Magna VS Fireball

Discussion in 'Magna-Matic' started by blairbuc, May 18, 2002.

  1. blairbuc

    blairbuc LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 154

    Well, almost $1000 dollars and I get No stand, a small wheel Vs a cool running 10 inch , no dresser and no machined telescoping tubes to raise and lower the wheel. Oh one half horse power instead of a full horse. No need to guess which motor has the most net torque. Fireball gives me all the above and a powder coat finish. Getting back to the machined telescoping tubes, there machined to have a tight fit and take out play in a mechanism that moves the blade up and down. What design does Magna use to allow up/down movement and keep the wheel rock steady. What is the difference?
    Now I'll accept your softer stone will wear fast enough to avoid the dresser. I'll also assume the componds in your stone come off fast enough to keep the heat down but how can a soft stone compare to a hard stone for putting on the sharpest edge? The wood working industry uses fine grain ceramics for the real sharp edge. OK we are talking lawn mower blades that hit rocks ten minutes later not paring chisels but hopefully you see my point. For $1000 I want fast and sharp. The final question is why can't I put a similar mini elevated table on a Fireball and call it a Mulcher blade sharpener with a dresser, a powder coat paint job, big 10 inchwheel,massive machined tele-tubes,twice the power and a massive stand? I'm not trying to burn Magna, it seems like a top contender but I need hard details in order to understand your design vs. Fireball. I have to buy one or the other next week.
  2. Magna-Matic

    Magna-Matic Sponsor
    Messages: 839

    Hello, thanks for the question.

    I will try to answer all of your questions.

    I assume you are talking about our MAG-8000 Universal Blade Sharpener @ $989.00

    I also assume you are talking about the Fireball 300 (this is the only one i could find with a 10" wheel on thier site.

    First here are some facts:

    All of Magna-Matic products are heavily powder coated.

    Magna-Matic products do not have various "options," we have deisgned a machine to do a job, we do not force you to buy a number of accessories. You do not need a dresser, grit guards, telescoping tube, etc with our machines. "We do not build a car and sell you the wheels for extra $$$."

    The 10" wheel diameter grinding wheel is acuatlly a disadvantage becuase over the average life of the wheel you will get a slower SURFACE FEET PER MIN than on our 7" wheel. I am almost positive that the FIREBALL only runs at 1725 RPM, i assume this becuase they do not list their spec on their website, and because to get a 10" grinding wheel rated for 3600 RPM is very rare to non-existant.

    We use a 1 HP Continious Duty Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled INDUSTRIAL Motor @ 3450 RPM (dual capacitor & solid state switch, for instant starts)

    FIREBALL has (listed on thier site) a 3/4 HP "hi-speed" sealed COMMERICAL air cooled Motor.
    Continious Duty = that you can sharpen 24 hours a day 100% of the time, it is a production machine.

    Fan-Cooled = an acutal fan is blowing clean air over the motor to cool it an keep it lasting longer.

    INDUSTRIAL vs COMMERICAL = Industrial motors are made at higher standards for heavier usage.

    FIREBALL does not list thier RPM for some reason?

    Speed and Surface speed are important in grinding NOT TOURQE.

    We use LEESON INDUSTRIAL MOTORS, Fireball does not disclose what motor they use.

    Grinding Angle Adjustmet & Wear Adjustment

    The telescoping arms you mention are a very trouble-some design. If you look at a picture of this grinder, You will notice that the motor, grinding wheel, etc are all supported ONLY IN THE BACK OF THE MACHINE. This creates what engineers call OVER HUNG LOAD. The telescoping tubes carry all the weight of the machine. A good analogy for this design would be: Take a 50 LBS dumb-bell and hold it in your hand out in front of your body. Your sholder muscles must support the whole load, and it is difficult, and will wear you out.

    Now our design: Take the same 50 LBS dumb-bell and put your arm at your side, and bring the dumb-bell up to your chest.

    I hope this has explained over hung load to you. Here are some pictures of the design differences of RBG and MAGNA-MATIC. Please understand FIREBALL is a VERY close direct copy of RBG.

    Here is a picture of OVER HUNG LOAD design differences.


    The MAG-8000 uses a large PIVIOT PLATE (1/4" thick steel/ 3 guage) where the motor and grinding wheel are mounted to with a TIMEING BELT & PULLY power transmission. You can see the CRANK on the back of our machine will lower and raise the grinding wheel. Most of all our products use 7 guage steel, giveing them the weight needed to positivly grind.

    The motor and grinding wheel are much like a tee-ter-totter on a playground.

    Please understand the FIREBALL & RBG use lighter guage steel for its construction.

