The 8 Best Bench Grinders For Sharpening And Grinding
Be it for removing rust, sharpening the blade, cutting metal or smoothing the rough edges, bench grinder is a must-have tool for professionals and DIY’ers.
They are like a spinning grindstone and available in different wheel sizes (6-inch and 8-inch) with different power ratings.
Though they are simple tools, bench grinders have to be purchased with careful consideration. With so many options, it is can be tough choice to settle down with a choice.
If you are experiencing the same, we recommend checking out the main factors mentioned here.
Wheel Size: Different bench grinders differ from each other in terms of their wheel size (diameter of the grinding wheel). A 6-inch and 8-inch are two common wheel sizes available for bench grinders, in which 6-inch is designed for DIYers to sharpen, clean, polish and repair gears and tools. 8-inch is meant for professionals for complicated grinding tasks. 8-inch is a bit expensive, yet slower than the 6-inch model.
Motor Power: The inside motor of a grinder will affect its overall performance. The higher the motor power rating, the better and faster the machine will perform.
- A grinder with ½ or ¾ HP is required to perform low-intensity jobs, while a grinder with a 1 HP motor is essential to do heavy-duty projects.
- A 6-inch grinder has a motor with ¼ HP (around 2.1 amps power), whereas an 8-inch grinder has ¾ HP (around 5 amps power).
Speed: It is measured in terms of revolutions per minute (RPM), which depends mainly on the motor power. For cutting hardened steel or stronger metals, you need a grinder having a faster speed wheel with 3000 RPM, while for working with wood, you will require a slow speed grinder with 1750 RPM. Choose it wisely as per your work requirement.
For more information and detail specifications, we recommend you to read our “Buying Guide”. Using the same information, we are here with a list of some top-notch bench grinders after thorough analysis. Read on to know how to choose your best bench grinder as per your requirement.
Best Bench Grinders
Best Bench Grinders Reviews
1.Wen Bench Grinder
WEN is known for making affordable and budget power tools of all kinds, including a bench grinder for users who are on a budget.
The WEN 4276 bench grinder is present in the 1st position in this article as it is the cheapest option present here. Although, unlike other budget bench grinder options out there, this offers various handy things to the user. As a result, you get a high value for money with this bench grinder as it is decently powerful for a lot of users with its 6-inch grinding wheel size. It also means that the overall form factor of this bench grinder is quite small and compact.
As for its electric motor, it uses a 2.1 amp electric motor that is to be expected for the given price. This motor offers a decent motor speed rating of 3450 RPM that should be more than enough for the given grinding wheel size. Even though this is a budget bench grinder, you still get a 2-year long warranty with it that is always great to have. That being said, its build quality could have been certainly better.
- Motor power rating of 2.1 amps
- Grinding wheel size of 6 inch
- Motor speed rating of 3450 rounder per minute
- 2-year long warranty
- Small and compact form factor
- 40-watt power consumption rating
- Affordable price tag with various features for a high value for money
- Offers decent performance for a small and compact bench grinder
- Easy to use controls for adjusting grinding wheel speed
DeWALT Bench Grinder
DeWALT is one of the oldest brands of power tools out there that is known for making powerful and heavy-duty power tools of all sorts.
Fitting The New Wheels to my 6″ Bench Grinder
DeWALT’s DW758 bench grinder is present in the 2nd position in this article as it is one of the most powerful options present in this article. This is due to the reason that it offers a highly powerful 4.2 amp electric motor for powering its grinding wheel. As a result, you get a high 3600 RPM motor speed with this grinder wheel. And it offers this along with a large 8-inch grinding wheel size.
Since DeWALT is known to be quite reputable, you also get a 3-year long warranty with this bench grinder. Its build quality ensures that you can keep using it for a long time without facing any issues. Unfortunately, this bench grinder is on the larger side and quite heavy as well. It is large because of the 12 ½ inch distance between its two grinding wheels for ergonomics and ease of use.
- Motor power rating of 4.2 amps
- Grinding wheel size of 8 inch
- Motor speed rating of 3600 rounds per minute
- 3-year long warranty
- Great build quality for longevity
- 12 ½ inch distance between two grinding wheels
- One of the best performing bench grinder models
- Offers easy to use controls for easily adjusting grinding wheel speeds
- Powerful and efficient 4.2 amp electric motor for a proper balance
Rikon Power Tools, Bench Grinder
You can find a wide range of power tool options from Rikon that are highly durable and reliable, just like its bench grinder model.
The Rikon bench grinder is the most durable and reliable option present in this article that is much better than all other options out there. This is possible due to the fact that it offers a 5-year long warranty to the user for peace of mind. You also get an excellent build quality with it that is great for longevity. You get all of this without paying an extra premium price.
Talking about its performance, you get a large 8-inch grinding wheel in this bench grinder. This grinding wheel can easily perform at decent speeds with the help of its 3 amp electric motor. Unfortunately, this electric motor has a high power consumption that can be an issue for a lot of users out there. It’s motor speed rating is also quite low at just 1750 RPM.
- Motor power rating of 3 amps
- Grinding wheel size of 8 inch
- Motor speed rating of 1750 rounds per minute
- 5-year long warranty
- Excellent build quality for peace of mind
- Most durable and reliable bench grinder present here
- Good performing 3 amp electric motor
- Small and compact design with 2 grinding wheels for high flexibility
Bucktool Bench Grinder
When compared with other bench grinders and their brands mentioned in this article, Bucktool is a much smaller brand that makes powerful models.
Bucktool’s bench grinder is one of the more premium bench grinder models out there. It uses a 60 grit and a 120 grit oxide wheel that reduces heat build-up. Both of these grinding wheels have a large size of 8 inches that is more than enough for most users out there. You also get a 3.1 amp electric motor in this bench grinder that is quite similar to the Rikon bench grinder mentioned earlier in this article.
A great thing about this bench grinder is that it has various adjustment options that ensure that you move and change things as per your needs. Unfortunately, this one is nowhere as reliable as the Rikon bench grinder. Not only is the build quality on the average side, but you only get a 1-year warranty with it. This also makes this bench grinder quite expensive when compared with similar options out there.
- Motor power rating of 3.1 amps
- Grinding wheel size of 8 inch
- Motor speed rating of 3450 rounds per minute
- 1-year long warranty
- Multiple adjustments for flexibility and precision usage
- Small and compact form factor for ease of use
- Silent and efficient ½ HP electric motor
- Great performing 8-inch grinding wheels
- Highly stable with case aluminum base and support structure
- Only a 1-year long warranty
- Build quality could have been much better
- Highly expensive price tag for the given features
Jet Bench Grinder
Jet is another brand of power tools that is quite small and new in comparison to others that also make similar bench grinder options.
This Jet 578008 bench grinder can be a great pick for a lot of users out there who are looking for a highly powerful model. It offers a highly powerful 4.1 amp electric motor to the user that should be more than enough for most users out there. Just per its name, this electric motor powers a large 8-inch grinding wheel for optimum performance.
Just like most other options out there, you get a 1-year long warranty with this 1 HP electric motor. While the build quality offered by this bench grinder is quite decent, it is slightly large and bulky, and that is something that you should keep in your mind. It uses heavy-duty cast iron construction for peace of mind.
- Motor power rating of 4.1 amps
- Grinding wheel size of 8 inch
- 1 HP electric motor
- 2-year long warranty
- Cast iron base for extra stability
- Efficient and silent electric motor for silent operation
- Comes with CUS and CSA safety certifications
- Offers great performance from 4.1 amp electric motor
- Large grinding wheel for heavy-duty applications
- Easy to use bench grinder with simple control scheme and options
Delta Bench Grinder
If you are familiar with powerful and heavy-duty power tools, then you must have heard about Delta Power Tools, as it also makes a highly powerful bench grinder.
