Best Angle Grinder for Woodworking?

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Forum topic by Minorhero posted 06-03-2011 08:07 PM 9612 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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373 posts in 2777 days

06-03-2011 08:07 PM

I need an angle grinder so I can use a sculpting wheel as well as use it as a disc grinder for a bar stool project I am working on. I want to get my project done this weekend so that means I’ll be buying my angle grinder from either a big box store or a local hardware store. I don’t plan to ever use this tool for cutting metal, it will strictly be a woodworking tool. My budget is 100 dollars or less. Any thoughts on the best tool in that category? A lot of folks like the dewalt kit, but I am also a fan of ridgid tools as well.

Any of these tools have any kind of dust control?

Thank you in advance for any information.

5 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3819 days

#1 posted 06-03-2011 09:33 PM

I broke a Dewalt accidentally hitting the trigger when I had the
head-lock engaged. Strippied the gears. Stupid.

After that I bought a cheap one at Harbor Freight that has a
longer handle with a skinnier part in the back so it’s more comfortable
to hold, and variable speed. I liked it better than the Dewalt.

These are pretty crude, disposable tools in my limited experience. I
wouldn’t think too much on it or spend too much either. I think
with better brands you get longer life in grinding metal. With metal
work the junk gets in the grinder and ruins it eventually. Maybe
high-end ones are sealed.

View grittyroots's profile


53 posts in 2862 days

#2 posted 06-03-2011 09:44 PM

i know that makita makes a 5” variable speed it will cost you more than $100.00, but i used one of these to carve stone and it worked like a champ. you can get a vacum attatchment for it. check out a company called Braxton-Bragg out of knoxville tn.
Good luck

-- Gritty Roots i can build anything as long as i have 2 things the internet and my father-in-law

View StephenO's profile


44 posts in 2717 days

#3 posted 06-08-2011 07:34 AM

I have to second the variable-speed Makita. I used to do granite and marble, and the Makita was the go-to grinder in both shops I worked for. They’re not as easy to find as the fixed-speed units, but once you’ve used one you’ll never go back. They also held up well under extremely unfriendly conditions, rock dust is nasty stuff.

-- -Steve, Seattle

View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 2777 days

#4 posted 06-08-2011 07:51 AM

Thank you for the responses folks. Because I needed the angle grinder for a project right away I had to buy it local. I went to home depot and played around with their floor models. I quickly decided that I wanted a grinder with a paddle switch simply because that seemed like an important safety feature for me. Since the home depot I was at does not change or repair their floor models very often all the angle grinders were already pretty beat up. I considered this a good thing since it would show me which one was most likely to hold up over time.

The ridgid model I had previously been leaning towards quickly fell out of the running for a couple of reasons. 1) it was broken, and broken worse then any other unit on display. Specifically the trigger could not even be depressed and the guard would not lock into position. 2) I found the trigger position to be uncomfortable when trying to handle the grinder at angles.

The dewalt seemed rugged enough in all parts except for the paddle switch. The switch was probably fine, but when compared to other offerings, it simply did not feel as rugged. This left a makita and a Milwaukee in the running. I decided against the makita because the guard required a screwdriver to move unlike every other grinder present which used various tool-less systems. In the end I bought the Milwaukee which had the best feeling paddle switch of the bunch and an overall rugged body. The specific grinder I bought can be seen here:

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2952 days

#5 posted 06-08-2011 01:14 PM

A tip from a metal sculpter (sp) I know, he’s used Makita grinders for his life size
works of people made from old gear sets and broken tools for years. Always open the head before using the new tool, and spread the grease around. In shipping and on the shelf it settles off to one side. He says it prolongs the life of the unit..I guess he should know, usualy kills off one or more a year as compared to three or 4 before..VERY heavy user tools for him. ;-) And it’s certainly worked for my 20 dollar who made this thing unit !
(and I know the sculpting sounds weird, but he’s getting a lot of buyers in the 5 figures as well as exhibitions in L.A and New York and Denver..)

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

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