If you are looking for the best angle grinder for welding and metal work we have you covered! Metabo is among the most revered grinder companies known to professionals around the world and two of their grinders made the list. DeWalt is also featured for its power and durability. These are just a few that made the list, head down for the full list and a quick guide to help you in your search.
- DISC SIZE: Disc size is directly proportional to the motor’s power. If the size is large, that means the motor has more power. There are multiple sizes to pick from, the most common one being 4.5 inches (115mm). But if you are after more precision, a smaller disk size will be a great fit. So a pneumatic grinder should be your best pick.
- POWER: When a grinder has high power, you can apply more pressure on it and this is almost a must when making a bolder cut. Each grinder has their own wattage, voltage and amp ratings. Amp ratings will usually range from 4 to 15. If you intend to use your grinder for household tasks, go for a lower rating.
- BRUSHES: Let’s get a bit technical now. Most power tools use brushes in the motor but what sets an angle grinder apart is the fact it tends to go through the brushes quicker than the other tools. A major reason for this is that grinders usually run for longer times compared to the other tools. The brushes do wear out and sometimes they will act up. So just ensure that your selected grinder can allow for a quick and easy replacement and that the replacements are easily available.
- COMFORT: Well, this pretty much depends on what you intend to use the grinder for but if you have ever spent hours on a grinder, you know how important this can be. Size and weight are two factors you should put in mind here.
If your use is reserved for industrial activities or other large-scale activities then you’ll definitely end up with large-sized and heavy angle grinders. But if your use is limited to household activities, just get yourself a smaller unit. Smaller units are comfortable to use for longer times.
- Speed: Speed, in this case, refers to the revolutions the angle grinder’s disc makes per minute. Recommended speeds range from 5000- 10,000. But keep in mind that powerful grinders require a lot of careful handling due to the risk of injury. Generally, higher speed ratings are great if you are after more power.
- SAFETY FEATURES: If you are relatively new to using angle grinders, this is something you should keep in mind first. Just ensure that the grinder is a little bit easy to use and has additional safety features such as shields that can give you protection.
- CORDLESS GRINDERS: Cordless grinders come in smaller sizes. Of course the larger grinders require more power to operate. Cordless grinders are a great option when working in remote spaces but but not in workshops. Remember they use batteries and so if you intend to use them for longer periods then you’ll have to carry a set of extra batteries to keep you going. Check out the Cordless Grinder Buyer’s Guide which is better equipped to address the benefits and needs.
- Metabo long life motor
- Metabo S-Automatic safety clip clutch
- Electronic variable speed dial
- Electronic overload protection
- Electronic soft start
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 2.9 x 12 inches
- Weight: 6.5 pounds
- Tool length: 12 inches
- Wheel diameter: 4-1/2 inches
- Power tool type: corded
- Spindle size: 5/8 – 11 inches
- No-load speed: 11,000 RPM
- 11 Amp AC/DC 11,000 RPM motor
- No lock-on paddle switch lock
- One touch guard
- Quick change wheel release
- Matching wheel flanges
- Dimensions: 15.6×5.9×4.8 inches
- Weight: 6.2 pounds
- Tool length: 12 inches
- Wheel diameter: 4-1/2 inches
- Power tool type: corded
- Spindle size: 5/8 – 11 inches
- No-Load speed: 11,000 RPM
- Metabo long life motor
- Metabo S-Automatic safety slip clutch
- Dead-man paddle switch
- Metabo quick system
- Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.9 x 12 inches
- Weight: 5.3 pounds
- Tool length: 12 inches
- Wheel diameter: 4-1/2 inches
- Power tool type: corded
- Spindle size: 5/8 – 11 inches
- No-load speed: 10,500 RPM
- 7.5 Amp motor
- Labyrinth construction
- Extra large paddle switch
- Aluminum case
- Dimensions: 5.8 x 15 x 10 inches
- Weight: 11.9 pounds
- Wheel diameter: 4-1/2 inches
- Power tool type: corded
- Spindle size: 5/8 – 11 inches
- No-load speed: 11,000 RPM
- 7 Amp motor
- 3 position side handle
- Tool free guard
- Metal gear case
- Dimensions: 14,2 x 4,8 x 5.6 inches
- Weight: 6 pounds
- Wheel diameter: 4-1/2 inches
- Power tool type: corded
- Spindle size: 5/8 – 11 inches
- No-load speed: 11,000 RPM
No welder should be without an angle grinder. Aside from a welding machine, of the many tools used by a welder, this is one that is the probably most important and often used. Yes, it’s a relatively small tool but the power and versatility that’s been packed into it really gives a welder a tool that will be used throughout a welding project from beginning to end.
Technically speaking, it’s just a combination of a barrel handle containing the motor, a spinning arbor, a wheel guard and a supportive side handle. It easily stands out as the king of metalworking. The welding trade is what this tool was initially designed for and this included cleaning the metal before welds, getting rid of weld slag, and excessive weld build up.
The limits to its use have since been overtaken by improvements in grinding and cutting wheels. Just attach a different wheel and you could do a lot more than cutting including cleaning dirt and rust, cutting hard metals such as rods and bolts, cutting tiles, and even sharpening tools.
