The Makita GD0601 1/4-Inch Die Grinder is our best die grinder which has a no-load speed of 25,000 RPM that is fixed with its powerful motor. It is indeed very lightweight at only 3.7 lbs of weight and the housing material is made from solid aluminum to reduce weight. Its durability is not compromised due to its stepped neck design and it also comes with vent slots so that exhaust will be kept away from whoever is using the die grinder.
Our step-up pick is the Makita GD0800C 1/4-Inch Die Grinder and the motor is a high power machine which runs at 6.6 amps. It uses SJS or Super Joint System technology to keep your gears from getting damaged due to binding wheels by accident and there is a dial for variable speed control so you can specifically choose the die grinding speed fit for your operation. Moreover, constant speed is kept even under load due to the electronic speed control.
The budget pick is the Ingersoll Rand 1/4″ Air Die Grinder and it uses a ball bearing construction that can last for life. It also comes with an ergonomic grip design and has been equipped with a rear exhaust to protect you from debris. Also, the lever throttle has a self-locking mechanism.
- A Little Background
- How We Picked
- Our Pick
- Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
- Step-up Pick
- Budget Pick
- Best Angle Head Die Grinder
- Best Electric Die Grinder
- Best Air Powered Die Grinder
- Pencil Type Die Grinder
- Complete Die Grinder Kit
- Straight Design Die Grinder
- Die Grinder with Paddle Switch
- The Competition
- Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping It Up
A Little Background
Die grinders are a great tool for machinists, metalworkers and the like. A die grinder will be a helpful tool in any shop or even on any automotive work. They are a big advantage compared to bigger grinders that are not for small details and tight spaces. Because of the size and shape of die grinders, they are often attributed to fine detailing and small grinding compared to bigger and standard grinders.
In some cases, things can get messy when using a die grinder. The problem with all kinds of grinders is that they blow off air from the grinder and this can potentially mess up your workspace. Even if you have face masks and eye shields, using grinders in general will be frustrating if your die grinder does not have a rear exhaust to blow the dust away. This is essential to have a hassle-free workspace at your hands whenever you do any grinding or honing work.
Compared to bigger grinders, die grinders are usually smaller and for slim operations. Like we said, a die grinder’s main use is to go over the details that many angle grinders and bench grinders cannot hope to contain or do themselves. A die grinder can go through the tightest spots possible and perform its operation with great ease due to its perfect ergonomics and slim shape that will give you less fatigue.
For those who want detailed shaping and honing, you should get a die grinder. Whether it is a metal project that requires a lot of artistic and intricate details or it is just something that is required by industrial needs then you should get a die grinder that matches your application level and the work you often do. For instance, die grinders vary in air consumption and size so you should pick the right die grinder for the job, whether it is for home or industry use.
How We Picked
A die grinder with a good speed is definitely a useful tool and plus points are added to those with variable speeds. The speed of the die grinder defines how fast you can move on with your work with this tool or machine and how much quality can it give you on any project, job or operation. More often, a die grinder with variable speed options really do help out so you do not need to buy 2 or 3 die grinders at all once. You can just invest in a slightly pricier but effective variable speed die grinder to meet your needs.
The die grinder must be ergonomic to hold and grip to reduce user fatigue. The purpose of a die grinder is to give you honing access to the smallest spots with its slim and small design and therefore, it should be very easy to handle compared to bigger machines and grinding tools in general.
A lightweight die grinder is something to look forward to. The reason people use a die grinder is because they are generally very light when it comes to handling as compared to other bigger grinders that take up way too much space in your arsenal and work desk so a die grinder that is easy to carry and take with you from home to work or carry around the garage is a great buy overall.
The housing of the die grinder must be super durable. The housing should also assess to keep the internal parts such as the gears and the motor away from the dust and debris of the outside world and this makes the die grinder last longer than it should. Durability starts with a high quality housing that helps to shield the internal parts. In fact, some die grinders are also given a smooth varnish.
The die grinder should have a small noise level. You wouldn’t want a die grinder to be constantly noisy. A die grinder should have a sound level that is bearable – around 73 to 75 dB is just fine for a small and slim die grinder when it comes to noise production. After all, they are miniature in size so they are not really a threat to noise pollution.
Air consumption (CFM) for the die grinder should be just right for the job. A lot of people generally agree that a die grinder with a bigger air consumption means it will be more powerful, just like how a car with a bigger tank can run for farther miles than smaller tank vehicles.
