What's the difference between a die grinder & a cut off tool? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 12-14-2005, 01:25 PM
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What's the difference between a die grinder & a cut off tool?

Looking at various ads, I see air powered cut off tools and air powered die grinders. Both of them are straight, not 90deg. What's the difference? I have always used my cut off tool for both. Is it really worth buying both?

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Old 12-14-2005, 01:27 PM
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a cutoff tool has a shield
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Old 12-14-2005, 03:14 PM
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The two tools

the cutoff tool has a wheel for cutting I use it for cutting panels and such..the die grinder uses cutting bits and I use mine for porting and cleaning welds and such..difference is in the sort of cutters one can mount..so I have both..

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Old 12-14-2005, 03:20 PM
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Cut off tool uses.......................cut off wheels
Die grinder uses various bits for grinding & polishing purposes

Eye Protection is a MUST...ear protection optional
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Old 12-14-2005, 03:45 PM
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Cut off tools come with an arbor for mounting the wheel (Only does cut off wheels)

Die Grinders come with just a collett for 1/4" bits (won't hold a wheeel without an arbor) This item holds the Rol-lock type sanders, 1/4" drill bits, grinding tools, carbide cutters, etc. Anything with a 1/4" shank.



If you could only buy one, get the die grinder, and buy an arbor to uses as a cutoff wheel.
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Old 12-14-2005, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beenaway2long
Cut off tools come with an arbor for mounting the wheel (Only does cut off wheels)

Die Grinders come with just a collett for 1/4" bits (won't hold a wheeel without an arbor) This item holds the Rol-lock type sanders, 1/4" drill bits, grinding tools, carbide cutters, etc. Anything with a 1/4" shank.



If you could only buy one, get the die grinder, and buy an arbor to uses as a cutoff wheel.
I guess I have a die grinder now and didn't know it. It has an arbor to mount cutting wheels, but a collet for 1/4" bits.

I wasn't sure if one had more torque than the other or what the deal was.
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Old 12-14-2005, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankR
I guess I have a die grinder now and didn't know it.
Me too. I have never thought about the cut off tool having a shield, but a few of mine did. I have always looked at that tool as a die grinder and the difference was what tool you chucked into it.

I take off those shields, I think they are more dangerous than good.

Brian
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Old 12-14-2005, 04:47 PM
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MartinSr, Could you explain how the shield is dangerous? I will not allow any guards to be removed at the shop including the ones on angle grinders that EVERYONE tosses. Reason being a large scar on my forehead and two capped teeth remind me of how important they are. (exploding 9 in disc). Even the little cutoff wheels can be pretty nasty sometimes if they come apart although I will admit that if you are wearing the gear you should have on anyway it should not create much of a problem.
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Old 12-14-2005, 05:35 PM
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The die grinders and cutoffs that are about 5" long and a couple in diameter are pretty much the same tool with a different tool mount. An actual Die grinder is about the size of a 3/8" drill with a extended snout. Mine will hold both 1/4 and 3/8 burrs. Got me curious, so I looked in several catalogs and no one even offers a grinder like mine anymore. Nothing but air tools. If you happen to run across an old Sioux, Milwaukee or Dumore, pick it up. They are a hundred times better than the little air ones
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:16 PM
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You can get a 90* die grinder as well. I use IT more than the straight one.
I use an ele.4 1/2" angle grinder WITH a cut off wheel mostly. LOT'S more power and saves on the ol air compressor. Besides, Mine only pumps to 125 psi and the cut off air tool dosen't really do that good of a job and takes twice as long as the ele. one.
Guards are a GOOD thing, but they ALWAY'S seem to get in the way. I traded the tool's for a full face shield for ME. Much easier to manuver.
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:32 PM
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YES!!! what everyone has said

eye protection is a must my 1st service station job we used a die grinder with a wire wheel to buff the inside of tires for patching .

I had just finished doing one and the other guy ..Gary started to do one after me..HERE USE MY SAFETY GLASSES!!

"no I don't need those stupid things .

2 minuets later ROB !!!ROB !!!!COME HERE HELP!!!

I had to pull one of those wire strands with a set of needle nose pliers right out of the white part of his eyeball!!

he learned


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Old 12-14-2005, 09:46 PM
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ohwee

those thin cutoff wheels are the worse about exploding,, if you happen to drop the tool 99%of the time the wheel will crack,, and when you turn it on it goes in a 1000 pieces at 5000 mph, [well close anyway] I got in the habit of checking for cracks before I use one ,, been hit a couple times, and it don't feel good, in fact it down right hurts,,
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Me too. I have never thought about the cut off tool having a shield, but a few of mine did. I have always looked at that tool as a die grinder and the difference was what tool you chucked into it.

I take off those shields, I think they are more dangerous than good.

Brian
I agree with Brian and Mike, the guards are a PITA. I don't use a guard for visability and manuverability reasons, just make sure you wear eye protection.

cut off wheels- I also use a 2 inch backup pad/mount on my 3 inch roloc grinder discs and sandwich a 3 inch 1/32" cut off wheel between. This allows me to knock a high weld down with the edge of the cut off wheel then turn my wrist and finish it off with the roloc. Both wear down at an even rate but last a long time, saves me time this way.

For anyone new to using a cut off tool or any pnuematic tool for that matter, just remember it has a variable trigger and there's no reason to be spinning that wheel at 20,000 rpms. You control the speed.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:42 AM
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You know Bob, I was about to make the same point.

A GOOD die grinder or cutoff wheel will be VARIABLE speed. My H-Fs were about as good as a screen door on a submarine. They are basically on/off switches, UNTIL you put an air restrictor on. Then you can dial the speed down. The Cutoff wheels LAST LONGER, Carbide cutters LAST LONGER, rol locks LAST LONGER. It uses less air, so the compressor WORKS LESS.

I didn't find that out until I was at Dutch Comstocks shop, using his air tools. They ran slower than mine, and his abrasives, although the same Nortons, lasted 2x as long. Liken it to burning up on re-entry......

Mac tools makes an AWESOME cutoff wheel, that the lead will swivel/lock at 45 degrees either way, or straight. Pretty slick, but I'll bet its Big $$$$.

He had an I/R die grinder that was composite, rear exhaust, and the speed was variable. Daddy needs one of them !
The other cool tool was just a regular cutoff with 3M 01991 wheels. They are 3/16" thick and are AWESOME for grinding welds. Fast, easy and accurate.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
MartinSr, Could you explain how the shield is dangerous? I will not allow any guards to be removed at the shop including the ones on angle grinders that EVERYONE tosses. Reason being a large scar on my forehead and two capped teeth remind me of how important they are. (exploding 9 in disc). Even the little cutoff wheels can be pretty nasty sometimes if they come apart although I will admit that if you are wearing the gear you should have on anyway it should not create much of a problem.
Like others have said, visibilityis the factor. I am sorry, if you can't see what you are cutting and have to lean into the field of rotation, THAT is dangerous.

I ALWAYS, EVERY SINGLE TIME where goggles, a good dust mask, AND ear protection, large muff style ear protection. I NEVER EVER use a cut off wheel that has a chip or break. I ALWAYS treat the tool with respect, NEVER dropping it, I set it down easily so the wheel is never subject to any trauma. I ALWAYS am aware of the field of rotation and DON'T get into it.

I totally repsect your point that the shield should be left if you are a shop owner, you have to CYA legally. If my boss came to me and said put a shield on my cut off tool, I would do it. I understand where he is coming from, I would learn to work with it. But from what I have experianced, it is a "red ribbon pin on the lapel", a feels good does nothing decoration.

Brian
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