The Delta Power Tools 23-197 bench grinder is the most powerful option present in this article. This is possible due to its large-sized grinding wheel. It uses an equally powerful electric motor for power that is rated at 5 amps. Due to this, you can go up to 3400 RPM motor speed while using the 30 grit and 60 grit grinding wheels offered by this bench grinder that is more than enough even for industrial and heavy-duty usage.
Another great thing about this bench grinder is that it is highly durable and reliable. It offers an excellent build quality that means that this bench grinder can easily last for a long time. You also get a 5-year long warranty with it that is the best when compared with various other bench grinder models out there. Its inbuilt water tray allows you to use fluid coolant along with it to get proper performance without any overheating issues.
- Motor power rating of 5 amps
- Grinding wheel size of 8 inch
- Motor speed rating of 3400 rounds per minute
- 5-year long warranty
- Excellent build quality for longevity
- Inbuilt water tray for ease of use
- Best performing bench grinder present in this article
- Highly durable and reliable option with a 5-year long warranty
- Inbuilt shield and water tray for ease of use while using coolant
Ironton Benchtop Grinder
If you are familiar with powerful and heavy-duty power tools, then you must have heard about Ironton, which is one of the best brands manufacturing highly powerful bench grinders to tackle various tasks like grinding, sharpening, paint removal, and deburring quite easily.
The Ironton variable speed bench grinder is the most powerful option present in this article. This is possible due to its large-sized (8-inch) grinding wheel. It uses an equally powerful 3/4 HP electric motor for power that is rated at 5 amps and has a cord length of 6 feet. Due to this, you can get variable speed adjustment from 2000 RPM to 3400 RPM motor speed while using 8-inch 60-grit aluminum oxide grinding wheels offered by this bench grinder which is more than enough even for industrial and heavy-duty usage.
Another great thing about this bench grinder is that it is highly durable and reliable. It offers an excellent build quality with a cast iron base to reduce vibration, an 8-inch wire wheel for versatility, a wheel dresser, light bulb to illuminate the work area. All these will make this bench grinder last easily for a long time.
You also get a 1-year long warranty with it that is a bit less when compared with various other bench grinder models out there. Its inbuilt water tray allows you to use fluid coolant along with it to get proper performance without any overheating issues. Also, its adjustable eye shield will let operate the machine safely.
- Powered by 3/4 HP, 5 amps 110V motor.
- Grinding wheel size of 8 inch
- The motor speed rating of 3400 RPM
- Inbuilt water tray for ease of use
- Comes with a 1-year long warranty
- Decent build quality for longevity
- Best performing budget-friendly bench grinder
- A highly durable and reliable option
- Silent and efficient 3/4 HP electric motor
- Highly stable with cast iron base and support structure
- Inbuilt water cooling tray and wheel dresser for ease of use
Genesis Bench Grinder
At the end of this article, we have Genesis, which is another power tools brand that should be considered before buying a bench grinder.
Genesis’ GBG800L offers a decent performance when compared with other similar options out there. Just per its name, it offers a large-sized 8-inch grinding wheel to the user. This wheel is powered by a 2.1 amp electric motor. While it could have been certainly better, you cannot expect more at this given price tag.
As you would expect from any other budget offering, it comes with a 2-year long warranty. Thankfully, its build quality is quite great for the given price tag and offers decent strength. Its ½ HP electric motor is quite silent and reliable.
- Motor power rating of 2.1 amps
- Grinding wheel size of 8 inch
- ½ HP electric motor
- 2-year long warranty
- Small and compact design
- Decent build quality for peace of mind
- Large-sized bench grinder for a budget price
- Decent build quality for the price
- Good performance from the 8-inch wheel and ½ HP motor
What to Consider Before Buying a Bench Grinder:
One has to choose the best bench grinder based on their type of grinding, sharpening, polishing or cleaning task. If not sure about what features to look for while shopping for a bench grinder. Here are the factors that have to be taken into account when purchasing a bench grinder.
Bench grinders are used widely to grind away rust from steel or sharpen a blade, which makes it the most essential tool in the auto-mechanic workshops, DIYers, woodworking craftsperson or others using lots of hand tools. They come in various types and a few most commonly used types are mentioned below.
Automotive workers (both mechanics and auto-body workers) use the bench grinder on regular basis for removing rust from bolts and nuts and for polishing chrome engine, steel, and body parts. However, a bench grinder built for the automotive industry will feature quick spinning speeds of up to 3450 RPM. Cleaning and polishing auto parts on a bench grinder will save a lot of time and effort over done manually (by hand).
Usually, craftsmen and woodworkers rely on sharp hand tools like chisels and planes to create well-fitting dovetail joints and to smoothen the rough wood. Bench grinders made for woodworkers have a slower spin speed compared to the above automotive ones. Here the tempered steel in hand tools gets damaged due to high heat resulting from fast-spinning grinding wheels. Go with a grinder having a slower spin of 1725 RPM wheel to sharpen tempered tools.
Variable Speed –
Choose a variable speed bench grinder when you want to dabble both woodworking and car/auto-body repair. This grinder will let you operate the tool at its highest speed when cleaning car bolts and nuts, while still, it let you reduce the speed to sharpen hand tools like chisels. Though is a bit expensive than single-speed counterparts, yet it is worth rather than buying two separate grinders for low and high speeds.
Generally, standard bench grinders are heavier, which weighs up to 50 pounds and they perform well when mounted to a workbench to prevent its movement. While looking to carry a grinder along with you to various worksites, then purchase a small, lighter grinder (about 10 pounds) featuring rubber feet to prevent sliding when positioned on a worktable.
The wheels are made of different types of materials that include silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, wire wheels, ceramic aluminum oxide, and buffing wheels. However, the type of material used for its construction will let you know the tool’s performance.
Mostly, bench grinder wheels (exclude buffer wire wheels) will have one of these two grits – 36 grit (for aggressive grinding) and 60-grit (for finer grinding). Let’s get into its details.
Silicon Carbide –
It is a common type of grinding wheel suitable for a wide range of grinding tasks like sharpening cast iron and lawnmower blades. With its quickly heat up nature, they may ruin the temper in high-quality woodworking tools, such as hand planes and chisels.
Aluminum Oxide –
Since they won’t heat up as faster as silicon carbide wheels, they are specially designed to grind hard metals like alloy steel or carbon steel, which we found commonly in hand tools.
Wire Wheels –
This type of wheel is made of brass and steel bristles, which makes it quite useful for faster cleanup of gunk and grease from auto valves and fittings. You can absolutely see this type of wheel mostly in a mechanic shop for automotive repairs and body work.
Ceramic Aluminum Oxide –
It is an abrasive wheel that is mainly used to grind away material from steel and other hard alloys. For instance, you can use this wheel while grinding off half of an axe head.
Buffing Wheels –
Since it is made with a variety of thick, brushed fabrics, they are meant for polishing steel or other metal items to offer a high shine. They are mostly used by auto-body workers to accomplish high shines on chrome automobile features like hubcaps while restoring a car.