Top Pick: Makita GD0601 1/4-Inch Die Grinder
Our best die grinder is the Makita GD0601 1/4-Inch Die Grinder which comes with vent slots so that exhaust will be kept away from whoever is using the die grinder. It is indeed very lightweight at only 3.7 lbs of weight and it has a no-load speed of 25,000 RPM that is fixed with its powerful motor. The durability is not compromised due to its stepped neck design and the housing material is made from solid aluminum to reduce weight.
With a great price, the grinder’s varnish has a zig-zag seal design made to protect the armature from debris and dust to keep the tool’s longevity intact.
As for the construction, the double neck housing is slender and designed with die cast aluminum material to house the gear and it is also a double insulated die grinder. The grinder’s bearings and motor are protected by the internal labyrinth construction. One awesome feature of the grinder is that even under continuous use, the die grinder’s motor runs cool and maintains constant speed even under load due to its electronic speed control.
In addition, the Makita grinder has an on and off switch that is easy to control. This die grinder spans at a length of 11 1/8 inches and the motor of the die grinder runs at 3.5 amps. Its voltage rating is 115V AC and it uses a body grip handle type. The minimum speed is at 7,000 RPM and it runs at wattage of 250W.
The GD0601 Die Grinder’s ergonomics and comfort are never compromised with its design due to the barrel grip that gives you an improved handling while using it. As this is a straight die grinder which includes a collet with a size of 1/4 inch, it is ideal for use on pipe fittings and similar grinding operations. Moreover, the die grinder also runs quietly at only 75 dB of noise level and it outright comes with a convenient case to protect the die grinder and store it when not in use.
All in all, the Makita GD0601 is strongly applicable for those who work on the industry of shipping, automotive, plumbing, HVAC, welding and others. The max wheel diameter of this die grinder is 1 1/2 inches and it also includes wrenches in the package. It is currently backed by a 1 year warranty.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
The small concern about the Makita GD0601 1/4-Inch Die Grinder is that it is quite heavier than most die grinders but nonetheless made from heavy duty material.
Makita GD0800C 1/4-Inch Die Grinder
The Makita GD0800C 1/4-Inch Die Grinder is our step-up pick which uses SJS or Super Joint System technology to keep your gears from getting damaged due to binding wheels by accident. A constant speed is kept even under load due to the electronic speed control and also, there is a dial for variable speed control so you can specifically choose the die grinding speed fit for your operation. All in all, the motor is a high power machine which runs at 6.6 amps.
It features a soft and smooth start-up and it is relatively very easy to handle due to the double neck design of the gear housing that is slender and made from sturdy but lightweight aluminum.
You can easily keep debris and dust away from the bearings and motor with its labyrinth construction to make your tool last longer than it should. Also, the motor can run at a variable speed from 7,000 RPM at minimum to 28,000 RPM at maximum. Moreover, there is a zigzag varnish which protects and seals the motor and bearings for tool longevity.
This die grinder comes with a 1/4 inch collet cone as well as a side handle and wrenches and is indeed very comfortable and ergonomic in its design to reduce user fatigue. Its slide switch is placed strategically on the barrel grip so you can operate it with ease and the die grinder also has a side handle installation for convenience.
Being highly applicable for piping, automotive, welding, ship building and various fields and industrial use, it is good to know that the SJS technology is where a coil spring links the spiral bevel gear and the motor armature together to protect the motor and gears when the grinding wheel stops. Likewise, the spindle thread measures 5/8 inches to 11 UNC and the die grinder spans at a length of 14 5/8 inches. A colored teal die grinder which runs at 750 watts and 120 volts, it is backed by a 1 year warranty.
Ingersoll Rand 1/4″ Air Die Grinder
With our budget pick, the Ingersoll Rand 1/4″ Air Die Grinder, the lever throttle has a self-locking mechanism. It is also conveniently equipped with a rear exhaust to protect you from debris and it uses a ball bearing construction that can last for life. Moreover, the die grinder comes with an ergonomic grip design for better performance and efficiency.
The Ingersoll Rand Die Grinder is very lightweight at only 1 pound. Because it is a budget option, it is air powered or pneumatic powered. This die grinder spans at a length of 6 3/16 inches. What’s more, its no-load speed is 27,000 RPM and at variable speed as well as this bare tool die grinder has a collet size of 1/4 inch.
It also has a minimum hose size of 3/8 inch and an air inlet size of 1/4 inches NPT and its air consumption is only 3 CFM and 18 CFM at load. Its durability is uncompromised due to the composite housing of the die grinder. The motor runs at 1/3 HP and the Ingersoll Rand grinder is applicable for cutting, polishing, grinding and other stressful jobs that require a die grinder.
The construction is ball-bearing so you get a tough die grinder even with a lightweight feel and its torque accuracy is something to look forward to, coupled by its ergonomic design to keep you away from user fatigue. It is applicable for home and industry use and it also includes 2 wrenches for the collet. The Ingersoll Grinder is under a 1 year warranty.
