When we first saw this particular angle
grinder and read about its innovative features, we were naturally
intrigued. The company that designed and retails the tool has won several
design excellence awards from several authorities for this particular
item. So, it was almost a no-brainer that we review the tool on
OnlineToolReviews.com. Let's see why this tool has won several awards and
what sets it apart from the competition.
Angle grinders are primarily a metal
worker's tool, being used for all types of metal cutting or metal grinding
They can also be used for masonry work using discs designed
for this purpose. They are used occasionally for woodworking, more specifically for
serious wood carving tasks using special attachments and blades, but for
the purpose of this review, we will focus on metal cutting tasks for our
tests. They are a handy tool to have if you work with metal, are
involved in metal fabrication or masonry work, or for just around the home
for the occasional metal/masonry cutting or grinding task.
Demain Series 115/125 Angle Grinder
When you first lay eyes upon this tool, you can tell it is a little
different from your everyday grinder. In fact, it looks somewhat like a
design artist has taken your standard angle grinder and added a little
flair and color to make a piece of art, however, those new shapes and styles
also perform valid functions which we will discuss shortly, but first,
lets take a quick look at the awards this tool has already won:
Industrial Design Excellence Award 2004
Powerhouse Museum Award 2003 (Australia)
Design Institute Award of Australia 2003
Australian Design Award (Industrial Design)
Earning just one award is testament to a
power tool's design, but earning four separate awards (and in two
countries) is an achievement worthy of note.
Technical Specs and Discussion
There are a few models of this tool produced by Demain. There is a
115mm model and a 125mm model. Both grinders are identical specification-wise except that the 115mm version can only take 115mm max diameter discs
whereas the 125mm model can take up to 125mm discs. We have the 125mm
Let's look at the individual specs of the
tool now, starting with the motor. Onboard is an 800W motor (230-240VAC
50Hz for the particular model we tested), and for a 125mm grinder, this power rating is middle of the range.
Many 125mm grinders have 500-650 watt motors, while a select few can have
more powerful motors over 1000 watts. 800 watts is a reasonable size and
certainly enough power for most cutting/grinding tasks using the 115mm or
125mm cutting/grinding discs. You would be hard pressed to stall this
tool, and really, you could only stall it if you apply a fair amount of
pressure to the material during a cut, but if you are doing this, you are
not really using the tool properly or safely. Let the cutting/grinding
disc do the work, do not force the cut by applying excessive pressure. The
universal motor uses brushes that will need to be checked every 50-100
hours of use.
No load speed averages 11,000 RPM. This
figure is important as your cutting/grinding discs must be rated for use
at or above this rotational speed. Most cutting discs will be rated for
11,000 RPM and 125mm discs are readily available from most hardware stores
or power tool retailers. Listed disc bore size is 22.2mm and spindle
thread is sized M14.
The tool weighs in at 2.34kg. This is a
little heavier than my other el-cheapo 500W angle grinder I have in my
tool collection, however, it is not overburdening and the handle and body
design allows a comfortable and balanced grip to be achieved.
Vibration level of the tool when in use is
rated at less than 8.1 m/s2. Now, I'll be the first to admit
that I have no exact idea how much vibration my 500W grinder delivers, and
besides, how many knew you could even quantify vibration levels into
comparative figures? Regardless, I'll give you my qualitative findings. In
terms of vibration, the Demain Angle Grinder does not seem to be any worse
vibration wise than my smaller 500W grinder. There is certainly no
excessive vibration in use over and above what you would expect from this type of tool.
It is quite comfortable to use in fact.
Sound-wise, the Demain grinder produces
around 102dB of acoustic sound power, 89dB of sound pressure. Both figures
dictate the use of hearing protection by the user. I have yet to come
across an angle grinder that is quiet enough not to make me think I can
use it without hearing protection.
Ok, so what's so special about this angle
grinder so far? Well, nothing really. The technical specifications are not
a lot dissimilar from some other models on the market. It is only when we
look at the features of the tool do we discover why it has earned several
Let's begin with the handle. The D-shaped handle offers much more
versatility than your standard side screw-in type found on many grinders,
and while these side handles can often be attached to either side of the
grinder, they are still limited in how you can hold the grinder during
particular tasks. With the D-handle on the Demain grinder, you have a wide
variation of angles in which you can grip and hold the tool in use
depending on the cutting or grinding angle required by the task. It
is much more comfortable to use than a single side-mount handle. The
handle can be moved forward to make adjustments to the tool but the
operating position is with the handle locked back toward the body to keep
your hands well away from the rotating disc.
