The 9 Best Die Grinders

Updated December 21, 2016 by Daniel Imperiale

9 Best Die Grinders
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 24 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. When you need something to take the edge off, and you mean that literally, you'll want to reach for one of the die grinders evaluated here on our list. Each unit boasts unique features and combinations of utility that make one slightly more or less useful than the next. But the perfect combination of power and function for your specific needs lies in wait below. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best die grinder on Amazon.

9. Milwaukee 2460-21 M12

The Milwaukee 2460-21 M12 is essentially the company's attempt to compete with the Dremel. It's an all-in-one rotary tool with the ability to perform a multitude of functions, often at the cost of the quality that a single focus can bring to a tool's design.
  • weighs a little over a pound
  • up to 32000 rpm
  • feels cheaply made
Brand Milwaukee
Model 2460-21
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Makita XDG01 18V

With the proper head installed, the Makita XDG01 18V can function as a grinder, a smoother, or a cutter. It's relatively compact for a tool that runs at 25,000 RPM, but its price is too high for the quality of its performance.
  • led protection circuit
  • heavy duty tool bag
  • motor is too loud
Brand Makita
Model XDG01
Weight 12.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Bosch DGSH181BL Bare-Tool

The Bosch DGSH181BL Bare-Tool may seem unwieldy compared to some of its competition, but its increase in size is second to its increase in power, as it has a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio, housing a 4-pole motor in a unit that weighs under 4 lbs. fully outfitted.
  • tool inlays on the body
  • sturdy l-boxx case
  • battery not included
Brand Bosch
Model DGSH181BL
Weight 12.3 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Ingersoll Rand 1/4" Air

If straightforward designs appeal to you, the Ingersoll Rand 1/4" Air is about as simple and unobtrusive a build as you could imagine. A comfortable grip; a self-locking, feathered throttle lever; and a direct rear exhaust make for an easy, effective experience.
  • long-life ball bearing construction
  • quiet operation
  • chuck sometimes loosens
Brand Ingersoll-Rand
Model 3107G
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Dremel 8220-2/28

Unlike many of the units on our list, the Dremel 8220-2/28 is a multi-tool, meaning that it can act as a die grinder, sander, cutter, polisher, and about a dozen other tools. Unfortunately, the more jobs a tool can perform, the more poorly it often performs each of them.
  • 12-volt battery
  • convenient case for tool and heads
  • unreliable charger
Brand Dremel
Model 8220-2/28
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Aircat 6255 Professional Series

More than any other feature, the Aircat 6255 Professional Series is known for the minimal noise created by its patented muffler and filter technology, putting out a mere 85 decibels at its highest power. Its ergonomically designed handle further reduces operator stress.
  • angled gear mechanism
  • pneumatic exhaust control
  • needs more oil than its competitors
Brand AirCat
Model 6255
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Metabo GA 18 LTX Bare

The Metabo GA 18 LTX Bare features the company's S-automatic safety shutdown, which instantly disconnects the power supply in the event of a jam. Afterwards, a restart protection prevents the tool from recommencing without a user's intention.
  • thermal overload switch
  • removable rubber cap
  • limited speed controls
Brand Metabo
Model GA 18 LTX BARE
Weight 4.5 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Astro 218 Pencil Type

The Astro 218 Pencil Type is all about the shape. Its slender form allows it to reach surfaces unavailable to other grinders, while its twist-based variable speed adjustment allows for a lighter or heavier touch when necessary.
  • 56000 rpm free speed
  • one eighth-inch collet
  • low noise output
Brand Astro Pneumatic
Model 218
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Astro 219 Onyx

With a composite handle built to reduce vibration, as well as a lever-based throttle for incredibly nuanced control of rotational speed, the Astro 219 Onyx offers more finesse in its application than any other grinder of its kind.
  • rib-textured grip
  • lightweight design
  • 8 bits included
Brand Astro Pneumatic Tool
Model 219
Weight 5.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

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Last updated on December 21, 2016 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.


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