There aren’t many tools that can match the usefulness of an angle grinder. This tool is not only common but can also help you with a wide range of DIY projects. Finding the best angle grinder for welding can ensure you complete everything quickly and efficiently.
Various tool brands are non-stop trying to outdo themselves with new, unique products. This results in a very large pool of products you can choose from. While this is, essentially, a good thing, it can also make it difficult to determine good tools from bad ones.
Finding a perfect angle grinder can be challenging, which is why we’re here to help! We have gathered top 6 best angle grinders for welding, and we have also included a buyer’s guide that can help you make the best decision for yourself.
What Is Angle Grinder Used for?
In short, the angle grinder is used to clean the metal before welding. This is its main purpose. However, the best angle grinder for welding can be used for several things, including:
Cleaning the Metal
Sometimes, the base metal has some impurities on the surface. This can include paint, grease, rust, or dirt. If this is the case, you should clean it up before welding. Otherwise, you may end with weak welds because this dirt can disrupt or contaminate the weld. This can also cause weld defects – including porosity.
If there is grease on the metal, you should remove it with a solvent and wipe everything dry. For all other impurities, the angle grinder is there to help! It will clean the metal and allow you to have the strongest welds possible,
Cleaning the Weld
On certain occasion, the impurities might not be on the metal but on the weld. Sure, you can clean everything up with a chipping hammer, sand paper, and wire brush, but an angle grinder is a much more efficient way of dealing with this.
Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t use the angle grinder for too long, as this might damage all the ‘healthy’ and clean metal once you’re done with the debris.
If you place a cutting disc onto your angle grinder, you may use it to cut thin metal. While an angle grinder cannot deal with everything as smoothly as, for example, a plasma cutter, it can still do the job and you won’t need to purchase a new, expensive tool. Just remember to get yourself appropriate cutting discs, which will be thinner than regular grinding discs.
How to Choose the Best Angle Grinder for Welding – Buyer’s Guide
When choosing the best angle grinder for welding, you cannot just blindly purchase the one product that worked well for your neighbor. Instead, you should look at several different products to determine which one is the best for you.
Here are some factors that you should consider before making a decision to buy:
Cordless or Corded
Cordless machines are handy because they are portable, and you can always take them with you no matter where you go. However, if they are powerful, you’ll have to change the batteries quite often, and many won’t last you even for an entire hour!
Also, these angle grinders tend to be heavier than their corded counterparts, as they have to include a battery pack.
Try to think about how much do you really need a portable product. Sure, cords and cables are a mess to use, but sometimes it’s just not worth having to replace the batteries constantly.
Rotations per Minute (RPM)
The RPM determines the speed of the disk and how much force it generates. The grinder has to have a lower RPM than the disc you’re using. If it’s the other way round, the disc might shred or even fall apart entirely.
Variable or Fixed Speed
Some angle grinders allow you to change RPM. Others do not. This depends on how you plan to use your angle grinder. If you’re using it for some sensitive materials, then having a variable speed is a good thing as you can make everything match. Other than that, a fixed speed one would work just fine.
The higher the amperage, the more power the grinder has, and this gives it the ability to work fast. Overall, 10 amps is the standard, but if you’re using your grinder just for some minor DIY projects, 6-7 amps can work, as well. However, the higher the amperage, the less the battery will last on a cordless angle grinder.
Adjustable guard can make it easier to change positions and it can save you a lot of hassle. Other than that, it won’t affect the usefulness of the device that much.
If you plan on using your angle grinder all the time, you need to find a durable product that can withstand a lot of pressure. Sure, cheap models will mean less initial cost, but you’ll likely have to replace them every now and then, which will end up costing you more in the long run.
Disc Type and Size
There are four types of discs that you can use for your angle grinder. These are:
- Cutting disc – used to cut thin metal
- Grinding disc – good for smoothing out metal
- Flap disc – smoother than grinding discs, but do the same purpose
- Wire brush disc – great for removing slag or rust
Most grinders can hold all of them. As for the disc size, most angle grinders use a 4½ inch diameter disc, which are considered the best overall. They are small enough to fit some smaller spaces, but big enough to work on most projects. Some grinders can hold much larger discs, but unless you’re working on a very large project, you won’t need them.
