Primarily used for the cutting of tiles, grinding or polishing metal in a variety of styles (and, of course, masonry-related projects), selecting the best cordless angle grinder can seem like a task best left up to the professionals, or “actual” handymen.
So, what should you do for your DIY home renovation project? What if you are a professional, but left confused by all the available options? Does the convenience of a cordless angle grinder come with any drawbacks?
Well, look no further, because we’ve crafted a comprehensive cordless grinder buying guide that even the experts would appreciate – from in-depth product comparisons to technical features – we’ve researched it all.
Cordless angle grinders contain a variety of specifications and often come equipped with high-speed motors and heavy-duty batteries. However, only the best-quality cordless grinders will get the job done better than a corded tool.
Let’s keep this in mind as we explore some options by some of the most reputable companies in power tool manufacturing. Below are the cordless tools we’ll be looking at in competition with a good old traditional corded angle grinder.
Top 5 Cordless Angle Grinders (2022)
It offers higher product specs than the comparable model of DCG413 by DeWalt, but at a more affordable price. Seems a bit counterintuitive for DeWalt to price a weaker model at a higher price point, but who are we to complain?
You’ll want to ensure you’re using the FlexVolt battery for this cordless grinder, for the full “FlexVolt Advantage,” as it were.
Users report getting more life and more power out of the single 6AH FlexVolt battery compared to two 20V 5AH batteries combined.
The one apparent drawback is that the battery life is not the best – an hour or so of work across 150-300 square feet will drain the battery completely. Unless you have continuous charges going on rotating batteries set up (i.e. four FlexVolt batteries) you might find yourself frustrated with trying to recharge multiple times during a project.
If the project is more of a personal, DIY project, this may be less of an issue for you as you can take a much-needed break during this time.
The brand’s patented ‘RedLink’ technology is used to self-monitor for overheating. Additionally, the product features a three-position handle for ergonomics, a protective blade guard, and overload protection like the DeWalt to prevent any type of injury or damage heavier use could trigger.
At 8,500 RPM, it likely has most residential, DIY jobs covered in terms of power – the only concern is with more prolonged use, in perhaps lengthier industrial jobs. This is due to how hot it gets with sustained use. While it will prompt a “shutdown” as part of the safety features, you can override (unintentionally) and completely kill it.
Those starting up a DIY task or using an angle grinder for the first time may find themselves leaning toward the Kimo 20V since it offers an entire kit filled with all the accessories you need to finish a job.
The kit that comes with this angle grinder includes metal-cutting wheels, grinding wheels, wood-cutting wheels, a hook-and-loop wheel, a 4.0 amp battery, and a charger.
This grinder in particular features a brushless motor that can spin a 4.5-inch wheel at around 8,500-9,000 RPM. There’s a two-position handle and a safeguard. The Kimo 20V, however, does not have a trigger, but rather a thumb-activated button.
The battery feature utilizes the “KIMO Li-ion” technology, which is supposed to result in a more powerful, longer-lasting battery. For those looking for a slightly less recognized brand than DeWalt or Milwaukee at a good price point for an all-inclusive kit, Kimo may be a good option for you.
Utilizing the popular battery line from Ryobi, it can accept other batteries compared to the fairly small and weak one (1.5 AMP-hour) it comes with. This grinder features a three-position handle, and a rubber grip, and offers power of up to 6,500 RPM.
The Makita XAGO4Z 18V lithium-ion brushless cordless angle grinder is an all-around high-power, high-quality cordless grinder. Professionals and novices alike can rest easy if they opt for the Makita, which provides 8,500 RPM.
Be advised: you’ll need to purchase your own battery for it, as it doesn’t come with one. However, for anyone who already owns some of Makita’s 18V tools, you’ll be able to pick it up for an affordable price sans battery.
The variable speed grinder offers a locked-on thumb trigger, which means you can easily work safely regardless of the angle or position you’re working from. The model has a built-in system to regulate and monitor speeds, helping to avoid overheating.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cordless Angle Grinder
Before diving into our number one pick – and before you do your research – it is always of the utmost importance that you educate yourself fully about the kind of product you’re purchasing – and this means every aspect of the product.
You need to keep in mind what kind of project you’re using it for as well as the time required to complete your task.
The motor is of huge importance when it comes to selecting a grinder – so we’ve included a helpful guide to the differences between brushed and brushless motors.
Brushed Vs. Brushless Motors
In a cordless angle grinder, as with any other power tool, you’ll notice two different types of motors: brushless and brushed.
But what exactly do these terms mean?
Brushed motors have been manufactured for a longer time, while brushless motors are part of tech ‘innovation’ when it comes to electric motors.
Brushed motors often require much more maintenance and upkeep while being less energy efficient, but they are preferred because they tend to be on the cheaper side.
Those who want more power and efficiency, and don’t want to deal with repairing their motor, should always opt for a brushless motor – which at a higher cost, offers more control and less maintenance.
In brushed motors, since the “brush” is required to be in contact with the commutator, it causes more friction, which results in reduced speed. To obtain that same amount of speed, it will take much more energy – not only does this make the brushless motors more efficient, but it also means they’re less likely to overheat.
Power, speed, and battery life are the other huge factors that need to be considered when making your purchase. Let’s take a look at these factors in more detail:
Power Output, AMP Hours, Voltage, and RPM
Cordless angle grinders need to have the power and speed required to complete the job – and it needs to be comparable to that of a corded grinder. Power in this sense is typically determined by the battery output. which can be a confusing aspect for many people.
Models that are using an 18V or 20V battery are going to be significantly more powerful than a model using a 12V or 9V battery. You’ll also want a battery that can provide four or five AMP hours, meaning they can power the grinder for a longer duration of time before they need to be recharged. This is especially important when determining the kind of job you’ll be doing and how inconvenient repeatedly recharging the grinder may be.
