Cuts Fast, Cool, and without burning a hole in your pocket

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Review by PurpLev posted 07-22-2012 02:45 AM 6268 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Cuts Fast, Cool, and without burning a hole in your pocket Cuts Fast, Cool, and without burning a hole in your pocket Cuts Fast, Cool, and without burning a hole in your pocket Click the pictures to enlarge them

I got my VS grinder a while back after getting my lathe to sharpen my HSS bits and for the longest time was plain disappointed by how long and how hard it was to shape and sharpen those bits, and always considered replacing the factory supplied wheels with after market replacements…

I should have done that much sooner!

There are many alternatives out there, and I ended up going for the blue and white aluminum oxide wheels from CGW (at the moment of this writing sold by wholesale tool company at I was looking at the equivalent Norton wheels and since I have a 6” grinder (should have gone for the 8” but then again I was trying to minimize expenses as always) and the 6” wheels are not as easy to find for the grits I was looking for and all from 1 supplier (getting from multiple suppliers ends up doubling shipping) I ended up going with a different brand since WWT had everything that I needed in 1 place, and it was by far cheaper than any WW related site offering similar wheels (I think at half the cost).

Shipping (CGW and WTTOOL)
I read on amazon and other places where other brands of wheels were purchased from that the wheels were shipped loose inside a box that was too large causing the wheel to shift and move about in the box which ends up being chipped. CGW packs their wheels individually in a tight box which protects the wheel (see pic #2), more than that, WTTOOL packed 3 wheels in a protected wrapper and packed that tight in a larger box with added cushions to even better protect the shippment – BRAVO!!! I was pleasantly surprised.

while the website does not specify this (unknowingly as to why…) the wheels come with telescoping bushing to fit the 1-1/4” bored wheels on grinders with shafts of 1” / 3/4” AND 1/2” (mine) diameter – since wwtool did not mention this on the product page, I was planning on making those myself, but did not mind NOT having to do that at all.

vibration and turning
I am not sure if it’s the bushing or the wheels themselves, but they added significant vibration to the grinder as compared to the factory supplied wheels. I may try to replace the bushings, and/or readjust the wheel prior to locking it again to see if this can be eliminated completely. After truing the wheels the vibration reduced, but not gone completely. I may need to true them a bit more which might do the trick as well. they seem to only start vibrating when I’m running the grinder at full speed (VS) so for now I’m running it at 80/90% which takes the vibration out. (-1 point in the score here)

cut performance
this is where I was blown away. compared to factory wheels, these wheels cut FAST! I got 36x and 60x for roughing (blue wheels) and 120x for finishing (white). I figured If the 60x cuts fast enough, I won’t be using the 36x unless I must. compared to the 36x factory wheel, this 60x blue wheel cuts WAY faster (I am guesstimating x10 faster) – and more importantly – WAY cooler. whereas with the factory wheel I’d have to dip in water every 1 second, these can cut for a good 10 seconds before it gets too hot to hold – significantly better!

I was able to shape the HSS bit seen in pic#3 in a matter of about 1 minute, whereas with the factory wheels it would take me 10-15 minutes to get it done from a square blank. major improvement.

Bottom line
These wheels cut fast, cut cool, and I was able to get the 3 wheels for what other WW places would charge you for just 1. regardless, these are a major improvement over factory wheels, and I would highly recommend getting those factory wheels replaced sooner than later (and if you don’t care – I have 2 factory wheels for you that I will never use)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View PurpLev's profile


8574 posts in 4456 days

12 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35224 posts in 5208 days

#1 posted 07-22-2012 03:53 AM

Great review Sharon.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 4161 days

#2 posted 07-22-2012 05:53 AM

Thanks for the info. I’ve been looking for good wheels to make HHS tools for my lathe. Mostly for radius ones, for fillets and grooving for like o-rings and such.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Wildwood's profile


2878 posts in 2942 days

#3 posted 07-22-2012 01:35 PM

I have been a proponent of saving money on sharpening and sharpening supplies since started turning. Back then, friable wheels from all manufacturers bought for not much money including shipping. I suggest shopping sales, and check best price on shipping too, or free shipping. If in a turning club look into buying grinding wheels by the case.

Everyone has a grit preference you need a medium wheel for repairing & changing bevel angles on turning tools. I would not go lower than 46 grit medium coarse wheel. It is true for fine wheels I like 80 grit wheels for re-sharpening. Others prefer 100 to 150 grit fine wheels.

Best friable wheels for wood turners have medium hardness of I, J, and K. If can afford SG wheels they are top of the line for woodturners. Normally a K wheel last longer than either I or J, lot depends upon how often you sharpen, and pressure applied while sharpening.

Even though wheels differ from one manufacturer to another, still think price important factor in determining your choice.

Not sure if it matters whether you buy, white, blue, or pink CGW (Camel) wheels all seem to be K-grade. Have used both white & pink CGW wheels and had no problem with them.

A nice primer on grinding wheels including installation and safety:

-- Bill

View eddy's profile


939 posts in 4172 days

#4 posted 07-22-2012 04:19 PM

thanks for the review i have been looking at getting these wheels from the local woodcraft store for a little bit
just was not sure of quality i feel better about going out and getting one now

-- self proclaimed copycat

View CL810's profile


4052 posts in 3796 days

#5 posted 07-22-2012 10:59 PM

Thanks for the post Sharon. I just compared pricing and the savings are indeed significant.

I also recently purchased a PC VS grinder. Interestingly, my vibration was significantly reduced when I replaced the mfg supplied wheel with a blue one. Otherwise my experience has been the same.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9600 posts in 3136 days

#6 posted 07-23-2012 12:18 AM

+1 for Wholesale Tools…

I’ve been getting their sales flier for a year or so now and have used them for metal working tools….

Didn’t even think to price grinding wheels with them…. but I will now!

Thanks for the review.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3498 days

#7 posted 07-23-2012 02:10 AM

When I was making LOTS of bits and spurs I bought all my abrasives from our local WT here in Tulsa and was always well satisfied but had the vibration problem with some and not others. I just assumed the adapters weren’t true/centered.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9600 posts in 3136 days

#8 posted 07-23-2012 08:15 PM

ordered a 120 white and a 60 blue today…

thanks again for the review

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View PurpLev's profile


8574 posts in 4456 days

#9 posted 07-23-2012 08:44 PM

ssnvet I think you’ll like it, works great for HSS. let me know if you feel any different. am curious to get others opinions.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3612 days

#10 posted 07-25-2012 01:02 AM

Thnx for the review, and also thnx Wildwood Bill for that link.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 3571 days

#11 posted 07-27-2012 02:51 AM

PurpLev, I bought the same wheels from Woodcraft, and they were so out of balance my whole workbench did a dance ! Took them back to Woodcraft to exchange – they wouldn’t. Gave me a new set of bushings – didn’t work.
Bought new Nortons from Craft Supplies – work perfect ! Just from that experience, I will never buy CGW again. Bad taste – probably – but all it takes is once.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

View beech's profile


7 posts in 2840 days

#12 posted 12-09-2012 08:19 PM

Thanks for your review and so many insightful comments from the community.

A use this company in Philadelphia who always help me with my questions and get me the best products.

Check them out at AA Abrasives

They have a great grinding wheel selection.

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