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DeWalt DCG414 Cordless Flexvolt Grinder Review


Stercorarius

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Stay tuned for updates. This is only after one day of use. Disclaimer: I am a biased idiot with little to no credibility and taking any of my words as a definitive judgement of anything would be reckless and socially irresponsible at best. If you wish to waste the next several minutes of your continuously shortening existance reading this review, do so at your own risk.

 

TL;DR for the reasonable person: Killer grinder with a few drawbacks.

 

Here are few thoughts on my DeWalt Flexvolt grinder. My Metabo grinder has a better feel for sure. Additionally, it's a lot better balanced and lighter. I like the Metabo more than the DeWalt for a variety of reasons, but this isn't a tool fight I want to talk about for now. I gave the Flexvolt grinder to an unbiased (well biased towards Milwaukee) guy in the shop who runs a fuel grinder and has spent a lot of time running #mymetabo (because he has a fuel ?.) He said the DeWalt felt like it had loads more power over the Metabo. That hurt. He liked it.

 

It is a great grinder. It has ludicrous amounts of power. I would go so far as to say that it truly has corded power. It will cut through steel with no problems. I ran it through ⅛” sheet metal against a Fuel grinder with the same wheel, and it probably cut at least three or four times the rate of the Fuel.  I have yet to do any actual extensive grinding, rather it has almost entirely been cutting.

 

The safety clutch is very effective and almost too sensitive but not quite. It does have a brake. The tool free guard uses a similar mechanism as Metabo. It is a little finicky though. After getting used to it you hardly notice it, yet it still feels like the design was rushed or not very refined. The nut is definitely different on this and has been very easy to change wheels on so far. The handle is fairly standard with nothing worth mentioning.

 

Moving down the grinder, we come to a feature that I like. The grinder has two removable screens for the motor vents. These come off with a Philips screwdriver. Then we come to the handle. I have very mixed feelings about the handle. It definitely has classic DeWalt styling and feel. That being said, it feels too short for a trigger like they did. It is an awkward length that makes you either use two fingers on the trigger, which feels off, or have three cramped fingers off of it. Once you are actually using it you don't notice it unless you think about it. It is kind of like when someone mentions to you that that you have to think about breathing and all the sudden it isn't automatic and you actually have to think about breathing (sorry.)

 

It is a heavy bugger. The balance feels wrong when using one handed. I think it would feel better with a 9.0 when it comes out. This is definitely not the grinder you want to be using one handed with your arm at full reach. It is very bulky compared to most grinders on the market and seems to be heavily weighted on the front.

 

The battery is at a decent angle. It hasn't gotten in the way yet, but I can see it happening. The runtime isn't something I have locked down yet. It ran no time out of the box and then I never ended up actually draining it after charging it. I was using a corded Metabo as my main grinder, and this grinder was used on ladders and in positions where a cord would have been problematic.

 

You can't think of this as a, “Yeah take that Team Red. This just proves that Team Yellow is superior.” The thing you do have to credit Milwaukee with is that they came out with theirs early on, and it wouldn't be surprising if we see a gen 2 high demand fuel in the spring that is designed for use with a 9.0 battery.

Milwaukee also definitely deserves recognition for the fact that, since they were first and it's on the broadest lineup of cordless tools (except maybe Makita,) they are going to be the most common for now and likely for quite a bit longer. There were literally three Fuel grinders running in the shop today. Guys like @knarlycarl buy the Fuel regardless of whether there is a better option because it can kick ass and it takes their own stockpile of batteries as is.

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Nice disclaimer ya self deprecating goon lol

Definitely looks like it has equal to corded grinder, which was definitely their goal, but you're right about my fuel grinder; I have plenty of batteries already that will work on my grinder, no need to have separate ones, and it will suit me perfectly fine.

I know in my work, keeping any of the tools usable with any of the batteries is much more preferred.

Also I've already had to get up into a ceiling to cut away some broken cast iron pipe, (wish I grabbed a pic of it) and my grinder worked perfect, where I don't think I could stick this dewalt up in.

That's still a slick grinder.

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3 minutes ago, jeffmcmillan said:

That trigger looks wonky. Almost like theres space for a finger above the trigger too.

 

Seems like I'm the only one who misses the old style of body grip grinders.

The ones you basically hold around the whole motor housing? 

Or this?

2015_May_8_2_Makita_grinder.jpg

..

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I like the grip on the FlexVolt, no problems with it so far. It is big and heavy though compared to the Fuel. I'll be glad to have both. I'm hesitant to purchase now though because like Sterc mentioned, is won't surprised to see spec bumps to the Hawgs and grinders lol. 

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50 minutes ago, jeffmcmillan said:

That trigger looks wonky. Almost like theres space for a finger above the trigger too.

 

Seems like I'm the only one who misses the old style of body grip grinders.

Yeah those are nice. The Makita brushless I have is that style with a slide switch which is probably my favorite orientation. The metabo is arguably the most comfortable. It is kind of long but the whole thing is light and the paddle swithch runs almost the whole length so it is easy and comfortable to grab with gloves.20160817_165707.jpg

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Dewalt is convinced they have the industry's most comfortable handle (I don't disagree) so they stick the same handle on everything; hence this grinder's form factor and the stud/joist drill. I do like that it's nice and thin, the Fuel is comfortable as well, just different.

 

Starting to debate a Metabo grinder but I'm not sure I need 3 (certainly not 6 lol). 

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3 hours ago, JimboS1ice said:

Ya the makita is nice, the flexvolt seems like a shortened rat tail, dewalt is just stuck on a trigger in their grinders and I don't understand that


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I really don't understand their thinking there...I guess that's why they went with what looks like a two-finger trigger, so it's not strenuous.

