Best Stained Glass Grinders Of 2023 | Reviews Guide
As Lead Editor of Homesthetics for almost a decade now, Sudarshan knows the website inside-out. His journalistic experience shaped the editorial and integrity guidelines that define the platform today.
If you’re into stained glass projects and want high-quality finishes while shaping them, then the Godora stained glass grinder can be the right choice. But if budget is a constraint, the Sylphid portable mini glass grinder can be the one for you.
Whether you’re a hobbyist or professional, a good stained glass grinder is important for your armory. From cutting stained to shaping and providing smooth finishes, it can help you do it all!
So, today, I have picked the 7 best-stained glass grinders suitable for different needs. I have also curated a short buyer’s guide to help you understand the crucial factors for making the right choice after I’ve spent hours using these stained glass grinders.
Best Stained Glass Grinders
- 1. Best For Easy Operation- Godora Stained Glass Grinder
- 2. Best Budget Pick- Sylphid Portable Mini Glass Grinder
- 3. Best For Beginners- Gryphon Gryphette Glass Grinder
- 4. Best Premium Grinder Kit- Gryphon Convertible Stained Glass Grinder
- 5. Best For Portability- Anbull Stained Glass Grinder Machine
- 6. Best Durable Design- Lifancy Stained Glass Grinder
- 7. Best For Mid-Range Budget- Inland Craft Wiz Glass Grinder
- 1. Speed
- 2. Cooling Mechanism
- 3. Space
- 4. Accessories
Best For Easy Operation- Godora Stained Glass Grinder
- Excellent DIY Tool: Our glass grinder has strong power, the.
- Unique Automation: After adding water, the unique spiral.
- Durable, lightweight build
- Automatic water fill
- Recessed power switch
- Comes with two bits
- Comes with extra fuse
Featuring a high-power 4200 RPM (revolutions per minute) DC motor and a unique automation process, the Godora stained glass grinder kit can help users achieve the desired shape quickly. All you need to do is add water to the base, and its distinctive spiral design will automatically draw water into the grinding bit. As a result, you can save the time and effort required to perform the step manually.
Talking about the bits, I should also mention that this kit has two of them- ⅝-inch and 1-inch. And their interchangeable design means you can use the same kit to work with different thicknesses of stained glasses. I also observed that the rigged grinding base reduced friction and helped me maintain a firm grip while holding the glass for better precision.
We have also found from using this product that it has a wide baffle design to reduce splashing the glass mixed liquid from traveling too far. The brand claims this feature can protect your eyes and the surfaces around the grinder. But I am not too sure of this, as the sides may still result in considerable splashing, this did not happen in our tests though.
The recessed power switch is a good way to reduce the chances of accidental power cuts, and the kit also includes a spare fuse for emergencies. Plus, the brand has backed this kit with a satisfaction policy, so buyers can contact customer service in case of any issues.
Motor Speed: 4200 RPM | Power Source: Corded electric | Bit Size: ⅝ and 1-inch | Spare Fuse: Yes
Best Budget Pick- Sylphid Portable Mini Glass Grinder
- Transparent baffle to reduce splashing
- Recessed switch prevents electric conduction
- Auto water fill feature
- Sturdy exterior
Drawing from experience, this unit may be worth considering if you’re looking for a stained glass grinder kit on a budget. It has many similar features to that of its predecessor, like the high-speed 4200 RPM DC motor. Similarly, its auto water fill function works just as well, helping you save a few dollars on the purchase.
However, it comes with only one bit (5/8-inch), which won’t likely be suitable if you have to work on glass projects with varying thicknesses.
At first glance, I wasn’t expecting much from this unit, primarily due to its humble design. But it didn’t take me many trials run to comprehend the durability our investigation demonstrated, b esides, the lightweight structure makes it easy to move around your rooms or workshop, provided there’s a 110v power outlet in the vicinity.
The recessed power switch is located on the right side of the grinder, with the fuse below it. You will also get a replacement fuse that’s easy to install should the existing malfunction. Finally, this grinder kit comes in 4 color variations, so you can choose the one that best matches your aesthetics!
