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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

4-1/2 Grinders

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JK2

02-08-2013 20:42:12




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Has anyone had a brand or specific model 4-1/2" grinder that lasted very long (more than a year)?
I've used several different brands & the cheapies seem to last almost as long as the expensive ones before they start throwing sparks and/or smoke. Thanks, John




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mkirsch

02-12-2013 06:05:09




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
Harbor Freight has two grades of 4-1/2" grinders. Cheap, and really cheap.

The cheap ones are orange. The really cheap ones are blue.

My orange HF grinder is my go-to for cutting, grinding, wire brushing. Can't kill it and I've tried.

I bought a 7" HF grinder for the bigger jobs. Killed that 1/3 of the way through a cut, new out of the box. The old 4-1/2" orange HF finished the other 2/3 of that cut, and is still going.

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Cliff(VA)

02-11-2013 05:11:22




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
One of our members posted his experience with 4 1/2" grinders a few years ago in a marathon grinder torture test.

Cliff(VA)



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johndeere720diesel

02-10-2013 17:27:13




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
Use a Hitachi at work for last 6yrs pretty hard use has held up great and bought one for home last summer no complaints



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scotc

02-10-2013 12:42:43




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I don't know the model but we got a new Makita at work. The paddle switch runs most of the length of the grinder body. Has a little toggle you flip with your pinky or ring finger, and you can grip it with your hand in more than one position, I really like it, even over the on/off Bosch it replaced. Runs $100 at Orshlen's with a case, 2 sheilds, and 4 wheels.



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Inno

02-10-2013 06:26:25




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I buy a lot of my tools from Canadian Tire. The reason for this is that most of their power tools have a 3 year warranty and many of their hand tools have lifetime warranty. They have one that regularly sells for $60 or so but often goes on sale for $20. I have two of them, one that gets used regularly and one that sits in the box with a receipt. It has the 3 year warranty so when one goes I haul out the new one and keep working then take the broken one in for replacement when I have time. I also have a DeWalt which was given to me by a friend which I have a flap disc on. Not sure how old it is but it looks well worn. You can tell it's a better tool than the cheapies and seems to hold up well. Mine don't get used regularly but I could see how many of you guys could wear them out pretty quickly. One thing I would look for if I were buying a better one would be metal gears as opposed to plastic. The first cheapie I had to exchange ate up it's gearbox. The one I am using now is starting to get noisy.
This post was edited by Inno at 06:29:17 02/10/13.

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tomturkey

02-09-2013 20:05:17




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
If the grinder does'nt label 8 or 9 amps,I won't buy it, under heavy use the 5 and 6 amp cheapies get so hot you must put them down or the smoke will get out. Dewalt have given me great heavy duty service, grinding cutting using a wire cup to remove paint Just my experience...gobble



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DWF

02-09-2013 18:01:13




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I have a Skill that I purchased 25 years ago or so. I've had no trouble with it and it has seen some hard use although I don't use it every day. A couple of years ago I purchased a cheap one from Harbor Freight. It works fine but I don't care for the paddle switch, it seems I always set it down on the switch.

DWF



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jose bagge

02-09-2013 13:04:09




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I buy 2 or 3 of the Northern Hydraulic (orange) ones when they go on sale at 9.99 - usually a couple of time per year at this price, sometimes also at 14.99. they actually hold up failrly well, and if any are still boxed come Christmas time I give them away as gifts.



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Brad Buchanan

02-09-2013 13:02:29




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I have had a Black & Decker 4 1/2" grinder for about 20 years. I have used it heavily in my business primarily for grinding welds and cutting bolts.

It still works fine but the transmission is getting loud. I have this tool and a similar vintage B&D abrasive cut-off saw which still works well.

I have had poor luck with the Dewalt version of power tools but I bought a new large B&D buffer which is very powerful and seems solid.

Hope this helps,

Brad

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Bernie/MA

02-09-2013 17:51:15




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to Brad Buchanan, 02-09-2013 13:02:29  
I also have a couple B&D 4 1/2" grinders about the same age I used in my welding business. You can get parts for them at www.toolpartsdirect.com



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Brad Buchanan

02-11-2013 11:42:27




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to Bernie/MA, 02-09-2013 17:51:15  
Thanks Bernie!



