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Thread: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

  1. #1
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    Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    First off let me say that I am not a welder. I was hired on as a manufacturing engineer at a machine/weld clad/fab shop. One of the biggest problems I see is that the guys in the fab shop go through grinders like crazy. I have been reading up on angle grinders for a bit and it seems that most people get them to last 6 months to 3 years. Since I have been there, about 4 months, we have had to replace at least 10 grinders. We have tried Dewalt and Makita. I believe they are either 4" or 4.5" grinders. They burn up too quickly even though each one runs about $80 give or take depending on sales, Grainger, and the model.

    I have a couple questions.

    What is the best brand (in your opinion) for heavy use in a fab shop?

    What are some tips to keep them lasting longer? Maybe they are using them incorrectly?

    Is there maintenance that can be done? I've read a bit about blowing them out, changing the gear lube out soon as it is opened, replacing brushes or armatures. I have yet to open one up but any advice is appreciated.

    Does a warranty, such as Milwaukee's, cover heavy use like this?

  2. #2
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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    I work around a lot of ironworkers, pipefitters, and of course electricians and the majority use Metabo. They are a little more costly than the brands you have listed, but the cost out weights itself when the Metabo is lasting years as compared to months. And no having to change the gear lube right out of the box!

  3. #3
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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    The cost really isn't an issue. I don't mind spending more on something that will last twice as long.

    Is it worth fixing grinders?

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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    Metabo

    or
    Makita at a lower price. You have to watch which makitas though, some are better than others. Makita model 9005 is a good all rounder at 5" that seems to hold up well in an industrial setting.

    What brands/models are failing you ?

    Some guys can break an anvil. If you are overworking a grinder because of operator error, none will hold up.
    Last edited by scooby074; 11-02-2013 at 01:53 AM.

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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    ABaggett

    In quick frequency - and ever/always - all electrical grinder fail.

    Go pneumatic - the up-stream investment is large - down-stream
    expense is small.

    Opus

  6. #6
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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    I was avoiding this, but what the heck.

    I've got 4.5" angle grinders. I standardize on that size so everything fits everything else, so failures don't mean out of luck. For knock about grinders, I buy the Orange and Black grinders at HF on sale. These are (or at least were?) the highest amp of the lot, and they basically "feel" better. The orange silver aren't terrible, but weaker, noisier, and the blasted cord is stiff (with memory) and always tangled or in the way. I have 4 of those in primary rotation. 1/4 grinding wheel, cutting wheel, knotted wire wheel, and flap wheel. I have 2 more on a shelf for the inevitable(?) failure. Problem is, the oldest is also the one in hardest use, the 1/4" wheel. I bought it around 2001 when I started building my rockcrawler with my son. The last I bought was probably 8 years ago. And I've not had 1 single failure yet! Not even a switch! Replace (IIRC) 2 sets of brushes, and they come with spares! Craftsman/B&D/Troy yard tool switches to last 2 years, and these keep going in a much harsher environment. Anyway, those are the ones knocked/dragged off the welding table, and generally put in harms way. Noisy and vibrating, but not that bad, they work well...

    I also have a few others. I have an old Makita 4" I got for free. It came with some masonry wheels and blades, and that's basically all it gets used for. Thing is probably from the 90s and was used hard (for masonry!) long before I got it. Switch is stuff, but it just keeps on trucking. It also has a knotted wire cup it came with, so it sometimes gets used for that.

    I've got a new Makita that came as a "free add on" (yeah) set with my Demo Drill/Hammer. It's really nice and smooth, less gear whine than anything else I have, and very powerful. It gets used when I'm going to be at something for a while or otherwise want to minimize fatigue. But for day to day, I grab the HF already ready to go.

    And I've got a BEAST of a 7" B&D from the days when B&D was premium. This all metal monster must weight about 10 pounds, and like it's 5/8" gear drive D handle drill brother, it's impossible to stall. I always worry that should either hang up in material, it could knock the planet off it's axis. Or at the least break a knuckle or two.

    Seems like I'm missing something, but the point is that I don't see much return to spend premium bucks on grinders. I prefer to have a bunch setup and ready to go so I don't have to keeps swapping wheels. And I've been amazed at the $17 (now, no idea?) grinders from HF lasting all this time and through all the abuse.

  7. #7
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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    And I hate pneumatic. No guts, no torque, and I hate the whine plus listening to the pump all the time. Pneumatic has it's place (chisels, die grinders, etc), but angle grinder and drills are non-starters for me.

  8. #8
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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    A lot of times grinder failure comes from trying to use a small grinder to do a big job. If they lean on the grinder to remove heavy material, there's a good chance they'll kill it. Jumping up to a 7" or 9" grinder for heavy stock removal can help solve this issue. Granted there are places you just can't get with a big grinder and then you just have to deal with the smaller ones.


