An angle grinder is the right power tool to cut & grind metal, brick, concrete, stone & tile. It’s essential kit for trade professionals & DIYers alike.
There are numerous specific jobs, made easy with an angle grinder, such as removing mortar ahead of repointing brickwork, cutting tiles or sharpening tools (Eg: lawnmower blades).
Choosing the right model, without the latest advice, is time-consuming & can be expensive. And while the best angle grinder makes light work of numerous tasks, the wrong model only frustrates.
What is an Angle Grinder?
An angle grinder turns an interchangeable disk at a speed of up to 12,000 rpm to cut or grind. There are different sizes, defined by the disk diameter.
The smaller models (115mm or 125mm) are easy to handle, precise, lightweight & cost less.
Taking a step up in size, the 230mm models have a deeper cutting depth but are heavier and more expensive.
The Best Angle Grinder 2023
Both corded & cordless angle grinders are a match for most jobs. The top choices are effective, powerful & easy to use.
For site work and most jobs around the home & garden, a cordless model is the right choice. Good battery power tools are both powerful and convenient. There are, however, a couple of negatives, runtime & price.
Limited runtime is easily fixed by a second battery. And while the initial outlay is higher for cordless tools, once you own a couple of batteries, everything gets cheaper.
Along with a decision on the size and whether or not to cut the cord, there are a number of details to consider including power, control, vibrations, noise and important features such as an electric brake & brushless design.
To save you time & money we have compared 49 models in order to shortlist & detail the best angle grinders you can buy in the UK, right now…
Best Budget Angle Grinder (115mm)
Black & Decker BEG010A5-GB
For DIY this Black & Decker angle grinder is hard to beat. Ideal for smaller jobs and occasional use, this model is a great choice and exceptional value for money.
The 710w motor delivers a no-load speed of 12,000rpm to slice through steel & stone with ease. For all your DIY jobs, including grinding out the old mortar between bricks, cutting metal pipes or removing rust from metalwork, this model is the top budget option.
The compact & lightweight design makes it easy to handle and safe to use. As with all angle grinders, PPE is a must – goggles, ear protection, dust mask & gloves are a minimum.
Whatever job you’re planning is essential to use the right disk. Use the link below for the best deal that includes four disks for metal cutting & one for stone/concrete.
Don’t be put off by the rock-bottom price. This is a decent power tool, that just so happens to cost under fifty quid.
SPECIFICATION: DISK SIZE 115mm | SPINDLE DIAMETER: M14 | POWER 710w | NO LOAD SPEED 12,000rpm | WEIGHT: 1.7Kg | CORD LENGTH: 2m | VIBRATION: 6.1 m/s² | NOISE: 107dB
Black & Decker | Verdict price £42.00
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Best Budget Angle Grinder for Trade (125mm)
Effective & affordable, the Makita GA5030R is our top budget pick for trade professionals.
Based on quality & reliability, Makita power tools are a top choice for numerous trades and while spending more will get you improved power and performance, this model is a great match for most tasks.
The 125mm disk diameter gives a cutting depth of 38mm. This gives a step up on the smaller 115mm (depth 30mm) disks without compromising on handling.
Internally, there are two labyrinth ring seals to protect the bearings, motor and gears from dust. This design, effectively cuts out internal dust, meaning it lasts longer. Backing this up, Makita offers a 3-year warranty.
Small design details can make a big difference. A slim motor casing coupled with a 20-degree angled handle makes control more comfortable and helps to reduce user fatigue.
This Makita is exceptional value for money and our top budget choice for trade.
SPECIFICATION: DISK SIZE 125mm | SPINDLE DIAMETER: M14 | POWER 720w | NO LOAD SPEED 11,000rpm | WEIGHT: 1.8Kg | CORD LENGTH: 2.4m | VIBRATION: 8.5 m/s² | NOISE: 96dB
Makita (corded) | Verdict price £69.93
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Cordless Angle Grinder (125mm)
Makita DGA513Z 18V
The clever technology powering this Makita angle grinder makes it a great choice over and above standard models.
Cordless design & brushless technology have driven power tool design forward in recent years. And while the standout advantages of a brushless motor (longevity and efficiency) are super important, there are numerous details regarding control, that make a big difference.
Safety features, on this model, such as the soft start and electronic brake are made possible by the brushless motor.
Variable speed & torque control means you get more power when required coupled with battery-saving control for lesser tasks.
Also worth noting on this model is the slim soft grip. It’s easy to hold and with a lockable switch and battery fuel gauge, you have every detail covered.
The range of power tools that use Makita LXT batteries is huge, ranging from lawnmowers to SDS drills. If you already own these batteries, choosing this angle grinder is an easy choice. Or if this is your first Makita cordless power tool, it’s going to cost a few quid but you can only be impressed.
SPECIFICATION: DISK SIZE 125mm | SPINDLE DIAMETER: M14 | RATED SPEED 8,500rpm | WEIGHT: 2Kg | VIBRATION: 6.5 m/s² | NOISE: 79dB
Makita (cordless) | Verdict price £146.99
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Choose Battery & Charger Separately
Best Cordless Angle Grinder for Trade
Powerful, effective and easy to use, the Dewalt DCG405 is the top choice for all trades.
Designed & built for all-day use, the power is controlled by a clever electronic clutch that delivers the right speed & torque for all tasks.
The main reason to opt for a cordless model is the ‘use anywhere’ convenience. However, it’s the clever technology built into this Dewalt that makes a significant difference for the user.
