We continue our conversation about the arsenal of a modern builder. Screwdrivers, hammer drills, jigsaws, chain saws – we have already discussed them in previous articles. This time, angle grinders are at gunpoint. There are different grinders, different grinders are needed, but how to choose the right one?
For seven years of operation, no serious malfunctions were found, although there are comments. Under load, the metal casing of the gearbox is noticeably heated, they say, this is from imperfect blowing – the cooling flows are weak. Sometimes there are extraneous noises and rumble inside, which, however, did not affect the durability. In general, the LNA 20-230 is an incredibly simple machine, without any special options. This is its vitality, there is simply nothing to break. The layout and characteristics of the Ukrainian grinder are the most traditional. The motor always pulls, it has a power of 2000 W and spins the spindle up to 6500 rpm.
Its winding with a special bandage is protected from abrasive dust. There is a spindle stopper, a comfortable reliable button, a three-position handle. ALL. As such, there is no smooth start (it is more of a step, two-speed), there is no quick fixing of the casing (you need a screwdriver), there is no SDS clamping nut (you need a “horned” key), there are no electronic systems, there is no vibration damping, there is no protective clutch, there is no speed control. No – and don’t! But this is one of the lightest (4.6 kg) and compact models of the class “230”.
The Bulgarian Fiolent MSHU 20-230 is a real workhorse for only $ 110 with a small tail. It is easy to handle and very durable. The construction site is its place. The manufacturer from Ukraine has confirmed its reputation, they know how to make professional angle grinders. Modern reincarnations of this model (for example, MSHU1 23–230 Master) are even more interesting, they are more powerful, very well equipped, but also somewhat more expensive.
Craft CAG 230/2200
We have had this angle grinder for about five years. CAG 230/2200 – one of the simplest models in the class of two-handed grinders for the 230th circle.
No frills – almost a minimal set of options. Everything is familiar, everything is convenient. In contrast to Fiolent MSHU 20-230, we have a more powerful motor (2200 W versus 2000), but this is practically not felt, maybe because the speed is lower (6000 rpm versus 6500). There is a system for limiting the inrush current, when turned on there is no characteristic jerk, however, the disc reaches the maximum speed very slowly – about 3-4 seconds. It is worth noting that the power key is not very convenient, especially if you work in rough gloves, the duplicate button is quite small, in general, some skill is needed to securely fix the start. By the way, for all the time it was the start button that failed and was replaced. Another point: the casing is fixed according to the principle of a clamp, and the bolt was placed “under the hexagon” – you have to wind not only the “slingshot” for the nut, but also the “faceted” key to the cord.
This is not to say that this simple, standard grinder did not surprise. It is a rare case when a tool from China is characterized by acceptable reliability and functionality. Having spent $ 45 for the “230” angle grinder, it is difficult to expect the maximum return from it – but here is complete order. For domestic use – this is a great option, for a construction site – “YES”, but with some restrictions.
Metabo W 21–230
We use this grinder most often. Powerful, productive, reliable – what else is needed for a professional tool. There is already something here. The engine, and indeed the entire filling, works evenly, without noise, failures. Vibrations are moderate. The winding has a grill that protects against dust and abrasives. The gearbox is well blown, nothing is heated above the norm. A smooth start lets the disc go rather quickly, it picks up speed in 2 seconds. The cover can be rearranged in different positions using a quick-release device, no key or screwdriver is needed. There is another nice option: the German manufacturer has used brushes that turn off by themselves with severe wear – now it is almost impossible to harm the motor. The handles for my little fingers are very comfortable, the buttons are easy to reach, they switch well.
This is an excellent angle grinder for professional use. But such a grinder also costs a lot – about $ 250. It can be compared with the Fiolent MSHU 20-230 for $ 110, which is comparable in basic characteristics. It seems that this is one of the few cases when a domestic manufacturer in terms of price / quality ratio is at least in no way inferior to.
And this is already from the category of small ones. We fell in love with the grinders of this manufacturer. Yes, the gear pair makes a little noise, yes, there are no “super bells and whistles”, but for many years the two 125s have been working flawlessly. MSHU2-9-125E fits well in the hand, the machine is compact and light enough – 1.6 kg.