Motor Speed: 4200 RPM | Power Source: Corded electric | Bit Size: ⅝-inch | Spare Fuse: Yes
Best For Beginners- Gryphon Gryphette Glass Grinder
- Compact build
- Omnidirectional motor
- Accepts standard bits
- Comes with a ¾-inch bit
People new to stained glass grinding would want a simple kit that helps them achieve different shaped-edges without much effort. And if you, too, are in the same boat, based on our firsthand experience, the Gryphon Gryphette glass grinder may fit the bill.
At the helm of this compact unit is an omnidirectional 3600 motor with decent speed to help with most beginners’ projects. Keep in mind, though, that the work surface isn’t too wide, so don’t try to shape bigger glass pieces. Otherwise, you may lose control of the process, damaging the piece and, perhaps, injuring your finger.
Another thing to note is that this glass grinder kit doesn’t have an auto water fill feature. That is to say, you need to lubricate the grinder head with a wet sponge for grinding glass. But this isn’t a caveat for me, considering it’s an entry-level model.
As its peers mentioned above, this unit also comes with a fast-acting spare fuse that goes below the recessed power switch. And although the kit includes a ¾-inch bit, it accepts all standard bits so you can easily work with glass projects of varying thicknesses.
Last but not least, the zero maintenance design can make it suitable for people on the go.
Motor Speed: 3600 RPM | Power Source: Corded electric | Bit Size: 3/4-inch | Spare Fuse: Yes
Best Premium Grinder Kit- Gryphon Convertible Stained Glass Grinder
- REVOLUTIONARY ADVANCE IN COMFORT. By simply rotating the.
- BUILT-IN ELECTRIC PUMP WITH SPONGELESS COOLING. A new.
- Convertible work surface
- Can help reduce neck strain
- Spongless cooling electric pump
- Comes with two bits
If you’re on the lookout for a more ‘advanced’ stained glass grinder and don’t mind extending your budget from it, then here’s another product from Gryphon you may want to check out.
With a 3000 RPM motor and practically ‘all bits’ compatibility, it aims to help users accomplish intricate finishes easily. But honestly, I did expect the motor to be a little more powerful, especially considering the premium price point of the model.
Now, let me tell you what makes this unit convertible. Well, by just rotating the base, you can utilize the highlight of this grinder, aka its inclined workspace. Not only does this allow users to grind the glass while sitting, but the angled surface also reduces the strain on your neck if you choose to work while standing, in the group tests our team found this feature to be an excellent feature And you can use it traditionally as well by keeping the work surface horizontal.
The auto water-fill feature, in this case, is an integrated electric pump equipped with spongeless cooling that ensures a constant flow of water to the grinder head, no matter the saw orientation. over, the reinforced cooling may help expand the service life of the grinding bit.
Last but not least, you will get two grinding bits (1-inch and ¼-inch) with the package.
Motor Speed: 3000 RPM | Power Source: Corded electric | Bit Size: 1-inch and ¼- inch | Spare Fuse: No
Best For Portability- Anbull Stained Glass Grinder Machine
- 【Why choose our glass grinder?】With our Anbull 2022.
- 【Strong Motor Safe Design】Strong motor equipped.
- 4200 RPM motor
- Spiral bit base design
- Auto water-fill
- Wide working surface
Having tried a grinder operating on a 4200 RPM motor, I wanted to see how this unit from Anbull with the same motor speed performs. And it’s safe to say that it didn’t function too differently after putting it to the test, however, after a couple of runs, the grinder did show a more refined polish and an easier, effortless experience thanks to its high RPM we always finished the testing tasks faster according to our test logs.
Firstly, the motor housing is equipped with water barriers that protect it from moisture- a feature you don’t get to see too often in stained glass grinders in this price range. On top of that, the distinct spiral base design of the grinding bits can suck up water in the bits pretty smoothly to automatically flush the grinding dust.