The quality brushless motor means this tool can be used all day without overheating or straining the motor – it’s built to last longer.
Then come all the safety enhancements. Perhaps the most significant feature to avoid accidents is the kickback brake. This will stop the wheel on a pinch or stall. Adding to this, is the soft start and protection against false starts when swapping batteries.
Fatigue and vibration are reduced by the rubber over mould and anti-vibration side handle. These features along with the slim body significantly enhance comfort & control.
This model from Dewalt costs a few quid more than some, but it’s safer, will last longer and will help you get the job done right – quickly & without fuss.
SPECIFICATION: DISK SIZE 125mm | SPINDLE DIAMETER: M14 | RATED SPEED 9000rpm | WEIGHT: 1.75Kg | VIBRATION: 4.4 m/s² | NOISE: 85dB
Dewalt (cordless) | Verdict price £139.00
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What Can I Use an Angle Grinder For?
An angle grinder can be used to cut & grind Metal, tiles, masonry & more. It makes numerous tasks doable. Here are the top 8 jobs where we reach for an angle grinder…
1. Cutting ceramic tiles, stone & concrete
Use a cutting disk that’s recommended for the material you’re cutting. While a general masonry disk is ok for concrete, make sure you use a specialist blade for porcelain, ceramics, granite, marble etc.
Diamond-tipped disks will cut faster & last longer, although do cost more.
2. Remove old mortar prior to re-pointing
A masonry mortar raking blade makes light work of removing old mortar. The superior alternative is to use a mortar rake (which looks similar to a drill bit) in an angle grinder. This avoids damaging the edges of the bricks & produces less dust.
3. Wall channelling for cables & pipes
Easily cut channels in plaster, cement and brick to run cables & pipes.
4. Strip paint back to bare metal
Rather than spending hours sanding paintwork, a good quality stripping disk will remove paint without damaging the metal. Perfect for car restoration.
5. Cut bars, rods & bolts
Secure one end of whatever you’re cutting & slice down with a metal cutoff disk/blade. So much easier than a hacksaw!
6. Grind, shape and blend metal
An angle grinder is the right tool to clean up edges ahead of welding and again to blend a welded joint. Plus, it’s good for shaping almost any metal.
7. Remove rust, clean & restore metal
A wire brush attachment will quickly remove rust, dirt & even set mortar from any metal surface.
8. Sharpen blades
Clamp the blade firmly & use a metal grinding wheel to quickly sharpen tools such as lawnmower blades, axes, scrapers and spades. Concentrate on holding the grinder at a consistent angle with even strokes.
Can I use an Angle Grinder for Polishing?
No. Although some review sites recommend polishing with an angle grinder, the speed is too high & it will strip paint. Adding to the confusion, there are a number of third party accessories advertised as polishing kits for angle grinders. While these may be okay for polishing concrete, don’t use them on paintwork.
Your best option (aside from a dedicated polisher) is to use a random orbital sander with speed control & the right attachment.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Choosing the Right Angle Grinder
There are numerous details to look out for when choosing the right model, here’s a quick summary of what’s important.
How deep can an angle grinder cut?
A 115mm (4.5”) angle grinder will cut to a maximum depth of 30mm, while a 125mm (5”) will give you 38mm. The larger 230mm (9”) will cut to a depth of 64mm.
The 230mm option is the right choice for deep cuts through stone & concrete, but they’re heavy & expensive. For most jobs, a 125mm angle grinder is the best option – Easy to handle, precise, lightweight, safe and much cheaper!
This safety feature is standard on more expensive models. The slow start prevents recoil and makes for an accurate and safe cut. It’s good to have on 125mm models and we consider it essential on large angle grinders, where the kick-back can be significant.
Vibrations & Noise
Especially if you plan to use your angle grinder for long periods of time, choosing a model with a low vibration score can make a meaningful difference to user fatigue. Noise is also important in this regard, although good ear protection is a must regardless of which model you choose.
For corded models, a decent length cable and therefore reach is super important.
Dust Extraction Hood
Depending on what you’re cutting, there will be a significant quantity of fine dust generated. In some cases, this cannot be helped but there are occasions where attaching a vacuum makes for a quick clear up and a healthier working environment.
A brushless motor is more efficient, more controllable and best of all, it lasts much longer than a conventional electric motor. Power tools with a brushless motor do cost more. However, their longevity makes them a better investment – saving you money in the long run.
How to Use an Angle Grinder Safely
Used correctly, an angle grinder is safe and easy to use. However, it’s well worth reading through the instructions to fully understand your model’s specifics.
Each and every disk that you buy will have a maximum speed, which should be clearly marked. Make sure the top speed of your angle grinder does not exceed this. Disks used above their recommended speed are liable to shatter.
PPE is a must. Goggles, ear protection, dust mask, gloves and no loose clothing may sound obvious, but they’re super important here. Taking sensible precautions will make for a quick & safe job!
BEST DEALS TODAY…
UK VERDICT 2023
The best budget option is the corded Makita. The 125mm disk size and trade credentials make this model a great choice for most jobs – although it’s often sold out.
If you already own Makita LXT batteries, the Makita DGA513Z is a superb & affordable angle grinder. The brushless motor and safety features give it stand appeal over the majority of models.
The cordless Makita & Dewalt are a close match. However, the Dewalt is our top pick – lightweight & with a low vibration score, it’s easy to use for long periods with minimal user fatigue.
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