It pays to get a good angle grinder the first time.
There’s nothing worse than using your angle grinder for the first time and realising it doesn’t come with the right guard, it isn’t powerful enough, it doesn’t grind AND cut, the discs take forever to change or a range of other annoying and unfortunate scenarios.
To save you time, money and the hassle of researching angle grinders yourself, we’ve put together a list and guide containing the best angle grinders in each type/category.
We’ve also completed angle grinder reviews for popular brands like Makita, DeWalt, Bosch, and Porter-Cable (subsidiary of Black and Decker).
If you’re running a little short on time, you can check out the top rated angle grinder list immediately below.
Otherwise, you can read the guide in full.
Top Rated Angle Grinder List 2017-18
|Angle Grinder Model||Comments||Price|
|PORTER-CABLE PC60TAG 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder||Best Cheap Angle Grinder||Check PORTER-CABLE PC60TAG Price On Amazon|
|Makita 9557PBX1 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder||Best Value Angle Grinder For Regular User||Check Makita 9557PBX1 Price On Amazon|
|DEWALT DWE402 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder||Best 4.5 inch Angle Grinder (1 Speed) For Wide Use||Check DEWALT DWE402 Price On Amazon|
|Makita 9564CV 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder||Best Variable Speed Angle Grinder for Wide Use||Check Makita 9564CV Price On Amazon|
|DEWALT D28115 Heavy-Duty 4-1/2-Inch/5-Inch Angle Grinder||Best Heavy Duty/High Performance 4.5 inch Angle Grinder||Check DEWALT D28115 Price On Amazon|
|DEWALT DWE4011 Small Angle Grinder 4-1/2 -Inch||Best Small Angle Grinder||Check DEWALT DWE4011 Price On Amazon|
|Makita GA7021 7-Inch Angle Grinder||Best 7 Inch Angle Grinder||Check Makita GA7021 Price On Amazon|
|DEWALT D28499X 7-Inch/9-InchAngle Grinder||Best 9 Inch Angle Grinder||Check DEWALT D28499X Price On Amazon|
|Makita XAG03Z 18V Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Cut-Off/Angle Grinder, 4-1/2-Inch||Best Cordless Angle Grinder||Check Makita XAG03Z Price On Amazon|
Best Angle Grinder Reviews
PORTER-CABLE PC60TAG 6.0-Amp 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder
When it comes to power tools, it is important to distinguish between consumer products (average or casual tool users), and products designed for commercial or heavy duty use (business owners and those who use their tools frequently).
The Porter Cable PC60TAG 6.0-Amp is a popular angle grinder for casual users, and being at a low price, is probably the best angle grinder for the money (very little). If you are unfamiliar with the name Porter Cable, they are a subsidiary of Black and Decker.
This angle grinder is best suited to light to moderate use for grinding and sharpening around the house and backyard. It is a corded/electric angle grinder.
If you are a casual angle grinder user (i.e. you won’t use it daily, or for extended periods of hours at a time), this is the angle grinder for you.
If you want the option to cut, in addition to grinding and sharpening, get the 7.0-Amp version (which comes with an additional cutting wheel and guard).
Makita 9564CV 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder
Do you want an electric angle grinder that is built immaculately to last you years, has low end wood shaping speed as well as brutal top end speed for grinding concrete and tough rust spots, and is designed to fit comfortably in your hand/s? You probably don’t need to look any further than the Makita 9564CV 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder.
We rated it as the best variable speed angle grinder on this list.
It is considered a higher priced angle grinder, but the quality justifies the price if you don’t want to be replacing your tools every few months.
You can use this angle grinder if you are a casual user or if you work with tools daily.
There is only one real drawback to this grinder – there is no Makita issued 4.5 inch cutoff guard, only 5 inch. So, you have to pay a very small amount more for the 5 inch grinder (which is almost identical) if you want the ability to buy the Makita cutting guard separately – we’ve linked to the 5 inch model below.
The 4.5 inch grinder still comes with the grinding guard, handle, a grinding wheel and disc wrench.
DEWALT D28115 Heavy-Duty 4-1/2-Inch/5-Inch High Performance Grinder with Trigger Grip
This is the most powerful 4.5 inch angle grinder on this list, and is the only one designed and built specifically for high performance and heavy duty grinding and cutting. If power, grinding and cutting are your priorities, you may not be able to go past this tool.