And unlike the Gryphon Gryphette stained glass grinder, it has a sufficiently wide work surface that ensures better grip and versatility for your glass projects. You can also carry and store it anywhere, thanks to the compact yet durable build of the machine.
Furthermore, the acrylic baffle reduces the chances of the water and glass bits splashing, making for a safe operation. But putting this machine together can be a hassle for first-timers, as the assembly instructions aren’t very clear, the effort is well worth it however.
I was relieved to find that, unlike its predecessor, this unit comes with a replacement fuse. Plus, the brand offers a 12-month exchange or return policy for any defects or malfunctions.
Motor Speed: 4200 RPM | Power Source: Corded electric | Bit Size: ⅝ and 1-inch | Spare Fuse: Yes
Best Durable Design- Lifancy Stained Glass Grinder
- 5/8″ 1″ : The glass grinder is equipped with two diamond.
- Unique Waterbed Design : The grinding head base adopts the.
- Rustproof ABS material build
- Smooth grinding with auto water fill
- No leak switch
- Two grinding bits included
The Lifancy stained glass grinder is another budget-friendly option I came across during my research that doesn’t require you to compromise on your utility. It’s made from rust-proof ABS material that can take a blow or two, so you don’t have to look for replacements even when using this unit regularly.
The grinding head base is designed after the working principle of a screw pump, meaning it will automatically pull water into the bit to remove glass particles. This, in turn, will provide a smoother grinder experience for even edges, irrespective of the shape you’re aiming for.
As for safety, the acrylic bezel and protected switch design keep the chances of mishaps at bay. You can easily assemble the unit by following the instructions in the manual, as there isn’t any technical aspect involved. But I did take more time to figure out the installation of the drill bits. And until I did, the grinding glass produced an annoying rattle.
You will find two grinding bits (⅝ and 1-inch) in the package, which can also be used for ceramic and marble (besides glass).
Motor Speed: Not specified | Power Source: Corded electric | Bit Size: ⅝ and 1-inch | Spare Fuse: Yes
Best For Mid-Range Budget- Inland Craft Wiz Glass Grinder
- Inland Craft’s WizCG glass grinder is a top choice for the.
- Includes one 3/4″ diameter, 100# diamond grinding bit and.
- Compatible with standard electric outlets
- Rust and impact-resistant body
- Comes with two grinding bits
- Compact design
The Inland Craft glass grinder is another versatile unit that can be used for glass and lapidary projects. Sporting an elegant design that will suit any workshop or garage, its small footprint won’t take up much space while effectively getting the job done.
This unit runs on a 115V motor and can be easily plugged into any standard electric outlet in your home or garage. over, the grinding chamber is resistant to impact and rust, making it easier to travel with. But the weight is more than the other options I have tried so far, which may be problematic if you have mobility issues or need to travel light.
Apart from that, the wide work surface is a plus, as it helps with smooth hand movements without the user worrying about losing grip at any time. This isn’t an automatic model, though, so you’d need to dip the sponge in water to lubricate the grinder bit. However, I don’t really mind the absence of the feature at its reasonable price, this is a great disadvantage for professional use through.
Like most other kits mentioned on this list today, this unit also comes with two grinding bits (¾ and ¼-inch), and it’s compatible with other standard bits.
Motor Speed: 3550 RPM | Power Source: Corded electric | Bit Size: ¾ and ¼-inch | Spare Fuse: No
Best Stained Glass Grinders Comparison Table
|Godora Stained Glass Grinder
|⅝ and 1-inch
|Sylphid Portable Mini Glass Grinder
|Gryphon Gryphette Glass Grinder
|Gryphon Convertible Stained Glass Grinder
|1-inch and ¼-inch
|Anbull Stained Glass Grinder Machine
|⅝ and 1-inch
|Lifancy Stained Glass Grinder
|⅝ and 1-inch
|Inland Craft Wiz Glass Grinder
|¾ and ¼-inch
Buying Guide For The Best Stained Glass Grinders
Before warping up this guide, let me quickly discuss a few factors that will help you make the right pick, things that I have discovered through trial and error while testing these glass grinders.
