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Wire Chewer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking of getting one, there are cheap, $40 ones are some as high as $200. Is there any major advantage on going with the more expensive one? I want something that will be versatile and take various blades for different jobs from cutting/grinding metal or concrete. I don't mind paying more if it's really worth it. There are also different blade sizes, which size is more popular and can easily get blades for?
 

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Jack of all - master none
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I had a cheapo one - it lasted about 8 months of very light usage and it was dead. Had to throw it away. I replaced it with a Porter Cable (refurb). After 2 minutes of usage, it caught on fire. Luckily, the company sent me a replacement, which probably wouldn't have been the case with another cheapo. I like to shop refurbs - as long as it's from a decent company you get a better tool (usually with 1yr warranty) at Harbor/Northern prices. I might think differently if I were a contractor depending on it though. In refurbs, I found a lot of decent offerings in the $40-$60 range.

I don't know if there are any that take a lot of different wheel sizes. Most of the guards are fixed, and will only allow a cutting wheel of that size to fit in there. I think the standard 4" has a wide variety of offerings (metal/concrete/tile/wire-brush).
 

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You talking to me?
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same here. You don't need to get a top of the line but I would suggest staying away from the rock bottom tools as well. I toasted one pretty good and I wasn't really working it that hard.


I have a mid range dewalt as a replacement that I am quite pleased with.

Find something that feels good in your hand. A lot of them have switches I do not like to use due to them being in an odd place and it requires some odd motions to defeat the safety and then turn it on.

I'll have to look but I think it was a Bosch that had just recently come out. The body is smaller than most (which is another big negative with a lot of them) so it made it nicer to hold onto. Seems like the reviews were pretty good as well.

well, I can't seem to find what I was thinking of.
 

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4.5" seems to be the most popular/common. I have used several and at the moment have a cheap one from harbor freight. It works, but I am not really confident with it using larger grinding tooling.

Depending on your usage variable speed can be quite useful. In addition to the harbor freight one, I have a variable speed one that when coupled with some polishing pads is quite useful for polishing the edges of granite tiles and such tasks.
 

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Jack of all - master none
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Find something that feels good in your hand. A lot of them have switches I do not like to use due to them being in an odd place and it requires some odd motions to defeat the safety and then turn it on.
I did not like Makita for that reason. It was also one of the reasons I went with the rather unconventionally-shaped PC with the lock-on trigger:




4.5" seems to be the most popular/common.
Yes, I was mistaken when I listed 4". 4.5" is the common size.
 

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You talking to me?
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personally I'm not all excited about Porter Cable (nothing specific mind you) but that looks nice. I like the shape and trigger placement.


I was looking around and I think it might have been a Fein grinder I was thinking of.



but they are definitely on the high end of prices (I think that one is like $210). I haven't heard enough about their tools to know if they are worth it or not as well.

another point about both of these last 2 grinders: the gear head is fairly thin (low profile). That can mean a lot in certain situations.
 

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I had a Mastercraft 4 1/2" grinder that I had used when I had my old Landcruiser. Ended up stripping all the paint off that thing (and lots of rust) with that grinder and a whole lot of coarse wire wheels. It eventually burnt up on me but got it replaced with no hassles. Still have it today and would buy it again.
 

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Nap you can’t go wrong with Fein tools. They are meant for heavy use. We had one for the longest time and would bring it to job sites and grind welds off beams, clean burs, cut pipe, cut bolts, etc and then one fine day when on the job some SOB stole it. So now we have a 9’’ Fein grinder which we lock up in our truck when not in use.
this is the baby now.
 

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A Little Of Everything
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2,428 Posts
I did not like Makita for that reason. It was also one of the reasons I went with the rather unconventionally-shaped PC with the lock-on trigger:

Yes, I was mistaken when I listed 4". 4.5" is the common size.
Weird. I have a 4.5" Makita for 15-20 years, have used the heck out of the thing, and can't complain at all. I don't know where it stands on the "bad to good" spectrum, but I've been happy with mine.
 

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uva uvam vivendo variafit
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641 Posts
The only grinders that I buy are Metabo. See the link below for the one that I bought from Amazon for light duty work (buy light duty, I mean removing mill scale and spatter, cleaning/blending welds, polishing steel, and even some limited cutting of 1/4" and thinner material). I imagine you are probably not looking for something heavy duty and I think you would be happy with this one. If you are wanting to use is as a wood sander, you would be better to get a 6" grinder, but they start getting heavier & pricier the bigger they get. The difference in features are basically power/wheel speed, variable speed, and electric brake. Other than that, the cheap ones vibrate and wear out quicker. Some have arbors with hex nuts for fastening the disks. This one comes with a 2-pin wrench that reaches down into the arbor nut to loosen/tighten it. I like this wrench better than the standard wrench (although there are prolly other manufacturers that have modified their wrenches to reach down and inside of the disk with something other than the 2-pin.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001B3Y82Q
 

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I have 3 angle grinders, cuz it's easier than changing discs.
I wait till I see a harbor freight sale: $10-15 for a 4 1/2".
Haven't broke one yet. I do work them pretty hard, but I don't use them day in day out.
The risk with harbor freight is that it will break when you need it most, but since I have 3, that risk is almost nothing.
 

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Learning by Doing
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I've got a dewalt 18V cordless, a black and decker, and a porter cable.

- Dewalt is perfect for when you just need to cut/grind one little thing. It's convenient but has no endurance.

- The black and decker is light

- the Porter cable will city anything. but is heavy.
 

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Wire Chewer
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3,593 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the tips, I'll keep them in mind when I go to HD. I'm kinda leaning towards Fein but not sure if they'll have em. I'll see when I get there.
 

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A Little Of Everything
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Thanks for the tips, I'll keep them in mind when I go to HD. I'm kinda leaning towards Fein but not sure if they'll have em. I'll see when I get there.
I've never seen Fein at HD. Of course, I really haven't looked either. But my guess is that they're a little higher-end than will be carried there.
 

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Handyman
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806 Posts
Nap...check the weekly Canadian Tire catologues. They have a 7amp single speed grinder on sale every once in a while for $19.99. It doesn't come with a case or any disks but my daughter got me one for Christmas about 3 years ago and it still goes strong, and I am constantly using it. Last month they went on sale and I bought another one.

Dave
 

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Super Moderator
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12,627 Posts
If I ever buy a new grinder I guarantee it will have a trigger switch.

A grinder can be a dangerous tool and I never could understand why you couldn’t easily shut it off from the operating position.
 
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