September 29, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Bench Grinders for Your Workshop

In the world of workshop tools, bench grinders are vital for precision and power. These machines, often found in garages or workshops, are essential for DIY enthusiasts and professionals. Bench grinders are more than just tools; they are indispensable for artisans, sculptors, and machinists.

Similar to the evolution of window coverings that combine form and function, bench grinders have also advanced significantly. In the age of smart devices, it’s no surprise that bench grinders have become intelligent tools. These modern machines offer precise grinding and sharpening, with automation that was once the stuff of science fiction.

This guide explores the best bench grinders available today, where precision meets automation and craftsmanship meets technology. We’ll cover industry favorites and budget-friendly options that cater to the needs of artisans and professionals. Whether aiming for top-notch performance or a practical workshop companion, our guide will help you find the perfect bench grinder. Join us as we uncover the artistry and innovation behind these workshop essentials.

Editor’s Pick

Editor’s Pick

The Baileigh BBG-08 is our Editor’s Pick for its innovative performance. An integrated angle indicator and alignment reference lines simplify sharpening even for beginners, while the slow speed guarantees precision. Its heavy-duty construction, spark arrestors, and durability make it the top choice for woodworking enthusiasts.

Check the Price

Budget Option

Budget Option

The Budget Option, WEN BG4260, stands out for its affordability without compromising quality. With a quiet motor and two versatile wheels, it offers great value for users revitalizing old tools and achieving effective sharpening on a budget. Its user-friendly design and adjustable features make it an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable, cost-effective bench grinder.

Check the Price

What you should look for

The Bench Grinder Buying Guide offers key insights for selecting the right bench grinder:

  • Type of Bench Grinder: Consider your needs when choosing between general-purpose, precision, or blade-sharpening grinders.
  • Disc Color: Disc colors indicate abrasiveness levels, crucial for achieving the desired finish on workpieces.
  • Twin or Single Wheel: Choose between twin-wheel versatility and single-wheel simplicity based on your intended tasks.
  • Diameter and Frequency of Use: Wheel size matters; larger for heavy-duty, smaller for precision work. Frequency of use determines the grinder’s size and robustness.
  • Sharpening Type: Select a grinder with the right features and accessories (e.g., tool rests, jigs) for your specific sharpening needs.

Considering these factors, you’ll make an informed decision, ensuring efficient and precise grinding results with your chosen bench grinder.

Top Bench Grinders on the Market

WEN BG625V

Revive old tools, knives, and bits affordably with the WEN BG625V 6-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder. It features a quiet 2.5-amp variable-speed motor (2000-3400 RPM) with two 6-inch wheels (80-grit and 36-grit).

The grinder has a flexible work light for precision, user-friendly wheel guard removal, and adjustable work rests for versatile grinding. Backed by a two-year warranty, it restores tools to their original sharpness.


JET IBG-8VS

The JET IBG-8VS 8″ Variable Speed Industrial Grinder is a robust workhorse in industrial bench grinders. Its one-horsepower motor and 8-inch grinding wheel are ideal for heavy-duty tasks. The full casted body ensures durability and stability.

A standout safety feature is the exclusive motor stop, rapidly reducing RPM speed from 3,600 to a complete stop in under 20 seconds, ensuring maximum safety when the machine is turned off. The JET IBG-8VS is the industrial grinder for power, precision, and safety, making it ideal for professional workshops and industrial settings.


JET JBG-6A

The Jet JBG-6A, a 6″ Shop Bench Grinder, is the answer for workshops dealing with space constraints. Crafted from robust cast iron, this JET Bench Grinder doesn’t compromise on power or precision, consistently delivering impeccable results. Designed to endure the demands of even the most bustling workshops, it excels in grinding, sharpening, and smoothing tasks with utmost accuracy.

This Jet Bench Grinder is a compact powerhouse designed to fulfill your grinding and sharpening needs efficiently. Its sturdy build and versatile features make it a valuable addition to any workshop. Whether tackling heavy-duty tasks or fine-tuning intricate work, this bench grinder is your reliable partner, always delivering exceptional results.