    Also not all grinders are created equal. DeWalt makes quite a few different models that vary by their amps. The smaller amp units don't take anywhere near the abuse the higher amp ones do if you lean on them. Given a choice, go with the most amps possible.
    .



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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    Um. Obviously the OP is talking about MANUFACTURING and not CornBreads Go-Fast Rods, BBQ'z and Stairs . Get a Metabo rep to come out and meet with you. Take it from there. If you're talking a lot of volume consider a visit from an Ingersoll rep too ( assuming massive air isn't a current problem). Ingersoll ??? or CP ?? provided a tool room and full time employee(s) at the N&W's locomotive shop(s) years ago.
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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    Good point, my post was useless.

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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    In the last 5 years I have tried Dewalt, Bosch, and Milwaukee. Some of you that have followed my posts the last few years know that I have a few employees and we do HEAVY work......lots of 9" work..........anyway, I usually get less than 30 days out of a grinder, most of the problems are what have been stated above............using too small of a grinder, but it is what it is. I have in the past 5 years went through right at 100 grinders-----50 dewalts, 31 bosch, and 19 Milwaukees. About a year ago, after asking some questions and trying out some other brands, I ordered a pile of Metabo grinders------2 battery powered 4", 4 4.5", 4 5", 4 7" and 4 9" ones, and 1 4" battery powered fillet grinder......................so far with a few months of abuse, there has not been a single failure, and my guys love them, they say there is hardly any vibration and they do not get hot. Time will tell. If anything has a weakness, I will find it, but so far I am very happy with Metabo. I also bought a 6 and 8 inch Metabo bench grinder, as well as a chop saw, but have not used any of them yet. The little 4" battery powee grinders are the neatest thing since sliced bread!
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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    Maybe you need to investigate WHY and HOW the grinders fail. There is using a grinder, and then there is abusing a grinder.

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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    With heavy use angle grinders fail. I personally have never tried a Metabo but have heard they last somewhat longer. Makita 5 inch seemed to be the best for me. I think the model number is 9005. It is the heavy duty 5" with the high amps motor. One thing that burns them up very quickly is using a 7" disc on a 5" grinder. If you by good consumables that remove material rather than the ones that last a long time you cut down on grinding time. I never found it cost effective to repair them. When a grinder screws up its into the dumpster and a new one is put into service.

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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    If this was for work, and I found a strong recommendation from Expat for Metabo in a related application, I would put a purchase order together for some Metabos.

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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    Metabo, especially in the smaller sizes . My 4.5 inch is about 7-8 years old and every time I replaced a cord I filed a notch on it, I counted 9 notches sofar. I have gone through hundreds of wheels and it stillgoes strong. I would avoid any with the softstart feature , from what I have seen they don't last nearly as long. Before the Metaboes I tried everything and if I got a month or 2 out of them I was As far as abrasives go you get what you pay for,besides good abrasives cut faster..

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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    Milwaukee's have given me terrific service.

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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    I will do this. Thanks.

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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    TSGG13 I agree. I am also trying to figure what is considered abuse. I am new to the industry and this was just a side project I am taking up. Does anyone have any tips on cleaning and maintenance?

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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    Makita and DeWalt

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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSCGG13 View Post
    Maybe you need to investigate WHY and HOW the grinders fail. There is using a grinder, and then there is abusing a grinder.
    .............Yeah.....strictly abuse from my end!!

    The best 4" grinder I have ever come across is the old Black and Decker Industrial ones with the paddle switch, they were nearly bulletproof. I would LOVE to have some now, but have not been able to find them in 230V 50HZ
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  21. #21
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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    Go with air , buy a Cleco angle grinder it will last you 20 years at 18000 tons




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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    I personally like dynabrade and I have a metabo I like too - I started using them after talking to the guys at AA Abrasives when my bosch burned out. They rep a lot of the brands I see on here and they will ask you a ton of questions to drill down to your needs.

    Check them out http://www.aaabrasives.com/products/dynabrade


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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    I got to agree with you the 4inch Black and Decker industrial with the paddle switch are far and away the best small grinders. for a large one still its Black and Decker.
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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    I personally have had good time with Milwaukee grinders, we also use them mill wide at my full time job.
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  25. #25
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    Re: Heavy Duty Angle Grinder?

    I have had great success with dewalt but I will not buy the smaller amp dewalt models. Dewalt makes 4.5" grinders that cost any where from $50 all the way to $200 and you get what you pay for, I always buy the heavy duty models and have several that are 5-8 years old and have not burnt up a grinder in years but I buy mine own tools so I tend to take care of my tools.

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