Let Our Team Help You Sort Through the Multitude of Excellent Angle Grinder Choices
When we set out to determine the best angle grinder, it didn’t seem like a terribly difficult task. However, when we got our team together, it was quickly apparent that there are so many outstanding models out there. Angle grinders are a core tool and nearly every brand makes multiple models.
While we’ve done our best to narrow things down based on our experience, we haven’t been able to put our hands on every model out there. So if you have a grinder you love, let us and your fellow readers know what makes it stand out in the comments section.
How to Choose the Right Angle Grinder
Choosing the right angle grinder for the job is mainly about size and performance. With three primary angle grinder classes (small, medium, and large), it’s all about which size wheel fits in the area you need to grind, cut, or polish.
When the wheel contacts the material, it then has to get the job done. An underpowered grinder might cut 1/4-inch steel plate or grind welds, but higher-performing ones are going to do it much more quickly.
From there, it’s about convenience and features. By far the most convenient way to go is to cut the cord and use battery power. The best cordless angle grinders keep up with corded models—even up to 9-inch models! The trade-off is a higher cost and limited runtime. On the other hand, electronic controls give cordless grinders some features that aren’t common on corded ones.
Here are some other features to look consider:
- Electronic braking
- Automatic kickback shut-off
- Advanced vibration control system
- Compatible shrouds for working with concrete/masonry
- Brushless motor (on cordless and corded models)
- Smart controls/tracking
- Three total side handle install points
Read up on angle grinder uses and how cordless technology is influencing them here.
The Best Angle Grinder Overall | Our Top Pick
At the end of the day, the tool you pick up the most is the best for the way you work since you use it so much. The one we pick up more than any other in our shop is DeWalt’s second-generation FlexVolt angle grinder. It has the performance (13-amp equivalent, 9000 RPM) and safety features we demand (kickback control and electronic brake) with the convenience of cordless operation.
One of the other things that sets it apart from high-performance grinders in its class is the ergonomics of its handle design. It’s a slim profile with a trigger rather than a paddle or slide switch.
Price: $229.00 bare, $319.00 (1 x 3.0Ah battery) and $469.00 (2 x 3.0Ah battery) kit options
The Best Cordless Angle Grinder
With DeWalt taking the top spot overall, that model is also our number 1 pick as the best cordless angle grinder. Here are three more options we highly recommend:
The Best Cordless Small Angle Grinder (4-Inch and 5-Inch)
Milwaukee’s latest flagship small angle grinder has outstanding power with the brake and kickback control we’re looking for. Capable of using 4 1/2 or 5-inch wheels, both styles have a top speed of 8500 RPM.
The 2883 (slide lock) and 2882 (paddle switch) also include One-Key. While there are no control settings, it does offer tracking and inventory management, making it a great option for construction firms and shops that prefer help tracking tools from the crib.
Price: $219 bare, $469 kit (2 x 6.0Ah High Output battery)
The Best Cordless Medium Angle Grinder (6-Inch)
Bosch Spitfire ProFactor 18V Connected-Ready X-Lock 6-Inch Angle Grinder GWX18V-13CN
Bosch has a lot going on with their GWX18V-13CN angle grinder. It’s capable of using wheels from 5 to 6 inches and using the completely tool-free X-Lock interface, you can kiss your spanner wrench goodbye! As a 13-amp corded equivalent, the grinder’s BiTurbo brushless motor spins up to 8500 RPM.
In addition to electronic brake, kickback control, drop control, and restart protection features, this model is also Connected-Ready. Just add the Bosch Connected Module to gain smart tracking and diagnostic communication.
This grinder is also available without X-Lock as the GWS18V-13CN.