As you may have figured out going through my reviews, the speed of a stained glass grinder is essentially the speed of its motor, measured in RPM. The higher the motor speed, the faster you can shape and finish stained glass with less effort. Besides, high-speed grinders can help achieve better precision and finishes.
As such, stained glass grinders are typically available in motor speeds ranging from 3000 to 7500 RPM. Motor speeds of less than 3300 are considered suitable for grinding small glass pieces that don’t require much precision. Likewise, grinders ranging between 3300 and 3600 RPM can help you get through medium to large pieces with better precision.
However, if you’re looking for optimum precision and seamless finishes for large glass pieces, I’d suggest going for models with more than 3600 RPM, according to our testing logs, this will have your time but will also save re-runs considerably and prevent material losses.
Glass grinders come with a manual or automatic cooling mechanism, so you can choose the one that best suits your requirements (and budgets).
While manual cooling grinders require users to place a wet sponge behind the grinding bit that keeps it from overheating, automatic models pull water to the bit from the water reservoir below. This process is achieved through a pump, which ensures a steady water flow to the bit.
If you’re still on the learning curve, I’d suggest going for the latter for ease of operation. How often you use the stained glass grinder should have the biggest say in this.
The workspace (or working base) of a grinder is an important feature to consider. If the surface is too small, you may not be able to accommodate the glass pieces properly, resulting in uneven finishes. However, maneuvering the glass piece, especially near the grinding bit, will be difficult if it’s too big.
You can easily find out the dimensions of the workspace on the package, so keep an eye on it to ensure you don’t face any issues later.
Electric glass grinders like the ones I have reviewed today will generally require assembly. Hence, it’d be better to go for a model that comes with all the required tools like:
Stained Glass Grinders FAQs
Stained glass grinders usually come with diamond-coated grinding wheels, which are suitable for gently grinding or cleaning and cutting stained glass while facilitating optimum precision. But other grinders, like the ones for metal or wood, will employ too much force, thereby damaging the glass piece. You may observe large cracks or even see the glass shatter completely under that much force. Hence, I’d strongly recommend getting a glass stained grinder for stained glass projects.
Yes, you can use a stained glass grinder for different projects, such as smoothening the edges of fused glass pieces or shaping mosaics. Other than that, these machines can be used to achieve intricate finishes on glass jewelry and glass sculptures.
Firstly, ensure you wipe the grinder (including the grinding wheel and reservoir) with a clean damp cloth to remove debris after every use. And store it properly in a clean and dry place with a cover to prevent dirt from accumulating on the parts. You should also lubricate the moving parts (like the shaft and grinding bit base) regularly to keep them optimally functional. Lastly, it’s important to use the grinder by strictly following the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any issues.
After testing out these grinders, for me, the Godora stained glass grinder takes the first position due to its ease of use and high-power motor, which can be suitable for both pros and DIYers.
A close second is the Sylphid portable mini glass grinder that offers a satisfactory performance without burning a hole in your However, you may check out the other options, too, as I didn’t find any significant disadvantages while testing them.
Best Stained Glass Grinders For Beginners
But if you are making stained glass Windows or another form of glass art it’s crucial to make pieces of exactly the same size.
You can get roughly the right shape by using a diamond cutter. But you will need a glass grinder if you want smooth edges or need to small changes to individual pieces.
Is this your first time buying a glass grinder?
Then keep reading to learn everything you need to know before purchase.
Best grinders for stained glass
1 Glastar All Star 8 – Best glass grinder
Glaster is a popular brand when it comes to glass grinders. And their All Star 8 model in particular has been popular among both beginners and professionals.
It has many special features that you can’t find anywhere else that will make your life much easier.
Let’s start with the motor which has 42 ounce per inch of torque, resulting in an RPM of 3560. While at the same time producing minimal noise.
over, the the All Star 8 has a bigger working area compared to most other models. Thanks to this 11″x13″ work surface, you will be able to work on both small and big projects.
Most high-end stained glass grinders will come with a range of bonus features. And the All Star 8 is not exception.
