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Cuts Fast, Cool, and without burning a hole in your pocket

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Review by PurpLev posted 731 days ago 2386 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Cuts Fast, Cool, and without burning a hole in your pocket Cuts Fast, Cool, and without burning a hole in your pocket Cuts Fast, Cool, and without burning a hole in your pocket Click the pictures to enlarge them

I got my VS grinder a while back after getting my lathe to sharpen my HSS bits and for the longest time was plain disappointed by how long and how hard it was to shape and sharpen those bits, and always considered replacing the factory supplied wheels with after market replacements…

I should have done that much sooner!

There are many alternatives out there, and I ended up going for the blue and white aluminum oxide wheels from CGW (at the moment of this writing sold by wholesale tool company at wttool.com). I was looking at the equivalent Norton wheels and since I have a 6” grinder (should have gone for the 8” but then again I was trying to minimize expenses as always) and the 6” wheels are not as easy to find for the grits I was looking for and all from 1 supplier (getting from multiple suppliers ends up doubling shipping) I ended up going with a different brand since WWT had everything that I needed in 1 place, and it was by far cheaper than any WW related site offering similar wheels (I think at half the cost).

Shipping (CGW and WTTOOL)
I read on amazon and other places where other brands of wheels were purchased from that the wheels were shipped loose inside a box that was too large causing the wheel to shift and move about in the box which ends up being chipped. CGW packs their wheels individually in a tight box which protects the wheel (see pic #2), more than that, WTTOOL packed 3 wheels in a protected wrapper and packed that tight in a larger box with added cushions to even better protect the shippment – BRAVO!!! I was pleasantly surprised.

Mounting
while the website does not specify this (unknowingly as to why…) the wheels come with telescoping bushing to fit the 1-1/4” bored wheels on grinders with shafts of 1” / 3/4” AND 1/2” (mine) diameter – since wwtool did not mention this on the product page, I was planning on making those myself, but did not mind NOT having to do that at all.

vibration and turning
I am not sure if it’s the bushing or the wheels themselves, but they added significant vibration to the grinder as compared to the factory supplied wheels. I may try to replace the bushings, and/or readjust the wheel prior to locking it again to see if this can be eliminated completely. After truing the wheels the vibration reduced, but not gone completely. I may need to true them a bit more which might do the trick as well. they seem to only start vibrating when I’m running the grinder at full speed (VS) so for now I’m running it at 80/90% which takes the vibration out. (-1 point in the score here)

cut performance
this is where I was blown away. compared to factory wheels, these wheels cut FAST! I got 36x and 60x for roughing (blue wheels) and 120x for finishing (white). I figured If the 60x cuts fast enough, I won’t be using the 36x unless I must. compared to the 36x factory wheel, this 60x blue wheel cuts WAY faster (I am guesstimating x10 faster) – and more importantly – WAY cooler. whereas with the factory wheel I’d have to dip in water every 1 second, these can cut for a good 10 seconds before it gets too hot to hold – significantly better!

I was able to shape the HSS bit seen in pic#3 in a matter of about 1 minute, whereas with the factory wheels it would take me 10-15 minutes to get it done from a square blank. major improvement.

Bottom line
These wheels cut fast, cut cool, and I was able to get the 3 wheels for what other WW places would charge you for just 1. regardless, these are a major improvement over factory wheels, and I would highly recommend getting those factory wheels replaced sooner than later (and if you don’t care – I have 2 factory wheels for you that I will never use)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.




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PurpLev

8476 posts in 2244 days



12 comments so far

View Karson's profile (online now)

Karson

34852 posts in 2996 days


#1 posted 731 days ago

Great review Sharon.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1949 days


#2 posted 731 days ago

Thanks for the info. I’ve been looking for good wheels to make HHS tools for my lathe. Mostly for radius ones, for fillets and grooving for like o-rings and such.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

950 posts in 730 days


#3 posted 730 days ago

I have been a proponent of saving money on sharpening and sharpening supplies since started turning. Back then, friable wheels from all manufacturers bought for not much money including shipping. I suggest shopping sales, and check best price on shipping too, or free shipping. If in a turning club look into buying grinding wheels by the case.

Everyone has a grit preference you need a medium wheel for repairing & changing bevel angles on turning tools. I would not go lower than 46 grit medium coarse wheel. It is true for fine wheels I like 80 grit wheels for re-sharpening. Others prefer 100 to 150 grit fine wheels.

Best friable wheels for wood turners have medium hardness of I, J, and K. If can afford SG wheels they are top of the line for woodturners. Normally a K wheel last longer than either I or J, lot depends upon how often you sharpen, and pressure applied while sharpening.

Even though wheels differ from one manufacturer to another, still think price important factor in determining your choice.

Not sure if it matters whether you buy, white, blue, or pink CGW (Camel) wheels all seem to be K-grade. Have used both white & pink CGW wheels and had no problem with them.

A nice primer on grinding wheels including installation and safety:
http://pacificgrindingwheel.com/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=38

-- Bill

View eddy's profile

eddy

926 posts in 1960 days


#4 posted 730 days ago

thanks for the review i have been looking at getting these wheels from the local woodcraft store for a little bit
just was not sure of quality i feel better about going out and getting one now

-- self proclaimed copycat

View CL810's profile

CL810

1901 posts in 1584 days


#5 posted 730 days ago

Thanks for the post Sharon. I just compared pricing and the savings are indeed significant.

I also recently purchased a PC VS grinder. Interestingly, my vibration was significantly reduced when I replaced the mfg supplied wheel with a blue one. Otherwise my experience has been the same.

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3829 posts in 924 days


#6 posted 730 days ago

+1 for Wholesale Tools…

I’ve been getting their sales flier for a year or so now and have used them for metal working tools….

Didn’t even think to price grinding wheels with them…. but I will now!

Thanks for the review.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10533 posts in 1286 days


#7 posted 730 days ago

When I was making LOTS of bits and spurs I bought all my abrasives from our local WT here in Tulsa and was always well satisfied but had the vibration problem with some and not others. I just assumed the adapters weren’t true/centered.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3829 posts in 924 days


#8 posted 729 days ago

ordered a 120 white and a 60 blue today…

thanks again for the review

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2244 days


#9 posted 729 days ago

ssnvet I think you’ll like it, works great for HSS. let me know if you feel any different. am curious to get others opinions.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Roger's profile

Roger

14094 posts in 1400 days


#10 posted 728 days ago

Thnx for the review, and also thnx Wildwood Bill for that link.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Jimbo4's profile

Jimbo4

1120 posts in 1359 days


#11 posted 726 days ago

PurpLev, I bought the same wheels from Woodcraft, and they were so out of balance my whole workbench did a dance ! Took them back to Woodcraft to exchange – they wouldn’t. Gave me a new set of bushings – didn’t work.
Bought new Nortons from Craft Supplies – work perfect ! Just from that experience, I will never buy CGW again. Bad taste – probably – but all it takes is once.

-- BELT SANDER: Used for making rectangular gouges in wood.

View beech's profile

beech

7 posts in 628 days


#12 posted 590 days ago

Thanks for your review and so many insightful comments from the community.

A use this company in Philadelphia who always help me with my questions and get me the best products.

Check them out at AA Abrasives

They have a great grinding wheel selection.

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