Choosing an angle grinder...HELP

OK, people. Now I know you'd rather read the posts from that guy who's showing off his girlfriend, but focus for a minute please. :)
I've got to buy an angle grinder and I've got some questions. I've been to Home Depot and they got all the major brands. All the grinders that I've seen have a 5/8-11 arbor fitting on them. I thought, 'No big deal'. But, after looking around the store I didn't see any dang sanding discs that would fit it.
Now, being the industrious guy that I am, I fired up Google and searched for flap disc and got a bunch of hits. However, the one ones with the 5/8-11 arbor fitting were mucho diρero, esse. Not a good thing.
So, I remember a welding shop guy I knew that had all these grinders and the sanding disc one took little screw on sanding pads that screwed into a metal or fiberglass backing. This is what I want. Is the backing piece just something you buy? Is anyone familiar with these and where I might get them?
Thanks for your help. And, I promise, after you help me solve this you can go back to looking at pictures of that spammer's girlfriend. :P
rvb
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When you buy a grinder you get the sanding setup with it.
I like the little Ryobi G-1155C. The thing I like about it is it has a for-real on-off switch, *not* a deadman paddle switch. My hands get less tired using it. I also have a Milwaukee whatever-it-is, 9405? It's real rugged but less smooth, and I get more tired using it.
Grant
Rick Barter wrote:

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Grant Erwin wrote:

Thanks for the info. That's why I'm looking at the Rigid. It has a paddle switch, but it slides up and locks into position too. Very handy for grinding. So you're saying all grinders come with the sander setup?
rvb
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My grinder didn't come with a sanding setup.
Steve Smith
Rick Barter wrote:

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Obviously all grinders don't. My Ryobi did, and that's the one I use. - GWE
Rick Barter wrote:

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I saved this post last month because I've been meaning to pick up a small grinder. Ryobi only shows the models AG401 (4") and AG450 (4.5") on their website. Does anyone know if either of these is a "newer version but basically the same"? I saved this post because I liked the idea of "smooth" - too many tools just vibrate too much to either be accurate with, or they tire your hands too quickly.
-- Bill H. [my "reply to" address is real] www.necka.net Molon Labe!
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Can't say I have any experience with Ryobi but I always took them to be a popular "second name". I've had lots of experience with Makita and wouldn't bother buying anything else. Just my gut feelings though and we all know what those are worth... Any rate - 4 in. models and 4.5 in. models are not "newer or "older" - just different standard sizes. Bigger will eat metal faster; smaller will allow more finess. What are you after? My Makita 4" will handle just about any job I throw at it but I don't try to do any really heavy stuff. I can carve an edge into a knife blade surprisingly well with it. Finess.
GA
Spaketh Thusly:

basically
just
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I was wondering if either of those 2 "new" models was basically the same as the one "old" one Grant referred to, which is no longer available. I liked that he referred to it as being relatively vibration-free -- "smooth". I was hoping to get the same one but can't.

-- Bill H. [my "reply to" address is real] www.necka.net Molon Labe!
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I checked them out again today at home depot.
The large spindled (5/8-11) royobi looked good enough to me in the store. ;)
The cheaper one had what looked to me like 3/8-18 threads. So did the makita. (mine has them silly M10x1.25 threads)
I've owned and used a bunch of drills. I gave away my orange Milwakee to my son. I'm spoiled rotten by the used and rebuilt "B&D HoleGuns".
If/when I buy another hand grinder I'm going to get a really good one or not at all.
I'm inclined to think a guy needs to not waste money and get a good angle grinder instead of buying two. ;) You know, buy a cheap junk one and then replace it with a good one the second try. ;)
Been doing some knife grinding again lately (it's about time;) and can say one thing for sure... grinding out a knife blade with a couple hand grinders is sure enough more -fun- than doing it on a bench grinder! :)
I'm using threaded-grind-stones that are about 16 grit and resin bonded. 5/8-11 thread adapter is needed for the Makita. :/ @~$5
One stone (as a side veiw) has a trapazoid shape /_\ and is meant to be ground on the bottom. I have it on my large heavy-ass;) 9" grinder. (thanks Andy for the correction on its size)
The other stone was a 3"x 3" cylinder but from rough use, working on my old pickup and multiple dressings has taken on a slight taper but still has -straight sides- even if they aren't parallel anymore. ;)
The main tool to have handy with that setup is my 3"x 3"x 8" block of SiC "mason's file?" "mason's sanding block?" for truing and dressing the grind stones. All grinding wheels can be improved with a little of that. ;) Then if you need an aggresive face back, like on a bench grinder, the star wheel dresser can be used several times or until you notice some vibration again.
Alvin in AZ
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snipped-for-privacy@XX.com Spaketh Thusly:

Must have been a different HD... I didn't see you there today! :-)

Me, too, so I got it. 5/8-11 x 4 1/2. Model ??451.

I had the little Makita in my hand and was about to purchase it when I saw that - so while I was there I looked at the available supplies - all were for 5/8-11, nothing for the metric. So I put it back and got the Ryobi. It just scared me at first because it was so inexpensive, but I have 2 Ryobi bench grinders and they were both inexpensive and work very well.
Besides, I had a $50 HD gift card, so the Ryobi + a cutoff blade ended up costing me 37 cents :-)

I know what you mean! I like to avoid cheap tools, but in this case it was: cheap or not at all. I don't expect to put it to very heavy or frequent use. Mainly it will be a poor man's chop saw for cutting stock with a cutoff blade. It's a major PITA to use the Skilsaw for that since it takes longer to change blades than to do the cutting.

I have to get away from my day job long enough to finish building my shop walls. I have a 2x72 belt grinder I can't take out of the box yet :-( since the bench it's going on isn't built yet and the wall where the bench goes isn't built yet either. I really expected to have it done before spring....

I looked at that when I was considering the Makita - but I didn't see any flanges for it.
-- Bill H. [my "reply to" address is real] www.necka.net Molon Labe!
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On the way to HD did you go by the Indian Reservation and pick up a couple Red Chili Burros too? ;)

Cool, the small threaded stuff is wierd IMO. :)

There was a Makita with 5/8-11 shaft too.
But just to get it straight I believe they aren't metric but instead 3/8-18. Just as junky, either way, but not as weird as my old metric one. My old one doesn't have a button to hold the spindle either. :( That and my old 9" hand grinder has a button that's just shy of to friggin hard to push in. ;)

Skilsaw to me means a circular saw, is that what you mean?
Been looking for a "sheet metal blade" to fit a circular saw for me and a neighbor, can't find one anywhere. I've been using a non-carbide toothed verneer blade set backwards. ;) Cuts great but starts wobbling after ever couple feet and have to pull it out and let it cool. ;)
Are you talking about those or grit based cut off wheels?

Since that's done outside, no need for a shop to rough out some blades! ;)

When you going to friggin retire for real? :/

I have extra flanges etc for both grinders to accept many different tools. May not have them at HD, might have to get those at the hardware store.
Simple 1/8" thick or thinner grind stones, with no hub, just a 5/8" hole, can be used on the grinders if you get the steel flanges.
A lot of time they don't come with the blotters(?) or washers(?) but they can be cut from thin cardboard.
At the used tool store they have 4"x 1/32" cutoff wheels that work pretty good but Bob Engnath had it figured out. :) I still have a pretty good supply of the "heavy duty" non-fabric-re-enforced dremel cut off wheels he sold and recommended.
Bob E and his son would notch both sides of the 3/16"+ bars and snap.
What I've found is best for me and the thin HSS power hacksaw blades is to just notch one side and then snap. The last blade I profiled was done that way a couple days ago.
Alvin in AZ
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snipped-for-privacy@XX.com Spaketh Thusly:

Nope. Got a lobster roll. :-)

The grit one in a 7 1/4" worm drive (one of the few circular saws safely usable by this lefty).

Oh yeah.... you don't get snow.... or much rain, either, huh!

