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View Full Version : 4 & 5 Angle grinders



Boucher
07-11-2009, 06:10 PM
I have a Craftsman and Black & Decker. Both are getting tired and I probably need another one anyway. The prices vary from Hitachi at $50 to Metabo at $250. Dewalt has a bunch of different models and varied prices. In the past I have had good performance from Dewalt, Milwaukee and Mikita.. For years I preferred my old Black & Decker Wildcat. As I have gotten older and lazier I tend to reach for the smaller/lighter grinders. What would you recommend or buy if you were in the market? It will probably see more service in the flap disk and surface conditioning processes but will still be used as a grinder some.

jeremy13
07-11-2009, 06:26 PM
I have the Metabo 4 1/2" and love it. It has the finger tight nut and works perfectly. It will even grab the 1/16 cut off wheals with no problem.

davidh
07-11-2009, 07:08 PM
if its a 4-1/2 or 5" that your looking for, the metabo is the best in my humble opinion.

if your looking for a 7 or 9", the milwaukee is heavy and really hard to beat.

i work on this stuff every day. hitachi is not on the top of my list nor are some of the dewalts.................

aboard_epsilon
07-11-2009, 07:31 PM
i wrote this post in 2005

10 years of hard use...it's still going strong, make sure its got koki japan written on it


Hitachi G13SC2 (125mm Angle Grinder)

http://www.hitachi-powertools.com.au...inder-menu.htm (http://www.hitachi-powertools.com.au/tools/Grinder-menu.htm)
I have one of these 240 volt version.
the best there is in my opinion.
went thru loads of grinders all makes all kinds .
only this one was good enough.
featurs different from other angle grinders are .
despites its powerfull motor .it runs cool never gets hot.
also less vibation than any other ive had before
it is also mechanically quite.
even friends are amazed by it .....
even now and it is over 6 years old !!!
it cannot be surpassed in my opinion.

all the best.....mark

BadDog
07-11-2009, 07:32 PM
I'm usually a proponent of buying at least a step or two above the bottom. But not on grinders. At the moment I've got 6 grinders setup with various wheels so I just grab what I need. Any guesses what that would cost if I used my favored Milwaukee brand grinders? Often have at least 4 plugged up and swapping from one to the next on any given job. Just walked in from one where I was using a knotted wire wheel, flap wheel, and cutting wheel back and forth for about an hour. So I use the HF grinders at $17-19 each. I bought the first in/around 2000, added to the stable every now and then, usually under guise of "having one on the shelf for WHEN one fails."

Invariably the "backup" eventually gets mounted with something when the others are otherwise occupied. But I have yet to see one die for more than want of brushes (each comes with spares, I think I have at least 4 more). Yes, they are "garbage" and lack the feel of either my Milwaukee or the big 1950s 9" Black and Decker 15 lb "Grinder of Death" (that thing WILL hurt you).

Beyond that, I prefer the 4.5" in general. To me the best balance of size/capability and widest assortment of readily available wheels in all types. And in my case, all wheels interchange...

oldtiffie
07-11-2009, 07:34 PM
Agree 100% - Metabo.

Its a lot of money but its a lot of grinder too.

loosewatches
07-11-2009, 07:38 PM
My vote goes to Metabo. I've used a whole bunch of different grinders over the years and Metabo wins hands down. They make nice ( though spendy) drills, too.

-loose

tattoomike68
07-11-2009, 08:10 PM
We had a grinding wheel salesman give aus a free grinder. It was quiet and very fast and smooth. we had a job doing fancy steel trash can holders for our downtown area and had lots of grinding prep before painting.

It lasted 45 minutes, the brushes got hot and burned out and it had some weak plastic threaded brush pushers that welded themself closed forever, no changing brushes ever. When he cam back he gave us a new one and it lasted a day or so.

We use dewalt for small angle grinders now. most last a year or two then go to grinder heaven.

Myself I hate grinding and always told new welders that if they grind on anything over 5 minutes they suck.

