The 4 Best Stained Glass Grinders For 2021
A quality glass grinder can be one of the most useful tools in your shop whether you’re a beginning stained glass artist or a seasoned professional. Getting the perfect shaping on a piece of glass is so satisfying, and can help improve the look and feel of any project.
That said, if you’re a complete beginner, you may want to hold off on purchasing a glass grinder until you’re sure you plan to stick with it. Glass grinders are somewhat expensive, ranging from 100. 500 or more. It’s also common for beginners to go with pre-cut glass kits, which don’t need additional shaping. Finally, there’s little a grinder has to offer that can’t be accomplished with a little bit (ok, maybe more like a lot!) of elbow grease.
Once you’re sure a glass grinder is a fit for your needs, we think it should be one of your earliest additions to your toolkit. Below, we’ll give you a quick overview of our picks for the best stained glass grinders on the market today. We’ll also go over the attributes you need to look at when choosing the right grinder for you. Finally, we’ll give an in depth review of each grinder on our list of top picks for 2020, and sum up everything we’ve learned.
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Stained Glass Grinder Reviews
|Gryphon Gryphette Glass Grinder||Best Entry-Level||3000||N/A||6.75″x6.75″|
|Inland Wiz CG||Best Mid-Range||3550||30||11″x10″|
|Glastar All Star G8||Best High-End||3560||42||11″x13″|
|Glastar SuperStar II||Honorable Mention||3450||19||8″x9″|
Gryphon Gryphette Glass Grinder
Pros: Decent power for the price-point. Small footprint. Great for beginners.Cons: Not suitable for large jobs or sustained and heavy use.Our Rating: 4.7 / 5
The Gryphon Gryphette is our top pick for entry level glass grinder, and is fantastic for beginners. It has a small footprint, which is great if you’re short on space. The device is powerful enough for most beginners and smaller projects, and will last you for some time as you move up in experience in complexity.
The key list of features include:
- .67 AMP DC Motor
- 3000 RPM.
- 6.75” X 6.75” working surface.
- Includes standard 3 / 4” bit.
- Standard 5 / 16” shaft accepts all standard bits.
- 4.78 lbs unit weight.
At the entry level price point, the Gryphon Gryphette is the clear winner. It’s got enough power to get the job done until you’re moving on to bigger projects. The grinding area is for pieces up to 4-6”, if you remove the guide. One common complaint is the instruction manual can be confusing for beginners, so we recommend checking out a YouTube guide if you have problems at setup.
All in all, if you’re just getting started out or are on a tight budget, this grinder won’t let you down!!
Inland Wiz CG Glass Grinder
Pros: High RPM and decent torque, at a mid range price point.Cons: Lack of deflectors out of the box can lead to messes.Our Rating: 4.6 / 5
For more experienced artists, or those with higher budgets, our pick for best mid-range stained glass grinder is the Inland Wiz CG. It has a larger working area than the Grypette, and comes with additional torque and RPMs that’ll provide a bit more “umph” for bigger jobs. While it’s not the most powerful grinder on the marke, it does have a balance of price and power that will meet the needs of most intermediate level users.
The key list of features include:
- 30 Oz-In torque for medium sized jobs.
- 3550 RPM.
- 11”x10” surface.
- Includes 1 / 4” and 3 / 4” grinding bits.
- 9 lbs unit weight.
If you’re serious about the art of stained glass, but don’t have professional level requirements, this is your best bet. It has solid technical specs, including power and surface area for bigger jobs than the entry level recommendation.
All in all, once you’re ready to move beyond the entry level grinders, we think this one deserves your strong consideration!
Glastar All Star G8
Pros: Huge number of practice questions and exams.Cons: Not as comprehensive as other resources on this list.Our Rating: 5.0 / 5
If you’re looking for the absolute top of the line, our hands down pick is the Glastar All Star G8. It has a whopping 42 Ounce-Inch torque, which can handle any job you can throw at it. It also boasts a massive 11×13 inch working area, and a hefty 3560 RPM.
The key list of features include:
- 42 Oz-In torque for any size jobs.
- 3560 RPM.
- 11”x13” surface.
- Includes 1” and 1 / 4” grinding bits.
- 11.9 lbs unit weight.
It’s certainly not the cheapest unit out there, but considering the excellent list of specs, it’s still a fantastic value if you’re in need of a top end model.
If you’re ready to take the plunge on a top end unit, the All Star G8 should definitely be it. It also has an amazing number of additional features, top of the line cooling, and everything a professional needs. Consider making this unit the last stained glass grinder you ever need to buy.
