Expert Reviews: 4 Best Stone & Concrete Grinders / Sanders

Sanding a concrete wall

If you plan to polish or sand the surface of a granite countertop, a cement-composite floor or a concrete wall, you likely do not want to do it manually by using sand paper. Concrete and stone sanders will be the right tools for this kind of job. They are also called concrete grinders or concrete polishers – in practice, as well as in this article, the names are used interchangeably.

These power tools come with different features and attachments, and all of them have their pros and cons, depending on the type of project you intend to them for.

In this post, we will introduce 4 popular concrete grinders that are available on the market.

Do You Really Need a Concrete Grinder?

Obviously, you do not want to waste your money on a tool that you will not really need for your project.  However, concrete sanders are here for a reason: grinders for concrete surfaces are more powerful than regular palm grinders or (random) orbital sanders as these tools have been developed with a focus on softer materials like wood or plastic. They might do well for small concrete surfaces and softer cement mixtures but you probably do not want to use them for an entire countertop or a concrete floor – it would be a burdensome experience with rather slow progress and it would also cause a risk of overstressing your equipment.

You might consider sandpaper or diamond pads (find them on Amazon) as an alternative. Indeed, they will do a great job for small concrete objects in your garden or house in case their surfaces are already smoothened or you are just doing a refinish.

When it comes to larger concrete surfaces though, there will be no getting around the use of concrete polishers/grinders.

The Best Tools for Polishing Concrete Floors

You can sand and polish floors with hand-held power tools – it is working perfectly well for small and medium-size stone or concrete surfaces around the house.

However, if you need to sand a very large cement surface you might think of an alternative to doing it with a hand sander, crawling on the floor for hours. In that case, you might be interested in (semi)professional tools for concrete floor polishing.


The Clarke CFP Pro 17HD (Amazon), a floor polisher that can also sand concrete floors.
Check out other concrete floor grinders on Amazon.

These tools are efficient and convenient for polishing stone and concrete floors but they are also comparatively expensive. It might not be a good choice to buy one while not being able to use it frequently. Therefore, you can consider renting them from one of the DIY stores (example) in your area. You probably want to shop around for the best value. If you find a good offer it might be worthwhile to go for it.

However, renting a concrete floor polisher can also set you back a few hundred bucks if you need it for a couple of days. You might also be liable if the motor dies during the rental even if it was not your fault. So, you might reconsider whether a handheld sander could do the job as well. You would spend only a bit more if you buy such a tool yourself, and you would likely be using for years (do not forget getting kneepads though).

Criteria for Choosing the Best Concrete Grinder

When choosing the right power tool for your job, you will want to consider a number of criteria:

Performance, Features and Equipment

One of the most important features is the power of the grinder, measured in ampere or watt. For casual use and projects around the house, an amperage between 7 A and 10 A should be sufficient, professional users and those who work on harsh projects will likely go beyond that. A variable-speed function is a must for concrete grinders that are used for fine sanding or polishing and, nowadays, available for the majority of tools on the market.

Concrete should be sanded with a wet surface. You can achieve this by adding water manually during the sanding. However, a more convenient way is to use a sander with a water-feed feature.

Ergonomy and Usability

Another important aspect relates to ergonomic considerations – you will have to work with the power tool for a couple of hours on a day. Therefore, you might want to spend attention to the shape, the grip, the size, and the weight of a tool as well.

Price and Value

Last but not least, you should check and compare the price and value: you will be interested in choosing the grinder with the best value that fits into your budget. However, make sure that you buy with a manufacturer guarantee, so you can return your power tool in case it stops working. In fact, a number of reviews on Amazon and other shops are talking about broken equipment or quickly dying motors, even for tools made by reputable producers. With a guarantee, you will be on the safe side and avoid bad surprises.

