Fein vs German Metabo corded grinder?

I bought a Metabo grinder earlier this year and I keep finding myself reaching for it and using it over other grinders in my shop. I like how powerful it is and how little vibration there is when grinding for long periods of time. I’m just a guy in his garage fixing and building things, but I like nice tools and they’re worth it in my opinion.

I’ve decided I’d like to get a variable speed grinder. I’m really partial to triggers and paddle switches because they’re generally more ambidextrous and easier to use with gloves than the slide switches. I saw one of the recent videos on Lift Arc Studios YouTube channel where they were showing off some of the Fein grinders. I don’t have to be convinced to buy another Metabo product now that I own one, but what are y’all’s experiences with Fein? Do they last? Are they really smooth compared to most grinders? Should I just go with another Metabo or is it worth looking at Fein since I’d prefer the paddle switch?

I’ve been looking at the Metabo INOX grinders for their lower speed range and really like some of the design elements of the WEV 15-125 since it’s got both a trigger and a lock (best of everything for me), but also looks a bit large for some of the tighter spots I sometimes want to use a variable speed grinder on.

I’d love to hear everybody’s unvarnished thoughts on this. Maybe there’s yet another brand I haven’t considered?

I’ve liked the Metabo grinders I’ve used before, but don’t have much valuable input for the current generation, or the Fein grinders.

I can share an anecdote for a grinder to avoid though (not that it was on your list of wants).

Don’t get the Dewalt 60v grinder. It’s a beast, but it vibrates a fair bit, and I think it is the culprit that has killed (or at least damaged) a couple of my 9Ah and 6Ah Flexvolt batteries. I think at max chooch it draws too much current and occasionally will kill a cell in the pack. If it’s not the grinder it’s the 60v blower that’s doing it. They’re the only 2 tools I have that can drain one of the big batteries in 5-10 minutes of continuous use (which is a 6-12C discharge rate). Most lithium batteries don’t love that kind of discharge rate.

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I love my Milwaukee cordless grinders in their places, but I wish I’d gone with a Metabo cordless. To be fair, I didn’t know they existed at the time. Unless you’re wearing a literal backpack battery, I think corded is the way to go if you can. The convenience of a battery tool goes away pretty quick when you’re swapping batteries every few minutes.

You’re 1,000% right on the C rating business, too. More people should pay attention to that stuff. No matter how good the cells are at discharging you’re still greatly decreasing the lifespan using it that way. (Cough, electric cars, cough)


These are the two variable speed grinders i use at the moment.

Makita GA5042C (bought mar 2021)

Metabo WEV 17-125 (bought feb 2024)

Both are excelent grinders, the inox metabo feels like it has more torque and is harder to bog down as advertised. But i prefer the makita its way smoother and vibrates less. Might just be because ive had it longer but the makita also feels better in my hands. Can also attest to the durability and clutch on the makita. When a disc bites its really anticlimactic if anything.

Also recommend the makita GA9070 if your looking for a 9 inch and the aircat 1hp die grinders for pneumatic.


This is an extremely helpful answer. I’m specifically interested in your experience with regards to the amount of vibration. I’ve found my Metabo 6" Rat tail to be noticeably less vibration than anything else I own and noted that the Inox model you have is rated at about 3/4 the vibration of the rat tail I’ve got (this one: WEPBA 17-150 Quick RT DS (600606420) Angle Grinder | Metabo Power Tools). Did it change a lot depending on the attachment you’re using or would you still say the Makita is more smooth?

I have several grinders with those slide switches and I just don’t like using them at all. I think my favorite design is the locking paddle on my DeWalt grinders. If I just want to pick it up and go real quick to round over an edge or whatever, it’s great, but I can still lock it on if I’m going to be sitting in the same spot for a long period of time. I’ve noticed a lot of folks prefer the slide lock switches, though: what are your thoughts on the matter?

Standing here holding them both running with no disc i can say the metabo vibrates more but its probably like 10% or less more vibration. I have noticed running it with various discs ive caught myself thinking it seems to be vibrating more. Maybe the makita is smoother because its broke in? Its on its 3rd set of brushes. I think if i had to replace both right now id get two makitas.

I forgot to mention it in the other post but my biggest gripe with the metabo is the angle of the side handle i prefer the makita where its angled further forward.

As far as switches go i used to hate the side toggle switches and preferred paddle. After living with the makita the last few years either is fine with me but i think i slightly prefer side switch now. Even wearing thick stick welding gloves i dont struggle with turning the switch on and off.

Edit: all in all they are very comparable grinders and either one is a solid choice.

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Thanks for writing such a thoughtful response. The real world experience is worth so much more to me than a sponsored unboxing and someone’s impression of it in the first 30 seconds on YouTube. I’ve heard consistently good things about Makita grinders, at least for their higher end/made in Japan grinders. I’m not looking to spend another $300 like tomorrow on them, but definitely soon.

Have you ever used a flathead grinder? Since I’m just doing this in my garage and not making any money off it I’ve been toying with the idea of a flathead, variable speed because it seems more versatile, but I’d love to get your thoughts on it. I’ve been side eyeing the Metabo Inbox flathead with variable speed, but a flathead may be a totally unnecessary extravagance.

