Best Angle Grinders for Welding – Reviews and Guide

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For any metal worker, a good grinder is a basic need – Welders are certainly no exception.

If you want to do this job right, you need a reliable and powerful grinder that’s going to keep you safe.

Even with tons of them on the market, it’s hard to find the right one that has these features.

We’ve done the hard work and have rounded up a selection of angle grinders to suitable for welding.

We have included a selection of cordless & corded models depending on your needs and budget.


A quick comparison

Product
Image Product Details
Best cordless model overall
DeWalt DCG405B
DeWalt DCG405B

Heavy-duty cordless model

Compact & powerful

Professional grade

Alternative cordless pick
Makita XAG20Z
Makita XAG20Z

Variable speed

Soft start, no jerking

Check charge at a glance

Best value cordless model
Porter-Cable PCC761B
Porter-Cable PCC761B

Battery efficient

Durable product

Tool-free changes

Best cheap pick
Craftsman CMEG100
Craftsman CMEG100

Tool-free wheel change

Very high speed

Comes with a case

Corded industrial pick for extreme power
DeWalt DWE43244N
DeWalt DWE43244N

Professional quality

No motor brush changes

Brake stops almost immediately

Bosch GWS18V-45
Bosch GWS18V-45

Designed for long life

Easy on batteries

Overheat protection

Best Angle Grinder for Welding

Here's a list of some of the best welding angle grinders we found on the market:

1. DeWalt DCG405B 20V MAX XR Angle Grinder

DeWalt DCG405B 20V MAX XR Angle Grinder
  • 850 Watts
  • 9000 RPM
  • 4.5 inch diameter
  • 3.75 pounds
  • Type 27 safety guard

Pros

  • Brushless motor
  • Kickback Brake
  • Power Loss Reset
  • 20 volt power
  • Includes side handle

Cons

  • 5 amp batteries last about 10 minutes
  • Tool only, no battery or charger

Overview

The DeWalt DCG405B 20V MAX XR Angle Grinder is one of the latest models from DeWalt and it features a brushless motor to eliminate maintenance brush changes on the motor. Other advantages of brushless motors are a faster spin-up time than a conventional motor with brushes and longer motor life. This grinder features DeWalt’s Kickback Brake safety system that can stop the wheel in under two seconds if there’s a pinch or bind on the tool.

The Power Loss Reset feature will prevent the tool from turning on again if it’s running and loses power from a blown fuse or if it’s accidentally unplugged. The DeWalt DCG405B 20V MAX XR Angle Grinder isn’t going to cut through its power supply or grab your boot laces if the switch is on when you plug it in. Power Loss Reset keeps it from turning on again until it’s unplugged and switched into the “off” position.

The DeWalt DCG405B 20V MAX XR Angle Grinder can be power hungry, with some owners reporting 10-minute work periods on the DeWalt and Black and Decker 5-amp batteries, suggesting that serious users should go with the 6-amp batteries in this grinder.


2. Makita XAG20Z 18V Cordless Angle Grinder

Makita XAG20Z 18V Cordless Angle Grinder
  • Paddle-type switch
  • 4.5 inch diameter
  • Brushless motor
  • Spiral bevel gears
  • 18 volt batteries

Pros

  • Safety brake
  • Soft starting
  • Anti-restart feature
  • LEDs indicate charge level
  • Variable speed control

Cons

  • Tool only, no battery
  • Short battery life

Overview

Makita has always been a familiar name on any worksite with serious craftsmen. The Makita XAG20Z 18V Angle Grinder is another professional grade Makita tool receiving strong praise from owners for outstanding power. That power comes at the cost of battery life. Owners universally recommend the biggest batteries in the extensive Makita 18 volt LXT lithium-ion lineup because the standard drill battery just doesn’t last very long.

The Makita XAG20Z 18V is another angle grinder featuring brushless motor technology, which is fast becoming the industry standard for battery-driven power tools. This grinder features Makita’s Soft Start design, meaning it’s not going to suddenly jerk to one side when you fire it up. This feature alone can make the difference between choosing this grinder or its competition.

