Angle grinder recommendation

I am shopping for a new angle 4 1/2"grinder in the $75 price range.
Harbor Freight has De Walt DW402 but the guard it comes with won't work with
cutoff
wheel and a new guard cost too much.
Can you guys recommend any good grinder for all around use?
I prefer slimmer grinders. I don't have big hands and it gets uncomfortable
holding it
for long time.
Thanks!
Reply to
Alex
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I bought a Ryobi several years ago that has a body that is relatively long but small in diameter, which was one of the things I was looking for as well. Unfortunately, a quick Google search found lots of links to UK dealers for similar looking grinders, but not much in the US.
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That one has an M14 spindle thread - if you're in the US I think you'll find 5/8-11 more convenient.
Ned Simmons
Reply to
Ned Simmons
Go pick them up at the stores. That is the way I select handguns. If they don't fit my hand, they won't be safe when things get sticky.
Not everyone has the same hands and fingers. What works for me might feel lousy for you. It's gotta fit your hands.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
The DeWalt/B&D with the paddle switch is my favorite, you can grip it at just about any angle and still work the switch easily. They;re tough and have good power.
I really don't like a guard on a grinder, they limit the tool too much for me. I take lots of care to not damage the wheel and I spin a new one up with care for most of a minute just to be sure it's not defective.
John
Reply to
JohnM
Yeah, what John said. You should see my collection of brand new mini grinder guards. They come off immediately as they render the grinder near to useless in terms of access to the material and seeing where you are grinding. The corollary to guardless grinding; don't skimp on eye protection and put it on ALWAYS.
(Ask me how I know and more than once I'm embarassed to admit.)
I'm partial to Milwaukee power tools, but the primary caveat on power tool selection is not brand name but tool configuration. Never buy a power tool with a plastic gear case head. The body can be plastic (and these days invariably is) but the gear case head should always be metal or it just won't last.
The plastic case halves will separate slightly or the (plastic) bearing housings inside will "get loose" or some combination of the two, then the gears no longer mesh properly and they start skipping under load and then stripping out. Metal gear case heads (typically one piece instead of two) don't suffer this chronic short coming.
Dennis
PS PUT ON THE EYE PROTECTION!
(In case I hadn't mentioned it already and even if you leave the guard on.)
Reply to
Dennis van Dam
I like exactly one Ryobi grinder, their 4½" angle grinder model G-1155C. Mine has worked flawlessly since 1984 although it has needed some parts. It comes with everything you need i.e. grinding setup and also sanding kit, has a 5/8-11 spindle, and features a switch you do NOT have to hold on.
I also like the Milwaukee, don't remember the model number (4093?) even though it has a paddle switch. It's built a little heavier.
I also use two older Makita angle grinders despite their weird-ass spindles. My buddy gave me two, one with a grinding wheel on it, and the other with a wire brush on it, and I just use those as is. I own quite a bit of 5/8-11 stuff and I'm not about to replicate it all. But they are small and work fine.
I also own two big angle grinders. One I believe is a 7" Skil, which Gunner gave me fairly recently. It's very strong and runs smooth and cool. The other has no name but is built like a tank, about the same size as a Skil, but in much better condition. I got it real cheap because some idiot had taken it apart and put it together wrong, so the spindle ran backwards. I fixed it, lubed it, and now I use it a lot.
All angle grinders need to be torn down every few months and lubed. You can tell when they need it by the sound. If the cavity starts out clean and you use good grease, it will just sling the grease to the outside, and you can just grab it and smear it back on the gears again. Tough screws are best handled with the hit-with-hammer type of impact wrench. I got a good US made one of those once and boy has it paid for itself.
All together my grinders make a giant tangle of cords. I store them very simply - I stood a 3' piece of 14" pipe on end, drop in the cord, and hang the spindle over the edge. All the cords stay neatly inside, and all the grinders lift out easily. A 20 gallon drum would work fine too.
Yes to eye protection, but also angle grinders are LOUD so also wear ear protection. I buy the soft foam ear plugs, not those hard yellow ones. The soft ones are comfortable to wear with safety glasses or a face shield. When I'm sanding aluminum, I use *both* safety glasses and a face shield. Stuff scares me.
GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
snip--
I agree. I own a Bosch with a metric spindle and it has been less than convenient. I wouldn't make that mistake again if I had a choice. It's relatively hard to find metric fittings, at least where I live.
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
snip---
Yep. A guard gets in the way almost always. Spooling up a new wheel is always a good idea, although the glass reinforced wheels are quite tough.
