Thoughts on Oregon 511A and 520 grinders

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Bill G

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For those that have experience with the Oregon 511A and 520 grinders what are your thoughts and which is better?
 
I'm no expert on grinders but i picked up a 620 that was used to sharpen a few chains. The hydraulic clamp sure is nice and fast.
 
I have a few . . .

Depending on what you do, a lot of guys keep one for 1/8” wheel; one for 3/16” wheel; and one for depth gauges.

I also like some of the (better) small grinders - very portable. And cute.

Philbert
 
I still have my Oregon 511A after 15 years. I upgraded the light bulb with an LED and have not regretted that move. I have another clone with the narrower wheel that I use for small. top-handle saw chain loops. The two of them take care of my sharpening demand very well as long as I keep the wheels clean from grime and shape them occasionally. Last week I sharpened 32 chains with the two of them.

I enjoy helping helping tree removal companies keep their chains sharp and, of course, my own as well. Trying to cut hardwood logs with dull chains is a waste of time and energy.
 
I still have my Oregon 511A after 15 years. I upgraded the light bulb with an LED and have not regretted that move. I have another clone with the narrower wheel that I use for small. top-handle saw chain loops. The two of them take care of my sharpening demand very well as long as I keep the wheels clean from grime and shape them occasionally. Last week I sharpened 32 chains with the two of them.

I enjoy helping helping tree removal companies keep their chains sharp and, of course, my own as well. Trying to cut hardwood logs with dull chains is a waste of time and energy.
I wind up sharpening a lot of rocked chains for one tree service and grinding down rakers is a must. I really hated the regular pink raker wheels…wore out 2 of them…
This CBN wheel has been a blessing.
 
let me know what you are going to rehome, i am looking at grinders right now myself.
Thanks
 
Have a 511ax for long time now. Never had any major issues with it. There are some bushings in the vice that wear out over time. I take mine apart from time to time to clean it. I like to think it helps as the vice is still nice and tight on it.
I tend to agree with philbert about the pink wheels. They work fine, provided you dress them every now and then. I don't usually do depth gauges on the grinder unless the chain was real bad.
 
One grinder just for depth gages and one for the cutter teeth. Both running Diamond CBN wheels. The depth gage grinder has a 30 degree Diamond CBN wheel on it which grinds the top of the depth gage at the correct 'slope' so I don't have to fiddle with a file at all.

I have one Oregon and the other is a Vevor I got from Amazon. It's an exact copy (gotta hand it to the Chinese for copying stuff) but the depth (gullet to link adjustment) is light years better than the Oregon and extremely repeatable and it's much less expensive that the Oregon (Tecomec) grinder, I believe I paid around 100 bucks for it delivered. Takes the same diameter wheels, the motor looks the same, in fact it IS the same except for the price.

My issue with the revised Oregonian is the dept gage setting and the fact that if you apply any pressure to the handle, you can overcome the setting and grind too deep onto the chain links themselves. Don't happen with the Vevor as the dept adjustment is very positive and like the old style Oregon, it's on top of the grinder, not under the motor and difficult to set.

The only drawback that I can see with the Vevor is, unlike the Oregon, you cannot mount it to a wall stud, has to be bench mounted which is no issue for me as I have both my Oregon as well as the Vevor mounted to a 2x4 which I 'C" clamp to my welding table.

Hard to beat the price on the Vevor. It's about 1/3rd the cost and I'm inherently cheap anyway.

Did not look but I would imagine the price of the Vevor has went up a bit, just like everything else in these inflationary times.

Like the Oregon, the Vevor has a cumbersome wheel guard, but then I don't run wheel guards anyway because the aluminum rimmed CBN wheels are one, perfectly balanced and two, they won't fly apart, unlike the stone wheels will and of course the CBN wheels never need radius dressing, just a mild cleaning with the supplied white stone that comes with them.

Of course I clean the loops prior to grinding in a lye solution in my ultrasonic cleaner prior to grinding anyway to remove any debris from the loops and then after grinding, they get soaked in a oil bath for 15 minutes and then they are good to go again.

The lye and water solution removes all the pitch and debris on the loops and it's the pitch especially that will foul the grinding wheels, especially the stone wheels.
 
One grinder just for depth gages and one for the cutter teeth. Both running Diamond CBN wheels. The depth gage grinder has a 30 degree Diamond CBN wheel on it which grinds the top of the depth gage at the correct 'slope' so I don't have to fiddle with a file at all.

I have one Oregon and the other is a Vevor I got from Amazon. It's an exact copy (gotta hand it to the Chinese for copying stuff) but the depth (gullet to link adjustment) is light years better than the Oregon and extremely repeatable and it's much less expensive that the Oregon (Tecomec) grinder, I believe I paid around 100 bucks for it delivered. Takes the same diameter wheels, the motor looks the same, in fact it IS the same except for the price.

My issue with the revised Oregonian is the dept gage setting and the fact that if you apply any pressure to the handle, you can overcome the setting and grind too deep onto the chain links themselves. Don't happen with the Vevor as the dept adjustment is very positive and like the old style Oregon, it's on top of the grinder, not under the motor and difficult to set.

The only drawback that I can see with the Vevor is, unlike the Oregon, you cannot mount it to a wall stud, has to be bench mounted which is no issue for me as I have both my Oregon as well as the Vevor mounted to a 2x4 which I 'C" clamp to my welding table.

Hard to beat the price on the Vevor. It's about 1/3rd the cost and I'm inherently cheap anyway.

Did not look but I would imagine the price of the Vevor has went up a bit, just like everything else in these inflationary times.

