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Hot Rods Angle Grinders

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by pirate, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. pirate
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 375

    from Alabama

    I have a rather large corded DeWalt angle grinder but I am looking for a smaller version to use with a cut off wheel, also grind weld and do some rough sanding with a flap wheel. I also have a pneumatic version but was looking for an electric version. What’s out there that has good quality and works well?
  2. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 5,702

    scrap metal 48

    I use cheap Harbor Freight.. Work them hard, wear them out, last about 2 years.. Repeat.. They're only about $10....
  3. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,669

    Mike VV
    from SoCal

    Top of the line...Milwaukee (about 10 years old).
    But then I also have an old (35+ years) Sears that still works well.
    And believe it or not, I still have an old (25+ years) $17 Harbor Freight grinder that still works as well as the other two.
    All the same basic grinder, for 4" disc's.

    All three work great, no problems with any of them. The Sears is the oldest and is probably used the least, the Harbor Freight gets all the dirty work and tossed around while grinding stuff under the car. The red Milwaukee gets to do the easy, clean stuff because it cost the most..!

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  4. lowrd
    Joined: Oct 9, 2007
    Posts: 210


    If these opinions aren't enough, check into Garage Journal.
  5. Im using a cheap harbor freight one, that Ive had for almost 8 years now.
    scrap metal 48 and Flathead Dave like this.
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 746

    from West, TX

    I will add, “ check the switch”. I have a makita and that switch is hard on my old thumb. A paddle switch seems like a good idea.
  7. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,090

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Anybody using cordless?

    My angle grinder just died Monday.
  8. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,117

    from Nicasio Ca

    Cheapo HF here too. 4 in the shop, one with a cutoff wheel mounted, one with a grinding wheel, one a sander and one a buffing wheel. A spare in the drawer. Yeah they wear out once in awhile but for 10 bucks with a coupon I can live with it. Plus a free flashlight. :)
  9. I'm surprised the Harbor Freight gets good reviews, I always followed the "nothing electrical from Harbor Freight" rule.
    LWEL9226 and RMR&C like this.
  10. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,820

    Atwater Mike

    My Makita is 40 years old, still works perfect. (so far) @DIYGUY said the switch is 'hard'. He's right as rain.
    Paddle switch is a great idea, (as is the cordless from Harbor freight?)
    The question is: Do I already have enough tools? (Does anybody?)
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  11. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,191

    oldiron 440

    The answer to the question is NOPE, the day before I die I will be buying tools! Lol
    LWEL9226 and Truckdoctor Andy like this.
  12. error404
    Joined: Dec 11, 2012
    Posts: 226

    from CA

    I do sometimes, but compared to a corded electric or pneumatic, the cordless ones are heavy and bulky. I usually reserve my cordless for quick things where I just need to grind something quick and simple out in the driveway or something and don't want to get extension cords or pneumatic hose out. Also great that I can toss it in my tool box while on a road trip, camping trip, or whatever. Great to have!

    Sometimes in a tricky spot, pneumatic is nicer than electric. Pneumatic (at least mine anyway) doesn't seem to have as much power as the electric, so if the disc catches hard, it doesn't yank the grinder away near as hard. My pneumatic in addition to having has a low and a high speed, you can also feather the trigger too. I like this for more delicate work. For serious material removal though, electric for sure.
  13. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 3,330

    from Oregon

    I have multiple ones but I like my corded Milwaukee the best. Cuts and grinds with gusto.
  14. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,722

    from oregon

    I really like my Makita but my arthritic thumb hates the switch.
    Next one will have a palm/paddle switch.
    DIYGUY likes this.
  15. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,281


    All my cordless tools are Ridgid 18 volt. Just got an email blast from Home Depot about a new pro series 18 volt cordless brushless bare tool for 89 bucks on sale. They now have a 6 amp battery also on sale. I've found that the 2 amp batteries that normally come with the bundled tool sets don't last worth a crap when used with circular saws and sawzalls and the 4 amp ones are only a slight improvement. Assuming the same will be the same with a cordless grinder. The 6 amp should be a big improvement but it does come with the added weight factor.
    Atwater Mike and Texas Webb like this.
  16. 1ton
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 346


    Bought a Milwaukee from Home Depot and it did not last very long. Gently used, it sheared a key or something in the gearbox. Replaced it with a Metabo which I like very much.
  17. oldsfrench
    Joined: Jan 26, 2018
    Posts: 161

    from France

    i use a cheap one ,
    but i'd like to have a Milwaukee , just because they sponsored drag cars ....
    51504bat likes this.
  18. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,214