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
ok, so you just knew that somebody had to go off on a tangent...
A bit of unsolicited advice. Buy quality brand-name grinding wheels, and use the guard when practical. My brother is a mechanic with many years experience as both a mechanic and machinist, had a 4.5" chinese wheel explode on him two months ago. Described in his words, the doctor had a pair of forceps buried into his bicep " up to the hinge" trying to remove the shrapnel. About 1.5 inches deep. Some bits possibly still stuck inside his wrist, the trauma there has caused a partial loss of feeling in his thumb. He was not using the guard.
Me, I prefer to use the guard until it absolutely is necesarry to remove it, then replace when I am finished.
Oh yeah, and I have a 3 year-old Milwaukee that came from Lowe's, cost about $100.00 On first impression, the gear train is very noisy, but it has held up well in our job shop environment. A joy to own.
Reply to
Jon Grimm
I know that Forney sells adapters for metric spindles which convert them to 5/8". I'm sure there's other places as well.
Reply to
Lawrence Wayne Cook
I've considered making just such an adapter-----*some day*. Thanks for the tip. It makes little sense to make one when there's one available commercially. The cost of the tap alone would see to that. How does one find Forney?
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
I've been very happy with my Ryobi angle grinder. I use it a fair amount, but I don't do really heavy grinding with it.
Heavy grinding is done with the swap meet 7" Makita I got for $3.00! I just needed to put a new cord on it, so I grabbed an old heavy-guage extension cord that had been cut in half doing lawn work.
Reply to
jpolaski
IIRC the adapter cost less than a tap is likely to that's for sure.
They're a low end welding supply company that sets up displays in small town stores. I'm not sure if they have anything up in your area. I just looked and the web site doesn't state anything about sales locations. The USA central office is in Colorado but they also have a Canadian office. They also mention warehouses on the east coast. In truth the web site is rather pathetic. I guess you could call them. But like I stated before I would be surprise if other companies didn't offer them. You might try your local welding supply and see if they have any.
I do know that there's two different metric threads available on small grinders. I used to have a Skill grinder with a metric spindle in it and used the adapters then. I should have one somewhere in my welding gear but I'm not sure how long it would take to find it.
Anyway here's the URL if it does you any good.
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I see that the adapters are in section 7 of the wire brush display.
Reply to
Lawrence Wayne Cook
Thanks for the link and other tips. I'll check with my welding supply house next time we venture to town (26 miles) and will save the link should I not find happiness at the supply house. I really do need one of those adapters!
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
Angle grinders seem to be one of the few tools where you can often get away with a cheapie, and come out ahead.. I have a number of 4" ones at home, all set up with different wheels. The Ryobi has take 20 years of abuse, and keeps on going. The no-name ones vibrate more and have noisier gears. The vibration would be a problem if you are using it for a while. In the lab, we have a nice Bosch and a discount store "Firebrand" grinder, which cost the princely sum of $US10. It is a disposable one for students and as a spare. The Bosch is certainly much better - quieter, and a lot less vibration - but it also costs 10 times as much. Better, but not 10 times better... The cheap one seems to deliver the nameplate power, and certainly works ok. The magic smoke hasn't escaped yet... Geoff M New Zealand
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Reply to
Geoff M
Coast to Coast Hardware in Monroe carries Forney stuff, I was looking at it last night. I'll be back up there again in a coupla weeks. If they have the fabled spindle adapters, and anyone wanted me to pick them up one, let me know. - GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
By the way, it has to be said -- Harbor Freight carries two cheap angle grinders. They are characterized by the color on the plastic case. The blue ones are cheaper - often about $14 - and the orange ones are a little more - often about $19 (their prices move around like Coca-Cola's). Here's the deal: the blue ones often die in an hour or two, where the orange ones last at least a year or two. This data from our welding specialist in Taft, California, home of, well, um, oil field stuff.
GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Most of the Ace Hardware chain carries Forney stuff.
Gunner
Liberals - Cosmopolitan critics, men who are the friends of every country save their own. Benjamin Disraeli
Reply to
Gunner
Ayup. Going on 4 yrs on at least one of the orange ones now.
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They normally go on half price sale about 4 or 5 times a year.
Gunner
Liberals - Cosmopolitan critics, men who are the friends of every country save their own. Benjamin Disraeli
Reply to
Gunner
I was about to offer to pick one up for Harold myself. One thing I can guarantee is that there will only be on adapter on the display in the store here (if that). Living in a small town does have it's disadvantages.
Reply to
Wayne Cook

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