The bench grinder is one of the most versatile tools in a workshop. It can grind, polish, sharpen, remove paint and do so much more with the correct attachment. It is an awesome piece of gear if you are a woodworker, metal worker or enthusiastic homeowner. Regardless of your projects or tools, a bench grinder can help you get more out of your equipment. There are multitudes of machines on the market, making it difficult to choose the best bench grinder for your needs. But it’s always good to consider your projects before buying a grinder. You can choose from compact, low-power models to giant units with powerful motors for industrial operations.
To help you choose the ideal model, we have researched and written these comprehensive bench grinder reviews. This article includes a detailed buying guide, features and specifications to look out for and accessories. At the end of this piece, you should be confident to choose an affordable and top quality bench grinder.
Best Bench Grinders
1. Tormek T-8 Water Cooled Precision Sharpening System
The Tormek T-8 combines precision engineering with exceptional performance. This grinder delivers accurate cuts thanks to the Tormek sharpening system that controls the blades and accessories.
It features an EzyLock nut which automatically delivers the optimal torque to the stone. This allows for a safer and faster operation and improves efficiency.
The Tormek T-18 has a water cooling system that constantly baths the grinding stone. This prevents the wheels and work piece from overheating. The cooling mechanism increases the longevity of the grinding jigs, increases operator comfort and boosts productivity.
This powerful tool operates at 115 Volts, making it ideal for North America. If you plan to use it in countries that run on 220V-240V, get a Voltage step-down adapter to avoid damaging the motor. While this bench grinder is expensive, it delivers professional results.
2. Palmgren 82062 6″ 1/3 hp 115/230V Grinder
The Palmgren 82062 is an industrial grade bench grinder that delivers a smooth and precise operation. This versatile tool features a 6″ stone that grinds, cleans, deburrs, chamfers and sharpens with perfection. It comes with adjustable safety eye shields and spark guards to allow you to work safely for extended periods.
The 82062 features heavy-duty capacitor motors that deliver a powerful current for large-scale grinding projects. Its extended wheel-to-wheel clearance makes it easy to work on longer materials.
This bench grinder from Palmgren sports excellent ergonomic designs. The grinder sports dynamically balanced rotors and sealed bearings. This reduces vibration, providing a smooth, quiet and precise operation.
It has large adjustable tool rests for easy and safe angle grinding. You can opt for a unit with a variable speed motor for more control and dust collection ports to keep the work area clean.
3. RIKON Professional Power Tools 8” Slow Speed Bench Grinder
This 8″ Slow Speed bench grinder from RIKON Professional Power Tools features a powerful 1/2 hp motor. It drives the 60 grit and 120 grit white aluminum oxide wheels at 1750 rpm. This makes it ideal for sharpening hand tools.
This machine sports a sturdy design with a cast-iron base and anti-vibration rubber feet that reduces noise and improves accuracy. The tool comes with adjustable dual safety eye shield to protect your eyes. Its spark resistors deflect particles from your hands and clothing, allowing you to work in comfort and safety.
The slow speed grinder has a diamond wheel sharpener, making it perfect for sharpening tools and utensils. It also has a groove which you can use to sharpen drill bits. The two wheels have durable tool rests for ease of use. You can lock the ON/OFF switch to prevent unauthorized use.
4. DEWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder
The DEWALT DW756 bench grinder features a powerful 5/8 hp motor. It drives the 6″ wheels at 3,450 rpm, making it ideal for high-speed grinding operations. The grinder features a sturdy build with an industrial cast-iron base and motor housing for improved durability and longevity.
This grinder has precision-machined aluminum tool rests. It provides a comfortable pedestal to position your work, improving accuracy and reducing fatigue. The unit has a wheel-to-wheel distance of 12-1/2, allowing you to work on longer and larger items.
This DEWALT grinder comes with eye shields and spark reflectors to reduce the risk of injury and accidents. Wheel guards have rear exhaust ports for smooth operation and a tidy workspace.
