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  • 4 آ½ in grinder

    Guys:
    After doing my first welding project at home I decided a 4 آ½ in grinder would be a good Idea. Having a welder and no grinder is like a pencil with no eraser. It works if you are real careful but it is difficult to fix mistakes. I did not want not spend a heap of money since this is not a tool I am earning a living with. On the other hand I did not want to waste my money on junk. I have had nothing but bad experiences with Ryobi and did not want to try Sum Slung Dung brand from Cheapo Depot, Harbor Freight or the like. When I worked in the steel fabrication shop DeWalt seemed to be the grinder of choice. Not the best but a good value and held up pretty well to extreme environment and daily wear and tear. So after a little midnight internet shopping in my underwear I discovered that DeWalt has some new and interesting offerings. These improved models have smaller heads for tight spaces and a rear discharge of cooling air. Also it is designed so wheels can be changed and the guard adjusted without tools. They have a three year warranty. I ended up buying the D28402K from Lowe’s. This grinder lists for $114 and sells for $89 –95 most places. Lowe’s price $59 also we got a 10 % discount for applying for a Lowe’s card so all said and done after paying the governor got it for $ 55. This seems like a good value for what I need. If I was looking for a truly professional tool I would have looked closer at the Metabo and Bosch. FYI
    Regards
    Tin
    Ad maiorem dei gloriam - Ad vitam paramus

  • #2
    The 4 1/2 inch grinder has become a shop staple.

    You can get thin sheet metal cutting blades for it and it makes cutting curves and "on project" cutting far easier than some other methods.

    You can get masonry blades and cut tile for the house - makes the small cuts and finish work much easier, and cup stones, and flapper abrasive wheels, etc., etc.

    I keep an old Makita around with a cup style wire brush installed.

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    • #3
      Don't under-estimate Harbor Freight brand grinders. While most of thier tools suck big time, i've had a 4.5" angle grinder that i bought 5 years ago for $13. It still runs great with plenty of power. I've replaced the brushes once but they give you extras with the grinder so that was no problem. Talk about abuse i don't let it cut its way through anything, i force it. It gets some serious use for a home shop, including dusty enviroments (bondo dust...yuck) and prolonged use...like running solid for 3.5 hours when i was wire brushing a frame. The brushes were a little hot after that bust aside from that it still works great.

      Its also fallen from great heights, occasionaly braking the grinding wheel (dang-it) but never damaging the grinder. I was thoroughly impressed with its performance.

      For 13 bucks you can't go wrong! Its a little bit louder than the other brands, i think it has straight spur gears in it, so i wear hearing protection but aside from that i have been really really impressed.

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      • #4
        Milwaukie, Makita, and the other big names are nice, but I took another approach on my limited budget. I bought the HF grinders often seen on sale for $17-19. These are the better made of the orange ones. Seems there are several different colors that are of differing quality, and at least 2 different orange 4-1/2” grinders. Anyway, I bought my first back in about 2001 and have used it building a buggy, several trucks, all sorts of odds-n-ends and it is still running my 1/4” grinding wheels without having failed yet. I had originally planned to buy a nice one eventually, but grew tired swapping wheels and dealing with the inevitable initial “truing” of the wheels each time. So I bought another, and another, and... I figure I have different wheels on each one (knotted wire, 1/4", cut-off, and cup) , easily and quickly switch as needed, and if one dies, I have spares. So for less than the cost of *1* good grinder, I’ve got 4 rigged and running + 1 still in the box.
        Russ
        Master Floor Sweeper

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        • #5
          We use Black and Decker industrial grade stuff and Dewalt ( which looks like it is B & D but just a different color) were I work, a plate and pipe fab shop, and they take a pounding and hold up very well. We had some well known red cased grinders ( make and name withheld to keep corporate lawyers of my back) and they fell apart (literally) within a few months. All the casings cracked around the bolt holes that held the angle head onto the motor housing, so buying expensive dosen't always mean better.
          The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

          Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

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          • #6
            I have owned Milk.,Makita,B&D,Dewalt,Bosch and Hitachi.So far the Makita and Hitachi are in the lead followed by Milk.The Bosch just burnt the otherday,don't know if I'll fix it or not.
            I just need one more tool,just one!

