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Chinese End Mill Grinders

Any knowledge of price and availability in UK?

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Chris Crew04/03/2021 19:47:14
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I found this company and its products by chance. These look very interesting and useful machines. Does anybody have any knowledge of their price and availability in the UK? I suspect there will be those just waiting to condemn them as just more 'Chinese rubbish', but I would possibly be interested in acquiring one if it is within a reasonable price range, which most Chinese machines seem to be.

The video is in Chinese so I have no idea what the guy is saying or what advice as to use he is giving and no idea how the machine may work. Take a look and see what you think.

This is the company:-

https://grinder.business.page/pc/End-Mill-Grinder/endmillgrinder?hl=en&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIu-KXmK-X7wIVKKHtCh3uhQ2cEAEYASAAEgIHJ_D_BwE

This is the video:-

https://grinder.business.page/p/GD-313A-Drill-Mill-Cutter-Composite-Grinder/GD-313A?hl=en&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIu-KXmK-X7wIVKKHtCh3uhQ2cEAEYASAAEgIHJ_D_BwE

There will be other pages to find along these lines and it will be interesting to hear what others think. These machines are new to me but others may know about them already.

Edited By Chris Crew on 04/03/2021 19:50:08

JasonB04/03/2021 19:56:56
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The one ARC do is probably the closest to your link, works well on the ends of cutters and easy & quick to use.

Review here

Edited By JasonB on 04/03/2021 20:02:13

Oily Rag05/03/2021 20:45:40
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Save your money and get a Clarkson T&C grinder!

These glorified 'Drill Doctors' only sharpen the ends of end mills and slot drills, so they only affect the plunging action of the cut. They do not sharpen the major working cutting sides of the end mill/slot drill. To my mind, for the money these are sold at they are not worth considering. A far better investment would be the Deckel SO clones that come out of China. At least these will grind the flutes and as an added bonus will also sharpen lathe tools with the 'Tip Lap' type accessory.

These grinders were sold in Shanghai Tool Market for about 80 - 100 GBP when I was last there and the Deckel SO clones were about 150 - 180ish GBP.

I'm not saying they are Chinese rubbish - just that they do less than half the job! unless you use Slot drills all the time for drilling holes. I honestly think you will be disappointed, not with the results but with the lack of any flute sharpening facility.

Martin

JasonB05/03/2021 20:57:14
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It does depend on how the cutters are used a lot of people seem to use low Ap values so only tend to wear the end of the cutter so these type of sharpeners work well in those situations.

Also as in a recent post ideal for the clumsy user who tends to let their cutters drop out of the collet and chip the corners, 30secs in a "drill doctor" will have it back to useable.

If you are using large Ap then as you say they won't do the edges unless you chop the whole end off and then make yourself a stub length cutter which depending on cutter dia may want 2-3 goes so say 2mins plus the time with the cut off disc.

Clive Foster05/03/2021 22:16:13
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The $64,000 question with all these relatively expensive sharpening devices is how many end-mills will you blunt in a lifetime? These things seem to be something over 100 to 150 end-mills worth of bananas.

Another issue is how long will the grinding wheels last and, when worn, will you be able to get replacements a decade or so down the line. As I understand it, unlike a conventional T&C grinder with external wheel, you cannot dress a worn wheel back to shape and carry on.

Its also important that the device ganshes the cutter and can cope with modern 3 flute centre cutting end mils as well as the classic four flute end mill and two flute slot drills. Reading the review the one sold by Arc can do all these things. The wheels were still said to be working fine after over 300 cutters which is encouraging.

As far as flute sharpening is concerned the idea with these devices is to sharpen the cutter before it shows signs of being blunt. Keeping the end really sharp is said to significantly reduce the rate at which side flutes become blunt. Frequent sharpening also takes off the vulnerable bottom ends before they really degrade. Sharpening the flutes tends to alter the working diameter of the cutter which is a general pain, even if you have effective means of measuring it.

The ability to simply load and shrapen a tool "just like that" makes a considerable difference to working habits and quality. As I've discovered since I made my Clarkson drill sharpener the standard always set-up device.

Knowing what I know now after 45 + years metal mangling if I were starting over I would seriously consider saving up for one of these devices. But it would have to come via a reliable supplier, like Arc, and be warranted to work properly by someone who really understands the machine and sharpening.

But I have a Clarkson so am not a potential customer.

