Best Bench Grinder – Top Picks & Reviews
If you’ve decided to buy a bench grinder, you’ve made a great choice. They are an extremely useful machine, however there are a few things you should keep in mind before you buy one so we have created a detailed guide designed to help you choose the best bench grinder for whatever it is you need it for.
Whether you’re a serious DIY expert or you’re just an average guy wanting to sharpen your lawn mower blades a bench grinder will be a great addition to your workshop!
This tool is essentially two spindles located either side of a motor in the center. Although it’s a basic looking tool it’s uses really are numerous.
Factors to consider before you buy
Power & Speed
When considering which product to go for, think about whether your use of the machine will be on light tasks or heavy tasks requiring a bigger more powerful/faster motor. Bench grinders typically have an RPM range from 2000 RPM to 4000 and up. It varies from model to model, but the best advise is to choose one with adjustable speed settings so whatever you’re doing you can simply change the speed to suit your needs.
Grinding Wheel type
The type of grinding wheel that comes installed on the machine is important (however it can be changed out later). The different wheels are for different jobs and materials. Some materials will call for a more coarse wheel and some others will need it to be less coarse for a finer result. Some models even come with medium and coarse wheels so you can swap them yourself depending on what the task at hand calls for.
Sturdy & Reliable
A good machine should have reviews from consumers that reflect its quality and reliability. It’s important that it has a solid build quality so it can stand up to being used often without breaking down. It’s also a good idea to look for one that features a cast iron base as this prevents wobbling while grinding.
Built in light
Even if your work space is well-lit, it’s a bonus if you can find a machine that comes with an LED light built in. This helps to illuminate the area you’re working in specifically, helping with more precise and effective work, it’s also a safety feature.
Ideally you should pick a tool which is a good brand and you know you can rely on. But even then there is some chance of encountering problems, so it is a good idea to check out the warranty from the manufacturer. The best idea would be to buy your machine from a manufacturer that offers a warranty of one year or more, this way you can have peace of mind that if something goes wrong you’re covered.
SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder
The SKIL 3380 is a fantastic 6 inch entry level machine that will serve you well without costing you an arm and a leg. It features a well powered 2.1 Amp Motor with 3,450 RPM. It has both a medium and a coarse wheel to suit working with a variety of different materials. As it is generally a versatile machine, this is one of the most popular options out there . It’s also very easy to detach and change accessories on this model if you want to. Both wheels feature built in LED work lights for maximum visibility which is always a nice touch. The feet are rubber which means it does a good job at staying firmly in place, it can also mount easily to your work bench and is very rigid due to its cast iron base. Whether for the home workshop or garage this is a versatile tool that could be perfect for you. From sharpening drill bits, to polishing metal surfaces, or grinding welds this can do it all.
WEN 4276 Bench Grinder
This offering from WEN is made in both 6″ and 8″ varieties for those who want a slightly bigger wheel.
It is extremely well priced for its quality and durability. It’s motor has a modest 2.1-Amps and does 3450 RPM (under no load). It is also fairly lightweight weighing only around 16lbs. This model also features a nice adjustable work light for ensuring your precision while working. Like the previous model above it has the feature of dual wheels, one is 36-grit and the other 60-grit for lighter material removal. Overall this option from WEN is a pretty solid choice, it is very powerful for its price, and still compact enough to move about easily. One negative of the 6 inch model is that it may restrict your ability on the sizes of materials/tools you want to sharpen etc, fortunately there is also the 8″ option.
DEWALT DW758 8-Inch Bench Grinder
The DEWALT DW758 is a heavy duty beast that is one of the top choices if you’re after a fantastic and powerful machine. It has many positive reviews in the powertools community, and it is known to be highly durable. It features overload protection to extend the motor life. It has a 3/4HP motor capable of industrial grade grinding jobs. The base and motor housing both are cast iron to prolong the life of this beast. The precision made tool rests allow for extremely accurate positioning of work. All these great features and it wont break the bank, in fact this tool is very reasonably priced! This offering from DEWALT shouldn’t be overlooked for the brilliant value for money, but might be a bit heavy duty for the average user.
Metabo DS 200
the Metabo DS 200 bench grinder is our top choice for many good reasons. For a start, it is a heavy duty machine that can easily tackle any work you throw at it. This 8 inch bench grinder weighs in at about 35.9 pounds, so it isn’t light by any stretch of the imagination, however due to its compact size it is still relatively portable. One good thing about the grinder weighing more, is that the heavier models tend to be better at reducing unwanted vibrations. That being said, it’s still best to mount this machine to the floor with bolts, for safety if nothing else. The electrically powered motor has an impressive 240 V, 600 Watts capability, powering the wheel up to 3,570 RPM. Because of the fact that it spins very quickly, and is quite a heavy weight, some note that it does take a while to slow down upon switching it off. Overall, the Metabo DS 200 is a top of the line product that is perfect if you want to pay a premium price for a premium product. It may be overkill for the beginners out there, but for most, this bench grinder is certainly worth considering.
Using your new bench grinder
There are too many different uses to list! A common one might be using your bench grinder to sharpen knives or other metal tools. If you’re using your drill press a lot, chances are you have noticed some wear on your drill bits. Thankfully using a bench grinder it’s very easy to get them back in great shape! There are a few other ways to do it like using a file etc but they’re not as effective. Drill bits can be quite expensive to replace so having the ability to re-sharpen them is really useful.
Follow these tips and you’ll be good to go again in no time:
- First remember to wear gloves & safety glasses
- Hold the drill bit so that its cutting face is paralleled to the grinding wheel.
- Carefully allow the bit to make contact with the wheel, keeping it held straight and sturdy. Ensure that you don’t remove an excessive amount of metal that you don’t need.
- While doing this if the bit is in contact for too long it can heat up and weaken it, so take it off to dip it in water frequently.
- Once you have one cutting edge sharp, rotate it to take care of the other side.
- Finally, let it sit in water if it needs to cool off, then put it back in your drill press for a test!
Here is a video demonstration: