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  #1  
Old April 19th, 2021, 11:28
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Bent Bent is offline
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Thoughts on 4-1/2" variable speed angle grinder. 5"?

Like the title says, looking at variable speed angle grinders. From what I can find, and of interest are 4-1/2" and 5".

My current collection of grinders I have four 4-1/2" and one 9". I like the compact size and versatility of the 4" that I have. Because of this I'm leaning towards the 4-1/2".

Question: am I overlooking any advantages to having a 5"?

As far as models go for the 4 1/2' I'll looking at either of these currently:

Metabo HPT


Makita

leaning towards the Makita if I go 4-1/2". Not a fan of Bosch unless for jigsaws.
The Metabo being brushless but 500 rpm slower.

Another criteria is that I hate paddle switches. Those that I'm considering are the standard thumb switch.
Variable speed is something I want for using non-woven abrasive discs/pads, as well as wire brushes. I have found that the 11,000 RPM range can be a little aggressive for these uses. That, and it also has a tendency to melt some of the non-abrasive pads.


As per my standard operating procedures I'm probably overthinking this.

Any thoughts?

Then there is the flat head Metabo
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Last edited by Bent; April 27th, 2021 at 14:56.
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  #2  
Old April 27th, 2021, 20:23
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Anak Anak is offline
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Re: Looking to buy a variable speed angle grinder

Interesting. I didn't even know variable speed grinders were a thing.

I will say I like my Metabos. I have two of them. First one replaced a Bosch and was so much better I eventually bought a second one. Both are 4 1/2".

I do have a Makita 4" that I bought for use by The Varmints. I figure the smaller diameter will make it easier to manage kickback. That does seem to be a good grinder too. It doesn't yet have the hours on it that I have put on my Metabos, so I can't really compare the two. And I am not the one who typically uses the 4". I much prefer my 4 1/2". I don't own a 5", so I can't really say anything about those pros and cons.

I am with you on the thumb switch over a paddle switch. Since it looks like the variable speed is set by a wheel, separate from the trigger, then the thumb switch should still be the winner. It might be different if variable speed were controlled on the fly, like with a die grinder. That is where a paddle switch becomes the better choice.

You will probably be fine with any of the choices you are looking at. But if you have any doubts, send me one and I will let you know what I think of it.

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  #3  
Old April 27th, 2021, 23:07
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lesslimited lesslimited is offline
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Re: Looking to buy a variable speed angle grinder

I didn't know there was such a thing either, but I agree that one RPM doesn't fit all applications.

So, is the Metabo HPT a Metabo or a Hitachi? They don't stress the German thing like they do with the flat head, so I'm guessing Hitachi, which is generally good, but like Bosch there are some tools they do better than others.

I wonder if the variable speed control that I've been using for 20 or so years with my Makita 3612 router would work on a grinder. I'll test tomorrow.

As far as brushless, I think that's overrated if you know how to maintain your tools. I've replaced brushes on that 3612 once, with fairly heavy usage including 3" raised panel bits, and miles of roundover, cove, and other minimal material removal bits.
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  #4  
Old April 28th, 2021, 09:14
Skwerly Skwerly is offline
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Re: Looking to buy a variable speed angle grinder

I run the Makita and love it... if I were running a business I'd have stepped up a bit higher but blue is better than orange.
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  #5  
Old April 28th, 2021, 15:35
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Re: Looking to buy a variable speed angle grinder

Quote:
Originally Posted by lesslimited View Post
So, is the Metabo HPT a Metabo or a Hitachi? They don't stress the German thing like they do with the flat head,
Metabo is the new name for Hitachi. The models that have orange (red?) on them are still German made, the all one color are chinese.
Metabo does have an 11,000 RPM variable speed 5" but I don't see the advantage of the extra 1/4" reach, plus I already have tons of 4.5" consumables.
One thing for certain is that I don't want a "rat tail". Too bulky.

The flat head could be really handy but a little pricey. Either way this is coming out of my CL fund. I'm one of those that keeps envelopes for various things.

