View Full Version : Grinder..

10-09-2010, 09:04 PM
NWG or grinder in the box.. Pros and cons, cost differance..

10-09-2010, 10:27 PM
Both grinders do a good job, so I can't really say that one is better than the other except for price. Do you have the tools to complete both?

Check out this link for some ideas that you might be able to incorporate into a unique design.


Jim Adams Customs
10-12-2010, 11:01 PM
Get a Grizzly.

10-13-2010, 09:38 PM
I think about this same question. NWG or GIB.

NWG allows for step pulleys for changing speeds. GIB is direct drive so have to use variable speed which adds to the overall costs for amateurs who just want to get in. I've heard the ability to lower speeds an important aspect for new makers.

There is rumor of a new grinder design coming out of USA knifemaker using waterjet cut parts, but haven't seen anything lately.

Also the Coote comes up as a quality alternative. The Grizzly too, but I've read enough reviews to decide to save up or make a better one, primarily because of the high speeds at which it is driven. It's said that if you can learn on the Grizzly you can grind on anything.

Carey Quinn
10-15-2010, 08:34 PM
Get the best quality grinder that you can afford and by all means, get one that allows you to vary speeds. Yes, you can learn to make knives on a single speed, faster than a tornado machine but you can ruin knives faster than you can believe on one too.

Rather than write a sermon, I'll just leave it at that.

Hope it helps,

10-16-2010, 06:51 AM
not sure what a GIB is, but IMO you will need a grinder that has some way to vary the speed, and be able to use different wheels. I have never used a NWG, but it has both of these features, just like a Bader or a Wilton. On a direct drive grinder, you may be able to change the belt speed by changing the drive pulley size, the pulley that is mounted to the motor. Bader used to offer different size pulleys on there basic grinder to change belt speed. That would be less exspence than going to a variable drive.

10-17-2010, 07:34 AM
I have a KMG-1, with a 1 1/2 hp motor. variable pully drive. It came with a square wheel attachment, work rest and a 10" wheel. I have sence gotten a 4" and a 14" wheel. It is a versitile machine. It is build on the same concept as a NWG. The motor can be wired 120 or 220, its pretty quiet too. If you go with a NWG, do yourself a favor and get some quality contact wheels!! Jacked up wheels = jacked up grinds!! Any machine you go with make sure it has the HP you need to handle every task that you throw at it.

Eric Poris
10-17-2010, 02:18 PM
I, as well as countless others on this site, know the situation you are in. I spent the last 4.5 months trying to decide what grinder to go with. Countless hours were spent on the Internet before I found this site. I would love to start a thread asking everyone to add up the number of years they have been grinding. Point being, you came to the right place.
The answer is a question. Do you like to build things or do you like to just buy and use? After I was about to go crazy about this same decision my dad of all people told me to get a NWG because he knew how I am. I like to build things.
Part of the joy of the NWG is that building it is part of the journey. It is also a killer grinder. It is versatile in the sence that you can build it to fit your needs, custom. Not to mention the cost will be cheaper and to me that was appealing.
I actually ended up getting a kit on Bossdog's site because I didn't have all the tools needed to do the job. Cost a little more but the kit is great.
If you didn't already I would gladly sell you the NWG plans I got from Tracy's site for a small fee. $5 would cover shipping and the drive to the post office.
If building things isn't something that tickles your fancy and you have the funds there are lots of great grinders out there for you to choose.
I hope this helps. If you want the plans just PM me and we will go from there.


10-17-2010, 07:55 PM
Each grinder, NWG or GIB has their own sets of pros and cons. Both make a good grinder. Please keep in mind that my point of view is a little biased(I sell the "Grinder in a Box").

I've always ground single speed, even when I had variable setup. The GIB is direct drive, and that makes getting a motor fairly easy. Wayne Coe is a member of ths board that sells single speed single phase motors, as well as 3 phase motors and vfd's to make them run variable speed.

The GIB can be build in an afternoon if you have all the parts(kit, wheels, bolts, tooling arm) and can be done with a minimum of tools(drill press). I have built one using a hand drill just to prove it can be done.

Here's an estimated parts break down for a standard platen:
Grinder kit - $250 (plus $10.20 shipping)
Motor (locally I got a 1 1/2 hp) $225
Drive wheel - $56.18
Contact wheel (assuming 2 for standard platen @ $46.64 apiece) - $93.28
Idler/tensioner wheel - $61.48
Misc hardware (estimate, I had most of this already) - $25
Total = $721.14
The motor price and misc hardware will change this the most.

Here's an estimated parts break down for a multi platen with a 2" and an 8" wheel:
Grinder kit - $250 (plus $10.20 shipping)
Motor (locally I got a 1 1/2 hp) $225
Drive wheel - $56.18
Contact wheel - $46.64
Idler/tensioner wheel - $61.48
8" contact wheel - $104.35
Misc hardware (estimate, I had most of this already) - $25
Total = $778.85
The motor price and misc hardware will change this the most.

Drive wheels, contact wheels (large and small) and idlers wheels are priced from usaknifemaker.com.


