Checked and updated on November 10, 2020 by Aaron Barnett
The best overall corded angle grinder has a blade of 4.5 inches, this is a good mix of blade size and portability. For deep concrete cutting that requires more depth, you instead want the best 9-inch angle grinder from Bosch that has shock-absorbing pivot points on the handle.
Makita, Bosch, And Dewalt make the best angle grinders for grinding and cutting, steel, and concrete surfaces.
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Best 9-inch angle grinder
An angle grinder is one of the most versatile tools you can have in your workshop for cutting steel and grinding. As you may have guessed from the name, angle grinders are useful for a wide variety of grinding jobs, including making cuts at any angle in both metal and masonry work.
Angle grinders can also be used for cutting tile, wood, and metal, and they can handle sanding, sharpening, and polishing tasks as well but it would be better to get a bench grinding machine for this.
When fitted with the right wheel, there is almost nothing that a good electric angle grinder can’t do. It is this ability to accommodate a broad variety of discs and attachments that make grinders able to do many metal and masonry cutting tasks.
Angle grinders have spindle washers and nuts that you can install in varying combinations so that you can attach different types and sizes of wheels. Washers and nuts usually aren’t necessary when using wire wheels or cup stone attachments.
You can also use grinders with abrasive wheels for polishing and grinding work. Although most wheels look alike, each is designed for a different purpose, so make sure you are using the right one for the job you want to perform.
Wheels or discs are available in various sizes, from 4” to 9”. For most cutting and grinding work, a 4” or 4.5” disc is usually sufficient.
Although it might seem that you can work faster with a 9” wheel, larger cutting discs are generally more dangerous to use. They make angle grinders more prone to kick back and spinning out of control, putting the user at risk for serious injury. Many construction sites nowadays do not allow the use of 9” grinders due to the increased risk of injury involved.
In any case, you should be able to perform most cutting and grinding jobs with a smaller disc. If you have to work with masonry or hard metal, it is generally safer to go with a high-amp grinder with a smaller cutting disc.
The work will be a little slower. But the tradeoff is definitely worth the safer operation and reduced risk of injury as its relatively easy to handle a small grinder even if it does kickback.
Features to consider
Before buying an angle grinder…
As with all power tools, I recommend going with a professional model from brands such as DeWalt, Makita, and Bosch. These brands are known for high-performance tools that deliver pro-level build and quality, and you could expect to get many years of use from them.
Most DIY grinders simply don’t have enough power to cut through hard materials efficiently, and you will end up having to buy a better model anyway.
DIY grinders with low speed and amps, slow the cutting blade down under the lightest pressure, this then makes the blades wear out incredibly quickly making them expensive to use.
Make sure to have enough power. (Amps)
The higher the wattage and amperage rating of an angle grinder, the more power it will have. Always choose a model with as high an amp rating as you can afford, as this will provide you with sufficient power for even the toughest jobs.
The last thing you want is to get all your materials ready only to find that your angle grinder doesn’t provide enough cutting power to get any serious work done.
Keep in mind that bigger discs require more power than smaller discs. If you plan on using your angle grinder with the larger 7 or 9” discs, make sure that your grinder’s motor is up to the task.
Make sure to have enough cutting depth. (Disc Size)
Angle grinders come with a few different disc sizes, from 4.5” to 9”. As I mentioned previously, larger discs will require more powerful motors. While a larger disc might seem preferable, you don’t necessarily want to buy a grinder with the largest disc you can find.
Instead, it would be better to make your choice based on the tasks you need to perform. For precision work, for instance, you would be better off with a smaller disc coupled with a powerful grinder.
Furthermore, as I mentioned in the introduction to this review, larger 9” discs are riskier to use than smaller discs. Unless you need to make deep cuts into masonry, it is better to go with a smaller disc even if you can make several smaller cuts instead.
Get a tool that is built to last.
Your angle grinder will likely go through considerable stress and wear-and-tear, so it should be able to perform consistently without breaking down.
With professional models from the major brands I mentioned previously, you should be able to count on consistent and reliable performance.
Consider the price of the unit.
Good angle grinders are actually pretty cheap. Even some of the best models from the brands mentioned above are priced reasonably, and you can get good value for your money by doing a bit of comparison shopping.