Price: $249 bare, $399 kit (1 x 8.0Ah Core18V battery)
The Best Cordless Large Angle Grinder (7-Inch and 9-Inch)
Makita 40V max XGT AWS-Capable 9-Inch Angle Grinder GAG10
The cordless large angle grinder group is ironically very small. Among the major brands, your choices are between Makita, Metabo, and Milwaukee. None of them are poor choices. However, our pick for the best cordless large angle grinder in Makita’s GAG10.
Using a single 40V max XGT battery instead of two 18V batteries for power, it kickback and brake safety features, and adds restart protection along with AWS. Makita’s Autostart Wireless System automatically turns on your vac when you pull the trigger, making this an excellent option for concrete and masonry work in addition to standard metalworking.
On the performance side, expect to run 7 or 9-inch wheels up to 6600 RPM. The tool also has an isolated rear handle to help absorb vibration and reduce fatigue in your hand and arm.
Price: $309 bare, $469 (1 x 4.0Ah battery)
The Best Corded Angler Grinder
In order to get the kickback control and electronic brake we’ve been talking about, the best way to get them is with the electronic controls that come with a brushless motor. In recent years, a couple of brands have introduced corded brushless angle grinders that offer those additional safety features.
That’s a big deal to our team, plus you don’t have carbon brushes to replace. If those features aren’t a big deal to you, you might find the best corded angle grinder for you is something different than what we’re recommending.
The Best Small Angle Grinder (4-Inch and 5-Inch)
Metabo HPT AC Brushless 5-Inch Angle Grinder G13BYEQ
Metabo HPT earns our pick for the best corded small angle grinder with its 5-inch AC brushless G13BYEQ. It uses a 12-amp brushless motor to spin the wheel up to 10,000 RPM. The paddle switch and electronic brake ensure the motor stops quickly if your hand comes off for some reason, and it has the built-in kickback control we prefer on grinders.
The Best Medium Angle Grinder (6-Inch)
DeWalt Brushless 6-Inch Angle Grinder DWE43244N
For your medium size grinder, we like DeWalt’s 5-inch/6-inch DWE43244N. It’s a corded paddle switch grinder that takes advantage of a brushless motor. As part of DeWalt’s Performance & Protect line, it has an electronic clutch with kickback control and an electronic brake.
For those of your working at height, there’s a lanyard attachment hook just below where the cord enters the housing.
Flipping over to the performance, the motor runs 13 amps and produces a solid 1800 watts of power with speeds up to 9000 RPM.
The Best Large Angle Grinder (7-Inch and 9-Inch)
Metabo 9-Inch Angle Grinder WEPB 24-230 MVT
When it’s time to go big, we prefer Metabo for the best corded large angle grinder. In particular, we like the WEPB 24-230 MVT for several reasons. This 15-amp grinder is well-built and can handle wheels up to 9 inches with speeds up to 6600 RPM. Even though it’s not a brushless model, it does have a mechanical disk brake that activates if the deadman switch is released, if the wheel binds up, or even in an unexpected power loss.
The “MVT” designation on this grinder stands for Metabo VibraTech and includes an internal dampening system along with a vibration reduction side handle.
We also really like the rat tail handle design. Grinders of all sizes can have pretty wide handles that small and medium-size hands have a tougher time with. Metabo’s rat tail handle offers a much more ergonomic grip to hands of all sizes.
The Best Budget Angle Grinder
Ryobi made a huge jump in performance with its HP Brushless line of cordless tools and the paddle switch angle grinder of the group is no exception. Paired with a High Performance battery, the brushless motor is capable of 9200 RPM using 4 1/2-inch wheels.
This is one of only a few grinders with a tool-free wheel removal. Ryobi’s FixTec flange nut has a flip-up section you can grab and twist to loosen or tighten with your fingers. If the nut happens to be too tight, there’s a spanner wrench you can use as a backup.
Even though this model is more expensive than some of the more budget-friendly options out there, its performance makes it an excellent value.
