After I had retired from the local precinct, the days had gotten rather long and tedious, and I needed something to do to occupy my time with.
My wife suggested reading, but unlike her, I am not much of a bookworm. Long paragraphs always had a way of lulling me to sleep.
So, I took to some restoration work around the house, and God knows that it truly needed it.
And what honestly came in handy at the time were angle grinders. They are perhaps the most versatile home improvement appliance in the modern market.
From lopping off subframes, and removing tabs to bracketing in seconds, an angle grinder is capable of a lot.
I have tried a lot of grinders over the years, while some of them disappointed, some grew to be my absolute favorites.
Hello! This is Harold and welcome to my guide on some of the best angle grinders the market has to offer.
5 Best Angle Grinders
The Makita GA7021 was just fantastic when it came to providing me with one of the best angle grinding experiences. It has the optimal balance between comfort and ergonomic precision, which is all thanks to the switch handle and a side handle that can be configured in any 3 positions.
Grinding versatility apart, what got me genuinely rooting for the Makita GA7021 was the larger than average 7-inch grinding wheel. It made my work on the stairs and aluminum shafts extremely easy and swift.
And to accompany this wheel, the grinder is given a substantial amount of power as well. It has a 15 Amp motor that delivers up to 6,600 RPM of grinding force for quick stock removal and metal cutting. When put to the test it ate through a Brinks R70 disc-lock in a matter of seconds.
But even with all that power, this grinder is provided with a compact body for better control and accuracy. The compactness also keeps it durable, as it contains a labyrinthine construction of seals that protect the motors and bearings, by not allowing any dust or debris to accumulate.
This portable build is also easily manageable and effortlessly allowed me to maneuver the grinder behind any weirdly shaped locks. Especially the ones which have an enclosed hasp that butt out against the locking corner.
But I did notice some heating issues with this device. After prolonged use, I found some smoke coming out of it, which cooled down pretty soon. So, it wasn’t much of a deal breaker.
Pros & Cons
A 7-inches grinding wheel that speeds up the cutting process.
Compact body with seals that improve durability.
The compact build makes the grinder easy to maneuver around the oddest structures.
6,600 RPM of cutting force goes through the most solid objects.
Prolonged use can cause heating problems.
I have had a preference for Hitachi and their fantastic range of products ever since I had bought their compound miter all those years ago. Hitachi is all about providing the best in quality to its customers, and this angle grinder doesn’t fail to impress and lives up to every reputation of the brand.
I tried out the Hitachi G12SR4 on the concrete slab which had recently set in on my garage floor. I didn’t measure the concrete when pouring it and it started to cause some issues everytime I wanted to close the garage door. It did not seal well at the bottom, and the rodents would sneak in every night.
Its 6.2 Amp motor with 980W of max output allowed its grinding surface to go through the 2-inches of concrete like hot knife through butter. And for bigger jobs, when I needed an even more powerful grinding wheel, I just use its spindle lock to pop off the old one and set in a new pair.
For increased accuracy, the grinder is equipped with a trigger lock-on feature that greatly minimizes vibration. And that when coupled with the forward-canted side handle allows it to be easily usable by both left and right-handed customers.
As an added feature for durability and increased safety measures, the Hitachi has a class-leading overload protection system. Though it improves the grinder longevity, the system is integrated into the tool in such a way that it makes sliding the battery in and out quite difficult.
Pros & Cons
Forward-canted side handle makes it suitable for both left and right-handed users.
Adjustable spindle lock for adding or replacing accessories.
Lightweight build of 4.0 pounds makes it highly portable.
Trigger lo-on reduces vibrations and minimizes fatigue.
Battery is tough to replace.
Not as durable as I had hoped.
In the home appliance scene, DEWALT is quite a favorite brand. Their products are known for not only their extremely durable and lightweight design but for their ease of use as well. And the DWE402 grinder is no stranger to this fact.
The DEWALT DWE402 is the one that my neighbor had been using for some time now, and I had the opportunity of using it when he had called me over to help him make a tin shed.
After using it a couple of times, I quickly realized that this grinder stands out from the rest of its competition in a lot of things, but the most significant of them all was in power.
What surprised me the most was, even though it had a very lightweight build, it was able to generate 2.1 joules of impact energy. And usually, when a grinder boasts a lot of power it often lacks in accuracy and control.
But that’s not the case with the DEWALT, because of the top-mounted spindle lock button and SHOCKS Active Vibration Control technology, that even makes overhead applications simple.
But on the flip side, I noticed that the safety “lock” on the paddle switch is of the ‘sliding’ variant, which wore out very quickly and often jammed.
Sometimes it even got awkward to use the grip without wearing gloves, as it tended to get sticky with sweat and grinding dust.