Well, you may have already noticed the wide selection of angle grinders available out there. Honestly, it’s easy to be overwhelmed when searching for a model that could suit your needs. I did all the hard work for you and narrow your search to only the best angle grinders for welders.
Of course we all have our unique needs and what’s great to note is that our selection of the best angle grinders for welding have been tested and found to meet the needs of many if not surpass them.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing an Angle Grinder for Welding
Before you jump on the search for the right grinder, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. You are sure to run into different models and makes, and telling them apart requires that you have details of what distinguishes the performance between them.
Remember, not all inexpensive models are right for you but you don’t always need the highly-priced models. So here’s the information that will help you know what’s right for your needs.
So here goes our selection of the best grinder for welding. Whether you want the best cheap angle grinder, the best metal grinder or whatever other type of grinder, our list has you covered.
The Best Angle Grinders for Welders – Top 5 Reviews
Now that you have a good idea of what to look for in an angle grinder you should be able to select the angle grinder to suit your needs and any welding or metalwork projects.
The best way to identify a quality product is in the handling, end product, and service it provides. The Metabo WEV15-125 HT ticks all these boxes. From performing tasks like surface grinding and polishing to grinding with sand paper, you can expect any application which uses this grinder to deliver to every expectation.
Professional and amateur consumers alike express their satisfaction with some having used their Metabo WEV15-125 HT for years with no complaints or downtime.
Considered the holy grail of grinders the Metabo WEV15-125 HT comes fitted with gear reduction and adjustable speed features to allow optimized yet friendly working of material. The Metabo long life motor has 50% more torque and 20% higher overload capacity for increased longevity and quicker removal of material.
What’s more, this grinder allows you to customize its speed depending on what material you are working on. You are also protected by the Metabo S-automatic torque limiting clutch which allows for very little kick back owing to disc jams.
For additional protection, the grinder comes fitted with the electronic overload protection soft start and restart. The Metabo WEV15-125 HT always delivers high-end performance because the auto-stop carbon brushes protect the motor for optimum results.
Overall, the Metabo WEV15-125 HT is the best inspiration for a DIY session (of course all safety precautions observed). With customizable speeds, this grinder can deliver even when the load is considerable. From speed to power and functionality it stands as the best 4.5 angle grinder for welding.
The Dewalt DWE402 has been well received by consumers with many hailing it as the best Dewalt grinder on the market. According to the Dewalt fan base, it packs a serious punch when it comes to power and is a comfortable fit in the hand.
A favorite feature cited by users is the large Allen wrench for loosening and tightening the wheel nut which means you don’t have to perform manual switches.
The 11 Amp AC/DC with speed of 11,000 rpm motor is designed to provide faster removal of material, give optimum power and more overload protection. The dust injection system ejects debris and dust that enter the grinder through the vents.
To further optimize the performance, the grinder comes fitted with the one touch guard which allows it a 360-degree rotation action on the guard. It is an easy affair to protect oneself and the grinder from accidental start up with the no lock-on paddle switch lock.
With the Dewalt DEW402, you are guaranteed continued great operations as the grinder allows the use of common accessories opening itself up to easy and affordable maintenance.
The Dewalt DEW402 has a proven track record of dependability and delivery. It is a clear favorite as one of the best corded hand grinder available on the market.
Following hot on the heels of the Metabo WEV15 -125 HT, the WP9 -115 is just as strong a contender in the arena of grinders. With the parent company’s (Metabo) presence in the UK, US, Australia and many other countries worldwide, the brand has become synonymous with churning out quality grinders that are very popular with consumers.
Having over 60 years of experience in impact drills, it is only expected that the company’s offering of Metabo WP9 is touted as one of the best 4 1 2 angle grinder available. This grinder was engineered with top of the range grinding, de-burring, and cutting in mind.
The Metabo WP9 115 comes with some of the lowest fatigue experienced on grinders today. It has a new Metabo marathon motor which provides 50% more torque. This means you can remove more material, quicker.
It also has 20% higher overload capacity giving it a longer life expectancy. At the touch of a button, you can have a tool-free disc change courtesy of the Metabo Quick system. The Metabo WP9 115 has a great ergonomic design that has integrated the non-slip paddle switch with dead man feature to increase safety.
For further safety, Metabo S-automatic safety clutch provides the lowest possible kick back when disc jams occur. The ergonomic design also allows comfortable left handed operations when rotated to a 90-degree position.
Metabo WP9 stays true to the quality associated with the brand by both industry experts and end consumers. Users have called the angled grinder the tool that matches your attention to detail with power and precision.
Small, powerful, and encased in an aluminum shell, the Makita 9557PBX1 is the perfect grinder due to its grinder angle. It can handle any job you that needs a thrust of power.
The labyrinth zigzag construction and varnish both work in tandem to provide protection for the motor and bearings from dust by sealing them. This allows the 7.5 Amp motor to unleash the power and work at optimum.
The Makita 9557PBX1 is a compact grinder that touts a small diameter barrel grip giving it even more comfort when handling it. Speaking of comfort, the manufacturers ensured a larger paddle switch so that user can easily maneuver the grinder despite its small size.
