Best Angle Grinders for Welding: Reviews and Buyers Guide


best angle grinders for welding

When it comes to metal fabrication and metalworking in general, angle grinders can aid the welding process in truly convenient ways. Cutting, preparing, cleaning, and finishing metal are some of the hallmarks of angle grinder use in welding.

What qualities make an angle grinder useful in welding?

When it comes to welding, an angle grinder needs to have proper dimensions and a suitable RPM speed to adequately weld the metal. A diverse range of uses and a strong amperage are two qualities to look for when choosing an angle grinder for welding. 

In this article, we will explore a range of 8 different grinders currently on the market that are well-tolerated in welding applications. Additionally, a series of frequently asked questions and a handy buyers guide will add context to angle grinder welding and what to look for when purchasing.

What Is the Best Angle Grinder for Welding?

The best angle grinder for welding is a toss-up between the Milwaukee 2780-20 and the Porter-Cable PC60TAG. Both of these grinders are excellent choices for welding, but the Milwaukee model delivers the power of a corded grinder with up to two times more run time and up to ten times longer motor life.

When it comes to working with a grinder and the welding process, it is crucial to have a strong motor that can withstand what can sometimes be a very time-consuming process. Additionally, a moderately-high RPM threshold is needed to ensure that the speed of the blade can effectively grind or finish the metal since there can be no room for error during the welding process.

Top Best 8 Angle Grinders for Welding 2020

Angle grinders are a must-have tool for welders, yet there can be some differences in how certain grinders respond to welding. Consider these 8 different models when you are looking for the perfect angle grinder for welding.

Sale
Milwaukee 2780-20 M18 Fuel 4-1/2"/5" Pad, Bare
  • POWERSTATE Brushless Motor: Delivers maximum power and up to 10X longer motor life
  • REDLINK PLUS Intelligence provides optimized performance, electronic clutch, and overload protection using total system communication between tool, battery and charger
  • REDLITHIUM XC5.0 Battery Pack (not included) provides superior pack construction, electronics, and performance to deliver 2X more run-time and more work over pack life
  • POWER TO GRIND: World’s first cordless grinder with corded performance.
  • DURABILITY: Same metal housing & gearing system as legendary high performance corded grinders

Milwaukee 2780-20 M18: (Editor’s #1 Pick)

Milwaukee holds the distinction of being the world’s first cordless grinder for welding. This model delivers the power of a corded grinder with up to two times more run time and up to ten times longer motor life.

The M18 FUEL 4-1/2″ / 5″ Grinder supplies maximum sustained power to complete the toughest grinding, surface preparation, and cutting applications. The POWERSTATE Brushless Motor provides up to ten times longer motor life and lowers the cost of ownership, which will come in handy when you put this grinder to work on tough welding applications.

Additionally, the M18 REDLITHIUM  XC5.0 Battery Pack delivers up to four times more run time and 20% more power. The grinder features the Milwaukee quintessential REDLINK PLUS Intelligence, which is the most advanced system of cordless power tool electronics, for maximum performance.

To round out the overall features, the 18-volt lithium-ion grinder’s thin body design gives it an optimized balance to rest easily in your hands, which allows you to increase your welding focus and balance. These tool-free accessory changes and guard adjustments mean less downtime during work.

The grinder is built with the same tool body, gearing system, and anti-vibration side handle as Milwaukee’s legendary high-performance corded grinders for maximum durability on the job. When it comes to welding, this grinder is hard to beat.

Pros:

  • The POWERSTATE Brushless Motor delivers maximum power and up to ten times longer motor life
  • REDLINK PLUS Intelligence provides optimized performance, electronic clutch, and overload protection using total system communication between tool, battery, and charger
  • REDLITHIUM XC5.0 Battery Pack (not included) provides superior pack construction, electronics, and performance to deliver two times more run-time and more work over pack life
  • World’s first cordless grinder with corded performance.
  • Same metal housing & gearing system as legendary high performance corded grinders
  • 100% tool-free: Make all accessory changes and guard adjustments without a wrench for increased productivity
  • Paddle-switch design: Provides increased comfort and ease-of-use when operating in various positions

Cons:

