DeWalt grinder
DeWalt grinder. Click image to enlarge

By Glen Konoroski

When working around old, rusty cars, there is nothing handier than a metal grinder. Besides just grinding, they can be used for removing rust and cutting metal when the right wheels are attached to the machine.

For a number of years, I have been using two grinders, a larger Mikita and a smaller DeWalt 4-inch grinder (size of the grinding wheel). More often than not the DeWalt unit was the grinder of choice as it was more compact and can generally handle most of my needs.

Recently, the people at DeWalt contacted me about trying out their new 4-inch grinder. They assured me that this new grinder was a significant improvement over their older unit.

The unit they sent me was their new D28402. Comparing the older grinder with the new model, I noticed that the new body is thinner and easier to grip. This is accomplished by use of a new four-piece motor that allows for better copper windings in the motor resulting in a smaller and more powerful motor. This feature was very nice when working with the tool over a long time.

The next big improvement is the dust injection system. The redesigned cooling blades in the motors spin debris out of the air intakes and blow relatively clean air over the electric motor. Now, if you have ever taken one of these grinders apart for any reason you know that these little powerhouses can get very dirty inside. By pushing the grit and dirt out the port instead of through the motor, the motor lasts longer.

While on the subject of motors, the new DeWalt Grinder uses a new one-arm brush system that is easier to change than in the older units. This one-arm unit is also better placed so that it enhances the motor’s power giving it a good 10-amp power rating.

Another handy feature is the quick release disc feature. By pressing the redesigned spindle lock button, the grinding wheel can be spun off easier than on past models. I found this feature very time saving when switching wheels for different applications. It eliminated the need for using a wrench, which is usually missing.

The adjustable guard was also a great feature I really liked. With the flip of a little tab, the guard surrounding the grinding wheel can be moved around the wheel for different grinding applications. I also found the front section of the grinder that houses the gears for the grinding wheel has been reduced in size allowing the user to get the unit into tighter places, something I really liked while working on my VW Thing.

If you have used a grinder, you know they’re hard on your hands because of the vibrations. I found that the soft rubber grip over the side handle worked very well at reducing these vibrations when working for extended periods.

For something as simple as a grinder, I was impressed with the new D28402. In back-to-back comparisons with the older DeWalt, the new unit was just better to use. The price of the D28402 starts at $99.00 and is sold at all DeWalt tool dealers. Or call 1 800 433-9258.

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