The Dewalt 20v XR Brushless Cordless Angle Grinder has very quickly become one of my favorite tools to carry on my truck. I do some custom fabrication as well as use out in the field as an electrician, and I’ve got to say, not having a cord on my angle grinder is a huge step up from what I’ve been doing in the past.
Upon opening the box that this angle grinder came in, I was immediately excited to use it. It appears to be quality built, and just the fact that it doesn’t have a cord made me so incredibly curious to use it. I do a lot of work up on ladders, on lifts, and above my head so not having a cord is really the biggest selling point for me on this tool.
The shield around the wheel is easy to move and change positions with, because as you twist the guard it has several snap-in settings that make adjustment without needing a separate tool possible, At first it is a little bit of a pain in the butt to figure out how the shield goes back on, and where exactly it needs to be lined up to work, but once you get the hang of it you can easily do it over and over again.
There’s a small lock button on the rear of the head of the tool, like most angle grinders have, to lock the wheel in place for when you want to replace the wheel. The ring that holds the wheel in place has only one set of tool entry holes so taking wheels off or tightening them back on isn’t as versatile as most other angle grinders. Others come with 4 holes (or two positions) that allow you to get your adjustment tool in at several angles so you’re not bumping into the guard, but this is more of a picky thing to complain about. This Dewalt grinder only has one position that you can adjust from, and the head is an allan/hex head so you need to use the allan tool that comes with the grinder.
As for how the tool works, I have ZERO complaints. It’s extremely powerful, and I use a 4ah 20v battery on the tool to give me a decent amount of battery life. Whether using it to cut or using it to buff/sand it is mobile, light-weight, and won’t wrap you up in extension cords because it’s battery operated. I tested it out to see, with a 3/16” wheel, how it would cut through 16-guage metal. Even though this is wider than the 1/8” wheel I normally use, it had no dips in power due to it being battery-operated.
The trigger mechanism that Dewalt uses is a standard locking trigger that forces you to have to press down a “safety” switch to activate the main paddle that spins the cutting wheel. This is a feature almost all modern angle-grinders use now-days. It’s very similar to how a 1911 has a safety lever on the back-side of the grip (for you gun nuts out there) to engage the trigger and fire the weapon.
My one complaint is that I wish the adjustment tool (wheel tool) was integral with the design of the grinder. A lot of DeWalt’s other tools have a small pocket or slot that any adjustment tool required can be easily slid into so it doesn’t get lost rolling around in your truck or tool bags. For example their circular saws have a special hex key that you use to remove the saw blade, and the key slides into the bottom of the saw so that you don’t lose it - and better yet you have it with you wherever the saw is at. People who use angle-grinders a lot know that you will use the adjustment tool often because a lot of times you need to change out which type of wheel you’re using, depending on where you’re using it.
The last feature that I think is worth mentioning is that the tool has a brake to it. It’s a dual function feature because not only does the internal brake stop the wheel faster when you release the trigger, but it helps stop the tool immediately when there’s a pinch, bind, or stall - rather than older grinders where they kick back at you and the wheel keeps on slicing. Big time improvement!
I give this angle grinder a solid 5 out of 5 stars. This tool has revolutionized how I do my job everyday, it’s made me far more efficient, and has given me an edge in the field that I would have otherwise not had with the older corded models of the same tools. Even something as thoughful as a wheel-shield that can be moved easily without needing another tool to loosen or tighten it has made me realize that, yet again, DeWalt is stepping the bar up in the power tool industry. You NEED one of these!