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            • #7
              Guys:
              Glad to hear you are getting your moneys worth out of your HF grinders. I remember several years ago the guy that owns the fabrication shop I worked in swore by ryobi tools. He said" Why by a Dewalt when I can buy three ryobi for the same price". Within a year he had changed his tune and was buying mosly dewalt and some milwalkee. With that being said what is your opinions on HF abrasives. At the shop we mostly used metabo brand from the welding supply house. Occasionaly we would pick up some norton at home depot.
              My next step is to get some supplies for the grinder, cutting disks and sanding disks.
              Tin
              Ad maiorem dei gloriam - Ad vitam paramus

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              • #8
                I'll have to give a 'thumbs up' on the little elcheapo HF version too. I was 35-40 miles away from my shop (and my good grinder) with a HF store just down the block, and I've just got a job to do the oppisite direction....needless to say, I popped in HF and picked up one of the $18 ones and a 10 pack of wheels (cheaper than the gas to drive home) Well, that cheapo HF little grinder is STILL going like crazy. Like others have said, I can throw it, bang it, drop it, etc, etc and it just keeps going ---- and the wheels!! danged if they dont hold up too.
                If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

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                • #9
                  i have a b&d 7" and a milwaukee 41/2" both are going strong.

                  as for h-f wheels the russian ones are way better then the china ones.
                  Last edited by bob308; 09-21-2006, 12:48 AM.

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                  • #10
                    makita

                    Got to toss my .02 worth in here and say my trusty ol' Makita is still going strong...when it craps out I'll buy another one of those!

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                    • #11
                      I bought an Asian grinder and the shaft the grinding wheel attaches to was bushed, not bearinged. The bushing lasted most of an afternoon. I tossed the damn thing into the trash. Then I thought I'd give it another look. The bushing was the exact same size as a real bearing so I went to the real bearing store in Seattle and bought a very nice sealed bearing. The install took just minutes and 5 years later that cuss is still running. Sometimes those Asian tools just need a little tlc. But I won't buy another crappy grinder like that.

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                      • #12
                        I use my angle grinders daily doing fabrication/.repair work.
                        I used to like Makita but they got to be pretty junky.
                        I have one ol' Dewalt 5" that's 5 years old now and other than a few cheap repairs it's been a good grinder.
                        Best one I ever had was an industrial Bosch 5". Too big for my hands and expensive to fix when it did need some parts but it lasted for 8 years.
                        Just for a joke I bought a cheapy from Walmart. I really liked it...the ergonomics where prolly the best I've ever felt. Too bad it only lasted an hour or so. The replacement was a totally different grinder that addressed the weaknesses of the first one. I hate it but I can't kill it. I use it for most of my really ugly grinding at home and save my good ones for work.
                        I'd actually buy another one...as a joke
                        I also bought a cheap one from Canadian Tire awhile back. That one was scary. The geared head actually blew up in my hands...gear chunks flew out the side and across the shop. Again it was only used for a couple of hours before it blew. Nope...I DON'T want a relacement!!!!!
                        Russ
                        I have tools I don't even know I own...

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                        • #13
                          I find the HF wheels to be a good value. I get my 1/4 wheels and my cut-offs there. I've also bought their knotted wire wheels and wire cups. The only dissatisfaction was with the wire cup which was complete junk.

                          Just to recap, in my years of fairly hard core welding fabrication this century, I have yet to have a single failure among my HF grinders. I can’t imagine what the folks who have them go out in short order are doing. Normally I’m the guy with all the bad luck if there is any to be had, and while I don’t abuse my stuff, I’m certainly not easy on it. However, note that I did say there are several different grades, and you don't want the blue/purple/green versions, you want the orange body with silver painted head and black but cover.
                          Russ
                          Master Floor Sweeper

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                          • #14
                            I say what counts is to get one any brand that has a metallic gear casing.

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                            • #15
                              Shortly after I got my MIG, I got a $20 Clarke grinder from Welding Depot. (no affiliation, etc, etc) I knew about the more expensive ones, but I went cheap. The thinking was that for $20, the thing's practically disposable. When it dies, I'll get another just like it if I can. Oh, and this is my "learning to weld" MIG and grinder, so the grinder gets many times more use than the welder.

                              Well, it's been 3 years, and I've spent far more on consumables. I've got the cutting disks, numerous grinding wheels, and those sandpaper flap disk thingies. It's filthy and noisey, but I haven't even had to replace the brushes yet.

                              I'm considering getting one or two more just so I don't have to spend time swapping out disks. I think they can still be had in lots of 5 on Fleabay for pretty cheap.

                              -Mark
                              The curse of having precise measuring tools is being able to actually see how imperfect everything is.

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