Bench grinders are one of the most popular power tools in a modern-day workshop. Featuring two interchangeable wheels, bench grinders are primarily used for grinding and sharpening other tools in your toolbox. It can also be used to shape, buff, or polish metal as well as in woodworking to level and smoothen out rough edges. Ultimately, the best bench grinder will elevate your toolset, provide sharp blades and edges as well as cut and smoothen out the edges of any material you are working on.
The best part of a bench grinder is the ability to change different types of wheels which translates to increased productivity and efficiency. Also, the machine is lightweight, often hand-held, and it can even be mounted on a bench or table if needed. Besides, it is an efficient tool for both commercial and home use.
Comparison table for The Best Bench Grinder 2021
Though it is not the most expensive nor most sophisticated tool in a household workshop, a bench grinder is a must-have tool for any serious DIYer who want to keep the lawnmower blades in good condition. They are versatile tools, and they have a solid and reliable body that won’t break down with continual use and the good thing they can be used as the bench-top type or the freestanding ones. You will need to keep all these in mind in your search for a bench grinder.
1. DEWALT DW758
The heavy-duty DEWALT DW758 is powered by a 3/4 HP induction motor which provides plenty of power your grinding applications including removing rust, sharpening tools, shaping, and deburring. The powerful motor runs at 3600 RPM to allow for reliable and quick material removal. Also, the grinding wheels are positioned 12 ½ inches from each other, which enable the grinder to accommodate both small and large grinding applications.
Features and Benefits of DEWALT DW758
- i. Excellent motor life: Featuring a ¾ HP induction motor, the DW758 provides you with adequate torque to spin the grinding wheels for a wide range of applications. Despite this power, the unit is still compact, and it doesn’t occupy a lot of space. This motor is also designed with overload protection to offer maximum reliability and to maximize motor life. There is also a rear exhaust port that gets rid of all dust and debris for a smoother operation.
- ii. 8-inch grinding wheels: The DeWalt DW758 bench grinder includes two 8-inch grinding wheels, the 36-grit wheel and 60-grit wheel, which are ready to take on any grinding work. The wheels are 12 ½ inches apart to allow for longer and larger grinding work including sharpening tools, sharping parts, rust removal, deburring, and cleaning objects.
- iii. Sturdy cast-iron base: The DW758 is complemented by a pretty sturdy base made from industrial cast iron for durability and extended life. This base provides you with an adequate surface area for balance and to give an impression of a rigid tool. The inserts allow you to bolt the unit to your workbench for maximum stability regardless of the workload. As for safety, this machine comes with transparent spark deflector for optimal visibility and protection.
- iv. Precision-machined aluminum tool rests: The aluminum tool rests make a big difference by ensuring maximum accuracy and a perfect finish every single time. The adjustable guards allow you to change the wheels quickly to ensure that you’ll get the most out of this machine. Also, Dewalt has a big arbor width that will enable you to work with large tools, thus giving you the versatility you need.
- Fast speed to enable you to sharpen any material.
- A sturdy tool rest for improved accuracy.
- The powerful and reliable induction motor provides enough power for heavy-duty applications.
- It works smoothly and quietly.
- Adjustable guards ensure safe operation.
- The wheels are somewhat hard to swap.
- It is quite heavy.
The Dewalt combine great features such as rugged cast iron base and quality construction to give you very durable bench grinder for all grinding applications. It is strong enough for professional use but also quite affordable that it is also an excellent choice for hobbyists as well.
2. JET 577102
The JET 577102 is built to withstand high demand grinding applications making it suitable for industrial projects. This high-quality machine grinds and sharpens with utmost precision, and it offers very smooth operation with little vibrations. With its impressive motor and 8-inch wheels, this machine will meet all your needs, and it is capable of handling tough material that other grinders may not be able to.
Features and Benefits of JET 577102
- i. Top performance and reliability: The JET 577102 combines a powerful motor, incredible motor speeds, and large grinding wheels to create a high-performance bench grinder. Its 1-HP (8-amp) motor is rated for heavy-duty operations, and it is about twice as powerful as most entry-grade grinding machines. This motor turns the grinding wheel at a single speed of 3450 RPM which is more than enough for most DIY grinding needs.
- ii. Sealed and pre-lubricated ball bearings: The grinder comes with pre-lubricated ball bearings which mean less maintenance. The bearings are also fully enclosed for added durability. The unit also includes a heavy-duty toggle guarded switch on the side to ensure that you don’t toggle the switch accidentally as you work or when changing wheels. There is also a dust collector port for safe and mess-free operation.
- iii. Cast-iron wheel guards: The jet 577102 sits on a heavy rubber feet foot to help prevent unnecessary movement. The unit can also be bolted down for added stability and reduced vibrations. It also includes cast iron wheel guards and industrial-grade 36-grit wheel for quick grinding and 60-grit for general and delicate applications. The adjustable tool rests ensure optimal positioning, which is a crucial focus for this tool.
- iv. Safety precautions: The adjustable eye shields and spark guards are relatively large to provide you with the protection you need to work seamlessly. Besides, the eye shields are transparent, and they sit atop each grinding wheel to protect your eyes and to enable you to get a clear view while working. The adjustable tool rests also serves as a security feature by ensuring that the user has more control over the machine.
- JET 577102 comes with large eye shields for maximum protection.
- It includes coarse and fine vitrified grinding wheels.
- The grinder sits on a rubber foot for maximum stability.
- The dust collection ports keep all debris away from the working area.
- It comes pre-lubricated.
- Some wheels tend to wobble.
- This model does not come with work light.
Though a lightweight bench grinder, the JET 577102 is capable of handling heavy-duty grinding applications effectively. The unit is designed with user safety in mind while also offering much control to ensure consistency.
3. SKIL 3380-01
SKIL 3380-01 is a fantastic entry bench grinder that is going to do it all from polishing metal surfaces or sharpening drill bits to grinding welds. It is equipped with rubber feet which enables it to mount easily to a benchtop. Also, it includes coarse and medium wheels making this 6-inch bench grinder the best bench grinder for the money.
Features and Benefits of SKIL 3380-01
- i. Reliable power: Featuring a 2.1 amp motor, this bench grinder offers plenty of power for pretty much every task. The motor spins the wheel at 3450 RPM, a power level that is more than enough for an average DIYer who wants something for sharpening tools or buffing. However, it is best suited for a small home shop or garage, and it may not be capable of extended, heavy usage.
- ii. Built-In LED work light: One of the greatest features of SKIL 3380-01 is the convenient LED work light above each grinding wheel. The built-in lights keep the unit compact while improving visibility for grinding accuracy, thus ensuring a perfect finish. This also means that you don’t have to deal with an overhanging lamp that can make it hard to store or to bring along with you.
- iii. Medium and Coarse Wheels: When it comes to the actual grinding, this machine comes with medium and coarse wheels to grind down a variety of material from rivets and welded joints to polishing surf aces. There is also an adjustable tool rests that hold your tools in place to allow more natural and accurate grinding for most light to medium-duty tasks.
- iv. Safety Features: Some of the safety features of the 3380-01 6-inch bench grinder include a solid cast-iron base equipped with rubber feet. This helps to ensure that the grinder remains steady and that it can easily mount to a benchtop. Also, the grinder will not wobble when it is in operation while also providing better access to the grinding wheels. Other feature includes the eye shields that keep the sparks away from your face and eyes.
- It features built-in LED work lights over both wheels to keep the workpiece lit.
- It is easy to assemble in just a few minutes.
- Highly portable as it just weighs 16 pounds.
- It runs quietly.
- The cast-iron base helps to keep vibrations to the minimal.
- The motor is not as powerful.
- Not ideal for heavy-duty grinding.
The SKIL 3380-01 applies decent amount power and protection to do light grinding, including sharpening knives or mower blades. It is very convenient, works decently, and it is a great tool to have around the house or for hobby use.
4. WEN 4276
If you are looking for a speedy grinder but on a tight budget, then you should try the WEN 4276 6-inch bench grinder. This machine comes with a coarse 36-grit wheel ideal for faster material removal and a 60-grit wheel for general grinding making it the perfect companion for any workshop. Also, the wen grinder bench stand, sold individually, helps with the heavy vibrations by providing an independent surface to hold the grinder.
Features and Benefits of WEN 4276
- i. Quiet motor and lightweight design: Featuring a quiet 2.1 amp motor, the WEN 4276 will ensure quick startups and steady speed of up to 3450 revolutions per minute. Also, weighing in at only 16lb. this bench grinder is built with you in mind, and it is an ideal choice for anyone looking for a compact and quiet grinder that can get the job done.
- ii. Sturdy base: Just because the grinder is light doesn’t mean it is unstable. The heavy-duty base ensures safe mounting while reducing wobbling and vibrations during operation. The cast iron and steel construction include a sturdy pedestal stand for the grinder to rest on. This stand consists of a three-legged design with slots and holes for fastening your bench grinder.
- iii. Flexible work light: We cannot forget about the flexible work light, which helps to light up the workspace for accurate grinding and to monitor progress. Additionally, the light is detachable, which means you can move the light position when required. There are also adjustable eye guards in place to offer protection from debris and sparks for safe operation.
- iv. Two pre-installed wheels: The WEN 4276 comes with two pre-installed 6-by- 3/4 inch wheels allowing you to either remove material faster using the 36-grit wheel or use the 60-grit wheel for general purpose grinding. However, this grinder can be outfitted with a variety of aftermarket grinding wheels. The design of the WEN 4276 also makes wheel guard removal straightforward, thus making the process of removing wheels easy.
- Work light for maximum visibility and precision.
- The heavy-duty base ensures safe mounting while also reducing wobbling during operation.
- It is ideal for deburring rough edges and removing rust.
- The 2.1 am motor ensures quick start-up and smooth performance.
- Quick wheel removal.
- It doesn’t have enough power for large projects.
- It is somehow hard to mount.
- The lights only work when the wheels are spinning.
Compact yet powerful, the WEN 4276 2.1 amp bench grinder with flexible work light allows for quick honing of scissors and dull blades. Also, this grinder does an excellent job of polishing and buffing pieces of metal, even in the face of the most challenging tasks.
5. POWERTEC BGSS801
The POWERTEC BGSS801 is a slow speed grinder designed to accommodate small home projects including sharpening knives, blades, and chisels. The unit runs at 1725 RPM which provides a cool operation to ensure more extended use. Besides, the wheels are made of white aluminum oxide, which produces less heat than other dressing materials.
Features and Benefits of POWERTEC BGSS801
- i. Efficient slow speed design: The POWERTEC BGSS801 1/2HP motor is designed to produce a decent amount of power in its slow speed design. The motor spins the wheels at a speed of 1725 RPM to provide a smooth and long-lasting performance. This, however, doesn’t mean that it is underpowered. Instead, it works at a speed perfect for precision jobs making this bench grinder the best grinder for sharpening lathe tools.
- ii. White aluminum oxide wheels: Apart from the slow speed motor, this grinder comes with white aluminum oxide wheels which are designed to produce minimal amounts of heat as possible during grinding. This enables you to grind or sharpen sensitive tools more efficiently and use them soon after because you don’t have to wait for them to cool down.
- iii. Durable steel design: The base of the POWERTEC BGSS801 is made from durable, heavy-gauge steel for improved durability. This steel base also reduces vibration during operation, which helps to improve the overall stability. Besides, the tool gives an incredible metal finish in its quiet and elegant design. It is, however, a bit heavier, but it will accommodate most of your DIY metalwork projects.
- iv. The locking power switch: The locking power switch is a unique safety feature that helps to prevent you and any unauthorized person from turning on the device accidentally. Other additional safety features include sparks deflectors and eye shields to protect you and those around. There are also shields for each wheel for extra protection while doing some simple repairs or sharpening various tools.
- The aluminum oxide wheels produce less heat.
- Also, the 1725 RPM provides a cool environment to keep tools from overheating.
- Noise-free motor for a smooth operation.
- The lock power switch ensures that authorized people, such as children do not switch on the device.
- The wheels are easy to change.
- The tool rests are relatively small.
- Not as powerful as other models.
- It is one of the slowest grinders.
POWERTEC BGSS801 is for you if you are looking for a grinder with a steady RPM speed rating. This slow running grinder is designed to produce less heat, and it is a convenient option for jobs that require more precision.
6. TruePower 199
The TruePower 199 mini bench grinder gives you a variety of speed options ranging from 0 to 10,000 RPM. The variable speed options enable the wheel to handle various materials efficiently and quickly. Additionally, the flexible shaft makes it easy for you to use this grinder on hard to reach places. It is also compact and extra portable meaning you can take it with you to different job sites.
Features and Benefits of TruePower 199
- i. Variable speed control : The TruePower 199 offers you variable speed control ranging from 0 to 10000 RPM so that you can customize the settings to suit the needs of your application. With these, the wheel attachments can handle multiple materials with efficiency. In addition, you’ll get two wheels, a grinding wheel and fiber polishing wheel, to enable you to take care of anything around the house.
- ii. Single shaft bench grinder: The flexible shaft is yet another best-selling feature of the TruePower 199. The shaft attaches directly to the grinder, and as it spins, it gives you’re the flexibility to access even the tight spaces. It also comes with lots of extra attachments including a collet and hex wrench to make the process of changing the wheel easy. There is also tool rests that allow you to get the correct grinding angles and eye shields to protect your face.
- iii. High power motor: The TruePower is built with a high-speed motor rated at 150W and 100 volts which is a pretty good amount of power to spin the 3-inch wheels. Although these wheels are smaller than the standard wheels, they spin faster to provide plenty of power for basic jobs. Also, it is great for jewelry uses, including polishing stones and polishing metal bands.
- iv. Compact and extra portable: If you are looking for a lightweight and small bench grinder for your small home shop, then you should consider the TruePower 199 bench grinder. The unit only weighs about seven pounds and measures 11 inches wide and 7 inches tall, a size that you can move around the workshop or transport to different job sites. It also makes it perfect for sharpening small tools and other small projects.
- True Power is compact and lightweight, which makes it perfect for sharpening small tools at home.
- Multiple speeds ranging from 0 to 10,000 RPM.
- It includes a flexible shaft.
- It is a budget-friendly option.
- It is excellent for jewelry uses such as polishing metal bands.
- It comes with separate grinding and polishing wheels.
- The power is not designed to handle major projects, but it doesn’t mean it is not good enough.
- The 3-inch grinding wheel is rather small.
- The small parts tend to break easily.
The TruePower 199 is a small hobby bench grinder that gets your work done within no time. It is a great deal, and as the name suggests, it will gives lots of power to sharpen, buff, clean or shape just anything.
7. Rikon Professional Power Tools, 80-805
Rikon 80 805 features a ½ HP motor to ensure a smooth start-up and to give you the versatility of tackling tough grinding jobs. Its design offers a critical focus on safety which means fewer injuries and accidents. Rikon 80 805 performs great when it comes buffing wood pieces making it one of the best bench grinder for woodworking. It is also used to put a sharp edge on chisels, knives and other hand-held tools.
Features and Benefits of Rikon Professional Power Tools, 80-805
- i. Sturdy and safe: The base is made from cast iron with anti-vibration rubber feet to control vibrations even when the wheels are running at full speed. The design also includes a groove for sharpening drill bits while the adjustable eye shields and spark resistors ensure safety while using the grinder. The package includes a stand for securing the grinder on the floor.
- ii. Designed to reduce heat: This grinder is fully equipped with 1″ by 8 ” 60 grit and 120 grit aluminum oxide wheels to minimize heat build-up. You can run the wheels individually or concurrently, but they tend to wobble at times. It also includes a diamond wheel sharpener for all sharpening operations. The dual tool rests are flat and extra larger, making this grinder it more flexible.
- iii. Elevated low power motor: With its 1/2HP motor, this bench grinder is capable of delivering up to 1750 revolutions per minute to provide enough power for small shops as well as for beginners who want to get into bench grinders. Being a slow speed grinder, it can be used for carpentry, carving and other applications that you don’t require you to remove a lot of material. Also, the motor comes with lubricated bearings, meaning it requires minimal maintenance.
- iv. Dual dust collectors: There are dual dust collector ports on the rear of the wheel guards that keep all debris away from the working area. The unit is also easy to set up; all you need to do is to add the attachments to complete the unit, and you are ready to start. However, the tool rests are not easily adjustable, but you can always go for aftermarket replacements.
- The diamond wheel helps to reduce heat build-up.
- It is low-powered, but it gives you the versatility of its powerful counterparts.
- The sturdy base gives you the stability and balance needed for your projects.
- It comes with safety features for protection during grinding.
- Large 8-inch grinding wheels.
- The tool rests are not entirely stable.
- Slow operating speed.
- The wheels can wobble at times.
This grinder represents a very economic grinding system that will keep your tools up and running within a very short time. It is designed to keep the heat build-up down while meeting the needs carpenters, carvers and other craftspeople.
Choosing the right bench grinder
If you are going to buy a bench grinder, you’ll need to ensure that it has all the features you need to accomplish any task thrown at it. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that you are not going to use or one that overpowers your needs. Here are a few things you’ll need to have a look at before you pick a bench grinder for your workshop.
i. Types of wheels
There different types of wheels for different jobs and materials and choosing the right one for your grinder will make your work easier. You’ll need to consider the kinds of projects you want to perform and if the model you choose is compatible with the wheels required for the project. The best bench grinder should offer you multiple wheel options even if it doesn’t come with all of them.
You’ll also want to know the type of material and grit that the wheels are made of. For example, an aluminum oxide wheel is mainly used for grinding steel while silicon carbide is used for hard metals such as cast iron. Most bench grinders come with a coarse and fine grit, which tends to cover the needs of most projects. As such, make sure you know what you are getting so that you can get after-market add-ons that are going to fit.
One thing you should never forget is the motor speed and the revolutions per minute it can produce. You’ll need something that can deliver enough speed to get the job done. The higher the speed, the faster the grinder is going to spin. High-speed grinders produce sufficient amounts of power required for faster material removal and a majority home improvement and repairs projects. Slow speed grinders, on the other hand, are used for more extensive tasks that require high precision and accuracy, such as in sharpening metal objects.
A bench grinder can either have a fixed speed or variable speed options depending on your grinding needs. For domestic grinding needs, a constant-speed grinder is the most suitable since it is straightforward to use. For commercial and professional workshops, it is recommended to choose one with adjustable speed settings because you may require grinder for different tasks.
iii. Work light
The work light is one of the most important things you may want to consider, even if the workspace is well lit. Work light helps to illuminate the work piece you are working on, making you more productive and accurate. You’ll also want to consider the type of work light that is most convenient for you. For example, some grinders come with an inbuilt LED light while others will have the light directly attached over the center of the unit or the wheels. Some units may have more than one light to make it easy for you to work from different angles.
iv. Size; 6-inch or 8-inch bench grinder?
Bench grinders come in a range of diameter sizes. The standard sizes are 6-inch and 8-inch, but they are also small ones that are only 3 inches. 6-inch wheel grinders have a regular speed of around 3400-3600 RPM, and often they are ideal for home use. The 8-inch wheel, on the other hand, tends to have low-speed ratings and is best suited for industrial applications.
The larger the diameter, the larger the physical dimensions and this is going to be an essential consideration in space-restricted areas. Also, the 8-inch wheel grinders tend to have fewer wheel changes than the 6-inch ones, which mean less maintenance.
v. Safety Features
Grinding involves a lot of moving parts which can lead to dangerous situations. As such, safety should be an essential consideration for anyone looking to use these machines. Most grinders will have adjustable spark deflectors and eye shields to protect you from bodily harm while grinding. Other essential features include the dust vents which help channel dust and debris away from you and the locking power switch to prevent any accidental start-ups.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Question 1: Can I use a bench grinder for wood?
Answer: Yes. You can use a bench grinder to cut, clean, reshape or polish any wood project. But this will require changing the right wheel for your job. For example, you can use a buffing wheel to buff up waxed wooden work pieces. However, when working with wood don’t hold the piece against the grinder for too long as it can catch fire easily.
Question 2: Why should I dress the wheels?
Answer: Over time, the surface of the grinding wheel may flake off or become rugged. Instead of grinding properly, the rough surface makes your work pieces rugged as well. As such, you’ll need to smoothen it out using various dressing materials to give the wheel a fresh edge. You can use different types of abrasives, such as aluminum oxide or silicon carbide for dressing.
Question 3: Can you grind glass with a bench grinder?
Answer: No. you’ll need a glass grinder to grind your glass pieces into the desired shapes and patterns. However, you can use a bench grinder to get rid of the unsightly edges on your freshly cut glass pieces. You can do this by running the area of the glass that requires smoothing against the surface of the wheel to clean the edges.
Question 4: Bench grinder vs. Belt sander; which one is better for DIY tasks?
Answer: Most DIYers there are more into the belt sander because it is more versatile when compared to a bench grinder. A belt sander is not only used on metal pieces but also on some soft materials such as plastic. However, if you want a bigger selection of wheels from a diamond abrasive kind to the buffing wheel, it is better to go with a bench grinder.
Question 5: How do you remove a wheel from a bench grinder?
Answer: If you need to change or remove the wheel from a bench grinder, you’ll be required to unscrew the center arbor nut using a wrench while holding the wheel in one hand so that it doesn’t rotate. Typically, the right side wheel rotates towards you; thus, the nut should be unscrewed by turning it toward the front of the grinder. The left side wheel, on the other hand, rotates in the opposite direction and as such, you should unscrew it by turning it towards the back of the grinder. Once unscrewed remove the nuts followed by the wheels.
A bench grinder is an essential tool for any workshop. For anyone looking for the best option when it comes to bench grinders, you may want to take a look at all the available options, but you will definitely want to try the DEWALT DW758. This unit is affordable yet durable, and it offers ample power and speed to enable you to accomplish a range of both minor and intense projects.
No matter what your budget is or your needs are, there is a bench grinder for you. The best bench grinder should be made of superior quality materials, and it should have the specifications you need to get the job done. Also, it should have a strong base for extra support and balance during usage. However, the most important thing is to determine what you will use it for before choosing one for your needs. Well, we also have separate review article of the best die grinders or angle grinders if you need to know about them. Happy shopping.