    Grinding Wheels & Hardness for Lawnmower Bladses

    We do NOT only use a softer grinding wheel to avoid a dresser. Grinding wheel dressers should not be necessary in any grinding process. In a machine shop with surface grinders they pick the proper grinding wheel for the grade of steel they are sharpening. This allows the grinding wheel to freely cut, removing the most steel, and HEAT from the material you are cutting. DRESSING IS ONLY NEEDED WHEN THE IMPROPER GRINDING WHEEL IS USED. (or in occasional out-of-round situations caused by improper use)

    We use the proper grinding wheel for the grade and hardness of steel most lawnmower blades are made of. This allows us to cut in our 60 sec per blade times, even on heavy commercial blades. It is only a side benefit that our wheels are self-dressing, it just means they are working properly, and the machine is designed properly.

    The grinding wheels that NEARY, RBG, & FIREBALL all use are the cheapest bench grinder wheels marked up for their benefit. The wheels are FAR TOO HARD, these wheels and BENCH GRINDERS as a whole are for sharpening TOOL BITS, CHISELS, and other HARD materials.

    To address the SHARPENESS of a mower blade done in our machine will be comprable to any other grinder, BUT the difference will be the FINISH, SPEED OF SHARPENING, and QUALITY OF ANGLE.

    WHY can't you modify a FIREBALL

    You can modify a FIREBALL with a similar table, but you will NEVER get the performance of our machine. ALSO, the modification will just not work, because you will need a 1/2" grinding wheel to get over the curves, you will need a softer wheel to cut properly, etc.

    Please also notice the difference in design of our WORK TABLES and that we SUPPORT the area being cut of the mower blade, where there is NO SUPPORT on a NEARY, RBG, or FIREBALL.


    We also offer a stand, and the industry's ORIGINGAL LAWN MOWE BLADE BALANCER. Our stand takes up less room and brings BALANCING & SHARPENING right in one convienent area.

    No, you are not "Burning" Magna-Matic, we are glad to prove why our products ARE THE BEST. We are the industry leader in high-performance lawn mower blade service tools, and the MAG-8000 is quickly becoming the standard SHARPENING of the industry.

    We will gladly go head-to-head with any of our competitors anytime.

    Note: the MAG-8000 holds (3) US patents for its design.
    LASTLY, and most Importantly

    Magna-Matic is commited to our customers and providing you with the best products possible.

    WE BELIEVE IN OUR PRODUCTS SO MUCH, that you can puchase any of our equipment, and you will have 30 days to try it out, if it does not do what we said, SEND IT BACK. (you will only be liable for shipping costs & a grinding wheel)


    I hope i have helped you in your search for a sharpener, if you like ASK FIREBALL, RBG, or NEARY if they will take their machines back in 30 days if you do not "like" it.

    Check out our ONLINE STORE for pricing, you will notice if you add up all the accessories you will need for a FIREBALL, NEARY, or RBG the prices are VERY comparable!

    We offer a 5% discount on each product in a PRODUCT COMBIATION and FREE UPS shipping at our online store.

    Thank you,
  3. blairbuc

    blairbuc LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 154

    Gerd, you brinf up some good points. The hung wieght is one. In fairness to Fireball, he is using Leeson commercial fan cooled and it is RBG that uses the 1725 speeds, Fireball has mid 3000 rpms with a 10 inch wheel. Pretty fast even after the wheel is worn. One point in your favor that you may have missed is that the cog timeing belt you use on the 8000 may actually absorb vibration.
  4. Magna-Matic

    Magna-Matic Sponsor
    Messages: 839


    Thank you for the info, the only info i have on fireball is there limited website, and they did not disclose their RPM's or Motor MFG.

    I believe that RBG uses BALDOR, and i believe they private label it like they do their wheels

    I would be wary of the 10" grinding wheel on a over 3000 RPM machine, i do not believe you can get a speed tested wheel in that size. I will do some more research to see, what i can find.

    All of our wheels are speed tested for 5500 RPM for extra safety, one thing that is important is that, when applying side forces to a grinding wheel you are "testing" its strenght. Our sharpeners including FIREBALL, RBG, & NEARY apply side forces, BUT we are the only MFG that compensates for this with a STRONGER SPEED TESTED WHEEL.

    As far as viberation goes on our machines, there is VERY little, becuase of SO LITTLE over hung load. What i forgot to mention earlier is that over hung load can create more vibration.

    Another point i forgot to mention: BOTH of our sharpeners have been designed in accordance with ANSI NATIONAL SAFETY STANDARDS. These are the safety standards that OSHA. As you may know RBG, FIREBALL, & NEARY do not have to apply to these standards because their machines are used in a "commercial" setting, NOT an "industrial" one. One of the major design problems that they all have is their DUAL DIRECTION MOTORS. This is a major safety issue. A second safety issue, is that most of the other sharpeners do not use a LEFT HANDED THREAD ARBOR to hold the grinding wheel on. Every time you turn on one of our sharpeners the arbor nut tightens, to make sure that the grinding wheel is secure. I know RBG does this for sure, and i think FIREBALL & NEARY are the same. THEY USE A NYLOC NUT. One nyloc nut is the only thing holding that wheel on. And with the dual direction motors, the nut gets jarr-ed both ways.

