Hand Tools Archive

$50 CBN Wheel

David Weaver
When the CBN discussion was going on, i ordered a $50 CBN wheel directly from china (or hong kong, can't remember which). It was $55 at the time and I offered $50, now the same wheel is $49.99.

I said I'd report on it, so that's what I'm doing.

It's 1" wide, flat, and has a 1" arbor hole (which will cause people problems if they don't have a bushing). I turned a bushing out of maple and am using it as such now.

I can't find anything wrong with the wheel other than a 1/10th BB sized nick in one corner of the wheel (since the corners are square, there's no good reason to run something over the edge - function is not affected on this wheel).

the 150 grit spec is a little conservative, and this wheel is faster than my broken in 80 grit wheel (which after years of use is much finer and slower, but continues to cut and has seemed the same for a while).

I also noticed that on my old wheel, the rims of the wheel are absolutely caked with swarf. If you have a wheel, you might want to check both sides of your wheel to prevent balance issues. I have another wheel on my grinder and there was a slight balance issue, but I always figured it was the other wheel (and it may have been). The top surface of the old wheel is also loaded, and having it off the grinder and looking at it more closely shows that the swarf cakes behind the grit, I'm sure this adds heat and reduces effectiveness. I didn't use one of those rubber sandpaper cleaners before removing it, but that may be a good idea.

This wheel, like my other one, is ferrous and machined. I'd imagine that's (ferrous, probably mild steel) the cheapest way to make a wheel (vs. aluminum), but a baldor 6" grinder spins it fine (it's a 6" wheel). If you have kids and they ever trudge through your shop, beware - it will spin for several minutes.

The best I can tell (I made the bushing in a woodworking midi lathe), this is a good option for someone who can make or buy a good bushing but fits the category of being a thrifty buyer by choice or need. These may not be suitable with cheap plastic spacers - I don't know.

If you sort on ebay, you'll find the seller. It might be listed as 150mm with a 1" center. I'm not affiliated and it might change, but they're not hard to find, and ebay's buyer protection may help (it may not, too, as it may require you to send these back. I'd probably call it a lost cause if it was no good.

If it wears out prematurely, I"ll report back with that, also, but it definitely cuts faster with much less heat than my old one, and the old one probably cuts with half the heat of a friable wheel.

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$50 CBN Wheel
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