Price: $129 bare, $179 kit (1 x 4.0Ah High Performance battery)
Skil 8-Amp 5-Inch Corded Angle Grinder AG242001
Skil takes your basic grinder needs up a notch with its AG242001. As our top choice for the best corded budget angle grinder, this 5-inch paddle switch grinder is a bit more powerful than its competition with an 8-amp motor producing an impressive 12000 RPM.
It also features three handle positions and the spanner wrench stores right inside the side handle where you’re much less likely to lose it.
The Best Angle Grinder Brand
You can ask professionals which brand makes the best angle grinder and you’ll get a variety of answers. When we look at the grinders consistently doing the toughest jobs, no brand shows up as much as Metabo. The quality of Metabo’s engineering and design along with an incredibly deep line that covers the entire range of grinder needs makes it a top choice time after time. They’re more expensive than other professional brands, but that’s what we expect at this level.
More Options From Brands We Trust
Best Craftsman Angle Grinder
Craftsman’s CMCG450 is a 4 1/2-inch brushless model that’s a solid value at less than $100 for the bare tool. It has performance primarily meeting the needs of serious DIYers and has a 3-position side handle with a spanner wrench that stores conveniently in it.
Price: $99 bare tool
Even though Flex has been around a long time as a brand, its 24V cordless system is one of the newest on the market. Their 5-inch brushless variable speed grinder doesn’t have a first-gen feel, though. With legitimate Pro-level performance and a comfortable design, kickback control reduces injury risk in a bind-up while the side handle absorbs vibration. It’s also the best value in the professional small angle grinder class.
This grinder is available with a slide switch or a paddle switch.
Price: $179 bare, $199 kit (1 x 5.0Ah battery)
Best HART Tools Angle Grinder
While Ryobi was our pick for the best budget cordless grinder, HART Tools makes a great case as another high-value pick with the HPAG25. Their brushless model boasts the same 9200 RPM as Ryobi and has a three-position side handle. The best part is the price—just $119 as a bare tool.
The downside is that it’s not sold as a kit with a battery and charger. However, you’re going to want more than just the grinder, so grab the brushless drill and impact driver combo to help you get started.
Price: $119 bare
Learn more from Hart Tools.
Best Kobalt Angle Grinder
Kobalt’s top grinder is the cordless brushless KAG 424B-03 (KAG 1724A-03 for the kit). It’s a 5-inch model with a paddle switch design that covers all the basics you need with a couple of bonuses. It has a three-position handle and the spanner wrench stores inside the handle so you have it when you need it.
The biggest story for Kobalt is the performance. The brushless motor and 6-cell 24V max battery system run your grinder wheels up to 8500 RPM with plenty of muscle to back it up.
Price: $129 bare tool, $219 kit (1 x 4.0Ah battery)
Best Porter-Cable Angle Grinder
Porter-Cable is back and Tractor Supply carries the entire line! With corded and cordless options, our top choice is Porter-Cable’s corded 7.5-amp grinder. It uses 4 1/2-inch wheels and has a 3-position side handle. The biggest deal is the price—it runs just $39.99 and has a 3-year warranty, making it one of the best angle grinders if you’re on a budget.
Best Ridgid Angle Grinder
Ridgid has several angle grinders to choose from with options on both the corded and cordless sides. If you’re on the hunt for something with a larger wheel and more muscle that doesn’t break the bank, check out the R10202. Its 15-amp motor powers 7-inch wheels up to 8000 RPM.
Not only does this model have a 3-position side handle, but it also has a rotating 3-position rat tail main handle design. No matter which way you’re cutting, you can get both hands in a natural, comfortable position so you can focus on the cut instead of your grip. Plus, this powerful grinder retails under the $150 mark.
The Best Angle Grinder for Wood Carving
Most people don’t think of an angle grinder for wood carving duties, but there are accessories out there specifically for that purpose. One of the most helpful is essentially a wheel with chainsaw teeth on the edge. You can also use flap disks just like you do for metal.