The DW756 is perfect for heavy-duty grinding projects thanks to its powerful motor and durable design. It comes with DEWALT’s three-year limited warranty and one-year free service contract so you can get maximum value.
5. SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder
The SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch bench grinder features a 2.1 Amp motor that runs at 3,450 rpm. This makes it ideal for high speed grinding operations. It comes with 6″ medium and coarse wheels for a variety of light and heavy material removal tasks.
The SKIL 3380 has adjustable tool rests for precise and comfortable grinding tasks. There is an inbuilt LED work light at convenient locations on both wheels. This makes it easier to use regardless of visibility.
This tool comes with eye shields on both wheels to deflect material away from you. It has a sturdy cast-iron base and rubber feet. These features increase stability, reduce vibration and make it easy to mount the grinder on a table.
Whether you are a carpenter, carver or DIY-loving homeowner, this unit will make an excellent addition to your workshop. It comes with SKIL’s three-year bench-top warranty.
6. WEN 4276 2.1-Amp 6-Inch Bench Grinder
The WEN 4276 comes with a 2.1 Amp motor that drives its two-wheel grits at 3,450 rpm. This powerful grinder is quiet, versatile and produces precise results. It features a 60-grit wheel for general purpose grinding operations and a 36-grit wheel for high-speed material removal.
This unit has a heavy-duty base with holes for easy mounting on a table and reduced vibration. Lower wobbling means increased precision and decreased operator fatigue. It sports adjustable tool rests which support the material for accurate grinding.
The 4276 features a flexible work light that improves precision and visibility and illuminates the entire work area. Its adjustable eye guards protect you from sparks and debris and improve operating safety.
Weighing only 4 pounds, this tool is one of the lightest and most affordable on the market. It is ideal for medium and small grinding task and requires limited workshop space.
7. DEWALT DW758 8-Inch Bench Grinder
The DEWALT DW758 is a heavy-duty bench grinder ideal for light and industrial-grade grinding operations. This unit comes with a 3/4 horsepower induction motor that operates at 3,600 rpm for fast and easy material removal. It is perfect for large scale, high-speed applications and light tasks such as sharpening.
The DW758 has a cast-iron base and motor housing which increases durability and useful life. It has a 12-1/2″ wheel-to-wheel distance which allows you to work on longer and larger materials. The wheel guards have rear exhaust ports for smooth grinding operations. It also sports precision-machined adjustable aluminum tool rests for accurate positioning of work.
This model has adjustable eye guards for vital protection from debris. It also has spark deflectors to guard your hands and clothing and increase comfort. The unit comes with DEWALT’s three-year limited warranty and a one-year free service contract.
Bench Grinder Buying Guide
Buying a bench grinder can be difficult if you are not clear about the reasons for owning one. Your projects, space, budget and the tool’s design are important factors to consider before buying a grinder. Use this buying guide to select the right choice.
6 Considerations When Buying a Bench Grinder
Consider the following factors before buying a bench grinder for your workshop:
What do you plan to do with your bench grinder? Will you be performing heavy-duty industrial grinding or sharpening hand tools? The answer to this question will determine whether you need a 6″ or 8″ model.
Buying the smaller unit will be a waste of money if your projects require more grit force. Likewise, a bigger and more powerful grinder will be an overkill if you need the machine to remove rust and old paint.
Buy the model that has all the features you need. If your projects do not require variable speed or a powerful motor, skip those features to save money.
An important consideration when shopping for a grinder is to check its compatibility with the wheels you need to work. Bench grinders can use different fine or coarse grit wheels. Make sure the model you buy works with other accessories required for your projects.
A bench grinder’s motor determines the work it can do. The higher the amperage, the faster the wheels and the stronger the grinding. If you need the grinder for a garage workshop, get the best slow speed grinder you can afford.
Do you need a versatile model for industrial-grade grinding applications? A 3/4 Amp unit that can deliver high speed and torque with variable speed controls will be a good choice.
Are you a professional or homeowner? Even if you can afford a powerful bench grinder, you won’t get value for money if you only use it occasionally. A professional woodcarver or carpenter can afford to get the best model they can buy.