  • The short handle could be dangerous for in-experienced welders
  • Prone to overheating
  • Quick battery depletion
DEWALT Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch (DWE402W)
  • 11 Amp AC/DC 11,000 RPM motor designed for faster material removal and higher overload protection
  • Dust Ejection System provides durability by ejecting damaging dust and debris particles that enter the tool through the air intake vents
  • Quick-Change Wheel release allows tool free wheel removal without the need for a wrench
  • One-Touch Guard allows for 360 degree rotation of the guard with a single action
  • Matching wheel flanges allow the use of common accessories

DeWalt DWE402:

This DeWalt model is a great choice for welding because it is designed to provide a high level of one or more of the following: control, dust containment, or low vibration, without sacrificing performance. This unit has a high power of 4.9 HP (maximum motor HP) with a 6,500 rpm motor that provides overload protection giving higher operating speeds under load.

It also features an E-Clutch System that shuts the tool off when a wheel pinch is detected, which helps in reducing kickback. The anti-vibration side handle reduces the user’s exposure to vibration, and the power-loss reset prevents accidental re-starts following a power disruption when the tool is left in the “on” position.

Additionally, a Power-Off Advanced Electronic Overload Protection shuts the tool off before it reaches overload or burn-up. Another standout feature is the Dust Ejection System that increases brush life and protects the motor from damaging particles entering the air intake that would otherwise abrade the motor.

The features of this model are simply incredible, and the 9-Inch performance width is hard to bypass as well.

Pros:

  • This model is designed to provide a high level of control, dust containment, or low vibration, without sacrificing performance
  • High Power 4.7 HP (maximum motor HP) 6,500 rpm motor
  • Dust Ejection System increases brush life and protect the motor from damaging particles entering the air intake
  • Anti-Vibe Trigger Handle reduces user fatigue caused by vibration
  • Quick Change Guard allows user to quickly adjust the guard to redirect sparks

Cons:

  • Puts out a great deal of power that can cause frequent vibration
  • The motor can be sensitive to overuse
Sale
BLACK+DECKER Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch, 6 Amp (BDEG400)
  • Metal gear case for durability and longer life
  • 3 Position side handle provides added comfort and control
  • Spindle lock for easy accessory changes
  • Included Components: 4-1/2" Small angle grinder, Metal grinding wheel, Spanner wrench, Wheel Guard
  • Narrow body for comfortable grip

Black and Decker BDEG400:

Black and Decker is a trusted brand in power tools and this angle grinder works so well for welding projects because of its perfect dimensions and comfortable handle positioning. The Black & Decker BDEG400 4-1/2″ 6 Amp Angle Grinder is ideal for sharpening, cutting, grinding, removing rust, welding, and surface preparation.

This grinder features a metal gear case for durability and longer life. It offers a 3-position side handle that provides added comfort and control for use with various materials and angles.

It also has a spindle lock for easy accessory changes and operates at 10,000 RPM, with a spindle size range of 5/8″ – 11 “. When it comes to welding, you need a grinder with both precision and easy navigation, which is certainly the standout feature of this model.

Pros:

  • Metal gear case for durability and longer life
  • 3 Position side handle provides added comfort and control
  • Spindle lock for easy accessory changes
  • Included Components: 4-1/2″ Small-angle grinder, Metal grinding wheel, Spanner wrench, Wheel Guard
  • Narrow-body for a comfortable grip

Cons:

  • The shaft can come loose easily and requires frequent adjustments
  • Prone to overheating and vibration
Makita XAG04Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 4-1/2” / 5" Cut-Off/Angle Grinder, Tool Only
  • Automatic speed change technology adjusts speed and torque during operation for optimum performance
  • Active feedback sensing technology (aft) turns the motor off if rotation of the wheel is suddenly forced to stop
  • The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL motor to run cooler and more efficiently for longer life
  • Efficient BL Brushless motor is electronically controlled to optimize battery energy use for up to 50 percent longer run time per charge
  • The electronically controlled BL Brushless motor efficiently uses energy to match torque and RPM to the changing demands of the application

Makita XAG04Z:

This model of Makita angle grinder is perfectly capable of holding its own when welding and is part of Makita’s expanding 18V Lithium-Ion system, the world’s largest cordless tool system powered by 18V Lithium-Ion slide-style batteries. Makita 18V Lithium-Ion batteries have the fastest charge times in their categories, so they spend more time working and less time sitting on the charger.

