View Full Version : HF 6" Tool Grinder - Owner Satisfaction ?

01-29-2010, 05:36 PM
I am interested in hearing from owners of the Harbour Freight
6" Tool and Carbide Grinder (46727-0VGA) (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=46727). This grinder has been
discussed here in the past (Tool Grinder (http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=9640&highlight=harbour+freight+tool+grinder) 2005.01.02), but only by
folks who have just received the unit.

Has the machine proven to be trouble-free and suitable for the

Does it come with iron or aluminum tables now (the online manual (http://www.harborfreight.com/manuals/46000-46999/46727.pdf)
suggests they are aluminum)? Are recent models uniformly
green (including the motor) as shown in the advertisment
or some other colour scheme as shown in the manual?

Did you continue to use the OEM wheels or change them out
in favour of AO &/or diamond replacements? Any tips regarding
replacement wheel sizing or grit?


01-29-2010, 05:41 PM
The wheels are very hard to find for grinding HSS. J&L had them.
Do what Harold suggests over on Chaski... Ah heck, let me pdf it for you...


01-29-2010, 05:55 PM
I bought one many years ago. I have no idea what material is used for the tables today.

The stock wheels are useless. I have a Diamond on one side for Carbide and a CBN on the other for HSS. There is no choice in wheel diameter, only the thickness of the coating, thicker is more expensive. I have 1/8" thickness on both. I don't remember the grit or concentration, been a long time, but I expect it was medium. It has had weekly use for at least 10 years, no problem.


01-29-2010, 06:01 PM
A 6" wheel for a 1-1/4" arbour is specified. IIRC, there was a comment
in the 2005 thread about difficulty locating suitable wheels, but a quick
check today seems to indicate this is not too big an obstacle.

Enco has diamond wheels on pg 260 here (http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INPDFF?PMPAGE=261&PMCTLG=00). They have silicon carbide and
aluminum oxide wheels here on pg 253 (http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INPDFF?PMPAGE=253&PMCTLG=00).


01-29-2010, 06:05 PM
I bought one many years ago. I have no idea what material
is used for the tables today.Your tables are iron?

The stock wheels are useless.Your's were green (SC)? What material are you shaping? HSS, carbide ...


01-29-2010, 06:19 PM
Your tables are iron?

Your's were green (SC)? What material are you shaping? HSS, carbide ...


Yes, I have iron tables.
Yes, the wheels were green, and I assume SC.
Free to anybody that wants them, they aren't even good for sharpening TIG electrodes.

I use the diamond wheel for Carbide, and hone HSS by spinning the wheel with my thumb. The diamond is smoother than the CBN. CBN is HSS only.


01-29-2010, 06:35 PM
Thank you.


01-29-2010, 07:08 PM
Have one and use it to shape and sharpen HSS I used the green wheels for a few years.. they will cut HSS but it's slow to shape new tools from a blank. However it will put a keen edge on for touch up. Mine has cast iron tables and is green in color. It's worked fine right out of the box. I did pick up a AO wheel from JTS Machinery & Supply it was a direct swap... some have mentioned having to mod the wheel of the guards with other brands.


01-29-2010, 07:34 PM
I bought one two weeks ago, table is still made of cast Iron.


01-29-2010, 07:50 PM
I have one. I don't like it. Sure it spins, but the motor is very poorly made. I paid $100 for it a few years ago. I should have waited and got a old Baldor or Dayton.

01-29-2010, 08:00 PM
I'm satisfied with mine. The tables and hinge works need work to move smoothly and the green rocks need to be replaced. Mine is very smooth in operation.

loose nut
01-29-2010, 08:08 PM
Mine runs great, I didn't even bolt it down since it vibrates so little. The only thing wrong is the green concrete wheels that come with it.

Replaced them with an AO wheel from Wholesale Tools.

01-29-2010, 08:18 PM
I bought one about a year ago. My tables are cast iron and the wheels were concrete as far as I could tell. I bought two good green wheels and one white wheel and used them for a while then replaced the green wheel with a diamond wheel from CDCO and it was the best thing I did.