    As an Ironworker I'm used to company furnished Milwaukee or Dewalt, but I have used others(Makita, Metabo , Black & Decker, Craftsman) : pick whatever you favor, but I suggest ones with the "Paddle-switch" as being the most comfortable(especially if you're going to be grinding for a long period of time). I'm used to corded, but the cordless are becoming more attractive as they improve weight/balance. SIDE BAR : I know that the guards(& face shields) are a PIA, but so is trying to play guitar chords when missing a finger!!!
    BoilermakerDave, j-jock and Oldioron like this.
  19. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,302


    For my main grinder I use DeWalt 10A. I also have a 7A DeWalt that I use as well. Both are well worn and over 10 years old, and have worked flawlessly. The more powerful grinders are especially useful with a stripper disc when slogging through paint and body filler. I also keep an assortment of the HF grinders, some the "professional" line, and others the cheapo "drillmaster" brand, for certain tools just so I don't have to swap the tooling. I have a dedicated grinder for each shrinking disc (7" and 4.5"), and usually a dedicated grinder for a cut off disc and stone. For $10-$20 each, it's worth it to not have to deal with the PITA and time wasting of swapping discs.
    Texas Webb and Oldioron like this.
  20. rustydusty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2010
    Posts: 1,232


    I've had my HF 4" angle grinder for at least 10 years and it still works fine. I cut up an entire car to fit in my SUV, (all I had at the time. ) and hauled it to the scrap yard. Tried using an HF reciprocating saw and destroyed two of them before I gave up... they were the only HF tools I owned.
  21. woodsnwater
    Joined: Apr 4, 2016
    Posts: 306

    from North Al.

    Make sure it has a switch that turns off when you let go of it. (paddle or trigger) I had a cheap harbor freight one with a wire wheel jerk out of my hand and chew on my leg for a second before taking off across the shop.
    49ratfink likes this.
  22. My rule is electrical tools..worth it, from HF. Had a dremel copy for almost 15 years.. Used a 4" angle grinder at work for 4 years..Usually the cord will go away before the armature and field..That, and the brushes, but they give you spares.
    Now the air stuff? Forget about it..Lucky to get through the break in and first use.
    jimgoetz and 46international like this.
  23. Thanks for this, I have been looking for a good dremel type tool the Dremel brand ain't cheap and the switch is CRAP!
  24. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,302


    HF also usually has several variants of the same tool in terms of quality and price. While the $10 Drillmaster grinder may only be adequate for light duty and in limited use, the $30 Hercules or $20 "CP Professional" model may be significantly better in terms of quality. My experience with HF has been that if you simply avoid the bottom of the line tool, the other better tools are of acceptable to very good quality and a strong value even at the added price.
    Texas57 and 46international like this.
  25. Bought a Walter Metabo 40 years ago. it was expensive and I have replaced the switch once. I baby it now and abuse two $29.00 Hitachi's and they seem to stand up quite well, but more vibration than the Walter.
  26. irishsteve
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 519


    I use to buy high end stuff,but I kill it anyway.I use to pay 70 bucks for a Dremel,and 1 year later its trashed.Now I buy the Chinese Dremel for 15 bucks,and a year later...its trashed.
    46international and Beanscoot like this.
  27. Another vote for HF, particularly if buying one of the smaller 4" or 4.5" grinders. You just can't beat them for the money. The issue I've had with the name brands is the switches tend to fail under heavy use. I've got both a Milwaukee and Metabo in a drawer somewhere with bad switches, after replacing them several times at $30-40 per switch plus the hassle of getting the part and installing it I switched to the HF versions. They last roughly the same amount of time as the switches, but I can replace the whole grinder for less than the switch cost for the 'better' tool. I really liked the Milwaukee with it's paddle switch, but got tired of fixing it.

    If using a HF with a cut-off wheel, do buy the better grade. The shock loads when cutting will quickly kill the gearbox in the cheapy versions... AMHIK...

    Avoid cordless; cordless tools don't like heavy continuous loads. I have yet to find a pneumatic grinder that has the power of an electric model.
  28. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,394


  29. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 930

    from kansas

    I use 2, a black & decker that's at least 8 yrs old, and a couple months ago I bought a cheap hf one so I could leave a cutting disc on the b&d and sanding disc on the hf.

    So far no problems with either. Of course big price difference so I guess I'll see how the hf does at $9.00 with coupons/sale.

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