Are you looking to cut tiles or grind paint off an old pipe? Angle grinders are made for those and many other similar jobs. However, not all of them have the same specs, which is why I’ve written this article to help you choose the one to best suit your needs.
In this article, I will go through some of the models that I consider worth looking at and I will also take you through the criteria that I consider when putting together this list.
Before jumping in, though, if you are in a hurry, here are my top two recommendations. If you are looking for a cordless angle grinder, I recommend the Milwaukee 2780-20. If a corded one will do, you should check this one by Metabo.
4 Best Cordless Angle Grinders
For maximum versatility, I recommend getting a cordless angle grinder. While they are generally slightly less powerful than their corded counterparts, you can use them even without access to a power outlet and you don’t have to worry about cutting through your power cord.
With that, let’s take a look at what I believe are some of the best cordless angle grinders on the market today.
What I like about the Milwaukee 2780-20 M18 Fuel angle grinder is that it features a paddle-switch design which can leave you comfortable when operating it at different angles (no pun intended).
With a metal housing and gear system, it can be considered at par with most corded grinders in terms of physical build.
The use of a brushless motor helps to prolong this tool’s lifespan. Moreover, the guard and accessory change mechanism are tool-less. That adds to this tool’s convenience and is a plus especially for those who are new to angle grinders or are casual home users.
Although the tool vibrates slightly when in use (which is normal for most power tools, anyway), it is still comfortable to hold, even for longer periods of time.
As for the no-load speed, this 4.5-inch disc angle grinder can deliver up to 8,500 RPM which is typical for its size. There’s also a brake feature to help cool down the wheel and the motor to ensure that your tool doesn’t overheat or break down fast.
Things I Like About This Product: The paddle-switch design allows you to work from multiple angles while the tool-less accessory and guard change can save time.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Do know that this is a bare tool (the battery is sold separately). Moreover, you might need to buy one of the higher-capacity battery packs since the tool can drain a regular battery quite fast.
To learn more about this tool, you can read my in-depth review here.
Not far behind in our level of recommendation is the Makita XAG04T 18-volt cordless grinder.
With a no-load speed of 8,500 RPM as well, this one also features a brushless motor for an extended lifespan. There’s also the AFT (active feedback-sensing technology), which safely stops the motor when it senses that the wheel was forced to stop spinning for some reason.
Compared to the above-mentioned pick, this one isn’t a bare tool so you can get started right away with the included pair of 5.0 Ah batteries. Both of those have a 45-minute charge time. You can also conveniently see the remaining battery life through a 3-stage LED gauge on the tool.
The tool also automatically stops when the battery level gets too low to prevent over-discharge.
As for ergonomics, this grinder has a comfortable grip due to the rubberized material its coated with – perfect even for humid conditions.
To add to your peace of mind, there’s also a lock feature for the slide switch to avoid accidental triggers. Also, to lessen the vibrations, spiral bevel gears are installed inside the inner workings of this Makita angle grinder.
Things I Like About This Product: You don’t have to buy batteries as this kit includes two of them – it even comes with a tool bag. I also like the over-discharge protection feature.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Depending on the task at hand, the battery can drain rather fast. Luckily, the set comes with two batteries so that you can charge one while using the other.
Also, make sure to take a look at the list of my favorite Makita angle grinders.
If you are looking for an option on the lower-end of the spectrum, check the Ryobi P423 18V One+ grinder which has a three-position side handle. That allows you to customize the tool’s shape depending on the position you are using the tool in.
Keep in mind that if you own any of the Ryobi One+ series tools, you can use any 18V battery that you already have with this one.
Disc replacements can also be a breeze by using the included spanner. Here’s a plus point – the wrench is stored inside the tool. That means less time and frustration with having to look for it in your toolbox.
Also worth noting is the tool’s rubber covering.
As for the actual cutting action, you can also adjust how deep your cut should be as well as the angle using the guard adjustment button. Since this one has a 10,400 RPM no-load speed, it’s suitable for many different tasks.
Before you purchase this one, make sure to also read my comparison of this grinder with the fairly similar Ryobi P421.
Things I Like About This Product: If you have any of the One+ series tools, you can share the 18V battery with it. Since the spenner is stored in the tool, disc changes are easy and nearly effortless.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The spanner tool sticks out of the handle a bit.
What makes the Festool 575348 Cordless Angle Grinder AGC 18 Plus different from the picks above is that you can adjust the grinding speed from 4,500 to 8,500 RPM in a step-less manner. This would be ideal for different materials to avoid putting too much pressure and breaking them (especially with delicate tiles or glass).
If you have any of the Festool 18V tools, you can interchange the battery with this one.
Aside from having a brushless motor, the tool sports a soft start-up design and a restart protection feature to minimize hassle. It also has electronic overload protection and a motor brake to prolong its lifespan.
