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93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
8/3/12 7:33 a.m.

Who do you prefer as a decent angle grinder? I am trying to decide between Milwaukee Tool, DeWalt, Makita and Porter Cable.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill UltraDork
8/3/12 7:35 a.m.

Any of those are probably just fine.

I bought a Sears Craftsman years ago and its been fine too.

cwh
cwh PowerDork
8/3/12 7:35 a.m.

Those are all pretty good. Just make sure to get a good first aid kit to go along with it. Most dangerous tool I have ever used.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr Reader
8/3/12 7:35 a.m.

I actually really like my Harbor Freight angle grinder.

It has been bullet proof for me and only cost $16.00.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof UltraDork
8/3/12 7:38 a.m.

I've used a bunch of those $20 grinders and they work fine. No need to spend $$ on one.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
8/3/12 7:38 a.m.

Makita here, and cwh speaks tr00f. That thing will eat your ass up instantly if you aren't careful.

SilverFleet
SilverFleet Dork
8/3/12 8:39 a.m.

I've used a few of them, including a Craftsman, DeWalt, Harbor Freight, and a cheap flea-market one. The nicest was the DeWalt. I really liked the quick off switch on that. The Craftsman felt nice, and I currently rock the $20 Harbor Freight one myself. That thing is pretty great especially for the price. It feels like it's made about as well as the Craftsman and performs just as well too!

The cheaper Chinese flea-market one spit its bearings out after a few days of use. I got it for free, but it was brand new when I got it. They are dangerous enough, and when they break while you are using it, it's even worse.

+1 for the first aid kit.

bravenrace
bravenrace PowerDork
8/3/12 8:59 a.m.

I've been shopping these for a while. I tried to find one made in the USA and they don't seem to exist. All the name brands are now made in China. I'm not sure any of those name brands are significantly better than the cheap swap meet units, so that's the way I'm going to go. Why pay upwards of $100 for a DeWalt when you can get virtually the same thing for $12 at a swap meet? If someone has real factual details that show that it's worth the extra money, I'd like to hear it. My last cheap unit lasted 10 years, but that was 10 years ago. They may not be made as well now.

stumpmj
stumpmj Dork
8/3/12 9:03 a.m.

I have a cheap one and a Dewalt one. The Dewalt is waaaaaay nicer to use. Faster spin up, faster speed, lighter, quieter (even with ear plugs you can tell), less vibration, etc. Better in every way. Totally worth 4x the price ($15 vs $60).

Comparing the good brands, I went to the store and picked the one that felt best in my hands. I reccomend you do the same.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve UltimaDork
8/3/12 9:07 a.m.

I have a Makita, and it gave up the ghost last night. Overheating is my guess, I was cutting concrete. Loved it up until that point. I will grab a HF one as a comparison and if it sucks, I will grab another Makita. That way I will have spare parts!

oldtin
oldtin SuperDork
8/3/12 9:09 a.m.

Been using a rigid for about the past 5-6 years. Cheaper than the premium stuff, more than the cheapy stuff. I tend to live dangerously - guard is gone and I use 6" cutting wheels on it. For first aid - a few napkins and some duct tape and you're good to go. Girls like scars right? Oh yeah, face shield plus safety glasses for these little gems.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
8/3/12 9:14 a.m.

I have a Harbor Freight one at home. This is one I am getting for work. I know angle grinders can be plenty scary.

GrantMLS
GrantMLS Reader
8/3/12 9:22 a.m.

keep an eye out at home depot, i picked up a 2 pack of Makita grinders on clearnace for 60.00 - 30 each and don;'t have to swap between griund and cutting blades. I had a HF one, lasted a year or 2 and gave up got my money out of it!

LopRacer
LopRacer Reader
8/3/12 10:19 a.m.

I bought a well used Milwaukee years ago and it is still going strong. When it quits I will probably pony up the dough for another like it. I like the paddle trigger arrangment easy on and very easy off too.

ditchdigger
ditchdigger SuperDork
8/3/12 10:26 a.m.

At one point I had enough dead cheap angle grinders that I was able to return them all and pay for a Dewalt 4.5" grinder. IIRC there were Ryobi, B&D, a few HF and some other commercial brands like Westward from Grainger. I was using grinders at least 2 hours a day, sometimes up to 6 hours, 5 to 6 days a week so my needs were a bit more extreme then the average home garage fabricator. That Dewalt is still with me 5 years later and still running strong. When I needed a second I bought another dewalt.

