Anyone who likes to do crafts, sanding, milling and engraving at home should consider buying a straight sander. This small and very handy device helps you get to hard-to-reach places, inside pipes or at sharp angles.
Grinders are a very effective and time-saving alternative to the file, easily cleaning unsightly residue from previous work steps, welds. They help to safely and quickly remove burrs from trimmed edges, without wasting a lot of effort.
The Best Die Grinder for Home
Cordless Die Grinder offers a longer motor life and requires no brush changes. Its variable-speed rocker switch gives you the control to get the speed you need for the job. And, with its dual-position rocker switch, you can choose from multiple ways to grasp the handle. Bare tool, battery sold separately.
How To Work DEWALT 20V MAX Die Grinder?
Buyer’s guide for the die grinders
This review and guide provide information on some best die grinders you can find.
There are quite a few manufacturers of die grinders on the market, and the prices vary greatly. From a pure price point of view, the type of die grinders can be priced from $124 to $258.
The Best Die Grinders For The Money
All our reviews are based exclusively on expert judgments or practical experience with most of the die grinders we have tested. We strive to make our guide as independent and as detailed as possible.
Die Grinders In Comparison
Makita 1/4″ Die Grinder
Makita’s 1/4-Inch Die Grinder combines power and speed with motor-protection features for improved grinding performance. Engineered with a powerful AC/DC motor with 25,000 rpm in a slim body design, and a conveniently located slide-switch for on/off function. This combination of power and ease-of-use features makes it ideal for a range of grinding tasks.
Ingersoll Rand Air Die Grinder
Featuring lever actuation, the rear exhaust MAX Series Die Grinders comes in angled and straight configurations for maximum versatility. Lock-out levers and ergonomic body safety make these tools a welcome addition to any vehicle repair project.
Milwaukee M18 FUEL 1/4″ Die Grinder
The M18 FUEL 1/4 In. die grinder delivers maximum sustained power with 20,000 RPM capable of running carbide burrs or up to 3 Inc flap wheels for grinding or surface preparation applications.
What Are The Types Of Die Grinders?
You can find many models and brands. In principle, they all work the same way, usually have the same high speed, require the same fixtures, and are virtually indistinguishable, shape and weight. However, there are huge differences in drive types.
There are several die grinders:
- Pneumatic die grinders
These grinders are used particularly in professional trades. The models can be excellently driven by compressed air and usually offer high output. This ensures a constant workflow.
Thus, pneumatic straight grinders are especially suited for machining hard materials that require more force than softer materials. Of course, compressed air-powered tools can also be used for personal use.
However, since the devices are often more expensive than their mains-powered or battery-powered counterparts, the question remains whether they are worth buying for home use. Painters, doctors and restorers, in particular, work with the air-powered version, as they are particularly precise and can withstand longer assignments.
- Battery-powered die grinders
They tend to be the most convenient of all straight grinders. Battery-powered tools are especially suitable for small home occupations.
Because the grinders carry their power source directly inside them, they can be used anywhere imaginable, and they have a very long range. Attachments are often designed so that they are designed for particularly delicate tasks.
However, this becomes problematic when the battery is low: if the charge level drops, the performance of the device also decreases. That’s why a battery-powered model can occasionally experience interruptions.
Modern devices are so powerful that they can be used for hours at a time. However, if you want to work without interruption, it may be worth buying a new battery for them. As long as the battery is in use, it can be recharged, so interruptions will only be brief.
- Corded die grinders
Corded units are ideal for home use and are increasingly being used there. Plugging into an outlet can be a problem, but a steady flow of electricity ensures that you can work evenly.
In hard-to-reach places where there is no outlet nearby, a mains-powered device can be a problem, and a cable can be an additional source of accidents. Regardless, this model ensures that the amperage remains stable and can run quickly and evenly.
However, electrically powered die grinders carry the risk of rapid overheating during prolonged use. For this reason alone, they are rarely used in professional bidding. So it may happen that you have to interrupt your work to let the unit cool down a bit.
What should you look for when buying the die grinders?
