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KiddZimaHater
04-27-2009, 12:12 AM
I'm looking to buy a small surface grinder for my shop.
I've come across these three bench-top models.

Harbor Freight = $899 grinder, plus $299 for the base, equals $1200
Grizzly = $1993
Enco = $2389

Here are the pictures:
http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/5804/grindercompare.jpg
They look like three of the same animals.
I know about the shady quality of Harbor Freight, but for the price, and by looks, it seems all three are made by the same Chinese factory.
Do any of you guys own the Harbor Fright model?
Is it a decent grinder?
Opinions?

Neil Jones
04-27-2009, 12:20 AM
By a used Mitsui from a reliable used equipment dealer or privately and test it. Be willing to spend $3,000 for quality.

http://www.mitsuihightec.com/msg-200mh.htm

oldtiffie
04-27-2009, 12:37 AM
I tend to agree that they are all from the same factory and/or are the same design (China).

This is mine which because of the position of the On/Off switch, is the one on the right:
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Surf_Grinder1.jpg

It is a great quite accurate. It can hold a "tenth" ie 0.0001" without too much effort. It is easy to use and is dead reliable. It has an excellent wheel-balancing hub - but I found that I needed several hubs (for multiple wheels) and at about US$100+ a piece they sure ain't cheap!!
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Abrasives2.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Abrasives3.jpg

But I would consider whether I needed a Tool & Cutter grinder as the T&C is not a bad surface grinder (no balanced hub) and does a better jib as a surface grinder than the surface grinder does as a tool & cutter grinder.
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Drill_grinder1.jpg

It will surprise no one I guess that I bought the surface grinder first and then after realising its limitations as a T&G grinder, I bought the T&C grinder.

Everything was going along fine until Lane posted a link to a Universal Grinder and after seeing the link and having seen it at my dealer's I bought that. If I'd seen that first, that is as far as i needed to have gone as it is a very good surface grinder, T&C grinder as well as a cylindrical grinder. I was contemplating modifying a Sieg micro-lathe and a Tool-post grinder for use a cylindrical grinder to be used on my mill table. All that was forgotten when the universal grinder came along. It is a first class machine, and it too is made in China.

My surface grinder:
https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=G202

My tool & cutter grinder:
https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=G196

My universal grinder:
https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=G198

MickeyD
04-27-2009, 12:38 AM
I have the Enco version that I got on Craigslist for something like $75. They are ballway machines that are better than no grinder, but not playing the same game as a real one. They are useful but there is no way that I would spend that much for a new one when there are so many "real" grinders on the market with shops closing.

GRH
04-27-2009, 01:25 PM
I have the Harbor Freight one, had it for about 12 years only real problem was the On/Off switch crapped out so I keep it in the on position and just plug/unplug when I use it. The grinding wheel was real garbage , paint on bothsides and was impossible to balance. I also bought alot of brand new wheels made by Cincinnati Milacron as they was marked which way to mount
on the adapter so all I needed to do was dress them with a diamond,
I also got extra wheel hubs, if you study the pictures both the HF and the Grizzly have the same one shot lube system mounted in the same place
so I am convinced the same factory made both of them.

Graeme

sidneyt
04-27-2009, 03:46 PM
Actually, the cost of the HF is perhaps a little less than you state assuming you can buy the stand for $229. IN any case the total cost of the HF grinder with stand and shipping is going to be about $1200.

I have also considered the purchase of one of these grinders. And, yes, I have also checked Ebay and there are usually at least several surface grinders than are going for less than $1200(sometimes a lot less) including a magnetic chuck. Very tempting, until you notice that many of these machines are for local pickup only and they are located in Michigan, Ohio, NJ, etc and I live in Alabama. Also judging the condition of the machine is not easy with a photo. Maybe it would be a bargain and then maybe not. I don't want to rebuild a surface grinder as a HSM project, I just want one to use in my shop. So far I have not seen any evidence of the Grizzly or Enco versions of this seemingly identical grinder being superior to the HF version.

jdunmyer
04-27-2009, 04:23 PM
FWIW: Guy Lautard thinks the HF surface grinder is OK for HSMs, probably a better deal than a used outfit. He says that most "used" grinders are pretty well "used up". I have no direct experience with SFs, but have a lot of respect for G.L.

randyjaco
04-27-2009, 05:42 PM
I have the Enco version that I got on Craigslist for something like $75. They are ballway machines that are better than no grinder, but not playing the same game as a real one. They are useful but there is no way that I would spend that much for a new one when there are so many "real" grinders on the market with shops closing.

