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Grinder Impressions - No Grinder Wars Please

Discussion in 'Grinders' started by ToddR, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    Hi all. My intent here is to not restart grinder wars. I'm just looking for input from anybody who has a KMG and those who have a BEE. I've narrowed down my choice for my next big purchase to one of these two and I'm really getting to the point where i may just flip a coin. I thought I'd try one last time to get some thoughts from my fellow forum-ers.

    Again, no grinder wars please. Just thoughts about the BEE and the KMG. I've not used either one and am only going off of reviews etc.
     
  2. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Todd,

    Any reason on choosing from only these two?

    Personally, I would choose option C - none of the above. I have a friend who has a KMG (the real deal from Beaumont) and although he likes it there are some issues that are hard to overcome. It requires a belt and pulley to run it. No direct drive is a design issue. Now he'd wished he got something that would work in the horizontal and vertical as well. The KMG in his words "would require a crane to put it into the horizontal position." Nothing against either one as I am sure they are very well built, but smarter designs are out there. If you're going to unload the several k$ to get one, please check out some others.

    Wilmont TAG, Northridge Tool's 2x72, Pheer 454, Reeder Products is amazing for the price. I won't mention Travis Wuertz's grinder as that's in a whole other price zone. There are the budget Oregon Blade Maker and Ameribrade machines which are reviewing well on some of the other forums I frequent.

    However, getting these to Canada would be the trick, but I am thinking the final price tags would be about the same as our Canadian suppliers have to pay freight, exchange and duties too.

    Sorry to take your thread off course, but I'd recommend exploring your options instead of limiting yourself to just two manufacturers.

    Dan
     
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  3. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    There are nearly as many grinder options as there are knifemakers. But as @ToddR has narrowed his selection down to one of those two, I'll just say that either one should work for you. I've never used a KMG but I do have a Bee. I can say it has performed really well over the eight (I think) years I've had it. Since I have limited power in my garage/shop I went with a 110v 1HP variable speed model and I've never needed more. I use the flat platen almost exclusively, along with the two small wheels. The only complaints I have are the tiny tool rest (approx 10cm) because I like to use grinding jigs and the adjustment knob for the platen angle, which is on the left side, and can interfere with working on that side of the belt from the tool rest. Both are easily remedied by making a new tool rest that sits 5 or 6 centimetres higher.

    There are certainly more elaborate grinders that go horizontal as well as vertical, and ones that have all manner of strange and wonderful attachments. But in the end, they all do the same thing, and the most important part of any grinder is the guy using it. Especially for your first grinder, I say choose the one that fits your budget and the space you have, don't go overboard on bells and whistles, and get comfortable with using it.
     
  4. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    Well, mostly because of all the information available out there (reviews, youtube, etc.) these are the two that a. have the most info available, b. are readily available to me in Canada c. are reasonably priced, or at least in a price range i find reasonable and c. seem to have the most available accessories (at least the KMG). I am not necessarily stuck on only one of these two but, given that for any I select it will be a grinder I pick based solely on other's opinions and reviews, I figured it would be safest to choose one with the biggest sample size. (bit of a math nerd) I guess I feel that it's safer, given that they're all unknowns, from the two unknowns that have the most positive responses out there. I would gladly look at other grinders and consider any other if there was a way to get them all together at once and try them out. Sort of a Grinders R Us store but, that's not a possibility. There does seem to be a lot of other great grinders out there. The Reeder is one that i've really looked at for it's ability to transform into a horizontal but, at this point, there's just not enough info out there to make me feel safe in the choice. I know it sounds bad but I guess i took two of the best known and "safest" choices simply because i don't know that i'd know any better. I hope that makes sense. It sounds like it doesn't when i read it back : )
     
  5. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    I don't know that I'm stuck on bells and whistles either. I'm still really still learning anyway. I've been doing pretty well with my homemade grinder but, i do feel like i either need to make another one and focus on making it better or simply buy something i know will be better made and more accurate. I think the next step for me in learning needs to involve a more accurate grinder. I admit that the only things i know about both of these is what i've read but i haven't really read anything bad about either one and, they are in an acceptable price range for me (though the BEE is a bit pricey). I love that the BEE is Canadian made. That scores points for me. Also the dust hood on it seems pretty practical (and by all accounts works well) But I love that the KMG seems to be a standard and has a lot of accessories for it. It's a bit cheaper too.

    Thanks for the info guys. I appreciate the feedback. I
     
  6. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    That makes perfect sense.

    Given the two, I would choose the BEE. Not based on experience, but based on the design: tension, tracking, direct drive, OSHA requirements etc.