We rated it the best heavy duty angle grinder and best high performance angle grinder in the 4.5 inch range. It does have limitations though.
Here is the big drawback with this tool – some adapters that require a longer arbor (such as sanding attachments) to attach won’t fit this angle grinder without modification that could jeopardise your warranty or the longevity of the grinder.
The arbor base is below the flange level in this tool – which can cause some attachments to get stuck when tightening the nut (the rubber O ring sometimes has to be removed to fit certain cutting wheels).
Maybe DeWalt only intended this tool for grinding and (some) cutting, but this seems to be an issue for the overall flexibility of the tool when considering the price.
If you only need to grind, you need not worry.
DEWALT DWE4011 Small Angle Grinder with One-Touch Guard, 4-1/2 -Inch
The best small angle grinder on this list is what you would expect it to be – a specialty grinder that is smaller in size the regular 4.5 inch models, and suitable for light to moderate grinding, cutting and shaping.
7 Amps, 12,000rpms and 1.14 HP are the power and speed specs for this small angle grinder, and it comes in at 3.9 lbs in weight. So, it lacks the high end power of the other grinders, but its very lightweight and is smaller in its length, width and breadth.
In terms of price it comes somewhere in between the cheap angle grinders and the mid priced ones.
Makita GA7021 7-Inch Angle Grinder
We rated this the best 7 inch angle grinder for metal and concrete grinding.
It is best suited to heavy duty industrial tasks and in particular workshop type users such as welders (great for grinding down welds), steel fabricators, and other tradesmen that need high performance angle grinders.
If you need to perform heavy metal grinding, you likely won’t find too many problems with this angle grinder as it has all the power in the world and is a high quality unit.
However, we did identify two major negatives:
Firstly, it is not variable speed as advertised. It’s a one speed grinder.
Secondly, this grinder is designed to take depressed centre discs and not flat discs. You should check the range of Makita depressed discs and the tasks you need to perform before purchasing this angle grinder (e.g. concrete, masonry grinding and flat disc cutting).
- Heavy – weighs over 10 lbs
- Takes only depressed center Makita discs with the standard model
- Expensive – but 7 inch angle grinders don’t come cheap!
- Single Speed (not variable speed as advertised by Makita)
If you need a heavy duty 7 inch angle grinder with a truckload of power, look no further.
If you want to perform other form of grinding and cutting apart from metal grinding, be prepared to spend a bit more money and fiddle with modifying the grinder.
DEWALT D28499X 7-Inch/9-Inch 5.3-Horsepower Large Angle Grinder
We rated Dewalt as the best 9 inch angle grinder, but it actually accommodates both 7 inch and 9 inch DeWalt grinding discs – which is a great bit of flexibility.
Great for pipefitters, metal workers and other industrial and heavy commercial users.
It is quite heavy so you will probably have to take a break between using at some points.
It doesn’t come with Type 1 cutting guard and you’ll need a few other little accessories if you want to customise this unit to take cutting and other types of wheels apart from the metal grinding wheels.
- Huge power – 5.3 Horsepower!! Also, 6000rpm disc speed.
- Tool-less guard adjustment
- Motor overload protection
- Epoxy coated armature and field – extra protection from grinding and cutting debris
- Rotating rear handle – easier manoeuvring when handling the tool
- Takes both 7 inch and 9 inch discs
- Double insulated power cord
- Comes with handle, 7 inch and 9 inch wheel guards and disc changing tool
- Very Heavy! Over 14 lbs!
- State of California residents – read the Proposition 65 warning
- Isn’t cheap – but the quality justifies it.
- Single speed
If you want the absolute most power you can get out of an angle grinder and you are prepared to take on the extra weight, get this bad boy.
Be prepared to spend a little extra time sourcing the cutting guard and a few other small accessories from DeWalt though if you want to be switching to cutting and a few other types of discs (should cost you about $50 extra in all for the additional cutting accessories).
- Protection system can cause grinder to shut down if you are cutting/grinding through real heavy material (however, it does start up again quite quickly).
