Top 5 Angle Grinders Recommended by Practical Machinist’s Members

April 5, 2019 11:50 am

Angle grinders are an essential tool in any fab shop. They are used in multiple applications, including metal grinding, cutting, sanding, and polishing.

Due to their versatility, they are used frequently in a shop, so choosing the right model is the key to obtaining good results and can eventually save you money.

To help you understand which model is best for your shop, we’ve put together a list of recommended angle grinder features and models based on feedback from some of our members. Here’s what we found out.


Considerations When Buying a New Angle Grinder

Angle grinders come in a variety of styles and prices. Knowing how heavily you will be using one should be the first question to ask yourself before you start comparing models. Once you have that answer in mind, here’s what else you should consider:



Hand-held grinders are generally grouped into two different categories: small angle grinders and large angle grinders. Small angle grinders include 4 ½-, 5- and 6-in. models and are generally the most popular and widely used in fab shops. Large angle grinders, on the other hand, can mount disks that are greater than 7” and are used for larger surfaces or deep cuts. When choosing your grinder, you should always consider the type of work you’ll be using it for as larger and heavier models will require more labor.



When shopping for an angle grinder, you should always take into consideration the number of AMPs required by the motor as well as the RPM delivered. More powerful models will have better performance and efficiency but will also cost you more.



As is for every tool, price plays an important role in the decision. Thanks to the  variety of models and brands available on the market, you can  select a grinder that fits within your budget. Cheaper models tend to break more easily and frequently, therefore you should consider the extra costs that come with low-budget models. As always, we recommend investing in a high-quality tool as that will last longer



Some other important features you should consider are:

  • Variable speed: Grinders with a variable speed motor allow the user to adjust the speed at which the disc spins. This lets you grind on slower speeds for less heat buildup or for applications where a slower speed is optimal, such as polishing.
  • Spindle Lock: Disc changes are made quicker and easier with a button that prevents the spindle from turning when the disc-retaining nut is unscrewed or tightened.
  • Adjustable Disc Guard: The disc guard will protect you from sparks and debris that may fly off a piece as you are working on it. An adjustable disc guard will allow you to change the position of the disc guard so that no matter the position you are working in, you will still be protected from sparks and debris.
  • Movable Side Handle: A movable side handle will let you operate the grinder left or right handed. This versatile option allows you to work in different positions with the grinder.
  • Anti-Vibration Handle: This ergonomic option can make the grinder more comfortable to use over extended periods of time by reducing fatigue as well as improving control and maneuverability.


Most recommended models


Based on our research from multiple threads in the Fabrication forum, we’ve compiled a list of model recommendations from our members. This list only includes small-sized grinders, since they tend to be the most used. These manufacturers also have larger models available.

Here’s what our members recommend:


#5. DEWALT DWE43113 High Performance Trigger Switch Grinder, 4-1/2″ – 5″

Powerful and easy to use. This model features an adjustable disc guard that allows for easy adjustment or removal



#4. Milwaukee 6124-30 5-inch Small Angle Grinder Trigger Grip, Lock-On

More durable and more powerful than most of its competitors. This Grinder allows the user to change all accessories without a wrench.



#3. Bosch GWS13-50VSP High-Performance Angle Grinder Variable Speed with Paddle Switch, 5″

A beefy angle grinder that provides a no-lock multi-grip paddle switch for user control and comfort. It is equipped with a two-position vibration control side handle, making it less strenuous to operate.



#2. Makita GA5020Y 5-Inch Angle Grinder with Super Joint System

A grinder that can do anything. Powerful, durable and easy to use. Redesigned to reduced operator fatigue.



#1. Metabo WP9-115 Quick 8.5 Amp 10,500 rpm Angle Grinder with Non-locking Paddle Switch, 4 1/2

The most used angle grinder by our members. Ergonomically designed with integrated non-locking paddle switch for increased safety and more comfort, the fastest wheel change system available, and a tool-free quick-positioning guard that allows for fast change-over from grinding to cutting.



This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Recommended Content


  • Mathieu Leroux says:

    I’m surprised the Walter brand hasn’t made it on the list… It would outlast any one of these in a heartbeat. Only downside is the pricing. But fantastic product.

  • coupeute says:

    I have used a disc grinder every day for decades. When I had a Makita, it had a thermo switch and would shut off when ever it would over heat. Went to a Borsch. Tough unit but like most German engineered stuff, there are always little things that would fail and be difficult and time consuming to replace. Constantly replacing brushes, power leads and on/off switches. Only last week I purchased a new Borsch like the #3 one listed. I really like the variable speed feature.

  • Metal Monkey says:

    I second the Walters Brand recommendation. Dewalt is homeowner quality and life span. Makita have been good performers and were my go to angle grinder (go to as in every 2-3 years replace). I finally broke down, opened my Scotchman’s wallet and bought a Walter Angle Grinder. It set a new standard and appreciation for grinders. Balance, vibration dampening, smoothness, power, and build quality are outstanding. I will never buy anything else. It is that much of a playing field. That was over 5 years ago. I have since changed out every grinder in my shop to Walters. They are tough and they last. My guys do not complain about vibration and forearm and hand fatigue (as much….. hey they are still employees)

  • murrmac says:

    Walter grinders are simply rebadged Metabo’s. … I have a 5″ Metabo on which the bevel cog has worn so much that it doesn’t function any longer. Easily fixed, I know.

    My Bosch (sic) 4 1/2″ grinder has had more use and abuse than any tool should experience, and it has never ever let me down.

    Bosch for me, every time.

  • 4kinetic says:

    If you need to get into tight areas or crevasses the Metabo “flat-head” grinders are nice. I have been using a Metabo WEF 9-125 for a couple of years and I have been very pleased with it.

  • deadbunny says:

    been using my old BD paddle switch for over 30 years ,abused it mercilessly still going strong,about the same as dewalt i think

  • fuzzy says:

    I’m just a hobbyist so some of you guys will put as many work hours on a grinder in a week, as I would in a year or more. But I have to stick in my two-cents’-worth for the under-$20 Harbor Freight angle grinder. It has all the features you list as desirable, except vibration-reducing handles, and when you get it, you have to open up the gearhead and make sure there’s grease in there – mine contained about a quarter-teaspoonful of something like roofing tar.

    Cheap, yes. So you use it until it stops working (btw, they give you an extra set of brushes with it) and then toss it. I’ve been surprised at how long the HF stuff lasts. But like I wrote, I’m not a pro so my observations may not be 100% applicable.

  • Bigblue says:

    Admittedly, Im a bosch fanboy and always have been. But when it comes to angle grinders……. Makita is my go to. Tough as nails and can take donkeys abuse.

  • Metal Man says:

    Fein Power tools Makes the best ones in my opinion. extremely durable and operator friendly.

  • Larry Schweitzer says:

    Makita has been very good, durable, atands up to employee abuse. DeWalt tools are highly variable and haven’t lasted in the shop.

Leave a Reply