    Dan
     
  7. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    Thanks Dan. I appreciate the input. I know my thought processes aren't always easy to follow (or to describe) but, I do feel much better knowing that I've asked all you guys what you think first. I really respect the input i get from you and Myth and John and the others and it makes my selection task simpler. Otherwise i would fret and debate with myself and never actually move forward. And yes, i do know how messed up that sounds : )
     
  8. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Yes the creeping in of paralysis by analysis. I catch myself comparing prices online, figuring exchange rates and shipping, then without realizing it I've spent several hours trying to save $3. Yikes!

    Be sure to take some pictures.

    Happy grinding!

    Dan
     
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  9. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I have a old unknown kind of crappy design grinder. Every time I think of buying new ends up being over thinking and giving up .

    Might do the open source one and convert current grinder back to single speed for wood and plastic
     
  10. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    I should have mentioned that. It does work well and hooks right up to your dust collection system (though you want to keep hot metal bits separate from sawdust) I run it with the lower front cover open. It hangs down inside a bucket and helps direct sparky stuff there.

    I know people love the KMG -- I likely would have bought one if I hadn't hit on a sale for the Bee when I was looking. I doubt you could wrong with that.
     
  11. Kevin MacPherson

    Kevin MacPherson Member

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    Todd,
    I started with a custom made 2x48 which I now use for shaping handles. I bought a KMG grinder and have no regrets. Having a vfd did not make economical sense for me as the only time I needed a lower speed was for the smaller wheels. I chose the three speed pulley and it works well. I use a single phase 1.5 hp motor. I have no alignment issues even though I just bolted everything directly to the table I have it mounted on. I like the bee product however could not justify the extra cost for what I do. I also like the Reeder product and may have bought it if I had known about it prior to purchasing the KMG. Hope this helps.
    KM
     
  12. krash-bang

    krash-bang Active Member

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    I got myself a KMG last year and I love it. I checked into getting the Bee but like some others have mentioned, it was more money. I use a 1.5hp single phase with some stepped shives. I also got the small wheel attachement and got myself a 1" wheel. Works great for finger grooves in handles or other small diameter features. If I want, I can go with a large wheel and do some concave grinds, but I'm into flat grinding for now and those large wheels can be pricey.
     
  13. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Just got in a 12" serrated wheel from L-Paladin Abrasives on AliExpress.
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/300...lisher-wheel-sanding-belt-set/1595534723.html
    It took just over a week to arrive from Hong Kong. It's apparently dynamically balanced and it has some evidence of balancing (two partly drilled holes).
    This particular one needs bearings 6202-8 with a 1/2" hole which Canada Bearing sells. I will let you know how it works.

    Dan
     
  14. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    Hey Dan, is there a simple way to press in the bearings? I don't have a press at all. Unless the drill press or kydex eyelet press can be doctored.
     
  15. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    No press required. Toss the bearings in the freezer for a few hours, line them up nice a straight and gently tap them in with a mallet. There are circlips inside to stop them from going too far in.

    Or you could order with the bearings installed, but they have a 15 mm bore. If you can find a bolt or shaft with a 15 mm diameter that would work too.

    Dan
     
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  16. ConnorBC

    ConnorBC Active Member

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  17. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    I did and the consensus among the people who had bought these wheels already was that Ameribrade is getting their wheels from L-Paladin. LOL $120 vs. $79 is quite a mark up. Plus free shipping from Hong Kong was hard to beat.

    Dan
     
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  18. ConnorBC

    ConnorBC Active Member

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    Whoa! That is an incredible markup! This is good to know! I've been using mainly 8" and 10" wheels, but will be stocking up on various sizes for compound grinds this Fall. I think I know where I'm going to look! Thanks Dan! :)
     
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  19. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    I can't comment on how well the wheel is balanced and the runout, but a half dozen guys in a grinder group on Facebook are using them and are happy with the product.
    I'll be checking it with the dial indicator where I can.

    Dan
     
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  20. ConnorBC

    ConnorBC Active Member

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    I'm anxious to hear how they measure up. I've been using the modified (I have my local machine shop install bearings in them) Grizzly wheels. I really like them. They are have no vibration issues at all. I have never measured them for play however. My fabrication grinders run in the 1800 RPM range most of the time and I've never had an issue with them. Admittedly though, I mainly use a flat platen in the work shop. I run the contact wheels at lower speed on the knife grinders. When I'm not doing home renos that is! :rolleyes: Lol

    %5BURL=http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Blealth/media/A49CEC9D-8B7C-4479-A322-721E851EAE6A.jpg.html][​IMG][/URL]
     

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