It gives you all the power you need to get the job done.

What to know before you buy an angle grinder

Size of the wheel

Angle grinders come in wheel diameters that range from 4.5 to 9 inches. Larger angle wheels aren’t necessary for the occasional DIY-er, but professional wood and metal workers might want a larger, more versatile diameter.

Power of the motor

Power is measured in horsepower (hp), amps, watts and rotations per minute (RPMs).

  • Hp: Large angle grinders use this power measurement. For example, a 9-inch grinder has 5 hp — the hand-held equivalent of a gas lawn mower.
  • Amps: 4.5-inch angle grinders use amp measurements. The more amperage, the more power you have. A typical amp measurement for smaller grinders is four, but some reach up to 10 amps.
  • Wattage: This is a rare measurement, but in general a higher number is better.
  • RPM: The RPM speed is the number of turns a wheel makes. Larger wheels have lower RPMs, and smaller ones have higher RPMs. They range from 6,000 to 9,000 or more.

Battery-powered vs. corded grinders

  • Battery-powered: Battery-powered grinders are great if you need portable grinding where there’s no outlet. The initial surge needed to get the wheel going can drain the battery.
  • Corded: These are typically powerful and reliable, but you’re tethered to an outlet.

What to look for in a quality angle grinder

Carrying case

A carry case keeps the angle grinder and all of its accessories in one convenient place. It makes transport to a job site easier, too.

Safety lock

A safety lock prevents the grinder from starting accidentally. This might be added in the form of a lockout button or safety switch.

Metal gears

The gears that run the grinder take a lot of power and motion during operation. Make sure the angle grinder you select has durable metal gears instead of cheap nylon or plastic.

Soft start

The wheel starts in a burst of energy that can be jarring. A soft start eases the grinder into operation.

Manageable weight

Some heavy-duty angle grinders can weigh as much as 16 pounds. For versatile power in a more lightweight package, 4.5-inch grinders are good. They weigh between 4-5 pounds.

Dust guards

When angle grinders are polishing metal or removing rust, dust can get into the tool and cause it to break down. Dust guards keep small particles from interfering with the operation.

How much you can expect to spend on an angle grinder

The price varies dramatically depending on the size of the angle grinder and whether or not it’s cordless. Expect to pay $25 to $300.

Angle grinder FAQ

What is an angle grinder used for?

A. Because angle grinders can be fitted with a variety of attachments, they are perfect for many different household and DIY jobs, including:

  • Paint and rust removal.
  • Polishing painted surfaces.
  • Cutting pipe, rebar, and other metal.
  • Sharpening tools such as lawn mower blades.
  • Pointing brick.
  • Cutting stone, concrete and ceramic. 
  • Carving and shaping wood.

Are there different wheel materials?

A. Yes. Wheel materials vary depending on the project. For example, tile is best cut with a  diamond-encrusted wheel, but wood does better when a wheel like a chainsaw is used.

What’s the best angle grinder to buy?

Top angle grinder

best DeWalt Angle Grinder Tool

DeWalt Angle Grinder Tool

What you need to know: This is a versatile, durable tool for the dedicated home DIY-er.

What you’ll love: With 11 amps of power, this 4.5-inch corded angle grinder removes material faster while staying protected against overload. It has a dust ejection system that ejects dust and debris that comes into the grinder through air intake vents. The low-profile gear case lets you work in even tight spaces, and the quick change wheel release means you can swap out wheels without a wrench. It has a safety lock to prevent accidental start-up.

What you should consider: It may be harder to use for people with small hands.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top angle grinder for the money

best Black and Decker Angle Grinder Tool

Black and Decker Angle Grinder Tool

What you need to know: It’s an affordable tool that’s built to last.

What you’ll love: It features a metal gear case and a three-position handle that helps with control and comfort when operating for a long time. It has 6.5 amps of power and comes with a metal grinding wheel, spanner wrench and wheel guard. The body is narrow, making it more comfortable to hold.

What you should consider: The spanner wrench feels cheap and is not as durable as the rest of the tool.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Worth checking out

best Avid Power Store Angle Grinder

Avid Power Store Angle Grinder

What you need to know: This is the best option for the occasional DIY project.

What you’ll love: The 7.5 amp motor powering this 4.5-inch corded angle grinder is housed in an ergonomic and lightweight body. It’s comfortable when used for long periods. It has a two-position handle. The protective cover prevents sparks and metal from flying toward the operator when in use. It includes the grinder plus two metal grinding wheels, two cutting wheels, a side handle, a spanner and a detailed user’s manual.

What you should consider: It’s noisier than other angle grinders, and the power switch is hard to use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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