Best Angle Head Die Grinder
Ampro A3028 Gearless Angle-Head Die Grinder
The Ampro A3028 Gearless Angle-Head Die Grinder gives you great accuracy in grinding, finishing and smoothing on rough areas and is strongly applicable for use on tight spaces. In a general sense, sanding production and touch-up are its ideal uses as you can easily direct the air away from your work bench or area due to its rear exhaust feature.
It is a die grinder to power up your operation in which tool longevity is great due to its unique gearless mechanism. The Ampro Angle-Head Die Grinder comes with a convenient angle sander at 2 inches and has a 1/4 inch collet size.
With a free speed of 25,000 RPM, the Ampro A3028 Die Grinder has a hose size of 3/8 inches ID and the air inlet is at 1/4 inch NPT. Its average air consumption is 4 to 6 CFM at 170 L per minute and the tool spans at a length of 8 inches. Being a pneumatic powered die grinder that is a bare tool with attachments, it is very light at only 1.5 lbs and it is recommended that you get a lower pressure compressor for this grinder. The tool uses 90 PSI of air pressure and is currently covered by a manufacturer’s warranty of 1 year.
Best Electric Die Grinder
Heavy Duty Long-Shaft Electric Die Grinder
A die grinder that is very lightweight and easy to operate that you should consider is the Heavy Duty Long-Shaft Electric Die Grinder. It comes with spare motor brushes for convenience and small work spaces are not a problem because of the long shaft design as compared to regular die grinders. Durability is upheld due to its ball bearing construction.
A majority of die grinder accessories can be attached to this tool because of its 1/4 inch collet size. It is electric powered and heavy duty and runs at 120 volts at a single phase with 60 Hz and at 4.3 amps. It spans at a length of 14 inches with a wheel diameter of 1.5 inches and it has a max speed of 25,000 RPM.
Being super lightweight at only 5 lbs, this die grinder is also applicable for porting cast iron cylinder heads while the extension housing measures a diameter of around 1 7/16 inches.
Best Air Powered Die Grinder
Ingersoll Rand 5102MAX Air Die Grinder
A very stylish design as a die grinder you can consider is the Ingersoll Rand 5102MAX Air Die Grinder which runs at a max power of 0.4 (2/5) HP. It runs at a max speed of 20,000 RPM to give you great power and it also has a spindle lock feature to quickly perform changeovers in abrasive.
This air powered die grinder has a lube free design so that your work area is never contaminated in which the sound levels are at 84 dB. A die grinder for all your power tool needs, it has a very low profile design and ergonomic grip that makes you feel comfortable and it also comes with a throttle lever to prevent user fatigue. Moreover, it has a vibration of 3.3 m/s2.
Going over the specs, the Ingersoll 5102MAX Grinder’s average air consumption is 6 CFM and 25 CFM at load and it also has a 3/8 inch minimum hose size and a 1/4 inch air inlet size. Meanwhile, the exhaust has a rear output of 1/4 inch. The wheel measures 6 mm and the grinder overall is a very lightweight bare tool pneumatic powered die grinder that only weighs 1.8 lbs. It accepts shank sizes of 1/4 inch.
Pencil Type Die Grinder
Neiko 10649A Air-powered Micro Die Grinder
The Neiko 10649A Air-powered Micro Die Grinder is a tool which comes with all accessories and a nylon hose that is super flexible and includes a slip-on shield to give you more protection. Moreover, it also includes a nipple and 2 collet wrenches and is a die grinder for budget savers and has a free air speed maximum of 54,000 RPM.
The Neiko Micro Die Grinder has a collet size capacity of 1/8 inch. Also, this air powered die grinder can glide on small and tight surface due to its pencil design and it has a variable speed control for your convenience using the textured throttle. Likewise, the die grinder retains the same speed until you adjust it lower or higher.
Being highly applicable for smaller applications such as dies, jewelry, backing plates, mounts, barke pads, rotors, and the like, the Neiko 10649A Air Grinder gives you a better grip and control for polishing, grinding and cutting as its air inlet threat measures 1/4 inch NPT.
Going over the specs, the die grinder spans at 5 1/4 inches and weighs less than a pound and its average air consumption is at 4.2 CFM. As a pneumatic die grinder, it requires air pressure from about 90 to 120 PSI and the vibration level is at 0.07 m/s2. It is also remarkably very quiet with a noise level of around 73 to 75 dB and the air hose ID size is at 3/8 inch and the length of the hose is 5 ft.