Glastar SuperStar II
Pros: Great Mid-Range speed, size, and power.Cons: Less max power than our pick for best mid-range grinder.Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
Our last pick didn’t quite take the top spot in any of our categories, but we felt it deserved a nod due to it’s popularity. The Glastar SuperStar II is a Mid-Range glass grinder from the same brand as our top pick in the high-end class. It has an excellent 3450 RPM, a sizable 8×9 inch grinding space, and plenty of great features.
The key list of features include:
- 19 Oz-In torque for any size jobs.
- 3450 RPM.
- 8”x9” surface.
- Includes 3 / 4” and 1 / 4” grinding bits.
- 7.3 lbs unit weight.
The reason we didn’t pick this as our top mid-range entry boils down to 1 thing… torque! It’s got a respectable 19 Oz-In motor, but doesn’t quite compete with the 30 oz-in of our top mid-range pick. That said, if you’re a big fan of the brand, or just looking for an alternative mid-range grinder, this is still a fantastic unit that won’t disappoint.
Stained Glass Grinder Buyer’s Guide
You’ll find a pretty broad range of when looking at stained glass grinders. So what’s the difference between them? What makes them a value? The main attributes you need to keep in mind are:
- Torque: The force with which the grinder bit spins.
- Speed: The rate with which the grinder bit spins.
- Size: The area of the grinding table and the device itself.
- Cooling: The method for keeping the bit cool.
- Safety: Features which help protect the operator.
- Accessories: Supplemental items like grinder bits, drawers, foot pedals, etc.
- Motor Noise: The amount of noise a particular motor makes.
- Price: How much the grinder costs!
Torque is the amount of force with which the grinder bit spins. A grinder which has lots of power is capable of maintaining the bit’s speed when load is applied (i.e. it’s grinding a piece) better than one with low power. The ability to maintain that speed is important to ensure fast, high quality work.
Glass grinder torque is measured and expressed in “inch-ounces”, and values typically range from 10-50 (higher is better). Generally, torque values can be categorized as:
This is one of the most important attributes to consider when you look for a grinder, and a general rule of thumb is to buy the one with the highest inch-ounces you can afford.
The speed (measure in “revolutions per minute” or RPM) is another important attribute to consider when choosing the best glass grinder for you. Higher speed grinders (with high torque) are able to perform their work quickly, with less effort on your part. Higher speeds also help to give a smoother finish to your edges, and more precise shaping.
Glass grinder speeds (in RPM) generally range from around 3000 to 3700. Higher values are better, a general categorization is:
For intermediate and professional glass artists, speed should be weighed heavily when making you purchase decisions.
The size of the device itself and the surface area should also be considered when choosing a glass grinder. Device dimensions will affect where you are able to store and operate the grinder. Choose a size that fits your space!
The other key factor is the working area (or table) size. If you’re grinding on large pieces of glass, you will need the space to accommodate it. If you do primarily small pieces, the extra table space can get in the way. Some units come with changeable tables of various sizes, which may suit your needs if you don’t stick to one size all the time.
It’s important when working with high friction processes like glass grinding, to keep the parts (both the grinder and the piece being worked on) cool. Most stained glass grinders use a reservoir containing water or other cooling liquid, fed through a sponge up to the grinding head. Others use a pump or other method to deliver clean water up to the bit without a sponge.
As you can imagine, pressing pieces of glass up against high speed grinder bits can be a dangerous activity. While you should always wear protective eyewear, hand protection, and clothing, some grinders also come with additional safety features like:
- Eye and face shields.
- Fast acting electrical fuses.
- Cooling and dust collection features.
Stained Glass making is not without its dangers, and you should strongly consider the extra value in strong safety features when you pick a grinder.
Most grinders have a wide array of accessories available or included at purchase. One of the most important accessories to consider are the grinding bits. High end bits can be quite expensive, and the size of the shaft the grinder accepts will determine which bits you’re able to use.
As mentioned above, other types of accessories include swappable tables, face shields, drawers to hold your bits and other items, and so on.
Different types of motors, the speed they’re operating at, and power generated can all impact the amount of noise a grinder makes while operating. If you’re working in an enclosed space like an apartment, this can be a major consideration you should account for.
Most glass grinder motors are DC powered, and the higher end models tend to be more noisy due to their increased speed and power. There are exceptions to this rule, where low end devices have poorly muffled or cheaper motors that are noisier even at lower speeds.
We generally don’t advise making noise the deciding factor in a purchasing decision. Investing in a pair of earplugs is generally a good alternative if you have sensitive ears.