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showcrop

02-09-2013 12:49:45




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I have Dewalt because that's what my locally owned hardware sells. I had to replace the one that I had about a year ago because it stripped its gears after about three years. I used it very hard for a lot of hours with a big cup brush cleaning rust and paint off a tractor. Of course everyone knows that Dewalt is not what it used to be.



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RodInNS

02-09-2013 10:19:59




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I get along fine with a 5" Dewalt... 7-8 amp motor and paddle trigger. That said... I DO NOT do any heavy grinding with it. HEavy work is done with a 7" Hitachi. That's the best way to prolong the life of a little grinder.

Rod



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Tony Vidlak

02-09-2013 09:51:13




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I"ve got a 4" Makita I"ve it for 28 years
still runs good and I use it quite often



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GordoSD

02-09-2013 13:30:39




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to Tony Vidlak, 02-09-2013 09:51:13  
Yep, have one of those about 25 years old.



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Jim in MN

02-09-2013 09:28:16




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I have several...Dewalts, Milwaukees, Makitas,and Skil. The best bang for the buck was a $18 Northern Tool import. Used it in the toolroom at work daily for three years. It didn't die, it was crushed when 1200 lb fixture tipped over. It still ran but the case was smashed beyond repair.



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old

02-09-2013 09:14:13




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I have had the cheap $20 ones and the $100 ones and had good luck from them all. Now days it is more or less the luck if the draw since most stuff is not made in the U.S. and if it is made here there is little pride in most places so you still get junk



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greygoat

02-09-2013 08:31:51




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
6 years ago, I bought 3 harbor Freight 4-1/2
models, when they were on special for about $14
I thought i"d have extra"s when the first one
wore out...I"m still using the 1st one!



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JD PHIL

02-09-2013 08:14:42




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I have 4in Makita been used alot still does great, I also have larger dewalt thats good.



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dr sportster

02-09-2013 07:07:53




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
Make sure you get one with the trigger lock. If you don't have this feature your hand will get much more fatigued. Some shops see this as a safety issue and if you had the switch lock you had to hide it if a safety guy came around. When you are grinding for 8-10 hrs you need the switch to stay locked so you can vary your grip on the tool.



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XRogerX

02-09-2013 15:50:25




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to dr sportster, 02-09-2013 07:07:53  
Funny you should mention that. The welding shop I worked in 15 years ago had big 9" Makitas that I used to grind off the burrs where the welders had attached bars to pull the sheet steel into place before welding up the luggers, roll-offs and trash containers they were building. They had the locks removed from them too, for safety reasons. I ran those grinders for 10hrs a night and had to hold the switch on the whole time. I remember waking up with my index and middle finger snapped tight shut to my palm and having to pull them away from my hand with my other hand.

I did end up with a lot of respect for Makita tools though, after watching the pounding they took.

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Diydave

02-09-2013 06:02:46




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I have had a Shinko(Japanese), for about 25-30 years, Paid $42.00, back then, was a lot of $. Used it hard, dropped it once, broke the switch rod, that ran from the top front, to the actual switch, in the back. Drilled a hole through the plastic cover, now I use my pinky finger to switch it on or off. Also like the ryobi 18V rechargeable I got a couple years ago, works great, in the field for grinding or cutting bolts off something that can't move.

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Dave Sherburne NY

02-09-2013 05:51:53




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I had a Porter Cable for over 15 years, it died last year so I bought a Metabo. It has an on off switch. I was using it with a cutting disc and when it caught, I had a tough time shutting it off. Now it is only used with a wire wheel. I bought a Milwaukee at an auction with a paddle switch and thats what I use for grinding and cutting.



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dboll

02-09-2013 05:34:15




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
Makita would be my first choice, there are quality differences in any brand, do your homework



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George Marsh

02-09-2013 05:18:47




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
JK2,
The good 10 amp dewalt grinders are around $100. If you watch Rural King, they go on sale for around $60. Also dewalt cut off wheels sell for $2, on sale at RK they are $1. That's when I buy a box of them.

