Hayden H

Grinder brands. Whose is the best?

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I have a 6" Metabo, 2- 4 1/2" Dewalts, 9" Black & Decker and a 7" Makita. All have performed well. If I had to buy a new one today, it would be a Metabo.

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We've had good luck with Bosch grinders in construction, better than DeWalt or Ridgid. I like the ones with the deadman triggers. I have an old 60's vintage Black & Decker 7" grinder. All metal, no plastic. That thing is a brute. It'll about break your wrist if you're not careful. I had to put new brushes and a trigger in it a few years back but it's still humming right along.

Never tried a Metalbo. I guess I need to.

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Howdy,

(I looked around on the forum for discussion on this topic but didn't find much).

I'm fairly new to blacksmithing and want to acquire an angle grinder for shaping my railroad anvil, cutting stock, sanding, etc. I AM WELL AWARE OF THE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS NEEDED WITH THESE BAD BOYS as I have used them off and on before and have seen several of the horror stories described in the forum. 

That being said, what is a good quality brand of 4" angle grinder? What do YOU use and WHY do you recommend/not recommend it?

Thanks and Gig'em!

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While many name brands are good, I like the paddle switch as opposed to the side on off switch. And I also prefer 4-1/2" angle grinders as they give you more disc to use and a bit of a deeper fit with the cutoff wheel. 

I have 3 right now and like the dewalts I have over the craftsman. But I have seen and used many good brands. 

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I should also add that when going to purchase new, try them in your hands and look for one that you can handle comfortably. If it's too fat in your hands the risk factor goes up. 

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Definitely agree on the paddle switch.  I've used Metabo, DeWalt, Porter Cable, and the Harbor Freight (better one with the paddle switch).  I would rank them in that order.

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Agreed. I also prefer the paddle switch, as it gives me a little better control. Can't go wrong with good ol' Dewalt. I have a 4 1/2'' that I have used until it got too hot to hold with leather gloves, a good handful of times, and it is still going strong. I recently used a side-switch type Dewalt 4 1/2'', though,  that didn't overheat after a full day of constant grinding.  

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That's what I figured. When mine finally goes the way of all flesh, I will opt for the higher amp version.

Check out this thread about rail anvils, if you haven't already.

 

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Paddle switch all the way. If you're on a tight budget and have to go with Harbor Freight, spend the couple of extra bucks on the extended warranty -- unlike other manufacturers, you'll actually need it.

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Another vote for paddle switch--as well as what feels good in your hands WITH GLOVES ON.  Yea, I know..gloves and power tools often don't mix but let's get real here.  Of the 4 angle grinders I have, I noticed that small differences in body diameter and shape can significantly increase hand fatigue on those longer jobs.  Getting one that fits your hands well is as important as anything because fatigued hands can increase danger.

Quality disks are definitely as important...or even more important than paying an extra few bucks for a better grinder.  A great grinder will fail with crappy discs and a crappy grinder will often work very well with good discs.

As to those Harbor freight cheapos:  I keep one around for field use in crappy conditions--basically considering it disposable.  Most reports are that they die quickly, often in only a few minutes.  They definitely sound like they have rocks in the gears.  However, the one I have simply refuses to die.  I've pushed it well beyond what it should ever survive and the darned thing just keeps on running.  Must be some karmic punishment from the universe because I certainly hate listening to it's screaming--and the universe wants to prolong my torture :)

Oh...and once in a while those larger "industrial" 8/9/10 inch units from the 50's and 60's with the full metal jackets come up at auction for cheap.  They don't generally seem to draw a lot of interest these days.  Those things last a lifetime, are usually easy to repair (most likely brushes, sometimes switches) and are handy for some types of jobs like larger surfacing jobs.  Definitely keep an eye out.  Remember, even the now-ultra-crappy Black & Decker used to produce some excellent quality industrial tools in those days so don't let modern brand problems scare you away.  I picked up a huge Rockwell for 30 bucks and it's been a handy addition on several occasions.

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Metabo makes a fine tool, but they newer ones seem to be made with garbage electronics. I went through 7 of them in a month due to them shorting out. I have used DeWalt mostly and highly recommend them. Milwaukee and Makita also make good tools and I know people who swear by their grinders. Personally my last one was a Ryobi and I loved it until last week when someone decided they needed it more than I did.

As to the design, I like the paddle type and the rat tail type. I use a side switch DeWalt at work daily and that's a very dangerous design. My favorite is the rat tail, just more comfortable for me. My suggestion is to go to your local hardware and get your hands on a few brands and styles.

I also have to firmly disagree with kozzy. I have seen more people loose fingers from using gloves with angle grinders than anything else. Gloves and guards are the most dangerous parts of them. Why? Because your natural reaction to getting hit with one is to pull away, which you can't do once you get a glove wrapped in the wheel or a finger in the guard.

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when/ if I wear gloves using an angle grinder ( depends on what I am doing) I prefer tight fitting thinner and good gripping gloves like mechanix gloves or similar so I have protection And good feel of the tool.  I think there is a big difference in bulky gloves and thinner tighter fitting gloves when it comes to tool use.  

There are always trade offs. 

Hf Hardy mechanix style gloves ain't half bad for the price and I'd rather wear them out quick then have additional cuts and abrasions on my hands to work with. 

Gloves are certainly a choice but I generally wear the above mentioned type gloves when cutting or grinding.

 

 

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Metabo and Fein for grinders , Tyrolet for hard discs, cut off and flapwheels.

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