It comes with an scratch resistant shield to keep your eyes safe, an accessory drawer to easily store all your extra bits, and a coolant drain to speed up your workflow.
The 5-year warranty also lets you buy with confidence and shows that Glastar stands behind their products.
It isn’t hard to see why the All Star 8 is a great grinder for stained glass. It gets high grades in all the important categories and even comes with a ton of extras.
While at the same time it’s only slightly more expensive than mid-range glass grinders. If you are able to invest money in a stained glass grinder, this model would be ideal.
2 Gryphon Gryphette – Cheap glass grinder
It’s not always possible to buy the best grinder. Especially if you are living on a tight budget or if you are hesitant to invest too much in a new hobby.
Don’t worry, there are cheap glass grinders available as well. However, if you choose one of these you shouldn’t expect stellar performance.
Yes, they will grind your glass, but the motor will be weaker, the size will be smaller, and there will be little to no extra features.
However, if that is what you are looking for, then the affordable Gryphon Gryphette is a good choice.
Gryphon is well known as a brand for producing great grinders. And with the Gryphette they managed to combine good performance with a low price.
The motor is 0.67 amp and goes up to 3000 RPM. Not the most impressive specs but it works. Although grinding might take a little longer than models with stronger motors.
The work surface is admittedly a little small (6.75″x6.75″). This makes a pretty difficult to work on bigger pieces of glass and can be uncomfortable for people with big hands.
However, since most beginners work on small projects the size doesn’t have to be a huge disadvantage.
People short on space might actually see it as an advantage. The combination of small size and light weight (only 6 pounds!) makes the Gryphette very easy to store or travel with.
All in all, the Gryphette is maybe not the most impressive performance wise, but offers great value for money. If you want a basic stained glass grinder without all the bells and whistles, the Gryphette is for you.
3 Glastar Super Star II – Honorable mention
The Super Star II is another solid stained glass grinder by Glastar.
This model is considered to be Glastar’s entry-level option.
Its specs are less impressive than the All Star 8. However, most beginners might not really notice the difference in performance.
With a torque of 19 ounce per inch, the motor isn’t as powerful as professional grinders. However, the motor is pretty quiet and the grinder can reach up to 3450 RPM.
over, the work area is 8″x9″ in size, which is enough for most beginners.
Although the the Super Star II is considered to be an entry-level product, it still comes with many of the same features as the All Star G8.
There is a useful cooling drain, and accessory drawer to keep all your drill bits safe, and a splash-guard that will keep your room clean.
Both in terms of performance and price, the Super Star II falls between the All Star G8 and Gryphette. It is a good option both for people who are just starting out and hobbyists with more experience underneath their belt.
4 Gryphon convertible grinder
At first glance the Gryphon Convertible grinder doesn’t look very different from it’s competitors.
However, this particular model has one trick up it’s sleeve that you won’t find anywhere else.
The secret can be found in the base.
The Grinder for Stained Glass Grinding
By simply rotating the base you can change the grinding surface from a horizontal to an inclined position.
This might not sound very impressive, but tit makes a huge difference. This simple feature lets you grind while either standing or sitting. And using the inclined surface is more comfortable and less fatiguing.
So for people working on their glass grinder for long stretches at a time the Gryphon Convertible is great.
The engine has an impressive torque of 67 ounce per inch, which is even higher than the Glastar glass grinders. However, the Gryphon convertible grinder only goes up to an RPM of 3000, which isn’t as high as I was hoping for.
In terms of size, the Gryphon convertible glass grinder is quite big. With a working area of 13.5″x10.5″, it is comparable to the Glastar All Star 8.
It also comes with some basic features such as a protective face shield, electric pump for fast cooling, and 2 different sized grinding bits.
Compared to the other stained glass grinders mentioned on this list, the Gryphon convertible is definitely the most comfortable to work. So if you need to work with a glass grinder for long stretches at a time, you should consider buying this grinder.
Learned Stained Glass Series: Grinding Stained Glass & Different Bits Used
5 Inland Wiz CG stained glass grinder
The Inland Wiz CG grinder is a bit of a hit or miss for people. It has some clear pros and cons, so you need to know what you are looking for.