The flat head grinders are cool but i feel atleast for me it would just encourage me to use the wrong tool for the job. Where in a tight space i could use a die grinder for surface finishing, or if i need to remove material to say repair a crack id be better suited with air arc, gouging with a plasma cutter or a carbide burr on a die grinder. If i need to remove dross, paint, rust, ect and apperances arent a concern a needle scaler works.

Maybe for a home gamer it could help not need as wide of a selection of tools possibly. I try to build thing in a way that acomadates the tools i have on hand.

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Metabo had a demo where an aluminum disc had an off center hole in it to intentionally cause vibration, and you could feel the difference versus a “typical” grinder.

I believe it was one of the ones with all the letters in it, the WEPBA series.

Doesn’t seem to come in variable speed though.


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I can personally attest to the effectiveness of their auto balancer. My 6" (not variable speed) has it and it’s just great! I ran a paint stripping disc recently on it and it was very smooth even though it shook all over the place on any of my other grinders (I was testing it against a 3M stripping disc, needless to say I’ll be going with 3M in future).

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not going to put a ton of typing into this one :slight_smile: Metabo all the way. (just pretend you didn’t see that Hercules grinder in one of my pictures!)

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I hate to admit it, but I got a 20v Hercules grinder to keep in the truck just in case and it’s actually not bad. It won’t replace my nice tools anytime soon, but the fact that I can warranty it on the spot and can’t do that with my Milwaukee tools makes it pretty compelling.

The angle grinders I have been arounds and both used and observed to be the most prevalent in the industry in the last 10 years are diffidently the corded DeWalt and Metabo grinders they are proven to hold up to abuse and are fairly inexpensive to replace if needed. However the last 4 or 5 years I can count the times I have picked up a corded grinder on two hands. The future of power tools has been cordless the last 10 years and I think we see the fabrication industry lacking behind. The power and runtime delivered by modern cordless power tools definitely warrant the additional cost, yes the corded option works fine but is it the best option in the modern workspace. In the Fireball shop we use DeWalt and in my personal shop I use Milwaukee, I’ll throw up another post so we can discuss witch tool and battery platform best suits themodern fabricator.

I have one cordless grinder and I really like it. I use it for light finish grinding or a small amount of rough or heavy grinding. If I have a lot of grinding to do I always go corded.


I definitely agree you need to keep a corded grinder around for those few projects. I find in most fabrication most time spent grinding, is spent grinding down oversized welds. On 90% of fab projects I find that I can get through in 1-3 batteries. To me that is faster than having to pull out the corded grinder and extension cord. If you are fabbing on a small projects and you keep multiple grinders set up for dedicated workflow on a small bench that is the only use case besides what you stated. I think we can all agree a 10ft cord on a grinder would be better than the standard 3ft cord that every grinder comes with out of the box.

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I think I understand where you’re coming from, but it’s not the industry lagging behind so much as having workflows that lend themselves much better to corded tools. I first purchased cordless grinders, good ones, and am finding it’s better to move on to good quality corded ones. It’s not that I never use cordless grinders, but they’re actually a lot less convenient. Whether I’m just removing mill scale, shaping pieces of metal or making a weld seam flat, it’s really messy and I prefer to try to confine that mess to a certain area of the shop. Why would I have a grinder that’s got a giant battery hanging off of it when I could just keep a really nice corded one plugged into the same spot I’m going to use it anyway. The more I do in my shop, the more I see cordless tools as different tools than their corded counterparts. I’m not getting rid of my cordless tools, but I definitely will be using more corded tools going forward.


I have been in business bout 40 years shop & portable welding grinders mostly corded till recent and most of the time Dewalt even have some black&Decker left alive but I have migrated over to matabo last five years and to be honest I have bought all my grinders from pawn shops if u know what to look for I have seldom had to have one repaired any time soon after purchase it hurt my feelings when I bought 1 new matabo $300 when I can usually p/u nice long lasting one at places that know me for about $60 I have some cordless dewalts that I take out in the yard or on a particular portable job.

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I see a lot of discussion around corded vs cordless but what about pneumatic? How does that fit in for everyone?


I love the idea of pneumatic, but I don’t yet have a compressor capable of running those tools in my home shop. Pneumatic tools really seem like the best of breed:

  • A comparable tool in a grinder or drill can be made lighter than a corded or cordless counterpart
  • they seem to have a much higher longevity, repairability and duty cycle
  • they’re much smaller tools for the same output
  • because the supply air is generally pushing any damaging particles out of any orifices in the tool, they would seem to last much longer (all electric tools pull air in somewhere, so even if it’s filtered, it’s just not going to stay as clean internally)
  • they’re just simpler tools overall in terms of design and less finicky

If I had the option I’d probably run a pneumatic grinder, but I would want some of the niceties I’ve felt in my Metabo Like the autobalancer and mechanical safety clutch (I’m fairly confident both of those could be introduced to a pneumatic grinder)

I used to do body work back in the day and almost everything was Pneumatic.
At some point I got away from 5" air grinders and went to 4.5" electric.
Air tools have been sitting in the bottom of my tool box for a long time. May not even work anymore.