Searching for the best angle grinder for wood carving? Carve out a moment to read this article first before you hit that purchase button.
Before we get into the reviews, it’s important to know that most large, heavy-duty angle grinders are meant to cut and grind metal, not wood.
However, small and lightweight angle grinders are ideal for wood carving, shaping, and sanding.
- Powerful Yet Lightweight
- Versatile, works for all projects
- Durable construction and ergonomic design
When used with the right blades and accessories, these versatile power tools excel at a variety of woodworking tasks, including shaping furniture, carving sculptures, shaping large curves, etc.
To help you find the right tool for your needs and budget, we’ve rounded up some of the best angle grinders and discs currently on the market. Each of our top picks below has been assessed based on its durability, power, maneuverability, and safety.
The Best Angle Grinders for Wood Carving
1. Our Top Pick: DEWALT ( DCG413B ) 20V MAX* XR 4.5-Inch Brushless Angle Grinder
- Compact, lightweight, and cordless
- Lots of safety features
- Plenty of power, suitable for most projects
- Not as powerful as corded units
Lightweight yet powerful and packed with excellent safety features, this cordless angle grinder is highly versatile and ideal for carving, shaping, and polishing.
It’s a godsend when working in tight places, at awkward angles, and when you don’t want to string an extension cord all over the place.
What we like the most about this DEWALT grinder is its brushless motor that spins discs up to 9,000 RPM. It offers longer runtime and doesn’t require brush changes – ever.
You may think that 9,000 RPM is not particularly powerful, but that is plenty of torque for most projects. Still, we recommend a corded angle grinder if you want more power for heavy-duty tasks.
We greatly appreciate the Kickback Brake feature that automatically reduces the movement of the grinder and shuts it down when it detects wheel pinching or stalling. All it takes to stop the wheel is two seconds.
The main complaint among users is poor battery life, as this angle grinder drains batteries fairly quickly.
The remedy for this is having several 20V batteries, and the good news is that the angle grinder works with any DEWALT 20V MAX or FlexVolt batteries. The bad news? Batteries and chargers are sold separately.
- Brushless motor, 9,000 RPM
- Powered by 20V battery
- Weighs 3.8 pounds
- E-Switch protection
- Kickback Brake protection
2. Our Top Corded Pick: Makita (9557PBX1) 4.5-inch Angle Grinder Kit
The Makita 4.5-inch angle grinder weighs less than 5 pounds yet has a powerful 7.5 Amp motor, making it a highly versatile tool that can handle any type of wood carving project, small or big.
It may not be the lightest angle grinder out there, but it’s certainly lightweight enough to maneuver easily.
Thanks to its slim handle, large paddle switch, and lock-on/off feature, it’s easy to use and comfortable to hold for longer periods. And because this is a powerful angle grinder, it comes with soft-start technology, which helps prevent recoil and keep you safe.
Another thing we really like about this grinder is its durable design. The housing might be made of plastic (and this is why it’s so lightweight), but it’s sturdy. Plus, it has a protective varnish that seals the armature from wood dust, helping prolong the unit’s life.
The kit includes the angle grinder, a diamond blade, a grinding disc for steel, and blade guards.
Overall, it’s a versatile, easy-to-maneuver tool with plenty of power that’s perfect for wood sculpting, carving, and sanding. Many users also report that it’s great for polishing.
The minor downside for some users is that it heats up relatively quickly with continued use, but that is to be expected – no grinder is made for all-day use.
Also, while the kit is a great deal, you cannot store the grinder with the handle attached in the case as it doesn’t fit. This means you have to remove the handle, stow it separately, and re-assemble it whenever you need it. Not a huge con, but something to keep in mind.