With the Neiko Air-powered Grinder, high speed porting is its ideal application and it will be your best die grinder for high accuracy and detailed grinding. Last, but not the least this bare tool pneumatic die grinder is backed by a 3 year warranty.
Complete Die Grinder Kit
Astro 219 ONYX Die Grinder Kit
A full set for bigger tasks is the Astro 219 ONYX Die Grinder Kit which is a 3-piece die grinder set and a die grinder set that is lightweight and compact to carry around. With this die grinder, your work surface will be kept clean due to the air flow system of the rear exhaust to keep the air away. What’s more, feathering control is no problem due to its lever throttle and a firm grip is assured.
With this grinder, overall vibration is highly reduced due to the composite handle design. It contains an 8-pc and comes with a rib textured handle to get a better grip. It comes complete with a carbide rotary burr set with double cut and the grinder’s motor sized is bigger for more power.
Moreover, the ONYX Die Grinder Kit by Astro comes with a convenient case. This pneumatic powered die grinder weighs 3.2 lbs only and the air pressure required is about 100 PSI.
Straight Design Die Grinder
Ingersoll Rand 308B Air Straight Grinder
With the Ingersoll Rand 308B Air Straight Grinder, accidental startup will be prevented by its throttle lever that has an integral safety lock that is also very convenient to use. Moreover, smaller work areas can be accessed easier due to its lightweight and slim design and it has a free speed of 25,000 RPM.
Backed by a powerful motor with a power of 0.33 HP and runs at 1/4 kW, the grinder’s housing is made from strong and durable aluminum material to work against the most abusive conditions. Also, the construction is ball bearing that adds to its durability, balance, and longevity and vibration reduction. A air die grinder with a straight design, the housing is also quite ergonomic in its design.
The Ingersoll Straight Grinder maintains applicable use for polishing, de-burring, weld breaking, grinding and porting and the collet output size is 1/4 inch. It also has an air consumption average of 7 CFM at 198 L/min while on load. It has an air consumption of 28 CFM at 793 L/min and is very lightweight at only 1.02 lbs.
This is a variable speed pneumatic die grinder which comes with a stand and spans at a length of 6 inches. The recommended air pressure is 90 PSI and the air inlet is an NPTF at 1/4 inch. Its sound level is at 92/103 dB and it has a minimum hose size of 3/8 inch. The die grinder by Ingersoll Rand is currently backed by a 1 year warranty for parts and labor.
Die Grinder with Paddle Switch
Makita GD0600 1/4-Inch Die Grinder Paddle-Switch
If you want a paddle switch included die grinder then you can go for the Makita GD0600 1/4-Inch Die Grinder Paddle-Switch which uses a 25,000 RPM speed (no load) motor that runs powerful at 3.5 amps. Its paddle switch is quite large to give you more comfort in your operation and is a below 1/4 inch die grinder you can depend on.
Being coated with varnish seals that have a zigzag design to keep debris and dust from the armature for tool longevity, the die grinder is easily switchable from AC to DC and vice versa as a power source. In addition to that, the motor section has an anti-dust feature. With this tool, you can blow away the exhaust air from your work area due to the vent slots in the die grinder as the housing has a small diameter for better grip and comfort.
The Makita GD0600 Grinder comes with a helpful paddle switch and the collet measures 1/4 inch. It is highly applicable for grinding in the slimmest spots due to its ergonomic design and it can reduce user fatigue even with hours of operation. Likewise, it comes with #13 wrenches (2). This bare tool runs at a voltage of 120V with attachments and is backed by a 1 year warranty.
Die grinders that weren’t on our list didn’t have a high RPM and it has air consumption that may be too small for its size and might waste your time. We only stuck to the die grinders with great quality.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a die grinder and what is it used for?
A: According to Wikipedia , a die grinder is designed for honing, grinding, polishing, sanding as well as machining and it is typically used for metal and can also be used for other materials such as wood and plastic. It is ideally used by sheet metal workers, woodworkers, welders, engravers and jobs that require metal shaping. Investing in a die grinder can help you speed up work when it comes to the above mentioned industrial fields.
Q: Any tips in choosing the best die grinder?
A: According to Alloy Avenue , an air die grinder with 1/4 inch shaft is great for power and efficiency and the higher its CFM or air consumption means more power is drawn. In fact, most shanks have a standard size of 1/4 inch and the smaller die grinder consume at about 4 to 6 CFM while bigger ones for heavy duty work can consume about 10 CFM. In general, you should get an angle grinder that comes with a rear exhaust for convenience and cleanliness.
Wrapping It Up
As a whole, the Makita GD0601 1/4-Inch Die Grinder is our best die grinder which is ergonomic and efficient and will definitely help you on your task, especially on detailed grinding or shaping metal.