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Old 07-08-2004, 08:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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harbor frieght 4" grinder

they are cheap. but are they worth the $10-15? they going to explode on me?
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Old 07-08-2004, 08:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Grinder

I got one a while back, started making bearing noise after a few weeks.
It was about a month until it had so much play that i would break blades!
I sacked up and got a dewalt (trigger style) 4 in.,been about 6 months,
not a peep!
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Old 07-08-2004, 09:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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First one lasted for 7 years of abuse(still going but the switch sticks). Current one is doing fine. Spend a few more $ and get the "industrial" versoin (~$20)
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Old 07-08-2004, 09:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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They work great if you're poor, or need a second one for flap disks, wire wheels, etc...however, they are easy to stall out and you do get what you pay for.
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Old 07-08-2004, 09:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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thanks, friends milawkee is getting rebuilt so i was looking for something to use in the mean time instead of dropping 2 bills for soemthign good.
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Old 07-08-2004, 09:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i bought one a few years back and beat the hell out of it. its still going balely ........the cord is fawked. i also bought 2 more late last year and they crappped out a few weeks ago...?????????

just bought a craftsman 4.5" grinder 59$$ we'll see how that one does
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Old 07-08-2004, 09:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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They're inconsistent, some will go for quite some time, some die an early (actually right on schedule for the price) death. As stated, great for flapper wheels, etc, but for serious grinding and cutting I'll only use a quality unit.
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Old 07-08-2004, 10:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with the light grinding and wire wheel theory!Now that i think back
i was doing alot of cutting with mine,which cause alot of side load on the thing!Thats probably why mine junked so quick!
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Old 07-08-2004, 10:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have had many of them over the years. I always open up the gear case and apply some high quality grease. The stuff they use is like wax and does a chitty job. They much smoother and quieter after the lube.
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Old 07-08-2004, 12:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I got this one, along with a milwakee 4 1/2 Works great. Nice having more than one, don't have to keep changing wheels
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Old 07-08-2004, 12:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I guess the link would help http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=91223
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Old 07-08-2004, 03:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I've had one for two years. Bearings started making hanus noise, but the unit still works. It has a dedicated wire brush on it. I went to a second Makita 4" that I use with cut-off wheels and splurged some bank on a Bosch 4.5" for grinding. All three still work and like GJC said, I don't need to change wheels (which after a year or so of my time switching between units, I think it's justified the costs).

BTW the ease in stress on my wrists and forearms by upgrading to the 4.5" Bosch is significant. Way worth it if you spend lots of time cleaning up booger welds and shaping 1/2" plate
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Old 07-08-2004, 03:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Good point Geesh, my gf can't use anything but the Milwaukee (my other three are cheapies) as the others are poorly balanced and fatigue her forearms too badly. I don't notice the vibration much except after extended use.
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Old 07-08-2004, 04:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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i have 4 grinders 2 blue ones from harbor freight one orange color also harbor but i bought it mainly for the adapter and have one dewalt flapper style and for cutt off wheels and hard core i go dewalt cause if you drop it it will turn off unlike the hf ones. but for the price they can't be beat.
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Old 07-08-2004, 06:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I just killed my almost 12 yr old blue HF grinder. Droped it on the floor and busted it in half. Bought one of the orange ones, well see.
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Old 07-08-2004, 11:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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i never have used one... but I ponied up and paid I think $65 for a makita about 3 years ago. I beat the hell out of my tools, and it works great. Had to replace the circuit beaker in it once, but that was because the rubber boot fell off, and I never put it back on.

Also, ever power and air tool I buy thats cheap and I will use more tan 5 times a year, ends up breaking, or not working well enough that i even bother using it. I think its worth ponying up for a good grinder, just because that HF will break, and in the long run, its cheaper to buy good up front.. or else thats what I tell myself with my super sawzall and makita grinder, and 315 amp arc welder.
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Old 07-08-2004, 11:49 PM   #17 (permalink)
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My dad got one and it lasted ~7 minutes.
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Old 07-09-2004, 03:35 AM   #18 (permalink)
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i've got a couple HF's 4 1/2's
1 for grinder wheel
1 for wire brush cup
1 for flapper wheel
1 for cut off wheel
1 for braided wire wheel

I have not had a single issue with one outside of the right angle grab handles breaking off on them.

