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Review by PurpLev posted 07-23-2009 10:44 PM 4719 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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seems like I had my share of disappointing experiences with tools last couple of weeks, but I guess a bad review is more valuable than a good one as it can save the agony of others. so here goes:

I had a dewalt cordless grinder for years, and although I have very limited use for it, I find it very valuable, since when the time comes – there’s nothing else that can do that job as good. unfortunately my 18v batteries all died on me, and currently there is no justification to spend the ~$100 per battery replacement, and so I started replacing all my cordless tools with corded versions since I’m not a contractor anymore, and don’t really need the cordless abilities.

Since I do not work with metals much, I don’t really require a very powerful angle grinder, nor one with extra features such as variable speed, etc. so I figured I’ll get something simple, on the cheap, that will do that I need it to do once in a while (grinding off nails, wire brushing clean wood… thats about it). having good experience with the PC Circular Saw, and seeing that this grinder is very attractive in price (~$40 after tax) I bought it with no second thoughts.

The unit looks good out of the box, feels solid, and comfortable to hold. upon usage I noticed it was vibrating much more than my cordless dewalt did – but give the fact this one spins at 10K rpm and the cordless only at 6.5K rpm that was acceptable.

after cleaning some bowling alley slab from the protective layer of tar for reclaiming the lumber I wanted to change the used wire brush attachment with a new one is where I got stuck: the wire brush was locked tight on the thread, putting some pressure on it to release it caused the spindle lock to break. from the looks of it, the spindle lock is based on plastic parts, compared to my dewalt which incorporates a metal lock. at this point, there was no way for me to lock the spindle to remove the used wire brush attachment, and the entire machine including the wire brush on it went back to the store.

while at the store, I happened to look at the PC 18v Cordless tools, and it seems that PC utilizes lots of plastics (locking mechanisms etc) on these tools as well compared to metal parts on other brands. just thought I’d mention it here if anyone is out and about and looking to buy something like that – just keep that in mind.

definitely did not pick up another one of the same… and cannot recommend this unit to anyone else. worth spending twice as much and get the dewalt, or similar others.

Thanks for reading,

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

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8574 posts in 4456 days

13 comments so far

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4829 days

#1 posted 07-23-2009 10:51 PM

Those plastic geared and fanned drills and grinders sell for about 20 bucks here. They have a place for occasional light duty. I use a drill like that ( $15.00) for sanding bowls.
I bothers me to see Brand Names liike Porter Cable trying to repackage this entry level stuff as their own.

Is there any special reason I should continue to pay them more for the name?

Sorry for your waste of time. – Shop that stuff at Harbor Freight.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View CharlieM1958's profile


16286 posts in 5026 days

#2 posted 07-23-2009 10:58 PM

Thanks for the review.

It’s a shame that PC seems to have been in decline since being purchased by Black & Decker.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Karson's profile


35224 posts in 5208 days

#3 posted 07-24-2009 12:44 AM


I also say go to arbor Freight. Some may say they are cheap and i say that’s why I’m buying them. I’ve got the HF grinder and a Dewalt. The HF one had a plastic cover come loose. Duck tape solved the problem. The grinding end works great, and If I ended up with a power wire brush forever I’d probably still find a use for it. I can’t see buying their replacement warranty either. If I use the grinder 10 times in the two year time frame that’s probably a lot. Paying extra for two years (10 uses) seems like a waste. If I used it every day. Then probably.

-- 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 a1Jim's profile


118104 posts in 4385 days

#4 posted 07-24-2009 12:51 AM

Hey Sharon
I have done what karson says I bought 3 on sale and put different disc on them they work fine other than the loose head problem and they were $7.99 ea.


View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3395 posts in 4245 days

#5 posted 07-24-2009 01:38 AM

In the summer I use grinders more than any other tool. I weld a lot for fun and profit and cut metal and clean up using 4” grinders. I have had so many of them. Many name brands (dewalt, makita, milwauki) right down to some $10 ones from harbor freight. Most last a summer. They cost about $60. The harbor freight ones lasted 20 minutes each. I purchased three of them at once. Last year I purchased a Craftsman one from Sears thinking that if it dies I’ll just bring it back. I ended up purchasing the extended three year warranty for about $7 thinking that I’ll kill it before that and get a new one.