As always, I strongly suggest you get the best model you can at the price you are comfortable with, instead of settling for the cheapest DIY grinder you can find.
Corded vs. Cordless angle grinders?
As with most power tools, corded grinders typically provide the most power but the choice often comes down between corded and battery powered grinder.
If you need to cut hard materials regularly, a corded model would be the obvious choice. And of course, corded grinders never run out of power or have to be charged, so they are better suited for situations when there is not a need to cut a lot of material.
That said, newer cordless models–particularly those from the top brands–have enough power for even the most demanding jobs. Some even have similar actions as corded models, so you should be able to get used to their performance pretty quickly.
Should you opt for a corded or a cordless grinder? If you are going to be ding a lot of concrete cutting, it would be best to go for a corded model, simply because concrete cutting can chew battery power.
If you are working mostly with cutting reinforcing steel, a cordless model would be the better option. Running around on a house foundation with a corded grinder becomes a real mess with the lead getting tangled.
Also, consider going cordless if you will be doing a lot of work in confined spaces or areas that don’t have a power outlet nearby. Generally for DIY use, I recommend getting a corded grinder as you can do both grinding and cutting with only the one tool.
For tradespeople, it’s best to have a big Amp corded model, and a cordless model. To saves the time of running leads for cutting reinforcing steel. And you still have a high amp corded grinder for cutting masonry, fast grinding of timber and concrete.
What is the best grinder to cut steel?
Mostly angle grinders can be used to cut all types of metals. With a good cutting wheel installed, angle grinders can cut through steel sheets, reinforcing, and take sections out of metal rods or bars, and even split bolts and screws. This is especially useful when you need to cut off the heads of stuck bolts.
All these are pretty heavy-duty jobs and will place considerable stress and wear not on your angle grinder but actually just the blade, therefore the downfall is having to replace the blades often when cutting steel, there are tips and methods for making your grinder blade last much longer though down below.
Unlike masonry and grinding blades that last a long time, steel-cut of blades should be purchased in bulk to save money. You will have to make sure that your tool is durable and has the amps to maintain enough power to cut with-out burning out the motor. So get a corded high amp tool for anything other than simple cutting.
A 4.5-inch angle grinder is a good balance between power and control and should be used instead of a 9-inch angle grinder for safety reasons unless you absolutely need the extra depth for cutting.
The Makita GA4542C is a high-performance angle grinder that combines power, durability, and comfort in an ergonomic design. It can handle a wide variety of jobs from grinding to polishing and even cutting.
Even though it is only 4.5”, its 12-amp motor is powerful enough to cut through steel and masonry. It has a mechanical gear drive system that prevents damage to the motor when the spinning disc encounters excessive resistance.
The Makita GA4542C has a nice weight to it that keeps the disc straight when cutting a hole. The handle is positioned nicely, making the tool comfortable and easy to manage.
This makes the Makita GA4542C 4.5-Inch angle grinder the go-to corded hand grinder for general steel cutting and small grinding jobs with an extra amp over Dewalt and it is also lighter and less bulky to hold.
The DeWalt DWE402 boasts of an 11-amp motor that spins at 11,000 RPM. A 4.5” model, it packs a surprising amount of power for such a compact device.
The power-to-weight ratio is excellent, making it easy to handle jobs that would typically require a larger angle grinder.
The one-touch guard is an especially nice touch–it can be adjustable to any position you need simply by knocking it gently against your work surface.
What is the best grinder to cut concrete?
Angle grinders aren’t always the best choices for general cutting, but they can be the most effective tool for cutting concrete and metals quickly at even awkward angles.
Compared to alternatives like a saber saw they have so much more speed. Attach the right cutting wheel to your grinder, and you will find that it can cut almost anything from timber to masonry, and even hardened steel.
An angle grinder is an effective tool for cutting masonry if you install a diamond cutting wheel on it. This attachment will allow you to cut tiles, concrete slabs, blocks, cement, and even bricks. You can even use your grinder to cut out the mortar from brick joints to then be recycled.
Tilers often use angle grinders for making plunge-cuts in tiles, as when there is a need to cut out a section from the tile’s center. A skilled worker can even cut out intricate shapes in tiles, slabs, or bricks.