For improved tool performance and extended battery life, Makita created the Star protection computer controls, which is truly what sets Makita apart from other angle grinder brands. Star Protection is communication technology that allows the Star Protection-equipped tool and battery to exchange data in real-time and monitor conditions during use to protect against overloading, over-discharging, and overheating, which can be of major concern when using a grinder repeatedly in welding projects.

Additionally, for increased versatility, the tool can also be powered by Makita 18V LXT and compact Lithium-Ion batteries with the star symbol on the battery indicating star protection inside.

Pros:

  • Automatic speed change technology adjusts speed and torque during operation for optimum performance
  • Active feedback sensing technology (aft) turns the motor off if the rotation of the wheel is suddenly forced to stop
  • The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL Motor to run cooler and more efficiently for longer life
  • Efficient BL Brushless motor is electronically controlled to optimize battery energy use for up to 50 percent longer run-time per charge
  • The electronically controlled BL Brushless motor efficiently uses energy to match torque and RPM to the changing demands of the application

Cons:

  • Batteries can be depleted quickly when used for continuous welding
  • Not as powerful as common cordless-grinders
Hitachi G12SA3 4-1/2-Inch 8-Amp Angle Grinder
  • Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
  • 8 Amp motor, with Max output power of 1,900W for the toughest grinding jobs
  • Tool rest, conveniently located to protect the switch from accidentally turning on and prolonging tool life
  • Auto stop brushes, tool will shut off automatically to indicate brush wear is too low and avoid damage to the armature
  • Hitachi Original Armature Coil Protection to protect from abrasive particles entering the motor to extend tool life

Hitachi G12SA3:

Hitachi’s G12SA3 4-1/2-inch grinder is ideal for the professional who needs a tool that will deliver for precise welding, deburring die-cast products, finishing metal surfaces, grinding welds, and torch cut surfaces, and grooving and cutting concrete. It delivers a powerful 8 amps with 910 watts of input power and a class-leading 1,900 watts of output power to grind through the toughest applications with ease.

Due to an improved cooling mechanism and the high powered motor, this grinder achieves the highest overload durability in its class. This translates into greater working efficiency and higher resistance to burnout with improved dust protection for the motor that resists wearing on the armature and field coils for longer tool life under the usual harsh conditions.

Additionally, the on/off switch is center-mounted on top of the grinder and allows the user to comfortably operate the tool whether right or left-handed. A one-touch quick off mechanism provides added safety and an easy-to-manipulate spindle lock located at the front of the grinder makes it simple to change out the accessories as needed.

It comes equipped with a side handle that projects forward 70 degrees instead of 90 degrees to the side for a more comfortable and secure position when using the grinder for long stretches of time. The side handle can be attached to the right or the left depending upon user preference and the compact design and short body facilitates maneuverability and ease of use on any worksite.

Pros:

  • Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
  • 8 Amp motor, with Max output power of 1,900W for the toughest grinding jobs
  • Tool rest, conveniently located to protect the switch from accidentally turning on and prolonging tool life
  • Auto-stop brushes, the tool will shut off automatically to indicate brush wear is too low and avoid damage to the armature
  • Hitachi Original Armature Coil Protection to protect from abrasive particles entering the motor to extend tool life
  • Spindle lock provides easy and quick disc changes

Cons:

  • Prone to overheating and random vibration
Metabo - 4.5" Angle Grinder - 10, 500 Rpm - 8.5 Amp W/Non-Lock Paddle (600380420 9-115 Quick), Professional Angle Grinders
  • Made in Germany
  • World Class production facilities and techniques
  • Absolute focus on quality by our employees at every Stage of production
  • Manual, Hybrid and fully automated assembly systems
  • German engineering and ingenuity

Metabo WP9-115:

More often than not, price points can be a big concern when shopping for an angle grinder that can truly hold its own with welding. Metabo seeks to remedy this common problem by producing an affordable angle grinder that responds well to frequent welding tasks.

This model encompasses true German engineering and ingenuity. With up to 10,500 RPM speed dynamics and a sturdy and durable frame that doesn’t become restricted with the guard shield, this grinder will certainly get the job done and not break the bank in the process.

