Die grinders are extremely powerful tools that can be used in a wide range of applications. Their main purpose is to grind away pieces of metal, but the right die grinder can be used on wood and plastic as well. You can install different attachments for grinding, smoothing, buffing, and finishing all sorts of projects as long as you have an angle die grinder by your side.
Angle Die Grinder Buying Guide
The most important thing we have to ask ourselves is what exactly makes the “right” angle grinderTake a look at our brief buying guide below and get an idea of what specs and features to look out for.
One of the first things to consider when looking for an angle die grinder is how powerful its motor is. The motor will control the speed and torque of the grinding wheel. For both DIY-ers and construction workers, you really don’t need a super-beefy motor; try finding a model that has at least ¼ horsepower.
Even though most people use the highest speed on their angle die grinder, some jobs call for slower speeds, such as grinding on wood boards and plastic tubing. A great maximum speed that should offer maximum work efficiency while keeping vibrations down to a minimum is around 20,000 RPM.
There are three main power sources for angle die grinders: corded-electric, cordless, and pneumatic. If you already have an air compressor in your garage/workshop or plan on purchasing one in the near future, we highly recommend getting a pneumatic angle die grinder. A cordless model would be second best, though you should know that their batteries won’t last you very long per charge. Corded-electric models that are comfortable to grip and maneuver are hard to come by.
PSI and CFM Ratings
If you decide to get a cordless or corded-electric die grinder, then you can ignore this step. If you’re looking for another air-powered tool to add to your collection, then make sure that your air compressor can provide enough CFM at the right PSI.
Generally, the speed and power behind a pneumatic angle die grinder are relative to how much air is forced through the tool (more air at a greater pressure means more RPM). As long as your compressor can work at the die grinder’s minimum air volume and pressure requirements, you and your pneumatic die grinder can get straight to business.
Right-Angle or Straight Head
Right-angle die grinders are all the rage, but certain jobs can be completed more easily with a straight head tool. It all comes down to personal preference, but we feel that a right-angle offers more comfort and can reach tight spaces sufficiently. Furthermore, right-angle die grinders are the better option if you want to mount grinding wheels.
Your line of work will determine how big of a die is necessary to complete your jobs. For instance, when working under the hood of your car, you might not need a large tool (e.g., 2-inch die). If you’re grinding masonry or metal tubes, using a ¼-inch die might be frustrating since it’ll take you forever before you can call it a day. Find a size that works best for your line of work.
Top 5 Angle Die Grinders
Angle die grinders are all compact, lightweight, and have a similar look, making finding the right tool a bit of a challenge. No need to fret; we’re here to help you find the right model for your arsenal of power tools.
The following segment contains our picks of the top five best angle die grinders available today. Note to the reader: these are all pneumatic models (we’re not discriminating against corded-electric and cordless models, but pneumatic models simply provide the best power, speed, and flexibility out of all the different die grinders out there).
5 DEWALT DWMT70782L Angle Die Grinder
The first item on our list of the top five best angle die grinders is the DWMT70782L from DEWALT. This tool lives up to the exceptional name that DEWALT has set for itself. First, its motor is able to reach a free speed up to 20,000 RPM, and users have the ability to deliver as much speed as they want with the help of the touch control trigger.
This is a right-angle, pneumatic tool that depends on how much power your air compressor can provide, but it works optimally with only 3.0 CFM at 90 PSI. The DWMT70782L features a ¼-inch collet that takes in both ¼- and 1/8-inch attachments.
4 Ingersoll Rand 5102MAX Angle Die Grinder
The 5102MAX from Ingersoll Rand is another great pneumatic angle die grander worth noticing. It’s a lightweight tool with a ¼-inch collet. It takes 6 CFM at 90 PSI to run optimally at a speed of up to 25,000 RPM.
However, its 0.4-HP motor allows users to choose different speeds between 20,000 and 25,000 RPM for use on different materials. This is one of the most comfortable tools to use, even at awkward angles in hard-to-reach spaces under your car or in between steel pipes. One of the best things about the 5102MAX is it produces relatively low noise when working – up to 95.1 decibels on the highest speed.
3 Chicago Pneumatic CP875 Angle Die Grinder
The CP875 from Chicago Pneumatic is, you guessed it, another masterfully crafted pneumatic angle die grinder. It’s a ¼-inch tool that requires 5.5 CFM at 90 PSI to run at the highest speed (22,500 RPM). It has variable speed options so users can grind away at all sorts of materials, from PVC pipes to stainless steel bars.
The 90° head offers flexibility to work in tight spaces without accidentally grinding away at nearby objects. The CP875 is a bit louder than what you would normally expect from such a compact tool – around 112 decibels – but it works like a charm and requires very little maintenance.
2 Ingersoll Rand 3101G Angle Die Grinder
The second-place item on our list is another one of Ingersoll Rand’s ingenious angle die grinders – the 3101G. This lightweight yet durable tool comes with a 1/3-HP motor and a ¼-inch collet. It needs 3 CFM at 90 PSI to reach its highest speed of 20,000 RPM. You can decide how much speed to deliver by adjusting the CFM and PSI settings on your air compressor, though some users found that even the slightest deviation from the 3 CFM at 90 PSI setting could drastically alter speed and performance.
The 3101G is an ergonomic right-angle die grinder that fits in tight quarters with ease. We especially like how well the exhaust port works, but we wish it were a forward-facing port that helps keep your work surface clean.
1 Ingersoll Rand 301B Air Angle Die Grinder
The best angle die grinder you can get, in our humble opinion, is another one of Ingersoll Rand’s pneumatic tools: the 301B. Unlike the other tools on our list, the 301B is encased in an aluminum housing that can withstand working in the toughest environment and sustain drops.
It features a ¼-HP motor that can reach a free speed of up to 21,000 RPM when air passes through the tool at 6 CFM and 90 PSI. Like the other Ingersoll Rand tools mentioned earlier, you need to play around with the CFM and PSI settings of your air compressor to adjust the grinding speed, though the speed is considerably much easier to control compared to the others.
Every mechanic and serious woodworker should have an angle die grinder in their collection of power tools. It’s not the perfect replacement for a full-sized angle grinder, but it works exceedingly well in tight spaces and at weird, uncomfortable angles. You can rest assured that despite sticking the tool in between pipes or cables, with a steady hand, you won’t feel the weight or vibrations of the tool at all.
When looking for a reliable die angle grinder, there are several important features and specs to consider. These include how powerful the motor is (measured in horsepower), whether it offers the ability to control speeds for effective work on different materials, its power source (corded-electric, cordless, or pneumatic), how much CFM and PSI it needs to operate (pneumatic tools only), the angle of the head, and the size and weight of the tool. Make sure that you find a tool that meets your expectations and fits within the working capacity of your air compressor.
In this article, we’ve provided you with our picks of the five best angle die grinders available today. Essentially, we feel that Ingersoll Rand dominates the pneumatic angle die grinder tools market.
From their selection of impressive pneumatic tools, we feel that the best angle die grinder you can get is the 301B with its amazing speed, easy-to-controllability, and compact size and lightweight. Its aluminum casing really helps in keeping the tool from damage that could potentially ruin how accurately and consistently it works.