Angle Grinders

Ask yourself a few simple questions to decide what type of angle grinder you need to purchase.

As with anything you buy, you get what you pay for"¦. There are a number of angle grinders on the market today. Ask yourself a few questions"¦what do I need in a hand held portable grinder? Will you be doing a lot of grinding on a daily basis? What type of material will you be grinding? How big of a surface will you be working on? Are there small tight areas you will be trying to grind in? Answer these questions and you will then be able to select the right grinder for you.

If you're looking for good, long lasting equipment, you need to start at the top of the matrix and spend some money on a good, time tested brand name. Brands like Bosh, Dewalt, Makita, Milwaukee, and Metabo are all names most of us know and trust. All of which are priced in the same ballpark depending on the size range you are looking for. For comparison, lets say we're looking for a 4-1/2" grinder. If you were to purchase one of these brands, plan to spend between $80 and $100. You can usually find a sale at your local supply house and some even offer trade in options for your old tools, toward the purchase of a new one. I highly recommend any of these brands if you're doing production work and using your grinders on a fairly regular basis. If you take care of them properly and blow them out daily with an air hose, they will last much longer than the cheaper versions out there. You may also be the type of person that likes to buy good quality tools. If this is the case, I again recommend any of the above listed brands.

If you're not doing production work and use your grinder rarely, there are a number of off brands that will get the job done for you at a fraction of the cost. You can find these grinders in just about any industrial supply catalog or store. They go for as little as $15 and I have seen them as high as $40. Just remember one thing, if you pay half the cost, your probably getting half the product.

Typically these grinders are used for metalworking. Due to the high RPM and circular grinding motion, they don't work well with woods, plastics and other softer materials. Picking the right size grinder for the application you are performing may help in your decision also. Most people can get away with a 4-1/2" grinder, but you may need a little more back bone. In this case, a larger 7" tool may be better suited for you needs. They are considerably heavier and cost much more, but when you're removing large amounts of metal from your parts, you really don't want to be there all day using a 4-1/2" tool. Made by the same well-known companies, a good grinder will cost upwards of $180 to $200. The grinding wheels used with these machines are also more expensive, but as I said, if you have to remove large amounts of metal or clean up endless burned edges, your going to want a larger grinder.

Here is a little tip: grinders come in sizes, 4-1/2" and 6" for the smaller tools and then 7" and 9" for the larger tools. The only difference between the two groups is the size of the guard that comes on them. So if you're thinking that you need a 6" grinder because it's a little bigger than the 4-1/2" think again. Most dealers won't charge you more for the difference, but it's good to know incase they try. If you want to check this out, ask to see one of each and compare them side-by-side.

I hope this sheds some light on buying the right grinder for your needs.

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