Grinders, Uploaded with Snapbucket (Original)

I recommend the paddle trigger instead of the switch. I feel they are safer. I clearly have both but use the paddle most often.

I don't know anything about other quality brands like Fein or Bosch but the Dewalts have been great tools.

ditchdigger
ditchdigger SuperDork
8/3/12 10:35 a.m.

One of my co-workers was sensitive to the pitch of a Dewalt grinder. To his ears they were like nails of a chalkboard. The Harbor freight grinder didn't bother him so that is what he bought....all the time. He would get 3 months of daily use out of them and fork over another $12 or whatever. He had no problem with this and it was worth it to him. I know he spent more over time than I did.

They are angle grinders, not precision tools. While they work they will all do the same quality job. You can't tell the difference in the gouge from one tool to the next. Estimate your need and buy the one that fits your expectations.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy PowerDork
8/3/12 10:51 a.m.

I've had my HF unit for 8 years now. $12 on sale and 100's of cutting/grinding discs later it is still just has strong as day 1.

JoeyM
JoeyM SuperDork
8/3/12 10:52 a.m.
ditchdigger wrote: One of my co-workers was sensitive to the pitch of a Dewalt grinder. To his ears they were like nails of a chalkboard.

This is a little off topic, since you were talking about pitch, but all angle grinders are loud enough to cause hearing damage with lots of sustained use. Before I started the datsun replica, I didn't have tinnitus. Now I do. Don't be me, guys. Wear ear protection.

SkinnyG
SkinnyG HalfDork
8/3/12 11:03 a.m.

I get the Canadian Tire jobbies ($25 when they are on sale). I suspect they are re-labeled Ryobi or something. I have three of them - one with a grinding disk, one with a cutting disk, and one with a sanding disc. Much better than changing the disc every time you need it - and it never has the disc on it you need.

In my high school metal shop and auto shop we have Makita - they can take all the abuse a pre-penal teenager can dish out. And despite the danger, I've had no student injuries with them, unlike the pedestal grinder which eats fingers faster than you can say "oh crap."

benzbaronDaryn
benzbaronDaryn Dork
8/3/12 1:02 p.m.

I have two small makita grinders and one big one. I uses the two small ones mostly and they work fine. If I had to buy one I'd go for one from either craigslist or the flea market, I don't think it is worth dealing in harbor freight tools if you can find good quality used tools.

If your grinder does quit, check the brushes, they sometime done wear evenly and will get hung up in the holder. Pull the brushes, clean with emory cloth, then reinstall and test.

jimbbski
jimbbski Reader
8/3/12 1:06 p.m.
JoeyM wrote:
ditchdigger wrote: One of my co-workers was sensitive to the pitch of a Dewalt grinder. To his ears they were like nails of a chalkboard.
This is a little off topic, since you were talking about pitch, but all angle grinders are loud enough to cause hearing damage with lots of sustained use. Before I started the datsun replica, I didn't have tinnitus. Now I do. Don't be me, guys. Wear ear protection.

I have a a few ear muffs set around the house where I work with power tools such as the garage, basement, etc. I want to keep my hearing as good as it can be as long as I can. My father worked in many loud places as a pipefitter and in his early 70's he was losing his hearing. If he had survived into his 80's as my mother has I think he would have become nearly deaf. My brother in law worked on the line at Ford and he now needs hearing aids and he's in his early 70's.

Derick Freese
Derick Freese SuperDork
8/3/12 1:44 p.m.

I had a Ryobi break on me. I was changing the disc out, and the whole head broke off the tool. Never again. It was made out of the most porous metal I've ever seen in a tool. It broke at some fairly large inclusions in the metal around the mounting flange.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
8/3/12 1:48 p.m.

In reply to Derick Freese:

Ryobi sucks. I would rather have HF.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Reader
8/3/12 1:57 p.m.

The noise thing would be enough for me to pick one over the other. I'd pay up for the quietest one I could find.

That said, I have had two HF grinders. One gave up the ghost in a year, the other has lasted 6 or 7. I'm not a heavy user, just a hobbyist, FWIW.

I wear earmuffs when working with it. It seems that earplugs don't help much with that damned thing screaming. Gets a bit uncomfortable with the muffs and the faceshield, though, since they tend to battle for the space above my ears. Has anyone come up with a decent combination of the two?

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Reader
8/3/12 1:59 p.m.

I should know better and ask Google first!

http://www.utilitysafeguard.com/safety-gear/HB-3000/

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