I used to work at a foundry where they had big grinders with huge air lines like what runs a jackhammer. those boys were fast.

radkins
07-11-2009, 08:11 PM
I'm usually a proponent of buying at least a step or two above the bottom. But not on grinders. At the moment I've got 6 grinders setup with various wheels so I just grab what I need. Any guesses what that would cost if I used my favored Milwaukee brand grinders? Often have at least 4 plugged up and swapping from one to the next on any given job. Just walked in from one where I was using a knotted wire wheel, flap wheel, and cutting wheel back and forth for about an hour. So I use the HF grinders at $17-19 each. I bought the first in/around 2000, added to the stable every now and then, usually under guise of "having one on the shelf for WHEN one fails."

Invariably the "backup" eventually gets mounted with something when the others are otherwise occupied. But I have yet to see one die for more than want of brushes (each comes with spares, I think I have at least 4 more). Yes, they are "garbage" and lack the feel of either my Milwaukee or the big 1950s 9" Black and Decker 15 lb "Grinder of Death" (that thing WILL hurt you).

Beyond that, I prefer the 4.5" in general. To me the best balance of size/capability and widest assortment of readily available wheels in all types. And in my case, all wheels interchange...



HF has a few, a very few, really good items and those grinders are definitely one of them. Even if a person has a "good" grinder one or two or three of the HF grinders are good investment and the darn things seem to be like that rabbit, they just keep on going! My first one is several years old now and has been used/abused and generally treated unmercifully but other than a cord repair it has been trouble free. So it's the same here, for the price of the Metabo I can have a tool box full of the HF grinders with different options already mounted. The years of service I have gotten from them have sure convinced me!


Just a note about these things, first the good ones are the Orange Chicago Electric and NOT the even cheaper "Drill Master" which is total junk and I mean JUNK! The good ones are available in both 4" and 4 1/2" models with the 4" being about $6 cheaper when on sale but they are both the same EXACT grinder, same Amp rating, and the only difference is the wheel guard which most people discard anyway. (Bad idea however!)

2ManyHobbies
07-11-2009, 10:18 PM
I bought one HF 4.5" grinder maybe 3 years ago. The thought was that I could go through quite a few before I had the same money wrapped up in a better deal. My father acquired a cordless DeWalt in the same size. My vote is on the DeWalt, but the HF won't seem to go down the path to untimely demise, and I can't bring myself to spend the money on something I have that already works pretty well.

And to whoever recommended flap disks on a thread a month or so back, thanks much! Those little things are miracle workers at 3x the speed and a tenth of the required muscle coordination of the fiber disks.

JRouche
07-11-2009, 10:38 PM
Only had two 4-1/2" grinders. A craftsman then a Milwaukee. When I got tired of using the craftsman I started using it for masonry work. Dry cutting bricks and concrete. The dust is killing the bearings, brushes and commutator, I knew it would. Makes a lot of racket. But when I need to cut some concrete Ill grab it till it smokes then toss it.

But I like my milwaukee, it does the job. And I have a big 9" Mil grinder too, gotta say, the lil grinder takes metal off just as fast. Unless its a job where I can really lean on the big grinder to make it work. Thats usually only if Im above the work so I can lay into it, otherwise its just too heavy.

A good test of a small grinder's balls is a good flap disc, they bite alot more than the standard wheels.
JR

Peter S
07-11-2009, 11:02 PM
IMO 4 1/2" is the best size for light grinding work, the sort of machine that needs to sit right there on your welding table.

I have a 4" at home, too small. We have several 5" at work but they are just a little too powerful and large for easy use. They demand two hands with good grip, whereas a 4 1/2" needs one hand plus second hand for steadying. (Your grip may vary...:) )

4 1'2" is easily my first choice for most light grinding and cutting.

As for brands - I no longer care much. We have several full time welders at work - none of the brands last very long, angle grinders in full-time use are expendable items. AEG, Bosch, Hitachi, Makita, Metabo, we used them all, they all die. I see they now use cheapo B&D, they die like flies. Fein have a ridiculous method of holding the discs, nice grinders otherwise, but I wouldn't have one for full-time use (very slow to change discs).