Your Individual Requirements

We will cover these and more criteria in our reviews below. While the generic criteria will help you to find the best overall grinder, you might also want to take into account your specific use of them and prioritize the criteria accordingly. For example, if you plan to work on a ceiling, the weight will be a more important consideration (given its impact on operator fatigue). On the other hand, if you work on countertops, you probably prefer using a sander with a convenient built-in water feed system while its weight would not be a priority concern.

The Best Tools for Sanding Concrete Countertops, Walls and Other Surfaces

In this section, we are reviewing 4 popular sanders in a price range from less than $200 to c. $500 (per August 2019): the Makita PW5001C, ZFE 800W/110V Grinder, Stadea SWP104K, and the Bosch CSG15. Do not be confused by the different labels for these tools – i.e. stone or concrete grinder, sander and polisher: all of them can be used for sanding concrete or stone.

Makita PW5001C Stone Polisher


The Makita PW5001C Stone Polisher.
Check current deals on Amazon.

Specifications:

Power 7.9 A (c. 900 W)
Wheel diameter 4 inches
Features Variable Speed with “soft start feature” Option for water hose connection Overload switch
Included accessories 4 Pads, side handle, head cover, wrenches, front grip, dust cover
Size c. 7.1 x 16 x 6.2 inches
Weight c. 5 lbs
Price range $$$ (there are good deals from time to time.)
Compare prices and find current deals on Amazon.)


Our Impression

If you are familiar with Makita products, you will not be surprised by the high standard and quality of this product. Unfortunately, you will not be surprised by the rather big price tag either.

The Makita grinder does a great job, it proves to be reliable and efficient on concrete as well as natural stone. With only around 5 pounds, it is light-weighted but powerful 7.9 A tool. This, together with its ergonomic shape and two handles, will help prevent fatigue when working for with it for a longer time (in particular on walls).

Note that the water hose connection is, for whatever reason, not compatible with many common water hoses, and an adapter is not included. Make sure that you order an adaptor (like this one) separately.

Makita PW5001C Stone Polisher

Chris

Performance
Features and Equipment
Ergonomy and Usability
Price and Value

Summary

If you are willing to invest that amount of money – or if you find a good deal – you will get a well-equipped, advanced, and durable hand-held power tool for concrete grinding.

4.5

ZFE 800W/110V Variable Speed 4” Wet Polisher/Grinder


The ZFE 4″ Concrete Polisher/Grinder.
Check current prices on Amazon.

Specifications:

Power c. 7 A (800 W)
Wheel diameter 4 inches
Features Variable Speed option Option for water hose connection  
Included accessories Wet polisher, 8 pads, 2 brushes, wrench, back and top handles
Size c. 7.1 x 10.95 x 6.5 inches
Weight c. 4.5 lbs
Price range $
compare prices and find latest deals on Amazon


Our Impression:

The ZFE Grinder/Polisher is the budget option in our comparison. It is smaller than the other concrete sanders though, and it is less powerful than the Makita or the Bosch grinders in this comparison. Nevertheless, it ticks all the marks when it comes to the fundamental requirements: water hose connection, variable speed option, etc. The water hose connection is a bit fiddly though, and the splash guard could be better – it is made of soft rubber that tends to deform in the original packaging.

For less than $200 (August 2019), you will get a basic but good concrete sander that will do well for most jobs around the house.

ZFE 800W/110V Variable Speed 4” Wet Polisher/Grinder

Performance
Features and Equipment
Ergonomy and Usability
Price and Value

Summary

A basic but fair budget choice, suitable for most DIY areas.

4

Bosch CSG15 5-Inch Concrete Surfacing Grinder


The Bosch CSG15 5″ Concrete Grinder – a hand-held concrete grinder with vacuum attachment
Check current prices on Amazon.

Specifications:

Power 12.5 A
Wheel diameter 5 inches
Features High Torque Vacuum adaptor Additional handle  
Included accessories Auxiliary handle, flange kit, wrench, 5-Inch diamond cup wheel, vacuum adapter and  carrying case
Size c. 14 x 14.8 x 10.8 inches
Weight 6 pounds
Price range $$$ (sometimes offered with a discount)
Check latest deals on Amazon.