The most important thing is probably that the sander should be suitable for you. So you should think carefully about the purposes for which you want to use it and how often you will need it.
When buying should pay attention to the following:
- Power and speed
The tool should also meet your power and speed requirements. This also includes a variable speed setting, which can be helpful. This ensures that the straight sander is a true all-rounder and will stand up to any use.
The sander’s motor isn’t exactly weak, drawing between 400 and 700 watts of power. It reaches 30,000 rpm at idle – too much for some applications.
To keep you from damaging the workpiece during sanding, you can reduce the speed with a switch or spinning wheel. You can choose between high and low, or even lower the speed in smaller increments.
Soft materials such as aluminum especially require low speeds, otherwise, they will get too hot and start to melt.
- Volume and weight
Most grinders weigh between 3.5lb and 4.0lb. The exception to this is cordless tools: the battery pack is another 14oz. In the end, the grind goes more into the hands.
There are also clear differences in volume. If you want to work with the device for long periods of time, it is important to consider the volume, which can cause stress over a long period of time. Therefore, ideally, buy a device below 80 decibels so that you are not exposed to excessive noise.
In addition, the heavyweight of the sander can make it difficult to work and tire you out in the long run. Therefore, electric or compressed air grinders should not weigh more than 3.3lb.
Tools with this weight are usually quite powerful, so there is no need for heavier grinders. Battery-powered devices are usually smaller and easier to handle – they often weigh less than 2.2lb. However, they are usually not as powerful, and the battery drains faster.
So it’s not easy to find the right balance between weight and performance. This is where it pays to take a closer look.
When it comes to performance, you have to keep the following in mind: as a rule, compressed air-powered devices have the highest performance, while straight battery-powered grinders provide the least.
Mains-powered versions are in the golden mean. Air-powered units mostly have a more powerful motor so that they can handle the pressure at all. This allows them to provide stable operation without overheating the motor.
For the corded versions, you should look at the performance information. Up to 800 watts is realistic here. In the case of battery-powered devices, you should pay special attention to battery life.
Those that promise too long of runtime without stopping to charge is often not as efficient as models with shorter runtimes. They can also falter in the speed range.
It’s also worth taking a look at machining. If there is a lot of plastic parts built-in, the machine may not have as much stability. The plastic must cure well and meet safety standards. This also includes heat resistance.
Because if you work with your machine for long periods of time, it is impossible to avoid overheating. Poorly cured plastic can melt and, at worst, damage materials. Appropriate control seals ensure safety here.
- Soft handle for good and safe handling
Devices with what is called a soft grip also ensure good and safe operation. This special material ensures that the machine will rest comfortably in your hand even if you sweat or argue. This is especially comfortable when working for long periods of time.
- Supplied equipment
Before you finally decide on a model, you should also look at the scope of delivery. For example, for battery-powered devices, it makes sense to include a spare battery. It is also worth buying a case or bag if they are not already included. This way you ensure that your stuff is always together and nothing is lost.
If you’ve already bought accessories for your sander (or bought them from your latest model), it’s worth taking a closer look at the collet. The 0.24in diameter grinder accessories can be used with all units. This is the standard size for which most accessories can be found.
How to choose a wood sander?
Wood, despite its hardness – the material is amazingly malleable. It can take any, even the most bizarre forms, depending on what kind of product the artist wants to surprise the public.
Woodworking is a multifaceted process. What just do not do with wood to achieve the final result. It is sawn, planed, sliced, chiseled, and milled.
One of the final stages of processing – grinding. It seems that there is nothing complicated about it – to pass a tool with an emery cloth over the surface. However, it is not that simple.
Sanding – the work is labor-intensive, requires patience and skill, in addition, it is always accompanied by the greatest enemy of the working man – the smallest wood dust.
What grinding machine to choose for wood to make grinding simple and accessible, more comfortable and dust-free, I will tell you in this article.
You will learn what types of wood sanders exist in today’s market, how to choose them correctly for their work, how to use to achieve an even and smooth plane, without roughness and burrs.