Its lock-on/off feature allows continuous operation for a smooth and seamless job. In addition to that, it’s also the perfect choice for conserving heat and energy as it uses thicker coil wires which are wound more closely.
For such a compactly designed welding grinder the Makita 9557PBX1 is the recipient of raving customer reviews. Consumers, mostly on Amazon, have registered immense satisfaction with its ability to weld the seams together seamlessly giving a professional finish to their projects.
However, the durability has been a point of dissatisfaction for other users who expected more considering its features. Bear in mind the workload also matters.
This is the most affordable angle grinder to have on a job site for any professional. It is lightweight yet compact and powerful. It has that ideal functionality of a portable grinder that delivers no matter what the job or the application.
Not only is the 7.0 Amp motor a powerhouse when it comes to accomplishing the work, the 11,000 RPM allows the porter-cable PC60TPAG to remove material at a high speed as well. The result is efficiency and precision in the job undertaken.
The 3 position handle and tool free guard allow the grinder to be easily controlled in multiple positions while accessing the guard adjustments faster and easier. The grinder is well protected by the metallic gear case for increased durability and long service of the tool.
However, should you accidentally drop it, the non-locking paddle switch automatically shuts off the grinder.
This compact 4.5-inch angle grinder is a must have for anyone serious about having the best 4.5 inch angle grinder for a professional job and is also one of the best in its class. Widely considered by consumers as an investment it has been cited in professional cutting jobs like slicing through a 1/4 cold rolled mild steel.
Praised for its affordability and ease of use as well as of maneuverability, the portable cable PC60TPAG is a favorite among consumers.
Now that you have the information you need to pick an angle grinder, drop us a comment and let us know what grinder you chose!
Our top pick for the best 4-1/2″ cordless angle grinder is the DeWalt DCG412B 20V MAX 4-1/2” angle grinder for its moderate price and well rounded capabilities. Need something that has the power of a corded grinder, this isn’t the only option on our list so browse our buyer’s guide and learn what features to look for. If you know what you require in a grinder, jump right into our reviews.
If you haven’t been in the market for new power tools in past few years you may be shocked to see how popular cordless or battery power tools have become. For those of us who are aware, it hasn’t made it any easier when selecting the best 4 ½” cordless grinder as there numerous choices.
With the advances in battery technology, cordless power tools are now dominating both the professional market and the do-it-yourself-er weekend warrior. This has opened the flood gates for many tool manufacturers to put out their own model of battery powered angle grinder. Not only are the putting out their own models, they are updating them as fast as battery technology improves to take full advantage of the improvements.
It’s often hard to determine marketing gimmick from the actual performance features that matter but I hope to help with that. I have put together a thorough guide to help you understand what features actually matter in a cordless grinder. I have used battery powered grinders in everything from masonry work to general carpentry and have experienced what features are better in certain circumstance. This is important and you should keep in mind how you think you will use the angle grinder most when making your choice.
Aside from my own experience with grinders as a home welder among other uses, I also sought input from a family member who owns and operates a cabinet shop as well as a large home remodeling business and they have experience with every major brand of cordless drills, saws, and grinders. Together we came up with a list of the best cordless angle grinders and what makes them so great.
How To Choose: A Guide to Cordless Angle Grinders
There are many uses for angle grinder and you should keep that in my when reading the guide. You will learn what to look for when choosing a cordless grinder, whether you should go for power or battery performance, and what applications may be best for certain features.
For most heavy users like metalworkers, welders, concrete workers, fabricators, and other heavy grinder users I would only recommend a cordless grinder as a complement to a really good corded angle grinder that would be used as a primary.
Typically, every battery powered grinder comes with a side handle, a guard, and the wheel attachment wrench. Beyond that, each angle grinder have difference that range from the minute details to huge differences in battery performance or grinder power. First I will go over the performance features and close with accessories features to look for.
Battery Powered Angle Grinders: Performance Attributes
Cordless Grinder Motor
The power rating for the motors in cordless grinders are largely all the same. One area they may differ is in durability and the popularity of a brand is a good indicator of this as the manufacturer will have a large loyal following of people who continue to buy their tools. There will be the occasional lemon but most manufacturers will promptly replace the defective tools as to not tarnish their reputation.
There is one thing to look out for however and that is the motor type. Brushed motors used to be the most common motor type found in cordless power tools but more and more manufactures have switched over to the more efficient brushless motors.
- BRUSHLESS MOTORS: Uses a permanent magnet external rotor and three phases of driving coils. Another electronic device senses the position of the rotor and the associated drive electronics. When the coils are activated one after another by the speed controller it provides the torque to the shaft connected to the motor.
These motors are highly efficient and are usually smaller while maintaining the same power as brushed motors, but they cost more to manufacture than brushed motors as well as add to components costs in the products that use them. These motors require less maintenance since they do not have brushes and have better heat dissipation which means longer useful life.
