Most angle grinders are for grinding, cutting, sanding, and polishing materials like metal and ceramic. Few of them are designed for carving wood, and that’s a problem because you can damage your workpiece or hurt yourself if the grinder accidentally gets away from you.
How do you find a wood carving grinder if they’re not built for woodworking? This checklist should help you narrow down your choices until you find the best angle grinder for wood carving.
Aim for a grinder that is under five pounds. You will have much better control of it. Don’t worry about getting less power; most angle grinders cut through metal in a couple of passes. Even the smallest grinder has about 6-Amps, which is enough power to carve wood for extended periods.
A smaller grinder will be easier to maneuver for complicated designs. You’ll also have enough power over it to reign it in quickly should it slip off course.
Disc Size & Type
Wood carving grinders use 4 ½-inch grinding discs designed specifically for shaping wood. You want to ensure the grinder you pick supports discs of this size; otherwise, you won’t be able to use the right attachments.
A traditional grinder disc will snag when you try to carve wood with it. That’s a dangerous situation to put yourself in, especially since you risk severe injury every time you lose control of a grinder. It is vital that you get a grinder that fits the right disks for the job.
Safety features are crucial when carving wood with an angle grinder, so you’ll need an extra layer of safety. That’s provided by safety features that stop accidents before they happen.
A good example is the emergency shutoff. Grinders that have this feature automatically shut down when they snag or start to malfunction. A clogged grinder can suddenly slip from your hands and damage your wood, or worse, it can injure you severely. The auto-shutoff feature allows you to perform immediate maintenance, so it prolongs the tool’s life too.
A handguard is another must-have feature. It should be movable too, as that will protect you better when you’re doing detailed work. Some of them rotate a full 360 for optimal positioning.
The most useful features are those that make the grinder more convenient to use. One of them is an adjustable handle. It gives you so much extra control that you can shape intricate pieces while maintaining a good grip on the grinder.
Another feature to look out for is the spindle lock, which makes disc changes effortless. A spindle lock affords you the luxury of quick, tool-less blade changes, making your transition from carving to sanding painless.
Last but not least, variable speed control is necessary for precision and detail. It is also a safety feature that keeps the grinder firmly in your control.
Even with a buying guide, you may still struggle to find an angle grinder that carves wood simply because there aren’t too many out there. If you’re not sure where to start looking, here are a few decent options to check out first.
A perfectly affordable option is the Black + Decker BDGE400, a 6-amp grinder in the thirty-dollar range. Despite being an entry-level tool, it sports an all-metal gear case and a narrow, comfortable body that’s durable and ergonomic. We usually see these features in mid-range grinders.
You can reposition the handle to three sides: top, left, and right. That’s extra control and comfort while taking on extended projects or carving from difficult angles. Luckily, there’s nothing difficult about how the tool works, even when it comes to switching accessories. It features a spindle lock, so you can switch grinding accessories quickly and without tools.
This angle grinder weighs just under four and a half pounds and is around five inches across. Its compact body is one of the reasons why it’s one of the best angle grinders for carving wood.
The 7-amp motor in the DeWalt DWE4011 runs on AC/DC power and can achieve a maximum of 12,000 RPM. Since it’s equipped with overload protection, it’s a hard worker, a powerful grinder for hardwoods, and for designs that call for faster material removal.
One of its most prominent features is the protective guard. It’s called a one-touch guard because you don’t need tools to adjust its position. Sadly, you can’t say the same about accessory changes on this tool because it needs a hex wrench for basic swap-outs.
But, a ‘Quick Change’ release lets you swap out the wheel quickly without needing any tools. The convenience extends to its handling, where a removable, 2-position side handle gives you more control over the powerful grinder.
Its slim body is ergonomic enough to handle delicate applications on wood, and the movable handle lets you carve or sand from multiple angles in comfort.
If you’re bent on finding the lightest grinder to work with, here is one that weighs only 3.75 pounds. Its compact stature is still enough to carry a 6-amp motor with a no-load speed of 11,000 RPM.
It comes with an auxiliary handle that you can position on two sides. This handle angles into a more natural position to improve user comfort. The top of it is grippy and comfortable to hold for extended periods.
This Bosch packs an interesting bit of technology called the Service Minder Brush System. It stops the tool once it needs preventative maintenance, saving it from potentially irreparable damage. Its durability is further assured by the use of an epoxy coat and sealed-switch design, which protects it from the abrasive debris it generates.
Weighing four pounds and measuring four by five by thirteen inches, this Porter-Cable angle grinder is comfortably small. Its compact plastic body is built around a 6-amp motor that’s capable of up to 12,000 RPM, but its gearcase is solid cast metal for extra heat resistance and durability.
It comes with a 3-position adjustable handle, which gives you better control when you need to approach the workpiece from multiple angles. It also features several safety features, including a no-volt switch and a tool-free guard.
The no-volt switch cuts off all power to the tool following a power disruption. Its job is to prevent an accidental restart if the tool’s power switch is in the “ON” position. The tool-free guard is easy to adjust as you work, giving you better protection and minimizing downtime. You’ll also spend less time changing the wheel thanks to the integrated spindle lock, which only needs a single wrench.