The best die grinders/cutoff wheels? - Chevelle Tech

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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 07, 4:12 PM Thread Starter
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karl
 
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The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

Greetings, I've been cutting on the 'Cutlass for several weeks now, and have gone through another cutoff tool. Mine is from Harbor frieght, and is like a die grinder, but it uses the 3" wheel. My question, what do you all use or buy when you need this type of tool. I have a water trap on my compressor, and I oil the thing before I use it, but it doesnt seem long before it starts to get weak on me. Is there anything out there that holds up for the long haul? Anything under $30? Thanks for yours input...!


-Karl
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 07, 4:36 PM
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Re: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

Under 30 bucks NO. If you step up to 50-60 dollar range you can get yourself some IR or Ingersol Rand tools. I own several never any problems and full of power.

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 07, 6:02 PM
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Grant
 
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Re: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

I have found that an electric grinder is more powerful (but larger/heavier), and costs a lot more....guess it depends how big and how powerful you need it to be....power costs money, you get what you pay for
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 07, 6:20 PM
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Re: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

I second the IR air tools. Reasonable price and well built.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 07, 7:52 PM
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Re: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

I have had a harbor cut off tool for a few years and have had no problem. I cut both quarters off the chevelle and it did fine. You might have got a bad one. I think mine has been oiled a couple of times.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 07, 7:53 PM
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Re: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

i Agree to the reccomendations about the grinders; you get what you pay for, just there isnt a need to spend hundreds of bucks on them any more. when it dies, toss it and get another one.

However, On the issue of cut off wheels, NEver NEver NEVer Dont cheep on them.. if the blade catastrophically explodes, there is no where to go except eat what is fed to you. nine times out of ten the reasons are;
  • improper matching the disc to the grinder..ie, 20,000 rpm tool, 12,000 rpm wheel. never a good thing. I always read about some poor guy missing parts of his body or dead from using a disc in a manner that it was NOT made for. Masonry discs.. are made for masonry.
  • improper adapters for disc to grinder. I buy some adapters out of granger and it has a solid arbor, two size adapter holes, 1/4 and 3/8". I prefer these to the threaded nut on a rod that are prolific out there.
  • Use the washers if required for the wheel.
  • too thin of a wheel for what you are doing with it. I wouldnt use a 0.035" thick blade for rounding corners. Use a 1/8" thick wheel.
  • Use the .035" discs for cut off. Get a feel on at what pressure the wheel is cutting best at. It will extend the life of the wheel.
  • PLease buy a good quality wheel. Norton makes some of the best.
  • If it feels out of balance it is. Check to see if the arbor is bent, or f the wheel is out of round. If you dont, you risk the exploding wheely thing and you kill the grinder in a very short time.
  • SAfety equipment such as a face shield / safety glasses (not sun glasses) with side shields. Gloves that are leather and comfortable. Having an eye patch is cool as a pirate, not as "this is what I got for not thinking about the dangers".
There are some other excellent manufacturers out there, but what ever they have at Harbor Freight- ISNT one of them.

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 07, 8:41 PM
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Re: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

Karl,
As far as the grinder itself goes, we have a cheap one at the shop that is probably 10 years old and keeps on getting it.

As far as the discs go, I have tried several but always go back to 3M. They last forever compared to the cheapos.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 07, 8:48 PM
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Re: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

Another reason for air tool failure is improper air line installations and improper filters and not maintaining it.

Water and dirt and air tools don't do well together.

I have some expensive and some cheap air tools, but the cheap ones have been running for over twenty years right along side the expensive ones. Clean air lines and good air tool oil, they will last a long time.

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 07, 8:57 PM
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Re: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

I use a DeWalt grinder with a cutoff wheel ($65 at Home Depot). For tight places I use my trusty Dremel with the emery cutoff wheels.

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 07, 9:10 PM
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Re: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

I have Harbor Freights cheap-o $19.99 one. They do not carry it anymore, but it has lasted me 2 years so far...

As far as cut off wheels, I use two different sizes (1/16" & 1/32") from Falcon Abrasive. I have yet to have one blow on me. I use and abuse the wheels.

-Todd


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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 07, 9:45 PM
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Re: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

I have a Cambell Hausefeld cut off tool that i bought at Wal Mart for about $30 in 2000 and its still cuts like a champ. I use it every day at work. I oil all my tools religiously though.Next one i buy will be a MAC with the adjustable head.
As far as the discs,3M Green Corps last the longest.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 07, 10:03 PM
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Re: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

Use norton discs at work, hold up great, don't wear down fast like the cheaper ones and cut faster too. As far as the tool, your problem might be in your "die grinder"... because it's just that, a die grinder. If you want something that will last, get an actual cut-off wheel tool. Die grinders just don't hold up to things other than using die grinder bits, I suppose they need more torque or something.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 07, 10:21 PM
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Re: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

I have a few Matco and Snap-On die grinders and angle grinders, and I also have 6 or 7 cheapy straight and angle grinders, the good ones last me 6-10 years and the cheapies seem to last about 4 years. The absolute best die grinder I have is a Sioux-industrial and it is 21 years old. Why so many grinders?-each one has it's own seperate task. I have several loaded with different shaped burr bits, cutoff wheels, rolocs, trim and cut disc, surface prep discs. This saves me time by not having to change out bits. etc. Although I've never tried a Harbor Freight die grinder the cheap ones that I do have are lasting long enough at $10-$20 IMO.
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 07, 11:28 PM
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Re: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

I had a cheap wheel explode and luckily I had my face shield on. It did take out two of my dads 8' fluorescents though.

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 07, 12:30 AM
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Re: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by burnt clutch View Post
Greetings, I've been cutting on the 'Cutlass for several weeks now, and have gone through another cutoff tool. Mine is from Harbor frieght, and is like a die grinder, but it uses the 3" wheel. My question, what do you all use or buy when you need this type of tool. I have a water trap on my compressor, and I oil the thing before I use it, but it doesnt seem long before it starts to get weak on me. Is there anything out there that holds up for the long haul? Anything under $30? Thanks for yours input...!


-Karl
Crazy question! Anything under $50 is gonna crap on you quickly. I got an IR (Ingerson Rand) Die Grinder for $60 many years ago. Never had an issue with it. Harbor Frieght? You get what you pay for in that store. You have to be carefull with thier stuff, most of it is garbage if you ask me. Why do you think it's so cheap?

Spend the extra $$ on a decent tool, and it will last longer then you need, and for the cutt off wheels get some decent one's also so your not picking them out of your teeth after the first 25,000 rpm.

Good luck



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