A die grinder is a popular tool in the market, and it also goes by the name straight grinder. Traditionally, it was used to grind metals, but today it is the jack-of-all-trades. Die grinders come with a wide range of bits that are swapped out whenever you need to switch between tasks.
Usually, a die grinder has a 1/4″ collet that is used to hold different bits. The bits include grinding wheels, cutting tips, cut-off wheels, and sanding disks. These bits make these tools very versatile and perfect tools for different tasks. Small units such as pencil grinders and cordless grinders, however, use a 1/8″ collet but they still do a couple of things really well.
The best die grinder has incredible power and outstanding RPM speeds. It should add comfort to your life by reaching different places that other big tools may not be able to. Also, die grinders are details tools which makes them ideal tools for those times where precision is required.
There are tons of different brands, and choosing the most suitable die grinder can be quite overwhelming. This is why we have compiled this review so that you are well-informed on the best available options. Also, our buying guide will help you understand important details concerning a die grinder before you pick one for home or professional use.
The Best Die Grinders Comparison Table 2021
Woodworkers, artisans, and sculptors need the best tool for grinding, polishing, polishing, sanding, and fine finishing. Die grinder is a powerful and intelligent tool that serves these purposes well, and it won’t break the bank. The small size and lightweight makes it ideal for tight spaces, something hard with an angle grinder. We hope these top die grinders will take your everyday grinding work to the next level.
How we put together this review
Our experts hopped into the market, and hand-picked some of the best die grinders just for you. They took their time to assess the features of each model, and after a couple of days, they had seven top-rated die grinders for 2021. Our die grinders we ranked after considering their motor power, rated operating speed, durability, and ease of use. We have also guided you on the aspects to look for when purchasing the tool. Also, we have provided a final verdict on die grinder that we hope is best suited for your needs.
Without further ado let’s get into our compilation of the top die grinders in 2021
1. DEWALT DWE4887 Overall Best for 2021
DeWalt DWE4887 is large and powerful electric-powered die grinder that is capable of up to 25,000 RPM, yet it has little to no vibrations. It is equipped with a convenient paddle switch and lock-on button that allows for a comfortable grip and smooth operation. It is an excellent choice for professionals or heavy-duty tasks that require a tool that can be used continuously without stops.
Features and Benefits of DeWalt DWE4887
- Powerful Motor for Non-stop Operation: The DWE4887 is powered by a 4.2 Amp motor which works at a constant speed of 25,000 RPM. This provides high power for handling materials with up to 1-1/2″ attachments. This means that it is best suited for hard materials like grinding hardwood, metal as well as stonework. Softer materials are likely to be ruined by the massive DWE4887.
- AC/DC Capacity: This unit can run with both AC and DC for improved productivity and versatility. This will come in handy, especially if you have to use a power generator. What’s more, the tool is only 14″ tall, which makes it perfect for distant work spots. Also, despite the high power, this model is pretty light, and the vibrations are effectively damped.
- Convenient Paddle Switch: DeWalt DWE4887 features a paddle switch with a lock-on button which allows easy and tighter gripping as well as preventing any accidental start-up. This feature is especially important when working at high speeds to avoid serious injuries. For improved work-ability, you can fix it completely for continuous work, or you can keep pushing it for brief tasks.
- 1/4″ Precision Collet: This grinder comes with a 1/4″ single piece collet and two wrenches which are used to securely hold a variety of accessories such as grinding wheels and cut-off wheels at close reach. Also, you have the option of adding 1/8″ reducing size sleeve, for holding more accessories. Also, the angled exhaust path directs debris and other particulates away from the operator.
- It handles professional grinding with perfection.
- It delivers great power.
- It comes with 1/4″ collet and two wrenches for improved versatility.
- The collet stores the essential accessories at close reach.
- It can be used with either AC or DC current.
- Ergonomics could be improved.
- Single speed.
DeWalt DWE4887 is the best definition of a modern die grinder thanks to its high-end features. It can take a wide range of attachments, packs a lot of power, and with its excellent design, you will quickly pick it out from the crowd.