Like the Oregon, the Vevor has a cumbersome wheel guard, but then I don't run wheel guards anyway because the aluminum rimmed CBN wheels are one, perfectly balanced and two, they won't fly apart, unlike the stone wheels will and of course the CBN wheels never need radius dressing, just a mild cleaning with the supplied white stone that comes with them.

Of course I clean the loops prior to grinding in a lye solution in my ultrasonic cleaner prior to grinding anyway to remove any debris from the loops and then after grinding, they get soaked in a oil bath for 15 minutes and then they are good to go again.

The lye and water solution removes all the pitch and debris on the loops and it's the pitch especially that will foul the grinding wheels, especially the stone wheels.
Interested in the Vevor, looks like a great deal. Looks on Amazon like it only has a wall mount feature. Do you know if it will mount on say a Oregon stand?
 
Interested in the Vevor, looks like a great deal. Looks on Amazon like it only has a wall mount feature. Do you know if it will mount on say a Oregon stand?
Not a clue (stand), like I said, I mount mine to my welding table which is on industrial swivel casters that I can lock and the welding table is a 4 x 6 sheet of 3/8" hot rolled steel plate and with the legs it weighs around 700 pounds, so nothing moves anyway. The Vevor as it comes isn't wall mountable but you could drill the vertical aluminum casting and mount it to a wall if you desire to. In my application, being wall mountable is a non issue. It is an exact (Chinese) copy of the Oregon with the old style and much more positive depth stop and of course the clunky wheel guard that I don't use anyway. Like the Oregon, it comes with the stone wheels, dressing stone (for the radius dressing), the plastic raker gage and necessary Allen wrenches as well, and like the Oregon, you can angle the base 10 degrees to grind 325 and 404 chipper loops correctly, though I don't bother doing that. Same indexable tooth stop and same fine adjustment as well.

Considering the price, it's a helluva bargain. Leave it to the Chinese to make a copy for much less than the original. Not overly fond of Chinese anything (especially Chinese chainsaws), but the price is certainly a big plus. In a 'weak' moment I did buy a Chinese chainsaw and promptly gave it away. What a piece of dung. I'll stick with my Echo's and Stihl's.

I will say the chain vise on the Vevor is much better at clamping the chain than the Oregon is as well. On the downside, the degree indicator marks in the Vevor castings are not overly accurate but use a machinist angle gage tool to set them anyway. For the price of admission, it's hard to beat.

Just bought the Vevor mag drill as well. The price of a Milwaukee or a Hougen is way outta sight for me.
 
Not a clue (stand), like I said, I mount mine to my welding table which is on industrial swivel casters that I can lock and the welding table is a 4 x 6 sheet of 3/8" hot rolled steel plate and with the legs it weighs around 700 pounds, so nothing moves anyway. The Vevor as it comes isn't wall mountable but you could drill the vertical aluminum casting and mount it to a wall if you desire to. In my application, being wall mountable is a non issue. It is an exact (Chinese) copy of the Oregon with the old style and much more positive depth stop and of course the clunky wheel guard that I don't use anyway. Like the Oregon, it comes with the stone wheels, dressing stone (for the radius dressing), the plastic raker gage and necessary Allen wrenches as well, and like the Oregon, you can angle the base 10 degrees to grind 325 and 404 chipper loops correctly, though I don't bother doing that. Same indexable tooth stop and same fine adjustment as well.

Considering the price, it's a helluva bargain. Leave it to the Chinese to make a copy for much less than the original. Not overly fond of Chinese anything (especially Chinese chainsaws), but the price is certainly a big plus. In a 'weak' moment I did buy a Chinese chainsaw and promptly gave it away. What a piece of dung. I'll stick with my Echo's and Stihl's.

I will say the chain vise on the Vevor is much better at clamping the chain than the Oregon is as well. On the downside, the degree indicator marks in the Vevor castings are not overly accurate but use a machinist angle gage tool to set them anyway. For the price of admission, it's hard to beat.

Just bought the Vevor mag drill as well. The price of a Milwaukee or a Hougen is way outta sight for me.
I’m not a fan of Chinese anything either, although it’s amazing the stuff that’s from there that we have no idea. It’s $608cad for the Oregon 520 vs $158cad for the Vevor 230w. So I think I’ll go Vevor for my first. If it is not perfect I can always keep it for depth guage grinding. I appreciate your reaponse and help thanks so much
 
Any of the three can go but not at Chinese pricing.
Why buy used when you can buy new at as you say 'Chinese pricing'.... Last time I checked, pricing always determines resale... Like vehicles, vehicle price today (which is way over the top), sets the pricing for used vehicles as well. Supply chain economics, which is 100% market driven, all the way.

Seems to me there was quite a long dissertation on here about Chinese saws and their pro's and con's and the end game all hinges around what a person deems as a good value for the buck spent.

Myself, I'm not all that fond of Chinese anything but, so long as there is competent oversight, the Chinese can and will produce quality products.

My case in point about just that are cordless tools. Milwaukee and DeWalt cordless tools are all produced in Chinese factories right along side the much less expensive Harbor Freight (and other brands) of cordless tools. Only the exterior coverings change and some of the interior components as well but, make no mistake, the tools come down the assembly line and pass through the same exact hands as every other one ( HF or DeWalt or Milwaukee) does.

It's up to the end user to decide what or what not to purchase and that hinges on what a person is willing to pay as well as their perception of quality versus price. Just because it comes in a red or yellow box has no determining factor on what that box contains.
 
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