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Old 05-26-2015, 11:07 AM   #1
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What's a good angle grinder?

I know a lot of you SMBers work with metal a lot, so I figured this would be the place to ask.

I'm looking for a good electric angle grinder in the 4.5 inch size. I've had it with cheap tools, so Ryobi, Craftsman, B&D and the like are out of the running. I really like the other Makita, Hitachi, DeWalt and Milwaukee power tools I have.

I'm pretty sure I want a 110V grinder. My Milwaukee cordless drill uses those nice 18V Red Lithium batteries, so that is probably the only battery-powered brand I would consider.

I'm thinking that I want one that has variable speed, and uses around 10-13 amps. What else should I be looking for?

Paddle switch or trigger?

Switch mounted near the front or rear of the tool?

I'll gladly take any recommendations on a specific model, too!

Thanks,

Todd
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Old 05-26-2015, 11:21 AM   #2
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Re: What's a good angle grinder?

For a simple goto grinder for light work, a cordless will serve you well.

For more full-time service a makita or dewalt will last a long time and if you want to get really pricey go for a Walther or Fein.

I like the trigger switch myself but it is a little harder to operate than a paddle switch when wearing thick welding gloves.

I always look for one that has the capability to lock the trigger on.
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Old 05-26-2015, 01:10 PM   #3
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Re: What's a good angle grinder?

My makita has served me well with the paddle switch, no lock on, hasn't been an issue, those lock on switches scare me, esp with grinders.
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Old 05-26-2015, 02:23 PM   #4
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Re: What's a good angle grinder?

Todd, take a look at Metabo. My company has about 150 of them. We used to buy a lot of Makitas but we feel they have decreased in quality over the years and we just couldn't keep them going. Our grinders are used everyday in both normal shop environments and some crazy, dirty and dusty areas.
Most of ours have a paddle switch. Many of our customers will not let us on their site with a trigger unit. If something should happen to the craftsman and he lets go of the grinder, then it will automatically shut off.
Those that do have a trigger do not have a lock on them for safety reasons.
About half of the grinders have variable speed. A personal preference depending on the person. The majority of our work does not require variable speed.

For most uses, the higher end grinders you and others mention should be good. We find the Metabos work best for us.

Hope this helps,

Mike
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:55 PM   #5
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Re: What's a good angle grinder?

Milwaukee is the cream of the crop for electrical tools. Having said that, I have a Makita grinder.

Mike
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:16 PM   #6
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Re: What's a good angle grinder?

Starting at minute 2:25 you will see how Jody of weldingtipsandtricks.com got that cut in his neck:

http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/wel ... part3.html

That said I have three 4.5" Makita angle grinders without paddle switches (the locking slide switch model, purchased before I saw that video). Flap wheel, grinder, cut-off wheel.

Three things:

1. My next one will be a 4.5" Makita with a paddle switch;
2. I have burned up H.F. grinders (junk) and Makita 4" grinders;
3. I have no doubt that MKRyan is right about the Metabo's, but the Makita in the 4.5" size has been bullet proof for me. And I have used the Makita 7" for grinding concrete prior to laying tile, and I will likely eventually get one now that I have the grinding cup for it.
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:52 PM   #7
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Re: What's a good angle grinder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by E350
Starting at minute 2:25 you will see how Jody of weldingtipsandtricks.com got that cut in his neck:...
Nasty business, and a completely unexpected way to get a (potentially serious) injury.


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Old 05-27-2015, 04:35 AM   #8
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Re: What's a good angle grinder?

Definitely go with a paddle switch. Slider switches can lead to some really bad injuries, above the normal grinder hazards
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:00 AM   #9
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Re: What's a good angle grinder?

About 10 years ago, I was really into weekend metal fabrication and I built my rock buggy, a few roll cages, some bumpers, and a crapload of gates. I burned up two deWalt "heavy duty" grinders (the ones with the metal gearbox housing) before I ended up with a Milwaukee. That one has given me no problems, but even it got a little crunchy from all the metal dust that those tools will inherently ingest. I frequently coveted one of the Metabo grinders that they sold at my steel supplier.

Now, the grinder is important, but what's even more important are which cutoff and grinder wheels you use. Abrasive discs from Harbor Freight are junk and make more dust than progress. Norton ones from Home Depot are decent, but I found they were not very tolerant of inadvertent axial impacts (from skipping or whatever). I found the Metabo branded cutoff wheels from the steel supplier to be excellent.

I also stopped using the thick grinder wheels for material removal and used either flapper wheels or flat sanding discs with a backup pad. The finish just came out a lot cleaner.
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:59 PM   #10
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Re: What's a good angle grinder?

A little off topic, but do you guys have any suggestions for a slow speed cold cut saw rather than the regular 14" Makita abrasive chop saw I have. Supposedly no burrs with the cold cut, but a cold cut saw blade can't be put on a regular chop saw because the rpms are too high for the cold cut blade to endure.

Or better yet, can I install a rheostat on my Makita to reduce its rpm and run a cold cut bade on it?
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