As for the disc size, it accommodates a standard 4.5-inch one.
The guard and arbor change on this grinder are easy to work with since they are keyless. As with most tools, this one has an ergonomic grip to lessen user fatigue. With this angle grinder, you can also lock the spindle and clamping nut so you can change the disc easily.
Things I Like About This Product: The feature that lets you switch between grinding speeds can be helpful when you’re dealing with different kinds of materials, especially fragile ones. The tool even has a motor brake so the blade stops spinning instantly as you turn it off.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: While it accepts standard 4.5-inch discs with a 5/8-inch arbor, it’s unclear if it can accept 7/8-inch arbor size as well.
Before continuing, you can also read my Festool AGC18 in-depth review.
5 Best Corded Angle Grinders
In case you are only looking to use your tool in a workshop or in other places with uninterrupted access to power, corded angle grinders might be worth considering.
Below is a selection of what I think are the ones worth focusing your selection process on.
A combination of endless power and variable speed controls, this Metabo angle grinder lets you tweak its speed from 2,800 to 9,600 RPM so that you can work on a variety of projects or materials.
It even has a lock feature for safety and convenience while its 13.5-amp motor has a smart enclosure design to help airflow efficiently cool it down.
The guard designed for easy switching between grinding and cutting can also save time. In case of a disc jam, the S-Automatic Safety Slip Clutch on this high-torque grinder helps minimize kickback.
This grinder delivers up to 1,500 Watts of power, and has a 13-foot power cord that should be sufficient for most working areas. It is also capable of accepting up to 6-inch discs if you need to use it for heavier-duty tasks.
Things I Like About This Product: The grinder is customizable to fit your needs – you can buy a multi-position bracket and/or you can buy a larger disc than the standard size. The grinder can also adapt to different materials due to the variable speed.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The handle might not be everyone’s cup of tea since it is made of plastic (but still doesn’t vibrate too much). It is also an AC-only tool.
If you prefer an angle grinder that can work for both AC and DC power so that you can use it with alternative power sources, you might like the Makita 9005B 5-Inch Angle Grinder.
This tool has a 9-amp motor and is not too heavy to carry around – ideal if you need to use it for a prolonged period of time. Durability is increased due to the ball-bearing construction inside of the tool.
Changing accessories is easy thanks to the tool’s spindle lock. You can also remove the side or customize its position depending on whether you’re left-handed or right-handed – a very useful functionality for lefties.
This tool comes with a 5/8-inch thread and 11 UNC spindle (but with a 7/8-inch hole), as well as accessories to customize it.
As this angle grinder runs at a fixed speed of 10,000 RPM, it’s best to go for appropriately-rated discs or at least 5 inches in diameter and below (larger sizes could be unsafe). Talking about safety, the tool is also equipped with a locking trigger for safety.
Things I Like About This Product: You can use it for both AC and DC power plus you can customize it for either left-handed or right-handed use.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: It isn’t exactly tool-free since you do need a Phillips screwdriver to loosen the guard. It is also a fixed-speed angle grinder so it might not work well with delicate projects.
You can also read my full review of this angle grinder here.
A stronger grinding speed contender in the list would be the Skil 9295-01. It is not only affordable, but delivering up to 11,000 RPM it is also ideal for bigger projects.
The guard change on this tool is tool-less while the metal gear housing helps keep the tool’s 6-amp motor running smoothly and protected.
Additionally, the grip design mimics that of bicycle handles so it is easy to hold, saves user fatigue, and reduces vibration. There’s also convenient wrench storage within the tool. This tool has a spindle size of 5/8 -11 UNC.
As for the cord length, while it’s sufficient for most projects, you might still want to get an extension cord just in case. Especially if you plan to be using the tool at unusual angles.
The tool is equipped with an adjustable wheel guard to keep the ground debris away from you to keep you safe. If you remove the guard, the tool can fit 7/8-inch arbor discs as well.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a removable spanner stored inside the tool so you can make quick disc changes.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The speed is fixed so it is not so flexible for various projects. The on-off switch could have been placed somewhere else to avoid the potential of accidentally triggering it.
Another pick with a fixed speed is the Bosch 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder 1375A which has a no-load speed of 11,000 RPM delivered by a 6-amp motor. Despite that, it can be a budget option or a beginner’s alternative to cordless grinders since it only weighs 3.75 pounds to help lessen user fatigue.
Its side handle can be placed in two different positions depending on the angle that you need to work at. Also, it has a Minder Brush System that stops the tool when something needs to be fixed inside (which can help improve the motor lifespan).
This grinder fits 5/8-inch discs.