- 7.5 Amp motor, 11,000 RPM
- Weighs 4.5 pounds
- Soft-start technology
- Extra-large paddle switch
- Lock on/off feature
- AC/DC switch
- Powerful yet lightweight enough to be comfortable to hold
- Versatile, great for all projects
- Durable construction and ergonomic design
- Heats up with heavy use
- The grinder with an attached handle doesn’t fit in the case
3. Best Angle Grinder Disc for Wood Carving: Kutzall Extreme Shaping Dish – Medium 4.5-inch
Specifically designed for carving, shaping, and sculpting soft and hard woods, the Kutzall Shaping Dish is one of the best angle grinder discs on the market. Yes, the grinder disc is a little pricy, but there’s a reason for that. Well, several reasons, actually.
For one, the disc is made from ultra-durable tungsten carbide material, which stays sharper for longer compared to standard abrasive discs.
This means that you may actually save money in the long run by avoiding frequent replacements.
It’s also easier to clean as you can use a wire brush or a torch – neither should harm the teeth.
Another great thing about Kutzall is that it’s incredibly easy to control, as it has excellent resistance to loading.
There’s practically no kickback, making it safer than traditional abrasive discs. Choose the Original Coating when working with hardwood, or Extreme Coating when working with wet or gummy wood.
Many users praise this Kutzall disc’s ability to smoothly shape and cut with or against the grain on all types of wood, including denser wood. Its design also allows for quick and easy removal of wood without clogging.
However, we should mention that some users find the product clogging up too quickly and creating dust. Needless to say, a good soft-wire brush and eye and face protection are must-haves.
- Made from tungsten-carbide material
- Highly resistant to loading
- Can be cleaned with a torch or wire brush
- Available in a variety of coatings
- Exceptionally durable
- Easy to control, practically no kickback
- Easy to clean
4. Budget Pick: Bosch 1375A 4-1/2-inch Angle Grinder
Don’t let the cheap price fool you, the Bosch 1375A 4-1/2-inch angle grinder is a versatile little beast that can cut through almost any material, but most importantly for us, any wood, too.
Slim, compact, and weighing less than 4 pounds, it’s easy to maneuver and use for extended periods. It is ideal for folks who often suffer arm fatigue when working with heavier angle grinders.
The lock-on slide switch allows continuous operation and keeps you focused on your task. The auxiliary handle enables you to move it to either side – great for lefties and when working from awkward positions.
We also appreciate the epoxy-coated field windings, which help protect the tool from dust and abrasive debris.
With a 6.0 Amp motor that produces no-load 11,000 RPM, this Bosch grinder has plenty of power for light to medium projects.
No, it’s not the most powerful angle grinder out there, but it’s great for lighter tasks like hallowing out wood bowls, carving boards, sanding wood, etc. This said, plenty of customers successfully use it for shaping wood in furniture construction, too.
On the downside, this is a single-speed tool, and while 11,000 RPM is plenty of power for most small and medium jobs. If you want to shape large, dense wood easily, you’ll probably want something more powerful.
- 6.0 Amp motor, 11,000 RPM
- Weighs 3.75 pounds
- 2-position side auxiliary handle
- Lock-on slide switch
- Compact and lightweight, easy to maneuver
- Well-made yet budget-friendly
- Plenty of power for most wood carving tasks
- It may not be powerful enough for larger, heavy-duty projects
5. Best for Big Jobs: DEWALT DWE402 4.5 Inch Angle Grinder
Looking for a powerful angle grinder for larger projects? You’ve found it.
The DEWALT 4.5-inch angle grinder boasts an 11 Amp AC/DC motor that spins at 11,000 RMP, making it perfect for heavy-duty jobs like crafting furniture. It may not be ideal for ultra-delicate tasks, but it’s plenty versatile when paired with the right wood disc.
The grinder has a paddle switch with a safety lock-off, preventing accidental start-ups. The handle, while slightly bigger than most, provides good ergonomics thanks to its oversized threading. This makes working with the tool safe and comfortable.
The DEWALT grinder has a dust ejection system that prevents dust from entering and damaging the tool, which helps prolong its life. Other great features include a one-touch 360-degree rotatable guard that allows optimal positioning and overheat protection.