Clive

Oily Rag05/03/2021 22:20:58
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Jason,

I think £700 - £800 is an excessive price for resurrecting a chipped cutter! far better to hand dress to give an end mill with a chamfer/radius I would have thought and buy a new cutter with the money saved - let's face it you could probably buy 100 cutters for that sort of outlay.

I haven't checked the prices in the UK for the Chinese Deckel SO clones but given the price differential in Shanghai I expect they wouldn't be that much more than the 'drill doctor' types, and given their versatility in being able to form lathe tools with the afore mentioned 'Tip Lap' type accessory seem to me to be far better value for money.

As I said, I think the OP will be disappointed with his purchase when he realises the limitations they possess. I am sure all of us have bought items in the past that have been less than they promise when we get to grips with their shortcomings. Yes they do a job, but is it the full job or half the job, that is the crux of the matter?

Martin

Edited By Oily Rag on 05/03/2021 22:22:25

not done it yet05/03/2021 22:36:58
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As I said, I think the OP will be disappointed with his purchase when he realises the limitations they possess.

You think so? From previous postings I have got the impression that he adores anything made in China.🙂

Hopper05/03/2021 22:51:41
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Reasonable quality end mill cutters are so cheap on Aliexpress these days, why bother sharpening?

And those linked to machines seem to be in China. They probably have substandard wiring that will kill you and certainly would not be covered by UK consumer law.

Chris Crew05/03/2021 23:51:12
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Thank you all for your views. I am not really tempted to buy one of these machines as I have a Clarkson Mk 1 and I am over halfway through building a Quorn (if it ever gets finished!). It was just that I was not aware that this type of machine existed or whether it was available in the UK. But can I say just for the record that I do not 'adore' Chinese made products and I don't believe for one moment that the wiring would kill me simply because all imported products have to be of a certain standard. Before Brexit products were marked and tested to CE standards and now they will be marked and tested to UKCA standards. All I have stated in other posts regarding the majority of Chinese products is that I have found that they always work first time out of the box and do the job they are designed to do at the price point in the market they are intended to serve..

Every product is built to a price and market entry point including the Clarkson/March machine, and other no longer available British machine tools and accessories, which if viewed from a super-critical standpoint would all leave attributes to be desired. The Clarkson, for example, relies almost entirely on the judgement, estimation and skill of the operator to obtain satisfactory results. Maybe a lot of us would like to have a £1,000 Jones and Shipman rotary table or tilting/swivelling vice, which I doubt are even manufactured these days, but we have to either settle for the imported versions, which do exactly the same job, on the grounds of both availability and price or go without.

I know it rankles with some people that Britain is no longer a leading manufacturer of the products we need to buy and are looking for reasons to decry imported goods, often unfairly in my view. I can almost understand that because the British manufacturer that I worked for was put out of business by the Chinese competition in 2005 and I lost my job, so I too have every reason to feel aggrieved. But that doesn't make the standard of the Chinese product unacceptable per se, or the British product inferior. It just means that the customer declined to pay the price of the British product when offered an alternative which is what, I imagine, happened to Myford at Beeston, Tom Senior at Liversedge and other engineering manufacturers who either disappeared altogether or moved into other markets like Boxford or Denford where they stood a chance of survival.

Notwithstanding the above, I am very grateful to everyone who has taken the trouble to respond and offer their advice which is respected.

Edited By Chris Crew on 06/03/2021 00:02:19

JasonB06/03/2021 07:24:12
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Yes wrong to generalise, some of the reputable suppliers ensure their products are tested and the CE marking actually means something, just some people don't think about that and just look at bottom line cost.

I think the majority of people who had their cutters sharpened at the shows John S attended all reported back a marked improvement and their old cutters that had been dug out from the back of a draw had a new lease of life and certainly the cutters I sharpened with one of the EMG machines showed a marked improvement in the finished cuts.

I think I got a new lease of life from about 40 cutters in a couple of hours, mostly 10-12mm so tha'ts a good way to paying for one. However those "blunt" cutters had been building up in a draw over time so it would take a few years to recover costs even if you allow say only two or 3 sharpenings before the edges are too far gone.

Chris Evans 606/03/2021 08:35:14
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Imported goods are at the very core of our hobby. How many people would have a workshop lathe/mill if it where not for the imports ?

Pay a little more for the back up from the likes of ARC so that quality can be reasonable. I have a well used Bridgeport but if starting out again would have a Warco/Chester offering on cost and availability.

Hopper06/03/2021 08:43:16
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I must be confused. I thought the ones linked to in the OP were being sold by Chinese sellers, not reputable UK based resellers. It does give a Chinese name for the company and a location in China.

