Professional Builder’s Tibby Singh Chodha gets to grips with the Festool Cordless Angle Grinder AGC 18-125.
I am a big fan of cordless tools, and they are definitely the way forward, particularly from a health and safety perspective. The majority of the time, however, I’ve been using an 110V angle grinder but, as we all know, lifting the transformer in and out of the van is a workout alone. I was, therefore, excited to take the Festool Cordless Angle Grinder for a spin to see whether it would last. One thing that will certainly extend its longevity is the dust resistant enclosed motor and electronics.
Usually on electric angle grinders there’s no speed control, but Festool are at the top of the game and have a speed control from 1 – 6. This means the speed can be adjusted from 4,500 – 8,500 rpm, making it suited to various discs and numerous surfaces. It’s more efficient and, thanks to a fixed high speed, can even prevent you from burning the surface.
The Festool is relatively quiet for an angle grinder, although I do wear my ear defenders, which I would always recommend. There’s also surprisingly little vibration and, once you have the appropriate gloves on, you won’t feel a thing. One of the reasons for this is that the motor isn’t in contact with the body. The outer body feels very comfortable to handle thanks to its ergonomics. It also comes with a Vibrastop handle, which dampens the vibration, which additionally has the option to be placed on the right or left hand side.
A pet hate of mine when using grinders is the blade spinning for a while after you’ve switched it off. This means you have to waste time waiting and being extra careful when placing it down onto the surface. You don’t have to worry about this with this Festool Cordless Angle Grinder as it has a motor brake. In other words, it will stop dead literally within seconds after switching it off. It does have a soft start, which you’d expect in almost every power tool these days, but what I wasn’t expecting was an electronic overload protection. If the machine is being abused, it will automatically cut off, saving it from burning out.
With all the excitement I almost forgot to mention how quick and easy it is to change the cutting discs. Going back to normal grinders you would usually need the key to tighten the flange nut, but not with the Festool keyless flange. Of course the disc can tighten itself when in use, so it still comes with a key to loosen it just in case. It has a standard M14 thread, so it’s completely compatible with attachments with threads, such as wire brush attachments. The guard can also be easily turned and locked into position by the push of a button.
As I was working I actually forgot to put the other battery on charge, so when the battery I was using went flat it gave me an excuse to have a break. It was only a quick tea break because the Festool 5,2 Ah Li-ion 18V AIRSTREAM battery was ready to go in no time. This new AIRSTREAM technology makes it 3 times faster to charge. I had no excuse for both batteries to go flat as they have an LED battery level indicator, which lets you know the remaining capacity with the push of a button.