Experienced tilers and masons may be able to perform such complex tasks in one pass. In most cases, however, cutting out complex shapes into tiles and bricks will require a few passes.
The Bosch 1994-6 9-Inch Angle grinder is my recommendation for the best concrete cutting, and grinding tool, because of the large blade, large motor, and the flexible pivot on the handle that reduces vibrations that puts it ahead of Makita and Dewalt.
Can you grind timber with an angle grinder?
Did you know that you can cut wood with your angle grinder if you wish, but you do have to take extra precautions. Angle grinders are actually more useful for grinding down timber rather than cutting. And very useful for landscaping work, or making quick cuts and check-outs into the wood.
Otherwise, you’re much better of using the best cordless circular saw, like what’s here.
An angle grinder equipped with a ruff grit timber grinding disk, can be used to very quickly shape and carve timber for landscaping and tidying ruff sawn timber sleepers if you are building something like a planter box much quicker than a belt sander.
This timber grinding tip can leave a smooth but still rustic finish, that you can hit again with a belt sander afterward if you want.
Keep in mind that there is a considerable degree of risk involved when using an angle grinder to cut wood rather than grinding, therefore, I recommend just using a circular saw unless you want to do fast check-outs.
Grinder discs typically spin at 10,000 RPM to 15,000 RPM, which can cause a powerful kickback when the blade snags. Kickbacks are especially dangerous when using grinders with only one hand, make sure you have 2 hands and a sturdy handle to do this safely.
In general, angle grinders are better suited for making small cuts in wood. If you need to do more complex or intricate woodwork, you might want to consider using other tools instead, such as circular saws or a corded jigsaw.
If you want to know the difference between a jigsaw or circular saw it depends if you plan on cutting a curved or a straight line.
How to use a hand grinder
Before you even think about how to use a grinder safely, you should give some thought as to whether or not an angle grinder is right for the job. Although angle grinders are pretty versatile, they aren’t necessarily suitable for all types of cutting jobs.
Always use both hands when operating your angle grinder. Grip the handle securely with one hand, ensuring that you can reach the switch easily. Support the tool with your other hand to keep it from spinning out of control.
Also, consider purchasing a grinder with adjustable handles for left and right-handed operation. Position your work surface as close to the ground as possible, particularly when cutting long pieces of metal.
Keeping your workpiece low will make it easier to support it from underneath and reduce the risk of injury if you accidentally lose your grip on the grinder.
If working down on the ground is uncomfortable, at least try to keep the work surface level or better below your waist height away from your torso.
Always use protective equipment when working with an angle grinder. Safety glasses are essential, wide-vision goggles or a faceplate will also prevent flying debris from hitting you in the eyes.
You should also use earmuffs or earplugs to protect your hearing, a dust mask to avoid breathing in the dust when cutting or grinding concrete. And thick pants, to add help protect your legs.
The of a grinder also makes steel cut-of blades last longer. For example, if you put pressure on your grinder to make a cut faster, this will increase the chance of kickback and will also slow the blade down and make your blade wear down more quickly.
It is better to let the tool do the work, and just steadily guide the angle grinders cut. Apply only minimal pressure to the tool and let the grinder cut at the speed the Amps actually allow for the tool to maintain the blade speed or RMP it is designed for.
This slower cut will save your blade from wearing out too quickly and is why you want to make sure you have a grinder with decent amps.
Comparing the 4.5″ angle grinders
|Makita GA4542C||DeWalt DWE402||Bosch GWS10-45P||Skil 9296-01||Milwaukee 6130-33||Craftsman||Bosch 1375A||Black+Decker BDEG400|
The Makita GA4542C and DeWalt DWE402 are small corded angle grinders that provide pretty much anything you want from an angle grinder. Compact yet powerful, they both provide a good balance between power and easy handling.
But the Makita is priced considerably higher than the DeWalt, but you do get slightly better performance and quality for the money. But if all you can afford right now is a cheap grinder, the DeWalt will certainly deliver excellent close to matching value for the money.
For concrete cutting with a 9-Inch grinder, I like how the Bosch 1994-6 for its smooth start, and no vibration due to the flexible pivot points on both the handles.
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