Types of grinders
Sanding is used for large, flat surfaces as well as for round bollards, grooves, finishing of decorative elements, and for caulking and joints. The range of sanding work is wide enough, so the universal machine, which would sand everything in the world with the same efficiency, does not exist. Today’s manufacturers provide so diverse tools for grinding that it is not that, not only a beginner, but even a professional to determine at a glance what the best grinder for wood is, not so easy.
First, you need to know exactly what task you will set before your tool, for what, in fact, it is designed. This is important because the grinders differ from each other not only in power but also in design, the principle of operation. Each class of machines is designed to perform specific tasks. So I will familiarize you with the main types, which it is desirable to know for the right choice.
And there are not so many, only three:
- Ribbon machines – remove a rough layer of paint, varnish, blackness from wooden surfaces. They do it rather quickly, roughly, but very effectively. Grind thanks to a rotating belt;
- Flat sanding – sanding is performed thanks to the vibrating soleplate, on which the sandpaper is worn. Also well suited for the removal of paint, varnish, and depending on the size of the soleplate successfully perform finishing work;
- Eccentric has the most complex grinding mechanism, but because of this, they allow you to perform delicately any sanding work, perfectly bring the surface underpainting or hiding varnish and give the best result in quality.
Ideally, for a good craftsman, furniture shop, carpentry workshop needs all three types. Since their purpose is different. As you can see, they are needed for different stages of sanding wood or other materials – plastic, metal (non-profile materials for processing). But if finances do not allow it, then choose the one you need most. Everything else you can try to finish by hand. Although it is difficult and not very convenient and can be very time-consuming.
Now I will tell you in detail about each type of grinder, which will undoubtedly help you in further choice.
How a belt sander works and what is good
I would like to point out that the belt sander for wood is the most productive and most powerful in the class of presented equipment. It perfectly copes with a large amount of work, especially where it is necessary to sand a lot and quickly. If you compare it to farm machinery, it is a tractor for virgin land. However, this tool can be adapted and for processing smaller parts, because some manufacturers complete the machines with additional equipment, which allows them to turn into small grinders. The only thing you limit yourself with is the grit size of the belt because the most popular sizes are 60, 80, and 120, and the smallest is 230 mm. Smaller sizes, unfortunately, are either extremely rare or are homemade, which is not always good for the tool itself.
The construction of the draw frame is simple and reliable. The main drive of this machine is a belt drive. The abrasive belt is connected in the form of a ring and is driven by two rollers, similar to the track on a tractor. This design allows an impressive rotation speed. In some models, it can exceed 500 m/min. Depending on production capacity and class, the rollers are made of different materials. The domestic class has both rollers made of plastic and covered with rubber. In hobby-class machines, the rear-drive roller is made of metal, and in professional equipment, both rollers are metal (although there are machines for complex works equipped with two plastic rollers). But this performance has its own disadvantages – due to the high speed of rotation of the belt, some of the nodes are subjected to overheating, especially for domestic machines. Manufacturers of professional tools install special cork (graphite) gaskets, which reduce the temperature and allow the machine to work for quite a long time.
- Rip off paint, varnish, darkening;
- Remove irregularities from wooden boards;
- Grind large areas.
As you understand, this machine works pretty rough, and after such a grinding issue immediately arises on a more delicate treatment of the workpiece with which you are working. They will then need to trowel or the proverbial sandpaper in your hand, or more delicate in sanding with vibrating or eccentric machines.
When choosing a belt sander, consider the following characteristics:
Electric motor power
The range is from 0.5 to 1.2 kW. The more powerful the motor, the heavier the machine is, it has a higher belt speed and does not need excessive pressure, that is, it works well under its own weight, which is convenient for horizontal sanding.
Possible in the range from 150 to 550 meters per minute. The higher this figure, the more area in a short time you can handle. Most models have a speed controller for convenience, since the work may not always be the same type and the material can be not only wood but also plastic and metal, then without it clearly can not do. At high friction force, the wood starts to burn.
Abrasive belts come in two basic sizes – 75×533 mm and 76×457 mm. These sizes fit almost 80% of belt sanders, which are produced by different manufacturers. There are also other sizes, but they are less common and are only suitable for narrow specific jobs.