2. Makita GD0601
Makita GD0601 combines power and easy-to-use features to improve performance. Its innovative design enables the motor to run cooler under continuous use while also locking debris out of the internal chambers, thus extending the life of the grinder. The AC/DC switch allows for alternative power sources depending on the task at hand. It is a surprisingly light tool with a wide range of grinding jobs.
Features and Benefits of Makita GD0601
- Motor Protection Features: Makita GD0601features a set of protective features that prevents dust and debris from reaching the motor and bearing. These features include a labyrinth construction which has a set of complex channels and a ziz-zag varnish which acts as a barrier, thus preventing contamination when the motor starts. The motor also has inbuilt vents to avoid overheating, thus extending the life of the tool.
- Convenience Features: The GD0601has engineered convenience features into the grinder to enable you to use the tool all day long. The narrow grip with a removable rubber casing improves the handling of the machine and overall operation. In addition, it comes with a paddled switch, positioned on the small barrel grip where you are required to push then slide it to trigger the tool. This helps to prevent accidental start-ups.
- Robust Design for a Range of Applications: The stable aluminum housing of GD0601 ensures that the tool is light yet very durable. It is also slightly longer, which will ensure that you will be able to reach narrow and awkward spaces. The massive 3.5 motor uses only 120-volts to deliver 25,000 rpm, which is enough to handle a range of grinding applications, including pipe fitting. It is perfect for plumbers, welders, and more.
- Grinding Capacity: This grinder comes with two wrenches that are used to hold the 1/4″ collet in position. The collet can accommodate a variety of bits with up to 1-1/2″ in diameter which enables it to deliver enhanced performance even when used continuously. Also, it can work on either AC or DC current depending on the task and location of the project.
- It comes with high heat resistant vent slots.
- It features a powerful motor that can deliver up to 50% more torque
- It is entirely sealed against dust and debris.
- It runs quietly.
- Solid aluminum housing for a longer tool life.
- Fixed speed.
- Cord material is not as durable.
Makita GD0601 is a general-purpose die grinder that applies protection features and power for metalworking and industrial grinding. It has engineered comfort and ergonomics, which ensures that it will be able to provide you with faithful service all day long.
3. Ingersoll Rand 301B
The 301B is best known for its reliability and durability, offering several great features in a compact form. It is one of the best air grinders, and it is highly recommended for general and automotive maintenance due to its design and scope. Also, it is a small tool which provides easy access to tight spots and other awkward spaces.
Features and Benefits of Ingersoll Rand 301B
- Ball-Bearing Construction: Ingersoll Rand 301B is engineered with a unique ball-bearing construction which helps to improve balance, reduce vibrations, and improve the life of the tool in the long run. Moreover, the aluminum housing makes it lightweight yet durable. In addition, the right-angled configuration allows access to tight and awkward spots with ease.
- Powerful and Reliable Motor: The powerful motor delivers 0.25HP while running at a free speed of 21,000 rpm. This means that you can use the tool to buff wood and metal without damaging the tool. In addition, it takes about 6 CFM of air, but the amount can go up to 24 CFM during heavy loads. This makes 301B the best air angle die grinder to handle all sorts of grinding tasks.
- Front Exhaust Port for Clean Operation: Ingersoll Rand 301B is designed with a front exhaust which helps to keep your working area clean as well as improving visibility while you grind. This saves you the trouble of making stops in between to clear the debris away. However, this grinder tends to be quite noisy, which is typical of many air-operated machines.
- Easy-to-use Safety Lock: This unit comes with an all-metal throttle level with a safety lock which helps to prevent accidental triggering. The lock folds up when the lever is pressed and returns automatically when the lever is released. Also, the body of 301B doesn’t chip or peel easily, meaning it will remain intact and attractive even after many years of use.
- Durable ball-bearing for improved balance and overall performance.
- Reduced vibrations.
- The sturdy construction enables to withstand harsh operating conditions.