Grizzly T24463

The Grizzly T24463 6″ Bench Grinder with Work Light is your ideal companion for most light grinding tasks. This bench grinder boasts a 1/3 HP Motor, 36 grit and wire wheels, and a convenient work light to illuminate your workspace.

Adjustable eye shields are a key feature, ensuring sparks and debris are kept away from the user’s line of sight for added safety. The tool rests provide stability for your workpieces during grinding and can be easily adjusted as the grinding wheel wears down.

Like all Grizzly bench grinders, the T24463 has a reassuring 1-year warranty covering parts and guarantees it is free from any factory defects.


RIKON Power Tools 80-808

The Rikon® 8″ Slow Speed Grinder – Model: 80-808 boasts a 1 HP motor for demanding grinding tasks, especially in production shops and precision tool sharpening. It features flat tool rests without drill bit sharpening grooves and sturdy cast metal wheel flanges for stability. Dual dust-collection ports are situated at the rear of the wheel guards for efficient dust control.

Operating at 1,750 RPM, this grinder minimizes heat buildup and “bluing” on tools. It includes two 1″ x 8″ white aluminum oxide grinding wheels, one 120-grit and one 60-grit, both mounted on a 5/8″ arbor.

The grinder’s cast-iron base has anti-vibration rubber feet and mounting holes for attachment to a workbench or grinder stand. It comes with a work light, tool rests, eye shields, spark arrestors, and a 6′ power cord, backed by a five-year warranty for peace of mind.


RIKON 80-805

8

The Rikon 8″ Slow Speed Grinder, model 80-805, is a reliable tool in my workshop. Its 1/2 HP motor starts smoothly, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Operating at 1,750 RPM, it sharpens tasks while minimizing heat build-up.

What makes this grinder unique are its two 1″ x 8″ white aluminum oxide grinding wheels: one 120-grit and one 60-grit, offering versatility. The cast-iron base has anti-vibration rubber feet for stability and mounting holes for easy attachment to a workbench or grinder stand.

For woodworkers, turners, carvers, and precision tool users, the Rikon 80-805 is a valuable asset. Its powerful motor and thoughtful design ensure sharp edges and polished surfaces. Whether you’re a seasoned craftsman or a DIY enthusiast, this grinder is an essential tool in my workshop.


Baileigh BBG-08

Sharpening your woodworking tools has never been simpler. Baileigh’s innovative tool rest eliminates the guesswork from the process, thanks to their integrated angle indicator and alignment reference lines. This comprehensive machine packs premium components, resulting in one unmistakable outcome: Cutting Edge Results.

In my experience, using this Baileigh tool sharpener has been a game-changer. The integrated angle indicator and reference lines take the guesswork out of sharpening, allowing even a novice like me to achieve professional results. The slow speed ensures precision, and the oversized tool rests provide stability and ease of use. The machine’s durability is evident in its heavy-duty design and machined flanges. Adjusting the shields for safety and visibility is a breeze, and the tool alignment reference lines are a thoughtful addition.

Moreover, the built-in spark arrestors enhance safety during operation, giving me peace of mind. The bonus of a 1-year parts warranty and lifetime technical support by phone adds to the overall value of this machine. Whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or just starting, Baileigh’s tool sharpener is necessary for achieving Cutting Edge Results in your woodworking projects.


Jet IBG-12

I recently used a robust grinding machine designed for high-volume demands in workshops. This machine exceeded my expectations for grinding, sharpening, and smoothing tasks with precision. It holds CSA/CUS certification and complies with OSHA regulations, ensuring safety in professional environments.

Here are the standout features:

  • Adjustable Safety Shields: Enhance safety and task customization.
  • Adjustable Tool Rest: Allows precise positioning for accurate results.
  • Fine and Coarse Vitrified Grinding Wheels: Offer versatility and efficiency.
  • Heavy-Duty Capacitor Motor: Designed for demanding tasks.
  • Heavy-Duty Construction: Ensures durability.
  • Predrilled Bases: Facilitate easy mounting.
  • Sealed Bearings: Enable maintenance-free grinding.
  • Toggle Switch with Safety Key: Adds an extra layer of safety.

Shop Fox W1871

The W1871 Shop Fox 6″ Portable Bench Grinder with LEDs is a compact, lightweight tool for workshop efficiency. It’s a valuable addition to any garage or shop. This grinder excels at cleaning scrap metal and sharpening blades, knives, and cutting tools. The spark deflector ensures safety by containing sparks.

What distinguishes this grinder is its thoughtful design. Each grinding wheel has an independent safety shield and LED light for protection and visibility. Four AAA batteries for these lights are included.

The W1871 includes a 2-year warranty covering parts and factory defects. The manual provides assembly and maintenance instructions. Customer service and technical support are U.S.-based, and replacement parts may be available online from the Woodstock parts warehouse in Springfield, MO.


WEN BG4260 6-Inch Bench Grinder

The WEN BG4260 6-Inch Bench Grinder revives old tools effortlessly. This grinder includes two 6-inch wheels: a versatile 60-grit wheel and a coarse 36-grit wheel with 1/2-inch arbors. Its 2.1-amp motor operates quietly, with speeds up to 3450 RPM.

The user-friendly design simplifies wheel guard removal for easy changes. Adjustable work rests pivot for various grinding tasks. Backed by a two-year warranty and accessible replacement parts, it offers peace of mind. Revive your tools with the WEN 6-Inch Bench Grinder.


Baldor-Reliance 8 In. Grinder Wide Design

The Baldor-Reliance 8-Inch Grinder Wide Design is an industrial bench grinder built for shaping, sharpening, and trimming metal objects, including tools and machine parts. Its .75HP, 1800RPM, 1PH, 60HZ, 3524C motor delivers 0.75 horsepower with 115V (4.6 Amps) or 230V (2.3 Amps) options.

Its robust, enclosed motor running at 1800 rpm is a standout feature, ensuring efficient performance. It includes 36-grit and 60-grit 8-inch abrasive wheels. Safety features like spark arrestors and eye shields protect users. Exhaust guards keep workspaces clean. Cast-iron tool rests enable precise grinding, while rubber feet provide stability. It comes factory-connected at 115V with an 8-foot cord.

Understanding Bench Grinders 

A bench grinder is a tool for sharpening metal or metallic workshop equipment. It features an electric motor with a shaft on the right and the left and a grinding wheel mounted on each. The workpiece rests on the tool rest, preventing sudden slips. There is an electric and a manual bench grinder.

Types of bench grinders

  • Straight Wheel Grinder: This bench grinder has flat, straight grinding wheels for precise sharpening and shaping tasks like chisel sharpening or smoothing metal edges.
  • Tapered Wheel Grinder: Tapered wheel grinders feature wheels that narrow towards one end, making them perfect for reaching tight spaces and detailed metalwork.
  • Saucer Wheel Grinder: Saucer wheel grinders have a distinctive saucer-shaped wheel for contour grinding and shaping, ideal for rounding edges or creating curved metal shapes.
  • Cylinder Wheel Grinder: These grinders have cylindrical wheels, best suited for working on cylindrical or rounded objects like pipes, tubes, or cylindrical metal pieces, providing an even and consistent finish.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Bench Grinder 

Power and motor specifications The grinder’s motor is the power capacity of the tool. The power needed depends on the task. For heavier tasks, select a bench grinder with a powerful motor. For lighter tasks, pick any model with lower power.

Wheel size and material 

Use aluminum oxide wheels for ferrous metals and a silicon carbide wheel for brass, copper, and aluminum. Dress the wheels regularly to remove clogged grains. Replace them when they get too small to use with the tool rest.

Speed options and adjustable settings 

Choose one with adjustable speed settings. The speed determines the quality of the grinding process and the tool’s performance.

Safety features and accessories 

Attachments like water trays, dust collectors, eye shields, and tool rests enhance safety and ease of use. Use safety gear like glasses, a face shield, hearing protection, and closed-toe shoes.

Durability and build quality 

Invest in a high-quality, well-constructed grinder made of sturdy materials like cast iron or heavy-duty steel. A sturdy base prevents wobbling and ensures precision and safety.