Generally, these bench grinders are labeled by their wheel size, and this size is the diameter of the grinding wheel used by the bench grinder. The most common sizes are 6-inches or 8-inches in diameter. Even though both these sizes will perform in the same way, yet with small differences. Check which one suits best for your requirement.
|Parameters||6-Inch Grinder||8-Inch Grinder|
|Best Option For||DIYers||Professional Mechanics or Woodworkers|
|Motor Speed||3400 – 3600 RPM||1500 – 2000 RPM|
|Suitable For||Grinding off grime, paint or rust, Sharpening knives tools, Sanding metal or wood, Light – moderate repairs||Automotive, Metalworking, Woodworking, and DIYs.|
|Price Range||65 – 175 (less expensive)||100 – 500 (or more).|
|Weight||10 – 25 pounds||20 – 50 Pounds|
|Speed Settings||Low or High Speeds||Low or High Speed|
|Portability||Portable tool or mount to a workbench||Must bolted to a worktable|
Note – You can also find a 3-inch smaller bench grinder, which is mainly used for crafts or other detailed works.
A motor is a crucial part of any power tool, including the bench grinder. It determines the device’s working and thereby affects its overall performance. Its power rating is measured in terms of horsepower (HP). However, if you pick a grinder with a larger and powerful motor, then it can spin larger wheels at high speeds and thereby make it a perfect option to use for a variety of tasks/jobs.
For low-intensity jobs, make sure to use a grinder with motor power of ½ or ¾ HP. For heavy-duty tasks, pick a grinder with a motor power of 1HP.
The motor power as per the wheel size is as follows – For 6-inch grinders should come with motors around 2.1 amps of power, which is approximately ¼ HP. While 8-inch grinders can go with motors around 5-amps of power, which is approximately 3/4 HP.
A bench grinder with 1HP motor power is considered the most powerful, yet they are used mostly in professional or industrial settings but not for DIY projects.
Though the speed of a grinder will rely on the horsepower of the motor, and it is measured in terms of revolutions per minute (RPM).
A grinder wheel with a minimum speed of 3000 RPM will spin at a faster rate that let you cut through stronger metals and hardened steel. While choosing a grinder with a speed of at least 1750 RPM (slow speed) to cut through wood, mostly softer woods.
Few models feature dual speed settings that let you choose a minimum RPM to a maximum RPM. Some models let you customize the speed within its range with its variable speed options. It is a flexible option that allows for a wide range of project applications.
Usually, there are 3 main grit abrasive wheel sizes – 30, 60, and 100. However, the coarse 30-grit wheels are ideal for general sharpening, yet if looking for smooth and accurate output, then go with fine wheels of 60 or 100 grits.
Choose a coarser 30-grit wheel to sharpen or grind tougher materials, while going with a less coarse 60 or 100 grit grinding wheel for softer materials. So, always pick the right type of wheel as per your project requirement.
The size of the grinder will determine how powerful it is and what work it lets you do with the grinder. Small-size bench grinders are constructed for low-intensity grinding, shaping or sharpening metal. Alternatively, larger bench grinders are ideal to use for cutting, grinding, or sharpening larger tools and objects.
Ensure to check the size and form factor of the bench grinder and also go through its detailed description to know for what jobs it suits to perform well before buying. A bench grinder with a smaller grinding wheel (or single grinding wheel) is small and compact that takes less space on the bench.
There is a risk factor involved in operating all power tools (not excluding bench grinders). For instance, grinding iron will create sparks and send shards of metal flying. This makes it essential to wear safety glasses while using a grinder. Usually, these bench grinders have some safety features that reduce the risk, yet they won’t eliminate the overall risk associated with their operation.
Here are some of the safety features to be followed for the safe and effective operating of grinders.
Eye Shields –
One can find these transparent plastic covers above the opening through which the grinding wheel touches the workpiece. It prevents any scraps from flying off and hurting the eyes. Upon regular usage, these eye guards get scratched or dirty, which means you have to replace them with a new one.
Spark Arrestors –
These are small steel plates that are placed between the eye guards and wheels. They are intended to avoid sparks from flying all over the workshop. There still have sparks, which means you have to keep flammables at a distance of few feet away from a bench grinder when using them. However, the spark arrestors keep the sparks from flying too far.
Dust Exhaustion –
One has to use dust exhaustion systems, ports or vents to get rid of dust and debris that forms during the grinding process and if inhaled may harm your health. Also, it maintains visibility that let you see you working with the grinder.
If your grinder is a wet grinding machine, which comes with built-in cooling systems to keep the machine cool. Or else, if the grinder is not a wet grinding machine, then you need to use a pot or bucket of water to dip the workpiece in it to deter the machine from overheating.
The wheel’s color will let you identify the type of job you can do with the grinder. Here are some suggestions you have to follow for doing perfect work.
- Brown wheels are perfect for heavy fettling and trimming.
- White ones are suitable for sharpening
- Grey ones are ideal for every day grinding.
- Green ones are for fine grinding and they work well with blades and drill bit or anything made from silicon carbide (like carbide tools).
Most of these bench grinders are directly mounted to a pedestal stand or bolted to a worktable surface. However, a model mounted on a separate stand is quite beneficial, why because it won’t take up any worktop space.
When it comes to portability, this bench grinder won’t offer lots of flexibility and the workpiece has to be carried to it. While looking for a portable, handheld option, you have to choose an angle grinder.
Wheel RPM Rating:
The maximum RPM rating of the wheels are given on a label, and for a safe and effective operation, the RPM of the grinder should match with this value. Also, you may find a tag with a note that states the maximum operating speeds that specified on the wheel’s label should not be exceeded. However, over-speeding the grinding wheel will result in it to explode.
Durability and Warranty:
The durability and reliability of a bench grinder will ensure its longevity, and to know its durability, you have to look at its build quality. A grinder using cast iron for its base is highly stable and sturdy. Also, check the warranty duration offered by the manufacturer on their products. While most options out there come with a 1-year or 2-year warranty, some are reliable and durable options that offer a 5-year long warranty that lasts easily for a long time.
There are some add-on features that are specially designed to make the grinder use with ease. Here are some of the common accessories that you have to check while purchasing the grinder.
- LED lights in a grinder will illuminate the work area for a clear and better vision of the workpiece and what you are working on.
- Tool rests, where the operator can brace a blade or knife to keep it steady when grinding. It is a common accessory found in all bench grinders.
- A water tray near the grinder’s bottom to dip a chisel (or other items) after grinding will cool it off.
- Rubber feet (especially on portable models) will prevent the grinder from sliding across a worktable while operating a grinder.
How to Use a Bench Grinder?
One can easily gain expertise or skill on its usage with a bit of practice. All you need is steady hands and precision to make it use correctly. Or else, you may sharpen the tools in the wrong way or make oddly or uneven shaped workpieces. Ensure to wear proper work gear like safety goggles or gloves before starting a bench grinder.
It is essential to know the type of wheel you need to use for your task. Usually, wheels vary in coarseness levels, which makes them suitable for various applications. After determining the required wheel, you need to turn on the bench grinder and wait till it starts rotating at its maximum speed.
Then pick an item or object you are looking to grind by getting in contact with the spinning wheel. Ensure to maintain at an acute angle to the wheel – 25° or 30°. Initially, avoid pushing or bringing the object too close to the wheel. Now move the object slowly towards the wheel, so that you won’t end up overdoing it.
While grinding the metal, the grinder tends to get hot in the process, and this heat might damage the tool or object, which is quite essential for proper usage of the bench grinder. So, you have to keep a pot or bowl of water handy to stop the grinding often and dip the tool into water.
If dealing with small objects, make sure to use pliers to hold them to prevent fingers from getting close to the spinning wheel. Also, it is a bit difficult to handle small objects while wearing work gloves. So, prefer to use pliers for a better grip over those small objects/items.
While sharpening the tool’s blunt edge, the sparks will fly downwards. Alternatively, the sparks will fly upwards when the tool gets sharp enough.
Mounting Tips of a Bench Grinder:
If there is a space available on the workbench, most people like to mount a new bench grinder to keep them stable when smoothing or sharpening the parts and tools. Generally, bench grinders are heavier, which means bolting them to worktable within the holes given in their base is ideal.
Here are some tips that let you know how to mount a bench grinder properly.
- Locate the bench grinder where you want to place it on the workbench.
- Mark all the four base holes of the grinder on the workbench by using a pencil.
- Then use a drill machine to drill through those pencil marks.
- Insert bolts via its base holes, and you drilled holes in the workbench to attach the bench grinder. Finally, secure the bolts in place with provided nuts.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Ans: One should know for what a bench grinder is used before they invest in it. Even though it is not an essential tool for DIYers, yet it is a more versatile tool that can be used in various applications (beyond your thinking).
Apart from grinding down metals, they can be used to sharpen tools, polish or buff metal, cut metal or wood, remove hardened grunge or dirt from tools, remove rust, smooth shape the edges of metal or wood, and be used on craftworks like model building or jewelry making.
Ans: For a razor-sharp edge on the kitchen knives, the best to use a medium-fine 60-grit wheel.
Ans: Shaping, grinding and buffing metal is the main purpose to use this bench grinder, but you can use this power tool on wood as well. With the usage of the right wheel, you can easily use a bench grinder to cut, shape, sand, smooth, buff, or polish a wide range of wood varieties. Keep in mind that not to use a bench grinder for very softwoods. They are best to use on hard materials.
Ans: Usually, a bench grinder has two wheels to increase the tool’s versatility. Here the grinder with one grinding/sanding wheel having a light-medium grit is used for light sanding tasks, whereas the other grinding/sanding wheel having a medium-coarse grit is used for tougher grinding works.
However, there are various wheels available for these tools, of which some are specialized. You can switch to use one or both of these wheels for a coarser or finer grit, a buffing wheel for polishing, a wire wheel for cleaning or shaping metal, a cutting wheel for metal or wood cutting, specialized wheels for cutting or grinding stone and a specialized wheel for cutting gemstones.
Ans: Bench grinders are mainly used to sharpen and polish with their two wheels, in which they can be changed to do various tasks. For example, swap out a solid wheel with a metal brush/wire wheel to clear rust from tools. They are restricted to metal and has to remain fix to their surface.
Belt sanders come with two drums on which a sanding belt is stretched, and they are mostly used on softer materials like plastic. Its speed will damage the material while not used carefully. Thus, using this to sharpen the tool will cause them to overheat quickly and thereby damages the tool.
Ans: It is a must to bolt down the grinder on a worktable or bench. Or else they tend to strongly vibrate while the grinding wheel turns at a high speed. So, you have to secure the grinder with the provided bolts for its efficient working.
Ans: Angle grinders look like a lightweight sibling to these bench grinders. Yet, not powerful as bench grinders, these are portable and can hold one to make it more accurate. Due to its versatility, there are over 100 different uses of angle grinders. The single wheel is another key difference, as you need to switch wheels more frequently on angle grinders, which means it lets you cut and shape metal or remove paint from large surfaces with ease.
Ans: A bench grinder with a 6-inch diameter is designed for DIYers for multi-functional usage (like to sharpen, grind, polish and repair various gears). While an 8-inch diameter grinder is meant to use for professionals who perform complicated grinding tasks/applications.
Though the 8-inch bench grinder wheel runs slower, it needs fewer wheel changes than a 6-inch grinder, which means 8-inch require less maintenance, yet expensive than 6-inch models.
Whether you want to sharpen a knife or sand down a given surface, a bench grinder is a highly powerful tool to do so. These offer highly powerful electric motors for powering their large grinding wheels without any issues.
You can learn more about the best bench grinders listed above in this article since we have even mentioned their major features and options. You can also find a detailed buying guide in there that will take you through the various important aspects and factors of such bench grinders. If you are still confused, then you can pick up a bench grinder from our recommendations:
- The Delta bench grinder is the most powerful option present in this article. It comes with a highly powerful 5 amp electric motor that is more than enough for powering its 8-inch grinding wheel. You even get a 5-year long warranty with it.
- But if you just want a highly reliable and durable bench grinder without paying a lot of money, then you can go with the Rikon bench grinder. Apart from offering a 5-year long warranty, you also get an excellent build quality with it that should easily last for a long time.
- You can also consider the WEN 4276 bench grinder if you are on a budget as it is the cheapest option mentioned in this article. Even though it is an affordable option, you get a 2-year long warranty with its 6-inch grinding wheel that is powered by a 2.1 amp motor.
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DIY bench grinder
In this article, we’ll be tackling a question commonly submitted on our YouTube channel about bench grinders. People want to know “how do you get the wheels off these things?!” It’s actually not as difficult as it may seem! We’ll share a list of the tools you will need and the step-by-step instructions. Follow along with our video, and keep reading below. Before you get started, be sure that your bench grinder is powered down and unplugged – safety first!
Remove the Covers
The first step is to remove the two covers on both sides of the grinder. There will be a couple of screws around the outside holding the covers in place. These screws are all identical, so you don’t need to worry about which order they’re removed and replaced in. Once the screws are removed, the covers will pull right off and can be set aside. The plastic eye protection shields should also be removed so that they aren’t damaged while working on the grinder. There are an additional two screws holding each shield in place. Once removed, they can also be set aside to be reinstalled later.
Determine Turning Directions
With any equipment that has moving parts, whether it’s a table saw, circular saw, or bench grinder, there is a general rule for turning direction. Look at the direction the blade turns (or in this case, the grinding wheel), and that will be the direction to turn the nut in order to loosen it. On our bench grinder, both wheels turn in a downward direction, which will mean that one nut will be left threaded, while the other side will be right threaded.
Remove the Nuts
We will first start with the nut on the right side. When removing that nut, the left-hand one should be securely held using another wrench to keep the wheel from spinning. Using the wrench in your right hand, push down in the direction of the rotation to loosen it up. Once it has been loosened, give the shaft a spray with lubricating oil and replace the nut. Repeat this process on the opposite side. Once the left side has been lubricated, the nut does not need to be put back in place. We now need to actually remove the right-side nut, and to do this we will use a wooden wedge to jam the wheel. This keeps it from rotating while we work on removing the nut. Since the nut had previously had its bond broken and was lubricated, it shouldn’t need much force to remove it.
Replace the Wheels
With the nuts removed, the grinding wheels will easily pop right off. Depending on your setup, there may be plates or spacers behind the wheels. They can be removed or reused depending on your spacing needs. Before installing new wheels, double-check the maximum speed and ensure that the wheel is appropriate for your grinder. Putting the grinder back together will be the opposite of taking it apart; add the wheels, rethread the nuts, attach the protective shields, then secure the wheel covers.
With any moving part, they will eventually wear down and need to be replaced. If you need replacement parts for any of your power tools, find them quickly by searching for your model number. Be sure to follow our YouTube channel so you stay up to date on all our repair content.
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How To Use A Bench Grinder
A bench grinder is an abrasive power tool made to grind down every work piece it encounters to the specifications of its owner. Depending on the wheel that’s being used by the machine, it can clean, polish, buff, sharpen, or shape just about any metal or wooden object. They’re commonly utilized for hand grinding cutting tools to sharpen them or even making new tools or fasteners out of raw metal if you’re skilled enough to use this machine that way.
What You Will Need
Here are the objects and materials you need and why you need them to get started.
- The Bench Grinder Itself: You can’t grind without it. Buy a good one that secures itself solidly on the bench to avoid excessive vibration and uneven results.
- Tool Rest: Use the one that came with the machine or buy an aftermarket one that’s more adjustable.
- Grinder Wheels: You can choose between 36-grit, 60-grit, and 100-grit stones.
- Buffing Wheel: A wheel that can hone blades and buff up waxed wooden work pieces.
- Space: It’s not only the final frontier. You also need more than just elbow room in order to move metal tools and wooden objects to and fro the grinder wheel.
- Pot or Bucket of Water: This water will serve as your means of cooling down a friction-hot piece of wood (or metal if you’re also using the grinder to sharpen your tools).
- Gloves: This will protect your hand from wood that’s been grinded so much it has heated up from the excessive friction.
- Safety Glasses: These glasses will allow you to see what you’re doing without worrying about sparks or dust flying to your eye.
- Steel-Toed Shoes: This will protect you from falling hot debris that could burn or break your feet and toes. Actually, any shoe or boot without open toes will suffice.
- Ear Plugs or Muffs: It can get noisy when working the grinder, so protect your ear drums from noise damage with these items.
- Face Mask: This will also protect your lungs, throat, mouth, nostrils, and face from the fine particles of grinded wood debris flying all over the place.
- Work Pieces: You might have some wood lying around your shop that you want to cut, smoothen, or shape.
- Wedge: You can also use the grinder to sharpen your different wedges.
Step-by-step instructions on how to properly grind with a bench top grinder
Many amateurs or beginners have issues with the bench grinder. They give up on it easily because it’s too hard to use. Sometimes, they end up with uneven results. Other times, they burn the tip blue with the high friction grinding. However, just follow these steps in order to learn how to grind the right way with this grinder. First, before turning on the grinder, you should do a safety check first.
Make sure the grinder is secured on your bench to keep it from vibrating so much that you’d get those aforementioned uneven results. Check the tool rest in order to make sure it’s in the place on the grinder. The tool rest is where you’ll put the metal (usually the tool or work piece) or the wooden item as you grind it to the proper shape, sharpness, and smoothness. Watch out for excessive grinding though.
Preparations Continued and Safety First
The tool rest should be put into the correct place so that there’s a 3 millimeter or ⅛ inch space between the grinding wheel and the rest itself. The area you’re working on should be clear of debris and objects. You should have enough room to push the wood you’re dealing with back and forth on the grinding machine. Get a bucket or pot of water for good measure near you to douse flames.
This container full of water will cool off any wood that goes on fire when you grind it. On that note, get some safety gloves for good measure to keep your hands from burning when dealing with burning wood and whatnot. Also wear a face mask, ear plugs or muffs, steel-toed shoes or no open-toe shoes, and safety glasses to protect yourself from the dust. Keep away from debris too.
Turning the Bench Top Grinder On
Turn the grinder on then stand to the side until it reaches its maximum speed. Don’t use it right off the bat. Afterwards, work on your piece of wood by moving it directly on the grinder wheel and holding the work piece tight with both hands. Don’t hold it lightly or else it might fly off.
Push it slowly towards the grinder wheel until it touches the edge (don’t let it go too far or else you’ll rub it out like an eraser). Don’t allow the wood to touch the sides of the grinder at all or at any time, because this will damage the side. Only the front of the wheel should be in contact with the work piece and do the grinding. Its sides could end up with holes or cracks if you put the wood on there, thus ruining it.
How to Shape or Buff Wood
In regards to shaping a piece of wood properly, it involves touching the wood to the grinder at the area where you want it to carve. Do this in a gradual manner. Use a back and forth motion like when attempting to grind off a part of the wood off. A grinder makes it easier to smoothen up the surface of the wood you’re attempting to chisel more than your hands and a chisel would.
You can avail of a buffing wheel in order to buff up your wooden work pieces on grinders with a slower speed. These wheels are normally used to hone a razor edge on carving tools (more on this later), but you can use a 1,725 RPM bench grinder to buff up your work piece by applying wax on it then buffering the finish after the wax has dried.
How to Cut Through a Work Piece
Before anything else, don’t hold the work piece in place against the grinder for too long, because this heats it up quickly and damages it. This will also reduce the risk of the wood catching fire from excessive grinding. With that in mind, let’s talk about cutting through wooden pieces. This involves holding the wood onto the tool rest and turning it gently towards the grinder surface.
After it makes grinder contact on the spot you want the cut to happen, keep turning the piece until it breaks in half. Make sure you hold each end up. After you’re finished, check the results and smoothness of your work. Don’t put the work piece in place and wait until the grinder cuts through that one spot. This will result in a terrible and unclean cut with a work piece that might catch fire.
How to Sharpen a Chisel
Again, use the tool rest to its fullest extent by resting the work piece on it as you attempt to sharpen it up. From there, hold the chisel securely with both of your hands. Afterwards, push the chisel blade slowly to the grinder in a way that it’s angled slightly up or down in accordance to how the blade tapers off. This will make the grinder grind correctly without overdoing it.
Again, the forward and back motion will aid you in shaping the chisel. However, unlike in the case of metal shaping, you should actually avoid making the tool heat up with friction so much it turns orange. Sharpen it up then when it gets warm dip it in the water to temper it. Just rub the blade across the grinder to avoid warming or cutting the blade apart and you’re good to go.
How to Dress the Grinding Wheel
Whether you use your grinder for sharpening your woodworking tools, cutting/shaping/buffing wood, or grinding away rusty metal, the grinding surface of the wheel will flake off. This then results in the machine clogging with fine “swarf” or the powdered material of what once was the grit of the grinding wheel. There are also times when the wheel is worn unevenly or at an angle.
Your grinding habits are what caused this. It’s therefore of the utmost importance to clean out the grinding surface with a dresser. This allows you to give the wheel a fresh edge in a few moments (instead of you having to buy a whole new wheel). To use this, adjust the tool rest 90° then hold the dresser flat on the wheel surface. Turn the grinder on then move the dresser across the wheel to smoothen the surface.
To properly use a grinder, attach the wheel that works for your job. The roughness of the wheel depends on what you’re grinding. Gardening tools and wood require a 36-grit wheel. Plane irons and chisels require 60-grit wheels. Delicate jobs like peeling potatoes and shaping metal model parts should be reserved for 100-grit wheels. In general, you may need to place the item to be grinded at a 25° to 30° angle then keep it moving in the aforementioned back and forth motion. For specifics, check the techniques outlined above.
Any of these top-notch bench grinders can help DIYers sharpen blades and hone knives, axe heads, and chisels quickly and easily.
By Glenda Taylor | Updated Feb 16, 2023 1:28 PM
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Many household and DIY projects require bladed tools or machines, whether it’s mowing the lawn or chiseling some wood. At some point, DIYers need to sharpen those blades or remove rust and corrosion from a steel tool. That’s where a bench grinder shines.
Unlike a stand-alone pedestal grinder, a bench grinder is typically mounted on a sturdy workbench and can tackle these tasks quicker and easier than an old-fashioned whetstone and lots of manual labor. Heavy-duty bench or table grinders typically feature two grinding wheels, often with different grits, to sharpen blades quickly and remove rust. On many grinders, the wheels can be swapped out for either metal brush wheels (a boon when cleaning metal connectors and spark plugs) or for buffing wheels, which are designed for putting a fine shine on metal or plastic surfaces.
Bench grinders are straightforward power tools, and all operate much the same way. The best bench grinders are high quality, easy to use, and protect eyes from sparks and fine metal shards while working (users should always still wear eye protection, though). The following bench grinders would be a good addition to any workshop.
- BEST OVERALL:DeWALT DW758 8-Inch Bench Grinder
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Wen BG4260 2.1-Amp 6-Inch Bench Grinder
- UPGRADE PICK:Jet IBG-8 8-Inch Industrial Bench Grinder
- BEST FOR BEGINNERS:DeWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder
- BEST FOR DIYERS:Wen BG625V 6-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder
- BEST FOR MECHANICS:Jet JBG-8B 8-Inch Shop Bench Grinder
- BEST FOR LANDSCAPERS:Sunex Tools 5002A 8-Inch Bench Grinder With Light
- BEST VARIABLE-SPEED:Delta 6-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder
- BEST FOR SHARPENING:Rikon 80-805 8-Inch Low-Speed Bench Grinder
- BEST WITH WIRE WHEEL:Jet JBG-6W 6-Inch Shop Grinder With Wire Wheel
- ALSO CONSIDER:Wen BG4282 4.8-Amp 8-Inch Single Speed Bench Grinder
How We Chose the Best Bench Grinders
A solid bench grinder can be the cornerstone (pun not intended) of a workshop. When we set out to curate a list of the top models, we wanted to ensure that the bench grinders we suggested were up to the job. We had to call upon all of our experience as DIYers and professionals to come up with the most important factors to consider when choosing a bench grinder.
Once we knew what to look for when shopping for one of these grinders, we performed extensive research to round up models that might meet our criteria. Then, we compared each model’s size, ability, materials, and value to ensure that they were worthy. Some products didn’t make the cut, but those that did were given awards based on their strengths.
Our Top Picks
The best bench grinder runs smoothly, has adjustable tool rests to get just the right angle, and is safe to operate. The following options are great for DIYers and pros alike, and all include adjustable eye guards, tool rests, and spark arrestors.
DeWALT DW758 8-Inch Bench Grinder
This durable DeWALT bench grinder comes with 8-inch diameter grinding wheels so users can sharpen a lot of blades before needing to replace a wheel. The DeWALT DW758 comes with standard items like clear eye shields over both wheels to protect users’ eyes without obstructing their view.
The DW758 features adjustable, heavy-duty aluminum tool rests to allow users to position the item they’re sharpening at an optimal angle. The base, however, is cast iron, providing durability and stability while working with this model. The grinder wheels rotate at 3,600 revolutions per minute (rpm) for quick shaping of metal blades. However, there aren’t any bells and whistles like work lights or variable speeds.
- Large 8–inch wheels provide heavy-duty sharpening for an extended period before replacement is necessary
- Durable cast-aluminum tool rests are stable, allowing for a consistent base and adjustability
- Cast-iron base is heavy and durable, providing long-lasting stability while grinding
Get the DeWALT DW758 bench grinder at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.
Wen BG4260 2.1-Amp 6-Inch Bench Grinder
The Wen BG4260 6-inch bench grinder’s affordable price point means users can sharpen a lot of blades without spending a lot of money. Shoppers can save money on the grinder as well as when sharpening blades instead of replacing them.
The Wen grinder comes with both 36-grit and 60-grit grinding wheels that spin at 3,450 rpm. The 36-grit wheel is best for reshaping edges, while the 60-grit wheel hones them. It features see-through eye shields to protect the user’s eyes while grinding, and they easily adjust for grinding larger items. Also, each wheel comes with adjustable tool rests to help steady the tool the user is grinding or sharpening—key to consistent results. Unfortunately, there isn’t any information about the motor’s horsepower rating available, and this basic model doesn’t have any bells and whistles to brag about.
- Affordable price point; allows users to save money on both the grinder and on sharpening blades
- Low price compared to other models; includes eye protection shields and adjustable tool rests
- Includes 2 grinding wheel grits: The 35 grit reshapes blades and the 60 grit hones edges
Get the Wen BG4260 bench grinder at Amazon, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Wen.
Jet IBG-8 8-Inch Industrial Bench Grinder
Folks who might have a bit more money to spend and prefer a top-tier product will want to check out the Jet IBG-8 industrial bench grinder. This model features a heavy-duty 1-horsepower motor that allows users to grind tough materials like stainless steel continuously and repetitively. The motor produces 3,600 rpm, providing a general-use speed from a single-speed tool.
This model features all cast-iron construction, allowing it to be durable and long lasting as well as stable during grinding. There is a rear-mounted dust port that users can connect to a dust-collection system or shop vac to reduce messes. It also has the basics, including adjustable tool rests, adjustable eye protection shields, a 36-grit wheel, and a 60-grit wheel. The only real complaint worth registering is that this model does not include variable speeds, as 3,600 rpm may be a little too fast for delicate sharpening.
- The 8-inch wheels and 1-horsepower motor allow users to grind through tough material continuously
- Cast-iron construction makes it durable and stable during grinding
- Rear-mounted dust ports can connect grinder to a dust-collection system, minimizing messes
- Unlike other bench grinders, this model doesn’t offer any variable speeds
- 3,600 rpm is too much for some uses, like sharpening knives, chisels, and planes
Get the Jet IBG-8 bench grinder at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Ace Tool.
DeWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder
The DeWALT DW756 might be the top option for those new to the grinding or DIY world. Not only is this bench grinder affordable, but it also has almost everything a new craftsperson would need, including cast-iron construction for long-term durability and two stone grits: 36 and 60.
This model features a ⅝-horsepower motor that spins its 6-inch wheels at 3,450 rpm. Because the tool has a single speed, new users can FOCUS on what they’re doing and not the grinder’s setting. The tool rests are precision machined from aluminum so they’ll stay flat and stable over time, but users can adjust angles whenever needed. The flip-down eye shield is also a benefit to new users, as they can get used to working on their grinder knowing they have an additional barrier between the workpiece and their safety glasses. However, without a built-in work light, users may opt to purchase an additional shop light for their grinders.
- Durable, long-lasting cast-iron construction; the only grinder a beginner will need for a while
- Single-speed design allows users to FOCUS on their work and not the grinder’s settings
- Flip-down eye shield is an extra protective barrier between the workpiece and user’s safety glasses
Get the DeWALT DW756 bench grinder at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Tractor Supply Co.
Wen BG625V 6-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder
DIYers have needs. They like features but bemoan over-the-top prices, and Wen’s BG625V bench grinder will please them on both fronts. It offers features like adjustable speeds and tool position as well as onboard illumination for a quality finished result.
This model’s motor spins at speeds between 2,000 and 3,400 rpm, allowing DIYers to adjust it according to the range of projects they might tackle. It also has the basics, like flip-down eye protection and adjustable tool rests, but the tool rests also feature grooved tool holders for high-quality results (helped along by the onboard lighting). The two wheels that come with this model are 36 grit and 80 grit, the latter of which is finer than most grinders come with, making it more suitable for very sharp tools. The one area where it falls short is that there isn’t any information available about the motor’s horsepower, so its 2.5-amp variable motor may not be suitable for heavy-duty work.
- Adjustable speeds allow DIYers to tweak the speed base by project
- Tool rest features a grooved design that holds workpiece securely for repeatable results
- 80-grit wheel is finer than that of most other bench grinders; more suitable for very sharp tools
Get the Wen BG625V bench grinder at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Wen.
Jet JBG-8B 8-Inch Shop Bench Grinder
Whether it’s for cleaning up a fitting before welding or carefully reducing the length of a bolt, Jet’s JBG-8B bench grinder will be at home in a mechanic’s shop. This model features a ½-horsepower motor that spins at 3,450 rpm. It can grind heavy-duty metal brackets or tabs but also clean up the end of an exhaust pipe, if necessary.
This model comes with two grinding wheels, including a 36-grit wheel for heavy grinding and a 60-grit wheel for fine-tuning. It also features heavy-duty cast-iron construction, allowing it to withstand the rigors of a mechanic’s shop. And, while it can be bolted down if necessary, it also features rubber mounts underneath that keep it from slipping if the user prefers to take it on and off the bench. If we could change one thing, we would have preferred that it come with a wire wheel for cleaning up threads on hard-to-replace hardware, but the user can purchase one on their own.
- ½-horsepower motor can tackle both heavy- and light-duty projects
- Heavy-duty cast-iron construction can withstand the rigors of a mechanic’s shop
- Rubber feet feature means users don’t have to bolt it to their work table
Get the Jet JBG-8B bench grinder at Amazon or Acme Tools.
Sunex Tools 5002A 8-Inch Bench Grinder With Light
For sharpening a garden shed full of those tools that keep a landscape looking its best, including snippers, clippers, saws, and axes of all sizes, check out the 5002A 8-inch bench grinder from Sunex Tools. This bench grinder has a ¾-horsepower motor that spins at 3,450 rpm, giving it a solid all-purpose grinding speed (ideal for a variety of landscaping blades). The simple design and 8-inch wheels make bringing shovels, lawn mower blades, and axes back to tip-top shape a breeze.
This grinder comes with two eye shields and adjustable tool rests to achieve the proper angle on metal tools and blades. It comes with two sanding wheels: 36 grit and 60 grit. The 36-grit wheel is best for reshaping blades that have taken a beating, while the 60-grit wheel is best for bringing back that sharp edge. The biggest downside is that the tool rests are stamped and not forged, cast, or laser cut like many others at this price point.
- 8-inch wheels and simple design make sharpening large lawn and garden tools straightforward
- The tool rests are adjustable and feature grooves to hold tools in place accurately
- ¾-horsepower motor can handle heavy-duty grinding; all-purpose speed works for most garden tools
Get the Sunex Tools bench grinder at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Delta 6-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder
Different metals require adjustable speeds for the best grinding results, and Delta’s 6-inch variable-speed bench grinder might be the tool for the job. It has a dial on the front that allows users to adjust the motor’s speed between 2,000 and 3,400 rpm, allowing them to dial in the correct speed for the project.
This Delta bench grinder comes with two 6-inch grinding wheels, with both a 36-grit and a 60-grit wheel included. It includes eye shields for safety and adjustable tool rests for support. The tool rests feature grooves as well, allowing users to get the exact angle on their blades, chisels, or other tools while protecting their eyesight. It even features a coolant tray that users can drop hot fasteners in for quick cooling. There isn’t any information available about the motor’s horsepower, however.
- Size: 6 inches
- Speed: Variable, between 2,000 and 3,400 rpm
- Horsepower: Unspecified
- Lets user dial in the correct speed for their project
- Grooved tool rests let user hold tool in the same position for consistent sharpening
- Built-in cooling tray allows users to drop small blades, fasteners, or other items quickly
Get the Delta bench grinder at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Acme Tools.
Rikon 80-805 8-Inch Low-Speed Bench Grinder
Folks looking for a bench grinder built specifically for sharpening will want to consider the 80-805 model from Rikon. This low or slow-speed bench grinder features a ½-horsepower motor that spins at 1,750 rpm, helping avoid overheating blades like knives and chisels during sharpening.
The 8-inch wheel grinder comes with two wheels with higher-than-typical grits: 60 and 120, both of which are made from white aluminum oxide. This combination allows for a finer approach to sharpening, with the 60 grit reshaping the blade and the 120 grit wheel honing a sharp edge. This model features a heavy-duty cast-iron base as well as rubber nonslip feet. The result is reduced vibration for safer, more controlled sharpening. Just keep in mind that this grinder is designed for sharpening knives, chisels, and similar tools, not necessarily heavy-duty work like lawn-mower blades and badly damaged axes.
- Runs at lower speeds to prevent overheating knives, chisels, and other similar tools
- Aluminum-oxide wheels sharpen in 60 and 120 grits; rougher grits usually leave duller edges
- Sturdy base and rubber feet reduce vibration and movement, making sharpening safer and more accurate
- Designed to sharpen knives and chisels; not meant for heavy-duty sharpening such as for lawn-mower blades
Get the Rikon bench grinder at Amazon, Acme Tools, or Rockler.
Jet JBG-6W 6-Inch Shop Grinder With Wire Wheel
One of the best uses for a bench grinder is using it with a wire wheel. This combo makes cleaning up dirt, corrosion, and other undesirable substances from hardware and parts a breeze, and that’s what the Jet JBG-6W shop grinder offers. This bench grinder uses 6-inch wheels and comes with a 36-grit grinding wheel on one side and a wire wheel on the other, allowing users to take advantage of the quick scouring that this tool is capable of.
This model has a ½-horsepower motor that spins at 3,450 rpm. It features cast-iron construction and a predrilled base for stability and permanently mounting it to the shop bench. If the shop has a dust-collection system, each wheel’s cast-iron guard has a dust port in the back to keep messes to a minimum. It’s important to note, however, that for really effective sharpening, users will want to purchase a 60-grit wheel to swap with the wire brush as this model does not come with one.
- Wire brush lets users clean dirty, corroded parts and hardware; much easier than manual cleaning
- Comes with a 36-grit wheel that can reshape blades, removing gouges and chips from edges
- Cast-iron construction, including the wheel guards, which also have built-in dust collection ports
Get the Jet JBG-6W bench grinder at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Northern Tool Equipment.
Wen BG4282 4.8-Amp 8-Inch Single Speed Bench Grinder
Folks who like built-in features might want to consider Wen’s BG4282 bench grinder. This 8-inch grinder features a motor that produces 3,450 rpm of grinding speed and includes a 36-grit wheel and a 60-grit wheel for sharpening and honing a sharp edge. Also, it’s relatively affordable, allowing users to get a large, capable 8-inch grinder without breaking the bank.
The Wen BG4282 bench grinder has some tricks up its sleeve, too. There are two LED work lights built in, each hiding under the flip-down eye guards, providing plenty of light on either side of the unit without repositioning a standard work light. It also has a cooling tray built-in below the power button for cooling freshly ground items off as they come from the grinder. As with all Wen bench grinders, however, there isn’t any information about how powerful the motor is.
Bench Grinder Wire Wheel Installation
- Affordable price point for an 8-inch bench grinder with Smart features
- Eye guards have built-in LED work lights that let users illuminate their workpiece
- Built-in cooling tray prevents overheating or warping of items after grinding
Get the Wen BG4282 bench grinder at Amazon, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Wen.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Bench Grinder
Shoppers won’t find a lot of bells and whistles on the average bench grinder—just two wheels that spin at Rapid speeds. While it’s possible to change a wheel on a bench grinder, it’s not always the most successful task because it can be difficult to get the new wheel balanced, which is a necessity to prevent wobbling. For the best results, it’s usually better to purchase a bench grinder with the desired type of wheels already installed on the tool. The two wheels on a bench grinder usually differ: One may be a coarse grit, while the other might be a fine grit, wire brush, or even a buffing wheel. The best bench grinder will depend on the type of grinding, cleaning, or polishing the user intends to do.
Popular Types of Bench Grinders
Though bench grinders can be beneficial for anyone who wants to sharpen a blade or grind rust away from a steel item, they’re found most often in the workshops of auto mechanics, DIYers, and classical woodworking artisans who use a lot of hand tools.
Automotive workers, including both auto-body workers and mechanics, use bench grinders regularly to remove rust from nuts and bolts as well as to polish steel and chrome engine and body parts to a high sheen. A bench grinder designed for the automotive industry typically features the fastest spinning speeds—up to 3,450 rpm. Being able to clean and polish auto parts on a bench grinder saves an immeasurable amount of time over cleaning and polishing by hand.
Woodworkers and craftspeople depend on sharp hand tools, such as planes and chisels, for creating well-fitting dovetail joints and smoothing out rough wood, but sharpening these metal tools by hand is time-consuming. A bench grinder makes quick work of keeping hand tools sharp, but grinders designed for woodworkers feature slower spin speeds than the ones marketed to automotive workers. The tempered steel in hand tools can be damaged by the high heat that results from fast-spinning grinding wheels, so for anyone looking to sharpen tempered tools, look for a grinder with a slower (1,725 rpm) wheel.
DIYers who dabble in both woodworking and car or auto-body repair typically rely on variable-speed bench grinders. These grinders let them operate the tool at its highest speed when they need to clean car bolts and reduce it when sharpening chisels and other woodworking hand tools. Variable speed grinders typically run 65 to 125 more than their same-brand counterparts that feature single speeds, but choosing a variable-speed grinder is less expensive than purchasing two separate bench grinders to get both high and low speeds.
Standard bench grinders are heavy, weighing up to 50 pounds, and in general, they perform their best when mounted to a workbench to keep them from moving. Those who need to take a grinder with them to different work sites will want to invest in a smaller, lighter-weight model (around 10 pounds) that features rubber feet to keep it from sliding when positioned on a table.
The type of material from which the wheels are made will determine the tool’s best use. Most grinder wheels, except wire and buffer wheels, come in one of two grits: 36 grit for aggressive grinding and 60 grit for finer grinding. In addition, they’re made from the following materials:
- Silicon carbide: This is one of the most common grinding wheels found on bench grinders and is suitable for a range of grinding tasks, including sharpening cast iron and lawn-mower blades. However, consider that this type of grinding wheel tends to heat up very quickly, which can ruin the temper of high-quality woodworking tools such as chisels or hand planes.
- Aluminum oxide: These commonly found wheels do not heat up as quickly as silicon carbide wheels and are designed for grinding hard metals such as carbon steel and alloy steel that are found in hand tools.
- Wire wheels: Made from both steel and brass bristles, wire wheels are designed to clean away grease and gunk quickly from auto valves and fittings. A grinder in a mechanic’s shop will likely have at least one wire wheel.
- Ceramic aluminum oxide: This abrasive wheel is used mainly for grinding away material from hard alloys and steel. If someone wanted to grind off half of an axe head (for some reason), this is the wheel they’d want.
- Buffing wheels: Made from a variety of thick, brushed fabrics, buffing wheels are designed to polish steel and metal items to a high shine. They’re often used by auto-body workers when restoring a car to achieve high sheens on hubcaps and other chrome automobile features.
Wheel Type and Size
Bench grinders are labeled by the size of their wheels, which are commonly either 6 inches or 8 inches in diameter. Both types of grinders perform similarly, with a couple of considerations.
- 6-inch grinder: These smaller bench grinders are often slightly less expensive, ranging from around 65 to 175, depending on the brand and any optional accessories they may feature. They come with a choice of low or high speeds, and they’re suitable for a variety of grinding purposes, such as sharpening knives, blades, and tools. They can weigh anywhere from 10 to 25 pounds or more and can be bolted to a workbench or used as a portable tool.
- 8-inch grinder: Designed with the professional mechanic or woodworker in mind, these larger 8-inch bench grinders often feature more powerful motors, but they usually don’t spin quite as quickly as the smaller 6-inch models. They’re made to stand up to frequent use in a professional workshop and range from around 100 to 500 or more, depending on brand and quality. They range in weight, typically between 20 to 50 pounds, and are usually bolted to a workbench to keep them from moving.
All power tools present a measure of risk—bench grinders included. Grinding iron creates sparks and sends shards of metal flying, so it’s imperative to wear safety glasses when operating a bench grinder. Fortunately, grinders usually include some safety features to help reduce risk—although they don’t eliminate risk completely.
- Eye guards: These are standard on most bench grinders in the form of clear, acrylic shields that extend directly over the grinding wheel as the user works, keeping metal and steel shards from making contact with eyes. Over time, these guards can become dirty or scratched, but when that happens, they can be replaced.
- Spark arrestors: These small steel plates, located between the wheels and the eye guards, are intended to keep sparks from flying all over the workshop. However, there will still be sparks, so it’s not a bad idea to keep flammables a few feet away from a bench grinder while it is in use. But, in general, the spark arrestors will keep the sparks from traveling very far.
Common bench grinder accessories are designed to make it easier to use the tool and include:
- Tool rests on which the user can brace a knife or blade to hold it steady while grinding. This accessory comes standard on almost all bench grinders.
- LED lights that illuminate the work area to better see the task at hand.
- Rubber feet (on portable models) to keep them from sliding across a workbench during operation.
- A water tray near the bottom of the grinder for dipping a chisel, or other metal items, to cool off.
Tips on How to Mount a Bench Grinder
If a DIYer has space on their workbench, they’ll most likely want to mount a new bench grinder to keep it stable while sharpening or smoothing tools and parts. Bench grinders are pretty heavy on their own, but bolting them to a workbench, using the provided holes in their base, is optimal.
- Position the grinder where it will go on the workbench, and then use a pencil to make marks on the workbench in all four base holes.
- Use a drill to drill through the pencil marks.
- Attach the grinder by inserting bolts through its base holes and the holes drilled in the workbench, and then use nuts to secure the bolts firmly in place.
Your grinding needs are not identical to anyone else’s, so the grinder you choose should reflect the type of materials and items you’ll be grinding. Below are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about bench grinders.
Q. What is a good speed for a bench grinder?
A good do-all speed for a bench grinder is between 3,000 and 3,600 rpm. Most models without variable speeds run at around 3,450 rpm for flexibility and general usefulness.
Q. What is the best size bench grinder?
Most pros would agree that the best size for a bench grinder is 8 inches. These models are small enough to move around, the wheels stay relatively cool during use, and the motors are built to withstand a lot of work. However, for a DIYers or part-time user, a 6-inch model will likely be more affordable and just as capable of getting the job done.
Q. Should I get a 6-inch or 8-inch bench grinder?
If you’re a DIYer and a newbie to bench grinders, consider a 6-inch model, which should provide you with ample power to grind, sharpen, and clean a wide array of blades and tools. The larger 8-inch grinders are designed for use by pros.
Q. Do I need a variable-speed bench grinder?
If you need to sharpen woodworking tools, but you also work on cars, a variable-speed grinder will allow you to use the lower speed for sharpening woodworking tools and the higher speed for grinding down bolt ends or cleaning away rust from auto parts.
Q. What is the best grit for sharpening knives on a bench grinder?
A 4,000 to 6,000-grit wheel is best for sharpening knives to a razor-sharp edge.
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