- BRUSHED MOTORS: Has a rotating set of wire coils called which acts as an electromagnet with two poles. A mechanical rotary switch reverses the direction of the electric current, so that the poles of the electromagnet push and pull against the permanent magnets on the outside of the motor. As the poles of the armature electromagnet pass the poles of the permanent magnets, the commutator reverses the polarity of the armature electromagnet. During the instant of switching polarity, inertia keeps the classical motor going in the proper direction.
These motors are cheaper but they typically require periodic maintenance, the speed/torque is moderately flat, and at higher speeds the brush friction increases, reducing the useful torque. These motors also have poor heat dissipation due to the internal rotor construction.
Brushless motors are up to 90% efficient compared to DC brushed motors which are only about 80% efficient. The better efficiency in the brushless motor means more of the total power used by the motor is turned into rotational force and less is lost as heat energy.
Cordless Grinder RPM
The RPM or rotations per minute of a grinder is one aspect of an angle grinder’s performance. Higher RPM will usually allow for the user to work quicker as the higher RPMs will make quick work of the job at hand. A high RPM motor is great for cutting material and will be bogged down less due to the built up inertia of the high RPMs. That said, more RPMs will mean more battery will be used to operate at higher a RPM.
How you intend to use the angle grinder will best determine whether you should go for a high RPM grinder capable of shearing through steel rebar or speedily cleaning a rusty piece of metal you are prepping for a welding project. You may not need a high RPM but instead a long battery life capable of lasting all day on a carpentry job with minimal down time due to charging batteries.
One great thin you will find on some higher end models is a variable speed setting. This will give you the best of both worlds where you can toggle the higher RPM only when need saving much of the battery for extended use.
Cordless Grinder Battery
Arguably one of the most important aspects of any cordless tool, the battery is the tools power source and without a quality battery that maintains a good charge you can’t be productive. You probably aren’t aware but the battery is usually the single most expensive component of a battery powered angle grinder and better batteries are the reason why the best cordless angle grinders are more expensive. Lithium Ion batteries are definitely better than NiCad but they are more expensive. They will charge faster, have better capacity, and last longer.
Believe it or not, the 18V vs 20V battery rating is in part, one of those marketing gimmicks. Batteries have two voltage ratings, a nominal and max. For power tool batteries the nominal rating is 3.6 volts and the maximum rating is 4 volts. When you multiply that times the number of cells in the battery, which is 5, respectively you get 18V and 20V.
Sometimes companies choose to market the nominal rating and other times they use good marketing and label the 20V max rating. To further clarify, Li-Ion batteries have a higher voltage rating when fully charges, this being 4 volts, but discharges down as soon as you start using it. In the U.S., manufacturers like Bosch, Milwaukee, Ridgid, Ryobi, and Makita are all running on an 18V battery platform, DeWalt and Porter-Cable run on their 20V Max systems.
Now that I have cleared that up, when it comes to the different brands, you really get what you pay for in terms of batteries. The higher quality brands are sourcing higher quality components. A battery is only as good as the cells that make up the battery pack and it costs more for high quality cells that are going to last longer, have better discharge rates, and be less prone to dying altogether.
Last thing to look at in a battery pack is the Ah rating or Amp hour rating. This is a measurement of how much use you can expect to get out the battery under normal conditions and use. Typically they will range from 2Ah up to 5Ah in cordless power tools but for grinding I recommend a 4Ah to 5Ah pack. The later are usually marketed as extended use and are good for taking on the job-site if you don’t want to worry about having to take a charger everywhere you go.
Battery Powered Angle Grinders: Features and Accessories
The features and accessories of a cordless angle grinder may not affect the performance but they can definitely make using the grinder more convenient, safe, and versatile. Whether it’s 4.5 inch angle grinder being capable of also handling 5 inch discs with no modifications or a handle that can be relocated, this versatility will definitely be appreciated when using your grinder.
Some grinders will have movable hand grip that can be re-positioned by simply unscrewing it and relocating it. Typically grinders will have handle positions on either side for ambidextrous use. Some grinders will have a third location for positioning the handle on the back/top of the grinder which provides optimal positioning options for the user.
Grinder Wheel and Guard
When selector your grinder note the size of the arbor nut and spindle size. This will determine what size discs will fit on your new grinder. Nothing is more frustrating than getting to the store and forgetting the size or returning home with the wrong size spindle holes on your new discs.
The angle grinder guard offers some protection from particles flying off the wheel at high speeds. Some grinders now have quick release mechanisms on the guard so they can be re-positioned easily without the use of a tool. This is very convenient and will save time and frustration.
If you haven’t already learned this about electronic components, heat will break down components. This can lead to premature failure and at the least reduce the life of motor. Manufacturers will often design heat syncs into the design to dissipate heat better to keep the unit cool. Look for grinders that specifically mention the improved heat dissipation as this will improve the life and performance of the motors.
The Best Cordless Angle Grinders – Top 5 Reviews
Now that you have a good idea of what to look for in a grinder you should be able to select the best battery powered angle grinder to suit your needs. Everyone will use their grinder differently and a mason will not use a grinder like a welder will and that goes for any other tradesman. Pick the grinder that works for you and your needs not the one that has worked best for someone else.