Pros & Cons
German engineered mechanism deliver 2.1 joules of impact energy.
Spindle lock button is top mounted for overhead operations.
SHOCKS Active reduces vibration.
Lightweight design for easy portability.
Safety “lock” often jammed and wore out quick.
The grip tends to get sticky with sweat and grime.
With the advancement of modern technology, home improvement tools have gotten much more powerful over the years. But with more power there popped a lot of issues with user safety, and that in turn gave rise to a industry-wide demand for non-locking paddle switch grinders. And that is precisely what SKIL tries to provide its customers with their 9296-01 angle grinder.
The SKIL 9296-01 7.5-Amp 4-1/2-Inch Paddle Switch Angle Grinder is all for safety. It comes with non-locking paddle switch, that automatically switches off the grinder when I release it or accidentally drop it from my hands.
Unlike most of its competitors, where the locking mechanism is on the top or side of the tool, the non-locking paddle switch in this grinder is at the bottom, exactly where I grip it. So, it turns off automatically whenever I loosen my grip too much or let it go.
The SKIL 9296-01 boasts an amazing amount of grinding power as well, with a 7.5 Amp motor, it generates over 11,000 RPM of cutting force. But it is this extra power and features that makes the grinder so very heavy. Though the weight was manageable for me at first, it started to get strenuous after a few hours of use.
Pros & Cons
Unique non-locking paddle switch safety feature.
Fantastic grinding force of 11,000 RPM
Compact body, is easy to grip.
Build is too heavy for prolonged use.
Made with the professional users in mind, the Bosch 1375A 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder is indeed one of the smoothest angle grinders out there. Meant for the grittier tasks at hand, the Bosch’s highly powerful and compact build is ideally designed for concrete restoration, vehicle fabrication and even household pipe fittings.
In my eyes, the Bosch 1375A 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder is all about vibration control and significantly simplifying the toughest of grinding jobs. When I was cutting through some stainless steel some time ago, the grinder did not allow my arms to feel the vibrations from the cutting impact at all.
This, in turn, didn’t allow my arms to wear down quickly, and I was able to work for an extended amount of time.
The lock-on side switch has two-position handles, which was just perfect for achieving accurate cuts through the steel. And with the 3.75 lbs. weight design, its features were made relatively easy to use while at the same time improving my grinding accuracy.
As it’s designed more for industrial use, the Bosch 1375A is made to be amazingly durable. It has a unique ‘Service Minder’ feature that automatically stops the grinder when it’s time for either a maintenance or preventive measure.
The grinder is also provided with an epoxy-coated field winding, that grants it a relatively high tool life.
But even though powerful and compact, what was indeed inconvenient for me was the lack of wheel breaks, which made the tool-free wheel guard hard to pivot.
Pros & Cons
LED display allows RPM adjustment and battery life tracking.
‘Service Minder’ stops the grinder during maintenance time.
Epoxy-coated field windings makes it resistant to wear and tear.
One of the best vibration absorbing angle grinders in the market.
Lacks wheel brakes.
Tool-free wheel guard is difficult to pivot.
Buying the Right Angle Grinder
There are a lot of varieties of angle grinders in the market, and picking the one that can perfectly fit your needs can be rather difficult.
So here are some points you should keep in mind when you go for the purchase.
1. The Type of Angle Grinder you Want.
There are multiple varieties of grinders you may come across. While one type will focus more on portability, another will base itself more on grinding power and speed.
So, it’s pretty much up to you to decide which grinder will suit you the best.
I would also like to mention, that recently there has also been a steady rise in the popularity of grinders that are designed for one-hand operations. They have smaller blades and a higher speed for the more detailed work in tight spaces.
2. Grinder Weight
Each grinder model will differ in weight; from a lightweight build, to industrial grade designs, there is a lot to choose from. So, what one deems as heavy will depend on his/her own strength, as even a lightweight grinder can feel extremely bulky after hours of use.
Hence, it’s essential to choose a grinder with a weight that you’re most comfortable with. This will not only help you handle your jobs perfectly but minimize the time it takes to complete it as well.
3. Comfort Level
If the tool you’re buying is not comfortable to hold, then it will inevitably hamper your work, and reaching perfection would be out of the question.
The comfort of an angle grinder revolves majorly around its size and weight. And if comfort is very important to you when it comes to grinding, then you can always enhance the levels by choosing a grinder that comes with anti-vibration features.
This will not allow your hands to feel the impact as you work, and it will tire out less.
Wrapping it Up
With the ever-growing market for home improvement appliances, the varieties in the angle grinder section has grown, along with the user needs and choices. But I hoped my guide today helped to lessen your confusion rather than raise it.
Till next time!