Why are 2x72 Belt Grinders so Expensive?
Why are 2x72 Belt Grinders so expensive?
There are a number of reasons that 2x72 belt grinders are more expensive than the cheaper 1x30 or 2x48 belt grinders that are out there. I will do my best to explain in detail in this little blurb but feel free to comment if you see something I left out. I am working from limited knowledge, or so my ex tells me.
To really explain it I think we need to first explain why some of the other belt grinders are cheaper. Take that one grinder that almost everyone has in their shop right now but won’t necessarily admit to it. You know the one. The ol’, not so trusty, 1x30 that you picked up from harbor freight for a very reasonable cost.
That little gem was engineered using the cheapest materials that the manufacturer was able to source and quality was definitely not at the front of mind when they made the decision. The engineering on the model is simplistic and duplicated with small variations amongst many manufacturers with different names but its ultimately the same thing. Each one of these grinders “that shall not be named” is assembled on a line by the cheapest labor they can source that may or may not be age questionable. Long and short is that they’re cheap because they’re cheaply made.
Not only are they cheaply made but the operation and power leave a lot to be desired. Think about how long it takes to grind in your bevel on a 1x30 (if you admit to having one). You’re going to need an ergonomic foot mat if you’re doing anything tempered to 55 HRC and above. Don’t press to hard either because if you do the poor little motor may spaz out and then you’ll have to go buy another one, provide a copious amount of prayer and hope that it gets your project across the finish line.
Now lets talk belts on the 1x30 grinders. The 1x30 grinder is not engineered with the blade maker in mind so those machines are not the most user friendly when it comes to changing belts out while your working on your progression. Remember, they are engineered cheap. Since the belts are smaller you will be using up a lot more of them than you would with a 2x72 grinder due to a smaller surface area but the manufacturer doesn’t have to pay for a larger belt. (if the model comes with it)They are decent about getting into tight spaces and working smaller areas but that is about it.
In comparison the engineering that goes into a 2x72 grinder has you the knife maker in mind. Many of these grinders come from proprietary shops, or small family run businesses, with the goal to provide the pinnace of quality and customer experience in front of mind not as an afterthought. Companies like Ameribrade, Black Fox, Brodbeck and many others all take serious pride in the machine they’re making. Can’t say that about the makers of “the grinder that shall not be named”.
Because many of these shops are small, they aren’t able to use an assembly line like the bigger corporations do. Not only that they don’t have the bulk buying power of many of the larger companies that spit out the 1x30 grinders by the thousands. That means they have the absorb the cost of the motors, vfd’s (which do not come on most 1x30 belt grinders), materials, engineering, and labor.
I mentioned engineering already but a lot of thought goes into how the belts react on a 2x72 belt grinder when they are planning them out. From tracking to usage and even belt changing, these machines are designed around what YOU need as a maker.
In closing, you will always get what you pay for. In the words of a guy who you may recognize…
"The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten."
~ Benjamin Franklin~