If you’ve been using standard 6 Amp angle grinders for your wood carving projects and want to switch to something more powerful that doesn’t heat up quickly and can easily shape larger and denser woods, this option is fantastic.
At a little over 6 pounds, the DEWALT is heavier, but it’s also much more powerful and durable than standard angle grinders.
- 11 Amp motor, 11,000 RPM
- Weighs 6.2 pounds
- Paddle switch with safety lock-off
- Single-touch guard with 360 rotation
- Dust ejection system
- Overheat protection
- Plenty of power for heavy-duty projects
- Durable construction with lots of safety features
- Does not heat up quickly, even with continuous use
- Heavier than standard grinders
6. Also Great: BLACK+DECKER (BDEG400) 4.5-Inch Angle Grinder
Affordable but well-made, the Black+Decker 4.5-inch angle grinder is a solid entry-level grinder for wood carving. It’s housed in a sturdy metal case and designed with a three-position side handle – left, top, and right – for a comfortable and stable grip no matter the angle.
With a 6 Amp motor that operates at 10,000 RPM, it’s got enough power for most light to medium wood carving tasks, but it’s definitely not powerful enough for bigger projects. And like all angle grinders of this capacity, it heats up quickly with continuous use.
On the plus side, this is one of the lighter grinders out there. At less than 5 pounds, it’s pretty comfortable to hold and maneuver. Its compact, narrow body and adjustable side handle make working with the tool comfortable and easy, even when operating at awkward angles. Great for carving, sanding, grinding, and polishing wood.
Another feature we like about the Black+Decker grinder is its spindle lock that lets you easily swap out accessories. Many users also love that the motor lock button is large and easy to press when wearing gloves.
Overall, it’s a solid budget-friendly angle grinder for light-duty projects. But if you’re looking for something powerful that will last for decades, you’re looking at the wrong tool. This is a nifty little grinder for those just getting into wood carving.
- 6 Amp motor, 10,000 RPM
- Weighs 4.5 pounds
- Metal housing
- 3-position handle for comfort and control
- Spindle lock for easy accessory changes
- Comfortable, even when working at awkward angles
- Affordable but well-built
- Great for light-duty projects
- Not suitable for any heavy-duty job
How We Decided on Our Picks
Power and Performance
A good angle grinder should help you safely and comfortably shape a piece of wood into something useful or decorative.
To do that, it needs to have enough power (as well as certain safety features, but we’ll get to that).
This is why we prioritized motor power and performance when searching for the best angle grinders.
We looked for tools with at least 6 Amps of motor power, which is enough for most light and medium-duty wood carving and shaping jobs.
But if you’re working on larger projects or want to be able to easily and quickly shape larger and denser pieces of wood, you can definitely go above that. Just bear in mind that the more powerful the motor, the heavier the grinder.
Size and Weight
You’ll probably use your grinder for extended periods from time to time, so you want a compact and lightweight unit.
We focused on angle grinders that are around 5 pounds, as they’re comfortable to hold for longer periods and are typically easier to maneuver.
We did pick one heavier grinder (the DEWALT is a little over 6 pounds), but that one is best suited to folks looking for a more powerful unit for heavy-duty tasks.
An angle grinder is, after all, a handheld power tool and, as such, can be dangerous and cause kickback. Even a small change in your posture might cause a grinder to get out of control, especially if you’re using a wrong disc.
For this reason, we paid particular attention to the safety features such as emergency shut-off, safety hand guard, and soft start.
Durability and Construction
Finally, a good-quality angle grinder should be well-made and durable.
We chose units with sturdy housings from reputable brands. Metal casings are, of course, the best when it comes to durability, but metal does slightly increase the weight of the tool.
Still, it’s possible to find lightweight grinders with metal casings (look at Black+Decker). Sturdy plastic is most common, however, as it’s light.
A big plus is also a protective sealing that prevents wood dust from entering the motor and damaging it.