My big stuff is both Milwaukee and Makita, cause sometime you need the torque.

EDIT: See BAD DOG's post below, I am in the same boat exactly on the HF ones.
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Old 07-09-2004, 06:44 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I'd Say If You Can Afford It Get The Dewalt, I've Had Both Of Mine So Hot Before, That I Couldnt Even Hold Them Any More, And They Still Work Awesome, Plus Alot More Torque Than The Crappy Ones
That I've Used.
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Old 07-09-2004, 06:47 AM   #20 (permalink)
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You have to make sure you're getting the grinder with the most amps. They have different models with different motors in them. in similar housings. I've beat the piss out of the one I have an it keeps on going. Everything from cutting/grinding metal to cutting concrete patio pavers with a diamond blade. Usually the ones in the $20-30 range are the better models at Harbor Freight. The $10 ones suck ass.
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Old 07-09-2004, 09:27 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I wouldn't get the 4", but I have several of the orange 4.5" HF grinders. I figured I could pony up the money for a single good quality grinder that would last a long, long time, and spend time constantly switching between grinding wheel, cut-off, wire wheel, silicon-oxide, etc. Or, I could get the HFs on sale for $15-$17 each, keep one setup with each of the major wheels, and just grab what I need. If one every dies, I'm out less than $20 and I have backups plus I don't have to swap wheels till I wear one out.

Initially I wasn't sure of if I wanted to use that "cheap junk", but I no longer make a living with my tools, and just couldn't see the expense of equipping a shop with "quality" tools when I was just messing around with an already expensive hobby. So I bought one of them to "test" when I first got started with turning my K30 into a truggy. That one lasted though the frame mods, piles of rivets, a roll cage, and numerous other projects before I was convinced they were worth the money, and got totally fed up with swapping wheels. I went out and bought several more next time they were on sale, and I have yet to loose a single one (including the first one used exclusively and EXTENSIVELY in the truggy project) in the last 2 years of projects including the truggy, 2 K5s, welding table, welding cart, shelves, bumpers, links and stuff for other people... and on... and on... I've got no complaints about the torque, they work well and have taken all the abuse me and my son can throw at them to date. The only thing negative I can say is that they do "look" cheap and they do have that cheap sound/feel. But I really couldn't care less as long as they do the job. They may all crap out tonight, but they will have earned their keep.

If you want to strut around with your cool tools for your buds when they come over to hang out (or on the BBs), find another grinder. If I were doing this for a living, Milwaukee would get my money... But if you want something that works well for cheap and you don't mind the lack of finish and prestige, the HF 4.5" gets my vote without hesitation.

[Edit]
This is the one I have several of. Mine looks a little different, seems like the end cap is black instead of gray, but I'm pretty sure this is the same.
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Old 07-09-2004, 07:22 PM   #22 (permalink)
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i have the 4.5" hf. i have gotten my 19 bucks out of it and it keeps going...it's been over a year of intermediate use. i use it for cutting and grinding.

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Old 07-09-2004, 10:10 PM   #23 (permalink)
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same as any other HF piece...some work forever some crap out. luck of the draw. i've got one so i don't have to change wheels as frequently, and it works fine. heats up a little faster then the ryobi i've got, but it works for my usage. i use it on the weekends, if i needed it everyday i'd get something else i'm sure.
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Old 07-09-2004, 10:15 PM   #24 (permalink)
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i smoked 2 and used 42 of there grinding wheels to do my first SAS on a 4runner my 3rd one paid me back and bounced off the frame when cutting the horseshoe Xmember, cut the muscle that operates my pointer finger in 2 and gave me ~30 stitches...fawkers have an attitude!
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Old 07-10-2004, 07:34 PM   #25 (permalink)
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who makes a good one with a trigger instead of a switch , I was looking at the HF one the other day and I didn't like the fact that it did not have a trigger
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