Mickey,

Do you happen to have a manual for that machine? I have 120-6718 that is a basket case and I sure could use a manual to get it all back together. Enco no longer supports it so I am kinda out in the cold.

Thanks

Randy

lazlo
04-27-2009, 05:46 PM
Do you happen to have a manual for that machine?

http://www.grizzly.com/images/manuals/g5963_m.pdf


Guy Lautard thinks the HF surface grinder is OK for HSMs, probably a better deal than a used outfit.

Are you talking about the jury-rigged spot grinder he describes in the 2nd Bedside Reader? That wasn't a Harbor Freight grinder...

.RC.
04-27-2009, 06:10 PM
My universal grinder:
https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=G198

Nice, but expensive....I am chasing a TC grinder but everything is either worn out or comes with no accessories at all..

jdunmyer
04-27-2009, 09:35 PM
Lazlo,
No, I'm not talking about his lashup, but a commercial unit. IIRC, his recommendation came either in an email exchange or perhaps a phone call.

oldtiffie
04-28-2009, 01:07 AM
Originally Posted by oldtiffie
My universal grinder:
https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Pr...stockCode=G198

Nice, but expensive....I am chasing a TC grinder but everything is either worn out or comes with no accessories at all..

Yep,
its a lot of money Ringer, but its a lot of grinder as well - as they all are.

I found out the same way as you did that there is nothing that I could call decent in my area that I could go and see.

I am not interested in re-building or rectifying or using some-one else's junk - I just wanted to un-crate it, set it up and use it. Which I did - to my complete satisfaction.

So, it was a case of "all or bugger all".

The accessories with that machine are pretty good although I have had to make of modify some (not much) as well as buy a new 4-jaw chuck - not much either and make a backing plate for it.

Fortunately, the accessories for my T&C grinder fit the universal grinder as do the two ~ 12 x 6 magnetic chucks I have (surface and T&C grinders).

My time on the planet (due to age and "other things") is limited as is my time in the shop (similar reasons).

It was my wife that actually said to (more or less) "stop fuc*ing about and go and buy it" - same as most stuff in my shop. We could afford it (or couldn't afford to wait until a "deal" came up) - so we (NOTE:"WE") went and bought it.

I have never regretted buying any of it. It seemed a good price for what was on offer at the time that suited my/our needs then - and still does.

Its a matter of needs, judgment and resources for each of us to determine on the day.

DR
04-28-2009, 01:56 PM
.................................................. .........

This is mine which because of the position of the On/Off switch, is the one on the right:
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Surf_Grinder1.jpg

It is a great quite accurate. It can hold a "tenth" ie 0.0001" without too much effort. It is easy to use and is dead reliable.

.................................................. .................




I'm surprised by the "tenth" statement considering the grinder in question. And not even quite sure what is meant by it.

Can you grind several parts to within a tenth? Like for instance, could you make two parts each ground to .5000 +/-.00005".

For me that would be quite difficult even on my grinder which cost quantum leaps over what the China-made grinders cost. I would have a hard time accurately measuring, much less making to that tolerance.

Carld
04-28-2009, 02:31 PM
I have the Central Machinery grinder from HF that I bought from a friends auction. It is a good grinder and it has a magnetic table on it and I made a stand for it. I have used it several times and it does a fine job. The only thing I had to do was change the lube flow from the oiler. It was oiling some places more than others.

It's not as good as some high dollar grinders but for what little I grind it works just as good and gives a fine surface finish.