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Old 06-26-2013, 03:46 PM   #1
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Talking Angle Grinder vs. Cut-Off-Tool... Electric vs Pneumatic

WHAT I NEED A METAL CUTTER FOR
I'm planning on going to harbor freight to get a way to cut through some metal. I've heard they have a few items that don't suck, like there vacuums (Harbor freight tools that don't suck). I'm pretty sure I'm going to get there angle grinder, but want some opinions. I just got in a Poison Spyder Brawler Lite Bumper. It's optional skid requires some trimming to the crashbar, I hear. Also I got the Poison Spyder hood Louver that requires trimming. I'm going to get the AEV snorkel at some point, and that will need some cutting too. I have a tiger saw that I think will work with the crash bar, but not the other hood cuts as good. Maybe with a 2" hole saw I could pull off the hood cuts? I'm guessing an angle grinder will be much cleaner of a cut.

Angle Grinder tips based off forum wisdom. If you have more that would be great.
  • Put painters tape over a cut area
  • Warm days or a heat gun will help with the paint not chipping.
  • The angle grinder will get hot and bubble the paint at some point.

Poison Spyder Hood Louver


AEV Hood Trim


Tiger Saw


2" Hole Saw Drill attachment


QUESTION AIR VS ELECTRIC
I have an air compressor that 4HP 18Gal 6.2 scfm @ 90psi. I'm leaning toward an electric tool just because it's easy to use anywhere. Also my compressors pretty loud when pressuring up. Is there a reason for me to get an air version? Is air more powerful?

QUESTION CUT OFF VS ANGLE GRINDER
Is there any reason for me to get a cut-off tool if I get an angle grinder? It seems an angle grinder just a better cut-off tool that can do more stuff with the right wheels. Harbor Freight has 4.5" angle grinders and also 4" ones. Can you put smaller 3" wheel attachments on a 4.5" angle grinder?

Which of these should I go with. I'm leaning toward the top one in 4.5". All these seem to get decent reviews.

ANGLE GRINDER ELECTRIC $22
4" Angle Grinder Heavy Duty 4-1/2" Angle Grinder


AIR 4" ANGLE GRINDER $25 (It appears that this has a slightly lower spin speed than the electric version)
4" Air Angle Grinder


AIR CUT-OFF TOOL $9 (needs cut off wheels and nipple)
3" Variable Speed Air Cutter


ANGLE GRINDER CUT OFF WHEELS (5) $6 - I'm thinking they will go through the hood and crash bar.
4-1/2" Ultra-Thin Cutoff Wheel for Metal, Pack of 5


EYE PROTECTION $4 - I've got saftey glasses but I might pick up a face sheild. It would likely be better for weed wacking also.
Face Shield with Flip-Up Visor

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Old 06-26-2013, 03:48 PM   #2
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I have an air cutoff tool. I don't like it the wheels wear out quick and the compressor runs a lot. I like the grinder with a cutoff wheel much better. It is a lot faster. Just my opinion.

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Old 06-26-2013, 04:30 PM   #3
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Found a thread air vs electric. Looks like electric is the way to go. http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f37/a...rinder-829210/

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTJ View Post
I have an air cutoff tool. I don't like it the wheels wear out quick and the compressor runs a lot. I like the grinder with a cutoff wheel much better. It is a lot faster. Just my opinion.
Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:32 PM   #4
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I've used an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel (electric) to cut the stock metal bumper down, trim pinch seams, and do other various things. I don't have a cutoff tool, but I can see where it may have been handy in the tight spot between my pinch seam and 35 inch tire. It didn't seem to damage the paint there though, and I assume the edges in both of your jobs would need some paint and then be covered with some overlap.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:10 PM   #5
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I put on that poison spyder hood louver, used this:

AIR CUT-OFF TOOL $9 (needs cut off wheels and nipple)
3" Variable Speed Air Cutter

It took a lot of psi to run, a few times I had to stop and let my 20 gal compressor catch up (it is 27 yrs old though). It really did the job IMO. Cutting that hood is very tedious and delicate. It's glued to the inner support braces which you cannot cut through. I went slow with cuts - overly cautious. Good luck.



