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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've walked past the angle grinders in Home Depot one too many times and now I must have one. I'm looking for something that will do little things like grinding off the heads of chain pins but also do some cutoff jobs where a hacksaw or a sawzall with a metal blade doesn't cut it (hoho!). Won't be cutting hunks of concrete out of the sidewalk or slicing girders in half. I found this one on amazon:
41uHL-eMmLL.jpg
Anyone have this one or have better suggestions?
Jim
 

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I have the Harbor Freight version of that Makita. In addition to general bike shop duty, I'm using it to cut up a residential boiler,pipes and radiators.
I miss my steam heat, but the system was 73 years old and needed a complete overhaul. :-(((
 

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I know a lot of people don't think of it, but a good place for tools is Sears.

Angle Grinder from Sears.com

I know that Sears in the USA still carries a good selection of tools, unfortunately Sears in Canada doesn't carry much anymore. Which is too bad because it was hard to go wrong with craftsman tools. But they also carry a lot of other brands of tools now, might be worth a look there.
 

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For small duty stuff like that, I find myself using my dremmel rather than angle grinder. I find it much more versatile for lighter duty tasks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the ideas folks--the only question left is whether to go for instant Sears gratification or the transcendent joy of a tracking number...
 

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I you have the extra money to spend, go with a name brand unit, but the Harbor Freight unit is actually decent. I picked up a HF 4" angle grinder for $19.99 on sale in 2010 or so. It's seen a ton of abuse (almost burned it up a few times with a 10" polishing bonnet) and is still going strong. This usually isn't the case with Harbor Freight power tools but I've been pretty impressed with the angle grinder. Figured I'd throw that out there.

I'm also not embarrassed by having a few HF tools in the collection. If it works, it works.
 

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Makita are a bit shit. I've had a Metabo 5 inch both at work as a metal fabricator for 15 years, and another at home in the shed for 8. They're a fantastic grinder, smooth bearings, soft start. And can take loads of abuse or do very fine work. Make sure you get a 5 inch grinder, not a 4 or 4 & 1/2. Anything really tiny, I use a dremel.
 

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I agree with Buck. For small stuff I would use a Dremmel myself. I have a 4.5 inch grinder like you posted, a Ingersoll Rand angle grinder run by a air compressor and a Dremmel. Small stuff I like the Dremmel the best because you can adjust the rpm for what you need.
 

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I worked at HD while in college (tool dept.) The Milwaukee 4-1/2" grinder was the best and most durable...but that was many moons ago.

I got a Sears grinder for a gift and it's decent. Does the job.
 

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Not a complete tool snob, but anything I've had from Bosch that was made in a European country has been the best performing and longest lasting power tool I've owned.
 

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^^ Had a cordless Bosch drill for the longest time. Excellent drill. Their jigsaws were the smoothest/nicest as well.
 

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Popular Mechanics does excellent practical/scientific powertool shootouts. I have a DeWalt with a quick change wheel because a fabricator friend recommended it. No complaints after 2 years and lots of use.
 

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HF angle grinders are the shizzz..... buy 3 or 5 for the price of a "name brand" and last longer!
 

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Bought a Hitachi a few years back from Tractor Supply, $30. It has not seen a lot of use but has been handy when I need it. Don't think you can go wrong with the Harbor Freight. unit.
 

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Home: been working with Dremel. Handy little tool.
Work: mechanics using Dewalt... does the job.
 

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Harbor Freight is a good value for 4" angle grinders. Dremel is also very handy for smaller work as stated. One important note: do not buy a cheaper substitute for the Dremel. The one I got from Harbor Freight is useless. Power output is very low and immediately slows to a stop under the slightest load. It can barely cut soft butter.
 

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I don't think Makita tools are as good as they use to be. They use to be the "go to power tools" for most shop guys around here. From what I heard, a few years ago they came to the end of a big contract with a Chinese Manufacturer, who was doing a good job for them. Unfortunately they forgot to write in the contract that all the dies and molds were to remain property of Makita after the contract ended. That is when we saw all the cheap Makita knock-off's flood the market. That is when there was a sudden change over to Dewalt power tools.

That is just around my area, not sure what happened else were. You sure see way more Dewalt, Bosch, Hitachi, Skill, Porter-Cable, RYOBI, RIDGIG, Milwaukee and even Black & Decker. It's almost rare to see any Makita power tools anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
t's almost rare to see any Makita power tools anymore.
I still have my corded Makita hammer drill but my cordless is a Dewalt. I like both for different jobs but I agree that I see a lot more Dewalt tools (and promotional prices) than Makita. Also Dewalt seems to get a lot more product placements on cable 'building' shows...
 

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I have that very unit and it works great for me. Works in a pinch, plus Home Depot has all the disks that I need. I use a Dremel way more than I should, and I tend to burn them up more often than I used to. I am sure that they are cheaper than they used to be.
 
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