The bottom line is that I’ve beat on this grinder for two years. I’ve cut a hundred cuts in angle iron and pipe and ground slag of all those welded joints that I cut. It will probably last just beyond the three year extended warranty. If it does it will have outlasted any grinder I’ve ever used.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View PurpLev's profile


8574 posts in 4456 days

#6 posted 07-24-2009 04:01 AM

hmmm… $7.99 for each at HF… that IS quite a deal… I just know myself, and I hate to throw away things that ‘look’ functional, or things that I ‘think’ I can use for parts… but I guess thats another option out there.

I’ll check out Sears, they have a store next to my office, I did get the wire brush from them (that completely dissolved after an hour of use…. then got a DEWALT brand one that looks like it’ll last a bit longer).

for what it’s worth – I have my cordless dewalt, and had it for more than 5 years now – I got it when it just came to the market, and it has seen some serious work in mason and lots of metal. and its still going strong, my problem is the damn batteries, last time I wanted to get a dewalt battery then needed a co-signer.

Thanks for the ideas guys, I’ll have to look into those once I figure out my next adventure in metals. for now I’ll try to manage with my cordless and a very very short runtime (5-10 min) and my Bosch Rotozip with the wheel attachment (now that is a terrific tool… should write a review on that one)

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

View Bret's profile


166 posts in 4302 days

#7 posted 07-24-2009 02:35 PM

What I find interesting is that DeWalt and Porter-Cable (and Delta and Oldham blades and…) are all made by Black & Decker. A guy I spoke to a Lowe’s a while back said they were repurposing all the various brands and that PC was on its way to being the replacement branding for the old Black & Decker Firestorm line. (see

You’d think there would be less disparity between the build quality of these tools, but apparently not….

-- Woodworking is easy as 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510...

View PurpLev's profile


8574 posts in 4456 days

#8 posted 07-24-2009 03:47 PM

I understand the business plan, it’s not like B&D is “making” all the tools, they just control the factories that make them financially. you can look at the different “brands” like different product lines from a “single” brand, aka “entry level”/”prosumer level”/”pro level”.

but all that is political talk, I’m more concerned with the end product and how well it performs be it black/yellow/red/blue/polkadot orange. and this one didn’t quite stand up to it.

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

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 4270 days

#9 posted 07-24-2009 04:59 PM

I picked up a Bosch set from HD a few months ago. It was a twin pack for $99. I dont know if they still have it, you might look into it. The Bosch has worked well and I havent had an issue….

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their [email protected]

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4078 days

#10 posted 07-25-2009 03:01 AM

I’ve had my makita grinder for several years. It has lasted through quite a bit…including grinding concrete, metal, wood, plastic and some acrylic. I got it at a tool show for about $40…don’t know what they cost these days…but then I haven’t had to look for another.

I quit buying PC after their sale as I had heard they were using cheap foreign parts and had gone to a less or “inexpensive” format….(sad as my great PC biscuit jointer is starting to show its age – I don’t think I will replace it with a PC). It’s annoying to me that some of these manufacturers that had a very good rugged product have gone that route. It also worries me when I need to make a purchase that the product I have relied on and expect to continue the same quality is now a cheaply made piece of @*^+.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View GaryCN's profile


475 posts in 4742 days

#11 posted 07-26-2009 03:44 PM

I have a Hilti HG450 corded that has lasted for years, I’m not sure what I paid for it but I’m sure that it was over $100

-- Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

View kosta's profile


946 posts in 4162 days

#12 posted 08-02-2009 05:08 AM

you know that dewalt and porter cable are both owned by black and decker that might be why

View PurpLev's profile


8574 posts in 4456 days

#13 posted 08-02-2009 07:22 PM

not quite Kosta- the Dewalt that I have (and it’s a cordless one) is superb! – I just ran out of batteries, but the tool itself is class-A.

on a side note – we just got the Bosch set of 2 grinders, they are smaller, but for my needs more than enough. so far all my Bosch tools have been top notch and their service is second to none.

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

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