10-17-2010, 08:28 PM
For what its worth, here is how I finally answered the “what grinder to get” question for myself.

I did several searches on “grinders” on a knife forum and took my own informal poll on what the majority of knife makers use and quickly found the answer I was looking for.

The next question, as stated above, should I make it or build it.

In my case I chose to build it from scratch. I did save some money but it was a large task for me to complete. I would build my own again but recommend putting some thought into deciding if building a grinder is something you want to commit to.


10-17-2010, 11:31 PM
Thanks for all the replys guys, at this point Im gonna do vfd rather than a single speed with the pulleys.. Just now tossing whether I should buy the GIB kit or just fabricate and weld one up myself..

10-18-2010, 01:44 AM
Build it yourself, you'll be happy you did.

If I had to chose between the two you mentioned, I would do the GIB, simply for the fact it's direct drive.

I like direct drive.

10-18-2010, 11:37 AM
Build it yourself, you'll be happy you did.

Can't agree more. I am in the process of building myself two KMG grinders that I want to run with one motor fitted with a variable speed drive. I am also going to fit a sanding disc on both the belt driving wheels. That will be 2 off 2" x 72" belt sanders and 2 off disc sanders running with one motor on a speed drive. I will use a 2.6 hp 380 V motor.

10-18-2010, 03:51 PM
I also thought about this question for a long time. I knew from using my friend's Grizzly and his KMG that I wanted variable speed. I chose Polar Bear Forge's GIB. I figured if I couldn't put that together I was kidding myself thinking that I could make a decent knife. Anyway, I'm very happy with my choice. But it was a learning experience since I'd never tapped a hole or worked with metal much. All in all, the kit is forgiving. My build survived a broken tap and a few less than straight taps.

As far as costs go, I purchased all the wheels from Beaumont. I forgot what they cost, but the prices are on the web site. I purchased the KBAC variable speed drive, same as is on the Beaumont KMG, for about $400.00 from, I believe it was Statewide Electric. I bought a "new" 3400 rpm 3 phase 1 1/2 hp Baldor on ebay for $125.00 and could have done much better. Recently a couple of "new" 2 hp Baldors sold for less than $ 70.00. I bought the 1 1/2 hp and KBAC drive because I thought I would be a using 120 volt line, but found that the wire wasn't the right gage for the motor so I ended up using 240 volt. If you know you will use 240 volt you can probably get a less expensive drive. Part of the cost of the KBAC is that it allows the use of 120 volt single phase input (for a 1 1/2 hp motor) or 240 volt current for up to a 2 hp motor.

I used typical hardware store taps and drill bits. The steel is pretty soft. A decent drill press (I used a benchtop Delta) and drill press vice are helpful. I bought the tension springs from the local hardware store as with all the bolts and screws, but be prepared for a few trips. The biggest hassle was finding the cord, plug and glands for the motor, VFD. But that's because I had know idea what I was doing. At any rate, the "project" took a while. But after having made one I could make another easily in a weekend.

Gary Miller
10-27-2010, 11:33 PM
It comes down to how serious are you about knife making. are going in to business, or just make some for your self. how are you making knives now? coote and grizzly make good inexpincive grinders for about 500.00

Wayne Coe
10-30-2010, 11:04 AM
I can supply the motor, VFD wire, cable glands, etc. I did a lot of resurch regarding the VFD and find that it is the best for the money. I sell the KBAC 27D for this purpose. Call me if you need some more information. My total package is $640.00 including shipping, CONUS. I have sold several of these packages in the past week.

11-04-2010, 11:24 AM

Thank you. This is great link.

Wayne Coe
11-04-2010, 03:08 PM
Both the NWG and the GIB are good grinders. I built my first grinder using the NWG plans and was amazed how easy it was and how well it worked. I made several modifications and welded mine. Since then I have built quite a few. The last ones I have built I modified to be direct drive and used a VFD. I have supplied motors and VFDs for GIBs, NWGs and Wilmont direct drive grinders (www.wilmontgrinders.com (http://www.wilmontgrinders.com/)) as well as others. One of the NWG builds with a VFD used the belt and pulleys so that he could mount a disk grinder on the end of the shaft with the drive wheel. There are all kinds of ways that you can modify your build to suit your own purposes.
There have been several comments about VFD set ups being expensive. Consider that if you build a grinder using the step pulleys you will have over $100.00 in the step pulleys, pillow blocks, shaft, belt, shipping and/or sales tax. I am selling the VFD for $365.00 including shipping CONUS. If you consider that you donít have to buy that $100.00 worth of parts the cost of the VFD has gone down to less than $265.00. The grinder with the VFD runs smoother, quieter and with less transmission losses. Now the VFD version does not seem so expensive after all.
I will be posting, on my new Knife Dogs forum, Wayne Coe, Artist Blacksmith, products and pricing within the next few days. I will also be posting pictures of my grinders to give builders guides to how I have built mine. I have several posts presently on Knife Dogs that you might want to check out such as the "Build a Belt Grinder" post that might help you.
Donít hesitate to contact me if you have questions or if I can help you.