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Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

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  • Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

    I was considering a small project using up some extra angle iron I have in the garage, and someone in another thread suggested I get a cheap angle grinder instead of sawing pieces with my hacksaw for the next few days.

    I saw that Harbor Freight was gearing up for a sale and I didn't want to spend lots of money on a tool I wouldn't use much. I found that they have an angle grinder going for $9.99 (50% off)

    Other than the fact that it's from Harbor Freight and cheap to begin with, that's getting to be a ridiculously low price for a power tool. I probably paid more for my hacksaw I currently own even. Should I even be considering this thing? Or is the quality that bad I should stay away from it?

    http://www.harborfreightusa.com/usa/...pe=RET&simple=

  • #2
    Re: Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

    Of course YMMV but I have had one of those el cheapo, Made in China, 4½" angle grinders for years. No matter how hard I abuse it, it just refuses to die. Best $9 I ever spent. As a matter of fact, I think that I've probably spent more on discs over the years than what the grinder itself cost. I say go for it. If it only lasts a job or two you're still only out $10.
    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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    • #3
      Re: Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

      LOL $10 bucks for a grinder?

      My advice would be to wear every piece of safety equipment you have while using it

      this would be just a partial list:

      Gloves, safety goggles, helmet, kneepads, wrist gaurds, shinpads, steel toe boots, ear protection, dust mask......

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      • #4
        Re: Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

        One thing I found out is that many of the cheapo Harbor freight angle grinders don't have grease in the gear case. If you can, check it before use and any power tool repair shop should be willing to give you a couple of tablespoons of a suitable grease cheap.

        Oh, what the heck. Just use it as is and when it gives up trash it. For $10 you can't do too bad.

        YES to the safety gear too. Protection is a must.

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        • #5
          Re: Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

          Guess I'll make a trip over there when the sale starts. I'd probably spend about $10 in hacksaw blades cutting by hand anyway, so as long as I finish the project without a trip to the ER, the grinder will have paid for itself.

          I will definitely get some more safety gear, I have the basics but my gloves are pretty much light duty ones. I'll get a new pair from somewhere else other than Harbor Freight

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          • #6
            Re: Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

            Be sure to get one with a 5/8-11 spindle that can take a 4-1/2" rather than just a 4 inch wheel. Home Depot had and most likely has NORTON (good USA brand) cut-off wheels. I would (for safety) trash any Chinese wheels that come with the grinder.

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            • #7
              Re: Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

              Originally posted by Woussko View Post
              One thing I found out is that many of the cheapo Harbor freight angle grinders don't have grease in the gear case. If you can, check it before use and any power tool repair shop should be willing to give you a couple of tablespoons of a suitable grease cheap.

              Oh, what the heck. Just use it as is and when it gives up trash it. For $10 you can't do too bad.

              YES to the safety gear too. Protection is a must.
              You are so correct. I though I was the only OCD person on that issue. I aways check all tools now and find I always need to add. I use the green Slick 50 grease.
              I must say the new Makita I have works better than my grey B&D Industry USA made model . Look at the parts diagram on the HFT ones to pick the best design. get a 4 1/2" as said. I have a clone of the paddle B&D that works fine but that design has a sleeve bearing for the arbor end in both so grease there is critical. The Makita uses roller bearings, sealed front area to gearbox, front exhaust, superior design. An angle grinder is a very useful tool to have.

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              • #8
                Re: Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

                I have had one for about 7 years now and it will not die. I have a good grinder but it is in use as a biscuit jointer and removing the attachment to install a metal cutter or weld grinding disk is a PITA.
                It had very little grease in it so I filled it with wheel bearing grease and it runs perfectly

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                • #9
                  Re: Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

                  May I suggest you check out the orange angle grinder they sell. It is a little more $ (maybe 29.95) ,less on sale. It is said the orange case tolls are a little better . I have one and it works quite well. I also agree you should open the gear case and put in some grease. Hope this helps

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                  • #10
                    Re: Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

                    Have a friend who had a welding business, and he use the Harbor freight grinders and felt for the money they were good, he keep two of them so if one did fry he would have some thing until a new one could be delivered, (maybe part of it was he keep them on his welding truck and maybe he also thought if it walks he not out much). T
                    his was about 5 years ago. do to health he as since closed up shop.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

                      Originally posted by wbrooks View Post
                      I have had one for about 7 years now and it will not die. I have a good grinder but it is in use as a biscuit jointer and removing the attachment to install a metal cutter or weld grinding disk is a PITA.
                      It had very little grease in it so I filled it with wheel bearing grease and it runs perfectly
                      Who makes a biscuit jointer attachment for an angle grinder? I realize most (PC and others) are using the same motor as their angle grinder but I was not aware you could get a biscuit jointer accessory for a grinder.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

                        seems like the general consensus is that it's a pretty safe buy, though I should get the gearbox greased, or do it myself. Is this something difficult to do, or should I try to locate a repair shop?

                        Also, I'll be sure to ditch the cheap wheel for something better.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

                          I would definitely not take it to a repair shop. Not worth trying to fix or improve something, for $10 down the road you can just get a new one. The one I have didn't come with any wheels, so I just got a norton cut-off disk from HD.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

                            Hey Bob, I have had it for years and could not remember where I bought it so I did a search and found a Ridgid post of mine from 5 years ago!
                            My five year ago brain confirms that it was Sears but they do not sell it now. However I did find it on Amazon, and it looks the same as mine. The fence is a pain to adjust but once set makes perfect cuts as the blade that comes with it is identicle to the the PC or Dewalt machines.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Really cheap angle grinder... so what's wrong with it?

                              I have that kit, Wolfcraft is the brand, mine is made in Germany. I bought a PC557 so I do not use it. I would sell it if anyone is interested.

                              http://www.wolfcraft.com/product_detail.cfm?id=46p://

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