Grinders

Ingersoll Rand Die Grinder Review – 5102Max and 5108Max


Pneumatic Die Grinders

Build Quality
Noise Mitigation
Ergonomics
Performance
Feature Set
Value
Final Thoughts

For jobs where the power and durability of your die grinder is important, take a serious look at the Max Series from Ingersoll Rand. They're well built, smooth operating, quiet, and comfortable to use.

Overall Score 4.4 Pro Tool Review

Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders Perform Exceedingly Well in the Hangar

It’s nice when a plan comes together. When the Ingersoll Rand 5102Max and 5108Max pneumatic die grinders arrived at our shop, we already had the perfect job in mind for them. Our friends at Ace Aircraft Refinishing, located in Bartow, Florida, have had a long, rich history of putting their pneumatic tools through the wringer. A new pair of grinders would definitely get a workout at their hangar, as the team uses them on a daily basis with aircraft in various stages of the refinishing process.

In fact, according to owner Luke Strawbridge and Scott Robinson, the sales and marketing director, the team has burned through several grinders recently. This, of course, isn’t too hard to imagine when you consider the near-constant use and the dusty environment. But, when profit margins can be slim, you need your tools to perform consistently without breaking down. Something with a bit of muscle and some durability is always welcome.

So, we sent them this pair of Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders. And, for the past month, they’ve been using them to grind, polish, clean, sand, and even feather into old paint. This is what we’ve learned.

Pros

  • Extremely solid build quality
  • Great balance and light weight makes these die grinders feel natural and comfortable to use
  • Relatively quiet at 84 dB(A)
  • Shaft lock on the 5102Max helps with quick attachment changes
  • Great value

Cons

  • Could be a bit shorter for work in tighter spots

Recommendation

These Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders are the business. The overall build quality feels solid, and they operate without issue, even in dusty, harsh environments. The shaft lock on the 5102Max is particularly helpful for fast attachment changes, and both grinders are relatively easy on the ears. The only drawback, and it’s a minor one, is that there might be a few times when a shorter length could be helpful. Overall, these are superb grinders that you can expect to last for a long, long time.

First Impressions

Out of the box, our first thought was that these Max Series die grinders feel extremely solid. Ingersoll Rand has left off any cheap, plastic parts. This seems particularly important, as we’ve used cheaper quality grinders that have fallen apart within a couple of weeks of using them. In contrast, every component of these grinders feels like it was built to last.

Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders

Further, these grinders feel well-balanced. The rubber grips feel comfortable and fit the hand really well; they’re not too soft, which is important for those times when the job requires a firm enough grip for precision work.

Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders

One thing that we really appreciated immediately was that the safety trigger felt really natural to use. Some of the safety triggers on other models we’ve had to wrestle with, but these work with the natural movement of my fingers.

Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders

We also appreciated the shaft lock on the angle die grinder. It’s located such that pressing down with your thumb makes changing out grinder heads quick and simple.

Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders

Performance

These Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders have 0.4 HP motors that spin at no-load speeds of 20,000 RPM (5102MAX) and 25,000 RPM (5108MAX). Considering that we work primarily on the aluminum sides of expensive planes, this is the sort of power that can get away from you if you’re not careful. We installed air pressure regulators to keep ourselves in check.

Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders

Even with that being the case, these grinders handled everything we threw at it. We use everything from abrasive sanding discs and aluminum oxide rivet cleaning wheels to ceramic roloc bristle discs, and we couldn’t bog it down. These grinders have enough power for intensive grinding.

Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders

Because the Max Series grinders operate with such little vibration, we found them really easy to work with when precision was necessary. This is extremely important as it pertains to rivets, which are pretty easy to grind through if you’re not careful. We could even use these grinders in some feathering applications.

To round out the whole experience, it’s worth mentioning how quiet the Max Series die grinders are. Of course, you’ll still need hearing protection, but of all of the various grinders we’ve used over the years, these have generated exceptionally low noise.

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Value

We’ve seen the Max Series Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders retail for anywhere between $100 and $200. Sure, there are definitely cheaper options on the market. But, we do think that the price is justified here. These grinders are superior to the other cheaper grinders we’ve used, and not having to worry about if and when your grinder will break down is a huge relief, especially when deadlines and profit margins are both tight.

Recommendation

These Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders are the business. The overall build quality feels solid, and they operate without issue, even in dusty, harsh environments. The shaft lock on the 5102Max is particularly helpful for fast attachment changes, and both grinders are relatively easy on the ears. The only drawback, and it’s a minor one, is that there might be a few times when a shorter length could be helpful. Overall, these are superb grinders that you can expect to last for a long, long time.

For more information about the 5102Max and 5108Max Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders, visit the company website here. For more information about Ace Aircraft Refinishing, click here.

Ingersoll Rand Die Grinder Specs

5102Max Pneumatic Angle Die Grinder

Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders

  • Power: 0.4 HP (0.3 KW)
  • Free Speed: 20,000 RPM
  • Output: 1/4″
  • Length: 7.05″
  • Weight: 1.41 lbs
  • Avg. Air Consumption: 9 CFM
  • Air Consumption @ Load: 35 CFM
  • Sound Pressure/Power: 84.1 dBA
  • Air Inlet: 1/4″
  • Min. Hose: 3/8″
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • MSRP: $107.52

5108Max Pneumatic Die Grinder

Ingersoll Rand Die Grinders

  • Power: 0.4 HP (0.3 KW)
  • Free Speed: 25,000 RPM
  • Length: 7″
  • Weight: 1.02 lbs
  • Average CFM @ 15 Second Run Time: 6 CFM
  • CFM @ Full Load: 25 CFM
  • Collet: 1/4″
  • Required Pressure: 90 PSI
  • Air Inlet: 1/4″ NPT
  • Min. Hose Size: 3/8″
  • Bearing Type: Ball
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • MSRP: $117.61

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