- Batteries and charger do not come with the grinder, so you’ll have to get the Grinder, plus batteries (2x) and charger as a bundle.
If your work requires portable or cordless grinding and cutting, I doubt you’ll find a better portable angle grinder than this Makita model. Although, the Bosch model below does come very close.
This cordless angle grinder DOES NOT come with a battery or charger. We’ve provided you with a link for a 2 battery set complete with a USB charger:
- You get the tool only – so, you’ll have to purchase batteries and the charger separately
- You’ll have to get the grinder with batteries (2x) and charger as a bundle.
To be honest, for work that requires a cordless angle grinder, you should be fine with either the Makita above or this model.
This cordless angle grinder DOES NOT come with the battery or charger. The batteries and charger are sold separately which you can check out below:
Best Angle Grinder Buyer’s Guide and FAQ
We’ve answered some important questions below, but you may also want to read Angle Grinder FAQ: What Is An Angle Grinder & How To Use It?
1. What Are The Other Names For An Angle Grinder?
Other names for an angle grinder are:
- Side Grinder
- Disc Grinder
- Right Angle Grinder
- Hand Grinder
- Power Grinder
- Metal Grinder
- Angle Cutter
- Angle Sander
- Grinder Tool
An angle grinder is a different power tool to a Die Grinder, Bench Grinder or a Straight Grinder.
2. What Are Angle Grinders Used For?
Angle Grinders are used for a range of activities that involve:
- Cutting (used with a cutting disc – these are the thin discs)
- Grinding and Removal/Cleaning (used with a thick abrasive/grinder disc or metal wire wheel)
- Polishing (with a polishing pad)
- Sanding when used with a sanding disc and the proper attachment (also depends on the type and speed range of the grinder)
3. What Materials Are Angle Grinders Used On?
Angle grinders are used for working with a range of building materials including but not limited to:
- Wood – shaping and cutting, particularly in wood work and carpentry.
- A range of sheet metals, both soft and hard – cutting, aswell as stripping, grinding away welds, cleaning and deburring (paint and rust removal are common)!
- Heavy duty beam steel and lower grade rebar – grinding and cutting.
- Plasterboard and stucco – cutting.
- Tiles – cutting.
- Mortar and brick – cutting.
- Concrete – cutting and grinding.
4. What Are The Different Types of Angle Grinders Available?
Angle grinders come in 3 main power types:
- Electric Angle Grinders or Corded Angle Grinders
- Air Angle Grinders (pneumatically operated – referred to as air angle grinders)
- Gas/Petrol Angle Grinders
This guide explores electric angle grinders specifically.
There are then the following shape and feature based types of angle grinders:
- Corded Angle Grinder
- Cordless Angle Grinder (battery operated and portable)
- 4.5 Inch Angle Grinder (most common)
- 5 Inch Angle Grinder
- 7 Inch Angle Grinder
- 9 Inch Angle Grinder
- Single Speed Angle Grinder
- Variable Speed Angle Grinder
5. Parts of an Angle Grinder
Here is a simple diagram of the most important parts of angle grinder. As you can see, we are mainly looking at the:
- Clamp Nut (clamps to the arbor thread and keeps the disc/wheel secure)
- Disc Tool (a wrench or hex tool used to adjust the clamp nut
- The disc or wheel, or another attachment of choice
- Flange disc/ring – sits between the disc and grinder unit
- Guard – grinding, or cutting guard used to shield your hands from the wheels
- Side Handle – screws into the side of the grinder unit so your second hand has a place to grip
6. Types of Angle Grinder Discs, Wheels and Attachments
Discs, wheels and attachments are very important to understand.
You can easily look up the wheel diameter, arbor size, application (what its used for), max rpm and grit on the manufacturer website usually under grinding accessories.
There are three main angle grinder attachments:
- Wheels/discs which are metal or diamond discs, and either flat or depressed center
Metal discs can be made of different metal materials and grits like aluminium oxide (for wood and soft metal) or a diamond wheel (for demanding surfaces like concrete and bar metal).
Discs are used for cutting, grinding and sharpening mainly on a range of surfaces from wood to metal and concrete and steel and tiles and mortar. Discs can be depressed or flat.