That said, I have already researched the top angle grinders and used quite few of these myself. There are actually quite a few great ones out there with differing features. One final thought is if you have already invested in a particular brand and already have compatible batteries than I will make it easy for you, pick the grinder of my list that is compatible with your batteries. Otherwise, just pick the one that has the features you desire and get back to work!
Keep an eye on whether your purchase comes with a battery or not.
DeWalt is one of the most recognized and trusted power tool brands on the market so it should be no surprise they are my top choice in cordless angle grinder. I use this model and I can say without a doubt it is the best 4-1/2″ cordless angle grinder for just about any job. It has a 7,000 RPM rating which is a nice balance of power and extended use of battery capacity. It is priced well enough for weekend warriors but it is good enough for professionals.
Whether you are doing light masonry work, carpentry, or plumbing it will tackle just about anything. It seems to get about 10-20 minutes of constant grinding per charge depending on the material you are working with. It also has a quick-change wheel release as well as a tool free guard adjustment which is extremely convenient and quicker to get the job done.
The only thing that would make this grinder better would be a variable speed feature but for the price it isn’t something I’d expect. I have used this particular grinder to cut galvanized pipe, red house bricks, and cinder blocks and it has yet give me a reason to be disappointed. I have never had any issues finding a variety of wheels to use on the 5/8th arbor either.
I expect to get even more years out of this grinder but if not I would certainly buy it again based on my experience with it so far. If you want a grinder that is time tested from a trusted brand, this DeWalt cordless angle grinder is great choice.
If you want the best on a budget Porter Cable will not let you down. This is one of the best cheap cordless angle grinders on the market and I can attest to the quality of Porter Cable cordless tools. I own and still use regularly, a complete set of their cordless tools for over 8 years now, and whats most remarkable is the original two batteries are still good.
Porter Cable has built a reputation for offering affordable power tools and cheaper prices than the competition without sacrificing quality or power. At this price even if you had a failure out of warranty you could repurchase and still come in cheaper than most models. If you already own a different brand of cordless tools and batteries I also recommend the RYOBI P421 18V CORDLESS ANGLE GRINDER or the HITACHI CORDLESS ANGLE GRINDER as a comparable grinder based on price and great performance.
Perfect for the DIY’er as it is affordable and very capable of handling any home project. Some users have commented how it can go head to head with a DeWalt and keep up but others have stated it doesn’t have quite as much torque but I would expect this and that would only affect really heavy load on the motor. The 8,500 RPM rating makes it great for cutting just about anything and would also work well well with wire wheels to clean up corroded metal quickly.
This lightweight but portable grinder also wins on battery use as it will give you about 10-15 minutes of continuous use depending on the material and use. Another great feature on the Porter Cable angle grinder that not many others feature is a 3-position handle which makes using the grinding in difficult positions a lot more convenient. Overall a grinder worth a try if this is the price range you are looking at or already own Porter Cable batteries.
Makita power tools is another respected brand that has been around for a very long time and their reputation for great tools is well deserved. My grandfather was a loyalist who only purchased and used Makita for his HVAC business. He always referenced their reliability when giving his reasoning. The cordless tools by Makita are every bit as good as DeWalt both in performance and features.
Makita uses a brushless motor in this grinder as well as automatic speed change technology that can adjust both speed and torque during operation. These two features combine make for outstanding battery performance and probably one of the best on this list. This angle grinder is ideal if you are demanding on your tools and will be cutting and grinding a variety of materials.
The Makita XAG03Z cordless grinder is an absolutely job site worthy grinder and professionals should certainly consider this grinder for their tool box. This would probably be the only cordless grinder you buy as it will last years before needing a replacement. If you a Milwaukee Tool fan and really like this grinder but already own Milwaukee tools and batteries the MILWAUKEE M18 FUEL is a very comparable angle grinder although starting fresh the Makita is probably the way to go.
If you haven’t bought a cordless grinder yet because you don’t want to lose the power of corded, this is the best and most powerful cordless grinder on the market and is a must have for professionals and industrial job sites needing a comparable corded grinder alternative. Everything about the DeWalt 60V MAX has been designed to provide optimal power to the user.
This angle grinder has a brushless motor, operates at 9,000 RPM, and can accommodate 4-1/2″ to 6″ wheels. With the power and battery size this makes it the best angle grinder for metal. Not only is it the best metal grinder, it can also make quick work of concrete and masonry materials. Where a lot of the grinders on this list will not last long cutting and grinding metal and concrete, the DeWalt will work those materials long after the other will need a recharge.
It is also important to point out the safety features on this angle grinder since we are all concerned with job safety these days. It has a kickback brake that engages when a pinch, stall, or bind-up is sensed and the electronic brake engages with maximum force to quickly stop the wheel and shut the grinder off. It also has a brake to slow the wheel quickly after a stop so you aren’t waiting around to put the grinder down safely because the wheel is still spinning.
User after user is impressed with how much power this grinder can offer. It feels every bit as powerful as a comparable corded grinder and professionals can finally be confident a cordless power tool can offer up as much power as a corded tool. The only word of caution when considering this angle grinder is the charge time for the batteries. These batteries have some much power and capacity they do take longer to charge than the 20V 5Ah batteries so you may want purchase several to minimize downtime.
