The world of professional power tools is relentlessly moving towards cordless power. The ability to work independently from a constant power source is hugely appealing, meaning you aren’t tethered to cables or power cords and can access tricky to reach work areas much more easily.
As the battery technology behind these cordless tools continues to evolve and improve, power tool manufacturers and pushing the boundaries, slotting batteries onto power tools that were once absolutely tethered to a mains output.
Grinders have been fitted with batteries for a while, but:
- what should you look out for when choosing a cordless grinder?
- will a cordless grinder match up the applications you want to undertake?
- how can you make sure you’ll get the best cordless grinder for your typical applications?
- which one will give you the right balance of power and performance per battery charge?
We’ve put together a shortlist of cordless grinders (click here to go straight to our short list) and whittled down all of the manufacturers’ bluff about their features so that, at a glance, you’ll have a rough idea of the performance and features of the top cordless grinders on our website. If we’ve got a demo of the grinder in action, you’ll be able to see it on Toolstop TV.
Look out for the maximum size of grinding disk that you can fit, the top speed that it’ll spin the disks, any special features related to protecting you – and the tool – from misuse, and the sort of batteries the grinder is compatible with.
While cordless grinders have perhaps been viewed as tools that you only use if you’ve got a very quick job to undertake, such as a couple of cuts, or to quickly deburr some material, nowadays you can expect them to perform like corded grinders. Up to a point…
The capacity of the battery you’ll be using in your cordless grinder is important. Clearly, the motor in the grinder is going to need to draw lots of juice from the battery pack, so the higher the capacity of the battery is important.
And now that we’ve seen Dewalt launch 54v cordless tools, including a grinder (click to read our review), we can expect the other manufacturers to follow suit with higher power cordless grinders that are truly capable of replacing corded versions.
Obviously, if you’ve got a few 18v Li-ion batteries kicking about, buying a naked (or body only) grinder might be more cost effective as you’ll be able to slap in a battery, while your others are charging.
Using a grinder carries some level of risk.
You’re operating a machine that will be spinning an abrasive disk or cutter at extremely high speeds. You need your cordless grinder to be in absolute control over the electronics of the motor. The electronics should constantly monitor the motor – and the battery – to makes sure you, the operator, are not putting undue stress on either.
Working the grinder too hard could result in the disc shattering, the motor jamming or other such mechanical failures.
With this in mind, your grinder should be equipped with some sort of diagnostic system, whether it’s as simple as a fan that keeps the motor cool while you work, or a more sophisticated system such as electronic limiters, electronic motor protection or thermal overload cut out, each of which is intended to keep you – and your investment – safe will you grind or cut.
Our recomendations for best cordless angle grinder:
In summary, then a cordless grinder may be the answer if you need to be independent of a power source while you work, but recognise that a cordless grinder won’t give you the same amount of power or run times than a corded equivalent.
Safety must come first, so check to make sure your new cordless grinder has enough safety checks and balances on the motor and battery, and pay close attention to the power rating of the battery and the motor.