The case is non-slip, it is of moderate thickness and is well gripped with one hand. The gearbox housing is quite narrow, moreover, it practically does not heat up. The motor power and maximum spindle speed are not outstanding (900 W and 11000 rpm), but in our conditions there was no desire to have something more serious. The model with the “E” index is distinguished by the presence of rotation speed control (the minimum frequency is set at 2800 rpm) – we use it only when cutting some types of tiles. The soft start works quickly and accurately. Sometimes, when working with heterogeneous materials, the constant speed system helps. There is overload protection, but somehow it does not reach its operation. The start button is moderately tight, well fixed in the on position. From the unpleasant: the power cord becomes too stiff at low temperatures, but, however, does not crack. And yet, I would like it to be longer.
This reliable grinder is equipped with several electronic systems. The characteristics of the machine are balanced, its performance satisfies all our craftsmen. Now the price of Fiolent MSHU2-9-125E is about $ 90, the same, but without adjusting the speed and the letter “E” in the name – $ 10 cheaper. A good choice.
Einhell BAG 125
Not passed our fate to work and such a grinder. It costs only $ 30-40, or rather, even that it is not worth it. LBM Einhell BAG 125 did not live for two months, during the opening all the internals of the gearbox in a ground form spilled out onto the table.
From the very beginning, everything was not right. She worked incredibly noisy, the vibrations coming from the instrument were simply amazing and frightening. The screws that fix the gearbox cover began to loosen – the thread was broken. The button was constantly turned off, despite the fact that its switching is very tight. The casing does not hold in a given position. The body is very thick, made of smooth material. The cover is also plastic – stylized as rubber. In general, you cannot hold a grinder in one hand, especially since its weight is not modest – 2.3 kg. A very, very stiff cord at low temperatures simply dubs. The performance is extremely low. Of the pros – a beautiful yellow color of the case, almost like DeWALT.
This is a typical representative of the class of “disposable” Chinese grinders. Surprisingly, the rotary hammers of this brand are nothing..
Let’s sum up
When choosing an angle grinder, the first step is to clearly define the scope of work that you will be performing it. If long-term continuous use of the grinder is expected, then it is better to give preference to professional models..
“Small” grinders with a circle of 115, 125 mm are well suited for precise cutting work. They should be lightweight and compact. For construction applications, it is better if the design assumes a one-handed grip.
“Large” two-handed angle grinders are designed for more serious loads. The blade diameter of 230 mm allows for deep cuts, high power makes it possible to use them in “strong” places, for example, for cutting grooves. Such devices are many times heavier and more expensive to maintain. Practice shows that it is convenient to have both classes of grinders on a construction site, while something in between is quite suitable for a house – under a disc with a diameter of 150 or 180 mm.
Engine power is a very important indicator, especially for the 230 class. The higher it is, the more productive the tool, but also the heavier. As for babies, I personally value light weight more than extra watts..
It is worth paying attention to the presence of a soft start. Limiting the starting currents avoids jerk when switching on, prevents wear of electrical and mechanical parts of the tool. Especially powerful angle grinders without such an option heavily load networks, they can knock out machines.
Nominal spindle speed is an important indicator, but it is usually directly related to power and other characteristics. The options to adjust the speed and maintain the selected frequency can be important, which are great for working with heterogeneous, “delicate” materials..
The systems of protection against high short-term overloads and automatic balancing of the disc (useful in case of uneven wear of the disc and, especially, for wire brushes) will not be superfluous. There are even safety clutches that save when the disk is jammed. True, you have to overpay for them.
It is important to have vibration protection. Modern angle grinders can be supplied with special overlays on the body, additional handles with damping inserts.
Pay attention to the attachment of the protective cover. The worst possible option is the absence of protrusions or grooves for fixing when it is held by friction, plus a wrench clamp or screwdriver. The quick-release mechanism of the casing (there are different designs) saves great working time.
The classic nut for a “horned” key is often inconvenient, it can be extremely difficult to unscrew it, especially on an abrasive wheel. Now there are new solutions to this issue – quick-locking nuts, rubberized support flanges …
Ergonomics. It is very important to hold the angle grinder and operate its switches conveniently. Rubber pads, finger recesses, narrow handles help here. Be sure to try how conveniently the buttons turn on, but in “large” grinders, to start simultaneously with the main button, you need to press the blocking key. For class “115-125” the “thickness” of the engine is very important. The grinder should fit into the hand.
Manufacturers from Europe and the USA produce the most reliable and safe grinders, however, domestic companies have noticeably improved, at least in terms of angle grinders. If you are not ready to pay a lot, feel free to take ours, in this case you can only win.