Often when I’m shopping for a particular tool, I struggle with buyer’s anxiety. I spend hours looking at reviews and perusing tool shops to check out the different options. While I do have a certain amount of love for a specific brand, which I have yet to review on this site, I’m not so loyal that I won’t pick a tool from a different brand if it has that wow factor.
This Dewalt cordless angle grinder has that wow factor for me. I mean, it’s not often where I pick up a tool and think “Wow, this is exactly what I want,” instead of the usual refrain of “Well, this tool does have this feature but brand X’s version has that feature and now I’m struggling to choose.”
(just a brief look into my mind for you)
Let me give you a thorough rundown of this little beauty:
The Dewalt 18v 125mm Cordless Angle Grinder with Paddle Switch (DCG406)
Max. Disc Diameter: 125mm
No Load Speed: 9000rpm
Spindle Thread: M14
I’m Giving ‘er All She’s Got Captain – (Does This Thing Have Enough Power?)
Oh, baby. If there is one thing this tool has, it’s the power we have come to know and love in Dewalt tools. The DCG406 has a 9000RPM rating under no load. It cuts through metal like my fork cuts through the half-melted butter that I left out on the counter, because the recipe called for it to be at room temperature, but I forgot that room temperature in Australia is akin to putting a block of butter in the oven so… I’m sorry I digress. The point is there isn’t a thing I have thrown at this grinder that it hasn’t sliced through, ground down, or polished with ease and efficiency. This is a versatile tool that I’m confident will handle anything you direct its way.
But How Likely am I to Lose a Finger? – or Is This Thing Safe?
I love angle grinders, but I also have a very healthy fear of them. My partner is a surgical registrar and I can’t tell you how many times she’s messaged to say she’s staying late to attend to a mangled hand courtesy of a wayward angle grinder. It’s not a stretch to say that it’s probably the tool that I hear the most about in terms of gnarly accidents.
So, all those stories were echoing around in my mind when I was perusing the isles for my new angle grinder.
The Dewalt DCG406 has several safety features that are common on today’s grinders and a few that are not.
The electronic brake, which operates when the switch is turned off to stop the disc from spinning, is a feature you should look for on any grinder you are intending to purchase. The DCG406 is also equipped with an E-clutch. The clutch uses an electronic monitoring system to detect a significant drop in RPM, as would be seen in a bind or stall, and automatically cuts power to reduce the occurrences of kickback. Again, you should look for this feature on any grinder.
One feature that I chose this specific model for is somewhat contentious – the paddle switch. Some people love it, some people hate it. I’m in the former group’s camp.
My previous grinder had several years on it, and I found the switch took a good amount of pressure to turn on and off – not an ideal situation. The paddle switch is nice in that as long as I have a good grip on the grinder, which is necessary for safety, the switch will be in the on position. If I lose grip or the grinder jumps, or I drop the grinder for any reason, the paddle switch is depressed, and the grinder turns off. This has never happened to me, but it does provide me with some degree of peace of mind.
If you do difficult cuts like those over head or in awkward angles, Dewalt has put the same grinder out with a conventional switch as well. This makes those awkward cuts easier as you can twist your grip while using the grinder without fear of depressing the paddle.
To each their own on the switch, but the electronic safety systems are a must. It’s important to remember; however, that you shouldn’t rely on any of these safety features as your frontline defense against an accident. Safe and controlled use of a tool is always the most important.
But how Does it Feel? or – Ergonomics and Features
The DCG406 is a well thought out tool that is evidenced throughout its design. It has a comfortable, compact body with a nice thick rubber grip and good room for the hands, which makes the handling of the tool quite comfortable. The front handle itself is like many other grinders in that it can be moved to either side to coincide with your dominant hand. My only complaint with the front handle is that it’s quite rigid and, although Dewalt advertises it as an anti-vibration handle I didn’t feel like it offered much vibration protection.
The body itself is solid with no unnecessary protrusions or holes that could chip or allow debris inside the casing. I have dropped or knocked the poor thing (Thankfully not while on!) more times than I care to admit, and it doesn’t seem to show for it. In addition, there is a micro filter located at the base of the handle that is easily removed for cleaning and keeps fine particles from gumming up the interior.
Featured within the DCG406 is power-off overload protection which makes the grinder shut off before it can overheat and protects it from thermal overload.
The keyless disc change button is easy to use and convenient which makes the next feature one that I haven’t had to use often, but I do appreciate it. I’m talking about being able to use an Allen key for disc removal. No more searching around for the 2 pin when I have too many Allen keys lying around that need to pull their weigh
In addition, the guard can quickly and easily change positions with the guard change lever which is exceptionally convenient when working on projects that require a consistent change of position.
Lastly, as for noise, I was surprised to find it noticeably more quiet than my previous grinder that was both smaller and less powerful.
There is really not much I can negatively report on this grinder. I would prefer a better front handle for vibration reduction, but this is something that can always be purchased as an aftermarket accessory, and therefore it doesn’t have a significant impact on my final conclusion. For safety, power, comfort and ease of use – I definitely give the Dewalt 125mm 18v DCG406 Cordless Angle Grinder a solid A+
Lots of power
Great safety features
Solid, sturdy construction
Comfortable, ergonomic handle and switch
Easy disk change button and accessories
Convenient guard change lever
Rigid front handle with very little vibration protection