The best die grinders/cutoff wheels? [Archive] - Chevelle Tech

: The best die grinders/cutoff wheels?


burnt clutch
Jan 7th, 07, 5:12 PM
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

sevt_chevelle
Jan 7th, 07, 5:36 PM
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.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Ingersoll-Rand-IR301-Air-Angle-Die-Grinder-NEW_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ63693QQhashZitem160 070158657QQihZ006QQitemZ160070158657QQrdZ1

1st timer
Jan 7th, 07, 7:02 PM
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

Trooper
Jan 7th, 07, 7:20 PM
I second the IR air tools. Reasonable price and well built.

gonracn
Jan 7th, 07, 8:52 PM
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.

haughty
Jan 7th, 07, 8:53 PM
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.

BillK
Jan 7th, 07, 9:41 PM
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.

rubadub
Jan 7th, 07, 9:48 PM
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.

Rob

Andy69
Jan 7th, 07, 9:57 PM
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.

LateNight72
Jan 7th, 07, 10:10 PM
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

70isfine
Jan 7th, 07, 10:45 PM
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.

72silver4u
Jan 7th, 07, 11:03 PM
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.

baddbob71
Jan 7th, 07, 11:21 PM
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.

gonracn
Jan 8th, 07, 12:28 AM
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.

350_Malibu
Jan 8th, 07, 1:30 AM
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

ss396boy
Jan 8th, 07, 1:53 AM
Yep, HF chepos are a "good price" but most are not "good tools". Been through 2 of the 90 degree cutoff wheels. The one I got from Lowes seems to run much better.

planeoldguy
Jan 8th, 07, 10:12 AM
If you're doing major surgery, floorpans, quarters and such, I like to use my 4 1/2 inch electric with a Norton metal cutoff wheel. It cuts easier and lasts longer than my air grinder. I also like the 'stone' grinding wheels for rough dressing welds. As for air tools, in my opinon, Dotco is by far the best. In the 25 years I've been in aircraft maintenance we have always used Dotco air tools with no problems. They take abuse you wouldn't belive and almost never fail. My 2 cents.

bhawk
Jan 8th, 07, 10:30 AM
Look for 3M green corp cutoff wheels. Every other brand I tried wore out way too fast, causing the grinder to do twice the work. Find a Green Corp and try one, you will never go to another. The thinnest green corp is 1\32 I think, and that is what I use on my air tool for all sheet metal. But if I want to cut some real metal, I use an electric grinder with cutoff wheel.
I put a drop or two of air tool oil into my cut off tool every couple of days, as I don't have a regular oiling tool. I think that helps with longevity. Use a couple drops of the correct oil in yours, it should last longer.

busterwivell
Jan 8th, 07, 12:18 PM
I bought about every air tool I could need at Harbor Freight thinking they would get me started, and I would replace with better when they needed replaced. That was 3 years or more ago. Funny thing, none of them have failed. Yes, I oil them every time I use them. Couldn't agree more about the discs. Buy good ones!

burnt clutch
Jan 9th, 07, 10:16 PM
Allrighty, thanks to all who bothered to fill me on on what they're using, I always feel better knowing that someone else is doing the same stuff that I am! I dropped by the mom and pop tool store, and saw a Ingersoll Rand 3" cutoff made in Taiwan that they're asking about $50 for. I also saw thier cutoff wheels, both the 3M green corps, and another US brand, going for around $1.50 each. I'll give them a try when I get my second wind on the car. I'll probably snag the I.R. tool when I get my tax return as it'll be a "investment" and the other wheels should be completely dead by then. So do alot of the cheapo cutoff disks "grenade out"? I'm not sure what my RPMs are on the tool, but my PSI going into it is around 100PSI . I've used the H.F. disks, and have never had one blow up in my face, yet...

-Karl

sevt_chevelle
Jan 9th, 07, 10:49 PM
The better cutoff wheels and sand paper etc, last longer, cut faster and overall cheaper in the end...Eric

Bowtie-72
Jan 10th, 07, 12:43 PM
3M#s 01989 and 01990 are 1/32 and 1/16" respectively. That's all we use here. We average about 90 a year of each. Haven't heard of one let loose yet.

