If you weren’t sure before, an angle grinder can be helpful tool for specific wood cutting techniques like smoothing and shaping your project. To help determine the best angle grinder for wood carving to use on different projects, we will review the top wood grinders and the applications they are best at. Due to its durability, and overall compatibility among a wide range of workpieces, we recommend Bosch 4-1/2-inch angle grinder.
Bosch 4-1/2-inch Angle Grinder is powerful enough, yet lightweight, to tackle any type of project.
Best Angle Grinder For Wood Carving
Most angle grinders can get the the job done, but very few can get it done well. Recognize the demands of your projects, and pick out the best option that fits your needs. Any given workpiece requires a variety of focus, so finding a compatible match is most important.
Compact, lightweight tool that is most compatible with small to medium sized workpieces of any wood type.
The Bosch grinder is extremely lightweight, and powerful enough to cut metal, piping, and other materials, but precise enough for cutting wood. Even with some of the toughest hardwoods, such as walnut, Bosch certainly exceeded my expectations. With it only have a 6.0 amp motor, you tend to assume a tool would underperform, but, because the Bosch has a small field diameter, cutting and grinding is pretty easy to do across a wide range of applications.
Its compact shape is slightly smaller than our other options, which I find very useful for mobility, delicate cuts/shaping, and smaller projects. Another contribution that helps is the auxiliary handle which can be moved into two positions that mirror one another. However, if you’re needing the best angle grinder for wood carving large projects, I would advise to try a tool like DEWALT’s 11-Amp grinder which has a bigger motor.
This model also features safety precautions to prevent it from malfunctioning from clogged debris. An automatic shut-off feature will stop the grinder when maintenance is necessary, which helps to reduce the risk of injury when using it. A sealed switch is also included to keep dust and debris from entering its mechanism and causing issues.
Durable 11-amp grinder with optimal power/weight ratio. With loads of protective features, its extended shelf life can provide completion for all project sizes.
DEWALT‘s paddle switch styled tool is a bit larger than our previous recommendation, and about twice as powerful. The 11-amp motor offsets the size of the grind to maintain control over all 11,000 RPM’s while carving and grinding. As I mentioned before, DEWALT offers the best angle grinder for wood carving any size workpiece. Although it’s not as forgiving with delicate projects, it certainly offers a great deal of value to complex ones.
To facilitate smooth operation, the grinder has a dust ejection system to prevent dust and debris from damaging any of its internal components. No doubt convenient to have, but, even more important than that, wearing adequate protective gear is incredibly necessary.
Compared to its previous model, oversized brushes were added to offer a 2 times brush life. Due to the spiral bevel gear, the transmission life for this model is also extended. To improve safety, the guard can be maneuvered 360 degrees with a single touch so that it’s also in the proper position during operation. The improved mechanics of this grinder make it a great low maintenance, long life option for wood carving long term.
Mid sized, compact grinder with the largest motor for its size. Perfectly compatible with small to medium/large type projects.
The Makita grinder has an impressive 7.5 amp motor despite weighing only 4.5 pounds, among the more compact sized models, this one comes with a great amount of power. The handle is a slim barrel grip design to help hold the tool in place while avoiding any discomfort for the user.
The casing is specially designed so that the bearings and motor are sealed to prevent damage from dust and debris, ultimately prolonging the life of the tool. It also features a locking on and off switch for ease of use, as well as options for both AC and DC power, making the grinder pretty versatile.
The housing and gear design are all metal to improve durability. The grinder includes 4 4 ½ inch grinding wheels, a diamond grinding blade, and a diamond wheel. This gives it superior grinding and carving ability. This grinder has the largest motor for its size and many high-end grinding and carving components that make it a great multipurpose tool for any type of wood carving work.
Well balanced mid-sized 8.5 amp grinder by BLACK+DECKER capable of handling any project
The motor on this grinder is a standard 6 amps for a 4 ½ inch grinder making it well balanced for the size of the grinder. To improve durability and lifespan it uses an all-metal gear housing, making it a bit more heavy-duty than similar grinders.
The three-position side handle gives added comfort and control while working with a piece. It also includes a spindle lock, making it easy to change out accessories while working.
The 4 ½ inches small-angle grind wheel is the ideal choice for grinding and carving wood and the narrow body makes the grinder more comfortable for maneuvering. The metal grinding wheel and wheel guard are an added benefit.
This grinder has great size and shape as well as added features that make it particularly well suited to grind wood over other materials.
Lightweight tool by Metabo with a left mounted slide switch for emergency shut-off. Comes with five wheels and an adequate asset to finish any kind of job.
This grinder is a standard 4 ½ inch grinder with a 6.2 amp motor. The grinder is incredibly lightweight and comes with 5 grinding wheels, combined with a powerful motor which allows it to take on tough grinding jobs.