JasonB06/03/2021 10:07:10
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Hopper, my comment was directed more towards what Chris C said "I don't believe for one moment that the wiring would kill me simply because all imported products have to be of a certain standard"

We know that a lot of these direct from China products don't meet these standards.

Hopper06/03/2021 10:49:08
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I know that we know some of these Chinese products dont meet standards. I thought that was why the Code of Conduct forbade posting links, or anything approximating links, to them. Seems I had several posts deleted in the past for just mentioning the names of sites and search terms related to these dangerous Chinese products. Like I said, I am confused. But maybe i am just easily confused. Or has the Code of Conduct been changed?

Edited By Hopper on 06/03/2021 10:50:34

SillyOldDuffer06/03/2021 10:49:39
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Posted by Chris Crew on 05/03/2021 23:51:12:

...

I know it rankles with some people that Britain is no longer a leading manufacturer of the products we need to buy and are looking for reasons to decry imported goods, often unfairly in my view. I can almost understand that because the British manufacturer that I worked for was put out of business by the Chinese competition in 2005 and I lost my job, so I too have every reason to feel aggrieved. But that doesn't make the standard of the Chinese product unacceptable per se, or the British product inferior. It just means that the customer declined to pay the price of the British product when offered an alternative which is what, I imagine, happened to Myford at Beeston, Tom Senior at Liversedge and other engineering manufacturers who either disappeared altogether or moved into other markets like Boxford or Denford where they stood a chance of survival.

...

I'm of the same opinion as Chris. I don't 'adore' Chinese tools either, but - like the rest of you - my home is full of stuff made abroad; Japan, Taiwan, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Mexico and others. Their goods do the job at prices I'm happy to pay and there isn't a British equivalent. Why not?

Always good advice to 'follow the money' to find the answer. Manufacturing low-end goods is brutally competitive with tiny profits. At UK rates there's not enough money in low-end goods to support apprenticeships, big workforces driving manual machines, or to pay their pensions when they retire. Also, land is costly, most materials are imported, and the small UK market has reduced opportunity for economies of scale.

It's absolutely essential for manufacturers to produce goods that people want at prices they are prepared to pay, and to sell them at a healthy profit.

No technical reason why hobby lathes can't be made in the UK, but good economic reasons why doing so wouldn't end well! One reason is evident on the forum: few of us are prepared to pay for quality! Hobby lathes aren't hard to make, and they could be done better. The hard part is selling them at a profit! As Myford found it's not enough to offer decent machines.

As making low-end goods is financially high-risk without much profit in it, the UK and most other Western manufacturing countries have moved up-market. They make high-end goods and services that the 'man on the Clapham Omnibus' never buys. Aerospace, biotechnology, design, electronics, software, defence, nuclear, pharmaceuticals etc, None of these activities require Tom Senior or Myford!

Although British Industry is far less visible than before, it's as profitable as it ever was. But it's mostly moved into production which doesn't include hobbyist tools. The quality of British goods is excellent, but very little of it is aimed at the domestic market.

Good job I don't depend on manufacturing to keep me warm and fed because most of the UK's dosh is earned by Services, which pay my pension. Large numbers who once worked in factories struggling to break even are now working more profitably elsewhere. Despite the disappearance of Heavy Engineering, Coal Mining, Textile Mills, and other large employers the UK economy has grown, not shrunk.

Looking at the industrial history of other nations, they all follow the same path, starting cheap and then moving up-market. British Industry peaked around 1890, and then hit increasing competition from Belgium, France, the USA, and - most seriously - Germany. The first American machine tools to arrive in this country were a joke - really nasty. The second wave were similar to UK quality but cheaper, and the third wave were better, forcing UK makers to improve. Today, American manufacturing is suffering the same pain as us - beastly foreigners undercutting expensive locals!

Waste of time in my opinion worrying about 'quality'. Businesses need to come up with whatever people are prepared to pay for. Model Engineers have less choice. If a suitable ex-industrial second-hand machine in good order comes up, go for it. Otherwise, buy the best you can afford, which usually means inexpensive. I don't know of a hobbyist who has coughed up for a Chinese industrial machine, but I doubt a lathe costing £10000-ish will be built like a dodgy clone C0!

Very dangerous to assume China only makes rubbish because it creates a false sense of security, much as the British Motorcycle and Sport Car industries relaxed after seeing the first crude Japanese offerings. Never underestimate the other fella! Beat him.