Motor protection against overheating and overload only if it has a speed regulator (only in professional power tools). Reducing the heat of some of the housing elements too, mainly used in professional and hobby class tools.
Each machine is equipped with a dust bag or a special filter. But, as practice shows, they collect in themselves no more than 70% of the dust, so the connection of a construction vacuum cleaner will ideally solve this issue.
- clamps to securely fasten the machine to the table (turns the machine into a machine and allows you to work with small parts);
- an additional frame prevents warping during grinding;
- parallel and angular stops – increase the accuracy of work.
So how do I choose a belt sander?
First of all, before you choose a belt sander, you need to answer the question of where and what you’ll do her. This directly affects the model and capacity of the future grinder.
Types of belts
Logically, choosing a belt grinder, you will need to choose the type of belt. There are three types: wood, metal, and, of course, universal.
As with any power tool, when choosing a belt sander, you need to pay special attention to the power.
Weight of the tool
This is also important when choosing a belt sander. Because the lighter the weight of the tool, the easier it will be to work with it.
Vibrating or flat grinder
The choice of a wood sander when finishing wood always fluctuates between two types – the vibratory and the orbital (eccentric) model.
They both grind the surface well to perfect smoothness and cleanliness. But the flat sanding (aka vibrating) soleplate, as a rule, is larger. Therefore, for serious amounts of work it is better to choose it.
The structure of the surface-sanding machine is as follows: the motor is vertical, the rotation mechanism is an eccentric, and at the output we get the vibrating motion in a clockwise direction.
The amplitude of movement depends on the size of the soleplate and the rotation mechanism itself. The soleplate is perpendicular to the motor, and the attachment of the sandpaper is very convenient – there are “dogs” on the sides of the soleplate, which firmly and reliably fix the belt. A big plus is that you don’t have to be tied to a standard size of sandpaper. You can just buy sandpaper in rolls, cut off the necessary size and work.
These machines are also very popular for sanding plaster, walls and drywall board joints. But this is not their profile, or more precisely, the use of the tool is not as intended. In such modes of operation, they can fail faster, since the dust protection system is designed only to work with wood dust.
Advantages of such a design:
- Low cost;
- Quick sanding dust replacement;
- The form of the sole allows you to work in corners, sand the edges, without leaving the so-called “dead” zones;
- The device is light, compact and convenient.
When choosing a device, pay attention to:
In this type of equipment, it makes no sense to install a heavy-duty motor, so the power of the motor of the largest machine does not exceed 400 watts and it is enough, as the installation of a more powerful motor riddlingly increases the weight of the machine, and this will very limit the speed of work.
Amplitude of movement of the soleplate
It can range from 1 to 5 mm. The higher the amplitude, the less effective grinding quality of the surface, but it is productive.
Frequency of the base plate oscillation
Also no less important parameter. The higher the frequency of vibration – the cleaner the grinding is done. But it is not equally good for all materials.
The size and shape of the working platform
Soles are rectangular, square and deltoid. Rectangular is for flat, large surfaces; deltoids and squares are good for radii and hard-to-reach areas.
- rectangular – 185 and 229 mm;
- square – 114 mm;
- deltoid – 100 mm.
The material of the sole also matters. Most machines have soles made of plastic with glued rubber for better shock absorption. But, as practice shows, these soles of inexpensive machines have small factory curvature, which is not suitable for professional work, but for the tasks of household it is enough. The professional ones have the opposite – instead of plastic they use durable, composite materials, and in its large mass the sole is made of light alloy, so the accuracy and quality of work is guaranteed. A special porous material is attached to the sole.
Sanding pad attachment
Stiff and stable fastening of the sandpaper is ensured by spring-loaded holders (“crocodiles”). The change is quick and convenient. However, there is an even faster way of fastening and changing – Velcro. But such a sole has a very high wear and tear.
Forced dust extraction
As with belt sanders, the dust extraction system only works effectively with the connection of a vacuum cleaner.
How to choose a vibratory sander?
The second fairly popular type of grinders are vibrating grinders. Most often this type of power tools are used for finishing surfaces, such as wood, metal, stone and other surfaces before painting.
