Handymen turn to one tool for their grinding, cutting, and polishing needs – the angle grinder. This handheld power tool (also referred to as a side grinder or a disc grinder) can be used on a number of different surfaces. Users often find purposes for angle grinders in their garages, construction job sites, and metalworking shops. When purchasing an angle grinder, specs like disc size, motor power, speed ratings, and comfort when operating are the most important factors take into account.
In this article, we’re going to take an in-depth look at two extremely popular and highly-rated angle grinders – the Hitachi G12SR4 and the DEWALT DWE402. Both have received an overwhelming amount of positive reviews among buyers and experts. The only question left to ask is between the two, which one could potentially give more valueWithout taking too much time, let’s begin our comparison of the Hitachi G12SR4 and the DEWALT DWE402 Angle Grinder.
Motor Power and Variable Speed
One of the most important specs to consider is how much power is packed into the built-in motor in your angle grinder. The Hitachi features a 6.2 amp motor with a maximum output of 980W. The motor delivers up to 10,000 RPM. The best thing about this unit is that it comes with a variable speed controller, making it extremely versatile and able to accommodate a wide number of different wheels with varying maximum speed capacities.
The DEWALT model features an 11.0 amp motor and a maximum output of 1,400W. Wheels attached to the unit can reach a maximum speed of 11,000 RPM. However, for any angle grinder out there, it’s important to respect the maximum speed capacity of every wheel attached to the unit. Unfortunately, the DEWALT doesn’t come with a variable speed option so you’ll have to exercise extreme caution when attempting to attach lower max-RPM capacity discs.
We find that the tradeoff of maximum RPM for variable speed controls is the better choice, thus making the Hitachi angle grinder better than the DEWALT in our books. The versatility of the unit and its ability to handle a wide range of different discs with different speed ratings are a huge plus. However, if you’re exclusively using the angle grinder for disc attachments with 11,000 RPM speed ratings, the DEWALT would obviously be the better choice.
The weight of the unit plays a role in operator fatigue and productivity. The Hitachi weighs in at only 4 pounds, making it a lightweight solution for grinding and polishing surfaces. Being so lightweight, we found no problems with grinding metal and wood surfaces for extended periods of time.
The DWE402 weighs roughly 6.2 pounds with a disc attachment. It’s not that much heavier than the Hitachi, though theoretically speaking, it should lead to operator fatigue a little bit quicker than the Hitachi, we found that the added weight doesn’t lead to any problems. In fact, in most cases, a heavier angle grinder leads to greater control and more effective grinding and polishing results when working horizontally.
Between these two lightweight models, it’s a little difficult determining which one is the better choice. Some users prefer heavier builds for improved control. However, if you’re looking for something that’s virtually weightless, the Hitachi would be the better option.
The overall size of the unit determines how well it’ll fit in tight spaces and be operated at angles of all sorts. The G12SR4 measures 10 x 4 x 4 inches, making it somewhat compact and able to fit in a number of tight-fitting spaces. Combined with the super lightweight-build, there’s nothing to not like about this Hitachi-made angle grinder.
On the other side of the spectrum, the DWE402 measures 15.6 x 5.9 x 4.8 inches. To be fair, it’s still rather compact and able to work beautifully in tight corners, but it requires much more muscle and energy to apply the spinning discs accurately in hard-to-reach places.
The Hitachi G12SR4 wins this battle. The compact design is a great feature that we just didn’t find in the DWE402. If you plan on working in tight places or on small surfaces, the Hitachi would be the better angle grinder for you.
We found that changing discs in the G12SR4 is rather simple to do. You’ll need an external wrench to loosen the spindle that grabs hold onto whatever attachment you fit into the unit. It doesn’t take much time to loosen and tighten the spindle, meaning you’re not losing much time swapping out discs.
On the other hand, the DWE402’s quick spindle lock doesn’t require any hand tools to loosen and tighten the spindle. When you place a new disc into the unit, just press the lock button on the top-facing panel of the unit. It’s simple to do, and it keeps a tight clamp on the attachment to prevent accidents.
Swapping discs in both of these units is extremely easy to do. However, we prefer the tool-less method of loosening and tightening the spindle of the DWE402. If you prefer, you can also use an Allen wrench to remove and tighten the spindle, though we found that it just takes up time, and there’s no built-in pocket to place the wrench.
Hitachi G12SR4 vs DEWALT DWE402: Conclusion
At the end of the day, we prefer the Hitachi G12SR4 to the DEWALT DWE402. The reasons are simple: the Hitachi features a speed variable control, making it able to accommodate a wide number of discs with varying maximum speed ratings; and it’s compact and lightweight, meaning that working in hard-to-reach spaces or overhead doesn’t take much effort, effectively reducing the risk of fatigue.
The DEWALT DWE402 Angle Grinder has some of its moments in the sun as well, especially when it comes to swapping discs.
However, we find that the better disc-swapping capability of the DEWALT is insignificant compared to the overall performance you get with the Hitachi. If you’re in the market for a 4-1/2-inch, entry-level angle grinder, we’d recommend the Hitachi G12SR4 Angle Grinder any day of the week.