Bench Grinder Wheel Types and Applications 

Three main grinding wheel types stand out: type 1 snagging wheels, type 27 grinding wheels, and type 28 grinding wheels.

Type 1 snagging wheels are straight, 2 to 4 inches in diameter, suited for high-speed die grinders and metal removal, using aluminum oxide grains.

Type 27 grinding wheels are common, featuring a flat profile with a depressed center, allowing flexibility from 0 to 45 degrees. Optimal angles are 25 to 30 degrees, prioritizing wheel longevity over cut rate.

Type 28 grinding wheels, called saucer wheels, have depressed centers for better access in tight spaces, excelling at angles from 0 to 15 degrees.

Wheel Maintenance and Replacement 

To replace a wheel, unplug, remove the lock nut, swap the wheel, and reattach the wheel guard.

Bench Grinder Safety Precautions 

Safety measures and gear like safety glasses, respiratory protection, eye and face protection, foot protection, and hand protection are crucial. Follow safe procedures, avoid gloves, non-ferrous metals, side grinding, unattended operation, and maintain a safe distance.

Bench Grinder Accessories and Attachments 

Various clamps enhance utility, such as bar, bench, corner, edge, F-style, face frame, parallel, and pipe clamps.

Bench Grinder Maintenance and Care 

Regularly clean, lubricate, eliminate rust, and adjust wheels.

Grinding Techniques for Different Materials 

Apply specific techniques to cylindrical, tapered, end face, shape, surface, internal, centerless, contour, gear, thread, and tool grinding.

Sharpening Tools with a Bench Grinder Guide tools on the tool rest toward the grinder’s edge.

Finishing and Polishing Techniques 

For polishing, use a taper adapter, abrasive, work wheel, or leather strop to smooth surfaces.

Bench Grinder Versatility: Beyond Grinding 

Bench grinders serve purposes beyond grinding, including buffing, wire brushing, polishing, and cleaning. For alternative applications, choose the right wheel type and size, ensure proper wheel mounting, avoid damaged wheels, prevent overspeeding, and secure small objects with locking pliers.

Bench Grinder Buying Guide: Step-by-Step Process

Factors to consider before making a final decision

  • Type of bench grinder
  • Disc color
  • Twin or single wheel
  • Diameter and frequency of use
  • Sharpening type

Bench Grinder FAQs: Answering Common Queries

What are the primary uses of a bench grinder? 

A bench grinder’s primary uses include shaping and grinding various materials, especially metals. They sharpen tools, remove rust or burrs, and achieve precise workpiece edges.

Can I use a bench grinder for sharpening knives? 

Yes, a bench grinder can sharpen knives, but it’s essential to exercise caution and employ proper techniques to prevent overheating and blade damage. Specialized sharpening stones or attachments can deliver better results and preserve the knife’s quality.

How often should I replace the grinding wheels? 

The frequency of grinding wheel replacement depends on factors like usage and the materials being ground. Regularly inspect the wheels for wear, cracks, or reduced performance. Replace them for safety, as guidelines often recommend a two-year lifespan from the manufacture date.

Are bench grinders suitable for beginners? 

Yes, bench grinders can be beginner-friendly, particularly models designed with user-friendliness, such as the DEWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder. Beginners should familiarize themselves with safety practices and gradually build confidence.

Can I use a bench grinder for polishing metal? 

Bench grinders are effective for metal polishing, producing a smooth, shiny finish. Consider using polishing wheels or buffing attachments designed for bench grinders for optimal results. This process enhances metalwork appearance and removes imperfections or oxidation from surfaces.

Conclusion

This guide has provided a comprehensive overview of bench grinders, helping you make an informed decision. We’ve covered key factors: types of bench grinders, wheel applications, maintenance, safety precautions, and versatile uses beyond grinding.

With our top-rated bench grinder recommendations, you can confidently choose the right tool for your needs, whether for precision, power, or versatility. So, select the perfect bench grinder to achieve the smooth finish and precise results your workshop demands.

David D. Hughes

Leave a Reply