- Front exhaust keeps the work surface clean.
- The compact and light design provides smooth operation even in tight spots.
- It needs to be oiled regularly.
- It sometimes spits water from the compressor; you may be required to invest in a moisture trap.
- Quite loud.
Ingersoll Rand 301B is for you are looking for a decent air-operated machine. You’re probably not going to come across another die grinder near this level of performance and power at this price point. Although it is not designed heavy industrial work, it is a handy tool to have around the house.
4. Chicago Pneumatic CP875
This is yet another powerful pneumatic die grinder that credits itself for having an all-metal construction. It compact and lightweight construction allows for flexibility and easy maneuverability, especially in the hard to reach areas. As if this is not enough, the rear exhaust ensures that the harmful gases are pushed away from the craftsman as well as keeping the working surface clean.
Features and Benefits of Chicago Pneumatic CP875
- Lightweight Design: One great feature about this tool is that it is compact and lightweight for easy maneuverability in various applications. This means that it is less wearing even when you use it all day long. Also, this is an air-operated tool with rated air consumption of 11CFM to 22 CFM depending on the workload. With that, you will need to consider if the output pressure of your compressor will provide the required airflow.
- High Heat Resistance: The vents slots ensure that harmful gases are directed away from the craftsman. This also helps to cool the unit, contributing to its durability. Just like other models, it features a lock-off throttle to prevent accidental start-ups, especially when authorized people gain access to it.
- 90-degree Angle Head: The CP875 has a 90-degree angle head which allows for flexibility and use in tight quarters. This means that you can use this pneumatic grinder for high-speed blending, porting, and smoothing in limited spaces. Besides, its collet holds consistent 1/4″ bits, and it has enough capacity to use additional polishing and dressing attachments. You can also use small grinding wheels for fine grinding.
- All-metal Construction: You will like this tool’s all-metal construction that features a robust aluminum design without plastics or other cheap compounds. It is, however, recommended that you wear some rubberized gloves for a comfortable grip. When it comes to the capabilities of Chicago CP875, it can deliver 22,500 rpm while being fed with 90psi of air pressure. This grinder should be kept at this average rating for it to operate properly.
- Compact design for easy maneuverability.
- Ideal for tight quarters.
- Comes with an inbuilt air regulator.
- The rear exhaust directs the air away from the work surface.
- The lock-off throttle helps to prevent any accidental start-up.
- It does not have speed control.
- Getting a water separator could help improve durability.
What stands out in this pneumatic die grinder is its quiet operation. Also, it is light it and gets your work done within no time. Besides, its all-metal construction makes this angled-die grinder irreplaceable in your workshop.
5. Ingersoll Rand 5102MAX
Designed with enhanced grip design and convenient features, Ingersoll Rand 5102MAX will maximize the ability to get the job done for an extended time without fatigue. It is a low-profile air grinder which provides for faster abrasive changeovers, and it will operate without any issues even when subjected to harsh conditions. Overall, the build quality feels natural and stable, and every component in this grinder feels like it was built to last.
Features and Benefits of Ingersoll Rand 5102MAX
- Lube-Free Design: Just like other Ingersoll Rand air die grinders, 5102MAX does not require regular lubrication. This is because it has an inbuilt lubricating wick that enhances the gear life. As such, it does not need to be oiled as often as other models in this category. However, it is still recommended that you do period lubrication to ensure longer service life.
- Solid Build Quality: The build quality feels sturdy, and the unit can operate well, even in unfavorable environments. The design incorporates a low-profile throttle lever and an advanced ergonomic handle for comfort during operations. It also includes an all-bearing construction, which also helps to prevent user fatigue and also to ensure that the tool has a long life.
- High Operating Speed: The rate at which various bits spin allows you to work faster when performing any task with this air grinder. You can control the speed by altering the pressure on the throttle depending on the task’s requirements. Also, the motor runs quietly when compared to other alternatives. As such, this unit is a combination of power and comfort that leaves you spoilt for choice.