Finally, price is the key factor in determining whether a particular grinder is a value for you and your unique needs. A quality glass grinder isn’t cheap! range from 100 on the entry-level end, to 300 or more at the high end.
All grinders at a similar price point are not created equal. Using the above considerations, you can easily figure out what the best grinder for your budget is. To recap our rules of thumb:
- Priority 1: get the most torque you can afford.
- Priority 2: get the most speed you can afford.
- Priority 3: get the one with the additional features and accessories you think are useful.
Conclusions: What’s The Best Stained Glass Grinder For You?
We’ve covered a ton of great info about what makes a stained glass grinder stand out above the rest. We’ve given our top recommendations for various price-points in the stained glass grinder market as of 2019. To recap:
|Inland Wiz CG|
|Glastar All Star G8|
|Glastar SuperStar II|
Ultimately, only you can decide which (if any) grinder is the best for your circumstances.
If you’re a novice stained glass worker, or on a tight budget, the Entry Level Gryphon Gryphette is a blend of low price and decent specs that will suit your needs for smaller projects and light use.
For intermediate level work, Inland Wiz CG has some impressive speed and power with a great working area suitable for bigger jobs. Mid range tend to be about 50% more than the entry level units, which is a decent value for the performance increase offered.
At the absolute top of the line level, our pick is the Glastar All Star G8. It has a tremendous amount of power and features, which will perform well on even the toughest jobs.
Finally, we mentioned the Glastar SuperStar II as another great mid-range unit with decent specs and popularity overall.
Remember, weigh your budget against the important performance specs (torque above all… and then speed), and pick the best one for your needs. Good luck, and go create something amazing!
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.
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.
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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The Best Stained Glass Grinders: 2022 Buyer’s Guide
A stained glass grinder can expand an artist’s capabilities to new levels. If you haven’t added a glass grinder to your collection of stained glass tools here are a few options to consider. For most artist the Galstar All Star G8 Grinder is the most capable glass grinder on the market with an array of features every stained glass artist will appreciate.
Picking the best stained glass grinder for your needs can be difficult, especially when there are so many different brands, specs and price points to choose from. Before you begin your search, I recommend determining exactly what you will be using the grinder for. If you are starting a new hobby and only expect to work on a few projects a year, then one of the lower-end models will most likely be your best option. However, if you were planning on doing a high volume of work, or something in a professional capacity, the higher-end models would be more appropriate.
Although there may be many stained glass tools and accessories used in the process of creating a glass art piece, a good glass grinder is probably the most important tool when creating intricate pieces. There are only so many possible cuts you can make with your glass saw or glass cutting system, the glass grinder will come in handy for removing material that may be too difficult to achieve by cutting.
Another major reason to you may need a stained glass grinder is for smoothing the edges of glass pieces before soldering them in place. You will find this is especially useful when you first learn how to make copper foil stained glass as it is really useful for fine adjustments you may need to do when you are ready to assemble your pattern of glass pieces and ensuring everything lines up properly.
After hours of research and trying out several products that are regarded as some of the best glass grinders for stained glass, I have identified several models across a range of and capabilities. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned stained glass artist, I have rounded up a list of the best grinders for stained glass work!
How To Choose: A Guide to Glass Grinders for Stained Glass
Glass grinders used for stained glass work have a few key areas of importance you should keep in mind when you are selecting one. I’ll quickly go over the important attributes and details so you can choose what will work best for you when creating glass art.
Stained Glass Grinder: How Should They Perform
- RPM (Rotations Per Minute): RPM, or Rotations Per Minute, tell you how fast the glass grinder bit is spinning. Values typically range from 2,850 to 3,600 rpm. The faster the rpm on your stained glass grinder, the better. Quicker rotations will help keep your glass edges smoother and will help push excess materials out of the way for a faster, more precise and efficient workflow.
Glass Grinders: Other Things To Consider
- COST: If you are like me, cost is one of the most important considerations when buying a grinder for stained glass. We would all love to get our hands on the best stained glass grinder money can buy. Unfortunately, that isn’t always an option, nor is it always the most practical choice for your needs. Here is a breakdown of what to expect from your stained glass grinder at different price points.
While there are many stained glass grinders to choose from, hopefully, this guide can serve as a starting point for your research. For even more information, visit the manufacturer websites or talk to professionals in your area. Good luck!
Glastar All Star G8 Glass Grinder Review
“Best Stained Glass Grinder with Professional Performance”
The All Star G8 Grinder is an extremely popular Glastar Grinder made for mid-level to professional use. While it is the most expensive glass grinder on this list, it offers an incredible number of features and added benefits that are hard to find elsewhere.