R W
07-12-2009, 12:00 AM
Have a 41/2" Heavy Duty Hitachi and find it ideal, also have a 9" Hitachi for
heavier work.

Greg Q
07-12-2009, 12:38 AM
I don't think they are sold in the US, but Protool makes a great little soft-start grinder. They are available in NZ, Aus, Europe. No-tool disc change, great balance and cool running. I'll never have another Makita, B & D, or anything sold at a big box.

Greg

gda
07-12-2009, 06:58 AM
I used to go higher end - but they still blow up:
- I had a Porter Cable, but then it sucked something inside it and damaged a bell wire on the armature - dead
- Bought a $100 bosch - used it every now and then - then used it for 15 minutes hard straight grinding welds - I was wearing welding gloves so I did not feel it heat up - sucker started smoking hard - dead - never again
- picked up a metabo on Ebay - been good
- have 2 of the $45 range Makitas - they have been good so far.

Well worth having 3 ready to go with a flap disc, grinding wheel, wire brush

Timleech
07-12-2009, 07:09 AM
I had a 5" Metabo for years, bought secondhand, wore it out beyond economic repair (that was a lot of work). Bought an identical replacement, some scrote nicked it when still in the box :-(
Before & since then have had a variety of 4, 4.5 & 5" Makitas, all do the job OK, wore one 5" to death a bit quicker than the Metabo.
Picked up a new 5" Metabo a few months ago when they were on a good offer (last year's model, I think), it's another very good tool but really is a 2-handed job (2000W IIRC).
Other than that have a 7" Hitachi which has never given any bother, and an el cheapo 'own brand' 9" which does what I need.
I used to use a 9" grinder all the time, now I'm older it's only when nothing else will do ....

Tim

Boucher
07-12-2009, 10:23 AM
Thanks guys, I really appreciate the benefit of the collective experience expressed here.

radkins
07-12-2009, 10:54 AM
In all seriousness before laughing off the HF "Chicago Electric" grinders they are worth a try, most people are very much surprised. Using these things as additional tools for added convenience and having a "good" grinder on hand as the primary tool may be a good idea for those who don't trust the "cheapie" but I have found this to be unnecessary. My original HF 4 1/2" grinder has held up just as well and lasted just as long as the DeWalt I used at work and has been used just as hard. Certainly buying high quality tools makes good sense and maybe these should be relegated to the "extra" tool category but they are certainly handy for use that you might not want to expose your expensive tools to and are so cheap they can be considered disposable, they do however hang around a long time before needing to be disposed of! :)

Seastar
07-12-2009, 11:05 AM
+A1 on the HF grinders.
In the last 10 years I have killed five high priced 4 1/2" units and one Makita.
The HF units (I have four) just keep running and they are always at hand with different discs installed.
I think the HF units are the best bang for the buck.
Bill

jkilroy
07-12-2009, 11:14 AM
Another vote for the HF el-cheap-o's. For the price of the Metabo you can buy 10! Being able to keep tools mounted is worth it big time. If one dies WHO CARES, I have two or three spares in the cabinet, they were on sale for $10 a few months back and I couldn't leave the store without a couple.

lazlo
07-12-2009, 11:17 AM
I've got a Bosch 4 1/2" that I really like. But I'm going to have to take a look at a Metabo now :)

I'm more than a little dubious about the HF angle grinders. I've been through 3 of the 7" varispeed polishers, and the bevel gear must be hand-chipped out of rock -- it sounds and feels like there's a cement mixer on the end of the polisher.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/photos/92600-92699/92623.gif

But like Russ says, for $15 it can't hurt to try one...

