Looking for a grinder


I am looking to purchase a grinder and need some input.
Bench or stand? 8" or 6"? How many amps?
My uses will be for grinding (of course), sharpening, polishing and a wire wheel for cleaning the rust from some poorly maintained tools.
Heres what I have found locally:
Lowe's
Porter-Cable 8" bench grinder, 4 amps $129 Delta 8" bench grinder. 5 amps $118 on clearance. Delta 6" grinder ? amps. $84 Skil 6" grinder ? amps $45
Home Depot
2 Ryobi bench grinders 8", 3 amp $64.97 6" 2.1 amp $44.97
Or should I look elsewhere, such as Northern Tool, etc.?
Thanks.
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Bench or stand - depends on whether you can spare the bench space. Bench mount is more stable.
six or eight inch - sounds like you are not going to be doing any large or heavy jobs, so get the one that fits budget and space - either will be fine.
Current (Amps) - don't be concerned with what you will use it for.
I'd get the six inch Delta ($84) or six inch Ryobi for $45.
Bob-tx
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The Delta and PC will last, check floor models for bearing movement with your hand by forcing it in all directions, some cheap units wobble from day one and make any quality work impossible.
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Also, check garage sales (or Craigslist) for one that was made to last. I have a 6" Craftsman (vintage '70s) and you could run it all day...and just get warm!
bob
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How much benchtop space do you have available? Of course,you could build a flip-up grinder station,or make a base to clamp into a Workmate stand. the grinder will need to be bolted down.

OK,what sizes of accessory andd replacement wheels are readily available? You want a wire wheel and a buffing wheel.

I have a cheap Chinese one from Big Lots,it works fine,has a light to illuminate your work. IIRC,it cost $30.Has coarse and fine wheels.
the tool rest is important;you will probably have to add an aftermarket tool rest. You will also need a wheel dressing tool,to keep the wheel flat.
--
Jim Yanik
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Rex Mundi wrote the following:

If just for the occasional home jobs. http://search.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do?keyword=grinder&Submit=Go I have a bench grinder from HF that is 20 years old. The most rugged work I do with it is to sharpen mower blades. Still works as new with no wobble or other problems.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Rex Mundi wrote:

Here's a selection of grinders from HF. Cheapest seems to be about $35, but with a current 20% off coupon...
http://search.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do?catPath=All%2BProducts%252F%252F%252F%252FUserSearch%253Dgrinder&currentPage=1&lastPage=6&isNext=true&isPreviouslse&category=&attributeValue=&attributeName=&requestedPage=1&resultsPerPage&resultsPerPageBottom
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Others have pointed out the economical Harbor Freight grinders. For wire wheel and buffing, 8" is too large. Get a 6" and put a buff on one side and a wire wheel on the other. Twist type wire wheels are too hairy, get the flat top type. For tool grinding, fast metal removal, an 8" is good, but again, the 6" will do OK. You should really use an angle grinder with suitable blade for sharpening lawn mower blades and such. Beyond that, a 7" or 9" body grinder is surprisingly useful around the shop. I've even seen pro framers use the latter for evening out rafter tails on trusses for mounting fascia boards. Amazon is a good benchmark for prices on standard brands of tools if you like to spend more than you need to. From personal experience and paralleling the opinions by many in this NG, the HF line is a decent value for the money. For super high precision or 40 hour a week duty, that may not be enough. Finally, make or buy a grinder stand. They don't belong on a bench, benches are for other work that needs to be horizontal. With a stand, the machine can be moved around to the best location. And don't forget to put a shield or guard behind the buffer or you will get spatter all over the wall. Now go have fun.
Joe
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Some folks can use a grinder on mower blades. For me I find that putting the blade in a vise and then using a metal file works best.
It gives me better control, and a shaper blade without burning it (blue). <G>
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Oren wrote:

You're discounting all of the "fun" to be had after you harden your mower blade! <EG>
Jon
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And, lawn mower blades. Be sure to check the balance. Pound a nail partway into the wall. Hang the blade on the nail like a bow tie. Steady the blade, and let go. the end that droops to the ground needs more grinding. Out of balance blade will make the machine shake.
--
Christopher A. Young
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For occasional use, a 6 inch grinder from Harbor freight should work fine. Bench or stand, depends on your shop layout, and where the space allows.
I like a BIG fluorescent light over head. Helps me see what I'm doing.
--
Christopher A. Young
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wrote:

I still use a cast metal grinder with a large crank. It has several cutting sets depending on what you have to grind. It's very quiet, built like a tank, easy and simple to clean, and works without electricity. It clamps to the edge of a table. Mine is about 55 years old.
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I would suggest the bench, or one you can clamp to the bench. I have found all others to be too wobbly no matter what the base, unless it was so massive that it was a PITA to move around. As per wheel diameter, try to match it to the work. Be mindful of RPM, as slower would be a little safer. For some work, hand grinders, or small grinders will get in the tight spots. I have several, down to a Foredom size. One of my favorites for small work is an air tool. Once you get into this, you will probably discover that one will not do it all.
Steve
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what I did with my grinder was to bolt it to a plywood base,with a strip on the bottom that clamps into my Workmate 200(and a second strip for no- tilt shelf storage). That gives it a very stable base,yet easily moved around. Then I added an aftermarket adjustable tool rest. I can remove the grinder and store it on a shelf if I want to use thw Workmate for other things.
--
Jim Yanik
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