I had been looking and comparing 2×72 belt grinders for months. I looked at grinders by Bader, Travis Wuertz, AMK Tactical, Reeder Products, Northridge Tool, and many others. I liked Reeder the best based on overall value. It seemed like you get a lot of grinder for a very reasonable price. Two things kept holding me back: the hinges and the all-aluminum construction.
I ended up taking the ABS blade-smithing class in Arkansas, and lo and behold one of the grinders available for us to use was the Reeder Products 2×72 belt grinder. The coolest thing was that there were grinders there from Bader, KMG, Uncle Al’s, and Burr King. So not only did I get the use the Reeder, I got to compare it to a bunch of other grinders. For me the Reeder was the hands down winner. Silky smooth, perfect tracking adjustments, and super simple to operate. The machine was very stable and vibration free. So much for being worried about hinges and aluminum construction.
After returning home from the class I placed my order for the Reeder Grinder. I already had the motor and the VFD so I purchased the base unit with the 5″ drive wheel and the two 2″ platen wheels. It comes with a flat platen, work rest, 2 tooling arms, and of course the grinder. I also ordered the knife sharpening attachment and the hollow grind fixture. The site says that it will take several weeks for delivery, but I got mine in about a week and a half.
Setup was super easy, however I would recommend buying the stand for it if you want to use the grinder in the horizontal position. I had to cut a hole in my workbench. The grinder runs quite well on the 1.5 HP motor that I had purchased on EBAY. It handles everything that I need it to. One of the really cool things that you can do with this grinder is run it in reverse for sharpening knives. The knife sharpener attachment works well and the tracking wheel has two different adjustment points to allow the belt to track properly when running in reverse. The guys at Reeder have really put a lot of thought and engineering into this product. It’s not just a copy of every other grinder.
After owning the grinder for almost a year now the aluminum construction has actually become a benefit. No RUST!, and the lighter weight of the aluminum accessories makes a difference after long hours of grinding.
All in all a great 2×72 belt grinder and a great value. I just ordered the rotary platen and the surface grinder attachment – I will update the article when I have some feedback for you.