Anyone have a Harbor Freight bench grinder?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by fishhead, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm looking for a decent grinder. I won't use it very much but I would like one strong enough to do some actual work without bogging down.

    I see Harbor Freight has a 3/4 hp for about $60.
     
  2. zant

    zant Well-Known Member

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    If you're not going to use HF tools professionally on an every day basis-they are a good deal...
     

  3. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks. I just want one that will work when I turn it on and not be so underpowered that I have to wait while it accelerates after every cut.
     
  4. Harry Chickpea

    Harry Chickpea Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a Ryobi. Works fine, but I gotta ask - what are you using the grinder for? For sharpening tools and average use, I've never run into a situation lugging down a grinder.
     
  5. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    I'd recommend Northern Tools strongly over Harbor Freight. I have been extremely pleased with what they sell and all of the phone center folks are US.
     
  6. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've got a few traps that I'd like to grind a space in the jaws so they don't meet in the catch area. I'd also use it to sharpen my ice chisel.
     
  7. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For that, the HF grinder will work adequately. They do bog easily, but what you wish to do isn't heavy grinding.

    Both could be better done with a side angle grinder, imo. They work better, do more, and cost less.
     
  8. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks. I intend on doing that this weekend. I've got a 4" angle grinder that seems to cut like crazy. I just need to build a simple jig to hold the trap.
     
  9. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    When I think quality Harbor Freight doesn't cross my mind.
    Tools and equipment are selling used for pennies on the dollar everywhere. Check craigslist and auctions and you'll find a high quality American made grinder that will outlast you. I have one that I bought new about 30 years ago. It runs so smooth compared to the cheapos there is no comparison.
     
  10. MattyD

    MattyD Well-Known Member

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    -There is a Ryobi bench grinder in my local Craigslist right now for $15. Doesn't say how big the motor is though. Definitely give your local list a look.

    L8R,
    Matt
     
  11. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Usually the HF stuff is at least usable. I have never tried one of their bench grinders.

    BUT several years ago, I saw this nice looking heavy no name bench grinder at local Chinese tool place for like $10 or maybe it was $15. Said 3/4 hp which I knew was greatly optimistic but base cast iron and sure big enough to have enough motor inside to at least do ok.

    Got it home. It started spinning easy enough. Just reshaping end on screw driver bogged it down. Seriously, it was unusable. Still setting on a barrel in back room. I ran across little doityourself article where some guy had disassembled his cheapo Chinese bench grinder, removed the motor windings, etc. and installed a pulley inside on shaft, then cut slot in back of grinder motor housing and ran a belt to a real motor. Said it worked ok. Sort of like people in old days buying a mandrel setup and made a grinder, using a washing machine motor and belt to power it. Even 1/3 hp motor (a real one) should be enough for average use of a 6 inch bench grinder. But real half hp motors not that hard to come buy if you are willing to custom make a perch to use one say off an old pump or something. And I've seen even real 3/4 motors go cheap enough, just want to make sure its single phase and works with 120v AC.

    Oh and just curious, I looked on ebay what used REAL commercial quality bench grinders go for. Figure around $200 for quality used one. I cant imagine average home user ever justifying a $200 bench grinder, but hey they are out there if you want one. And if it works well when you get it, for sure it will last lifetime. Also heavy enough that you would have satifaction of knowing any thief suffered greatly carting it off.

    Oh here is link to discussion on another forum about chinese bench grinders. http://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?t=9250 Seems despite their size and weight, the actual motor inside is more akin to one in box fan. Around 1/8 hp at most.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  12. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I worked on some traps yesterday with the angle grinder. It seemed to cut just fine but I made the jaw a little wavy. I'll have to fix that. I think I'll put a little bead of weld on a jaw too.