If you are already familiar with Metabo you probably know them for having some of the best corded grinders on the market. Well know for their quality and German engineering, this cordless grinder is every bit as good as the corded line. It’s compact and sleek design is very comfortable to work with. The Metabo also features a water resistant motor which makes it a great angle grinder for plumbers.
If you are a Metabo fanboy and already own a few Metabo cordless tools this would be a great addition to your collection. If you are new to Metabo this is definitely worth a look as it is a very quality 4-1/2″ grinder at a very affordable price. It also has an very interesting feature that allows the battery to swivel making it great for working in confined or awkward spaces.
Best Cordless Angle Grinders Comparison
|Grinder Image||Cordless Grinder||RPM||Max Disc Size||Switch||Price|
|DEWALT DCG412B 20V MAX||7000||5"||Trigger||$$|
|PORTER CABLE PCC761B 20V MAX||8500||4.5"||Trigger||$|
|MAKITA XAG03Z 18V||8500||4.5"||Paddle-Lock||$$|
|DEWALT DCG414B 60V MAX||9000||6.5"||Trigger With Lock||$$$|
|METABO W18 LTX 18V||8000||4.5"||Paddle-Lock||$$|
|MILWAUKEE M18 FUEL||8500||5"||Paddle-Lock||$$$|
|RYOBI P421 18V||6500||4.5"||Trigger||$|
I hope you found the list and guide useful. I’d love to hear what others think and if there are any grinders not on my list I should try out!
My pick for the best home MIG welder is the Lincoln Electric Handy MIG. This welder is ready to go out of the box and includes every accessory you need to tackle any of your home welding projects. Check out the review to find out why it topped the list. I also have a few more picks for those looking for a cheaper option or even a top of the line MIG welder.
Whether you are just getting interested in becoming a hobby welder or already took classes in school or a trade program, you may be wondering what the best welder for home use is. It’s pretty easy to see how this question would come up given the many models available, not to mention the several different types of welding machines. I will go ahead and answer one of those right now, the best type of welding machine for home use is a small MIG welder. If you are wondering what the best beginner welding machine is, the answer is the same.
I will go over the different types of welding machines more in my guide but a small MIG welder is often viewed as the easiest to learn on and can tackle a range of jobs you may encounter around the house. I learned on a small Lincoln MIG welding machine and haven’t looked back. I even convinced my dad when I showed him how good MIG welds look even for a beginner.
When reading through the guide and the MIG welder reviews it is a good idea to keep in mind how you think you use your home welding machine. Having an idea of what type of metals you will work with, how thick or what gauge the metals are, and how often you might find yourself using the welding machine. This information might help you decide if you can get by with a good cheap MIG welder or if you need something completely different like a stick welder and less likely a TIG welding machine.
How To Choose: A Guide to Home Welding Machines
When I first became interested in welding I admit it was long before the rise of the internet and information only came by word of mouth. Unfortunately my dad and I didn’t really know any welders personally but fortunately, we picked up a Lincoln due to the name recognition and it turned out to be a good purchase. Below I will break down all of the information I wish we had back then. Remember, the best home welder is one that works well for the job at hand.
Picking a home welding machine is pretty straight forward once you know what you need to look for. You should be able to narrow down what home MIG welder or other type will work best and select one from the list of best welding machines I have already researched that are good as a hobby welder and home use.
Home Welding Machines: Performance Attribute
Welding Machine Types
There are many forms of welding including stick, MIG/Flux-Core, and TIG welding. Each form has its own benefits and limitations, and there is no one size fits all process. The professional welders I know will use several different welding machines in a single day in the industrial setting they work in and this is a common occurrence. When reading about each type, keep in mind what you intend to weld at home.
- STICK WELDING: Stick welding uses an electric current flowing from a gap between the metal and the welding stick, also known as an arc-welding electrode. Stick welding is an effective method for welding most alloys or joints and can be used both indoors and outdoors, or in drafty areas. It is also the most economical welding method and largely popular because of its ability to create an effective bond on rusty or dirty metals. It can be a good choice for farmers and heavy duty home projects.
Limitations: Stick welding is not a good option for metals thinner than 18 gauge or 1/16th of an inch. It also requires frequent rod changes and emits a lot of spatter and slag which requires more cleanup with a grinder. It is also more difficult to use well than other methods.
- MIG WELDING/FLUX-CORE: MIG welders use a wire fed from a spool automatically at a constant pre-selected speed. It produces a high strength weld a needs little cleanup to produce a great looking weld. It capable of welding both thin and thicker metals. MIG machines can weld either Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) or Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW).
GWAW is a gas shielded process that requires an inert gas to shield the weld puddle from atmospheric contamination. FCAW is almost identical to GWAW except it uses a special tubular wire filled with flux to shield the arc. It can be used with or without a shielding gas, depending on the filler. It is good to note that FCAW or Fluxcore is great for portability as you will not have to worry about carrying around the gas for shielding, you only need to worry about the machine when going portable.
