I had always assumed angle grinders were far too cumbersome for cutting cycle tubing, especially for mitreing. This was based on my experience with my “Budget Brand” 115mm grinder which is heavy, fat and vibrates a lot. When I was informed by a contributor he was using a DeWalt tool for mitreing I thought I should look at them again to try and reduce the cost of using Dremmel cutting discs which are at least £1 each and last a couple of tubes.
I opted to buy the Makita GA4043 on the basis I knew Makita tools were good and I wanted the smallest size discs, which means 100mm. There are in fact very few models of 100mm grinders. You can get 50mm grinders but they are all air tools. The Makita claims to have the narrowest body available currently. I have average size (7 1/2) hands and can’t quite get my hand fully around the body but it is significantly more comfortable than my previous ones.
This model is the same as the GA4030 but has a paddle switch underneath activated by gripping the body instead of the more usual push switch on the side and I much prefer this system in use.
It cuts very efficiently with the 1mm ultra thin cutting discs and is smooth enough in operation to cut rough mitres but visibility of the workpiece is hampered by the disc guard which is essential as without it your fingers would be at great risk.
In the manual Makita recommends using a different disc guard when using thin cutting discs, which looks like it shields the disc on both sides. I was unable, however, to find any way of obtaining one! I always wear a full face mask when using cutting discs. The handle positions either side are angled forward which I do not like. I would prefer them at right angles to the body for delicate work.
The machine can be found for around £50 online. I obtained discs for About £5 for 5, so they are about the same price as Dremmel discs but will last longer, although the discs can only be worn a short way in before they are impeded by the body of the machine itself. The machine has a 16mm arbour and 115mm discs will not fit.