Sunday, January 11, 2015

Hey Grinder Guy, who makes the best wear parts?



It seems there are more and more companies offering wear parts for grinders and chippers these days. There are some common parts that are interchangeable, but most are specific to each machine. When aftermarket companies reverse engineer these products, you may not get the same fit or quality. If the parts are cheaper, there may be a reason other than less markup.
Most wear parts sales are through Dealers of these products. All that inventory has a cost and that cost is passed down to you. But remember, those parts are available very close to you and it is not the parts that cost you the most money, it’s the machine downtime.
In most advertisements, the cost of grinder tips are usually emphasized. This can be deceiving. Are these wear tips the same as the ones you are using and five dollars less each? Chances are not. Here’s where they may deceive you:
·         All wear parts are different, but most everyone uses some sort of replaceable tip that is impregnated with tungsten carbide chips for longer wear life.
·         Tungsten Carbide, or Carbide as it is commonly called, is a combination of Tungsten and Carbon*. A Carbide impregnated surface (or coating) provides a greater wear resistance than the base steel that the wear parts are made of.
·         The less carbide, the less the cost of the tip. You generally are paying by the inch of weld. Today’s cost is about $2 a square inch of weld. That is just the material.
So the cost of the tip may be cheaper, but the wear may not be the same.
A real wear parts company will take the time to explain how much carbide is applied and type of steel you are receiving. Ask questions. These people are full of information that may help you when you tell them what type of grinder you have, what you are grinding and what product you are looking for?
So how do you save money?
·         Try some new tips. Run a few side by side with what you have currently.
·         Purchase larger quantities. Without the Dealer having to stock those quantities, you should get a price break.
·         Your freight cost may be only 20%-30% higher for 2 sets instead of one. What does that do for your cost per tip?
·         Check your tips. Are you using all the carbide surfaces before replacing the tip?
·         Buy a different tip with less carbide edges. You may get the same wear for less of a cost
·         Carbide is more brittle, and will break off or chip off wear part surfaces when it impacts solid objects like rock or steel. So maybe less carbide on the face and more on the sides gives you more longevity.
The point is, give some other parts a try and see what it does for you.
The only thing you get while standing still, is passed.

Questions? Dave Whitelaw         grinderguy@askthegrinderguy.com

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