Aimed at professionals who need cordless flexibility.
Pros:- Powerful, dual voltage with all of Panasonic's legendary electronic expertise built in to this Tough Tool.
There was something that appealed to me about this 125mm angle grinder the moment I took it out of the box – just the way it looked and felt in my hand made me feel that we could be friends. By adding a battery pack the impression was reinforced because the balance of the tool in the hand became pretty near perfect.
With time for longer reflection and a closer examination I found a lot more to like about the grinder. So, starting at the front…
Many end users have told me that they like to have a small grinder head that is as compact as possible because sometimes, small grinders, by definition, are required for use in applications where space is very limited.The compact grinder head itself is made of a very well finished alloy casting with a cast-in ventilation grille for the motor. The draught from the grille blows outwards, so don’t fret that the dust is being blown inwards across the vital motor bits. Also included is a well guarded but easy to use spindle lock button to enable speedy disc changes. A cranked pin spanner is supplied for tightening and loosening the disc nut. The crank allows easy access to the nut over the edge of the disc guard.Two threaded holes, one on each side of the head, allow an auxiliary handle (provided) to be fitted for easier handling.
The cutter guard is substantial steel pressing that provides excellent protection to the user and disc. Some users might complain that it has no quick-release adjustment system, but in fact all that is needed is to loosen a single screw easily accessible screw to adjust the angle of the guard or indeed to remove it.Four sturdy screws attach the grinder head to the Panasonic grey and black body of the grinder. Right behind the head is the black rocker switch that seems to be a standard on grinders these days. This switch design is perfect because it actually requires some intention on the part of the user to switch the machine on. However, a quick press on the back of the switch is all that is required to turn the machine off.
The switch itself is protected by a ridge around it that would help prevent the grinder from being switched on accidentally –for example if it was packed into one of the soft bags that many tradespeople use these days.The grinder’s body is really quite slimline and my small hands had no difficulty gripping it securely. Grip is definitely helped by the careful and intelligent use of a rubberized overmould around and under the body. The top and bottom of the grip are slightly shaped into an oval for more comfort.
In a cordless machine the battery is a very important and on this grinder the position of the battery pack is arranged to balance and offset the weight of the grinder head at the opposite end.However, when you buy a Panasonic machine you also buy into the reputation that Panasonic has for excellent electronics and battery technology. Accordingly, this little grinder is not only a dual voltage machine, but also has a built-in warning light near the base of the body which indicates if the battery is being overloaded or is too high in temperature.
The advantages of a dual voltage machine are many – not least is that end users who have one voltage, say 14.4v, can buy a more powerful and longer lasting 18v battery to use in the same charger and in a range of different Panasonic dual voltage tools, without having the worry of which battery fits where. In my experience, having used this dual voltage system on a variety of Panasonic tools I have tested, I can say that the system is completely seamless and may even make Panasonic users a bit smug since they can be very flexible on tools and battery packs.
Another key ingredient for the grinder is that it is part of the Panasonic TOUGH TOOL IP system. In essence this means that the grinder has enhanced protection and sealing against water and dust, efficient cooling systems for motors and the use of alloys in gearboxes and other moving parts and the incorporation of electronic protection systems for motors and battery packs.
Users can confidently use this grinder on site and in the toughest working conditions knowing that it is up to the job.
When I collected the grinder from Panasonic the parting shot was words to the effect of ”give it some beans”. Clearly the team at Panasonic has great confidence in their little grinder. So I did just that, I gave it as much “beans” as I dared. Using a variety of thin metal cutting and grinding discs for cutting and grinding on a number of metals I laboured for quite a long time exploring the limits of this little grinder. In effect I treated the grinder like a mains-powered machine and I was as relentless as I could be without wanting to break it. It came up trumps – it really is a nice well-balanced, sufficiently powerful and easy machine to use. Definitely Recommended.