The switch on this tool was also designed carefully – sealed so debris won’t get inside the motor. With an 8-foot power cord, its slide switch also has a lock feature to keep accidental triggers away.
Things I Like About This Product: It’s lightweight and designed carefully to keep debris away and to prevent accidental switch triggers. The high grinding speed should be sufficient for most cutting and grinding tasks.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The speed is fixed so it might not cater to delicate materials well. It is also not equipped with a tool-less change system, decreasing the tool’s convenience a bit.
If the Bosch 1375A caught your attention, make sure to read my in-depth review of the tool as well.
Although not made by one of the higher end brands, I had to look at the Tacklife 4-1/2-Inch 11-Amp Angle Grinder due to its high speed of up to 12,000 RPM – something not seen in the previous picks above.
Its U-shaped guard can help with on-the-fly adjustments while the paddle switch can save time and effort when shutting down the grinder to prevent the disc from causing injuries.
Bearing an ergonomic grip, this grinder has a 5/8″ – 11 spindle thread design and also comes with various accessories, such as a bag, a spanner, a wheel guard, and a total of 3 grinding discs to start with. Its 11-amp motor delivers 1,300 watts of power which can be suitable for medium- to heavy-duty work, while its alloy gear case and anti-impact housing can keep it sturdy for long-term use.
Things I Like About This Product: With a high speed of 12,000 RPM, it can be used for tough cutting and grinding projects. It also comes with 3 grinding discs for you to interchange with the tool (most angle grinders often come with only 1 or 2).
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: It can heat up very fast so I recommend taking frequent breaks between uses. It is also a fixed-speed grinder that might not be ideal for delicate materials.
The Methodology: What I Considered When Picking the Angle Grinders Featured Above
Now that you know what I think are the products worth looking at, let’s take a look at how I actually came up with that list. The criteria below should also be helpful when you are making your final decision.
As you saw above, I grouped my choices into corded and cordless because different people have different needs for power tools – angle grinders included.
Corded angle grinders are best for medium to heavy-duty work since they can give you an unlimited power source. Sometimes, they may also do the job better compared to cordless ones in terms of speed.
The only slight drawback is that they have a dangling wire that could limit your mobility and (hopefully not) cause accidents in your work area.
When choosing a corded angle grinder, it should have a long power cord and should not be too heavy (although weight is expected since it should have more power too).
On the other hand, cordless angle grinder are more suited for lighter-duty work. If you don’t use angle grinders too often then it’s better to get cordless ones. They’re also great if you need to use them away from your workshop.
When choosing a cordless angle grinder, do consider one that has a sufficient battery lifespan or at least comes with a quick-charge system.
You might also want to get an additional battery or two.
Knowing the grinding speed of your angle grinder helps you to decide whether it is powerful enough for your task or not. Common speeds of angle grinders are around 8,500 RPM – but that’s only the no-load speed.
Such speeds are commonly seen on 4.5 to 5-inch disc sizes.
Variable-speed grinders can be helpful if you are looking to work on different materials since they allow you not to break the material you’re working with even if it is fragile. However, for simple and straightforward heavy-duty work, fixed-speed grinders tend to be sufficient.
A small tip to make the angle grinder last long: always use the factory-default disc or at least get a higher quality one to avoid taking the toll to the motor lifespan. This is because cheaper discs don’t cut as efficiently and as fast as the manufacturer’s recommended ones (or at least higher-priced ones).
The disc size is another thing that determines the types of jobs that you’ll be able to do with your grinder. Cordless models typically have a 4.5-inch disc while corded ones tend to have bigger discs at around 5 inches. Usually, bigger discs are designed for more industrial-level tasks.
You might also want to look into arbor size. The majority of the angle grinders mentioned here are 5/8-inch ones but some can fit 7/8-inch as well.
Ergonomics and Comfort
When choosing an angle grinder, you have to consider how long you’ll use the tool.
Too much vibration could make it a hassle to use, even when wearing gloves. I recommend angle grinders that have rubber grips so that when you hold it for hours, it won’t give you too much fatigue.
Also, do consider angle grinders that have brushless motors since they vibrate less than their brushed motor counterparts. You may also want to try angle grinders that have interchangeable handles so you can tweak their position depending on your dominant hand.
If you’re looking for a cordless angle grinder that can do the job in a variety of positions, you might want to try the Milwaukee 2780-20. The Makita XAG04T is well worth considering as well, especially since it comes as a kit with batteries.
Alternatively, for corded angle grinders, the Metabo 5″ Variable Speed Angle Grinder is the ideal pick due to its variable speed and adaptability to larger discs. If you want a variable AC/DC power source tool, you might want to try the Makita 9005B 5-Inch Angle Grinder.
Finally, if you don’t mind splurging and want the best possible quality, you should also look at the Festool 575348.