One of the most interesting design features
of this tool is the rotating head. You can actually rotate the head
portion of the grinder in relation to the grinder body. Why? Sometimes the
position of the power switches and controls is not ideal if working at
awkward angles, or sometimes the grip position is not ideal either. Being able to
rotate the head to the match the required cutting angle while keeping the
controls and body grip position neutral offers maximum user comfort, and
if you are involved in frequent or prolonged angle grinding/cutting tasks
in difficult environments (tight spaces) or even in free environments,
having the ability to set the grinder up to suits your needs rather
than set your body up to suit the grinder's demands is a big plus.
Between the adjustability of the rotating head and the handle's own
D-shape design, you can use this grinder in total comfort in virtually any
situation, or at any angle your task requires. These features alone are
worth the asking price!
The metal safety guard on the tool can be
rotated to provide the best protection to the user. Often with fixed metal
guards, sometimes particular cutting/grinding tasks produce sparks or
debris that fly off the grinder at angles not protected by the non-movable
guard on the tool. This is more common with tools that have smaller
guards. On the Demain grinder, the guard can be rotated by hand to provide
protection at the angle in which the sparks or debris are coming off the
grinding disc. Special tabs on the guard prevent it from being rotated to
a position where the grinding disc could potentially expose the users
fingers to injury. The guard requires a good grasp to rotate but this is
necessary so it does not vibrate or move during use. Alternatively, the
guard can be removed completely for special tasks, but other user
protective devices should be employed if this is the case. Eye and ear
protection should be mandatory in all situations. The guard itself has
small slots milled around its circumference to aid air flow through the
guard, another well thought out design feature.
Why do you want air flow through the guard?
Well the idea behind it is that air flows through the tool itself starting
from the intakes surrounding the motor at the rear of the grinder's body.
This air then travels internally through the tool (cooling down the motor
and drive components) and then is expelled just behind the guard and
forced through the slots in the metal guard and out through the front of
the tool. The idea is that this directional air flow away from the tool
will help disperse dust and small airborne debris away from the user. It's
akin to dust extraction, but in reverse, and of course there is no bag to
collect it all, but the more dust and debris that can be directed away
from the user, the better. But does it work? Well, in our tests we found
in most noticeable when cutting into masonry which produced a lot of dust.
You could actually see the dust and debris being blown away from the
grinder. The airflow also helps cool the cutting/grinding discs,
prolonging their life and improving their cutting/grinding ability. Demain
call this "Air-Thru Technology" and it does seem to work quite well, but
may not be immediately noticeable to the user if undertaking metal
grinding tasks as opposed to masonry tasks where more visible dust is
created. However, there is a noticeable difference in the direction of
visible debris away from the user, and this is a welcome addition. My
other angle grinder sends dust and debris in many directions, including
back at the user, EEK!
Moving on to power controls, the Demain
grinder, again, offers some innovative features. The power control
features are developed with safety in mind. In fact, this angle grinder is
almost impossible to accidentally start, and to overload too for that
matter. As you can see from the photos included, there are three colored
illuminated lights on the grinder body. There is a yellow "Overload
Warning" lamp, a green "Start" lamp, and a red "Overloaded" lamp. Powering
on the grinder is a two step process as opposed to a one step trigger
process on many other models. Firstly, when the grinder is plugged into a
live power source the green lamp is illuminated. This provides a visual
warning to the user that the tool is plugged in and can be started. To
power up the tool, you first depress the long trigger on the underside of
the grinder. Demain call it a "paddle" and its certainly long enough to be
named so, it's length providing more possibilities to achieve user comfort
in use. Once the paddle is depressed, all three lamps light up for a
moment before the red and yellow lamps extinguish and the green lamp
begins flashing. Once this occurs, the tool can then be started by pushing
on the green lamp itself, which is also a button. Once the green lamp
button is pushed, the grinder powers up. So, it is a two step process, and
admittedly, it does take that extra second longer than a single on/off
switch on a standard grinder, however, what's an extra second if it means
saving you from a nasty injury caused by accidental tool power up? I
welcome the safety features with open arms, because I am more likely to
have those arms well into the future as a result of these included safety
Once the tool is powered up, it actually
takes a few seconds to reach full operating speed. Yes, the Demain grinder
offers a "soft-start" feature, eliminating that jolt you often get when
powering up a normal grinder as it ramps to full speed almost instantly.
The soft start still offers a rapid power up to operating speed but
eliminates that jolt that could cause an accident, or at least cause a
little user fatigue from repeated startup exposure.
The grinder features a power lock-on switch,
so once power is applied and you are holding down the paddle/trigger, you
flick the switch behind the paddle and it locks power on for extended use.
This means you do not need to hold the paddle in to maintain power. To
release the lock switch, you simply depress the paddle once more and the
grinder powers down.
Additional protection features are built into the tool to help prevent overloading and damage to the grinder. A
grinder can readily be overloaded by placing too much pressure on the
cutting disc. This causes the motor to slow down and hence its fan too.
