The vertical grinder is one of the most popular power tools for the woodworker, but that doesn’t mean it is an easy one to use. For starters, if you have never used a vertical grinder before, you need to know what type you are getting. There are two types of these grinders; the hammer grinders and the belt-driven grinders. This article will help you decide which one is right for you.
First off, let me tell you what makes the vertical grinder different than the standard type? The vertical grinding units are mounted at an angle which allows them to apply more force to the work piece which results in a faster cutting speed, more even sanding, and less distortion. This is why they are so popular with contractors and designers. With that being said, let’s take a look at the differences between the two types. With the hammer type, you are able to move the workpiece up and down. This means that you can achieve a more even or a more angular result depending on how you prefer your work.
Another difference is the type of drive unit. One of the most common features in these units is a trolley to carry the grinding wheel and other necessary accessories. These tend to be rear mounted to allow for easier access and to minimize wear on the wheel while storing. Some models of vertical grinders also have side-hinged casings which enable the wheels to be slid sideways instead of straight up and down. These are typically made of stainless steel and are very rugged. These grinders usually come with a cord as well to provide power to the grinding wheels.
There are a couple of disadvantages associated with these vertical grinders as well. For starters, the cost can be substantially higher than the alternative. Some of these grinders can only handle softer and lighter workpieces, meaning that smaller and harder workpieces may not be able to fit into them. Some of these also tend to work better with specific types of automotive parts, such as fiberglass, so if your work tends to utilize heavier alloy materials, you may want to consider another option.
The most common drawback is that a vertical grinder does not generate as much heat as a standard grinder. Because the workpiece is hotter from the start, the potential for distortion is slightly increased. This distortion can be minimized somewhat by increasing the heat generated by the motor. This can be done by using a more powerful motor or by running the motor at a lower speed. You can also get grinders that use a diamond plate in order to generate a more intense heat.
Some additional issues that some users report include sore wrists and jaw pain. With a standard vertical grinder, there is an open area where the workpiece and the grinding wheel sit. With the spindle at the bottom of the vertical grinder, the workpiece is pressed down into the workholder and the grinding wheel is closest to the surface of the workpiece. Since the grinding contact with the work surface is reduced, the possibility for sore wrists and jaw pain is lessened. If you have these problems, it may be worthwhile to look at a model that eliminates the open area.