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Electric Angle Grinders

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2008-02-21          151550


Are electric angle grinders any good? I need something to cut the crappy pin hitch off a dump trailer to convert it to a ball hitch and don't have an adequate compressor for air tools.

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Electric Angle Grinders

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greg_g
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1816 Western Kentucky
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2008-02-22          151551


Given that job myself, I think I'd use a reciprocating saw first, then dress up the rough edges with a grinder.

But yeah, they're a good investment. I have a 4.5 inch, a 7 inch, and a 9 inch. I'm trying to sell the 9" though, 18 pounds is too much grinder for me to lift. I find the 7" most useful, pretty much just using the 4.5" in places where the 7" doesn't fit.

If you're a casual user like me, the Chicago Electric brand that Harbor Freight sells are perfectly suitable (and priced well too).

//greg// ....

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Electric Angle Grinders

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BillMullens
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 649 Central West Virginia
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2008-02-22          151553


I built a utility trailer once and used nothing but a 4" angle grinder to cut all the metal. It takes time but does a good job. Also they are very handy for cleaning with a wire brush or sanding disc.
I'd recommend getting a 4-1/2" one, it can be hard to find discs for the 4" ones.
Good luck,
Bill ....

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Electric Angle Grinders

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2008-02-22          151555


Ken, I have no problem cutting metal with mine, just get cutting blades and not grinding blades. Cutting blades are made just for that, thin and buy a lot. They will cut metal that will take the teeth off of a saw blade. They do produce a lot of sparks so can make a mess, danger if gasoline and wear eye protection. kt

Best thing I found to sharpen lawnmower blades with also. ....

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Electric Angle Grinders

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2008-02-22          151557


When I bought my 4.5" a couple decades back, it was a serious mechanics tool. Now they're more like a common hand tool. When my switch failed, I bought a new grinder for less than the cost of a replacement switch.

With the right disk, you can cut metal or masonry, grind, flap-grind, sand, whatnot. To show how common they are now, there's a new holder that converts the grinder into a small chop saw (just came out in the Canadian Tire Store catalogue, so might not be widely available). They spin fast, so hold on tight and wear protection. ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2008-02-22          151559


Thanks, guys, I'll get one and give it a try. A reciprocating saw would be just the ticket for cutting through the square tube tongue but I don't want to shorten it any. The pin hitch there now is welded top and bottom to the square tube and I need to cut through the welds without doing too much damage to the tube, then grind it flat enough that a new ball hitch coupler can slide on. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2008-02-22          151560


I'm on about my third or fourth 4.5 inch and also have a 7 inch. The first two or three small onmes were Mennards type brand that selfdestructed pretty quick. I'd have to go look but I think both the small and big ones I have now are Millwauke. I only use the big one for the real big stuff, as someone else said it takes a pretty good man, or lady to wrestle it aroiund. Frank. ....

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Electric Angle Grinders

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-02-22          151561


Greg, before you get rid of that 9"er try putting a wire wheel on it and using it on some rusty steel.

I'd take a big grinder with a steel wire wheel on it over a sand-blaster any day!!!

I've got one that's never had anything else but a wire wheel on it from new. It cleans up slag from the stick welder and leaves a really nice finish to boot.

Best of luck. ....

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greg_g
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1816 Western Kentucky
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2008-02-22          151564


Excellent suggestion, I never thought of using it that way. I've got a pair of wire wheels mounted on a bench grinder, but that way I could take the wire wheel to the job - instead of the other way around.

//greg// ....

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BillMullens
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 649 Central West Virginia
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2008-02-22          151574


I bought one of those $15 ones once and it lasted about 10 minutes. My 4" Makita has hundreds of hours on it; for years it was my only way to cut, grind and clean for welding projects. ....

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2008-02-22          151576


You might wanna consider a 6" wire cup. I use 2" on the 4.5 and 6" on the 9" the cups with twisted braids do the job. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-02-22          151577


Harvey's bang on.

You don't want to use a regular wheel like you would have on a bench grinder. Those are designed only to work on the face of the radius. You want the cup style with twisted or 'knotted' wires. They are designed to work on a surface that is perpendicular to the spinning shaft, not parallel to it.

Best of luck. ....

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2008-02-22          151585


I'd meant to add when buying the "cutting disks" not the "grinding disks" it is inpairative that you get the correct ferrous or non ferrous.

Used in the wrong application they will come apart at full speed.

Our mechanic using ferrous Zip on aluminum took 25 stiches to close up cuts when disk came apart grabbed in the cut and grinder went up his hand and arm. He had on leather gloves, long sleeve shirt, goggles and face shield. It shreaded the glove and the shirt was meaningless. I was reviewing the accident and found he had had 3 disks come apart on the project. When questioned he stated he did not know there was a difference. ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2008-02-22          151587


Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey | view 151585
I'd meant to add when buying the "cutting disks" not the "grinding disks" it is inpairative that you get the correct ferrous or non ferrous.Used in the wrong application they will come apart at full speed. Our mechanic using ferrous Zip on aluminum took 25 stiches to close up cuts when disk came apart grabbed in the cut and grinder went up his hand and arm. He had on leather gloves, long sleeve shirt, goggles and face shield. It shreaded the glove and the shirt was meaningless. I was reviewing the accident and found he had had 3 disks come apart on the project. When questioned he stated he did not know there was a difference.


Now that's very helpful information! I'm amazed that ferrous vs. non-ferrous makes a difference. I could see something special for stainless but wouldn't have considered this. The only metal cutting experience I have is with a dremel (those little carbon cutting disks explode pretty easy), a hacksaw (powered and not), and a sawzall.

The other thing about with electric angle grinders is heat. I've used electric drills that get so hot you can't hold them. Generally with air tools that isn't an issue. Do some of these things heat up so quick that you have to let them cool frequently? Or can they be used for long periods of time? ....

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BillMullens
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 649 Central West Virginia
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2008-02-22          151588


They have a duty cycle just like welders or any other electric tool, but I've used my Makita continously for long stretches; only once did it pop the built-in circuit breaker. Wire-brushing or grinding with a flap-disc, I doubt you could overheat one. Maybe if you were doing heavy cutting. On my Makita, the tool itself doesn't get hot to the touch.

I've also cut ceramic tile with mine, with the correct ceramic-cutting metal blade. ....

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Electric Angle Grinders

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BillMullens
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 649 Central West Virginia
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2008-02-22          151589


Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey | view 151585
I'd meant to add when buying the "cutting disks" not the "grinding disks" it is inpairative that you get the correct ferrous or non ferrous....


I've never seen non-ferrous cutting wheels, unless they are the same ones used for ceramic or concrete. Is there a special non-ferrous metals cutting wheel? ....

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2008-02-22          151590


The aluminum cutting I believe has a material that doesn't load up or plug up with the softer material. The steel cutter will load or plug with the non ferrous metals and when more pressure is applied to get it to cut it makes it worse then use more pressure and the wheel comes apart.

That was my understanding when I talked to the Walter people (Manafacturer).

We have both types on the service trucks and in the shop supply cabinet. Observing after the accident it does make a difference. Same as cutting with a dull knife vs sharp.

ADDED: www.walter.com ZIP ALU cut off wheel for alu, ZIP wheel 27 cut off wheel steel/stainless. This web site has more than most people ever will want to know about grinding and cut off. ....

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