Mine works just fine after a few modifications.

Your Old Dog
01-29-2010, 08:42 PM
I've had mine about two years and rightly or wrongly, use it the way it came to touch up both carbide and HS bits with no problems.

My tables are both cast iron. The watering thingy is useless in my opinion. The switch I have is poor design because it's possible to turn it on in either direction. If you power down, check your grinding and then power back up again make damn sure you hit the right side of the switch. One of the guys in a previous thread took the time to make a shield for the top half of his switch all but eliminating the possiblility of running it in reverse while it's spinning down.

I like mine, it was a great value for the money. I have done nothing to mine but dress the wheel and I have no vibration.

01-29-2010, 08:56 PM
Its a crap-shoot. Many guys have had great results right out of the box. I bought mine a few months ago and it was a project. It wobbled like an urban outdoorsman (homeless bum) on cheap wine. I was able to turn down one of the mounting disks but for the other side I had to make a new one. No big deal, I needed the experience. I haven't addressed the table adjustment problems yet (they're bloody hell to adjust) but will if I ever get some free time. Bottom line - buy it. Its not a Baldor, but it can be made useful and - you might get one that works right out of the box.

01-29-2010, 09:07 PM
The grinders are good,all they need are a good claening and some work with a file to ease some sharp edges/burrs.

The original wheels are useless.I replaced mine with an AOX wheel from KBC for HSS and a diamond wheel from CDCO for carbide.


http://www.kbctools.com/USA/Main.cfm item#1-704-368

01-29-2010, 10:04 PM
Mine runs great ...Did HF ship direct to your location in Canada or did you need to make
other arrangements to import the grinder?

I have not dealt with the company before and noticed something in
their Terms of Sale that gave me the impression I might need to have
purchases forwarded by a third party.

Shipping Charges, Terms & Conditions
8. Any order exported from the United States cannot use
Harbor Freight Tools as the named shipper, without specific


01-29-2010, 10:12 PM
The switch I have is poor design because it's possible to turn
it on in either direction.For what its worth, the Baldor has a vertical switch that enables
operation in either direction, too.


The tip about the switch guard is a good idea in either case, AFAIC.


01-29-2010, 10:14 PM
Do what Harold suggests over on Chaski... Ah heck, let me pdf it for you...

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3569389/Grinder2.pdf.pdfSomehow I overlooked thanking you in my earlier post for these links .

Much appreciated !


01-29-2010, 10:23 PM
I paid $100 for it a few years ago. I should have waited and got
a old Baldor or Dayton.Used 500 series Baldors sell for about 1/3 of list, Deltas seem to be
in the same ball park. The few I have come across in recent days have
been in the vicinity of $400-500 (though some had OEM pedestal stands).

A complicating factor is that some private vendors have stipulated "local
pick-up only" in their sale terms.


01-29-2010, 10:25 PM
Thanks to all for the machine feedback, as well as the tips on tune-up
tweaks, wheel selection and vendor choices.


02-01-2010, 08:30 PM
Whatever you do, do NOT buy KBC's 'import' carbide/tool grinder

It blows brakers, takes 30+ seconds to spin up (Due to piss poor starting cap used and NO STARTING RELAY like 99% of other motors on the face of the planet), it can't reverse, it can't be easily modifyed to reverse, it isent designed to hold the wheels on if reversed, it isent designed to allow diamond wheels to properly mount, or CBN, or let the table get remotely close to a used wheel, the 'water' cup could only dribble water onto the table.. And could not be locked into place so it just sorta dribbled water somewhere around the middle of the wheel completely missing your work. No adjustable spout or anything. Generaly just sucks every possable way it could suck.
Oh, and it costs over $500cnd. (Vs grizzly/HF <$200)

Both the harbor freight and the grizzly tool grinder have been given A+ reviews and are likey the same model and just as good. (I'll note that both allow: diamond wheel mounting, proper table positioning, reversal, etc, all the things my grinder at 2.5x+ the cost did not do)

In short: KBC's grinder was designed by a nearsighted engineer who lost his glasses and only ever seen a carbide grinder through the frosted window of someones shop! Definately not by someone who has even bothered to look at what one looks like in a catalog, and surely not by anyone who has ever used one.