Discs sizes are usually these sizes in diameter –
4½ inch – 115mm (most common)
5 inch – 125mm
6 inch – 150mm
7 inch – 180mm
9 inch – 230mm
Type 1 Wheels are for Cutting (thin discs) whilst Type 27 are for grinding (thick discs, and look out to get a matching grinder guard). There are also the Type 29 flap discs.
Make sure you check the max rpm of the discs when you buy them so they don’t break. Also, make sure you check the arbor size of the disc and that it will fit your angle grinder attachment properly.
- Wire wheels and wire brushes
Wire wheels and cup brushes are used for grinding and cleaning and are made of very coursesteel wire. Usually used for removing rust and paint.
- Different attachments used for sanding, abrasive sanding and polishing/buffing
Sanding and polishing attachments aren’t usually standard, but are used for polishing stone, wood and soft metals. They are sanding discs, backing pads and wool bonnets.
7. Types of Angle Grinder Guards
There are two main types of angle grinder guards – cutting (Type 1) and grinding (Type 27).
These guard increase in size as the discs get bigger.
Different manufacturers of different tools may not sell certain sized guards or discs – always check before you buy!
8. Angle Grinder Safety Checklist, Rules and Tips
Here is a list of just some of the angle grinder hazards to watch out for, and some precautions you can take:
- Kickback on the grinder if there is no soft start – get a soft start grinder
- Speed control – a feature that maintains the motor speed if the disc stalls or gets stuck and protects you against the tool jerking or kicking back on you
- Grinder stays running if there is no quick release switch – paddle switches can work well if you drop the grinder
- Disc breaking – get a disc which can take the rpms and the tasks e.g. use a diamond blade for concrete, and check disc condition regularly.
- Guard isnt big enough – don’t use an angle grinder without a guard when operating with discs and wheels
- Not wearing gloves, eye protection and safety clothing like an apron – especially if grinding for long periods
- Inhaling dust or fumes – look at getting a dust shroud for your angle grinder and breathing mask
- General shards, offcuts and grinding material hitting you – wear PPE
- Motor overheating – get a quality grinder and wear gloves when using for extended periods
- The level at which sustained exposure might result in hearing loss is 90 to 95 decibels – check the decibel rating of any tool you buy and wear hearing protection if necessary.
9. Other Angle Grinder Features and Accessories To Look For
- Do you want a variable speed angle grinder, or single speed grinder?
- Do you need a corded angle grinder, or cordless angle grinder with batteries and charger?
- What rpm, or speed and torque, do you want out of the wheel?
- How much amperage and horsepower do you require for your task?
- What are the parts that come with the grinder you want to buy? Can you get grinding AND cutting parts – wheels and guards? Does the arbor thread fit your discs and attachments? Can you get the right sized wheels and discs on the grinder?
- Do you need a small angle grinder, a regular 4.5 inch angle grinder, or a large 7 inch or 9 inch angle grinder?
- What is the motor and gear protection like, as this contributes to longevity of the tool
- Is there a level of vibration and noise control on the grinder?
10. Advice And Tips For Buying Angle Grinders Online and In Store
For first time buyers, or even for seasoned tool users, here are a few tips and things to look out for when buying the best angle grinder for you in store or online:
- Know the difference between consumer and commercial/industrial tools – commercial tools are built to last longer!
- Sold and shipped by – check who the tool is actually sold and shipped by online if its not the actual manufacturer or Amazon. If it’s a 3rd party tool store or tool seller, make sure you research them and their commitment to quality and honouring warranties (you don’t want to buy defective equipment or buy through a seller that doesn’t honor warranties). On the right hand side of the page it says ‘sold by’ in Amazon – research that company.
- Check the Seller’s Warranties on their site – the good warranties usually give you a) money back period (30-90 days), b) full 1 year warranty, and c) 3 year part warranty. Check the manufacturer/sellers site for details.
- Be careful of buying reconditioned tools!
- Always read what is included in your purchase – discs, guards, batteries, chargers, disc changing tools, cases and other accessories can be sold separately.
- Unfortunately alot of tools are made in Asia these days. Check where the tools have been made, and assembled for quality.
- Double check the tool manufacturer site for your country’s tool specifications and policies – tools parts can vary slightly country to country and have different company policies by country.