In terms of power it’s quite impressive, going as fast as 3550 RPM with 30 ounce per inch of torque. Which comes close to the All Star G8.
So you hardly have to put pressure on the grinder head to get smooth edges.
over, since the top tray can come off completely, it’s super easy to clean the reservoir. Which can save you a lot of time between projects.
However, the lack of any bonus features that you can expect from most high-end grinders can be a big drawback for some people.
For example, since there is no splash guard dirty water can spray anywhere. So don’t use this grinder inside your house without extra precautions.
It also doesn’t come with a face shield. So to keep yourself safe you will have to use a pair of protective goggles.
In short, the motor of this Inland grinder a respectable punch. But some corners were cut to keep the price low which might make it less enjoyable to work with.
However, if you want a powerful stained glass grinder for little money, this model will be exactly what you want.
Buyer’s guide: how to choose a glass grinder
Buying a glass grinder for the first time really doesn’t need to be difficult
If you are looking for the best glass grinder, go with the All Star G8.
If you are on a low budget and are ok with a cheap grinder with no extras, then the Gryphette is a good option.
Any of the other grinders mentioned above will get you something in between those two.
But I know what you are thinking.
You don’t just want some generic advice on the best stained glass grinders. You want to know which one is the best for you specifically.
If that’s the case, you will have to keep the following factors in mind.
Rotations per minute (RPM)
The RPM indicates how fast the grinder is spinning. Most grinders will have an RPM between 2800 and 3600.
In general, the higher the RPM the better. Since it will help smooth the glass edges and remove excess material.
However, if you want a good indication of performance you always want to look at the RPM and the torque together.
The torque indicates how powerful a grinder is and how fast it can keep rotating even when in contact with the stained glass. Normally the torque is measured in ounces per inch.
When talking about the surface area we mean the area on which you lay your glass pieces while grinding (also known as the table).
Ideally you want to small surface area if you are working with small glass pieces, and a big area if you are working with bigger glass pieces.
So most professional will have glass grinders in several sizes or a model that can change the surface area.
However, if you are only buying a single glass grinder, I would advise you to go for a model with a big surface area.
One of the main differences between average and great glass grinders is the accessories that come with them.
Having the right accessories can make working with a glass grinder much easier, faster, and safer.
Some examples of common accessories include:
- Extra grinder bits
- Face shield
- Foot pedal
- Multiple tables
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Buying guide for best glass grinders
Working with glass can produce breathtaking creations that no other medium can match, but few artists choose to pursue this discipline. It requires precision and patience, and there’s a little bit of risk involved, but if you’re serious about shaping glass, you will eventually need a glass grinder.
A glass grinder has a rapidly spinning diamond bit that allows you to file down the glass to the exact shape you want. The best models are durable, high-powered devices that have a number of safety features. If you’re a beginner or a part-time crafter, you won’t need to spend as much as someone who uses a glass grinder every day.
The key to grinding glass is to be gentle. If you push too hard, the glass will chip along the edges and could also break.
Before purchasing a glass grinder, you need to think about what size glass you’ll most often be shaping and how frequently you’ll be using your machine. Those two factors will help you find the glass grinder that is best for your needs.
The first thing you want to consider is the size of the glass grinder’s work surface. This is the area where you place the glass to grind it. If you mostly work with larger pieces of glass, you want a surface area large enough to support the glass so it doesn’t break. If you only work on smaller pieces, you should be fine with a smaller model. Some glass grinders have a large surface area with a smaller, removable second-story workspace so they can accommodate a variety of sizes of glass. If you prefer to work on an incline, look for a glass grinder with an adjustable working surface.
The power of a glass grinder is torque, which is expressed in ounces per inch. If you’re only interested in working with smaller pieces of glass, you will be fine with a model that has a torque value between 20 and 29. If you anticipate doing heavy-duty work, you need a glass grinder with a torque of at least 40 ounces per inch.