- Handy Safety Trigger: The safety trigger feels so natural to use as unlike on other models where it tends to wrestle with your fingers. You will also like the spindle lock on this grinder which is particularly helpful for fast changing of different attachments without putting too much effort. In addition, 5102 MAX operates with minimal vibration, which makes it the best bet when precision is necessary.
- The low profile throttle level and improved grip design provide an extended run time.
- The lube-free design keeps the environment clean during operation.
- It comes with a powerful motor that provides enough power for almost any application.
- The spindle lock allows for faster abrasive changeovers.
- It is relatively quiet
- It is a bit bulky.
- It is not efficient in tighter spots.
- The motor tends to get stuck often.
The ergonomic design of 5102MAX enhances the efficiency, safety, and productivity of the grinder even for heavy-duty operations. It is light in weight, yet it is constructed with premium materials that are meant to provide all the power you might need for different application.
6. AirCat 6255 Professional Series
AirCat 6255 is the go-to grinder for anyone who wants remarkable quality for everyday tasks. It is known for its outstanding internal construction, i.e. bearing surfaces, air chambers, and turbines that remains unaffected for an extended period. Also, it boasts of its patented silent technology which provides a quiet operation given that this is a heavy-duty power tool.
Features and Benefits of AirCat 6255 Professional Series
- The patented Silent Technology: The patented muffler technology deadens the level of noise and vibrations while retaining the desired amount of power and torque. It puts out a mere 85 decibels at its maximum power. Also, its ergonomic grip design further helps to reduce operator stress. As such, AirCat 6255 is a powerful yet quiet tool ideal for professional or home applications.
- Exceptional Internal Mechanics: Aircat 6255 is famous for its superior internal mechanics, which enables it to bring remarkable quality to various projects. They include high-quality air chambers, advanced bearing surfaces, and turbines. This construction makes the Aircat 6255 the most preferred grinder for working in tight spots. It also promotes ideal levels of balance and precision.
- Improved Speed Control: The feather trigger design allows for precise speed control. This design also does not cut the air supply entirely after the trigger is released; thus, the unit can continue to resolve at low rpm. This is coupled with the fact that it is a right angle-die grinder which offers better control to the user. Besides, the shape and weight are ideal for working for an extended period.
- Safe Operation: Aircat 6255’s is designed with safety in mind by incorporating a rear exhaust. This exhaust directs air particulates to other areas of the work areas and very little if any is blown towards the user. As such, you have very little hazard exposure while using Aircat 6255. The rear exhaust also helps to keep the sound level as low as possible.
- Conveniently short to get in the tight spots
- The ergonomically designed handle helps to reduce operator fatigue.
- Quiet operation.
- Very little exposure to dust and debris.
- The feather trigger design for improved speed control.
- Not as powerful as other alternatives.
- It tends to stall when the pressure level on the compressor drops.
- It takes some time to get used to the throttle.
AirCat 6255 is a must-have tool for anyone who is looking for a quick-to-use grinder with outstanding levels of balance and precision without compromising on power. Also, it offers better control, and with its ergonomically-designed handle, operator stress is a concern of the past.
7. Astro 218
The Astro Pneumatic 218 is incredibly designed to offer more finesse in all its applications. It is designed with a composite handle that helps to reduce vibration while the tool is in use. This pencil die grinder has variable speed controls, and it is ideal for fast speed porting and small part finishing. Despite it being lightweight, Astro 218 is capable of rising to occasions in heavy industrial applications than any other model of its kind.
Features and Benefits of Astro 218
- High-Speed Pencil Grinder: As the name suggests, this tool is thin, but it has great features to get you the desired results. It is not only lightweight, but it also packs 56,000 rpm. It is a requirement that pencil grinder should have high revolutions per minute to make up for the small size. This enables it to deliver fast speed porting and work perfectly in finishing small parts.
- Reduced Vibrations: This grinder is designed with a composite handle that is specially built to reduce vibrations during operations. It has also included a lever-based throttle for speed control which makes this model offer more finesse in its application than any other grinder of its kind. With the low noise levels and reduced vibrations, there is no wonder how Astro 218 made it in our list.