Our Impression:

This power tool is set apart from the other grinders in our comparison: It is to be used for harsh concrete grinding rather than polishing. Therefore, it is powered with 12.5 A and produces high torque. However, it is not equipped with a variable speed option.

While the competitors come with a water feed for wet concrete sanding, the Bosch CSG 15 provides a vacuum adaptor. This is particularly useful if you intend to sand concrete ceilings or corners of walls where you cannot use a water feed. Bosch promotes this tool as having a superior ergonomy thanks to its guard system. Indeed: the vacuum collects the vast majority of the dust, and the auxiliary handle facilitates working on walls or ceilings.

This grinder is the tool of choice for the rough jobs. Where the others lack power or durability, the Bosch grinder combines strength with a great ergonomy and efficient dust collection – for these use cases it is an almost perfect (semi)professional tool (as you likely would have expected from this leading German manufacturer). However, you definitely do not want to use it for fine sanding of concrete countertops.

Bosch CSG15 5-Inch Concrete Surfacing Grinder

Chris

Performance
Features and Equipment
Ergonomy and Usability
Price and Value

Summary

A powerful grinder for sanding harsh concrete rather than polishing surfaces. It is not a bargain but the price is fair for a (semi)professional tool.

4.5

Stadea SWP104K Wet Concrete Polisher


Check current prices on Amazon.

Specifications:

Power c. 7 A (800 W)
Wheel diameter 5 inches
Features Variable Speed option with “soft start feature” Option for water hose connection
Included accessories Wet polisher, water shroud, top handle, water hose adapter, gear box cover, side handle Brushes, Wrench, 8 pads
Size c. 7.5 x 17.5 x 6.3 inches
Weight c. 10 pounds
Price range $$
Check current prices on Amazon.


Our Impression:

For a few bucks more than the ZFE grinder, this concrete and stone sander comes with a better ergonomy (our opinion) and a larger wheel. The water feed works as seamlessly as with the Makita but a fitting adaptor is already part of the package. The tool is durable and does a good job on countertops and floors.

However, it is the most heavyweight concrete grinder in our comparison. This might not be too relevant when you sand floors or countertops but it can cause fatigue when sanding a large wall or a ceiling. Better go for one of the other grinders if that is your intended use.

Nevertheless, the Stadea would be our first choice for floors and countertops.

Stadea SWP104K Wet Concrete Polisher

Chris

Performance
Features and Equipment
Ergonomy and Usability
Price and Value

Summary

First choice for floors and countertops (but not for ceilings or walls) considering its performance and good value.

4

Comparison of the Specifications

We have summarized all the specifications and features of the 4 stone and concrete polishers/grinders in the following table:

  Makita PW5001C ZFE 800W/110V Grinder Stadea SWP104K Bosch CSG15
Power 7.9 A (c. 900 W) c. 7 A (800 W) c. 7 A (800 W) 12.5 A
Wheel diameter 4 inches 4 inches 5 inches 5 inches
Features Variable Speed with “soft start feature” Option for water hose connection Overload switch Variable Speed option Option for water hose connection   Variable Speed option with “soft start feature” Option for water hose connection High Torque Vacuum adaptor Additional handle  
Included accessories 4 Pads, side handle, head cover, wrenches, front grip, dust cover Wet polisher, 8 pads, 2 brushes, wrench, back and top handles Wet polisher, water shroud, top handle, water hose adapter, gear box cover, side handle Brushes, Wrench, 8 pads Auxiliary handle, flange kit, wrench, 5-Inch diamond cup wheel, vacuum adapter and  carrying case
Size c. 7.1 x 16 x 6.2 inches c. 7.1 x 10.95 x 6.5 inches c. 7.5 x 17.5 x 6.3 inches c. 14 x 14.8 x 10.8 inches
Weight c. 5 lbs c. 4.5 lbs c. 10 lbs 6 lbs
Price range range $$$
but there are good deals from time to time
 
Compare prices and find current deals on Amazon.
$

    Compare prices and find latest deals on Amazon
$$

Check current prices on Amazon
$$$  

Check latest deals on Amazon.