I bought a few cheap HF grinders and I made two trips to HF, one to buy them and one to return them. Look at the amps they use, the more amps, the more power. I like power. The disks at HF don't last like the dewalts do. Guess you get what you pay for.
George

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Dean

02-09-2013 05:15:20




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I have been using a 4 1/2" Dewalt for about 15 years with no problems.

I use it regularly but not professionally.

Dean



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Stephen Newell

02-09-2013 04:44:07




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I have had three HF angle grinders. After using one for about 5 years it wore out. The other two I bought two or three years ago are still going.



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George Marsh

02-09-2013 04:40:38




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
JK2,
I have a Black & Decker made when B&D meant something, old enough to vote. I have 2 dewalt grinders. There are different models of dewalts, get the 10 amp one. Also have an 18 v dewalt. Some may figure out I'm a dewalt fan, must like the color.
George



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jon f mn

02-09-2013 04:27:57




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I have 2 3 1/2" dewalts and 2 7" dewalts and a 7" makita, all 20+ years old and still going strong.



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Chris(WA)

02-09-2013 03:59:25




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I just bought a Milwaukee 11 amp grinder off Craigslist for $25. What a STRONG little grinder!I also have a DeWalt that I have had and loved for years. Additionally I have thrown away several HF grinders that I was given as bonuses, new from HF. Tried using them as I would the DeWalt. Not abusing, just regular use. None have lasted more than a day. I sure as h3ll would never pay money for one!



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djm75

02-09-2013 03:32:19




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I have had my porter cable for years no problems.



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MarkB_MI

02-09-2013 02:41:25




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I have a Dewalt that's over fifteen years old. Admittedly, it doesn't get used every day. Others have said that Metabo makes the best small grinder.



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Stick welding

02-08-2013 23:37:51




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
The biggest reason most 4 1/2" grinders burn up is because people try to do the work of a bigger grinder with them.



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John A.

02-08-2013 22:27:42




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
JK2, Makita !!! have worked well for me, Just not a B&D fan.
Later,
John A.



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Pops1532

02-08-2013 21:48:03




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I got a Skil around 1987. A bearing burned up not long after. Had the bearing replaced at a local shop. The grinder is still going strong.



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bison

02-08-2013 22:03:04




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to Pops1532, 02-08-2013 21:48:03  
I got a cheapy $40 strongarm(china) since 94. I musta wore out a zillion discs with it,.still going strong.



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Ted in NE-OH

02-08-2013 21:46:59




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I use a Harbor Freight one with a wire brush to restore tractors use and abuse. Still going, not as quiet as others tho. It's a throwaway and it keeps going.



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NCWayne

02-08-2013 20:51:24




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I've got two older Dewalts that I've worked the crap out of. One I've had for nearly 10 years (and it was well used when I got it), the other for a year or two (and it was used relatively hard too as I knew it's history before it was given to me). That said all grinders aren't created equal. You can have two of them that are the same brand, and both look identical, but they have different amp ratings on the tag. Typically I've seen them with the smaller ones running 7 amps and the heavier built ones running 10 or 12 amps. If you go for the higher amp models they will usually last alot longer than the low amp models.

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Randysouthmississippi

02-08-2013 20:50:00




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to JK2, 02-08-2013 20:42:12  
I have a craftsman 4-1/2 grinder that i bought new in the mid 80's its been used just for farm use and not on a daily basis but has seen some hard times,and is still going strong, actually with the original cord on it.



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huntingreen2day

02-08-2013 21:15:15




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to Randysouthmississippi, 02-08-2013 20:50:00  
I have a Black and Decker I have been using about 18 years.



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Dalex

02-09-2013 08:31:23




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 Re: 4-1/2 Grinders in reply to huntingreen2day, 02-08-2013 21:15:15  
I also have a B&D with a paddle switch , it's been very good , and I just got a Milwaukee, also with the paddle , that's a little stronger ....



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