Pros:

  • World Class production facilities and techniques
  • Absolute focus on quality by our employees at every stage of production
  • Manual, Hybrid, and fully automated assembly systems
  • German engineering and ingenuity
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Not as effective as more durable models
  • Prone to overheating and excessive vibration
Sale
PORTER-CABLE Angle Grinder, 6.0-Amp, 4-1/2-Inch (PC60TAG)
  • 11000 rpm for high speed material removal
  • Durable 6 A motor powers through jobsite tasks with ease
  • Cast metal gear case increases jobsite durability and tool longevity

Porter-Cable PC60TAG:

At the forefront of technological advances for over 95 years, Porter-Cable has introduced such noteworthy products as the world’s first portable belt sander in 1926 and the first right-hand, helical-gear circular saw in 1929. This passion for progress flows through every product Porter-Cable offers with a product line that is the result of a dedicated team of researchers and engineers listening to what tool users have to say, constantly looking for ways to improve existing tools and dream up new ones.

When it comes to welding work, Porter-Cable’s PC60TAG 6.0-amp cut-off tool/angle grinder has a high-performance motor, a user-friendly ergonomic design, and a focus on ease-of-use operating, a combination that makes this an ideal tool for contractors, plumbers, electricians, and anyone looking for a tool to help with grinding and cutting metal, cleaning and finishing surfaces, and tuckpointing.

A durable cast metal gear case on Porter-Cable’s PC60TAG cut-off tool/angle grinder adds both to the life of the tool and to its resilience around the workplace. The tool-free rapid release guard makes it possible to have quick and simple guard removal and to align the guard to control the spark path in the proper way and provide an extra safety feature.

The guard also adds to the time-saving this tool provides. The spindle lock feature, which allows a user to have single wrench bit changes, also saves time on the job site, while the comfortable grip areas and lightweight of the tool help to lessen the chance of user fatigue.

This product was a close runner-up in our ranking system, with the Milwaukee 2780 offering a few more bells and whistles that edged it into the top spot. This model is well worth your consideration.

Pros:

  • 11000 rpm for high-speed material removal
  • Durable 6 A motor powers through Jobsite tasks with ease
  • Cast metal gear case increases Jobsite durability and tool longevity

Cons:

  • Prone to overheating
  • Guard wheel can become restricting
SKIL 9296-01 7.5-Amp 4-1/2-Inch Paddle Switch Angle Grinder
  • Powerful 7.5 Amp Motor with 11,000 RPM
  • Paddle Switch with no Lock-on: Preferred/Mandated switch at many jobsites
  • Heavy duty metal gear housing for added ruggedness and durability
  • Vibration-reducing handle with wrench storage
  • Tool-less guard for quick adjustments

SKIL 9296-01:

As power tools have become more advanced, angle grinders also have improved, with more and more focus on welding capabilities. While users are cheering these technological advancements, safety professionals are becoming much more concerned, which is why having twice as much power in the same-size tool has especially increased the industry-wide demand for non-locking paddle switch grinders.

With user safety in mind, the new SKIL 9296-01 non-locking paddle switch grinder automatically turns off when released or dropped. Unlike traditional grinders where there is a locking slide power switch on the top or side of the tool, the non-locking paddle power switch on the SKIL 9296-01 can be found on the bottom of the tool, right where you hold onto it, which makes it easier to avoid welding mistakes.

Additional features included on the SKIL 9296-01 grinder are a 3-position vibration-reducing handle that allows you to safely and comfortably hold onto the tool without excessive vibration, an 8-foot rubber cord that is not only more durable, but provides better maneuverability, on-tool wrench storage keeps the blade wrench conveniently tucked into the handle so it won’t get lost, and the tool-less guard adjustment lets you quickly and easily replace your grinder wheel. All these features and more are built into the powerful SKIL 9296-01 7.5-amp grinder that also happens to weigh less than 5-pounds.

Its lightweight, and when coupled with the vibration-reducing handle, reduces user fatigue while grinding and sanding various materials, cleaning metals, sharpening blades, etc. This grinder is perfect for welding due to the enhanced features to make the process safer and more precise.

Pros:

  • Powerful 7.5 Amp Motor with 11,000 RPM
  • Paddle Switch with no Lock-on: Preferred/Mandated switch at many job sites
  • Heavy-duty metal gear housing for added ruggedness and durability
  • Vibration-reducing handle with wrench storage
  • Tool-less guard for quick adjustments

Cons:

  • Motor brushes may need frequent adjustments
  • Prone to overheating

Are Angle Grinders Good for Welding?

Angle grinders and welding are two concepts that complement one another wholeheartedly; you really can’t have one without the other. There are many applications that grinders add to the welding process.

