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Grinders Info (Yes, again)

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by TheOTBalisong, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. TheOTBalisong


    Jun 28, 2012
    Now before you go off on me about searching the forums, Which I did, :rolleyes:

    What belt grinder can be found around the price range of 1,000$.

    And how does it compare, to say a Craftsman grinder?
    Two grinders I've found are the Burr King grinders and the Kalamazoo grinders.
    How do those compare to a KMG?

    I want to be able to see the bigger picture here.
    I see one grinder that's recommended, then another that's also praised, etc.
    I want to see comparisons for a limited budget of around 1,000.

    Thanks in advanced,
  2. mgysgthath


    Dec 15, 2009
  3. Jason Fry

    Jason Fry KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 5, 2008
    For 1000 you could get a Coote, or maybe a Pheer. You could also build a No Weld Grinder. You could get a Grizzly. You're not quite to KMG/Bader/Burr King money with 1000. Each of these has pro's and cons. I made a bunch of knives with the Craftsman, but it's not in the same league as a "real" knife grinder. I just built a NWG, and I've got maybe 750 in it with a flat platen and small wheel.
  4. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    The USAKnifemakers package is a good deal. It has all the attachments and items you will need. A 1HP will run it fine, 1.5HP will be the max. These are pretty much available everywhere for less than $100, often a lot less. 1HP motors can regularly be found for $20.
    When you progress and want to upgrade to VFD drive, just swap out the motor and add a VFD.
  5. SBuzek

    SBuzek KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 7, 2006
    For a grand I would get a KMG flat platen package(750.00),a set of step pulley(30.00) and a 1-1/2 HP motor(200.00).That way you start with the best and everytime you have a few extra bucks you add another piece.JMHO.

  6. quint


    Nov 29, 2011
    The NWG is relatively easy to build. I did and it is night and day compared to the craftsman. I am just using a 1hp 1725rpm tefc motor that I got off of grizzly for about $140. I have several of these motors and they have all been doing very well. I have one on my grinder, another on my horizontal bandsaw, and one on my table saw. The nwg after you factor in everything starts going up in price but overall you can build it under your budget.

    Stans suggestion is spot on as well, heck depending on where you find a motor and how much you could get the 10" wheel package with the tool rest and platen for about your budget.
  7. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator

    Jan 9, 2011
    I was just going to say that.

    If you really want to hollow grind get the 10" package for $970. You'll still need the grinder and pulleys but who cares, you'll have a KMG, lol!

    I have been grinding like crazy and have gone through almost $1000 worth of belts over my last few runs. :eek: After a while they are the biggest expense, you might as well have a nice grinder to use them on!

    I have the three speed setup and have never regretted saving the money versus the VFD, it only takes seconds to change speeds.
  8. pullrich


    May 4, 2010
    Wondering why not start with the craftsman and find out if you like making knives, learn some stuff on it, and in the end its good for woodworking, knife handles, too. If you end up into this hobby for the long haul, buy a 'real' knife grinder.
  9. Frank Niro

    Frank Niro Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    I believe those KMG machines are top of the line and sure will do it all for you with the pulley set up for about $1000. Now if a guy had about $4000 to spend ---. Frank
  10. TheOTBalisong


    Jun 28, 2012
    Thanks for all the help, gents.
    I'll probably get myself a craftsman grinder, even though (pullrich) I'm pretty much hooked on knife making.
    So, not much to worry about there.

    Of course, I would like a higher end grinder, for sure,
    But I wish I could afford it as easily as I think I can. :rolleyes:
    Anyways, In the future when I save up a bit, I'm sure I'll get myself something nice.

    Thanks again,
  11. quint


    Nov 29, 2011
    Just wanna add my opinion on that stuff, if you do end up not wanting to make knives any more you will easily be able to sell the grinder for probably pretty close to what you paid for it. It is even a better grinder for wood and handles then the craftsman is. Generally the craftsman will burn wood very easily unless it has brand new and I mean brand new belts. I order some AO belts that I keep on the side for when I get to shaping handles or doing various wood grinding on my NWG. I just swap out the belts and go to town. The slower speed is far nicer for shaping wood I think.

    If you do get the craftsman look on craigslist and see if you can find the higher HP one. Plus they are usually pretty cheap on CL compared to new.
  12. TheOTBalisong


    Jun 28, 2012
    Thanks for the info Quint, If there are problems with burning wood, I have absolutely no problem filing it.

    I'll check out CL.
  13. rustyrazor

    rustyrazor KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 13, 2011
    can you guys pleas tell me where you buy these machines when you recommend them? i appreciate the info however, just the same.

  14. SBuzek

    SBuzek KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 7, 2006
  15. Spalted

    Spalted My name is Britt Askew I like making knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 9, 2010
  16. Don Hanson III

    Don Hanson III KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 3, 2002
    Scrap, barrow and beg, but get a good grinder in the beginning. Bader/KMG/Burr King...
  17. TheOTBalisong


    Jun 28, 2012
    Okay, now I'm just torn.

    Money... But... KMG

    Craftsman... Cheap... Yet affordable....

    God dammit, you guys are killing me. ;)
  18. pullrich


    May 4, 2010
  19. TheOTBalisong


    Jun 28, 2012
    Hmmm, That Grizzly is interesting, how does it stack up to a KMG?

    Obviously it's single speed, but that's not too much of a problem.
  20. SBuzek

    SBuzek KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 7, 2006
    Before I'd spend 600 on a grizzly,I'd buy the KMG.To many tracking problems,can't hollow grind with it,switches that go out.If you spend 600 on a Griz,then 750on a KMG,put that together and you got a KMG w/variable speed.
    When I started I looked at the same things and was broke,I bought the Craftsman and worked it to death,but it bought me a KMG.


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