The Norton Guide to Cordless Angle Grinders


Angle grinders are following in the footsteps of many traditional power tools in cutting the cord and moving to battery technology.

Many users are embracing the freedom of cordless machines, being able to work anywhere without the need for potentially hazardous and awkward extension cords.  

Whilst battery life and power are still significant barriers to some users, battery technology is rapidly improving and cordless machines are increasingly coming up to speed with their corded counterparts.


What is a cordless angle grinder?

Cordless angle grinders are hand-held battery operated tools used in a wide range of industries. These versatile machines can be found in a vast array of applications, from metal fabrication, plumbing, trade, DIY and many more. Powered by inter-changeable and re-chargeable batteries, cordless grinders mostly come in 115 and 125mm sizes, with maximum speeds of up to 9,000 rpm.

Why choose a cordless grinder?

Powered by re-chargeable battery packs, cordless grinders give the user more freedom and mobility, however these advantages are weighed against limited performance and usage life. If you’re using a grinder for long periods at a time, cordless machines probably aren’t the right choice for you. If, however, you’re working in remote areas, multiple sites, or just have a quick job to do; a cordless machine will offer you both freedom and practicality.


What's the difference between a cordless and electric grinder?



Run time



Electric grinder

12,000 RPM*



Up to 1.9 KW*

Depending on your abrasive choice and application, an electric grinder will give you consistent and continuous use and is especially suited for heavyy duty applications.

Cordless grinder

9,000 RPM*

Up to 30 minutes  depending on machine model, disc choice and application

18V 4Ah*

Choosing the right abrasive and good quality batteries is crucial to getting the most out of your cordless grinder. Using specially recommened abrasive products will help prolong battery life and get the best results in your application.

*Typical values

Why battery choice is important

Choosing the right battery for your cordless tool and usage requirements is crucial to getting the most out of your investment. Battery technology is rapidly advancing, becoming more suitably equipped for the heavy demands of an angle grinder. There are three types of battery available, depending on your needs:

Nickle Cadmium (NiCd)

These are entry-level batteries, and are generally the least expensive option. They tend to have a long cycle life, however they are also heavy and have a lower capacity than other batteries for cordless tools.

Nickle Metal Hydride (NiMH)

MiMH batteries are the next step up from Nickle Cadmium, offering increased capacity (running for 2 – 3 times longer per charge). However, NiMH batteries are far more sensitive to temperature, which can be an issue as grinding operations generate a lot of heat and can damage or hinder the battery’s performance.

Lithium Ion (Li-Ion)

These are the best choice in the market for your cordless machine – they are the most light-weight option and have the highest output capacity. Whilst Lithium Ion batteries are more expensive than their Nickle-based alternatives, they are far superior in power, performance and durability.










It's important to bear in mind that a cordless angle grinder will have different power and battery requirements to other cordless tools. For example, compared to a standard cordless drill the torque required to turn an abrasive wheel at 9,000 RPM is far greater than the twisting force necessary to turn a drill bit. Only with the introduction of Lithium Ion batteries have cordless grinders really come into the market as a serious alternative to electric angle grinders. 

Which abrasives should I use?

The key to getting the most out of your battery operated tool is to make sure you choose the right abrasive for the job. With many years’ experience, the team at Norton have selected the best products to make the most of your cordless machine – giving you more power, more speed and more accuracy.

brochure cover

Our latest Guide will help you select the best abrasive product for your cordless grinder, whatever application, process or material you're working on. Handy product recommendations are provided for the most common process steps. 


Each product in the range has been tried and tested by our application experts and sorted into three main benefit groups. Whether you’re out all day and want to make your battery last as long as possible, or you need to get the job done quickly, we’ve got a product for you. With a handy pictogram guide, each product in this new brochure will help you get the most out of every application:


Battery saving

Get the most out of your charge, with products carefully selected and tested to extend the runtime on your cordless right angle grinder.


Long life

Get more for your money, with a selection of abrasives for your battery machine chosen for their long life.


Fast Action

Work faster not harder, with our selected abrasives proven to get the job done quickly in any battery-powered grinding process.


Watch the recording of the Norton Live webinar below, where Norton expert Paul Gray shows you what to look out for when selecting the right abrasive to optimise your angle grinder power and battery life. 

Meet Norton European Application Engineer Paul Gray

Paul is an application engineer with over 20 years’ experience and one of our abrasives experts at Norton. With a background in mechanical engineering, Paul has a wealth of knowledge in abrasives and their day to day use.

When he’s not jet-setting in the name of Norton, bringing his expertise to countries all over Europe, Paul can be found renovating houses, playing bass guitar in his band and spending time with his family.

Here, Paul answers some of the most common questions asked about abrasives and cordless grinders:


Can I use mini angle grinder discs on my standard cordless machine?

Yes, you can. Use an adaptor to adjust the standard mini quick change back up pad to fit your machine. Thanks to their small size and less power needed from the machine, the mini discs extend battery life considerably.


Will a corded grinder ever replace my corded tool?

It really depends on your usage requirements – if you regularly use your corded tool in heavy applications, the answer is probably no, but that doesn’t mean that a battery grinder won’t be of any use to you. It might not be your go-to machine, but it will always come in handy


How long should I expect my grinder to last between charges?

This depends on the type of work you’re doing with it – if you’re continuously grinding heavy material, then your battery won’t last very long (also depending on the type & size of battery you have), but if you’re doing lighter work, using recommended discs and letting the battery cool between uses, then you’ll get much more life per charge. Take a look below for some tips on improving the life of your battery powered machine:

Can I use a disc rated at 12,250 rpm on my grinder that runs at 9,000?

Yes – running a disc at a lower speed than its maximum capacity is perfectly safe (never go over a disc’s maximum rated RPM). Look for products with a cordless icon to see if they’re recommended for performance on a battery-operated angle grinder.


Why are Aluminium Oxide grains better than ceramic for some products?

Ceramic grains are high-performance options for high-powered machines –they require a large amount of heat and force to break down, release old dull grains and re-sharpen. Battery Powered right angle grinders run at lower speeds and generate less heat and force.  Therefore, you need a more friable grain with a weaker bond structure, like aluminium oxide to stay sharp and get a quick effective result.


Do I need more than one battery for my Cordless grinder?

Ideally yes – it’s always a good idea to have a back-up charged and ready to go so you don’t get caught short on a job.


For more information about Norton's abrasive solutions for cordless angle grinders, take a look at the Norton Guide, or contact your local Norton representative.