This particular Glastar grinder is extremely powerful with 42 ounce-inches of torque and 3,560 rpm. One of the most talked about highlights of this model is how quiet the advanced split capacitor motor is, helping the user stay focused with a quieter working environment.
It is also designed to make your life easier with a spacious 11” x 13” surface, which is 20 percent larger than most grinders on the market. This Glastar also has a built-in accessory drawer to help with organization and fast workflow. Other features include a scratch-resistant glass shield to protect your eyes while working, a coolant drain, and a five-year warranty.
If you have the extra cash, the Glastar All Star G8 Grinder comes with many features that would make all of your glass grinding projects run as smoothly and professionally as possible. It is jam-packed with features, and is highly recommend to everyone from mid-level glass grinders to professionals.
Glastar Super Star II Glass Grinder Review
“Best Glass Grinder for Price and Features”
The Glastar Super Star II Grinder comes in at the top of the “hobbyist” price point for stained glass grinders. It features incredible value, reliability, and is easy to use and set up.
Its key features include a very quiet motor that produces 19 ounce-inches of torque and 3,450 rpm. Its less powerful engine, combined with an 8” by 9” surface, make it an ideal glass grinder for hobbyists or individuals looking to cut smaller pieces of glass.
Despite being considered an entry-level glass grinder, the Glastar Super Star II offers many exciting features one might expect on higher-end models. They include a useful drain for cooling, a built-in accessory drawer for easy storage of bits and extraneous items, and a flexible splash-guard made of rubber. The Glastar Super Star II glass grinder also comes with a hefty five-year warranty.
If you are a hobbyist looking to fine-tune your skills with a glass grinder that is fun and easy to use, then the Glastar Super Star II comes highly recommended. You cannot go wrong with so many features and true reliability at a very affordable price.
Gryphon Gryphette Glass Grinder Review
“Best Glass Grinder for New Artists and Students”
The Gryphette Grinder is an affordable glass grinder that offers enthusiasts incredible value. It is ideal for hobbyists or students who want a great product without paying hundreds of dollars.
Its powerful.67 amp DC motor features a substantial 3000 rpm. It also features a 6.75” by 6.75” work surface. Additionally, one of the best assets of this Gryphette Grinder is that it is small and portable, weighing in at just six pounds! It also accepts all bit sizes, which makes it an extremely useful glass grinder for learning the ins and out of the trade.
If you are a student learning about stained glass grinding, or a hobbyist who enjoys occasional projects, then the Gryphette Grinder is an excellent and affordable option. It comes with a five-year warranty, and also features the option to add many affordable accessories as you build your craft. Definitely give the Gryphette a look if you need a good cheap stained glass grinder.
Power Max II Deluxe Grinder Review
“Best Mid-Level Glass Grinder”
The Power Max II Deluxe Grinder is a great one-stop shop for beginners and mid-level stained glass grinder enthusiasts. It is packed with all of the accessories you will need to get started including three different bit sizes, anti-seize lubricant, a foot pedal, and a face shield. Other benefits include a unique super sponge water cooling system, and ample space to work on the 9.5” x 9.5” table, which is a great compromise for working on both small and larger pieces of glass.
This particular glass grinder’s 2300 rpm is a little less than ideal, but it is still satisfactory for many users. This may not be the right option for you if you are looking to take on long-term projects, but it is a wonderful option if you work primarily with smaller pieces of glass or are new to the art of stain glass grinding.
Where the Power Max II Deluxe Grinder lacks in power, it makes up in usability, practicality, and value. If you are a beginner or intermediate enthusiast, this is the perfect one stop shop. And you can’t go wrong with a six-year warranty!
Gryphon Convertable Grinder Review
“Most Versatile Stained Glass Grinder”
The Gryphon Convertible Grinder is a workhorse of a machine with a FOCUS on comfort and practicality. One of its most unique features is a grinding surface that can morph from a flat position to an inclined position. While most grinders require you to be standing, this useful feature lets you sit for ultimate comfort. This is especially helpful for those looking to work for long periods at a time as it helps reduce strain on your back and neck.
Other features include an automatic electric pump with an optional sponge for cooling and a large 13.5” x 10.5” surface. It also comes with a versatile second story surface for optional use and a protective face shield. This is also one of the more powerful glass grinders in this price range. Its 1/5 horsepower motor produces 67 ounce-inches of torque and 3000 rpm for fast and accurate grinding.
I would recommend the Gryphon Convertible Grinder for those who are looking for a high-quality glass grinder with professional features that are both comfortable and reliable. This model comes with a five-year warranty.