Steve Willis of Liss Electrical Services tries out the latest 18v brushless grinder from Makita.
We’ve all been there before – you “pop in” to second fix Mrs Jones’ bathroom on a Saturday morning, safe in the knowledge that this is a quick and easy job that’ll have you back home in no time. You carefully select a lightweight tote of tools and fixings for that heated towel rail, wipe your feet on the way in, decline the offer of a tea – “I’ll only be five minutes” – and make your way upstairs.
Then it dawns on you that despite your efforts to make it plainly obvious to the tiler (even adding a Vexbox to make allowances), the guy has still overlapped the backbox by enough to make this “quick one” a right pain. Your options in this scenario are then usually as follows:
a) Try and chip it off with a screwdriver and risk cracking the entire tile, but it’ll save a walk down to the van;
b) Go back down to the van, break out the grinder with a diamond disc, get the extension lead and huff and puff it all up the stairs. You then have to ‘faff’ about running the extension out to a socket down the hall – all for the sake of 4mm of tile and about 30 seconds of grinding.
Today, however, I have a plan c), after the nice folk at PE sent me the DGA456RTJ 18V grinder from Makita to try out.
I’ve been using Makita 18V gear for more years than I care to admit, and I found that the grinder complimented my existing products perfectly. The first thing I should say is that Makita has certainly gone all out to make this an efficient and long lasting tool which boasts great functionality, ergonomics and brilliant 5.0Ah batteries.
One of the initial features that I noticed is the gauze that has been added at the battery end of the hand grip to allow cooling air to be drawn in, away from the dust and debris flying about at the business end. This will help to increase the life of your battery as well as the motor and electronics. There’s also a charge indicator at that end – very useful if you’re running a chase up the wall as you can back off a little and eek it out if you don’t want to stop to change.
The ‘business end’ is an all metal gear and brushless motor arrangement, which means improved performance in power, speed and run-time, with sufficient gravity to convince that this is a quality tool. The detent on the spindle lock is easy to use with gloves, as is the switch, despite the shrouding to help prevent accidental “locking on”. There’s also plenty of torque too! I was able to cut tiles, unistrut, threaded bar and I even fettled some awkward metalwork with no problems at all.
No post-grind anxiety
When you’re finished grinding the disc stops almost immediately, so there’s none of the usual post-grind anxiety when you put it down again. In fact, the tool is so convenient that it’s been within arm’s length on a daily basis ever since it arrived.
Whether you buy the whole kit or purchase a body only machine if, like me, you have an ample inventory of Makita 18v Li-ion batteries, this 18V grinder from Makita is sure to save a lot of legwork and hassle.