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Smiths, 

I was given an angle grinder for my birthday. I was vague with my birthday list, never having used an angle grinder before. I have not had time to research them, nor to test this one out. 

My father-in-law is a very handy person and did the research on this one, so I'm guessing it will do what I need it to. There is a limited window on returns, so I was hoping you might be able to lend me the benefit of your experience and confirm: will this do the job as a general-purpose angle grinder in a hobby shop? The details of the grinder are in the pictures below. Little Bean for scale (apologies for the blur). 

 

 

 

Bean for Scale Resized.jpg

DeWalt Details Resized.jpg

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It' a 4 1/2" Dewalt angle grinder and is a good tool for it's size. Without knowing what you intend to do in your shop how do you expect anyone to say yes or no? It's not a junk brand. 

Maybe you should ask your FIL to show you how to: use it safely,  change disks, adjust the guard, etc. More importantly what NOT TO DO!

You may need larger if so that will still be a very useful tool.

I HOPE you said thank you!

Frosty The Lucky.

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You can use a grinding disc, a cut-off disc, a wire wheel, a flapper disc. ALWAYS WEAR EAR & EYE PROTECTION, Never short sleeves or shorts unless you wish to be cooked, raw. It is one of the most versatile piece of power Tools.

Neil

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I have loved and killed several of those angle grinders over the years. Since you've never used one, it's definitely a good size to start. A 7" can feel really torquey and be a little scary to start with. Make sure you wear nothing loose to get tangled in it, get a face shield, keep the guard on, and use hearing and breathing protection. An exploding cutting disk or wire brush is no joke. Stay safe. 

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I have three of them, the oldest is a Milwaukee which was given to me years ago, because it wouldn't run. All it needed was a set of brushes and the gear box greased up. It has been going fine now for at least 5 years. I keep a flap wheel on it and the other two have a cutoff wheel and grinding wheel, that way I don't have to change disks as often, just pick up the one for the job at hand. Like others have said show it a lot of respect as should be done with any power tool and be sure to wear PPE. If you didn't get a manual with it, I bet it would be available free online. I always recommend to RTFM. (Read the Field Manual):)

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Dewalt is a good brand, 4.5" is a decent size and that model has two safety features, non locking paddle switch or dead man switch ,and a brake (according to their website).

Bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to grinders, and I find they should be used more according to the circumference of your forearm than your aspirations ;)

Get acquinted with that one, take it easy and let it do the work, never take the guard off even if your cousin, neighbour, friend and aunty tell you they do so regularly. 

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All above is good information.

Just a note on my experience. The sparks can burn through shirts faster then I would have guessed, so i got a leather apron and always wear it.

I have another brand (cheaper, Dewalt is good) but similar in size and use it regularly. Use common sense and be careful, if it can cut/grind through metal skin or bones isn't a challenge.

Enjoy your new Dewalt.

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TJ, a nice tool from a good brand. I wish you much worn out grinding disc's and cart loads of corund / steel grinding dust in your shop. Especially, however, good luck and care in maintaining all limbs and many neatly finished forgings and workpieces.
When I am asked if I play an instrument I always call yes, the angle grinder. I have multiple AGs, as I work with different discs when finishing my sculptures and would lose a lot of time if I have to constantly change them. What is the power of your grinder (in Watt) not unimportant for the life time and endurance of the tool.

Grinders.jpg

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Frosty, I was able to give a couple of criteria that he used in his shopping: 

- Cut through pieces of metal at least 1" thick (not quickly)
- Shape/grind steel

I most DEFINITELY said thank you. 

Thanks to everyone else for the safety advice. I do not come from a handy background; circular saws are the outside of my comfort zone. I will definitely be studying the manual before use, and even if my GREAT-aunt tells me to take the guard off I will stolidly refuse. 

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Another thing is to not abuse it; they last a lot longer if you don't try to force it through stuff.  Use a proper cutting wheel for cutting and grinding wheel for grinding AND NEVER CROSS USE THEM!

Depending on what you are doing you may want to pick up a larger one sometime in the future.  I like to get the old heavy industrial ones from fleamarkets and pawnshops as they are generally still supported for replacement parts and were made for heavy work.  (Reminds me I need to get new brushes for my Milwaukee that I use for cutting RR track and Welding Gas cylinders...)  And, yes, the large ones do need to havy your arm muscles to be built up to use them safely.  I tell folks that my 9" AG "tries to break your wrists when you turn it on."

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I have used an angle grinder for a myriad of things.

I cut off the entire lower 6" of body panels on a '70 vw bus for replacement. I've used them to cut out and grind many a stock removal knife. I've used it to cut off and replace a busted and jammed steering knuckle on a truck. I've shortened hundreds of bolts for projects. I've cut all the material to build a $70,000 LED sign frame with one.

Once you get used to it... you'll never understand why you didnt have one before.

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TJD;

all the advice above is sound, use PP&E including apron (or welding jacket) and keep the guard on!

Adding to the above, make sure that the disks/flap wheel, etc. you're installing has a maximum rpm that meets or better yet exceeds that of the angle grinder.

I only have two angle grinders, so disks/wheels change as as tasks require. As a personal habit anytime when a new or partly used disk or wire wheel is (re)installed, with PP&E on, I turn on the AG and let it run without load for at least 30 seconds. If it's not properly installed, or there is a hidden flaw or crack in the disk or wheel it usually shows up as heavy vibration or dramatic failure (Note - keep by-standers at a distance.) I also follow this rule any time I'm away from the grinder for a while (out of sight, coffee/meal breaks, call of nature) or the AG having been in storage/transit for a period of time.

Treated with respect, angle grinders are a great and versatile tool to have in one's kit.

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