There are so many 4-1/2" angle grinders on the market to choose from, with new versions hitting the market annually. While most are good matches for high-performing Kutzall wheels, there are important points to be aware of when selecting a grinder to use. A key consideration is the design of the safety guard.
Most angle grinders come with a general-purpose wheel guard, frequently described as a Type-27 guard. While these guards are often labeled as for 'depressed-center' grinding wheels, most can be used with numerous wheels designed for grinding on the side or 'bottom' of the wheel, including Kutzall Shaping Wheels. Another type of guard you might encounter, called a Type-1 guard, is designed for wheels which only cut on their periphery, not on their side, and is thus unsuitable for Kutzall Shaping Wheels.
Although most Type-27 guards work well with Kutzall wheels, you might occasionally find one you should stay clear of. These appear to be designed so you can only use a depressed-center wheel, and will not work with Kutzall Shaping Wheels. Instead of having a flat surface above/behind the wheel, these guards are tapered on the top, like a shallow funnel. A Kutzall wheel may jam against the back of a guard with this tapered shape, preventing the wheel from rotating freely.
Note that many Type-27 guards have some chamfer or blend angle between the grinder-side surface and the cylindrical enclosure. However, it is just those which fit only a depressed-center grinding wheel that cause interference when installing a Kutzall wheel. Please see the illustrations below.
Acceptable Type-27 Guard Design:
Unacceptable Type-27 Guard Design:
Other Grinder Selection Considerations:
Kutzall wheels are designed to fit on grinders which have a stepped-nut set or a stepped-nut and bushing set, with mounting shoulders to accommodate grinder accessories with a standard 7/8" or 18 mm I.D. Please see our Kutzall Mounting Guide for more detailed information on fitment.
A feature offered by some modern angle grinders is a "safety brake." This device stops the grinder significantly faster than it would when coasting after the trigger is released. While a brake seems like a useful safety feature, users operating accessories heavier than a conventional abrasive cut-off or grinding wheel sometimes have reported that the brake engages so quickly that the nut and accessory can be spun right off the grinder. Thus, please consider this possible complication before purchasing an angle grinder with the braking feature, if you intend to use a Kutzall wheel, or anything of similar mass.
It's important to know exactly how our accessories and the power tools you use will come together when making your purchase. If you want to take the guesswork out of it, check out our list of Kutzall Perfect Pairings. This list has our top power tool recommendations for the Kutzall discs, dishes and burrs. Check it out here!