After daughter #2 gets out of college... $$$. BTW, she may go to ASU after she graduates HS next year. If so, I may stop by and say hi!
-- Bill H. [my "reply to" address is real] www.necka.net Molon Labe!
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:)
I only use those in my very worst circular saw. ;)

Don't you ever have a nice day there? ...oh yeah... black flies and skeeters, huh? :/

Cool. :) If you're driving her out, bring her out by way of I-40 and go back on I-10. If she needs a vehicle here, buy it in Phx and later drive it back, sell it as an antique that's been garaged (lie about that part, what will a "Mainerd" know about it) since it ain't rusted to hell. ;)
Alvin in AZ ('75 F150 no rust)
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I've had perfectly good experiences with my green Hitachi 4-1/2" (GS12a, but that's from memory, not from looking at it). Any decent quality grinder (or other rotating tool - saws, etc) should be smooth, and if it isn't you should take it back, IMHO. That's a defect, not something you should live with.
IIRC, Ernie really likes the Metabo grinders made in Germany, for long life and abuse in commercial service.
My Hitachi grinder only gets occasional abuse in non-commercial service, most recently cutting a bunch of tile with a diamond blade. Last summer it ground a bunch of concrete with a masonry blade, and it does lots of grinding of metal for welding throughout the years. It does have a real on/off switch. Unfortunately it won't take the better class of woodcarving blade (or so the manufacturer of that blade says, with a long list of specific models thier stuff does fit, which tend to support the "buy Makita" advice someone else gave, at least for non-standard accessory compatibility). I think the actual fit issue is probably the guard which goes with the blade, not the blade.
--
Cats, Coffee, Chocolate...vices to live by

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Angle grinders may be one of the few exceptions to the general admonition to buy the best you can afford. I find it really difficult to justify spending $80 on a major brand angle grinder when I can take the same $80 and buy three Harbor Freight angle grinders, with $20 left over for accessories (but go elsewhere for the accessories). They seem reliable enough, but I'm not using them 8 hours a day either. Yeah, they may be a little noisier and vibrate a little more than the more expensive ones, but unless your grinding several hours a day...
As for sanding discs, the ones you described sound like Roloc's by 3M. I've only seen them in smaller sizes (for die grinders) but I haven't looked for them for angle grinders. Personally, I love the flapped sanding discs. Even though they seem expensive at first, they last a long time, they're a breeze to change, and they give a nicer finish and conform better and aren't nearly as likely to gouge your work as ordinary sanding discs. You can get them from www.mscdirect.com or www.mcmastercarr.com , among other places.
Bert

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Bert wrote:

Dang, Bert. You just hooked me up, man. I checked their web site and let me tell you that Harbor Freight will be seeing me tomorrow morning! :)
Now I'll be able to grind the horn on my f*cking cheap-a** anvil to the right shape! Excellent!
rvb
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Harbor Freight sells several different 4.5 inch grinders. The one you want is Chicago Electric item number 42204. It is currently on sale for $18.99 at the retail stores. This is the tough son of a gun that everyone likes.

Hmmm, for that, you may want to look at their 7 inch or 9 inch grinders. The little 4.5 inch grinders are great for dressing up welds, but for moving a lot of metal, you'll want something larger.
Gary
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s'funny, I find it hard to justify another $240 angle grinder when I can buy three $80 cheapies instead.
I wouldn't be seen dead with a $20 Harbor Freight (or Red Devil / Nu Tool) They break faster than I can change disks, they vibrate, the finish is lousy (bearing wobble) and the switches fall off. Don't even think about a grinder that doesn't have the windings potted in epoxy, if you're going to be grinding metal dust with it.
Get one with a spindle lock button and a switch you can live with. Apart from that, eveything else is really about longevity. 4 1/2" is the size to have.
The main thing is to stock up on abrasives. Get _everything_, and get the best quality you can find. It's worth spending the money to have all the grits and types you could ever need, on hand and ready before you need them. Cheap market-stall disks are a very false economy. I use flap disks almost entirely in place of rigid disks.
And buy some anti-vibration gloves while you're about it. The new Bosch are shipping with an anti-vibration handle. Personally, all mine have neoprene foam tape glued around the handles.
--
Smert' spamionam

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