Top 5 Angle Grinders Recommended by Practical Machinist’s Members
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:
Powerful and easy to use. This model features an adjustable disc guard that allows for easy adjustment or removal
More durable and more powerful than most of its competitors. This Grinder allows the user to change all accessories without a wrench.
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.
A grinder that can do anything. Powerful, durable and easy to use. Redesigned to reduced operator fatigue.
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.