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Newbie looking to buy my first Real Grinder

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Hi all.

I’ve appreciate reading the posts in this thread. 

For a while now i’ve been using a Ryobi belt and disc sander for stock reduction on steel but needless to say it’s not ideal - too much bulky metal housing making it’s difficult to get the steel in nice and close to the belt. so I’m looking at cheap belt grinders to get me started - anyone know if something like this would do for a while? 

Remove link to commercial site.


Im not a pro nor and I’m on a budget so not looking for pro equipment at this stage. Alternatively if this is just cheap junk can you please suggest a suitable and affordable belt grinder for a relative beginner. One that doesn’t need someone with an engineering degree to set it up. 

Thank you all for your time m and kind regards


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Do the slots on that motor allow grit to get into the innards?  I'd consider anything not using a TEFC motor a toy.

Also the big cost of a grinder over time is the abrasives.  Does that model use easily sourced belts?  Paying extra for odd sized belts builds up fast, especially for relatively small ones that wear fast.

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Hi all. Thanks for the responses. (I got warned for that post as I didn’t realise I couldn’t post a link in it. I tried posting a pic of the unit but it didn’t let me so...) this is the description ... 

950w Bench Belt Sander Grinding Machine Double Axis Variable Speed 40x680mm

that's definitely a fair point about the odd sized belts and how difficult or expensive it may be to replace them. I’ll do some googling on that point. ..

Ah this time it’s let me post a pic of it. Let me know your thoughts on if it would work for a relative beginner.


thanks and kind regards 



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Other potential drawbacks as seen from photo:

  1. Belt tension system missing, or difficult to use
  2. Belt tracking micro adjustment missing.
  3. Idler wheels are stacks of ball bearings?
  4. General flimsy construction 
  5. Drive wheel diameter  (what is belt SFPM?)

I'd take a Grizzly, or homebuilt over that any day.

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Wow--that grinder has a lot of potential expletives one could attached to it.  Its chief benefit would be in the health category--because you should get plenty of exercise in your quest to run away.

There is no great solution that is also "cheap".  There are some passable solutions--for instance many get good results using a flat disk in an angle grinder if they work carefully.  There are also chinese 1 x 30 machines that are in the $ 120 USD range which, though underpowered and a bit frustrating, can get the job done if you don't push them too hard. (put your money into only high-quality abrasive belts/discs--going with the best there is where things pay off well).

One thing to keep in mind though:  It's expensive to get into quality but the value remains--quality can be resold in a short period to recover the majority of the purchase cost.  Junk will only be worth junk prices later if anything at all.  You are basically putting money into the "bank of iron" for a while.  That means if one can scrounge a bit more money for quality to begin with, it isn't really a loss to your wallet, it's just banked for a rainy day or later upgrade.  Not everyone can weasel the cash up front for a larger purchase but it will pay back better over time so should at least be considered among the possibilities.

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  • 4 months later...

I just bought my first 2x72 belt grinder. $600 for the frame, platen, drive wheel, and work rest xxxxxxxxxxxxx

$235 for a 3hp 3 phases 220v motor from amazon and $100 for a 2.2kw vfd. For a total under a grand.  If your on a budget this is for you! 


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I bought my 1.75 hp, 110 or 220 single phase Dayton motor at the scrapyard for US$10; looks brand new; they are remodeling a building on Campus and I probably got it right after the old one was swapped out by maintenance. Going to use it for my 25# LG!

The 3 phase ones were also $10; but it would cost thousands to get 3 phase to my shop.

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I just bought my first 2x72 belt grinder. $600 for the frame, platen, drive wheel, and work rest from ameribrade.com.

They also have complete systems for a very affordable price.

$235 3 hp 3 phase 220v motor from Amazon $100 2.2kw vfd. If your on a budget this is for you everything for under 1k.

 I am not sponsored by no one, I'm a new knife making trying to help and save need knife makers money 

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You were not warned about helping others,  you were warned about posting an advertisement for Ameribrade.  Do not say you weren't told about the rules, you were told about the rules of posting, and did it anyway.   It is not our fault if you refused to read them, even though you signed when you joined that you read them and agreed to follow the rules,

the warning was to remind you to not do it again

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Just out of curiosity. How do you know a good grinder from cheap junk being new to the craft and all? From what experience do you draw for your opinions?

If you believe you'll learn to be a competent bladesmith by watching Youtube you're in for a sad reality check. Most folks posting how to videos on Youtube don't know what they're talking about. The only qualification necessary is a camera and internet connection. 

Stick around and adjust to plain talk and there are world class bladesmith members of Iforge who'll help you out. IF you're willing to read articles and such to which you're directed. We don't do research basic math, etc. for people. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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