Revolutions per minute
The revolutions per minute (rpm) tell you how fast the drill bit is spinning. The faster the diamond head spins, the smoother the grind. Around 3,000 rpm is a satisfactory speed. Beginners can go lower (the mid-2000s), but if you dip too low, you won’t be happy with the results. The higher the revolutions per minute, the better the quality. Look for a glass grinder with the highest rpm rating that is within your budget.
You need protection to keep the glass particles from damaging your eyes while you work. If your glass grinder doesn’t have a face shield, at the very least you need to purchase and use safety goggles.
Don’t rub your eyes until you’re finished grinding and have thoroughly washed your hands. Hands get covered in glass particles that you do not want in your eyes.
Glass grinder features
Most glass grinders come with only what you need to get started, but some include a few extra bells and whistles. Following are a few of the more desirable features to consider as you shop.
- Dual-bit option: You’ll be thankful for the convenience of a motor shaft that’s long enough to allow you to stack two different-size bits on it at the same time. The smaller bit sits on top. In this case, the glass grinder has a detachable second-story working space to facilitate using the upper bit.
- Additional bits: Most glass grinders include one large and one small bit. As you gain experience in your new hobby, you’ll find that there are many specialty bits, each designed for a specific purpose: drill bit, groove bit, and ripple bit, just to name a few. Some grinders might include additional bits, but it’s likely you’ll have to purchase these items separately.
If you need to grind a straight edge, you won’t be able to do it without a guide.
As you begin to accumulate more and more bits, you’ll see the value of an accessories drawer built into your glass grinder so you can keep everything in one place.
A foot pedal isn’t a necessity, but it’s a convenience. If you prefer using a pedal to turn your glass grinder on and off, look for a model with this accessory.
Glass grinder prices
All glass grinders might look similar, but the cost is a very important consideration because, in many cases, it reveals the power under the hood.
Inexpensive: If you’re just interested in glass etching, a handheld rotary tool is available for under 100. These powerful tools allow you to create artwork directly on the glass, but they aren’t suitable for larger needs, such as the shaping you’d use for stained-glass work.
Mid-range: In the 100 to 150 range, you can find a quality glass grinder that is good for the occasional hobbyist. These models have lower revolutions per minute and less torque than higher-priced machines, but they’re still effective tools.
Expensive: If you’re doing regular glass work, you will appreciate a tool that allows you to work faster and has more durable parts. These glass grinders range from 150 to 300, but the power driving these tools can greatly increase your productivity.
If you’d like to engrave glass with a laser instead of a grinding tool, that option is available, but it might cost up to 100 times more. If you have a limitless budget, that could be an option for you.
Q. What safety gear do I need when using a glass grinder?
A. Eye protection is not negotiable. Glass chips will launch from the grinder and can damage your eyes. You need a glass grinder with a shield to keep the bits of glass contained. Safety goggles will keep the hazardous material out of your eyes but not your hair and face. Additionally, you want a mask to keep from breathing in the glass dust and an apron to keep the dust from getting on your clothes.
Q. I keep getting tears and cuts and dry fingers when working with glass. Any suggestions?
A. You can wrap your fingertips with surgical tape to help prevent injuries. Alternatively, there are finger gloves that you can slide over your fingertips to help protect them. Be sure to use a healing moisturizer to prevent painful, dry cracking on your fingers, too.
Q. What is the sponge for?
A. The sponge works in conjunction with the reservoir. It wicks up water and applies it to the bit to help keep the glass dust to a minimum and prolong the life of your bits.
Glass Grinding Guidelines
This is part of a series of posts about tips I’ve learned while working on my projects; hopefully they will be helpful to those just starting out. These lists aren’t meant to cover everything, and if you have additional tips, please share in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев!
Last time, I talked about glass cutting; the next step after all your pieces are cut it the grinding. This topic should be relevant whether your interest is in stained glass, fused glass, or just in using stained glass sheets in your mosaic projects.