How are eccentric (orbital) grinders constructed and what are their strengths?
These machines in their design are somewhat similar to flat grinders- the abrasive sandpaper is mounted down on the pad, the motor is located in the housing in a vertical position and there is the presence of an eccentric. The movement occurs not only with a certain frequency of vibration, but also an additional rotation of the soleplate around its axis. And both movements occur simultaneously, which makes grinding amazingly clean and smooth – no scratches, no waves, no roughness.
The rotation of the machine is 2 types:
This type of equipment is used in furniture production, performing finishing work before the surface varnish, paint, polish wood and is very popular among craftsmen who are engaged in restoration work on old wooden products.
To choose the right orbital machine, look carefully at such indicators:
- Motor power – electric motors in such equipment also do not require high power, as in flat sanders. The average power range is from 150 to 350 watts. But there are models where the power reaches 750 watts;
- The amplitude of the soleplate oscillation. According to the range of motion and vibration is also similar to the flat grinders- from 1 to 5.5 mm;
- Frequency of oscillations / Number of revolutions. The parameters by the number of oscillations are also similar to flat grinders, but the number of revolutions can be different – from 4000 to 12000;
- The size and shape of the working platform. It comes only in round shape, but the standard, most popular sizes only two – 125 and 150 mm;
- Attachment of the sandpaper. The attachment of the soles of these grinders is almost 100% velcro. This option is extremely convenient for a quick change of sanding materials;
Forced dust extraction. This system, like the previous types, independently removes up to 70% of the dust, so I recommend using construction vacuum cleaners.
How to choose an eccentric sander?
No less popular among craftsmen use eccentric grinders. If you still do not know what kind of grinder to choose, then this section will tell you in detail about more, about this type of tool. The main feature of the eccentric grinders is the ability to combine two types of soles. That is, during operation the sole plate not only vibrates, but also rotates about its axis.
That is why the eccentric pneumatic grinders are most often used by professionals in workshops and factories.
For example, before choosing pneumatic or vibratory grinders, you need to know the specifics of the future work.
How to choose an angle grinder?
This type of grinder is better known as an ordinary grinder.
You will immediately ask which grinder to choose from the angle grinder and which grinder is better. Let’s start from the fact that with an angle grinder you can not only grind materials, but also cut them.
Before buying an angle grinder, it is important to pay attention to a number of technical parameters, which will determine the endurance and performance of the tool.
As with any other power tool, the power of the motor is important for the angle grinder. In second place is the number of revolutions and the size of the wheel. And the larger the disk, respectively, the deeper the cut will be.
How to choose an orbital sander?
In recent years, used to allocate another type of grinders – orbital. But, these are the same eccentric grinders, in which the path of polishing resembles the movement of space objects around the stars.
But how to choose an orbital grinder? The features of orbital sanders (compared with other types) contribute to something qualitative work, but still, which orbital sanding machine to choose for professional robotics.
Depending on the tasks at hand, each master decides which grinder to choose, and already individually selects the tool for their needs, paying special attention, of course, to the motor power, the range of the amplitude of oscillation and the diameter of the sole.
How to choose a grinder for home?
A special challenge is facing people who buy a grinder for home: what grinder to choose. Given that the home will not need to perform large amounts of work, here you can buy not the most powerful grinder.
For example, how to choose a grinder for the walls, when you do your own repairs at home. This question is perhaps one of the most asked on various forums and online stores.
So, what grinder to choose for such work. According to surveys, it is best to use grinders for processing the walls and ceiling with a large area of the soleplate. Moreover, you should not forget that the tool should weigh as much as you can comfortably hold in your hand.
How to choose a grinder for cars?
A special sphere, where you can not do without grinders, is the auto repair shops and automobile production. Here, too, you need to understand what grinder to choose for good and professional work and what grinder to choose for the car.
Before you buy and choose a grinder for the car, it is important to know the basic principles of working and polishing machines. The ideal option for polishing the body of the car masters consider vibrating types of grinders.
