Last Updated on August 30, 2020 by builder Aaron Barnett
The best cordless angle grinder is portable with a lightweight design. It should pack enough power to cut steel effortlessly and even concrete using a powerful brushless motor. There should be a well-placed adjustable handle, and a second switch for the tool to turn on like the Dewalt paddle switch, or Makitas easier top switch to avoid an accidental trigger push.
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Angle grinders are handheld power tools that can be used for a wide variety of grinding, polishing, and cutting jobs. Also known as “disc grinders” or “side grinders”, they are typically powered by electricity or compressed air.
Cordless grinders are powered by Li-ion batteries, and there are also larger variable speed angle grinders powered by gasoline engines.
Other uses of angle grinders include metal cleaning, cutting stone or steel, and removing old mortar from walls. Plumbers can use grinders to cut through pipes, while electricians can use electric cut off tools to slice through conduits or PVC pipes.
Angle grinders are pretty versatile tools that can even take the place of other power tools generally used for cutting. They can be fitted with a wide variety of cutting discs that make them ideally suited for cutting stone, concrete, or even metal.
For cutting through stone, concrete, or metal, general contractors and auto-body repair specialists typically attach diamond-tipped blades to their grinders.
There are also sanding and polishing wheels that can smoothen down rough surfaces and prepare them for painting. For removing rust and corrosion or for buffing metal surfaces, angle grinders are often fitted with wire brush attachments.
The first angle grinder was produced in 1954. It was invented by the German firm Ackermann + Schmitt, which was known in German as “FLEX-Elektrowerkzeuge GmbH”.
Because of the company’s name, angle grinders are still commonly referred to as “flex” tools in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and other countries in Europe.
Features to consider
Before buying a cordless angle grinder…
Research the brand.
Some of the best cordless angle grinders are made by Milwaukee, DeWalt, Hitachi, Makita, and Bosch. Ryobi angle grinders and Metabo grinders also offer pretty good value for the money.
Purchasing grinders from these companies generally assures you of a quality product that will last a long time and give you reliable performance. Grinders from these companies also usually provide sufficient power for even heavy-duty jobs.
Pick a brushless motor.
Brushless motors are generally preferable to brushed motors that utilize an array of brushes that rub up against a rotating commutator.
Traditional brushed designs create a considerable amount of friction which produces heat and results in less than optimal performance.
Angle grinders with brushless motors generally last longer and require less maintenance than those with brushed motors.
Decide on blade size.
Blade sizes for cordless grinders range from 4.5” to 9”, with a variety of other sizes in between including 5”, 6”, and 7” models.
The larger the disc size, the larger the cuts you can make in the workpiece, and the more material you can remove.
Grinders with 4.5” disc sizes are suitable for most DIY jobs, although you may want to go up to 7” for certain tasks.
Think about speed rating.
Handheld grinders typically spin at a range of 5,000 to 10,000 RPM. Most commercially-available grinders intended for DIY and professional applications spin at about 8,000 to 9,000 RPM.
Although grinders with a higher RPM will let you work more efficiently, they can be more dangerous to use due to the faster rotation of the disc.
Pick a comfortable handle.
A tool that is comfortable and easy to hold with good weight distribution makes doing a job easier.
Having a handle at the back of the grinder close to the weight of the battery makes the tool balanced in your hand, and keeps your hand further away from the blade and the sparks.
The older Makita has a thick harder to grip handle, compared to the newer model with a handle that is easy to hold.
Corded vs. Cordless
Traditionally, the best grinders were corded that provided adequate power for the most demanding jobs. When cordless angle grinders first appeared on the market, most of them were under-powered and suitable only for DIY use.
Nowadays, however, many cordless angle grinders measure up to the best-corded models in terms of power, performance, and features. Click here to read my corded angle grinder review.
In addition, cordless grinders offer a number of advantages over their corded counterparts. There is no cord to get in your way, so there is no risk of cutting into it accidentally and electrocuting yourself.
You also aren’t tethered to a wall outlet, so you can work pretty much anywhere you want, even outdoors or on your driveway.
Brushless vs. Brushed motor
Brushless motors have become quite popular in the building and construction industries in recent years, and even among DIY hobbyists. Traditional power tool motors have brushes that come in contact with a rotating commutator.
This produces a lot of friction and heat, which results in a great deal of wear-and-tear on the motor.
Brushless designs do away with the brush system entirely, resulting in a more efficient motor that lasts longer and performs better than brushed models.
Like all brushless power tools, brushless grinders are a bit more expensive than brushed motor models.
Even so, the power and performance benefits provided by brushless DeWalt cordless grinders and Milwaukee angle grinders make them much better choices for DIYers and pros alike.
When to use a cordless angle grinder?
Cordless angle grinders are the perfect choice when you need a portable and versatile tool for grinding, cutting, and a host of other tasks.
If you are working on a remote job site where power outlets are in short supply, you will want to pack a cordless grinder in your tool bag.
However angle grinders can also be used to polish wood, stone, or metal, and to smoothen down rough surfaces when a portable tool is needed.
