* Prices may differ from that shown
No I don't mean some of the people that I work with, (and you know who you are?), I mean tools as in tool kit.
We all have at least one tool in the work place... I mean, one tool in the tool kit, be that a power saw, a cordless drill, a set of chisels or just a screw driver. But no matter how many tools you have, we all have to start somewhere. Which is what I did many years ago, buying a single tool, then getting another and another and another, until I have more tools than I know what to do with.
And it is one certain tool that I want to tell you about here, a tool that I often use when working on metal, usually, that tool being what is called in the trade as a grinder, aka angle grinder, which is a little on the false name side as it is more than just a grinder, it is capable of other things too.
Anyway, this particular grinder, which is one of my favourite grinders in my collection, is in fact the GWS 850-110 from the 'blue coloured company' called Bosch.
* Firstly, the boring specs...
It has 850 watts of power, offering a maximum 11000rpms, (which I haven't counted personally as my eyes keep going funny every time I try, so I have to take the word of the box about the rpms).
The maximum disc size is 115mm with smaller sizes being allowed.
* In the box you get...
The grinder itself
A single diamond disc
All in a plastic carry case
* What does this grinder look like then..?
As I mentioned, Bosch is a company whose machines are easily recognised by the blue coloured plastic casing that they come in. And this one is no different, it has the unmistakable blue casing which houses the motor.
It's a good size, measuring about 300mm long by 100mm deep by about 80mm wide and weighs no more than a bag of sugar, (about 2kg).
On the top near the front there is a little black button which, when pressed, locks the spindle in place so that you can change the disc. This locking mechanism automatically releases so that it doesn't get in the way when you go about grinding.
The on button is near the front, just behind the detachable handle, (in right handers position), with the button flicking forwards for on and backwards for off.
Then there's the speed selector, which is on the rear, near where the mains cable enters the grinder, this is a simple dial that has numbers on it, from 0 to 6.
There is a black hollow handle which, as I said, is detachable so that it can be screwed into either side of the grinder.
Finally, towards the rear end, there are a few vents that allow the motor to stay as cool as possible when the machine is blasting way at full pelt.
* Is it safe..?
In the world of the grinder I would have to say that this is one of the safer grinders out there... I mean, I have used ones that would make a mine field look like a walk in the local park...
This grinder has a few features that make it safe to use, such as the safety switch and the fact that only half the actual disc is on view at any time, with the rest being safely hidden inside the half moon shaped guard.
* What about changing the disc..?
Stripping it down is pretty simple, although it's only the disc area that needs stripping down.
When I say stripping down I really mean unscrewing and replacing, not stripping.
To do this you simply have to press the 'spindle' locking switch which in turn locks the spindle in place, trapping the disc so that it doesn't turn. You then use the special spanner that came with the grinder, pushing the two prongs into the two holes on the underside of the disc area and, with a little effort, you twist the spanner and unlock the spindle. As long as you have pressed the spindle locking button in then the spindle/disc should stay in position and allow you to take the entire disc head area off.
When you've done this you should then have the cutter/grinder disc, a flange, a locking nut and the guard. Which should all slot back into the same area on the underside of the grinder.
You can add other heads to the grinder, such as a polishing head or several other grinding/ cutting heads, but all these come at and extra cost.
This also applies to the actual handle too but if you do own other Bosch tools that have a detachable handle then the likely hood of the handle fitting this grinder are pretty high. I have a hammer drill with a rather fine and very hand friendly handle that I sometimes use on this grinder as the thread is exactly the same.
* Now, what do I think..?
As I may have mentioned, this is one of my favourite grinders as I find it to be a good size and just the right amount of power to do the job, making it very useful when it comes to those smaller metal cutting/grinding jobs in the house or garage.
The speed selector, on the rear, is easy to understand and simple to turn so that I can control the speed of the disc making those little jobs a lot less hassle.
The detachable handle is basic, being a plastic material in a tube like fashion, but it's comfortable to hold and makes steadying the grinder very easy indeed. Plus, as it can be unscrewed and re-screwed on the opposite side of the grinder, this machine is ideal for everyone, whether you're a 'rightie' of a 'leftie', so anyone can use this without feeling uncomfortable.
The speed selector, which is on the rear end, has a few numbers on a small dial that is then turned slowly in order to make the motor slower or faster, depending on what job your doing and how much speed you need.
It does vibrate a little bit when you turn it on, which you'd expect from a machine of this power really. But it's not enough to make you want to put it down after a while due to your fingers turning a funny shade of blue as the shakes kick in.
But saying that, it will and does kick up a fuss when the disc hits something, sending a bit of vibration and 'kicking' through the machine and into your hands. Just don't push the machine too hard and the vibrations will be easy to handle.
When grinding or cutting metals there is a lot of sparks as the disc spins away doing its job, so do be careful and make sure that the grinder is held in such a way so that the sparks that come from the disc area don't fly into your clothing and cause a few incidents.
As for changing the disc itself, this is as easy as turning a special screw with the special spanner, with a quick replacing and re screwing... and it gets easier the more you do it.
Then there's the discs themselves, or more the one that came with this grinder as there are many different types of discs that can be used in this grinder. But the one that actually comes with this one is not that bad at all to be honest, especially as some grinders I've bought have come with discs that have fallen apart whilst I've tried cutting through a knob of butter.
This disc has managed to withstand a lot of hassles and still looks like it can go the distance with that funny looking fast bloke off the Richard Branson advert.
What more can I say about this Bosch grinder?
Let me summarise.
It's your standard Bosch colour. It can be held in one hand yet still has the power that would put an industrial grinder to shame, with a selection of speeds to choose from.
It can be used by 100% of the world with its detachable handle that can be fitted on both sides of the unit, so there's no 'leftism' here then.
* So how much to grind away that roughness..?
This grinder, which can also be used as a polisher, sander and cutter, sells for about £50, roughly.
* Would I recommend this one..?
For the price to performance I would have to say yes as it has the right amount of power and versatility without making your credit card company think you've been abusing your cards.
For about £50 your not only able to cut through steel, you can also grind the edges down so that you don't cut your fingers on the burr, and, if you really wanted to, you can even polish off all the roughness so you have a finished product that would make your bathroom mirror look tarnished.
"Angle Grinders Type: Mini Angle Grinders/115mm Disc / The Bosch GWS 850 115mm Angle Grinder has the following specifications ; Power Input : 850 Watt / No load speed : 11,000 rpm / Cutting and Grinding disc : 115 mm / Wire cup brushes : 60 mm / Spindle thread : M14 / Weight (as per EPTA) : 1.9 kg."