Donald

4" grinder vs 7" sander

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I am working on a railroad rail to make a small anvil for copper jewelry. Which is more efficient:  a 4-inch side grinder or a 7-inch disc grinder using 36 grid?  The 7-inch seems to have more sparks

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The 7" will remove metal faster than the 4". How ever after grinding for a while it will get heavy. The 7" can get into places a 4 cannot becuase of the longer reach on the disc. The 7" has a larger surface area and should stay a little cooler. 

The 4" is lighter and will cause less fatigue. Easier to control and will not want to walk around as much. 

DeWalt has a 6" grinder i am thinking of getting, from all the reviews i have seen it seems to be the best of both worlds. Hogs off metal just about as good as a 7" but weighs about the same as a 4" . 

 

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The real question here is how much grinding do you expect to do? If you're just making one bench anvil and maybe occasional spot grinding you'll probably be happier with a peanut grinder (4.5" angle grinder). If on the other hand you have more in mind they go with the larger, I run a 9" Millwalkee but have a bunch of garage sale peanut grinders. It's easier to grab the peanut loaded with what you need than keep changing: disks, brushes, buffs, etc.

No  matter what you buy do NOT pull the trigger and whip it back and forth on the work, that's what the noisy whirring thing is for. Don't push on it, the motor will tell you when it's working or drawing down from too much pressure. Your tools talk to you when you use them but you have to listen. 

If you want a good example of folk who don't know how to listen to the tools, watch Forged in Fire. I'm pretty sure they cast folks with marginal shop skills for the entertainment. Just watch how many burn up drill bits running fast and pushing too hard. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Welcome aboard Donald. I've said it many times, you need to read this. READ THIS FIRST  It will help you get the best out of the forum with tips like editing your profile to show your location. How much experience do you have using power tools? Do you wear PPE while using them?

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It depends.

 

I shaped my rail anvil with a 4 1/2" grinder. I also flattened my 110 lb. lab rat with a 7" model and a large stone.

For shaping by eye, the smaller version is more controllable and less fatiguing over longer duration jobs. If you can work in the flat position, gravity helps you to do more work with a larger tool.

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