When it comes to cutting metal, an angle grinder can cut thin metals like a scissor to a piece of paper. Additionally, the proper blades or metal cutoff wheel can even cut through rusted and thick metals since there are special metal cutting wheels that contain a strong enough abrasive to respond to the metal.

Angle grinders can also prepare metal before the welding process by sanding or polishing the surfaces to ensure a smoother and more clean weld to the metal. Grinding down beads and rough edges in metal is also a perfect way to ensure a much easier welding process.

Angle grinders are the best friend of the welding process.

Angle Grinder for Welding Buyers Guide

When shopping for an angle grinder for welding, keep these key points in mind:

  • Be sure to match your RPM capabilities. The welding process usually needs an industry standard of between 4,000-10,000 RPM, therefore, always make sure the wheel you attach has an RPM speed that can keep up and match the RPM capabilities of the grinder to avoid potentially dangerous consequences.
  • Be sure the disc is equipped for welding and can maintain proper balance. For welding, keeping a steady hand is key, therefore, you need a blade that can follow this key point well by ensuring that the blade is well-balanced on the grinder after attaching it in place; if it’s lopsided or off, adjust it properly.
  • Look for a grinder with high amperage. Working with metal requires a powerful angle grinder, therefore, always look for a grinder with around 7-10 amperages in motor power to ensure the welding process runs smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Are Angle Grinders Used in Welding?

Angle grinders are used in welding to properly prepare and alter the metal surface before the welding process begins. Once you have welded a joint or a bead, you will need a grinder to grind down protrusion and polish it into place, this is one of the most common ways a grinder is used for welding.

Additionally, angle grinders can be used to create edges for pipes or additional attachments to the metal. An angle grinder ensures that the metal surface is effectively ground and finished in addition to creating needed edges to make the metal pliable and ready for its intended use.

Should You Grind Your Welds?

Sometimes, welds need to be bent or altered to fit the desired structure. This is where it becomes crucial to decide if you should grind your welds or not.

It all depends on the desired result, which can be achieved by applying just enough pressure with the grinder to make the weld either weak or strong. It all depends on what you need the weld to be able to do.

What to Use to Grind Down Welds

You can effectively grind down a weld with an effective angle grinder, but the problems in this are usually found in how the grinder is applied to the weld. You should avoid coming to the weld from the edge because the weld is likely going to dip up and down, which can create surface abrasions during the grinding process.

It is important to keep your grinding disc as level to the metal as possible when working with welds.

Take a look at this helpful video to see the process in action:

How Do You Smooth Welds?

Getting a smooth weld is all about grinding the joint down to a level surface to adequately match the base metal surface. This can be done by always making sure that you do not focus entirely on the edges of the weld, as this process can sometimes lead to immediate gouging, which will basically ruin the weld.

You need to make sure you apply consistent amounts of pressure in both forward and backward motions and be sure to pivot the grinder at a horizontal angle to ensure that the pressure will not cause gouging. Keep repeating this process until the weld is smooth and to your satisfaction; this will require skill but can certainly be achieved if you keep these points in mind.

Does Grinding a Weld Weaken It?

If you are a professional welder, it is almost certain that you can effectively grind a weld without weakening it from the force of the grinder. For everyone else, it may take a few tries to be able to avoid making a weld weak.

A grinder will bring an additional introduction of heat to a weld, therefore, mastery of some balancing acts with the grinder is crucial to avoid a warp of the weld or worse, an outright unsatisfactory weld. You have to make sure that the pressure you apply when grinding will not add undue stress and energy variations to the weld.

If the pressure is too strong, this can definitely make a weld weak, yet you can actually make a weld stronger by focusing the stress concentrations to the right places in the weld when grinding.

Final Thoughts

These 8 grinders are all effective when it comes to welding, and you can be sure that each model will hold up when you need to cut, grind, or finish the metal you are welding. Each model can also effectively work to smooth out welds and each should be capable of working the parameters it takes to ensure a weld is weak or strong.

No matter which you decide to purchase, always keep the key points of angle grinders and welding in mind once you start using your grinder during welding.

Ben Jones

When it comes to selecting the right tool for the job there are some important factors that you have to consider. I hope by sharing some of my knowledge I'll be able to educate you on a range of grinders so you can get the job done.

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