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Old 06-26-2013, 05:22 PM   #6
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If you get an angle grinder I would not go harbor freight...I have had and burned up 3 of them in 3 months. My porter cable is still kickin.

Air cut off tools are typically lower rpm than electric and easier to control. They are also less likely to shatter a cutting disc across the hood of your jeep than an electric.

Electrics cut fast at high rpms so one snag and it will go where it wants.

Also, wear safety glasses, gloves and jeans. I've been snagged a few times and had a few discs blow up...it can get nasty.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrussblues View Post
If you get an angle grinder I would not go harbor freight...I have had and burned up 3 of them in 3 months. My porter cable is still kickin.

Air cut off tools are typically lower rpm than electric and easier to control. They are also less likely to shatter a cutting disc across the hood of your jeep than an electric.

Electrics cut fast at high rpms so one snag and it will go where it wants.

Also, wear safety glasses, gloves and jeans. I've been snagged a few times and had a few discs blow up...it can get nasty.
^^^ this guy! He makes many excellent points. Also, not to hijack ur thread, when you remove the hood:

Dont use the top bolts, they're painted after hood is attached to the jeep. In short, sealed in the paint. Paint is gonna crack. Remove the cowling and remove the hood by taking off the hidden (unpainted) bolts.

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Old 06-26-2013, 05:45 PM   #8
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:34 PM   #9
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Talking Thanks guys, I picked up a air cut-off

I ended up getting the $9 air cut off one. It seemed like it will be easier to hold and cut with. Also the tip about the electric one being overpowered weighed hugh on my decision. I had a deal in JP magazine to get it for $5. With the cutting wheels and nipple it was around $10. I also got a 1/2 drive torque wrench for $10 with that ad. The torque wrench I have now is sort of old so I want to double check it. Only at harbor freight can you spend $40 and save $70.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowtailfan View Post
I put on that poison spyder hood louver, used this:

AIR CUT-OFF TOOL $9 (needs cut off wheels and nipple)
3" Variable Speed Air Cutter
Thanks for posting and lets me know it's possible with that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTJ View Post
I have an air cutoff tool. I don't like it the wheels wear out quick and the compressor runs a lot. I like the grinder with a cutoff wheel much better. It is a lot faster. Just my opinion.
That's good to know if I need lots of cutting in the future. I bet what I got will sit on the shelf for over a year after I do a few cuts. I've got plenty of time but only one hood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennyksu View Post
I've used an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel (electric) to cut the stock metal bumper down, trim pinch seams, and do other various things. I don't have a cutoff tool, but I can see where it may have been handy in the tight spot between my pinch seam and 35 inch tire. It didn't seem to damage the paint there though, and I assume the edges in both of your jobs would need some paint and then be covered with some overlap.
I take it you mean some etching primer and then some paint overlap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrussblues View Post
If you get an angle grinder I would not go harbor freight...I have had and burned up 3 of them in 3 months. My porter cable is still kickin.

Air cut off tools are typically lower rpm than electric and easier to control. They are also less likely to shatter a cutting disc across the hood of your jeep than an electric.

Electrics cut fast at high rpms so one snag and it will go where it wants.

Also, wear safety glasses, gloves and jeans. I've been snagged a few times and had a few discs blow up...it can get nasty.
I literally had the electric one in my hand and decided to check the thread again. You convinced me to get the more mellow air cut off. For less than $10 if it works once I'll be happy. Thanks for the safety tips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowtailfan View Post
Don't use the top bolts, they're painted after hood is attached to the jeep. In short, sealed in the paint. Paint is gonna crack. Remove the cowling and remove the hood by taking off the hidden (unpainted) bolts.