Keith Tedford
Jan 10th, 07, 7:53 PM
Back in the early '70s I worked on the assembly line in Oshawa grinding car roof lead joints. Norton discs outlasted other brands by 2-3 to 1. That was important because I had to replace torn/worn discs on the fly. Hopefully Norton has kept up their quality over the years.

singer123
Jun 16th, 11, 10:23 AM
I like those die grinder cut off wheels (http://www.starabrasives.com), very fast cutting , long lasting ,

http://www.starabrasives.com/html_products/die-grinder-cutting-wheel-76.html

Dean
Jun 16th, 11, 10:37 AM
3M#s 01989 and 01990 are 1/32 and 1/16" respectively. That's all we use here. We average about 90 a year of each. Haven't heard of one let loose yet.

Where do you get those Bryan?

slingslingbinks
Jun 16th, 11, 11:11 AM
I have bought alot of the HB grinders for my shop at home. With the 200$ price tag at Mac Tools for a 90 degree one i can't justify them at home. At my work it's another story even though i have some there as well. Here's what i'v found out about HB tools.
http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/grinders/air-angle-die-grinder-32046.html
This one will break where the air coupling screw's on.
This one cost more but won't break off at the coupler.
http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/grinders/1-4-quarter-inch-front-exhaust-air-angle-die-grinder-52848.html
This 120 degree one is nice in tight spots and u need to remove the rubber cover that get's in the way of the trigger.
These are the all around general cut off wheel's i use.
http://www.harborfreight.com/pack-of-10-thin-3-inch-cut-off-wheels-for-metal-96550.html
http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/grinders/120-air-angle-die-grinder-99841.html
I use these and have 12 or so of them with different size wheel's on them and some have the guard's removed for the 4 inch wheels.
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-inch-high-speed-air-cutter-67425.html
Here's a good straight die grinder, But the fitting is made the same and it will break off.
http://www.harborfreight.com/1-4-quarter-inch-inline-die-grinder-kit-53177.html
I like to put an arbor on the 90 degree die grinders, But these arbor's are junk, They wobble and the thicker wheels wont't stay on.
http://www.harborfreight.com/1-4-quarter-inch-cut-off-wheel-arbor-for-die-grinder-93389.html
Use this arbor from Home Depot, It's difficult to change the wheel, But it will take the thicker Grinding and cut off wheel's
http://www.homedepot.com/Tools-Hardware/BLACK-DECKER/h_d1/N-5yc1vZarnkZ2og/R-100422676/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053
All in all i have bought many of the same die and cut off cutters and only had problem's breaking the air fitting off on one and the o-rings in the air valve are too small. The o-ring kit HB sell's has a smaller o-ring in it that i use.
While having 60,000$ in tools where i work, Being a kenworth Truch Mech. I can't justify the Snap-on and Mac tool prices for my project's at home. I also like to have many cut off and die grinders already tooled up. So changing a tool with gloves on is easy to just grab another tool and re couple it and use it. Good luck with your Harbor Freight Tool's. C-ya Scott

TechNova
Jun 16th, 11, 11:42 AM
I too would avoid any tool that has plastic housing where the air fitting screws in, they break.

slingslingbinks
Jun 16th, 11, 11:44 AM
I too would avoid any tool that has plastic housing where the air fitting screws in, they break.The harbor freight ones i described aren't plastic.

nekkidhillbilly
Jun 19th, 11, 5:59 PM
i got a all metal hf one is what i got works fine for about 4 years oil it like twice

marxjunk
Jun 19th, 11, 6:09 PM
I have a buddy that buys them fro harbor freight, he waits til they go on sale for 9 bux buys 5 or 6 and as they break he throws them in the dumpster...might be wastefull but he seems to enjoy it........by the time he runs out they are on sale again...

bart0510
Jun 20th, 11, 10:39 PM
I have a buddy that buys them fro harbor freight, he waits til they go on sale for 9 bux buys 5 or 6 and as they break he throws them in the dumpster...might be wastefull but he seems to enjoy it........by the time he runs out they are on sale again...

I do the same thing. Wait until they are on sale buy 3 or 4 of them and when they take a crap I throw them away. The right angle die grinder is going on 3yrs, the cut off is going on 6yrs and the straight die grinder is going on 8yrs with new spares waiting for their turn. I do oil them regularly.

tom6870
Jun 21st, 11, 10:48 AM
IR air tools, you can't beat the quality. Never ever use cheap grinders etc etc.....

TerryAT
Jun 21st, 11, 11:11 AM
Do you guys know that this thread is from '07? New member, Singer123 made his first post replying to it on page 2. lol
Nonetheless, still good info.