DeWalt | DC415 | Cut and run with cordless grinders

FROM THE WORKSHOP:
TESTED: ANGLE GRINDERS
Josh
Giumelli
Photos: Ben White
KONDININ GROUP
With the development of lithium
ion battery technology, cordless
angle grinders are now a more
useful tool with increased grunt
and longer run time. Kondinin
Group put six of these handy tools
through their paces to find out if
cordless angle grinders really do
cut it.
Cut and run with cordless grinders
At a glance
Cordless angle grinders are a
convenient tool for working away from
240-volt power.
The Dewalt 36V and Milwaukee 28V had
the longest battery run-time but were
also two of the heavier grinders tested.
The Makita 18V and Hitachi 14.4V were
the lightest and easiest to use but had
the shortest battery life.
All grinders except the Dewalt DC410
were fitted with lithium ion batteries.
While not the most common batterypowered tool, cordless angle grinders have
proven their worth in recent Kondinin
Group tests.
Although not as powerful as their
240-volt counterparts, cordless grinders
can be used anywhere, regardless of a
power supply.
Cutting through a lump of railway iron
will still require a far more heavy-duty tool,
but a cordless angle grinder could have
literally hundreds of uses on-farm such
as cutting off stubborn bolts, trimming
corrugated iron on the shed roof or
sharpening the blades of a hay mower out
in the paddock.
A safer option
Operating off low voltages, the risk of
electrocution is eliminated, making the
grinders a safer tool to operate. Due to
the lower torque, they are less likely to
grab or kick-back than more powerful
240V grinders.
The Makita grinder featured a sensitive
overload light and shut-off, which actually
prevented the tool from kicking back but
could also cut out under heavy cutting.
Most grinder batteries featured some
kind of overload protection to prevent
excessive current draw.
As with any tool producing sparks, there
is always a danger of eye injuries and
setting dry paddocks on fire, so take similar
precautions as when using 240V grinders.
Battery technology leads the way
First examined in the cordless drill
evaluation in Farming Ahead No. 185,
lithium ion batteries have been a revelation
18 Farming Ahead February 2008 No. 193 www.farmingahead.com.au
for cordless tools, providing lower weight
battery cells capable of delivering high
current for power tools.
Manufacturers have chosen either to
produce light–weight battery packs to
reduce the overall weight of the tool or
increase the number of cells to make higher
voltage 28V or 36V tools with longer run
time and increased power.
Choose a grinder based on need
Makita (18V) and Hitachi (14.4 and 18V)
grinders were lightest and weighed in
at 2.3 kilograms or less, making them
ideal for a multitude of cutting jobs
where manoeuvrability and ease of use
are important.
BYO battery
All batteries fitted to the grinders were
common to the other tools in each
manufacturer’s range such as cordless drills
and impact wrenches.
This means the tools can be bought
without batteries or chargers for a lower
cost if these are already owned.
Most manufacturers supply the grinders
in ‘naked’ or ‘skin’ kits, without batteries or
chargers.
Dewalt’s 18V model is only available
with battery and charger, while the 36V
model is only available without a battery
and charger.
Milwaukee’s 28V model can be bought in
a kit with a single battery and charger or as
a naked kit.
FROM THE WORKSHOP:
TESTED: ANGLE GRINDERS
TABLE 1 Cordless angle grinders tested
Make
Battery
Battery
Weight
Disc size
Spindle
(volts)
type
(kg) a
(mm)
thread
Dewalt DC410
18.0
NiCad
3.14
115
M14
Dewalt DC415-XE
36.0
Lithium ion
3.34
115
M14
Hitachi G14DL
14.4
Lithium ion
2.18
115
M14
Hitachi G18DL
18.0
Lithium ion
2.32
115
M14
Makita BGA 452Z
18.0
Lithium ion
2.28
115
M14
Milwaukee V28 AG
28.0
Lithium ion
3.10
115
M14
A. Weight includes tool and battery. B. An average result off one fully charged battery.
Speed
(rpm)
7000
6500
9300
9100
10,000
9000
Battery level
indicator
✗
✗
✗
✗
✓
✓
Battery performance b
(% rating)
43
93
35
52
38
95
Length 8mmb
steel cut (mm)
275
598
223
331
243
610
Source: Kondinin Group.