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Dewalt is convinced they have the industry's most comfortable handle (I don't disagree) so they stick the same handle on everything; hence this grinder's form factor and the stud/joist drill. I do like that it's nice and thin, the Fuel is comfortable as well, just different.

 

Starting to debate a Metabo grinder but I'm not sure I need 3 (certainly not 6 lol). 



[emoji849] get more than 6 and we'll talk [emoji23][emoji23]


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9 hours ago, JimboS1ice said:

Ya the makita is nice, the flexvolt seems like a shortened rat tail, dewalt is just stuck on a trigger in their grinders and I don't understand that


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8 hours ago, Bremon said:

Dewalt is convinced they have the industry's most comfortable handle (I don't disagree) so they stick the same handle on everything; hence this grinder's form factor and the stud/joist drill. I do like that it's nice and thin, the Fuel is comfortable as well, just different.

 

Starting to debate a Metabo grinder but I'm not sure I need 3 (certainly not 6 lol). 

 

5 hours ago, BMack37 said:

 

I really don't understand their thinking there...I guess that's why they went with what looks like a two-finger trigger, so it's not strenuous.

So here's something new and interesting. I work with a guy who is probably like 280 lbs with giant hands. He walked past me today and saw my grinder and says something about me buying too many grinders.  He picks it up and literally the first words out of his mouth were, "Woah this thing is awesome. I love this handle. It's nice and small and fits just right in your hand" it may just be a matter of personal preference or it may be an issue of my hands being too small instead of two large.

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So here's something new and interesting. I work with a guy who is probably like 280 lbs with giant hands. He walked past me today and saw my grinder and says something about me buying too many grinders.  He picks it up and literally the first words out of his mouth were, "Woah this thing is awesome. I love this handle. It's nice and small and fits just right in your hand" it may just be a matter of personal preference or it may be an issue of my hands being too small instead of two large.



Yea, trigger is still too small though but the looks of it


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22 minutes ago, Bremon said:

The trigger is the size of 2 fingers. It's easier for me to hold down than the Fuel paddle but I can see why it's easy to think it would be awkward or uncomfortable. 

Yeah I can see that. Like I said, you only really notice it when you think about it. I run it with two fingers and it runs just fine. It just isn't quite Metabo comfortable (which is just personal preference). It really says something about how nice this grinder is when the only issue people can find to fixate on is how it is a kinda confusing grip.

 

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So far after reading all this it's confirming that the grinder is "perfect". I can't fockin wait till CPO gets their shipments. Ya'll are killin' me. 

 

And of course by perfect I mean that no tool is perfect, but once it reaches the threshold that you're complaining about the switch or shield clip it means it's a winner. Lets be real, any improvement over the switch lock on the 20v grinder is icing on the cake. (mine is so loose that I have to press it every time to unlock the switch anyway with my thumb plus pull the trigger meaning I'm palming the tool on startup which is a horrible design). 

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4 minutes ago, Hugh Jass said:

So far after reading all this it's confirming that the grinder is "perfect". I can't fockin wait till CPO gets their shipments. Ya'll are killin' me. 

 

And of course by perfect I mean that no tool is perfect, but once it reaches the threshold that you're complaining about the switch or shield clip it means it's a winner. Lets be real, any improvement over the switch lock on the 20v grinder is icing on the cake. (mine is so loose that I have to press it every time to unlock the switch anyway with my thumb plus pull the trigger meaning I'm palming the tool on startup which is a horrible design). 

Lol yeah. Anything and everything is an improvement over the old 20v grinder. This flexvolt seems like my go to shop cordless grinder while the Metabo is like my go to field grinder. The thing that will make me use the Metabo a lot more is that by Tuesday I will have six metabo batteries to the one flexvolt battery. I'll see what kind of deals I can get aground the holidays on batteries. I should have gotten a free tool with it but I have more self control shopping online than when I go to home depot to look at the clearance and see a bright shining flexvolt display.

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One thing that I noticed today is that the grinder definitely spins faster than most grinders and for some reason it somehow seems like that has a negative effect on how much use you can get out of a flap disk. Hard to explain and I'm not sure this is a legitimate occurrence. It will require more use to see if this starts to be a trend that sticks out or a fluke. Anybody else notice anything like this? The corded Metabo grinder was slower and I was able to use the flap disk until it wore almost all the way to the backing fibers while with the DeWalt the wheel was worthless after just the exposed leading edge of the flaps wore off. Once again, not necessarily a legitimate occurrence, just a single observation of a phenomenon that I have yet to repeat (one battery one wheel). 

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23 minutes ago, Stercorarius said:

Lol yeah. Anything and everything is an improvement over the old 20v grinder. This flexvolt seems like my go to shop cordless grinder while the Metabo is like my go to field grinder. The thing that will make me use the Metabo a lot more is that by Tuesday I will have six metabo batteries to the one flexvolt battery. I'll see what kind of deals I can get aground the holidays on batteries. I should have gotten a free tool with it but I have more self control shopping online than when I go to home depot to look at the clearance and see a bright shining flexvolt display.

 

I wouldn't buy any more 6ah packs if I were you. I didn't even plan on buying anything flexvolt till the 9ah came out but the CPO deal proved to be too much to resist. Hold out IMO. 

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Most cordless grinders seem to be 8000-8500 rpm. This is 9000. Reasonable bump.

 

I also had no plans to get any of the 2.0/6.0 black FlexVolt batteries and will be selling them when the new 3.0/9.0 yellow ones come out. The current ones are clearly a stopgap. 

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Well only in the sense that 9.0 is a stopgap for 10.0, and 12.0 and so on. There's always linear progression. That said I think it was premature of them to develop the 6ah pack at all, could have waited a few months and shipped everything with 9ah using the upgraded cells and had better arguments against milwaukee 9ah pack. 

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