Need cheap angle grinder for 1 job: 7" or 4.5"?

I'm removing a chain link fence from my yard. I've been using a Roto-Zip with a metal cutting wheel to cut the chain-link material into manageable pieces. That works very well, by the way.
I'm going to need to cut the vertical metal pipe poles as close to the ground as possible. They're set in concrete footings and I suppose if I was younger and more ambitious I might try to dig them out. But the poles feel really solidly anchored, and the footings are below the level of the dirt.
Anyway, I see two angle grinders in the latest edition of the Harbor Freight catalog. Both are priced at $30, one 4.5" and one 7". The 7" has a 1.66 hp motor and the 4.5" one is something like half that. It seems that the 7" wheel would allow me to cut through the approximately 1.25" o.d. pipe without having to keep moving the tool around different sides of the pipe. But the metal cutting wheels they advertise say they have a 1/4" face. That seems pretty thick to me, removing more material than might really be necessary. Might the 4.5" tool be better in some way?
I don't imagine I'll be using an angle grinder too often for other tasks, so I'm hoping the likely rock-bottom quality of these tools won't be too much of a problem.
Greg Guarino
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That seems awfully thick. I have used thin cutoff wheels in my 4.5 inch grinder, and they're only 1/16 inch thick. Even the grinding wheels, used with one face against the work, aren't 1/4" thick.
With the same wheel thickness, you'd expect the larger grinder to cut faster because of more power and higher surface speed at the wheel edge. But if the thinnest cutoff wheel you can get in 7" is substantially thicker than what you can get for the 4.5 inch grinder, the latter might end up being faster because you're removing less metal. So look at what wheels are available first.
    Dave
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yeah, I've used my 4.5 grinder for cutting a lot of metal..notably rebar. but heck, you can get a sawzall for $100 nowadays, toolbarn.com has an 11A Milwaukee for $109 right now) and. Get one of the nice metal cutting blades, and you're all set.
safety-wise, you're probably going to want to make two cuts anyhow. One to get the pole down, another to get as close to the ground as possible...gotta be careful with that grinder/cutoff wheel on pipe.
actually if you don't already have 'em...get both the 4.5" grinder and the sawzall. They're always good for something.
digging out the concrete by hand can be brutal. I've done it with an electric jackhammer. Makes it more doable. (rather than wrestling a solid 100lb+ cylinder of concrete.)
-lev
Dave Martindale wrote:

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wrote:

Use the 4.5" so you can get a thin cutter wheel. It's not that big of a deal to move around the pole. Harbor Freight tools are junk. Angle grinders are very handy tools, I'd opt for a better quality one. I never pull nails out of framing wood anymore, I just cut them off with my grinder, and reuse the boards. If you still want a cheapo model, I'd go to Menards. I have a top brand name grinder, but I got tired of changing from the cutter to the grinder wheels when I weld. Menards had their generic brand grinder on sale for $12.99 a few years ago. I decided for that price I could afford to toss it after a few jobs. It's worked flawlessly and seems to be well built for a cheap tool. Since then I bought their generic brand hammer drill and that seems to be a well made tool too.
On the other hand, if you dont want all those chunks of concrete in the yard, you can lease a skid loader for around $100 per day. Wrap a piece of heavy chain around the post and you can rip them out of the ground. Then knock off the cement with a sledge and sell the pipes. Steel is high, so you might cover the cost of the rental.
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wrote:

Steel may be high, but it's not *that* high. He'd have to recycle at least half a ton to cover the cost of a $100 rental, and that's a LOT of fence posts.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Posts aren't that hard to dig out concrete and all. I just don't like leaving stuff like that in the ground. Just dig down one side almost to the bottom of the concrete cylinder, and tip over the post. When the post is laying flat on the ground, you can pop the concrete off with a hammer. I've done this a bunch of times and we're talking max 10 minutes per post.

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On Fri, 11 May 2007 14:30:24 GMT, "bill allemann"

From what I've been able to see, these are not cylinders. They were put in a long, long time ago and appear to be of indeterminate shape and size. Very solid, nonetheless.
Greg Guarino
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The small 4" or 4 1/2" angle grinders work very well, I've used my cheapie for years. $30 is way too much to pay for a single use tool. Harbor Freight has several for $15 right now, also get a 10 pack of the cutoff wheels for $3.49. Just search their web site for "angle".
--
Dennis


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Greg Guarino wrote:

Sounds like a good excuse to treat yourself to a Sawzall (or other brand recipro).
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top of the fence into manageable pieces. That's probably the limit of its capability. But otherwise it serves my (occasional) need for such a tool.
I find myself thinking that I'll be able to cut the pipe closer to the footing with a grinder. I'm sure that the closest I could get with a sawzall is about 3/4".
Greg Guarino
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HF has a recip saw that goes on sale now and again for about $20. Should make it through one job. Only sawzall the posts off at the bottom. Not the fence. The fence will bounce around a lot.
Same HF store should have bolt cutters for nipping the fence wires.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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On Sun, 13 May 2007 19:35:42 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

I already cut all the fence down. I started off with a sort of mini-bolt-cutters, the size of linesman's pliers. They worked, but it took more hand effort than I was ready to repeat a few hundred times. I've got a Rotozip with the cutter wheel attachment. The metal cutting wheel did an absolutely fabulous job. I'll bet it didn't take 40 seconds to make each vertical swath through the 4' high fence.
Greg Guarino
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