Which Accessories Do You Need for a Concrete Grinder

Grinding / Sanding / Polishing Discs for Concrete and Stone


Find all kinds of discs for concrete on Amazon.

The obviously most important equipment for a grinder is the sanding disc. Abrasive discs for concrete are usually made of diamond tool. They come with a grit ranging from coarse through the 60s and low 200s up to the 1,000s for super-fine polishing. As a rule of thumb: the more you abrade, the more you are exposing the aggregates in your concrete object.

When testing or choosing your discs, you will want to take the aggressiveness, durability and the value into account. Having said this, good value does not only refer to the price but also considers the durability – this can be relevant indeed if, for instance, one disc is used up after 50 square feet while another disc lasts for 150 square feet. In fact, these numbers depend on your project and it is hard to predict them. The best way is to read customer reviews of similar use cases. Find discs and customer reviews on Amazon.

Safety Equipment

As for every DIY project, you want to think about the safety and the respective equipment.  Make sure you use a mask, gloves, goggles, and a helmet if you are going to work on concrete ceilings or walls. You might consider wearing ear protection as well if you use a floor sander with high noise production. If your safety equipment is not yet complete, check out the safety accessories on Amazon.

Concreate Sealer

Once you have finished the last round of sanding and polishing, you should apply a concrete finish. This sealer will enhance the look of the concrete surface – you can choose from wet-look, glossy or matt appearance and thousands of variations of them – and shield the concrete surface from stains and all kinds of tear and wear.

Make sure you get a sufficient amount of concrete sealer (find it on Amazon) for your project and do not forget to buy a brush or another applicator.

Other Items

In addition, you should make sure that you have a proper extension cord and sufficient light at the work space.

If you are going to work inside the house or at your terrace or patio, you will likely want to cover unremovable installations and furniture with plastics or drop clothes.

Even if it is basic household equipment, you should make sure that you have enough mops and kitchen roll to clean up the mess after you have sanded the wet concrete.

The verdict: Which One Is the Best Stone and Concrete Sander

Here’s an overview of the results:

Makita PW5001C  

The high-end DIY grinder – well-equipped, high quality but rather expensive. Don’t think twice when you happen to find a good deal!

4.5 of 5 stars

Check deals and prices for Makita PW5001C on Amazon
   
ZFE 800W/110V Grinder

   
Best budget choice – inexpensive and good enough for most uses around the house.

4 of 5 stars

Check deals and prices for ZFE 800W/110V Grinder on Amazon
   
Stadea SWP104K

   
The mid-range allrounder – our recommendation (if you do not sand walls): Good allrounder and a fair price.

4 of 5 stars

Check deals and prices for Stadea SWP104K on Amazon
   
Bosch CSG15  
The tool for the harsh job. This (semi)professional tool is perfect for rough work on ceilings.

4.5 of 5 stars

Check deals and prices for Bosch CSG15 on Amazon

Buy the Makita concrete and stone grinder if you happen to stumble over a great offer. Otherwise, you will have great value for the buck if you get the Stadea model. This sander is our recommendation if its heavy weight does not hamper your project. The ZFE is an inexpensive but good grinder while the Bosch is a (semi)professional tool for specific use cases.

Next Steps

Compare the current prices of concrete grinders on Amazon now. Do not forget to buy your safety equipment  (i.e. mask, gloves, goggles, and a helmet if you are going to work on concrete ceilings or walls).

Once you have got your tools and equipment, prepare your project and read our articles “How to sand concrete” and “How to grind concrete”.

Feel free to share your experience with us by leaving a comment or sending a message.

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