Festool Cordless Angle Grinder AGC 18-115 Review
Festool Cordless Angle Grinder AGC 18-115
Cordless Angle Grinder AGC 18-125 5.2 EBI
Model number: 576823
Power source: 18 V battery
Weight: 5.95 lbs (with battery)
Features and Specifications
- Stepless speed adjustment from 4500 to 8500 rpm
- Low vibration
- Brushless EC-TEC motor
- Soft start-up, electronic overload protection, electronic brake, and restart protection
- Enclosed motor and cast electronics provide dust protection
The Festool AGC 18-115 is the smoothest grinder I have used. It has a soft start that almost eliminates the sudden jerking that happens when you turn on other grinders. Festool also decoupled the motor from the housing making this tool vibrate much less than any other grinder I have used. The battery and power switch are oriented on a parallel axis to the grinding or cutting wheel. This does have the advantage of putting the switch right under your thumb during cutting tasks.
For someone who does mostly residential remodeling I’ve been dealing with a lot of structural steel lately. This has given me some quality time with the Festool AGC 18-115. I’ve had to cut notches in ½” plate steel, trim down ½”, ⅝’ and ¾” anchor bolts, cut ¼” steel plate, cut #4 and #5 rebar, and bevel the ends of ½” threaded rod.
Grinders tend to bounce a bit during use. Especially during grinding tasks. I found that this tendency was drastically reduced with the AGC 18-115 due to the tight manufacturing tolerances, design, and decoupling of the motor and gearbox from the housing of the tool.
A grinder is usually a no-nonsense, on/off kind of tool. It either does the job or it doesn’t. But this is far and away the most refined and feature-rich grinder I have used. The AGC 18-115 produces minimal vibration, is easy to handle, and has a tool-less guard adjustment and tool-less wheel fixing nut.
It is also variable speed which opens up a lot of versatility for grinding materials like aluminum, stainless steel, and even doing some polishing with the appropriate attachments.
The power is on par with other cordless grinders I’ve used. On a recent job we were replacing or repairing a bunch of footings and piers under an existing home. We found that a few of the footings were actually OK and reusable. But this left some old rebar sticking out of the footings. I was going to leave it (a little more reinforcement can’t hurt) but one bent bar was too close to the form work and would be in danger of rusting out and cracking or spalling the concrete over time. So I had to cut it after the form work was already in place. I have to tell you cutting #4 bar down inside a 14” by 14” by three and a half foot deep box is not my idea of a good time. But the AGC-18 made quick work of it and did so without kicking back or vibrating my hand off my forearm. It was very comfortable to use even in this uncomfortable situation.
Later on this same job, I had to modify a shower drain to add weep channels. These channels allow water to drain out of the shower pan. Some drain bodies aren’t set up with this and the easiest way to fix it is to grind a channel in the threads of the brass. I dialed down the speed, put in a fresh disc and was able to perform this delicate task with ease and plenty of control.
Systematic Systainer Approach
Like the vast majority of Festool’s offerings the AGC 18-115 Cordless Angle Grinder comes in a Systainer. With an insert that holds the tool, two batteries, a charger, and a few accessories. The Systainer system has additional organizers, totes, and customizable inserts. In addition, they stack and interlock quickly and easily with each other and on top of Festool’s dust extractors. Plus the Systainer 3 system has wall-mounted rack systems available that can be used in the workshop or for vehicle storage. The Systainer system has been around for a long time in Europe and while the cases may not be as robust as some systems they last a long time when treated with care and take up significantly less space than many of their competitors.
The not so great.
The grip is pretty thick.
This is normal for most grinders. But a lot of companies are making an effort to slim down the body of the tool to make the grip more comfortable and ergonomic. While the grip does step down when past the actual motor it would be nice if it was stepped down to an even smaller diameter as a slimmer, easier to hold tool would be nice.
Lack of dust extraction options
One of my main uses for an angle grinder is coping trim or making end grain scribes using coarse grit sanding discs. The low vibration and smooth operation make the AGC 18-115 a great tool for this but, like any angle grinder, it throws around a lot of fine dust. A dust extraction shroud would be fantastic for this task and in keeping with Festool’s commitment to excellent dust extraction.
Price, like all things Festool, is at or near the top of the price spectrum. But if you’re looking at Festool you probably already know this and are OK with paying the premium for a high-end power tool.
Festool Cordless Angle Grinder AGC 18-115 | Final Thoughts
This is a high quality, super smooth grinder with some really nice features. Aside from the thick grip, it is a very ergonomically friendly tool. If it suits your needs and you can justify the price you won’t be disappointed.
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