Shaping, carving and sanding are three separate but critical facets of woodworking, but instead of needing three separate tools for the job, how about using just one? That’s what using an angle grinder, compatible with the proper attachments and disks, can bring to the table, helping remove large quantities of material quickly and exponentially speeding up working with wood, be it for carving furniture or figurines, shaping beams or sanding out scratches and dings to a smooth and flawless finish.
The best part is that angle grinders don’t only have to be limited to woodworking – with the right attachments you can also sand or cut metal, stone, tile or ceramic, prep a surface for welding, and much more. Although in most cases the appropriate woodworking attachments have to be purchased separately from the angle grinder, their relative affordability and long-term cost-effectiveness and versatility more than make up for the additional expenditure – so long as you pick the right angle grinder to work with them. Intuitive to get a hang of, and rugged workhorses in their own rights, here are our picks for the best angle grinder for woodworking.
Makita 9557PBX1 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder
Half of what makes a great angle grinder for woodworking is the tool itself, and the other picking the right attachments. Thanks to the standard size of 4 and a ½ inches, this unit is capable of accepting a range of abrasive carving disks and carving wheels for shaping and carving wood, and abrasive flap disks accommodating sandpaper of different grits for sanding your project down. The unit comes with some attachments included, among them 4 and ½ inch grinding wheels (great for sharpening and reshaping the edges of metal blades, including garden implements) and diamond wheel (perfect for cutting and shaping tile, ceramic, stone etc.)
The unit itself packs an impressive degree of power and functionality – a 7.5-amp motor generates a speed of 11,000 RPM, for high speed removal of material, greatly speeding up your sanding and carving sessions. The paddle switch ensures greater safety to both you and your project since the machine can be shut off by letting go of the paddle if it starts getting away from you. A lockable on/off feature also lets you operate the device continuously should you need to. This, along with the removable wheel guard, keeps you safe and ensures a greater measure of efficiency when working wood with such a powerful device.
The corded angle grinder comes with an adjustable side handle which can be positioned on either side to suit the convenience of the user, for additional stability and control, enhanced by the ball-bearing balanced structure and rugged metal casing for greater longevity. The unit’s protective labyrinth construction and zig-zag varnish also keeps dust and dirt away from the inner mechanisms of the machine, for better and more long-lasting performance.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
Metabo HPT Angle Grinder | 4-1/2-Inch
This impressively pocket-friendly (should set you back less than 50 bucks) unit features a spindle lock for quick and easy disc and accessory changes, and can be used for anything from heavy-duty sanding jobs to pulling off the perfect seamless finishes, while the standard 4 and a ½ inch size means its capable of accepting abrasive carving disks and carving wheels for additional woodworking functions too.
Also including a grinding wheel, a cutting wheel and more, the power tool features a spindle lock for quick and easy accessory changes, and runs on a 6.2-amp motor generating speeds of 11,000 RPM, for heavy-duty and swift material removal. A trigger lock on/off system allows you to get continuous carving and sanding done without having to hold the trigger down, the side handle removable and re-positionable depending on which side is the most convenient for you to use. Control and safety is further enhanced thanks to the protective wheel guard, and a duct design to improve air circulation, to cut down the likelihoods of the device overheating.
DEWALT DWE402 4-1/2-Inch 11-Amp Paddle Switch Angle Grinder
Another unit with 4 and a ½ inch wheel diameter and capable accepting standard sized abrasive flip and carving disks and carving wheels (along with grinding and diamond wheels, and other accessories), this rugged power tool boasts a great combination of features to round it off as a brilliantly functional angle grinder. A trademark One-Touch Guard lets you simply nudge the guard into place where it’s needed, the 360° rotatability making for all-round protection, the two-position side handle giving you better stability and control as you work.
A paddle switch also enhances safety, since letting go of the paddle switches the machine off if it gets away from you, minimizing the risk of accidents both to yourself and your project. The tough hard plastic and metal housing makes for great durability, while the Dust Ejection System keeps dust, dirt and debris from getting into the machine and damaging its mechanisms. A powerful 11-amp motor delivers speeds of 11,000 RPM for speedy and thorough material removal, a Quick Change wheel release system letting you quickly and easily switch attachments, tool-free.
Bosch 1375A 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder
Featuring a versatile 5/8 inch to 11 inch spindle capable of accommodating different sizes, this 6-amp powered motor delivers speeds of 11,000 RPM for thorough and precise carving, shaping and sanding in woodworking. The 4 and a ½ inch wheel diameter accepts a bunch of different attachments, including the abrasive carving and flap disks, coming with a two-position adjustable side handle to give you better stability and control as you work. A burst-protection guard also ensures greater safety, a lockable slide switch allowing for continuous operation without having to hold a button down. Meanwhile, the Service Minder Brush System improves the longevity of the unit by shutting the machine off when it requires maintenance and to prevent damage.