The principle of operation of such grinders is that the tool’s wheel rotates, making an eccentric movement, and thus provides an easier and faster distribution of the polishing coating.
It is important to note that this model is also equipped with an electronic speed control system. And even at low speed and simultaneous pressure of the machine, the rotation speed does not slow down, and the motor winding does not overheat.
General guidelines to help the handyman make the perfect choice?
- For home work, choose a machine that is light and comfortable. After all, you need to hold it in your hands, sometimes for a very long time. I recommend considering such brands: Hyundai, Einhell, Stark. Hobby class is represented by TM Sparky, and in the professional segment Metabo, Makita, Dewalt are leading;
- Always carefully inspect the design and try it out for comfort. For example, the handle may be a staple handle, and you may prefer a “mushroom” handle. If possible, get a model with an extra handle;
- Study all the parameters we talked about above – speed, frequency, amplitude, belt and sole size, etc. And then measure them against your tasks – what will work best for you. The best wood sander – an individual choice for each user;
- If money allows, then choose a grinder with a speed regulator. They are convenient and reliable, designed for safety and comfort.
Die Grinders Price:
Die Grinders Under 200$
- Makita 1/4″ Die Grinder
- DEWALT 20V MAX Die Grinder
- Ingersoll Rand Air Die Grinder
Die Grinders Under 300$
- Milwaukee M18 FUEL 1/4″ Die Grinder
The sander can be used for all work that requires sanding and polishing in very narrow and hard-to-reach areas. If you’re working with small parts, especially when you’re sitting down, and you have a power outlet nearby, you might consider buying a mains-powered sander. If, on the other hand, you’re working on a construction site and have a large working radius, you’re better off relying on a battery-powered or air-powered unit.
Either way, you should pay attention to a certain quality so that you have something from your tool for the long haul and can work accurately and profitably. Also, it is important to rely on a safe model. It sounds a little strange at first, but when working with materials such as wood or metal, the tool can bite into the workpiece.
Good devices recognize such interlocks and brakes safely so that the bolt cutter doesn’t turn your wrist like a user. A so-called safety clutch provides this effect. In the worst case, the power transfer between the motor and the milling machine is interrupted.
Grinders are also used in the surgical field for dental or bone work because they allow very fine and high-quality work. In addition, straight grinders are very popular among hobbyists and craftsmen. Beautiful models or jewelry can be worked in this way. In the jewelry sector, jewelers like to use the sharpener to create engravings, because the nozzles are so filigreed that they do not destroy sensitive metals and create a good overall picture.
It is used for sanding wood for restoration, but metals and plastics can also be gently worked on. Thus, a straight grinder is a small, versatile tool that can be used in a variety of situations.
FAQs- Die Grinders
Grinders are mainly used for surface finishing in steel construction and blacksmithing. Thanks to the small and narrow sanding head, you can also use the sanding tool to work hard-to-reach places.
In addition to sanding, cleaning welds is a typical task for a sanding machine in the metal and steel industry. You can also use a small grinder when making tools and molds, e.g. for repairing bending tools.
Depending on the situation and the material to be machined, different grinding wheel grit is used.
The big advantage is that you can work almost any hard-to-reach place because of its fine shape.
If you are facing longer sanding jobs and want to use a straight grinder for continuous work, we recommend air-powered grinders. To work with an air straight grinder, you’ll need an air compressor that drives the grinder’s air turbine.
Make sure your compressed air system has enough power to achieve optimum performance with a straight grinder. On the other hand, a conventional grinder with an electric motor is more useful for occasional jobs and is therefore only recommended for hobby craftsmen.
Usually not. Most manufacturers only add two small wrenches to the grinder, which are needed to replace accessories. Often there is also a protective cap for the tip to protect it from dirt and dust when not in use.
When you purchase them, you should order the appropriate accessories right away. You are not bound to the brand – in principle, everything is compatible, as long as the shaft is not too big for the collet, the 0.24in the standard.
However, you may experience disappointment when it comes to storage: a shipping case is usually not included with classic corded grinders. Usually, only cordless straight grinders have this because the sensitive electronics in batteries can easily be damaged.