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alex UltraDork
8/3/12 3:23 p.m.

I've had a grinder from HF for a few years now. Does the job just fine, but I'll readily admit that it feels cheap and is loud as all hell. I'd probably prefer a paddle switch, too. It's not confidence inspiring in the least, which motivates me to get all the safety gear on whenever I use it, which is a good thing when you think about it.

93EXCivic UltimaDork
8/3/12 4:03 p.m.

In reply to alex:

My HF angle grinder has a paddle.

spitfirebill UltraDork
8/3/12 4:06 p.m.

My grinder is a 4.5 inch deal. I could use a 7 incher to remove rust on my utility trailer. If I get one, it will probably be a HF jobber.

93gsxturbo Dork
8/3/12 6:48 p.m.

My dad and I both have Milwaukee's and they are going strong. Of course, they were both built in the USA as well.

On the farm I had a Black and Decker that the boss had found in the ditch walking to a Packer game in Green Bay. It saw more use than both the Milwaukee's put together and was still running strong when I left after 8 years. Last I heard it got left out in the rain by the new hired hand and died.

alex UltraDork
8/3/12 6:55 p.m.
93EXCivic wrote: In reply to alex: My HF angle grinder has a paddle.

Mine has a disconcertingly stiff slide switch. My only hope if I happen to lose control is that it digs in and runs away from me fast enough to unplug itself.

Toyman01 PowerDork
8/3/12 7:57 p.m.

I have two Hitachis and a Porter Cable in the 4.5 versions.

The Porter Cable is junk. It was less than half the price of the Hitachis and worth even less. The gear box makes more noise than the grinding disk does and it vibrates no matter what disk you put on it. I almost never use it unless I'm abusing the crap out of it. Hopefully it will burn up so I won't feel bad when I pitch it in the scrap pile.

The Hitachis on the other hand are outstanding. Quiet, for a grinder, smooth as silk and powerful. They are also small and will fit in places other grinders won't. One of them is 5 years old. The other is less than a year, bought two weeks after I bought the Porter Cable.

I also have a monster 7" Bosch grinder that mostly collects dust. I bought it cheap at a surplus sale because I thought I needed it. I should have bought another small one. I've probably used it less than 5 time in the last 10 years. Unless you are grinding a lot of large welds, I wouldn't get one of these. If you are wanting to run large cutting wheels, buy a Skil saw.

And as stated above these things will eat your hands in a hurry. I've had grinder wounds all the way to the bone. I've also had cutting wheels disintegrate at 14K rpms, it's kind of exciting. Leave the guards on them and wear gloves.

Safety glasses and ear protection are also a must. Having a piece of steel drilled out of your eye isn't much fun either. I'm also about 25% deaf, but I blame that on AC/DC and Van Halen.

donalson PowerDork
8/3/12 8:19 p.m.

been using my black-and-decker 4.5 for a few years now...

did try a cheapo chineese trade show one that died the first time I used it...

if I used em a bit more i'd consider a harborfreight for a 2nd so I could keep a grinding wheel and cutting wheel out (or wire wheel)

T.J. PowerDork
8/3/12 8:26 p.m.
wvumtnbkr wrote: I actually really like my Harbor Freight angle grinder. It has been bullet proof for me and only cost $16.00.


ProDarwin SuperDork
8/3/12 8:39 p.m.

For my use (limited) I've always used a cheap angle grinder.

I did have a need for a large (7"? 9"?) once. I was using a Dewalt. I dropped it in my thigh when it was spinning. It performed really well. I wish it didn't!

fasted58 UltraDork
8/3/12 11:25 p.m.

My Milwaukee 4.5 is over ten years old, beat the snot outta it, never a problem and plenny 'o torque. The new DeWalt 4.5 at work has the safety trigger and soft-start... and much less ergonomic than the 'ol Mil... ugh. Think they woulda figured that out by now, but it's still a good tool. Makita makes some pretty darn good stuff too.

Woody MegaDork
8/4/12 7:01 a.m.

I've had a Mikita for about 20 years. I've used it a million times and it's never let me down. If I were shopping for another, I'd lean toward a DeWalt with a paddle switch, as they fit my hands best.

I try to avoid Chinese tools in general, but especially when they feature parts that spin at high rpm.

logdog New Reader
8/4/12 7:34 a.m.

Its interesting seeing how the Harbor Freight ones either last forever or fail quickly. I bought one maybe ten years ago that lasted all of 20 minutes when I was using it to clean up rust on a horse trailer. That left me in a jam because I needed to finish the job. The closest store was a Sears Hardware so I ran in and bought a Craftsman Professional that has been awesome.

jhaas Reader
8/4/12 7:53 a.m.
GrantMLS wrote: 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!

