The very popular 4" and 41/2" Orange Chicago Electric angle grinders that a lot of us have had such good success with just might be a thing of the past now. My oldest one finally went to a well deserved rest after years of use and abuse and many grinding discs so I stopped by HF to buy a replacement. What I found was apparently the same thing but now in a different color besides the familiar Orange which was no problem so I bought one only to find when I removed it from the box that the bottom of the gearbox housing is now made of plastic instead of Aluminum, this is the part that usually fails first! At least the gears inside fail but of the two I disassembled it looked as if the bearing starting to wobble in the housing caused the problem so this part needs to be fairly strong. This normally occurs only after a LOT of use and by the time it happens the whole unit is most times well worn anyway and has given many times the service it should for the $15 or so it cost but now I have to wonder if that will still be the case. I seriously doubt this plastic part is going to last any length of time and IMO the main shaft bearing riding in plastic is going to cause these things to fail quickly now so I have most likely bought my last one. This has been one shinning exception to a lot of the tools HF sells but with prices increasing as they have been and quality down (it has no room to go down without becoming junk!
) I think I personally will not be buying anything at HF anymore. It would seem that the few bargains and decent items they have are being down-graded to the junk they are known for instead of the poorer quality ones getting better. If that is new company policy I think it will backfire on them, at least I hope it does.