There are other good design choices with the Makita XAG20Z 18V Angle Grinder like the three-LED charge indicator that lets you know where the battery charge level stands with a quick glance and the quieter, more durable spiral bevel gear design. Another great choice by Makita engineers was the variable speed switch, enhancing your ability to put more quality into your work.


3. Porter-Cable PCC761B 20V MAX Angle Grinder

Porter-Cable PCC761B 20V MAX Angle Grinder
  • 8,500 RPM
  • 980 watts
  • Cast metal gear housing
  • 3-position side handle
  • Trigger lock

Pros

  • Tool free safety shield
  • 20 volt battery system
  • Ruggedly built
  • Can use Black and Decker batteries
  • Easy on batteries

Cons

  • Not as powerful as others
  • Longer and heavier than others

Overview

The Porter-Cable PCC761B 20V MAX Lithium Bare Cut Off/Grinder has been designed for tool-free adjustment and changing of the safety guard, allowing you to quickly switch from cutoff wheel to grinder. The spindle lock provides the ability to change your wheels by hand as well, potentially saving a spot on your tool belt where you don’t need to carry a wrench anymore.

This grinder runs at 8500 RPM, similar cutting power as 9000 RPM but that 500 RPM difference brings great reports of battery life from owners. The Porter-Cable PCC761B 20V MAX features a cast metal gear housing to dissipate heat. This grinder is longer and heavier than many cordless models, with less vibration because of the weight.

The Porter-Cable PCC761B 20V MAX has been designed with a countoured handle that’s been overmolded, meaning the grip portion surrounds a central core to isolate the vibration from your hands. The side handle on this grinder can be attached in any of three separate positions for maximum versatility when reaching your work spot. There’s a trigger lock to make it easier to hold for long grinds.


4. CRAFTSMAN CMEG100 Corded Angle Grinder

CRAFTSMAN CMEG100 Corded Angle Grinder
  • 12,000 RPM
  • 4.5-inch diameter
  • 3- position side handle
  • 6 amp power
  • 120 volt input

Pros

  • Tool-free safety guard
  • Lock-on trigger
  • Locking spindle
  • Includes soft case
  • Comes with a grinding wheel

Cons

  • Reports of overheating
  • Corded, not portable

Overview

If you don’t necessarily need a cordless grinder or just want a great backup grinder at a great price, the Craftsman CMEG100 Angle Grinder deserves a close look. 6-amp power and 12,000 RPM will take care of some serious grinding. For those times when the battery is down on your cordless or you just plain need some brute force, this grinder will take care of business for you.

The Craftsman CMEG100 Angle Grinder features a tool-free safety guard for easy rotation or removal when changing between wheels. It’s got a spindle lock to let you make your wheel changes by hand as well. This grinder has got a three position side handle, so you can take advantage of extra angles to reach your work better. Some owners report issues with overheating, but with any power tool that’s running at 12,000 RPM you’re going to have to watch how long you run it.

The Craftsman CMEG100 Angle Grinder grinder comes with a contoured handle featuring an overmolded design. This type of handle will help minimize felt vibration, always a welcome feature when there’s a long day to get through.


5. DeWalt DWE43244N Angle Grinder

DeWalt DWE43244N Angle Grinder
  • Brushless motor
  • Kickback brake
  • Power off reset
  • 5 or 6 inch wheel
  • 120 volt input
  • 9000 RPM

Pros

  • Loaded with safety features
  • Extremely good power
  • Stops almost immediately
  • Paddle switch
  • Lanyard ready
  • No-tool wheel changes

Cons

  • No case
  • Single speed

Overview

The DeWalt DWE43244N Angle Grinder is a professional grade, heavy duty grinder that’s intended for serious professional applications. It’s designed with a paddle switch rather than a slide type switch to provide better feel. This type of switch also provides more safety, because it locks out until you flip a small safety lever to allow the switch to be depressed and it lets up and turns off automatically when you let go of it.

