Metabo Electronic 6" Angle Grinder

A beauty of a grinder with just about all the bells and whistles you want and need

metabo_grinder

Metabo Electronic 6" Angle Grinder



The German made Metabo brand of professional power tools are highly regarded among tradespeople, though perhaps less known among craftspeople and avid DIYers. They are particularly known for their durability, reliability, and longevity. The new Metabo Electronic 6" Angle Grinder (WEP14-150) is no exception. 



The WEP14-150 is a mid-sized grinder, measuring just over a foot long, and weighing a bit over 6 pounds. The body is made of an impact resistant ABS plastic, while the motor head is made of die-cast aluminum, and the safety cover is all steel. The body is quite thick, about 2-1/2" wide by 2-3/4" deep. If you have small hands you might find it tiring to hold for long periods, particularly when wearing gloves. 



The removable side handle, which threads onto the right or left side of the head, is somewhat unique. It's specifically designed to reduce vibration. The handle flexes ever so slightly as you apply pressure when grinding. Metabo claims that it's Vibratech handle reduces vibration up to 60%. Who can tell? However, I can vouch that the WEP14-150 is remarkably vibration free under load. I wish the handle was a bit longer though; the usable portion is only 3 3/4" long, and with gloves on it feels a bit too short.
 

angle_1
Vibratech handle
angle_2
Paddle switch
The WEP14-150 comes with a paddle switch rather than a conventional on/off button. On the back end of the paddle is a tiny switch-on lock; you need to depress the switch with your little finger before you can depress the paddle. I love this design; if you drop the tool it just turns off. Neither do you have to feel around for the switch, it's automatically in your hand when you pick up the tool. And if you wear gloves while grinding, a large paddle switch is easier to use than a little button.



The safety guard on the WEP14-150 is excellent. By simply depressing a lever and you can quickly adjust the guard by hand to one of seven different locations. Once in position the guard remains firmly in place. It's great not having to deal with wrenches to make this adjustment.
 

angle_3
Switch-on lock
angle_4
Electronic signal display
You can overload the motor on a grinder if you're doing a lot of aggressive grinding, placing constant pressure on the cutting wheel. To prevent heat build-up the WEP14-150 features electronic overload protection. At the back of the handle is an electronic signal display. If the coil temperature gets too high the electronic display lights up and the motor speed will decrease.



The WEP14-150 comes with a 1-5/8" support flange for type 1 flat wheels, and a 3-1/8" support flange for type 27 depressed centre wheels. A spindle lock holds the shaft immobile so you can mount wheels with a conventional clamping nut and 2-hole spanner, or, better yet, for wheels that have a shank thickness of 5/16" or less, with the unique Metabo Quick clamping nut. You simply twist turn the Quick clamping nut onto the arbour. It takes about 10 seconds, and holds the wheels securely in place. Quick, easy, and no rummaging around for a wrench. Very nice.
 

angle_5
Shaft lock
angle_6
Safety guard lock lever
The WEP14-150 accepts wheels up to 6" diameter with a 7/8" arbour hole. The wide variety of wheels (discs) that you can attach to the grinder are what gives it such versatility. Your options include cut-off wheels (cutting masonry blocks, rebar, cutting out broken floor tiles, cleaning up masonry joints), grinding discs (quick metal removal and dimensioning, tool sharpening), flap wheels (surface grinding, blending, deburring), wire wheels (surface preparation, polishing, rust and paint removal), sanding discs, and polishing pads.



If you've used an an angle grinder before you'll know that they produce copious amounts of dust and sparks, and a lot of heat. It's the dust, debris and heat that damages the motor, gears and electronics. What separates a good angle grinder that will give you a year or two of service, from an excellent grinder that will provide years of reliable service, is the design and quality of what's found within the tool to protect the inner workings from all the dust and heat.
 

angle_7
Clockwise from top: 3 1/8" support flange, spanner, quick clamping nut, spindle lock
angle_8
7/8" arbour
The WEP14-150 has a 12.2 amp motor that generates 9,000 RPM. Metabo uses 14 layers of insulation on the copper windings of the motor to extend work life, and an epoxy resin coating that helps protect the motor from overheating. A grid protects the windings from dust and debris, and a double lipped labyrinth isolates double sealed bearings from dust. The paddle switch is fully encapsulated, as are the carbon brushes, further enhancing dust protection.
 

angle_9
Spindle lock and spanner
angle_10
Quick clamping nut
The high RPM of the motor moves a lot of air across the motor. On the WEP14-150 air is pulled in from the rear and discharged at the front. A sonically balanced fan and a series of internal ducting channels increase air flow over the motor, according to Metabo, by up to 15%. This forward movement of air also helps to direct dust and debris away form the motor housing. A slip clutch helps with kickback by absorbing the torque created when the wheel binds or snags, and  electronic soft start eliminates the impact that often occurs when the grinder starts. The WEP14-150 lacks variable speed control (though this feature is available on the WB11-150).
 

angle_11
Type 1 grinding wheel
angle_12
It's what inside that counts
I tried the WEP14-150 extensively, grinding sheet metal, cutting metal piping, and cutting concrete pavers. I found the grinder well balanced, and easy to hold in a wide range of positions. It has terrific power; there was no bogging down the motor regardless of how much pressure I exerted. The generous 8' power cord is most welcome, and I love the Quick clamping nut. Even with gloves on you can change wheels in well under a minute. The paddle switch is much more convenient to use than a standard on/off switch; keeping the switch-on lock depressed with your little finger enables you to pulse the paddle when doing touch up work, finish sanding or polishing. I'd love to see it on a random orbital sander. 



The Metabo WEP14-150 is a contractor grade tool that will be of particular interest to metal workers, mill wrights, machinists, masons, building contractors, renovators; indeed anyone working with metal or masonry. Avid DIYers looking for a lifetime tool won't be disappointed with this angle grinder as well.

KEY FEATURES:


  • 12.2 amp motor
  • 9,000 RPM
  • 31 in/lbs of max torque
  • 6" wheel size (max)
  • 7/8" arbour
  • 12 1/4" long
  • 6.1 lbs
  • 8' power cord
  • Tacho Constamatic (TC) electronics
  • Quick wheel change system
  • Non-locking paddle switch
  • Current interruption protection
  • Spindle lock
  • Aluminum die-cast gear housing
  • Tool-less guard adjustment with 7 stops
  • Vibratech anti-vibration side handle
  • Electronic temperature monitor with LED display
  • Metabo slip clutch
  • Auto-stop carbon brushes
  • Winding protection grid
  • Electronic soft-start feature
  • Electronic speed stabilization
  • 3 year warranty
  • Includes: 1 5/8" and 3 1/8" support flanges, wrench, clamping nut, quick clamping nut, instruction booklet

MANUFACTURERMetabo
AVAILABLE FROMTool and equipment suppliers nationwide
RETAIL PRICE$269.00 - $299.00
MODEL #WEP14-150 Quick
MADE INGermany
Carl Duguay, April 2010
Discover more great woodworking reviews!
Subscribe Now and get instance online access to our library filled with exciting woodworking information.
Continue to stay connected to the latest tool reviews with our bi-monthly woodworking magazines!