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Re: Electric versus Air Tools

Subject: Re: Electric versus Air Tools
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 08:29:07 -500
>From: <>
>>I am in the market to finally purchase a right angle grinder for use in the

>>restoration of my vehicles.  It won't get the kind of usage a body shop
>>would use, but I want a good one.  The first decision I need help in making

>>is whether to go electric or air.  I am leaning towards air but would like

>>to hear pros and cons regarding this.

I have and use both air and electric tools.  On the hole I 
prefer the air tools.  However, the biggest problem with an air
tool is having a compressor.  I have a oil type 5hp 30 gal 
compressor so that's not a problem.  

Air tools advantages:

1. usually lighter - no heavy armature
2. if the grab in you work they stall - they don't jump back at
   you or throw your work at you
3. usually a little cheaper than an electric tool.

Air tools disadvantages:
1. Require a compressor so not as portable or universal for use
2. you have the hassle of the air hose being dragged around.

Electric tools advantages:
1. very portable - every one has an electrical outlet and an
   extension coard.

Electric tools disadvantages:
1. lots of inertia - especially a high speed tool like a grinder
   if it catches in your work it will JUMP.

If you don't have a strong hold on it, look out.  I had an 
electric drill with wire brush on it, catch on the edge of a
item I was working on.  It flew back at me, caught my shorts,
and started eating my leg from my knee to my groin as it 
devoured my shorts.  Boy I sure wish it had stalled!!!!

2. A poor quality high speed tool is useless.

I was given a inline electric die grinder for xmas.  It is a 
cheap one.  The 1st time I tried to use it, it vibrated so badly
I could NOT hold on to it.  Then the front coller vibrated off,
and it threw the cutting disk and the arbor out of the cuck.

Don't get me wrong.  Electric tools are great and I have a lot
I use all the time.  My dad swares by his electric die grinder.
His is a Craftsman and costs about $100 compaired to my air
die grinder for $30-$40.  I use a 4" 10,000 rpm electric grinder
all the time, and have the scares to prove it.  

Hope this helps.


John T. Blair


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