Thats the way i roll. one cut, one grind. got two Dewalts for $99 at HD

however my favorite (saw a buddy with one) is my Metabo

just awsomely smooth and very powerful, ebay used for around a hundred.

i cant saw METABO enough times

JoeyM SuperDork
8/4/12 8:59 a.m.
Basil Exposition wrote: I should know better and ask Google first! http://www.utilitysafeguard.com/safety-gear/HB-3000/

Oooh! Do want

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof UltraDork
8/4/12 9:06 a.m.

I have Bosch 4 1/2" grinders. That's what we had at work, and when a box full went out for repair, and came back un-repairable, I asked if I could have them. I then checked out some extension cords from the stock room, cut them in half, and replaced the cords. Everybody in our shop got a new grinder that day. They have been 100% reliable since, and that was 10 years ago.

I have to do some odd angle cutting at work, so my 4 1/2" has a 5" disc and no guard. My hands must have 50 scars from angle grinders over the years, but that one has never bit me. One time I was gutting a race car, and cutting some sheet metal out with a grinder and zip disc. The grinder got caught, but not before cutting through, then pitching a piece of sheet metal out. It was razor sharp, and shot about 3/4 of an inch into my right bicep.

alex UltraDork
8/4/12 12:04 p.m.
Toyman01 wrote: Leave the guards on them and wear gloves.

I really don't like gloves with grinders. It seems counterintuitive, but I'm afraid of it grabbing the gloves and pulling a finger clean off. I'd rather have a cut or abrasion.

Toyman01 wrote: Safety glasses and ear protection are also a must.

This I agree with 100%. When a disc lets go or throws a chunk of something unexpectedly, it can get really ugly really quickly. I rock a full face mask.

fast_eddie_72 UltraDork
8/4/12 2:15 p.m.
wvumtnbkr wrote: I actually really like my Harbor Freight angle grinder. It has been bullet proof for me and only cost $16.00.

I think the one I bought was a more expensive one from HF, but yeah, it's one of the ones that's surprised me in a good way. Works great. But it's worth noting that I don't do a ton of work with it. Not sure how it would do in the long run. But the quality seems really good.

motomoron Dork
8/5/12 4:32 p.m.

I bought a 4-1/2" Makita w/ the switch about 10 years ago - it's held up to serious, frequent use since, and when I saw them blowout priced online somewhere, I bought a second one which came with a paddle switch.

After multi-day masonry jobs I'll treat them to a minute w/ a blow gun, and that's all the care they've ever had. I'm sold on Makita.

Twin_Cam UltraDork
8/5/12 6:13 p.m.

I have a 4 1/2" Craftsman one. I usually ask it to cut through ridiculous things, and it doesn't complain. It wasn't too expensive, either.

93EXCivic UltimaDork
8/6/12 8:21 a.m.
logdog wrote: Its interesting seeing how the Harbor Freight ones either last forever or fail quickly.

That is cause IIRC they basically buy from someone and put their label on it. They change suppliers every now an then which is why I have one with a paddle switch and someone else doesn't.

curtis73 SuperDork
8/7/12 12:25 a.m.
93EXCivic wrote: Who do you prefer as a decent angle grinder? I am trying to decide between Milwaukee Tool, DeWalt, Makita and Porter Cable.

I have owned a DeWalt and a Makita. The Makita was fine, but mine overheated and fried. I got a new one and it fried too. I have a DeWalt that I have beaten to death and its still going. I've had to replace the cord twice and its great.

Black and Decker makes absolute crap, but its cheap. I have a B&D grinder and its OK. The screws that hold the bearing plate to the gearbox keep coming loose despite the loctite, and its a bit low on power, but I use it for wire wheels and polishing.

Milwaukee is top notch stuff, but you pay for it.

jamscal Dork
8/7/12 5:51 a.m.

Metabo is one of the best, and you'll find Metabo or Bosch in many weld shops.

They have a clutch so your cutoff wheel won't explode or kick back (as bad) if you get it in a bind.

A switch is preferable to a paddle.

Some brands aren't what they used to be, including DeWalt. Some brands have a model they sell at home depot or lowes and a more robust offerings elsewhere.

I do understand buying cheaper for a tool you only use once a month, but I use a grinder at least 20 minutes a day and want something good, which is a good reason to own a Metabo; ergonomics.


yamaha HalfDork
8/7/12 11:09 a.m.
93EXCivic wrote: Who do you prefer as a decent angle grinder? I am trying to decide between Milwaukee Tool, DeWalt, Makita and Porter Cable.

Out of those, the Dewalt. I've had a pair of them for over 10yrs without issue. Just bought a smaller porter cable last year.....no issues yet

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