My Christmas present to me
Let me just say at the outset I love it. There are a couple of annoying
things, but on the whole it is right up there with my fave tools.
What is it? Here you will find photographs and a video of it in action.
I bought the complete unit, choosing not to attach it to an existing angle
grinder. I called tech support before I confirmed an order and asked why I
should buy the complete unit and not just the attachment and a cheap Chinese
angle grinder. The main reason seems to be that although the unit will fit
many grinders it will not fit all. The young lady also said that the
bearings and gear were specially designed in the Arbortech model to resist
entry of saw dust that will come from working with wood. All this sounded
plausible until I read on their site that the chisel cuts without producing
The blades come heavily packed in a high density grease, I dipped mine in
turps and wiped the grease off without any trouble. There is no assembly
required. Fitting in the blade is as easy as it could possibly be: Slide the
shaft in, press a single button and press the blade home with a satisfying
click. The blades, although not close to scary sharp, are sharp enough to
use out of the box.
It's operation is very easy, simply present the blade to the wood and start
cutting. The depth of cut is controlled by how hard you press onto the wood
and the speed is as fast as the hardness of the timber allows or as slow as
you want to move your hands. Control is effortless and in soft woods
extremely precise. The first real job I did with it was to cut the rebates
into some hardwood stringers for a new set of stairs. (Photos in a.b.p.w. )
The timber is unknown but looked to me to be ironbark - one of the hardest
Aussie hardwoods. (If there is a harder, denser one, I won't be working with
I had started on the job using a hammer and chisel but the density of the
timber made it very slow going indeed. I knew this tool was coming so I let
the job wait until it arrived. I am very glad I did. As the rebates in
stringers are necessarily cut at an angle to the grain and only 40mm or so
wide, it was a challenge to get the cutting technique right, but by the
eighth and last rebate I could do a reasonable job of it in about 15 min.
About the same length of time I spent getting the first couple of mm cut
with a hammer and chisel.
This must be the safest power tool on the market. While it is running you
can touch the end of the blade (no pressure) without even breaking the skin,
I think the only way to hurt yourself accidentally would be to drop it on
your foot. Hearing protection is a must. As with other power tools extended
gave my hands that tingly vibration feeling for a few minutes after I turned
it off. The metal part of the grinder got very hot, and although there are
screw holes for a handle on either side there was no handle supplied. This
added a certain level of annoying 'gotchas' when I repositioned my grip to
get the best angle of attack.
By far the most annoying thing was the switch on the grinder. It is a very
delecate thumb slide common enough on many grinders. Unfortunately there is
no lock position, so for the first ten minutes of operation I was constantly
turning the chisel back on after it had tripped off. I tried adjusting my
technique but with the metal case getting hotter, I found myself moving back
to where the switch is located to avoid getting burnt and consquently
switching the motor off. I fixed this with a wedge shaped sliver of wood
pessed into the switch and loosely taped into position. Normally I wouldn't
dream of jamming a power tool in the on position but since it would be near
impossible to accidentally injure yourself with it (though I am sure if you
really tried you could) it didn't seem to be much of a risk.
I can't imagine reccomending a tool that requires modification right out of
the box, but this is one big exception. It does every cut well, neatly,
powerfully, with absolute control and near perfect safety. I love it.