Still have a paintball gun, low profile roller fairlead and an old metal dollhouse yet to make their contributions.

Thanks all for the input.
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Last edited by Bent; April 28th, 2021 at 15:45.
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  #6  
Old April 28th, 2021, 16:31
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need-a-bow need-a-bow is offline
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Looking to buy a variable speed angle grinder

Variable speed is the way to go, especially for you're running more than just cut off wheels. Different nonwoven/scotch brite stuff works best at different speed.

I like paddle grinders for coth cut off wheels and wire wheels. I've had a runaway wire brush before. When sanding stuff down, I like a normal switch style grinder, preferably 10 amp or higher so I can really apply pressure and not stall out(best when using higher end sanding discs)



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  #7  
Old April 30th, 2021, 07:37
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Re: Looking to buy a variable speed angle grinder

Definitely on the Scotch Brite / non-woven pads. 11,000 RPMs tend to melt the black discs. Problem I ran into a couple days ago was I needed a fine wire cup brush. Through no fault of the brush itself, at 11,000 RPMs it was no longer a cup brush.
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Old April 30th, 2021, 10:57
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Re: Looking to buy a variable speed angle grinder

I can see where wire wheels would certainly benefit from some lower speeds. Certainly for the sake of deformation. Also for the sake of bristle retention. Might be less like porcupines.
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Old May 1st, 2021, 20:54
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Re: Looking to buy a variable speed angle grinder

Out of all of the grinders I've sent to Avery's grindr concentration camp. The Fien I bought him has been the only one that's stood the test of time, they make industrial grade grinders.
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  #10  
Old May 4th, 2021, 15:30
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Re: Looking to buy a variable speed angle grinder

Well, after much research and my experience with the brand; I went with the Makita 4-1/2" variable speed. Thanks all for your input!

Between the grinder and the computer upgrade that pretty much wipes out my craigslist fund.
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  #11  
Old May 19th, 2021, 09:23
tonytech tonytech is offline
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Re: Looking to buy a variable speed angle grinder

What brand did you go for?
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  #12  
Old May 19th, 2021, 10:30
Skwerly Skwerly is offline
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Re: Looking to buy a variable speed angle grinder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bent View Post
Well, after much research and my experience with the brand; I went with the Makita 4-1/2" variable speed. Thanks all for your input!

Between the grinder and the computer upgrade that pretty much wipes out my craigslist fund.
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  #13  
Old June 2nd, 2021, 21:43
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Bent Bent is offline
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Re: Looking to buy a variable speed angle grinder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bent View Post
Well, after much research and my experience with the brand; I went with the Makita 4-1/2" variable speed.

UPDATE:

I ended having to return the first one I ordered. I made sure the spindle nut was snug and turned it on; it sounded like it had rocks in the gear box. There was one review from a guy that had the same issue.

Second one arrived and all is fine. I will say that their "super joint system" does make for a slightly louder gearbox than those on the 7.5 amp models. Huge fan of ear plugs so it's not an issue. It is slightly heavier as well, but with the larger motor it is to be expected. No heavier than other fixed speed 4.5" grinders in the 13 amp range.

Bottom line it's a solid tool. Plenty of power for a 4.5"; variable speed works great and its top speed is only 500 rpms lower than the normal 11K single speeds.

I was REALLY tempted to go with the variable speed flat head Metabo but just couldn't justify the extra $100. Kind of reminds me of a platypus. Platypuses are cool.
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SoCal Chapter Past President
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  #14  
Old June 3rd, 2021, 07:13
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Re: Looking to buy a variable speed angle grinder

Platypuses are proof that God has a sense of humor.

And that He likes to mess with the taxonomists.
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  #15  
Old June 3rd, 2021, 09:35
Skwerly Skwerly is offline
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Re: Looking to buy a variable speed angle grinder

I like Makita. They are I guess the "lower end" of quality tools but I've never had an issue with any of mine and some of them have gone through a few rough days.
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