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Does anybody here own a Harbor Frieght Surface Grinder, and how do you like it? I'm thinking of buying a surface grinder, and have a few thoughts I'd like to run by the people here. First of all, the H.F. surface grinder is on sale for $899.00 and $200.00 for the stand. Second it wieghs 820# which I could probable get moved around the shop and on the stand by myself. Third its new. My other option is to buy used. For around the same price or a little more I might be able to get one with hydralic feeds, if I buy used. Here's the problems with that.

First, I don't know anything about Surface grinders, so I won't know if its all working. Guess I could ask for a demo. Second, The wieght of the better machines that I've seen are between 1500# and 2500#. To much for me to move by myself. So although I like the idea of a better used machine with hydralic table feeds I'm leaning toward the H.F. machine since its new and would be delivered to my door. Any opinion's???

 

Tony

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HF tools are......how do I say this....not exactly high quality equipment.....I have a metal cutting bandsaw and I spend more time putting the blade back on track than I do cutting steel. This could be my bad luck or a warning for future purchases. :blink:

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I bought one about 5 years ago that was on sale from Harbor Freight. Probally a very similar machine to what you are looking at. It may not be as high quality as one of the more expensive ones but I have had no trouble with it. I added a magnetic chuck and a few higher quality wheels and it does what I need it to for the few folding Knives I make each year. If I were going to make a lot of folders I would probally want a better machine but for now it is as good as I am.

 

Daniel

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Tony:

 

I have not ever used a surface grinder, nor do I know anything about them. What I have to say has more to do with quality in general. Have you looked at Grizzly's website? http://www.grizzly.com/products/g5963 In my experience their tools are far superior in quality to anything from Harbor Freight. Just my opinion.

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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Tony:

 

I have not ever used a surface grinder, nor do I know anything about them. What I have to say has more to do with quality in general. Have you looked at Grizzly's website? http://www.grizzly.com/products/g5963 In my experience their tools are far superior in quality to anything from Harbor Freight. Just my opinion.

 

 

 

I have read that this surface grinder is imported and then painted differant for differant retailers, distributed, and then sold for any where from H.F.'s low price on up to around $2500. So unless you go to the more exspensive name brands you basically get the same machine. Also I have bought one peice of machinery from grizzly and was disapointed. But I would still take a look at what they have. Thank you very much.

 

Tony

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I bought one about 5 years ago that was on sale from Harbor Freight. Probally a very similar machine to what you are looking at. It may not be as high quality as one of the more expensive ones but I have had no trouble with it. I added a magnetic chuck and a few higher quality wheels and it does what I need it to for the few folding Knives I make each year. If I were going to make a lot of folders I would probally want a better machine but for now it is as good as I am.

 

Daniel

 

 

Daniel,

Thanks for the info. I have heard from one or two others that they thought it was an OK machine for the money. I just might have to give it a try. Thanks again.

 

Tony

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  • 2 weeks later...

If it is not too late....... look for a used one. I got a old Ried for $900 . the best part is it is an old mecanical one and the X&Y directions are auto. and I have to adjust the thickness manualy......

It is ALOT more user friendly than having to stand at the machine and throw the controls manualy....... It weighs about 2000 lbs but up on some pipe I moved it all by myself. you could build a carridge to roll it on if you needed to move your grinder all the time...... It may be a little harder to locate but you would be much happier with and old quality one than a cheap hf.

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For what it is worth I had a very long nasty battle with HF over a metal lathe. I even purchasd the extended waranty just because I got huge discount along with it. The problem was after the thid time it broke down I got tired of packing it back to the store for an exchange. Having a low back injury makes it very dangerous to be lifting and moving heavy bench power equipment.

 

They refused to refund me and it took the BBB, The State Attorney Generals office and four months of fighting to finally get refunded. The AG's office sent them a letter stating that this was a clear violation of the states implied warranty laws and HF still did nothing.

 

That is the very short version of the story. I will never subject myself agian to that level of poor quality of machinery and customer service.

 

I can contrast them to JET in which I have never had any problems with them except a lathe chuck that was not centered. They apologized and three days later I had a new one. Almost all of JET's equip. is made in China except so far I have not encountered any real problems with the equip. or customer service.

 

My entire shop is red, black and white and equipment problems just are not an issue. I want to spend my free time making knives and not fighting with bad equipment and poor customer service.

Everything I need to know I learned from the people trapped in my basement.

 

 

I'm out of my mind but feel free to leave a message.

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Sorry to hear of your problems with HF, I've dealt with them for nearly 20 years with mostly good results. They've lost and damaged a few iteams but have always made them good, including the ocasional damaged motor(motor still worked but had a dent or something) that they just sent a new one without wanting the old one back. Of course you have to read and understand the amp and horse power ratings or you could very easily wind up with an underpowered hunk of junk. The last piece of equipment I got from HF was a Milwakee chop saw for about the same price as an import. I would add that I'm very lerry of buying most of there machine tools, did a bunch of research on the surface grinder before purchase. One good thing is that there's a store about 70 miles away, lets me check some of there stuff out without having to go through what you did.

 

I have there surface grinder and I studdied the Grizzly and and the only differance I could find was that Griz had a better paint job, same specs., same machine, but a lot more expensive from Griz. Now if your a machinist or making supper tight tollarances, go for the more expensive machine, but for knifemaking the HF works very well. I normaly surface grind, do all my drilling and profiling and grinding and heat treating and hand finishing and such. After all that your going to be off perfectly flat more than the machine can cut. I would suggest a good quality fine pole magnetic chuch, I think mine was around 400$, and I will be converting it to belts in the near future. Sure beats chucking face cutter up in my mill.

Edited by will52100
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