Proxxon/Merlin e-motor mini-grinder vs mini air die grinder

I do a lot of freehand carving of wooden spoons and bowls, roughing with a bandsaw and then chainsaw disk, then successively finer kutzall disks all, on motorized angle grinders. This works quite well, but the disks are a bit large for doing the inside of spoons and the whine of the angle grinders is a pain. I wear ear protection, but I think the neighbors may be starting to tire of it.
I saw an ad for the Proxxon mini grinder at King Arthur Tools (renamed the Merlin): http://www.kingarthurstools.com/merlin.htm It's packaged with pretty much the blades I'd like for ~$200. However, it looks a bit weak for the kind of work I do and I'd like feedback by anyone who has ever used it. Quality of construction, sound, ease of use, vibration, etc.
Alternatively, some friends have suggested switching to air tools, using something like mini die grinders on a big compressed air rig. This seems attractive for the relative cheapness of the handpieces and decreased sound (motor only runs after pressure has decreased past the cut-in point). I saw that Sam Maloof runs this sort of setup in his shop to good effect :) but the additional cost of the compressor and large tank are significant (~$1000). Feedback on this is also welcome and appreciated.
please cc me as my connection to the news server seems to be spotty.
Thanks! Harry
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"Harry Mangalam writes:
<snip>

If you are willing to make the investment, air operated die grinders are the way to go, if for no other reason the very large selection of burrs designed for the die maker.
If you go air, a 5HP, 240V/1PH motor driving a 2 stage compressor on top of an 80 gal vertical tank is a very good package for anything other than industrial applications.
I like mine.
HTH
Lew
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Harry
I just purchased the Proxxon carver a couple of weeks ago. It's light, minimal vibration and seems to be built solid. I have used it only once to get the feel of it and was somewhat dissapointed. I have found the unit to be a bit on the weakside when carving wood. The chain cutter/carver is not cutting into hardwood as I expected, maybe carving basswood will be better but haven't tried it. I was planning on using this unit mainly for roughing out but was dissapointed with oak and butternut. I amInterested on other feedback from those who are using it.
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Thanks for the info - are you cutting the wood green or cured? - I do most of my rough carving on green wood.
Also, what's the noise level like? Comparable to to an angle grinder (hounds of hell wail) or more like a dremel/foredom (annoying whine)?
Best, Harry
dteckie wrote:

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A. Carve cured wood

A. Noise level is not bad about same as drill or router.

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A. Carve cured wood

A. Noise level is not bad about same as drill or router.

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