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  • Harbor Freight tool grinder ??

    I did a search and read that some of you have purchased Harbor Freight's tool grinders.

    How are they holding up and have you had to replace anything on them or have the grinder replaced?

    Would you buy another one?

    I am looking for something to sharpen tool bit on and the HF seems to be the best buy.

    I was going to buy a 1"x 42" Wilton belt sander as they work great to sharpen HSS on but I guess know one makes a belt to sharpen carbide on.

    Hal

  • #2
    I like mine. Worked fine out of the box. Some people have reported poor balance, but mine spins smooth.

    Like a lot of other people, I had to reshape the guards a little bit to fit a white wheel.

    I'm saving money for a diamond wheel. In the meantime, white on one side for HSS and the original green wheel on the other side for carbide.

    The miter gauge is a little wimpy, but the tables are sturdy and large, giving you a lot of options for homemade tool rests.

    So yes, get one. You won't regret it.

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    • #3
      I do my carbide grinding on a Russian diamand disk. Also the small hss drills.
      Yes i know but these disks cost virtually nothing.
      As for the machine you ask about, sorry.
      Never heard about a belt that is suitable for carbide.

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      • #4
        Interiorpainter

        Tell me more about the Russian Diamond disk you use. What are they, where do you get them and what grit do you use.

        Hal

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        • #5
          The HF tool grinder is a good grinder. I would not grind hard on it but then you don't grind hard to sharpen tool bits. I like mine and would buy another or repair this one.

          The main thing with tool grinders is to dress the wheel when it is glazed which is often. You can tell it needs dressing because the wheel don't cut well.

          It's EXTREMELY important to keep the wheel dressed.
          It's only ink and paper

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          • #6
            If I knew then what I know now would have spent the $300 (HF grinder+stand+ 2 diamond wheels) LONG AGO

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            • #7
              Maybe this sounds a little naive, but the ones I saw on H F looked good value for money. They turn just like a $1000 one maybe they won't last as long and need tweaking here and there to get it the way you want it, but isn't that half the fun of owning a shop.Sometimes we read too much int the very best tools litterature and und up with the emperors new clothes syndrom, my 2 cents worth.In general it might be better with lathes milling machines larger more daily used objects to buy the very best. I did but with grinders drills etc don't be fooled by the expensively biased coloured pamphlets!Alistair
              Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Alistair Hosie
                Maybe this sounds a little naive, but the ones I saw on H F looked good value for money. They turn just like a $1000 one maybe they won't last as long and need tweaking here and there to get it the way you want it, but isn't that half the fun of owning a shop.
                They definitely don't turn like a real Baldor 500 (the Baldor carbide grinder that was cloned), but there's nearly a 10x difference in price.

                The "green" wheels are sh!t -- throw them away and get diamond wheels or AO wheels if you're doing HSS.

                The balance varies a lot out of the box, but turning a new wheel face bushing and turning the back of the cast aluminum wheel mounts makes a big difference.

                The table adjust mechanism sucks badly. It's a major hassle to change angles without the holding washer popping out, so I usually leave one table at 15°, which works for most HSS tool sharpening.

                All in all, with an hour or two of work, you can get them working pretty well for $99.

                Cheers,

                Robert
                "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

                Comment


                • #9
                  I bought one about 2 years ago. In order to get the tables to adjust easily, I had to flatten and square up the trunnions. Since I don't have a mill, I had to carefully grind them on a strip of emery cloth glued to a piece of float glass. It worked, but it took me five days to get it done. The studs which hold the tables to the trunnions protrude from the surface of the table and are constantly interfering with whatever I'm trying to grind. Consequently, my next fix is going to be pressing out the studs and counter boring their holes so they fit flush. There is some vibration. All in all it is a POS, but it's a functional POS; and you can make it work. It's just fine for us homeshoppers. If I had an ongoing business, the amount of labor that I have, and will, put into it would make a $1000.00 Baldor seem cheap. For me it works and it'll probably work for you as well.

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                  • #10
                    I too have a HF tool grinder. As was posted it needed finish machining and trueing but runs smoothly now. I feel it was worth the money.

                    http://picasaweb.google.com/shopm8

                    Mine is an ongoing project. With the setup shown a 60 deg. point can be ground quite easily and precisely.
                    Jim

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hal
                      I did a search and read that some of you have purchased Harbor Freight's tool grinders.

                      How are they holding up and have you had to replace anything on them or have the grinder replaced? It's doing fine almost 2 years an 20 or so hours on it

                      Would you buy another one? Yes

                      I am looking for something to sharpen tool bit on and the HF seems to be the best buy.

                      I was going to buy a 1"x 42" Wilton belt sander as they work great to sharpen HSS on but I guess know one makes a belt to sharpen carbide on.

                      Hal

                      And I plan on getting a diamond wheel for it also.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sorry Hal, i got a stack of those about 10 years ago at a weekly fleamarked in Holland.
                        Aluminium cast disk with some sort of rubber or resin bonded diamant powder on it in a layer of about half a cm.

                        Polish people would sell all sorts of tooling for now Chineese prices.
                        For Fl15,- now thats about 7 euro you had a wide varyity of choice of cup disks or normal with none of the mounting holes matching. Im am pretty sure it is no borazon. But don't even know what that looks like.
                        The Polish tooling was much better than Russian which was most of the time crooked. They would even lug around bench lathes.
                        Picking tomatos during the week, fleamarkeds during weekend and home once a fortnight.

                        Once in a while you will find this stuff on the fleamarked for 25 euro but not like it use to be. in those days you could just go there and find what you where looking for or order for the weeks to come.
                        The Polish source has almost run dry.

                        They say not to use diamant on regular toolsteel because of fast wear.
                        Even at todays pices of 35 euros they last long so who cares.

                        If you would like to have a Dutch link to a generic 35 euro disk i can post it here.

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                        • #13
                          Five days seems like a long time you musth've got a friday night job.Tyro.Alistair
                          Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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                          • #14
                            Is this the grinder ?
                            http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=46727

                            Where do you get the diamond wheels for HSS ?

                            Thanks,
                            Kevin

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                            • #15
                              Enco has the "Made in USA" diamond wheels on sale right now for about $84 in 100, 150 and 220 grit. David H
                              DH

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