Of course, if you already have or buy multiple batteries, you can swap them out quickly when one dies, rather than waiting for a recharge.
The speed of your cordless angle grinder is also an important factor — with 7,000-9,000 RPM offering the most versatility. This will allow you to cut through a range of materials, most commonly metal like steel, quickly. With a larger blade disc, you’ll want a lower amount of RPM to ensure you keep the disc cooler – with most discs in these models at a range of 4 1/2″ to 5″ 6,000 RPM to 8,500 RPM can easily do the job.
Another important consideration is safety features. This means looking for things such as electronic brakes and kickback brakes, overload safety shutoff, two-stage or three-stage triggers, and guards. All of these will help keep you safe while using the grinder.
How long would it take to charge a cordless angle grinder battery?
How long it takes to charge a cordless angle grinder battery depends on the size of the battery, the brand you’re using, and the charger itself. Typically, you find the standard timeframe to be an hour or just under an hour, but this is most commonly seen in 18 Volt to 20 Volt batteries.
What size of wheels can be used on cordless angle grinders?
The vast majority of cordless angle grinders will only accept wheels of up to 5 inches outside diameter. If you need to go larger than that, you’ll have to look into a corded model. The standard for several cordless angle grinders is 4-1/2″ X 7/8″ X 1/4″.
What is the battery life like on a cordless angle grinder during use?
The battery life on a cordless angle grinder during use will depend on the size of the battery, the manufacturer, and the charging time. This also depends largely on the kind of work being done. Most of the 18V or 20V 5 AMP-hour batteries can handle a decent workload involving a few rounds of cutting throughout the day. For larger tasks, this may mean 10-15 minutes, or for less intensive cutting on a battery like the 6 AH FlexVolt, you’ll get a good hour of on-and-off repeated use.
Are cordless angle grinders as powerful as corded grinders?
Whether a cordless angle grinder is as powerful as a corded one will depend on the kind of job you’re doing. Simply put, cordless grinders won’t be able to match the same output of power or utility for longer, intensive tasks that a corded grinder can. However, the trade-off for enhanced portability means that for smaller or more simplistic tasks they can easily accommodate the workload.
What kind of materials can you use a cordless angle grinder on?
Cordless angle grinders can easily cut through metal, wood, or tile – specifically metal like aluminum, steel, iron, and copper. Just ensure you have the appropriate cutting disks that correspond to the kind of material you’re cutting.
Choosing the Best Cordless Angle Grinder Brands
We’ve compiled our top five list by researching the most reputable brands when it comes to power tools specifically – and that naturally extends to cordless angle grinders.
Anyone involved in the construction industry or home renovations has likely heard the names of these brands before, except maybe Kimo.
DeWalt has been around since 1922, with a specialization in power tools, construction tools, and hand tools. DeWalt products get glowing reviews online and have an established repertoire with construction workers and handymen as being a recognized, safe brand you can’t go wrong with.
When it comes to cordless tools, in particular, DeWalt has recently emphasized trying to create an entire line of durable, strong, and reliable 20V cordless power tools for any application.
Milwaukee is just as well-established as DeWalt, being an institution in the tool (and power tool) industry since 1924. The company’s focus has always been on unmatched and enhanced durability with its products, and that is reflected in the quality of the appliance itself.
Shifting gears into a cordless world, they’ve innovated with their M12 and M18 cordless systems early on. Both Milwaukee and DeWalt are brands that understand the user’s need for high-quality cordless systems with brushless motor capabilities.
Kimo, on the other hand, might be much less established and esteemed, but deliver quality products nonetheless, and often in an affordable price range.
The company was grown from a small workshop in 1990 but has committed itself to the development and optimization of its lithium-ion basic battery by investing millions into research.
Who doesn’t love a success story? Kimo’s batteries can supposedly guarantee 1000 charging cycles and support the wide range of Kimo cordless, innovative tools.
Makita was founded predating even that of DeWalt and Milwaukee but is probably less commonly heard or spoken about when people think of power tools. The company was founded in 1915, starting as an electric motor company geared toward repair and the selling of motors.
Makita has grown to establish itself as a global brand in over 40 countries and is routinely trusted on commercial and residential job sites across the world.
Last, but not least, Ryobi has its origins in 1943 as a Japanese manufacturer for components of automobile parts and has expanded its market outward toward tools and appliances. The Ryobi power tools and outdoor equipment are brands of “Techtronic Industries” in Hong Kong, which are produced under license from Ryobi.
Our Top Pick for Cordless Angle Grinder
Our number one pick is the Milwaukee M18 18V cordless grinder. If this doesn’t appeal to you or is a little pricier than you’d like to spend, we recommend trying to find the Makita, which tends to be a little lower in cost with similar all-around functionality. The difference is just that the Milwaukee M18 offers much more power for the price point.
Depending on what size of battery you’re using, you can get up to 135 cuts per charge, and the thing generates 11 AMPS of power. The brushless motor can reach 8,500 RPM, which is more than enough to get any task that would call for a corded grinder done.
The M18 also provides an electronic clutch to help with kickback and prevent any injuries as well as overload protection to ensure the lifespan of the motor.
Those with concerns over killing the battery just need to pay attention to the overload protection when it shuts off, rather than re-engaging immediately.
It may run through the 5 AMP batteries fairly quickly, so we always recommend opting for the higher output. Any learning curve with the paddle switch, as opposed to a trigger switch, can be conquered in a fairly short time frame, with general use.
An all-around great choice: if you’re looking for a durable, reliable, and strong cordless grinder (with a powerful motor) in 2022, we recommend the Milwaukee M18 as our top choice.
We’ve found your new go-to grinder for steel cutting or traversing tight spaces in that DIY project!