An angle grinder is a staple element of a welding workshop, both for prep work and for ensuring the best finishes. A power tool usable with many different attachments and disks for multiple purposes, your angle grinder can be used for anything from smoothening out a rough bit of metal before sanding, or for removing contaminants, paint, rust and anything else clinging to the surface of the metal before welding.
Once you’re done welding, the grinder can then also be used to remove excess slag, a byproduct of the welding process, which might otherwise make it difficult to inspect how effective your welding has been or simply be aesthetically unappealing. Angle grinders are also often used to reshape and create bevelled edges for plate or pipe joints. So which angle grinder should you be considering for your welding workshop, or to add to your arsenal of power tools? Take a look at our top picks.
DEWALT DWE402 4-1/2-Inch 11-Amp Paddle Switch Angle Grinder
This 4 and a ½ inch unit packs the power of an 11-amp motor, a maximum speed of 11 RPM making it the perfect workhorse to handle anything from pre-welding sanding and prep to post-welding finishes. Compatible with a wire brush attachment or wire wheel, the unit is perfect for clearing a metal surface of rust or contaminants and smoothening out bumps in preparation for welding. The angle grinder can also be used post welding to remove slag and nail the right finish, with oversized brushes offering you double the brush life of the DEWALT D28402 model. Durable metal and hard plastic housing also delivers better resilience and longevity.
Aside from boasting a powerful motor for high-powered and heavy-duty operation, with a 5.8 inches to 11 inches spindle, this corded angle grinder comes with a combination of features enhancing its user-friendliness and safety. The paddle switch system, instead of a thumb switch, ensures you can just let go of the paddle if the machine starts getting away from you, making it much safer to use, especially for beginners, amateurs and hobbyists, while still offering just the right degree of precision to become a professional’s favorite too.
The trademarked 360° rotating One Touch guard lets you simply readjust the guard with a nudge against any surface, without requiring any additional tools, and you’re set to safely go about using the angle grinder minimizing the likelihood of exposure to spinning blades or sparks and debris flying up at you. For additional stability, the unit features an additional, ergonomic side handle to give you a better grip and more control when using the grinder, the Quick-Change Wheel Release system letting you switch out the wheels of your unit without needing any extra tools. The unit also features auto shutoff brushes which switch the unit off when brushes are in need of replacing, as a precaution against potential damage, and features a trademark Dust Ejection System to keep dirt and debris out of the unit to improve its longevity.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
Hitachi G12SR4 6.4-Amp 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder
Another 4 and a ½ inch corded unit powered by a 6.4-amp motor, the unit features a removable side handle you can adjust depending on whether you are right- or left-handed, offering better safety and control while using the grinder. At 4 pounds, the unit is also relatively lightweight, and comes with 5 abrasive wheels ideal for grinding welded areas, a trigger lock feature allowing for continuous grinding and a spindle lock for swift and easy accessory replacements.
A slide switch with a quick shut-off also enhances safety in use. Compatible with wire brush attachments, among other accessories, the angle grinder can also be used for prep, to remove contaminants and rust, or to smoothen away a gritty metal surface before sanding. The unit comes with a rugged case for carrying and storage as well, and features a wheel guard for maximum safety and effectiveness.
PORTER-CABLE Angle Grinder Tool
This corded unit’s 7.5-amp motor makes for fast and efficient grinding action, while a three-position side handle gives you better flexibility and control when putting it to use. A non-locking paddle switch makes for greater user-friendliness and safety since if the machine kicks back, letting go off the paddle automatically turns it off and decreases risks of potentially nasty injuries. At a standard size of 4 and a ½ inches and weighing just over 4 pounds, with a 5.8 by 11 inch spindle, the unit is perfect for multiple applications, from grinding and metal cutting to polishing and sanding. A hardy metal housing makes for great durability and longevity, an adjustable and tool-free guard making for safer use as well.
DEWALT DWE4120 4 1/2-Inch Paddle Switch Angle Grinder
With a 5.8 inches to 11 inches spindle capable of accepting a range of 4 and a ½ inch wheel diameter accessories – including wire brush attachments for weld clearing and abrasive wheel attachments for slag removal post welding – this corded unit features a powerful 9-amp motor for swift, efficient and powerful material removal. The patented One Touch Guard offers 360° rotatability, allowing you to angle the guard where it is needed with a simple nudge, tool-free and intuitive to work out.
The unit also features a paddle switch for that extra measure of safety compared to thumb switches, letting you shut the machine off by letting go of the paddle in case it kicks back or starts to get away from you. The patented Quick-Change Wheel Release system lets you remove and attach accessories with ease, without requiring any additional tools, the removable two-position side handle giving you better stability and control when using the machine.