Both MIG and Flux-Cored are very easy to learn and create extremely clean welds on steel, aluminum and stainless. Both types have the capability to weld materials as thin as 26-gauge. Flux-Cored is a very popular choice for construction and home use due to its portability and high weld speed. It also capable of welding in windy conditions and on dirty materials.
- TIG WELDING: TIG (tungsten, inert gas), uses a tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The weld area is protected from atmospheric contamination by an inert shielding gas such as argon or helium.
TIG welding is most commonly used to weld thin sections of alloy steel, stainless steel and non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloys. There is greater control over the weld than other welding processes, which allows for stronger, higher quality welds. TIG welding is more complex and difficult to master than other welding types, and is significantly slower.
Welding machines typically run on 110V or 220V circuits with many machines offering dual voltage capability which is great for flexibility and not having to rely on having access to a 220V circuit. The 110V machines are usually best for home use as that is the most common circuit type you will find around your home.
If you need to weld thicker material it would be advisable to have a 220V capable machine with a high max AMP rating. It is important to note that higher voltage doesn’t necessarily equate to more power. To really get an idea of the power which is WATTAGE and is measure in terms of VOLTS X AMPS. Note both the AMPS and the VOLTS when assessing capabilities.
If we apply this to home use, every circuit is regulated by a circuit breaker which is rated in AMPS. To compare, you would need a 40 AMP 110V circuit to get the same power as a 20 AMP 220V circuit.
The AMP rating on a welding machine will give you a better idea about its power potential and how thick or thin of material the welding machine can handle. To weld thick material you would want to look for a higher max AMP rating. For thinner sheet metal you want a low minimum AMP rating, you will want to be able to dial down the power so your bead isn’t too hot to work with thin sheet metal otherwise you will melt right through rather than bonding the pieces.
Duty cycle is a welding machine specification measured in minutes and defines how long, within a 10 minute period, a welder can safely produce a welding current. For example, a welder with a 30% duty cycle must rest for at least 7 minutes after 3 minutes of continuous welding. It is important note that is for continuous operation, as starting a weld and then stopping to re-position or change the setup will likely prolong the duty cycle.
HEAT OVERLOAD PROTECTION
A heat protection feature on a MIG welding machine will shut off the machine if becomes overheated. This protect both the machine from damage and as well as your work space. This is a very important features as it will provide the peace of mind and you will not have to worry about overheating.
Home Welding Machines: Other Considerations
- BUDGET: The price of a welding machine is an obvious consideration when making a purchase for tools and equipment intended for home use. Cheap welders can be had for as low as a $100 but you shouldn’t expect much quality or durability out of units in this price range.
If you want something that will last and has enough features that are considered more than just passable, you are entering a mid-price range anywhere from $200 up to $500. In this price range you can find a good welder that will handle virtually anything you can throw at it around the house. The higher end of that budget will get you a unit that could even handle tougher welding jobs you may encounter around a large farm.
You might be surprised to find out that high-end welding machines can sell for as high as several thousand dollars. Obviously this would be serious over kill for home use but if think you might want to make a career out of welding as a journeyman welder or at least pick up some side jobs, than it may not be a bad idea to pick up something in the $800-$1,500 price range. It will be fully capable and will allow you to weld at home and on the job.
- WIRE SIZE & TYPE: Since MIG welding machines can use both metal core wire used in gas shielded welding or flux-cored used in non gas shielded welding, determine the machines capabilities as well as intended application when selecting a wire. Also keep in mind the spool size the machine can handle when making your selection.
Another important tips is selecting a wire that is suited for the application. Some wires are more all purpose and some are better for welding rusty and dirty metals as it will provide more oxidizers during the weld.
- MATERIAL THICKNESS: Every welding machine has varying capabilities when it comes to the thickness the machine can weld. This will be in the manufacturers specifications of the product.
Now that you have an better understanding of the features and capabilities of welding machines for home use, you should have no problem choosing one right for you. A great companion to any welding machine is an angle grinder, and if you don’t already have one, be sure and check out our angle grinder guide for welders as you a sure to need one.
The Best Home Welder Reviews- Top 4 MIG Welders
The Lincoln Electric Handy MIG is the perfect choice for the home welder. It has all the features one might need, is a quality and respected brand, and can be had for a respectable price. A comparable version of this model was the first MIG welder my dad picked up when I was a teenager. It was an easy model to use and learn on and it handled everything we threw at it including a small steel frame building. It was always maintained properly and it is still gets used from time to time over a decade later.
This is a compact and lightweight welder capable of welding mild steel from 24 gauge to 1/8″ thick in a single pass and plugs into the standard 115V, 20AMP outlet. One of things that makes this such a great buy is all of the accessories it comes with. It includes the welding gun and cable assembly, work cable with clamp, gas-less nozzle for flux-cored welding, gas nozzle, gas regulator, hose for MIG welding, 1-lb. spool flux-cored wire, 2-lb. spool solid MIG wire, six contact tips in two sizes, welding hand-shield, and chipping hammer/brush. This is really everything you need to start welding, although I recommend a wearable face shield.