Ries
07-12-2009, 01:04 PM
I have been running 4 to 10 grinders at a time for close to 30 years now.
I only buy Bosch.
Usually this is a 3 man shop, mostly working on stainless, and my average life for a Bosch is 5 to 8 years, then a rebuild, followed by another 3 to 5 years.
The suckers really last.
I usually pay right around a hundred bucks, max, for em. My favorites are the 1347's, I have had some last as long as 15 years.

Every one I have ever bought says "made in germany" on it. I cant help but think this might help.

I buy em from CPO Bosch, usually, and they sell rebuilt ones pretty cheap.
http://bosch.cpotools.com/grinders_and_metalworking/small_angle_grinders/

there is a similar site for Metabo-
http://www.cpometabo.com/categories/grinders/4_1_2_angle_grinders.html

As a working shop, rather than hobby, the HF theory just doesnt cut it for me. The nearest Harbor Freight is about 2 hours from here, a 4 hour round trip to save $80 bucks wouldnt make any sense even if the Harbor Freight grinders lasted exactly as long as the Bosch grinders- but if they last a month, and my Bosch grinders last ten years, then I figure "saving" money at Harbor Freight would probably cost me a few hundred bucks a year.
I just cant afford to lose money on every part, and make it up on volume...

radkins
07-12-2009, 02:27 PM
Ries, I would have to agree with you on outfitting a commercial shop with anything from HF.


Lazlo, With HF you can't compare the durability of one tool vs another one and while the polishers are indeed a bit rough and anemic they in no way compare to the 4 " and 4 1/2" grinders. As I mentioned before HF also has the "Drill Master" 4 1/2" grinder that would not be worth bring home if they were free! They also at one time, not sure if they still have them, a paddle switch 4 1/2" grinder that was an exact twin of the B@D/DeWalt except that is was orange in color. I never owned one or even used one but I know of one welding outfit that used them in ther shop and they liked them quite well.

Roy Andrews
07-12-2009, 04:17 PM
if you want a good grinder that will last buy a dewalt with the squeeze trigger and the highest amp draw you can find. the on/off style triggers are dangerous in my opinion. the hf grinders or their e-bay equivalent are cheap but with a little care will last a long time and give good service. like others i have a bunch and keep different wheels on all of them. when you get them pull the back cap off the head and put in a good quality grease (about half full) and blow out the motor with compressed air every once in a while. the cords are very stiff when cold but they hold up to abuse very well. i paid $30 for a case of 8 of these and treat them very badly but they all still run. the one with the diamond blade that cuts stone and brick makes a racket and the trigger requires a few wacks at times. the ones i have are purple and i got them of e-bay but they look just like hf.

wierdscience
07-12-2009, 04:30 PM
Last batch of grinders we bought at work were Dewalt 10 & 13 amp grinders,mainly because MSC had them in a package two grinders with a 1/2 electric impact for $160.

So far they have held up in 30hr/week work.I really like the gaurd clamp,it's a over-center latch,no stupid screws.

7-9" grinders Milwaukee rules.

lazlo
07-12-2009, 06:45 PM
I buy em from CPO Bosch, usually, and they sell rebuilt ones pretty cheap.
http://bosch.cpotools.com/grinders_and_metalworking/small_angle_grinders/

there is a similar site for Metabo-
http://www.cpometabo.com/categories/grinders/4_1_2_angle_grinders.html

Wow, thanks Ries -- they have the refurb'ed Bosh 1800 (4 1/2") for $59 with free shipping! Just bought another one :)

OldRedFord
07-14-2009, 08:48 AM
I also vote for Metabo grinders. Use them at college in the welding shop. My personal grinder is a Dewalt model #dw402. Has not let me down yet.

andy_b
07-14-2009, 10:23 AM
i have a Makita 4 1/2" that is at least 10 years old and never misses a beat.

as Roy mentioned, there used to be a few fleabay sellers that sold the grinders in multi-piece lots (4, 8, 10) for a few bucks apiece. i was going to buy a 10-pack one time, but never got around to it. i just did a quick search now and don't see anyone selling lots like that any more. heck, if you could get 20 grinders for $75, it almost seemed worth it. :)

andy b.