This grinder features a brushless motor for faster spin-ups, cooler operation and longer battery and motor life. The DeWalt DWE43244N Angle Grinder is designed with the Kickback Brake system that reduces inertia by coasting and slams on the brakes if there’s binding, stalling or pinching under the wheel. There’s also a feature called e-clutch that allows the wheel to coast under binding loads to reduce the amount of inertia and torque movement.

The DeWalt DWE43244N Angle Grinder has a bigger wheel diameter than the other machines in this roundup at 5-6 inches rather than the 4.5 inches seen on these other grinders. DeWalt also designed a lanyard loop into the handle.


6. Bosch GWS18V-45 18V 4-1/2 In. Angle Grinder

Bosch GWS18V-45 18V 4-1/2 In. Angle Grinder
  • 10,000 RPM
  • 18 volt system
  • 2-position side handle
  • Electronic Cell Protection
  • Coolpak cools batteries

Pros

  • Optimized for metal work
  • Longer battery life
  • Lifetime motor brushes
  • Tool-free wheel changes
  • 4-brush motor

Cons

  • Guard mount sometimes reversed
  • Safety guard needs a wrench

Overview

The Bosch GWS18V-45 18-Volt 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder enjoys great reports from the field for build quality, smooth operation, long battery and tool life with high power. This isn’t surprising, as Bosch has always had a good reputation among professional craftsmen. Unlike the brushless designs which are starting to dominate this arena, Bosch has chosen to go with four brushes for this machine, designed to last a lifetime.

Using an optimized gearing design intended specifically for working metal, the Bosch GWS18V-45 18-Volt 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder runs at 10,000 RPM, pretty impressive for an 18 volt system. This grinder offers two positions to attach the side handle for more versatility in reaching the work. The machine is designed to minimize felt vibration through the handle design.

The Bosch GWS18V-45 18-Volt 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder incorporates a feature called Electronic Motor Protection, which works with the four-brush design to optimize performance and extend the life of the motor on this grinder. Another advanced Bosch feature is its Electronic Cell Protection to help keep the battery cooler for longer-lasting charges and improved battery life. This grinder also has tool-free wheel changes and restart prevention.


Conclusion

Modern angle grinders for the welding workshop environment have come a long way. While these new cordless grinders still aren’t necessarily up to the same kind of heavy work as the old-school worm drive grinders with their metal cases, they also don’t weigh nearly as much.

The cordless models are lightweight, small and portable, and way more powerful than they were only a few years ago. They’ve also held the line on pricing and quality.

With the selection of grinders in this roundup, you really can’t go wrong with a single one of them.

Cordless Grinders

Our Top Pick for best grinder went to the DeWalt DCG405B for its outstanding quality, great safety features, affordability from a professional standpoint and most importantly, its great reports from professional craftsmen using it every day.

We chose the Makita XAG20Z 18V Angle Grinder as an Alternative Top Pick in the Cordless category because it has the paddle-type switch instead of the slide switch seen in our Top Pick, variable speed, soft start and similar price range.

The Porter-Cable PCC761B Grinder was a no-brainer for our Cordless Budget Pick because of Porter-Cable’s outstanding reputation, the great price range on this grinder and a serious range of features.

Corded Grinder

There are times when the batteries just happen to be between charges on the portable, or sometimes you just need more oomph or a second grinder for someone else to use. For these times, we chose the Craftsman CMEG100 Angle Grinder for its nice mix of features, safety, power and price range.

Heavy Duty Grinder

We felt the need to include a Cordless Heavy Duty grinder in this review because professionals always run into that situation where you really need a bigger wheel and more powerful motor but just can’t get the extension cord into the spot where you need to do the grinding.

With a good cordless grinder, you can take your power with you. When that time comes (and it will) take the DeWalt DWE43244N Angle Grinder out of the truck and let that big 6-inch wheel do the talking.

If you felt we left angle grinders out that are great for welding, then drop us a comment below!

About Jeff Grill

Jeff Grill hails from Long Island, a 118 mile stretch of land that starts just off the coast of Manhattan and stretches deep into the Atlantic ocean. He has always been interested in welding from an early age and has the cuts and bruises to prove it as he set out to work with a variety of metals.

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