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Die Grinders vs. Cut Off tools


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I use my angle grinder quite a bit with a cut-off wheel.  My Dad has a pneumatic cut-off tool and I've thought that would be handy and a little easier to use in tight spots.  I've also looked at a die-grinder with a 1/4" arbor.  That looks like it might be more versatile as I could use a flap brush or sanding disks.  I haven't looked a lot but I assume you can get a cut-off wheel for these also?

This isn't for professional use, just occasional hobby use so I don't plan to get anything too expensive.  Does anyone have any opinions or recommendations?

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The cutoff wheel on my angle grinder is my go-to for quick cuts and in my opinion the most control. I also use a smaller 3-ish inch cutoff wheel on my die grinders (right angle and straight) for the odd positions and tight spaces. I like having both, also not professional, but I can't stand not having the right tool for the job. I'm still relatively young (30), so when I need a tool to make a job easier, I'm pretty confident that it will be used many more times and pay for itself in the end in time saved trying to get by with something inferior.

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I have a die grinder, cut off tool and lots of 41/2 inch grinders.  The pneumatic cutoff tool is handy if the cord doesn't get in the way.  They are pretty cheap at Harbor Freight or Northern Tool.  They are better shielded than the 41/2 grinder.  The skinny cut off wheels running at 22k rpms on those grinders with minimal or no shielding scare me to death.  Same with an un shielded die grinder.  Now a die grinder with carbide burrs is the cat's meow for smoothing welds, etc, but be sure to wear protection as those tiny metal splinters go everywhere and are needle sharp!!

https://www.harborfreight.com/3-in-high-speed-air-cut-off-tool-60243.html

 

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The only difference I see between the air operated small die grinder and cut off tool is the shield.

I use a std and 90 degree small air die grinder as mini off tools.

I use my 4.5 grinder for bigger jobs.

Can I get a cut off blade for my big wildcat grinder? She is a hoss!

Thx-Ace 

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These are a couple I looked at at the local Farm Fleet store.  Neither is very expensive.  But I thought the die grinder might be able to be used for more things.  But I did not see any cut off wheels for it at the store.

 

Photo of DWMT70782 Angle Die Grinder

Photo of DWMT70784 Pneumatic Cut-Off Tool

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We have 3 4.5" electric angle grinders, one wire wheel,  one grinder wheel, one cutoff wheel. The harbor freight is good, the porter cable is better and the dewalt is the best, more power, less vibration. 

We also have a straight cutoff tool with a shield, and two die grinders, one straight and one 90°. The die grinders have flap wheels, sanding drums, grinding wheels, carbide grinders and a Rolock attachment for sanding discs and more. All of these are pneumatic and from harbor freight. 

All of these tools combined would have been between $300 - $400 combined. We aren't professional by any means but when they get used, they really get used.

Be sure to use safety glasses and ear muffs, it's easier to prevent than heal.

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I have all 3, 41/2 " angle grinder. 90° die grinder and a reg die grinder. Have and have used cut off wheels on all of them. There will be situations one will work better than the other 2. Get all 3 you will use them if you do much.  My reg die grinder is a cheapy I got from harbor freight iirc. Haven't been able to kill it yet. Not that I use it a lot but it's still going strong. Guy I worked with bought same one and had same experience.  Now this one is probably close to 15 years old. Might be a different experience now.

90 deg one is a better brand tho I can't recall what and I have a cheaper 4 1/2 " grinder  and a Milwaukee.  Both work good for my needs.

Cut off wheels as well as regular wheels can and do explode and hurt people. Another guy I used to work with almost lost a coworker at a previous job when one blew up and cut his artery in his leg. Nearly bled to death before they got him to hospital.  Use safety equipment. 

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These are my daily drivers, the long reach die grinder is very handy for tight spaces the larger dewalt is a beast and will cut 1/2" plate and 3" shaft 

20220106_125201.jpg

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I use an angle grinder, either a 4.5" or the 7 1/4" to do all my cutting and grinding on metal.  Cutting and grinding wheels very greatly in quality. The Russian cutters from harbor freight were good but have not seen them recently. 

I tried the air angle die grinder but it is very slow to do more than cut a 1/4 bolt, Electricity and noise hog.

I have used an electric die grind (unlike the air grinder it does not stall when loaded) with carbide burrs to clean up chewing gummed welds or elongate holes. That is a very dangerous tool, with no shield and it just loves to go where ever it wants to go. Gloves and leather vest, even then I don't feel secure and it converts stainless into little fish hooks.

I have used a metal cutting carbide blade on my Milwaukee large framing circular power saw.  It will cut 10 gauge 2.5 tube like wood! but it just does not feel safe and it blows metal pieces all over the place.  BUT is easy to quickly make a square cut in complex.

Another serious reservation I have is the saw could shatter the blade and send teeth bullets into the operator.

I have tried battery powered tools, laws of physics are just not on the side of battery powered tools. Mine are in the landfill some place and today I only have battery powered lights.

There is a guy on Youtube that does lots of car restoration Freizze (SP) from Newfoundland he is a genus at angle grinders and doing something with nothing!

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1 hour ago, oleman said:

 

I have tried battery powered tools, laws of physics are just not on the side of battery powered tools. Mine are in the landfill some place and today I only have battery powered lights.

 

They are much better now than some I've had and if I was a builder I would have the whole shebang.

But I feel the same way.........

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Recommend using the right tool for the job....

Opinion is try it and see if you like it.  Decide whether you want corded or non or air.  Go fer it.

I like whatever uses the least cost consumable that does it all, but I'm cheap

 

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The smaller the wheel the tighter the spot you can get into but you have leave the guard off in a lot of instances and the danger is exponential.

I always put the face shield and the welding gloves on when using any cut off and grinding wheels they can do a lot of damage to you. 

 

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I stand corrected .

I googled up nude welder and found many images of nude women welding but no men!

I even found an image of an old welding company calendar with nude women.

Sorry but the rules won't let me post them here!

Thx-Ace 

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I have two of nearly  everything mentioned,  seems like any time I use one, I think man that just saved the day.   Reason for two:  one set has their shields still on, other set stays hidden away….and the shields are removed.  Face shield and safety glasses required.  
the tiny angle air ones are super handy and they do make cutting wheels for them but they are more like meant for a dremel tool. They are super thin, and very frail.  Not practical for many things, but when you really need one….

oh, and the HF pneumatic mine sawzall, with the 2” blade…get one of those too. 

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I find one (or more) of each is best. They all have advantages and drawbacks. Air tools seem to last much longer I think because they get cooled off by the air consumed . So much so that they can be very cold to run this time of year

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I burned up a cheap die grinder a couple weeks ago cutting expanded metal with a cutoff wheel.  I had it for several years and can’t say it owed me much.  Keep another one with a carbide burr. One right angle model lives with scotch brite pads on it for cleaning gasket surfaces. 

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Straight and angle air die grinders, electric straight pencil grinder, 4-1/2” corded and cordless grinders, and 7” corded grinder here. It’s nice having the right tool for the job 

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