Attachment 265848
Thank you so much for posting the tip. I'm sure I would have messed those bolts up. Now I just need to figure out how to remove the windshield wipers.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:41 PM   #10
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Plastic cap where they rotate pops back. One nut comes off - easy peasy!
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:54 PM   #11
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STARTED ON THE HOOD
I've got my hood a good way chopped up. I tried to remove the lower hidden hood bolts. Those are on there stupid tight. I don't have an impact drill yet, so I have just put a 2x4 to prop the hood up in place. With that air intake/wiper panel off Im pretty sure I can get all the bolts in.

THE CUT OFF IS REALLY WEAK
The small air cutoff is a bit too slow. I'd guess it cuts about an inch a minute if that through the hood. It would be probably better suited to a fender chop. Im likely going to pick up the electric one tomorrow.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:08 AM   #12
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Those bolts were tight. Longer wrench for leverage worked gor me. And the cutter did go slow - to one posting from this thread, faster rotating tool can grab and quickly cause damage. Have fun & Best of luck.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rooster76 View Post
STARTED ON THE HOOD
I've got my hood a good way chopped up. I tried to remove the lower hidden hood bolts. Those are on there stupid tight. I don't have an impact drill yet, so I have just put a 2x4 to prop the hood up in place. With that air intake/wiper panel off Im pretty sure I can get all the bolts in.

THE CUT OFF IS REALLY WEAK
The small air cutoff is a bit too slow. I'd guess it cuts about an inch a minute if that through the hood. It would be probably better suited to a fender chop. Im likely going to pick up the electric one tomorrow.


Air cut-off tools are only as good as the cfm that moves them. That's all I use though. I have a 65gal compressor that runs a little over 12cfm. Using a die grinder constantly will still exercise my compressor.

Bob K.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrussblues
If you get an angle grinder I would not go harbor freight...I have had and burned up 3 of them in 3 months. My porter cable is still kickin.

Air cut off tools are typically lower rpm than electric and easier to control. They are also less likely to shatter a cutting disc across the hood of your jeep than an electric.

Electrics cut fast at high rpms so one snag and it will go where it wants.

Also, wear safety glasses, gloves and jeans. I've been snagged a few times and had a few discs blow up...it can get nasty.
Harbor freight has a free air grinder with purchase going on right now
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:31 AM   #15
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I ended up getting, or rather talking my dad into getting, a Dewalt 4.5" 10amp electric angle grinder. I also got some Dewalt cut off blades. It came with a grinder. It worked really well. I ended up getting him a perfect case for it at harbor freight. Here is a video I made of it in action. This was after a pas or two on the area.
http://youtu.be/9xWgkeotr0k

I got all done cutting my hood and decided I wanted to take a 6" section a bit further in. I tried the HF 3" air cut off, and probably will never touch it again. It might just be the 3" that makes it so weak. I ended up grinding it down with the new Dewalt. I wanted a good reason to try out that attachment anyways.

The good news is i was able to do the whole install with the hood on the jeep. The bad news is that sparks hit my windshield and I think melted it slightly. It just sort of looks dirty and I cannot clean it. It feels rough. It did nothing to the paint.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rooster76 View Post
I ended up getting, or rather talking my dad into getting, a Dewalt 4.5" 10amp electric angle grinder. I also got some Dewalt cut off blades. It came with a grinder. It worked really well. I ended up getting him a perfect case for it at harbor freight. Here is a video I made of it in action. This was after a pas or two on the area.
http://youtu.be/9xWgkeotr0k

I got all done cutting my hood and decided I wanted to take a 6" section a bit further in. I tried the HF 3" air cut off, and probably will never touch it again. It might just be the 3" that makes it so weak. I ended up grinding it down with the new Dewalt. I wanted a good reason to try out that attachment anyways.

The good news is i was able to do the whole install with the hood on the jeep. The bad news is that sparks hit my windshield and I think melted it slightly. It just sort of looks dirty and I cannot clean it. It feels rough. It did nothing to the paint.
Yeah, the fragments of metal coming off will embed into a surface and rust.

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