- Efficient Air Pressure Ratings: With pressure ratings of 90 to 120 psi, this grinder is a like a prayer answered to anyone looking for a small pneumatic die grinder for mounts, rotors, cleaning backing plates as well as for use in limited spaces. It also comes with a 5-foot guarded hose for mobility around the workspace.
- The 1/8-inch Collet : Astro 218 does not feature the traditional 1/4-inch, but rather it features a 1/8-inch collet. It comes with 8 bits for various applications although at first finding bits this size may prove challenging. The bits can be used interchangeably to perform grinding, cutting, carving, engraving among other applications. However, these bits tend to wear out quickly.
- Variable speed control thanks to the twist throttle.
- The lightweight construction makes it ideal for tight spots and finishing of small parts.
- It comes with 8 bits
- High speed porting.
- Reduced noise level.
- The bits tend to wear out quickly.
- It takes up plenty of air.
- It does not include the user manual.
Astro 218 is making waves in the industrial sector due to its wide range of applications and mobility around the workspace. It is more accurate, more comfortable to control, and holding it feels like an actual pencil.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Die Grinder
Once you establish the nature of your job, it is important you consider a few aspects before you purchase your utmost grinder. Although the price will play a significant role when making the decision, there are other things that you need to consider. These are;
i. Power Source
When it comes to power sources, die grinder are available in corded electric, cordless and pneumatic variants. Choosing one version over other is determined by certain variables, but the most important thing is evaluating what works for you.
A pneumatic die grinder will go a long way if you have an air compressor of if you intend to buy one. Cordless models, on the other hand, are powered by batteries that need to be charged before and while working depending on task requirements. This will come in handy when you do not need to use the grinder continually as the batteries do not last long per change.
Corded-electric models tend to be more expensive than the other versions due to their ease of use. Also, they can be used for long hours as they do not depend on the availability of compressed air or a charged battery. However, you will need to factor in maneuverability when choosing this model.
ii. Ease of Use
You may need to pay attention to the ease of use that comes with different models of die grinders. For example, you may want to consider the location of the exhaust vents to ensure that they do not face your body. A forward-facing vent, on the other hand, helps to keep the working surface clean but it can displace shavings or oil on the working which could potentially create a mess. .
Other attributes include safety features that will prevent accidental start-ups, especially when unauthorized people or children gain access to your tool. Some users, however, prefer a simple on/off switch.
You may also want to consider how much a grinder vibrates during operation. Some models tend to vibrate more while working while others don’t. This can be a bother to some people, especially during long-duration work.
The weight of each particular model should also be factored in since doing a perfect job often requires time. This means you’re going to hold and move around with the die grinder the entire time. A lighter grinder is more comfortable to walk around with thus reducing operator fatigue.
iii. Speed Control
Although most operators use their die grinders at full speed, die grinders are designed to allow for speed control depending on the nature of the working surface. You can use a lower speed for soft surfaces such as wood boards. Harder surfaces require higher speed ratings, but you want to keep within the recommended rate of 20,000 rpm.
iv. CFM and PSI Ratings
This aspect is vital if you are into pneumatic die grinders. You should ensure that your air compressor can provide enough CFM at the correct psi, i.e., appropriate pressure level. The amount of air drawn from the compressor is dependent on the power behind your die grinder. Also, it is important that you choose an air compressor that can work at minimum volume and pressure to prevent your grinder motor from stalling.
Final Verdict-Why DEWALT DWE4887 is the Overall Best
The best die grinder is one that serves its purpose and satisfies the craftsman’s needs adequately. DEWALT DWE4887 offers you the best value for your money, considering that it features a great design and it provides more than enough power to get the job done. This straight die grinder is user-friendly, and the good thing is works well on both AC and DC currents. With that, it is safe to say that this model is an excellent option for household and professional use if you are prepared to pay a little bit more.