    Here is some additional info:

    Again, thank you for your questions, i always try to answer questions as objective as i can, so that i can give the best info.
  5. blairbuc

    blairbuc LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 154

    Gerd another good point on the side force on the wheel. Plus the side force has less leverage on a 7" and more on a 10". Getting back to the vibration issue I posted on the last post, It was made in favor of your machine. I hope you did not take it the wrong way. Your none twist off locking nut can't hurt either. Nice to know it's there when things are happening at 3500 rpm's.

    Now I wonder what your feelings are towards putting on a sliding table on the 9000 Magna (totally wrong for the 8000) so one can lock the blade up on a moving table and then slide the blade across the wheel for very consistant cuts and bevels.
  6. Magna-Matic

    Magna-Matic Sponsor
    Messages: 839


    No, do not worry, i have not taken any thing you have said negatively. These communications are good, because i am sure there are 100 more people out there that would like this same info, but don't get the time or are afraid to ask.

    Quickly back to the vibration & belt discussion. Yes, a belt could possiblely absorb some vibration. But the point that i would like you to understand, is that a grinder SHOULD NOT have any vibration if it is designed and used properly. Our sharpeners have little to no vibration as long as people do not use it improperly and create an out-of-round grinding wheel.

    One thing i forgot to mention about our sharpeners is that since we do not use a dual direction motor, you just stand on either side of the sharpener to do left or right handed blades.

    Now for the SLIDING TABLE

    There are a number of problems we have found with this setup. But i will first say it is possible, but there are disadvantages.

    First, since a blade is of relatively low cost (in comparison to the rest of the mower) you NEED to be able to service it VERY quickly so as not to waste labor time on it, but you of course need to do a good job.

    Any clamp down or tie down arrangement eats up alot of time. This setup time can be avoided with hand holding, and that is the reason why we do not use clamp down arrangements. By the time you have the blade all clamped down, and have had to index the blade toward the grinding wheel, you have wasted all the labor time that the blade should have been given.

    A slide and clamp arrangement would also add significant cost to the grinder, with little to no advantage. Our sharpeners are designed that when the grinding wheel comes in slight contact with the work table you are at 30 degrees. As long as you keep lowering the grinding wheel to the work table you will always have a consistant 30 degrees, which is the strongest and longest lasting angle.

    Normally setup arrangements like you are asking about are only necessary for highly accurate metal removal processes, a lawn mower blade does not warrant that extend of accuracy in its sharpening.

    What is OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE is that you lawn mower blades have a STRONG SHARP TIP. The TIP of the mower blade does 95% of all the work, much like a LATHE. This is why you always hear so much info on the TIP SPEED of a mower.

    Thank you,
  7. blairbuc

    blairbuc LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 154

    Gerd, after a three days of hitting you with questions I have decided to buy a Maga-Matic sharpener and balancer. I hope this was not one of your tougher sales. Once again thank you for your time.
  8. Magna-Matic

    Magna-Matic Sponsor
    Messages: 839

    Thank you Blair, i don't know about tough .... but i will say you definatly made me work for it. I am sure you made the right decision and we will stand behind the equipment 100%.

    Remember to contact me with any questions, and that goes for anyone else reading this as well.

    Thank you,
  9. blairbuc

    blairbuc LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 154

    Gerd, I used the new machine three times now. I found by the third blade I was getting the results you claimed. Your softer wheel also seems to keep me from blueing the steel. Only once did I get an overheated edge due to me pushing the machine at an unreasonable rate in order to define the limits of your heat sheading wheel. I found the margin of heat build to be well within reasonable margins.
    The Balancer can not be improved. They way it grabes the blade and centers it in the mounting system is almost idiot proof. I own several machines but my fastest machine is a Hustler ShortCut Hydro with a Kohler 25. I was told it could cut at 9mph. Well with the new blades it came with the cut was, in my opinion, marginal at that speed. After using you machine I made another attempt at 9mph and looked back on several swipes ten minutes later for traces of uncut lawn. Hard to believe, but it worked. I use to cut at 3 to 4 mph, now I can up that to the 6-7mph range with a margin to spare.
  10. Magna-Matic

    Magna-Matic Sponsor
    Messages: 839

    Hello Blair,

    I am very happy that you have experienced the performance of our products, and even regained some performance from your HUSTLER. I've mentioned to you before in previous emails that it is always difficult to explain to people that VIBRATION EATS HORSE POWER. And when you have balanced blades not only do you extend the life of your bearing blocks (in deck mowers) you regain lost horse power.

    I am also glad to hear you are getting your sharpening done so quickly now!

    Remember to also check the balance of any NEW blades, you will be suprised how many new blades you will find that are out of balance, but with the little table-top cone you would never see it.

    Thank you for your business, and if you ever have a question please call, post, or email us!

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