I got a new Delta bench grinder for Christmas - took until today for the stars to align to put it together. What a mistake that was - nothing ruins a Sunday like absurdly low quality tools.

Here’s a summary of the problems encountered with this brand new factory-sealed product (Delta 23-196), in order encountered during assembly:

  • It comes with stones, which wobble a lot when you turn it. This will be brutal when spinning with the motor running, not sure what’s so far out of whack but for factory-installed stones, this is unacceptable.
  • The guards aren’t clocked the same - see above how the one on the right has the opening ‘higher’ than the one on the left. Not sure if adjustable but again unacceptable out-of-the-box.
  • One of the threaded holes for the spark guard (which also holds the clear shield) on the left side was stripped. From the factory. This means that part is wobbly and will be bouncing off the stone in no time.
  • The spark guards are not square to... anything. Cheap stamped parts.
  • There are carriage bolts that hold the clear plastic shields on. Their square bit is longer than the bracket is thick, so it fouls on the part you’re attaching. I had to get a washer with an ID larger than the square bit to be a spacer (barely visible above, silver washer to the left of the upper left blue knob).
  • Since these clear shields bolt to the spark guards (which are bent all wonky) they are also not square with... anything.
  • You’ll have to remove the workpiece holder (the big flat bit you rest whatever you’re grinding on) to change the stone, more of a design than quality issue - and one is notched at a 45 degree angle (not pictured), so screw you if you wanted to hold something square to both stones. They don’t aren’t meant to interchange side-to-side.
  • The plastic-handled bolts (lower blue knobs in above picture) thread into a welded nut on the lower bracket. One of them has such awful threads, it won’t even go in, thus the one is missing in the above picture. No idea what size thread this is supposed to be.

That’s right - I couldn’t even finish putting the stupid thing together. This is sub-harbor freight quality from a name brand. If it weren’t a gift purchased over 6 months ago it would already be back in the box to get sent back.

Bonus picture of the “threads” mentioned in the last bullet above:

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The other one wasn’t much prettier, but at least it fit the nut. This one gets about 1 turn in and stops, probably because the threads have a step in them...