Also, you should always aim for grinders that only take a few minutes to replace the discs. If it takes longer than that, it might not be worth the hassle.
Small grinders can be very easy to hold in one hand, which can be very useful. Also, they are easier to carry around, and they can allow you to weld in tighter spaces. However, larger ones tend to be more powerful and more stable.
The price is always a very important factor when choosing the best angle grinder. While cheap grinders are rarely made of high-quality materials, some expensive ones might not be worth the money. Overall, you should look for a model that has the best value for the price.
Top 6 Best Angle Grinders for Welding
1. Hitachi G12SR4
This is likely one of the best angle grinders for welding on the market. It has 4½-inch wheels that are perfect for most disk types.
It has a fairly high RPM, making it a bit challenging for inexperienced people or for people who prefer light-handed tools as it’s rather powerful. However, it has an ergonomic shape so it’s easy to use, and it can grind through anything with ease.
The big advantage of this product is that it has the best wheel nut lock design you can find, so it’s straightforward to tighten and loosen even without any tools.
- High RPM
- Safe to use
- Great wheel locking design
- Kinda expensive
2. Makita XAG04Z
This is an excellent cordless model that can be very handy if you want a grinder you can carry around. It comes with a 5-amp battery which, surprisingly, can last for a very long time, especially considering its power.
The product is light and easy to hold, which is essential for the cordless angle grinder. It’s extremely handy if you’re working in various locations, and it fits 4½-inch grinding wheels. While it isn’t as effective as some other models, it’s truly one of the most comfortable grinders out there.
- Great safety features
- Nimble feel
- Somewhat expensive
3. BLACK+DECKER BDEG400 Angle Grinder Tool
If you’re looking for an affordable product, then this is the best angle grinder for you. It comes at an affordable price and offers a 6-amp motor which is enough for all of your basic needs. And don’t let the price fool you – this is a rigid tool that can last for a long while.
This is a fairly safe tool that can do anything you want it to for your DIY project. While it doesn’t have too much RPM and it isn’t too fast, it will get the job done – and this is, essentially, all you need in a tool.
- Great safety
- Nimble feel
- Low RPM
4. Milwaukee 2780-20 M18
This is a cordless grinder that is very comfortable, with a paddle switch and great safety features. The moment you turn the grinder off, the disks will stop spinning, preventing accidents and even saving some power.
The paddle switch, however, while being very safe, also makes everything uncomfortable to use, but the great design makes up for it. It doesn’t have too much RPM since it is battery operated, but it does a very good job in what it’s meant to do.
- Amazing safety
- Paddle switch
- Breaking system
- Low RPM
5. Metabo WP9-115 Quick 8.5 AMP 10,500 RPM Angle Grinder
If high performance is what you’re looking for, then this is the best angle grinder for welding for your needs. It runs with 8.5amps, has a fairly high RPM, and it’s extremely comfortable to use. You can be confident that it will get the job done in no time!
This grinder has an emergency clutch to un-jam the disk if it gets stuck, preventing any breakages. This makes it very durable. Also, it has an effortless system to adjust the guard and change disks, making it extremely easy to replace the discs.
- High RPM
- Effortless to change discs
- Great safety features
- Uncomfortable to use
6. PORTER-CABLE PC60TAG
This is another good affordable grinder that will get the job done, but won’t have many fancy features some other, more expensive grinders have. It can apply medium to heavy-duty grinding pressure, and it’s an excellent tool for the task. In fact, it can excel in most basic household work.
The biggest issue is that it may be challenging to fit cutting discs into the grinder, as the guard isn’t really suited for them. You should keep this tool strictly for cleaning metal and not for cutting because of this.
- Not high-quality
Finding the best angle grinder for welding can make your DIY projects much easier and faster. This is a multi-purpose tool that can truly make a difference. Just make sure to consider your needs and requirements and to pick a product based on that. If you do so, you are sure to find a product you’ll use for many years.