My Essential Glass Grinding Tools
Of course, the number 1 essential tool here is a grinder. I’m sure many grinders out there work great, so I’m not suggesting one over another, but the only grinder I’ve owned is my Gryphon Gryphette grinder, and it is great! It’s small, but I haven’t found that it’s too small for any of my projects, and it’s perfect for my small workspace.
You can buy an optional face shield that will mount over the work area; I don’t have it, but I always wear safety glasses. In fact, I store them as shown in the picture; on top of the grinder. that way I never forget to put them on. It’s super important to wear them, as little shards can fly around, especially for certain textured glass, and especially when you have a new bit. I like my eyes so I never grind without my safety glasses!
I clean out the water reservoir of my grinder every 4 or 5 projects. It always amazes me the amount of glass dust that collects in there.
The grinder is the main tool you need, but it needs new bits sometimes. I use these bits for my grinder, and they last a good long time. You also need good old H2O to fill the water reservoir (you can see my old Nalgene bottle in the background here. Our slop sink is in an inconveient spot, so I use it for my water needs while working. And last, you need little bits of sponge to insert behind the grinder bit to keep everything wet while you’re working.
So that’s it for the tools; on to the grinding tips:
My first tip is in the order of the pieces you choose to grind. You’re always going to have to do some touching-up to make all of the individual pieces fit together well, but the main pieces of your design will need to have specific shapes in order for the panel to come out the way you want. So, I always start with the “essential” pieces to grind first, and get those to look exactly how I want. Then, I grind the ones that are part of the background. and if they don’t fit perfectly in their spots, I can always remove a little here or there and it doesn’t matter since it was just a background piece anyway.
For example, check out the piece to the right, which had just gone through the grinding stage when this photo was taken. I ground the sun, boat, and frog first, then made the background yellow/orange, blue, and green fit around those main areas of the design.
This is probably more of a cutting tip, but one thing I find to really speed up how quickly I can make a project, as well as minimizing cost (grinder bits are pricey!), is to really make sure I’ve cut away as much glass as I can before I grind. I want to make sure I only have to do a quick pass with the grinder to remove those sharp edges, and MAYBE do a little extra work on a tricky inner curve.
But poking around on YouTube, I found videos that tell you not to even try cutting away the glass on an inner curve, and instead to grind out the whole area! You’ll go crazy, it will take forever, and your husband might threaten your life if you don’t make that grinder noise stop! (The last happens often enough to me even with my strategy to maximize cutting and minimize grinding. ) Take the time to get comfortable with glass scoring and breaking, trust me, it will be worth it!
Change/Move Grinding Bit
Grinding bits wear out, but they do so slowly, so sometimes I don’t notice that the area of the bit I’m working with is getting dull until it’s doing nothing at all. I usually put on a new bit so that the bottom part is the grinding surface, then slowly move it down the shaft as it gets dull.
Work With Direction of Rotation
Grinding bits rotate counter-clockwise on the grinder (at least on mine, and google says this is how most of them work). So, if I am pushing my piece to the left under the spinning bit (against the direction of spin), it will grind away more of the glass than if I push it to the right, with the direction of spin. This is useful to know, because if you have a big chunk of glass to grind out, then going against the spin will have more of an effect than going with the spin. And then do the opposite when you’re mostly done but just want to take that final smoothing pass.
Perfection is the Last Step!
Last tip. as you are grinding each piece and fitting them together, don’t worry if it’s not perfect. I’ll do my first pass at grinding, and often still have a bunch of pieces that aren’t fitting nicely. Once I’ve given each piece one go at the grinder, I’ll look over the whole thing and figure out where I still need to trim away some glass. By waiting until the end, I find that I can make sure I’m trimming those background pieces and not the ones where the shapes are more critical.
Those are my top 5 grinding tips! The final step after I finish grinding a piece is to see if it fits in the bigger glass puzzle; before I do that, I always dry it off so it doesn’t get my pattern paper all wet and blotchy. And I keep a Sharpie close by; if I end up needing to trim a piece down in multiple spots or don’t want to lose my place, I’ll mark the problem area with the Sharpie, do another grinding pass, and usually the water in the grinder is enough to clean up that Sharpie line.