Angle grinders can also be used to restore the edge of bladed tools like your splitting maul and knives.
A grinder can quickly remove burrs or other obstructions on a wide variety of materials. With the right bladed attachment, cordless grinders can even be used to cut stone, tile, or even steel. While even the best bench grinders can only grind without being able to cut.
Why choose a cordless angle grinder
Few tools are as versatile as a cordless angle grinder. Not just for grinding, grinders can be used for many general cutting jobs as well. If you need to make long cuts in a large piece of wood or steel, grinders will give you much more control than a handsaw.
You can also use them in worksites where the lack of power outlets makes the use of corded tools impossible or impractical.
Makita cordless angle grinders
Makita started out as a sales and repair firm for electric motors in 1915, long before the establishment of the Makita Corporation in 1958. Since then, the company has grown exponentially, becoming one of the world’s leading providers of quality power tools.
Makita rolled out its first grinder in 1989, along with a circular saw and a drill.
The tools were designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and exhibited at the World Design Exposition held in Nagoya.
Today, the company continues to manufacturer an extensive array of tools geared towards professional builders and construction workers.
Can you cut porcelain tile with an angle grinder?
When cutting porcelain tiles, many professionals opt to use a wet saw specifically designed for that purpose. But wet saws are specialty tools that aren’t readily accessible to most workers.
The good news is that you can use your angle grinder to cut tiles if you attach a stone blade to it. A 4.5” grinder is usually best suited for the job, allowing you to cut through most types of tiles fairly easily.
Keep in mind that angle grinders won’t cut through porcelain tiles as smoothly as a wet saw or a tile cutting board.
But if you only need to make rough cuts wherein the edges will be concealed by a baseboard or finishing materials anyway, a 4.5” angle grinder will do in a pinch.
What is the best tile cutting blade?
Some blade materials are better suited to cutting tiles than others. If you need to make precise cuts, you will get much better results by using a diamond blade attachment with your grinder.
Make sure to choose a smooth-edged blade that has no notches or serrations on it.
These blades are better suited for cutting through porcelain smoothly, as opposed to serrated blades which are better for cutting through natural stone.
Top cordless angle grinders
The Makita XAG04Z kit includes the XAG04T cordless angle grinder, which boasts of a top speed of 8,500 RPM.
A 4.5” 18-volt model, the grinder has a brushless motor that gives you a huge power and speed boost compared to other grinders, and longer run times and tool life besides.
The XAG04T features Makita’s Automatic Speed Change Technology, which adjusts the motor’s speed and torque automatically while in use, ensuring optimal performance for every task.
Despite weighing only 5.6 pounds, the XAG04T has the power to spare for grinding, cutting, and sanding almost any type of material, including tile, concrete, steel pipes, conduits, and a lot more.
The DEWALT DCG413B boasts of 9,000 max RPM in a compact but powerful package. Running at 20 volts, this brushless angle grinder keeps running 57% longer than comparable brushed motor models.
It comes with a paddle switch that kicks on the single-speed motor, which also doubles as a brake control that stops the spinning action immediately when the switch is released.
The DCG413B has a 2-position side handle that allows for easy left- or right-handed operation. With a 4.5” wheel size, the DCG413B is a solid performer that could handle a wide variety of cutting, grinding, sharpening, and polishing jobs
What I like about Dewalt cordless tools is the option to get bigger batteries if needed like the 60v/20v 9AH Flexvolt batteries.
This grinder is noticeably lighter than the Makita weighing only 3.75 lbs and has more grunt too.
Tips for using cordless angle grinders
Keep in mind that some angle grinders can spin up to 10,000 RPM compared to the 1,200 RPM of most drills. So you really do have to know what you are doing to use your grinder safely.
It is always a good idea to remove the battery if you are changing discs. This ensures that the motor won’t start accidentally if you happen to hit the switch.
Speaking of changing discs, it is good practice to run any new discs for about a minute. This ensures that there is nothing wrong with the disc that could cause injury.
Always grip the grinder securely with both hands while working. You should also make sure that the handles are attached firmly to the chassis. And if your angle grinder comes with a guard, use it!
Click here for more information on how to use an angle grinder.
Cordless angle grinders comparison
|DeWalt DCG413B||Makita XAG04Z|
|Weight:||3.75 lbs.||5.6 lbs.|
Both the Makita XAG04Z and the DeWalt DCG413B kits provide outstanding value for money.
The XAG04T that comes with the Makita kit is a great choice for all-around cutting and grinding jobs, with a top speed of 8,500 RPM and an automatic speed change feature that adjusts performance automatically according to the demands of the job.
The DeWalt DCG413B is an absolute powerhouse, capable of a maximum RPM of 9,000.
Its brushless design ensures much longer performance than most other angle grinders, and it has a paddle switch that doubles as a brake control for safe and convenient operation.
If you are looking for a versatile angle grinder that provides enough power even for heavy-duty jobs, the DCG413B should be on your list.
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