I'm not saying these changes are a good thing. What happened when the coal mines closed was deeply painful. Industrial Scotland, the North and Black Country all lost millions of well-paid jobs, many of them satisfying. Communities trashed, and a strong suspicion that baby was thrown out with the bathwater far too often. And of course, the system consumes ever more of the world's limited resources, and they are limited. Throw away culture may make us rich today, but it's unsustainable...

Dave

Oily Rag06/03/2021 12:02:47
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As Chris stated:-

"I don't believe for one moment that the wiring would kill me simply because all imported products have to be of a certain standard"

Well for one who has worked for a number of years in China and experienced issues with electrical standards, let me give you an example of where their 'standards' fell woefully short.

I worked for a automobile manufacturer and we had issues with sporadic engine speed 'fluctuations' which resulted in both engine stalling and speed flaring. This was purely random, some cars exhibited it frequently, some occasionally and some never. We tracked it down to engine speed signal interference within the wiring harness. I had 10 harnesses produced with what I considered 'worst case' lay ups (this was where inductor circuits were laid up next to the speed signal wire), 10 harnesses where the speed signal was fed through a shielded wire appropriately grounding the shield and laid up in similar fashion to the worst case examples, and finally 10 harnesses taken at random from production. The results were that the 10 worst case examples in every case suffered from consistent flaring and stalling, the shielded speed sensor examples never had a problem and the 10 production examples suffered in varying degrees of the reported problem.

I examined the wiring insulation and tested the insulation to a Lucas Rists 'brine test' standard. A benchmark UK produced wire was required to pass this test with a leakage rate of less than 250mV at 1000V, which it did well within the limits . The Chinese produced wire failed this test in every instance with leakage rates in the range of >1000mV up to an incredible 4.5V (4500mV). In desperation, the Chinese harness manufacturer supplied some Aerospace quality wire, this again failed the Lucas Rist test at around 400 - 600mV leakage. They admitted they had no insulation test standard comparable to the Lucas Rist standard.

As a result of this investigation the speed sense wire was, for the China produced vehicles, now specified as shielded and single end grounded. This added substantial cost to the harness which was borne by the harness manufacturer. About a year later we had reports of similar 'flaring' as before. Samples were looked at and the harness manufacturer had reverted to the previous cheap wire solution, due they claimed, to the increased cost that I had imposed upon them with the shielded wire specification making the cost of the harness uneconomic.

There was no wire supplier in China able satisfy the Lucas Rist test standard for insulation!

Martin

Chris Evans 606/03/2021 16:33:18
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When I was in the mould making toolmaking game a fair bit of our work was automotive including Lucas Rists.

Standards required where very high, some of our fuse box moulds ran to well over 4,000 hours a reflection of standard expected.

Oily Rag06/03/2021 19:27:49
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I have often wondered whether the reported 'glitches', control board burnouts, wonky speed readings and the like, seen with various M/C tools of Chinese origin are as a result of sub standard wire insulation as we found in the supply of automotive wiring.

This was not an issue when cars were carburettor fed, but the introduction of EFI in the early 2000's in China caused a lot of serious problems as the roll out was condensed into a few years of what was effectively 2 decades of steady progressive development in the West. The Chinese demanded the latest 'state of the art' EFI system controllers and my related experience above was an example of how co related developments can get overlooked. The most worrying aspect was the test we performed on the 'aerospace' spec wiring, made me worried every time I got into a China Aviation made 'knock off' Boeing! The Lucas Rist 'Brine test' for aero spec was <80mV leakage.

The reason for the poor performance of the insulation was found to be the chemistry of the insulation and its related application process. In short 'cheap' material which was applied too rapidly - a classic example of cost cutting to the detriment of the product. But hey! the Chinese mindset is that if the product fails it's all down to the 'bad Karma' of the customer - until this outlook gets changed do not expect any change in underlying quality issues. We had a minimum of 30 engineers based full time in China overseeing the whole manufacturing process, this still resulted in, what was officially termed 'backsliding', but was unofficially termed 'cheating'.

David Colwill06/03/2021 19:57:15
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Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 06/03/2021 10:49:39:

It's absolutely essential for manufacturers to produce goods that people want at prices they are prepared to pay, and to sell them at a healthy profit.

Returning to Chinese end mill grinders.

This would appear to sum up the reason why I (and I suspect many others) don't have one.

David

Old School06/03/2021 20:16:47
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I have one at the moment I am halfway to,paying for it. It is going to my son next who has a box full of blunt cutters if you can salvage some it helps towards paying for itself.

I have a tool and cutter grinder it works well but setting it up for each cutter is a major draw back.

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