This lower airflow through a grinder can lead to excessive heat buildup
and melting or burning of wires or internal components leading to tool
failure. The Demain grinder offers several levels of protection to ensure
the tool cannot be damaged by overload. Firstly, the internal wiring and
components are designed to withstand higher operating temperatures than
those used in cheaper grinders. Secondly, a visual warning system is
incorporated into the tool. If the tool suspects potential overload
conditions, the yellow "Overload Warning" lamp will begin flashing. This warns the
user to power down or reduce pressure on the grinding disc so the tool
does not overheat. If the user ignores or doesn't notice the flashing
yellow lamp, and the tool continues to be overloaded, the red "Overloaded"
lamp will illuminate and power to the tool will automatically be cut off
to prevent tool damage. These protective features should ensure long tool
life and service. I actually tried to intentionally overload the grinder
on a warm day, and managed to take it to a point where the yellow light
did start flashing. I immediately powered down so as to not damage the
tool, but it did show this feature seems to work fine. If you are careful
and do not apply too much pressure to the disc and slow the motor, you
shouldn't have any problems at all with this tool and will probably never
near overload conditions at all.
Other features on the tool include a small
lip at the rear of the tool designed to accommodate the cord when not in
use. The cord is wrapped around the tool and around this lip to keep
things neat and tidy for storage or transportation. The other is the
onboard wrench storage which is a fixture attached to the power cord that
holds the wrench in place. The wrench pivots out from its attachment to
allow you to use it to add or remove cutting or grinding discs. The
attachment is placed near the plug end of the power cord. This is done so
intentionally to remind you to disconnect the plug from the power source
before adding or removing discs, an important safety consideration.
Grinders in an operational sense are simple tools. They are basically
a motor that spins an arbor to which a grinding or cutting disc is
attached. All grinders essentially perform the same task in the same way,
what sets them apart are the features of the tool itself. This particular
Demain grinder is quite simply the best small grinder I have come across
feature-wise. It is designed for comfort and usability. The D-handle is
excellent and very comfortable to use, the inbuilt safety functions are
just about second to none. I think the only thing that could be improved
on this model, and it's probably just a personal thing is to have a
tapered grip body like some of the larger grinders have so you aren't
handling such a large diameter body, but this is the only bone I can dig
up about the tool and its not really an issue anyway, just a wish list
item. I did enquire with the manufacturers about this item and they
mentioned that they had considered it, but to implement it would have
caused difficulty with implementing the rotating head design of the tool,
and in the end they chose the rotating head over the narrower grip, a very
fair sacrifice I am sure you would agree. There is enough power to undertake all grinding tasks of the size
the grinder is designed for and the availability of discs should present
no problem at all.
Overall, it is easy to see why this grinder
has one several design awards. Some of the features are innovations in
grinder design, others are evolutions that address known issues with
previous grinder models.
The Demain Angle Grinder is sold throughout
the world, in some countries under its own label, in others as re-badged
items under a different label. Below is the list of where you might be
able to find the Demain Angle Grinder, and under what name:
Australia: Sold under "Wagner" label
- available through Bunnings Warehouses.
Europe: Sold under "Demain" label - available at selected hardware
France: Sold under "MACAllister" label - available at
Russia: Sold under "Demain" label - available
at selected hardware retailers.
South Africa: Sold under "Demain" label - available
at selected hardware retailers.
United Kingdom: Sold under "PRO" label - available at B&Q -
USA: Sold under "Kobalt" label
- available at Lowes -
Priced at around AUD$169 in Australia and around USD$79 in the USA, the
Demain Angle grinder is surprisingly inexpensive considering the build
quality and extensive innovative features it offers. I was expecting the
price to be much more. I am sure that if you were to purchase this tool,
you would be find it one of the best small angle grinders on the market at
present. Well done Demain. A great product.
further information or to contact Demain direct, head to their website at
Demain Angle Grinder Photos
All photos copyright onlinetoolreviews.com. Use without prior
written permission prohibited
The Demain Angle Grinder. Note the D-shaped
Electronic interlock controls protect the grinder from
damage and also from accidental starting.
The large paddle power control with power lock on switch
to the rear.
The grinder body in standard configuration with D-Handle
in operating position.
Note the position of the body now, which has been
rotated 90 degrees to the left to provide more comfortable use access to
the paddle for awkward operating angles.
A rotate-able metal guard requires no tools to move to
protect the user at the right angle. Also notice the slots which aid in
the air flow from the body to push dust and debris away from the user.
The onboard wrench storage attachment ensures the wrench
can never be lost!
Note how the guard has been moved to suit the task, as
well as the position of the operator's hands. On a standard grinder your
hands would likely be sitting up top on a side mounted handle close to the
cutting access and in the firing line!
Whether it's cutting or grinding, the Demain Angle
Grinder does the job safely and effectively.