The Handy MIG will handle most jobs around the house including sheet metal, auto body, bicycles, hunting stands, and light utility trailers. This is a welder that really does it all and you really wont need another welder if you stick to house projects. Ready to go out of the box, setup only takes a few minutes and you will be ready to go.
If there is only one complaint to be had is that the gas regulator does not have a gauge on it, other than that this is really the perfect starter welding kit for weekend warriors. Other than that, I chose the Handler as the best home MIG welder because you get everything you need to from a quality brand that will last.
When it comes to the 110V class of welding machines, the Hobart Handler 500559 handles the competition. Some refer to Hobart as the little brother to the ever popular Miller Welding machines but it certainly isn’t due to performance. A parent company ITW owns both brands and Miller is marketed to more industrial applications and Hobart is marketed to consumers. It is good to note that often times, Miller has a comparable model under the Hobart brand which is only lacking a few bells and whistles of the Miller model but at a much better price.
The first thing you will notice is how solid and well constructed the Hobart machine is compared to other brands. The shell is made of strong, thick steel, and the wire feed assembly is all metal which is great compared to the plastic components of lesser end brands. The 10 foot clamp and gun is also longer than most others in this class of MIG machines. Every component on the Handler is just noticeably sturdier, including the Miller branded gas regulator with integrated gauges. This is truly a quality, American built machine.
If you haven’t already guess this welder will set you back on price more than some others but you are getting the better quality than almost every other machine out there. What really matters in a good welder is how well it can push/pull a bead and the Hobart Handler really shines on this. It has even been compared to a Millermatic 200 on lighter material. The Hobart Handler 140 is the best 110V MIG welder in its class.
If you are like me and simply want the best or as I like to put it, “buy once, cry once” and buy quality product at higher prices once rather than cheap stuff twice after it inevitably fails, this is the MIG welder to get. If you need the most powerful welder in its class and can easily handle metal up to 1/4″ look no further than the Hobart Handler.
If you are looking for the best cheap MIG welder, the Forney 125CF is the welder for you. It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of the more expensive models and can’t weld with gas but it certainly gets the job done at an insanely affordable price. I have seen several similar models in action but the Furney is the best cheap MIG welder in the bunch.
Forney’s also a good starter MIG welder if you are on the fence about your skill and don’t want to invest to heavily to get started. The flux-cored welder is perfect for beginners who do not want to have to learn how to setup gas and dial it in. Everything you need to get started is in the box, just plug in play. The only additional items you will need is the safety equipment required to weld.
You will be able to tackle a variety of projects with this small welder but some project may require a bit more prep work to clean up the weld site as it wont melt through some of the tougher grime like bigger machines will. You can also bond thicker pieces up to 1/4″ with the 125C as long as it isn’t a structural weld as you likely wouldn’t wouldn’t get the penetration needed for the weld to hold against heavy supports.
All in all, this model is cheap, it gets the job done, and is quite reliable for the price. Forney is also know to have good customer service should you have any issues with the unit.
If you have been welding for a while now and are looking for the ultimate upgrade. Hobart’s Iron Man 230 is the top of the line MIG welding machine. It is rated for 230V so you will need a 230V circuit to run the machine but it can handle absolutely anything around the house and farm. Capable of welding steel up to a 1/2″ thick down to 24 gauge aluminum in a single pass, the Ironman 230 is the definition of versatility. Some have said the Ironman even has a better arc than the Millermatic 251.
This welding machine comes loaded with a 15 ft. 200 amp MIG gun, a spoolgun with 20 ft. cables, regulator/flowmeter, 5 ft. gas hose with fitting, primary input power cable with plug, 10 ft. work cable with clamp, .030/.035 in. dual groove drive roll, 2 plastic cable hangers with mounting hardware, and extra contact tips. Everything you would need to weld heavy duty projects on a farm to delicate aluminum projects in a auto body shop.
Most users that have made the investment in this machine have done so for its ability to weld aluminum and they praise how well it does. If you are look to make the jump to your first full size MIG Welder this would be the welder to do it with. If you are someone who picks up side jobs in addition to working around your own farm or house, you would benefit greatly from the capabilities of the Ironman. It will produce higher quality welds than smaller machines as well as save time doing so.
If you aren’t ready to make the full and very pricey jump to Miller Welding machines, Hobart is a more than capable option and folks who are experienced in both products often comment the Hobart Ironman 230 is actually an even better option in some cases. The Ironman is simply the best mig welder for the home or farm user looking for the most capable machine.
Best Home MIG Welder Comparisons
|MIG Image||Welding Machine||Volts||AMPS||Duty Cycle||Material Thickness||Gas Capable||MSRP|
|Lincoln Electric Handy MIG||110||35-88||20% @ 70 A||24 ga - 1/8 in||Yes||$350|
|Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder||110||25-140||20% @ 90 A||24 ga - 1/4 in||Yes||$560|
|Forney 299 125FC MIG Welder||110||120||20% @ 120 A||24 ga - 1/4 in||No||$150|
|Hobart Ironman||110/220||30-250||60% @ 175 A||24 ga - 1/2 in||Yes||$1550|
I hope you found the list and guide useful. I’d love to hear what others think and if there are any machines you think should have made the cut!