It has several utility features including a spindle lock for quick changing of accessories and a side-mounted switch with quick shut off for extra safety. The grip is small and slender for improved comfort. The casing uses labyrinth construction to prevent damage from dust and debris to improve overall durability.
This grinder has good power and a number of features that make it a good wood carving grinder. The additional wheel and hard carry case make it an excellent portable option.
Guide to Wood Carving with Angle Grinders
An angle grinder is a great tool for helping to shape a piece of wood into something workable. The problem with picking up just any angle grinder is that most of them are meant for grinding metal. This means that not all grinders are geared to properly shape wood and will end up butchering your piece instead of shaping it.
Thankfully, there are a number of smaller grinders, as well as grinding accessories that are suited to shaping wood. Having the right grinder and accessories, as well as knowing the right safety precautions will help to make your next wood carving project a success.
Size and Power
It’s important to remember that an angle grinder is a power tool and the larger and heavier the grinder, the harder it is to use. The standard size angle grinder that most wood carvers use is under 5 pounds. You will generally be using the grinder for extended periods and even smaller grinders have a lot of power to them so it’s important to be able to maintain control over your equipment.
The starting point for motor power is typically 6 amps, though many can go well above that. While a more powerful motor can make shaping larger and denser pieces a bit easier, the loss of control can cause the grinder to get away from you.
The standard disc size for a wood carving grinder is 4 ½ inches and there are grinding discs that are made specifically for shaping wood. It’s a good idea to study up on the grinder you buy to make sure it is suitable for carving and grinding wood.
Blades and Accessories
The trouble with using an angle grinder to carve wood is that they are not inherently made to carve wood. By this we mean that the discs are made for sanding, cutting, and polishing metal. When carving wood with an angle grinder, there are some unique challenges.
That’s why it’s important to find wood carving discs for your grinder. Traditional grinder discs have the potential for the blades to snag when trying to carve wood. This can not only ruin your piece, but cause you to lose control of the grinder and can result in serious injury.
This extends to finishing and smoothing discs as well. You’ll want to be able to handle the smoothing and sanding after the bulk of the carving is done if you’re using an angle grinder. There are multiple disc types for a variety of tasks and certain ones are more suited to working with wood instead of metal.
Safety and Versatility
As we stated earlier, an angle grinder is a powerful hand held tool and the slightest lapse in concentration can lead to the grinder getting away from you and causing an accident that can ruin your piece or worse, cause severe injury.
It’s a good idea to look for a grinder that has certain safety features that will help prevent injury.
The first important feature is an emergency shutoff. Some grinders on the market have a feature that detects when the grinder is malfunctioning or becoming clogged and will shut it off so that maintenance can be performed. If the grinder becomes clogged it can cause it to slip and end up causing an accident.
Another great safety feature is a movable hand guard. Most grinders will feature a hand guard that is situated above the disc blade near the handle. However, having a guard that is maneuverable helps to ensure protection during detailed work. Some guards will even rotate a full 360 degrees, allowing for optimal positioning.
Additional features that can help with safety and usability of your grinder include a dust ejection system that keeps dust and debris from damaging the internal components of the grinder and causing malfunction, and an easy off switch for turning off the grinder in a hurry should it start to slip or you start to lose control.
Durability and Construction
In terms of which grinder you choose, having one that will last through heavy use is important if you’re an avid wood carver.
In terms of construction, it is important to find a mix of solid construction and light weight to maintain control of the grinder. This means that grinders with metal casings may be a little heavy for woodworking.
Most grinders have improved the sealing around core components to ensure that dust and debris don’t damage the internal workings Finding a model that has extra features to prevent wear and tear is a good investment as well.
Properly cleaning your grinder between uses and having extra discs on hand is another good investment as well. Cleaning will prolong the life of your grinder and the extra discs will prevent you from damaging your piece or yourself from using a worn out blade.
To make carving wood easier and less problematic, there are a few other features that are beneficial for a grinder to have.
An adjustable handle is a nice feature to improve comfort and versatility while shaping intricate pieces. Since control of the grinder is of the utmost importance, having a handle that can shift and move as you use the grinder can ensure you always have control of the tool in your hands.
Another useful feature to have when diving into your carving work is a spindle lock. A spindle lock allows you to quickly and effortlessly change disc blades. This is great when moving from one part of the process such as from carving to sanding. It’s also important to note that you should never continue using a disc that has become worn down or damaged as this can result in accident or injury.
Lastly, having variable speed control can help with precision and detail work, especially on more intricate pieces. Having more control of the speed of rotation gives you more control over the shaping of your piece and also lessens the likelihood of the grinder getting away from you in the heat of the moment.
Hopefully this review guide has given you some tips and information to help you make the right choice when picking an angle grinder to use for your next wood carving project. Be sure to take into account all the safety precautions necessary when using an angle grinder and your next project is sure to come out a great success