The Milwaukee (28V) and Dewalt (36V)
were the heaviest at over three kilograms,
but did not feel overly heavy to use.
While the 36V Dewalt was less
manouvrable, its extra mass helped hold it
steady on heavy cutting tasks. Grinders
with longer bodies such as the Dewalt tools
tended to be easier to hang onto.
Lithium ion batteries have
been a revelation for
cordless tools, providing
lower weight battery cells
capable of delivering high
current for power tools.
As with their range of cordless drills, the
Milwaukee featured a reversible battery
pack which could be swapped around when
accessing difficult cutting jobs.
The larger Milwaukee and Dewalt
grinders were each able to cut through an
average of about 600 millimetres of 8mm
steel plate on each fully charged battery; an
impressive result for a battery-powered tool.
The 18V Hitachi grinder was the best of
the lighter tools, averaging a cut of 331mm
off each charge, followed by the 18V Dewalt
(275mm), 18V Makita (243mm) and 14.4V
Hitachi at 223mm.
Accessories
All tools used 115mm discs and could be
fitted with all standard accessories.
Ultra-thin cutting discs of 1mm thickness
gave the best results as they placed less load
on the motor and increased battery life over
thicker cutting discs. Most cordless grinder
manufacturers recommended these discs
for all cutting jobs with these tools.
Acknowledgements: Ben White, Richard
Price and Chris Warrick, Kondinin Group.
Contact details
Manufacturer
Dewalt
Hitachi Power Tools
Makita Australia
Milwaukee Techtronic Industries Australia
Phone
1800 444 224
(02) 9674 8666
1300 364 342
1300 361 505
Web site
www.dewalt.com.au
www.hitachi.com.au
www.makita.com.au
www.milwaukeetool.com.au
This space is deliberately blank
Farming Ahead February 2008 No. 193 www.farmingahead.com.au
19
FROM THE WORKSHOP:
TESTED: ANGLE GRINDERS
Dewalt 18V
Hitachi 18V
Best features
Best features
Hand shield.
Performance and
battery life.
Length provides
stability for the tool.
Light, easy to use
and well–balanced.
Quick-adjust guard.
Handle can be
installed in
three positions.
Worst features
Low-profile gearbox.
Price:
$627 complete
with charger
NiCad battery.
Effective switch
location.
External brush access.
Worst features
Price:
$240 (tool only)
$650 (with charger)
All chargers supplied with two batteries.
Needs a screwdriver
to adjust the guard.
Filings magnetically
stick to grinder body.
Lower speed.
Makita 18V
Dewalt 36V
Best features
Best features
Very light and
manoeuvrable.
Performance and
battery life.
Easy and comfortable
to use.
Length provides
stability.
External brush access.
Quick-adjust guard.
Worst features
Low-profile gearbox.
Worst features
Price:
$350 (tool only)
Lower battery life.
Overload protection is
too sensitive.
Price:
$200 (tool only)
$659 (with charger)
Heavy and bulky.
Filings magnetically
stick to grinder body.
Milwaukee 28V
Best features
Hitachi 14V
Performance and
battery life.
Best features
Battery can be
repositioned.
Light, easy to use
and well–balanced.
Battery level gauge.
Low-profile gearbox.
Quick-release nut.
Effective switch
location.
Quick-adjust guard.
External brush access.
Worst features
Worst features
Lower battery life.
Price:
$240 (tool only)
$650 (with charger)
Needs screwdriver to
adjust guard.
20 Farming Ahead February 2008 No. 193 www.farmingahead.com.au
Price:
$352 (tool only)
$799 (with charger)
Handgrip is a little
wide and not
rubber-covered.
Slightly heavy.
CONTACT Josh Giumelli is an engineer
and writer for Farming Ahead.
josh@kondinin.com.au
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