Roger Bisby checks out the GMC grinder.
I know GMC tools of old and the Australian owners have a good down-to-earth approach to designing and bringing value-for-money tools to the market. If anything they are often over-engineered. Presumably they figured out a long time ago that the quickest way to eat into your profits is with warranty claims, so they do what they can to avoid them. You see it in their planes and saws, which are robust with lots of gleaming magnesium.
It is easy to love tools like that but angle grinders are almost unique in power tools because nobody really gives them a second thought and everyone gives them a rough ride. They get used in the harshest conditions, with clouds of brick or concrete dust passing through the air intakes and they get dropped or thrown into the van in a way that a drill never would. Nobody I know thinks about vacuuming out the air intake, or clearing dust from the switch – they just switch it on, use it and chuck it down. In a way manufacturers are resigned to this lack of love for this kind of tool, and none I can think of supplies a box for a corded grinder.
The other reason of course is that nobody can really command a high price for a grinder in the way they used to. This is a cheap grinder because that is what the market demands, but it has a nice soft grip and, apart from that initial jump start, it is as smooth as many out there. Yet when you think about the variety of work you can do with a tool like this you are probably looking at one of the fastest returns on your investment of any power tool. There was a time when roofers spent hours nibbling tiles and ground-workers spent all day cutting clay drains with a small cold chisel and club hammer. Now it takes seconds to do that work, and with diamond blades now as cheap as chips we really do have it all. I could start an angle grinder appreciation society but I have a feeling I might be the only member. People tell me I need to get out more.