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The Best Angle Grinders For Steel: 2022 List

Brandon Forder
  Nov 30, 2022 7:35 AM

We didn't think it would be that difficult to choose the best angle grinder. As soon as we assembled our team, though, we realized how many fantastic models are available. A wide variety of angle grinders are available from a variety of manufacturers because of their importance in the toolbox.

We've done our best to reduce the field based on past research and testing, but we haven't had access to every available model. So if you have a favorite grinder, tell us and our other readers what makes it special.


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Last update on 2022-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


Buying Guide

Power Source

Angle grinders come in two main varieties: corded and cordless, similar to many other power equipment. Pneumatic angle grinders are also available; however, these are often reserved for usage in car body shops by trained technicians rather than the average do-it-yourselfer.

Corded angle grinders limit your mobility by requiring you to work near an electrical outlet, but they offer greater power and peace of mind by eliminating the need to worry about running out of juice. When working in confined spaces, a cordless angle grinder's portability is invaluable; yet, there is always the risk that the battery will die before you're done. If you have two batteries, you can use one while the other is charging, eliminating that issue.

Electrician Apprentice HQ owner and master electrician Thomas Hawkins elaborates, saying, "The corded versus cordless issue depends upon the project. In confined spaces where you can get by with less power but more mobility, cordless tools are the way to go. However, if you don't have to be too mobile and you really need that extra power, then you should probably go with the corded option. Ultimately, it depends on your end goal.

Disc Size

Most do-it-yourselfers prefer 4-1/2-inch or occasionally 5-inch discs for the smaller angle grinders they use. Most of these angle grinders are just about 12 inches long, so they can fit into tight locations, but they still pack enough of a punch to do the bulk of your everyday grinding, sanding, and sharpening jobs around the house, yard, and garage. This size category includes a broad variety of angle grinders, both corded and cordless.

Heavy and awkward to use in confined spaces, angle grinders that use 7- or 9-inch discs are nonetheless capable of greater power. All of these tools require a cord to operate. Professionals that need the maximum in size and power use these instruments for use in cutting through concrete, steel, or similar extremely hard materials. However, some do-it-yourselfers may need these huge angle grinders, especially if they undertake a lot of auto maintenance or heavy remodeling tasks.

Speed

Angle grinders' rotating discs can reach speeds of up to 9,000 RPM (rpm). Keep in mind that the manufacturer-stated speeds are typically the highest achievable speeds while the tool is not "loaded," i.e. actively being used to grind or sand. Keep in mind that the disc gets hotter the quicker it is traveling. Never exceed the recommended maximum speed of a disc, as doing so increases the risk of the disc shattering and the player being seriously injured.

Many smaller angle grinders have speed controls that allow you to adjust the maximum rotational speed to suit your demands, but most of them rotate at a maximum of between 5,000 and 11,000. Maximum speeds of larger angle grinders typically fall between 5,000 and 8,000 rpm.

Performance

Ultimately, results are what matter most. When the going gets rough, we need grinders who can keep their RPMs up and keep moving swiftly.

Size and Weight

When possible, we choose the smallest, lightest tool that will yet reliably complete the task at hand.

Voltage/Amperage

Volts (V) and amps (A) are the units of measurement for an angle grinder's potential power output (amps). The power of a cordless angle grinder's battery is measured in volts, with the most common being 18 and 20 volts, but other models using batteries anywhere from 7.5 to 24 volts. When it comes to cordless power tools, 18 to 20 volts is the "magic number," providing the optimal balance between cost and performance.

Corded angle grinders' voltage ratings only reveal whether or not they are compatible with 120-volt or 220-volt outlets. Using the amperage scale, which goes from 5 amps to 15 amps, consumers can evaluate the power output potential of corded devices. A grinder with a 7- or 9-inch disc should have a higher output potential because of the bigger output needed to spin the disc.

Hand Guard

The guard on an angle grinder protects the user by covering up to half of the disc. Its dual function is to shield the user's hands from flying sparks and debris and to prevent the grinder from scratching surfaces in confined areas.

There are both portable and stationary guard options for angle grinders. The adjustable model is preferred since it can be used with either hand and provides more security from flying objects. However, a removable guard can become detached from the device if not properly secured. Grinders with fixed guards are safer because they can't fall off.

Soft Start

Because of their speed and power, angle grinders can have a noticeable recoil when first turned on. This is especially the case when using a large, hefty grinding wheel. The motor's recoil can cause the angle grinder to "jump" in the user's hands, which can be quite dangerous.

Soft-start technology is used in angle grinders to mitigate recoil by gradually increasing the power to the engine. By limiting the initial surge of power, users of angle grinders can avoid injury to their arms and wrists and have a more comfortable start-up experience.

Price and Value

The importance of value to us cannot be overstated. Spending as little as possible isn't the goal; rather, you should focus on getting the most value out of the angle grinder you can afford.


FAQS

How are the discs on an angle grinder changed?

Turn off the grinder by pulling the plug or taking out the battery first. Use the angle grinder's factory-supplied spanner to loosen the nut holding the disc in place. Put in a new disc and secure the nut with the original equipment spanner.

How can I remove the disc with vise grips?

A spanner is typically used to tighten or loosen the grinder's disc nut. Even if you misplace your spanner, a pair of vise grips will allow you to take the nut off. First, secure the grinder blade in place by tightening the vice, and then loosen the locking nut using your hand or a screwdriver.

What is an angle grinder used for?

Angle grinders are multipurpose instruments that can be used for both home improvement and industrial purposes. If you frequently deal with metal or masonry materials like concrete, brick, or stone, you will find them to be invaluable. All you need is the proper knife or tool.

The name says it all: this is the best tool for smoothing down metal by removing burrs, nicks, and sharp edges. In addition to making precise cuts in either straight or curved lines, an angle grinder can also be used to buff or polish metal.

Use an angle grinder for any masonry work, such as breaking up concrete or sawing through bricks or stones. When laying a new floor, countertop, or tub surround, it is useful for cutting tiles as well as removing mortar from between bricks and underneath tile.


Conclusion

Our reviews of angle grinders should have made one thing clear: the market is flooded with excellent choices. Obviously, with ten fantastic resources to pick from, you can't go wrong.


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