02-01-2010, 11:45 PM
I've had my H-F tool grinder for a half-dozen years, or more, and am very satisfied.

I knew before I bought it that the original SiC wheels were worthless; and, I knew that the wheel-guards needed to be relieved before installing a diamond and an aluminum oxide wheel.

Knowing in advance what the problems were, I wasn't disappointed. I'm very pleased with mine. I even modified the coolant dispenser on mine, adding a copper delivery tube that dribbles onto the workpiece. Works a treat.


02-22-2010, 05:06 PM
A follow-up post to say that one of the Harbour Freight 6" Tool Grinders
was shipped to me last Thursday by FedEx Economy AF and arrived today.

I think that there is good value for the money here.

The unit was well packaged (although if it was shipped by UPS, I would
have wanted more strapping and packing tape to help hold the box
together during the manhandling UPS gives to international parcels).

Paint and plating finish is satisfactory. All the obvious casting flash and
other sharp edges have been deburred.

As mentioned, the table hardware can benefit from some TLC with a burr
or stone to relieve the semi-circular guide slots. Loosening the retaining
nuts for the brackets mounted to the underside of the tables helps
at the outset (and protects against the danger of cracking the brackets.)

If not destined for immediate replacement, the green OEM SiC wheels need
truing. As for balance, they are servicable as delivered - some balance
work after truing would probably make the unit's operation very smooth.

My water cup has a ball valve control with a Loc-Line clone modular hose
& nozzle.

Thanks again to everyone who posted comments.


02-22-2010, 05:19 PM
Are you in canada? if so, how much did you pay to get it shiped?

02-22-2010, 05:36 PM
I have described what to do with these grinders before. The HF is one of the few(Enco now sells one) that will REVERSE,which is a must have. I always get the tables square as possible to the wheel mounting aluminum discs. Then,I clamp a carbide lathe tool to the miter gauges,and carefully take a finishing cut across each mounting disc. They never run quite true till you do this. You don't want to wear out just 1 spot on electroplated diamond wheels,so you'd better do this truing up.

I had one at the toolmaker's shop several years,and it did fine,but Chinese stuff is always a bit of a gamble.

02-22-2010, 09:16 PM
Then I clamp a carbide lathe tool to the miter gauges and carefully take
a finishing cut across each mounting disc. They never run quite true till
you do this.I confess to failing at reading comprehension here. For some reason I
misread your post two or three times before the proper message got
through to me.

It is the backing plates on the shaft (that the wheels mount to) that
you are recommending be trued, especially before switching from the
OEM wheels to diamond replacements.

I noticed the run-out when I ran the machine up but believed that this
originated in the wheels themselves and that it would go away with
wheel replacement.

Thanks for the alert and a method for dealing with it.


02-22-2010, 10:25 PM
I've seen good old American makes with diamond wheels on them that were worn out where they touched the work! Actually have!!!

02-23-2010, 11:31 AM
Runs great, smooth, didn't even bolt it down to the bench. Iorn tables are nice
BUT!! the aluminum trunions will not adjust, even after sandpaper and a file and
now the mill. That coupled with the cost of new wheels ?
One good thing is Grizzlys site has a much better online manual/parts in pdf
for this grinder.

02-23-2010, 11:52 AM
I went the used Baldor route and picked one up for a song. The Baldor pedestal was included. I had been looking for over two years and pounced on an eBay auction which ended on Christmas Eve. Santa can't always be trusted to stuff my stocking with my heart's desires so I helped.

I'm sure that the quality of the electrics is superior to the imports but it does suffer from the stiff table pivot and it is not free of vibration. Like the imports, my grinder needed further attention from it's owner operator.

For the difference in price, if you can't pounce on a good used Baldor unit, or even if you can I would imagine that the imports represent very a decent value for your dollar.