If your workshop performs industrial projects, consider buying a large high-speed grinder to make your work faster.
Consider the grinder’s material and build quality before settling for a model.
If you work in a large workshop that handles heavy equipment and materials, get a sturdy unit with cast-iron compartment and base. This will improve the machine’s survivability and longevity. Hobbyists can get most of their grinding power from compact and inexpensive models.
It is always better to buy a bench grinder with an extended warranty. These devices can be expensive, making it advisable to secure your investment with a lengthy warranty.
Important Bench Grinder Features and Specifications
Bench grinders come with a variety of features that improve their operation and usability. Here are features to consider before choosing a model.
This function is desirable in a grinder regardless of your projects. With variable speed controls, you can adjust the motor’s performance based on the requirements of specific tasks. This makes the tool more versatile and helps you work with higher efficiency.
Adjustable Tool Rests
Most bench grinders have this feature. When you go shopping, it’s better to choose a model with adjustable tool rests to make work placement fast and easy.
These protect your eyes from flying debris and sparks, allowing you to concentrate on projects.
This feature deflects sparks from the grinding wheel and the workpiece away from your hands and clothes.
Go for a grinder with a sturdy cast-iron body and base and rubber feet. This will reduce vibration, make mounting the tool easier and improve precision and accuracy.
Flexible Work Light
This feature illuminates the work area. It allows you to work with accuracy in every visibility condition.
Some bench grinders have a water tray that cools the wheel surface to prevent overheating. If your work involves grinding hard metals, consider this feature to prolong the wheel’s life, prevent overheating, and reduce the risk of injuries.
ON/OFF Switch Lock
This feature allows you to lock the grinder’s ON/OFF switch. It prevents unauthorized use of the machine, reduce the risk of accidents and prolongs the unit’s life.
Types of Bench Grinders
Bench grinders have various categories according to their use, size, design, grit and wheel type. It is important to know the different types to make an informed choice when you go shopping.
Bench Grinders Based on Design
Woodworking Bench Grinder
You can use this grinder in the wood workshop to grind wood, smooth dull edges and perform precision applications. They often run at a low speed, making them ideal for precise grinding projects.
Automotive Bench Grinder
You can use this machine in industrial workshops to grind varieties of cutting tools and shape metal equipment. They offer a high level of precision thanks to their excellent stability.
Variable Speed Grinder
Variable speed grinders are the most versatile. You can adjust the speed based on the material and project requirements. The grinder uses low-speed operation for precision applications and high-speed cuts for fast material removal.
These lightweight grinders are mobile and allow you to work outside of the workshop. However, their compact size means they can only use small motors, making them unsuitable for industrial-grade grinding.
Bench Grinder Based on Wheel Type
Bench grinders use a range of wheels based on the application. Here are examples of the tool according to their wheel type.
Straight Wheel Grinder
This wheel is ideal for sharpening operation. You can use it for surface, centerless, and cylindrical grinding applications.
Tapered Wheel Grinder
It features a wheel that tapers towards the edges, making it ideal for grinding threads and sharpening gear teeth.
Saucer Wheel Grinder
This wheel is used to sharpen blades for saws, lawnmowers and other items with a sharp edge.
Cylinder Wheel Grinder
This wheel features a hollow design and ideal for grinding large work pieces. They are suitable for large grinders with extensive spaces between the two wheels.
Diamond Wheel Grinder
This is used to grind and sharpen hard materials. They wear slowly but are also more expensive.
Bench Grinders Based on Grit Type
Aluminum Oxide Grit Grinder
These are the most common grinder grits designed for multipurpose applications. They come in various colors including gray, brown, white, ruby, and pink depending on the material the grit will cut.
Silicon Carbide Grit Grinder
These are used for sharpening and finishing soft and hard metals. Silicon carbide grits can be green or black.
Ceramic Grit Grinder
These grits become sharper with use. They are expensive but last longer.
Slow Speed Bench Grinder vs. