Bench grinders are a tool that most handymen would love to have in their workshop. These power tools can be big stationery models, or typically, in a small workshop, hand held or bolted to a work bench. Grinders are powered by an electric motor, compressed air or a petrol engine. Bench grinders can bevel or smooth materials like aluminum, plastics, concrete, brass, steel and cast iron. Bench grinders are very versatile and can be used for different types of projects. A bench grinder is usually portable and spins at a high speed using friction to smooth edges for sharpening knives or other blades. Due to the friction, operators usually wear protective gloves and glasses to protect themselves from any sparks.
Most bench grinders come with two wheels, one to use for deeper cutting and the other to smooth and polish the finished product. Different types of grinding wheels are specific for certain applications and the most common grinders are ones made from aluminum oxide or silicon carbide. Fiber and wire wheels can be added for use when buffing or polishing. Small bench grinders need to be secured to the work bench so that they remain stationery during use. This is usually done by screwing them firmly onto the workbench with holes that they usually have at the base. Bench grinders, for home workshops, are generally small and do not take up a lot of space, they are also generally inexpensive.
A Bench grinder is a great tool to have as it can sharpen knives and scissors, smooth out welded joints or even repair or clean rusted drill bits. If you have a lawn mower this is the tool to use to sharpen the blades. The main part of this power tool is the grinding wheel which comes in different sizes and textures. Before purchasing a bench grinder consider what you will most likely use it for, and get the appropriate one. Bench grinders are usually a horizontal motor with a wheel on either side which is mostly covered by a guard except for a small section which is exposed for using to shape, sharpen, cut or clean metal. For safety reasons there is also an eye shield in front of each wheel. Whatever you choose, make sure that it is one that can be utilized for all your projects.
- Top 7 Bench Grinders
- How to choose the best Bench Grinder
- Bench Grinder Reviews
Top 7 Bench Grinders
- Craftsman 9-21154 Variable Speed 6-Inch Grinding Center
- SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder
- DEWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder
- WEN 4276 2.1-Amp 6-Inch Bench Grinder with Flexible Work Light
- DEWALT DW758 8-Inch Bench Grinder
- Metabo DS 200 8-Inch Bench Grinder
- JET 577102 JBG-8A 8-Inch Bench Grinder
How to choose the best Bench Grinder
How powerful to you need it to be?
In order to calculate the power of the grinder you will have to look at the motor speed and the revolutions per minute. Depending on what you will be using it for you can choose from 0.5 HP to 1HP motor speed, but you will need at least 3,500 RPM for normal home use.
When shopping for a bench grinder, a long lasting cast iron base and motor housing is the best one to choose for its steadiness on your workbench and for strength and reliability.
The wheels are a big factor when buying a bench grinder. Wheels start from around 3 inches but the average size for a home grinder is between 6- 8 inches with a speed of 3,500 RPM.
Silicon carbide blades are ideal for using with stone, brass and aluminum and aluminum oxide wheels are best for grinding all types of steel and other ferrous metals.
Grinding wheels usually have a grit size from 16 to 120, the higher the number the finer the grit. Coarse is usually labelled from 16 – 24, medium is 26 – 60 and fine is from 80 – 130 grit. Which one you choose, will depend on what you are working on.
It is best to find a grinder with variable speeds so that you have full control over how fast it is spinning. This is especially important when you are sharpening fine items like knives.
Grinders can be dangerous if they vibrate when using them at high speeds. Choose a grinder with bigger diameter wheels, and one that you can secure to your bench.
Newer models of bench grinders feature a built in light that is easy to switch on and it illuminate the area you are working on.
Ease of use
Large well marked buttons and switches should be featured on your bench grinder as you will be wearing gloves when you use it and it should be easy to operate. Also make sure that the wheels are easy to change.
Useful attachments are a water tray which you will use when you are cooling of the metal you are working on. Eye shields are also a good idea and a dust collector is very useful to pick up all the shavings.
Most bench grinders have some sort of protection from the sparks created when working with metal. Some manufacturers actually supply safety glasses, which are always a good idea to wear. The grinder will protect your hands with the blade guard, but in some cases it is best to wear protective gloves as the metal also gets very hot.
Well-known brands and good quality bench grinders should include at least a one year warranty which will cover the motor and the grinders plus all built in parts.
Bench Grinder Reviews
1. Craftsman 9-21154 Variable Speed 6-Inch Grinding Center
Craftsman has been around for decades and is a trusted brand for reliable power tools. The 9-21154 bench grinder comes with 0.5 HP and 2.5 amp with a 2000 – 3400 RPM. The base of this Craftsman model is made out of cast iron which makes it bottom heavy and steady on you worktop. A patented attachment is the large adjustable tool rest that comes with this unit which is convenient to have near you when you are working with the grinder. With variable speed control you can go from 2000 – 3400 RPM to control your grinding applications.
The Craftsman 9-21154 comes with a water cooling tray, a hand held wheel dresser and clear wide eye shields and spark guards. The wheel guards are easy to change and the thin motor housing allows for grinding longer material. An independent flexible work light comes with a separate switch on top so you can clearly see what you are working on. This unit comes with two wheels, one for grinding and one wire wheel for polishing. Extra wheels of different textures are available to purchase separately.
- Variable speed control
- 5 HP – 3400 RPM
- Cast iron base
- Adjustable tool rest
- Eye shields
- Tool rest does not fit properly
2. SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder
The SKIL 3380 bench grinder is manufactured with a 2.1 Ampere motor and has a speed of 3450 RPM. Reasonably priced the SKIL bench grinder is ideal for home workshops. This unit comes with two wheels, a coarse one and a medium texture, which is great for most applications. The built in LED lights are bright and illuminate both wheels to make it easier for you to work with. The adaptable tool rest is convenient and accessible and the rubber feet at the bottom steady the grinder on your work table.
For safety, the SKIL 3380 comes with eye shields and a solid cast iron base which keeps the grinder stable. This bench grinder is considered to be real value for money as it is well built and can be used on most materials including wood. Replacing the wheels can be a bit tricky and if you need more options you can purchase these separately.
- 1 Ampere motor
- 3450 RPM
- LED light
- Tool rest
- Solid base
- Value for money
- Changing wheels tricky
3. DEWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder
The DEWALT DW756 is a heavy duty grinder that is manufactured in China. This unit has a 5/8 HP induction motor and runs at 3,450 RPM. Position materials you are working with is easy with the two precision aluminum tool rests. The base and motor housing is made out of cast iron which provides weight for stability on your worktop and extra durability. The DEWALT DW756 is suitable for larger grinding applications due to its 12.5 inch gap between the wheels. The whole unit weighs in at 25.5 pounds and include a 36 medium coarse wheel and a finer 60 grit wheel.
Eye shields and spark deflectors together with an adjustment wrench are included with this unit. The DEWALT DW756 is suitable for use as a sharpening tool, deburring and rust removal. The grinder is 15 inches long and has rear exhaust ports in the wheel guards which provide a smoother operation. This bench grinder comes with a 3 year limited warranty covering any defect due to faulty materials or workmanship. There is also a 1 year free service contract in place from date of purchase.
- 5/8 Induction motor
- 3450 RPM
- Cast Iron base
- Spark Deflectors
- Rear exhaust ports
- Aluminum tool rests
- 3 year warranty
- 1 year service contract
- Discs are difficult to change
- A bit noisy
4. WEN 4276 6-Inch Bench Grinder
The WEN 4276 is a lightweight bench grinder that is easily transportable and weighs only 16 pounds. It still packs a lot of power with its 2.1 Amp motor and a speed of up to 3450 RPM. This unit comes with two 6 inch wheels and it can be used with a 60 grit wheel for general purpose grinding or one which is 36 grit and coarser for heavier applications. Changing wheels is fairly simple and the solid cast iron base makes this unit stable on you workbench.
The flexible light provides better vision for more accurate grinding. A WEN Pedestal Stand is available for attaching your grinder but has to be purchased separately. The solid cast iron base has a water pot for using to cool off metal you are working with. The three legged stand comes with bolt holes which gives you the choice of securing the bench grinder to your worktop. Protective eye guards are included with this purchase. The WEN 4276 is a welcome addition to any workshop and is a powerful tool for use when sharpening dull blades of all kinds. All WEN Products are covered by a two-year warranty and a National service network.
- Easy to transport
- Flexible light
- Protective eye guards
- 3 year warranty
- Pedestal stand sold separately
5. DEWALT DW758 8-Inch Bench Grinder
The heavy duty DEWALT DW758 8-inch bench grinder is ideal for all grinding operations, including sharpening tools, deburring, rust removal, shaping parts and cleaning objects. It’s powered by a 3/4 horsepower induction motor that runs at 3,600 RPM. This unit comes with overload protection and has a tool free adjustable guard. The base and motor housing is made out of industrial strength cast iron which makes this unit steady and durable. The distance between the wheels in 12.5 inches which makes it possible to grind larger materials. Adjustable aluminum tool rests are included so that you can position your materials for grinding.
The DEWALT DW758 is a large bench grinder and weighs just under 40 pounds. It has rear exhaust ports in the wheel guards for smoother operation. The guards can be adjusted without needing any tools, and this enables quick installation. This unit has two wheels a 36 coarse wheel and a finer 60 grit wheel. The DEWALT DW758 comes with eye shields and spark deflectors, the tool rests and operating instructions. This product is backed by a 3 year limited warranty covering any defects due to faulty materials and workmanship as well as a 1 year service contract.
- Induction motor
- 3600 RPM
- Overload protection
- Tool free adjustment guard
- Cast iron base
- Tool rests
- Rear exhaust ports
- Operating manual unreadable
6. Metabo DS 200 8-Inch Bench Grinder
The Metabo DS 200 is a well-made, 8 inch bench grinder that has a 1 Arbor induction motor and speed of 3570 RPM. The industrial machine is maintenance free and quieter than other models tested. The base and the outer casing is made with die cast aluminum and the wheels lock with a bayonet which makes it easy to change grinding discs. The motor of the Metabo DS 200 produces very low vibrations which makes this model very stable and steady.
The wheels are covered with a die-cast aluminum cover for extra safety and the power switches are in a bright color for easy detection and use, especially when wearing gloves. This unit comes with two grinding wheels, a 36 and a 60 Corundum Grinding Wheel. Included in the box are spark protection safety glasses, a hexagonal wrench and a support tray for positioning your materials. The Metabo DS 200 comes with a one year standard warranty.
- Low Vibrations
- Quiet when used
- Die cast aluminum casing
- Bayonet locking of wheels
- Easily detected power switch
- Support Tray
7. JET 577102 JBG-8A 8-Inch Bench Grinder
The JET 577103 is considered to be an industrial grade bench grinder which is also suitable for a home workshop. This is a 1HP, single phase 115 V motor which reaches a speed of 3450 RPM. The wheels are 8 inches in diameter and the arbor is 5/8 of an inch wide. This unit is built to last with cast iron wheel guards, enclosed ball bearings and quick adjusting spark guards. The Jet 577102 grinder has a rubber bottom foot to keep the machine from moving and it also includes a heavy duty, guarded toggle switch.
It also has totally enclosed pre-lubricated ball bearings and spark guards which are easy to adjust. Clear eye shields are situated at the top of each wheel which will allow you to get close to your work while protecting your eyes. Dust vents at the back direct the dust and shavings away from the grinder to keep your work area clean. This unit comes with 2 vitrified grinding wheels, a 36 grit and a finer 60 grit. The JET 577103 has a 2 year limited warranty.
- pre-lubricated ball bearings
- cast-iron wheel guards
- 3450 RPM
- 1HP single phase motor
- Rubber bottom for stability
- Adjustable spark guards
- Eye shields
- Wheels are a bit wobbly