Most of the wood carving wheels are 4 or 4 1/2 inches, so a small angle grinder is your best bet, and we highly recommend a model with kickback control. The trick here is to make sure your grinder isn’t underpowered since this can be a very aggressive application. If you have spare batteries and a rapid charger, cordless can be a convenient option. However, the unlimited runtime of a corded grinder is our preference.
If you don’t already have a grinder in mind, give Metabo HPT’s G13BYEQ as our pick for the best corded small angle grinder.
The Best Angle Grinder for Tile Cutting
If you’re going to cut tile, granite, or other masonry with your angle grinder, you need to use a dust shroud and connect a dust extractor. A collection system keeps the dust from getting into your lungs while also pulling it away from your cutline.
There are several add-on shrouds you can buy that take the place of the grinder’s guard. Our top recommendation is DeWalt’s DWE46125 cutting shroud for small angle grinders ($84). If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, DeWalt’s DWE46123 includes the cutting shroud with a grinder in one package for $219.
Price: $84 (shroud only), $219 (grinder and shroud)
The Best Angle Grinder for Concrete
Similar to tile cutting, the best angle grinder for concrete has plenty of muscle behind it, a shroud to help collect the dust, and has the unlimited runtime of corded AC power.
Check out Makita’s PC5010CX1 for a 5-inch grinder with a concrete shroud as an all-in-one tool. Its 12-amp motor has 1400 watts of muscle and there’s a vibration-dampening spring system to make the job less fatiguing.
If you’re on the hunt for the absolute best in concrete cutting and polishing on an industrial level, take a look at what US Saws has to offer. The Mark III Dust Buggy is ideal for cleaning out joints. For floor prep, the TC-7 Stand-Up Edger lets you tackle the edges close the walls where your larger concrete polisher isn’t the best option. Incidentally, both use Metabo grinders to get the job done.
The Best Angle Grinder for Cutting Metal
The best angle grinder for cutting metal can be virtually any of the grinders we’ve recommended. It’s all about your expectations for performance, features, and budget. What makes a big difference here is choosing the right accessory for the job.
You have two major options: abrasive wheels or diamond wheels. Abrasive wheels are significantly cheaper, while diamond wheels last much, much longer. If you do a cost-per-cut analysis, diamond wheels end up being a better value if you don’t mind the upfront cost.
If you prefer abrasive cutting wheels, we like the performance and life we get from Makita, and they have both standard and X-Lock wheels available. Another one to keep your eyes on is DeWalt’s Elite Series.
For diamond cutting wheels, it’s tough to beat Diablo for both standard and X-Lock arbors. We also use Lenox MetalMax diamond cutting wheels frequently.
Angle Grinder Safety Tips
Angle grinders can spin up to 10,000 RPM or more. When something goes wrong on the business end, it can be catastrophic, sending shrapnel into your face and body, hurting bystanders, or damaging material and equipment around you. Here are some angle grinder safety tips to prevent it:
- Always wear eye protection—no excuses!
- Consider wearing a metalworking apron
- Wear cut-resistant gloves
- Never work without a guard in place
- Use a braking grinder when you can
- Get a grinder with kickback control
- Consider a paddle switch instead of an on/off switch
- Wait until the wheel stops moving before you set the grinder down
How We Make Our Choices
As we considered the dozens of quality grinders available, there were several things we prioritized to help us make our recommendations.
At the end of the day, performance is still the number one priority. We’re looking for grinders that have enough torque to keep their RPMs high and continue to work quickly when the going gets tough.
Size and Weight
When it’s an option, our team reaches for the lightest, most compact tool that still gets the job done with confidence.
Braking grinders with kickback control are two of the top safety features we look for. Any other innovations that improve safety also earn big bonus points.
After safety features, other design elements that make the job easier help improve a grinder’s overall score.
Price and Value
We’re big on value. It’s not about paying the least amount of money possible, it’s about getting the most you can from the angle grinder that fits the budget you have.
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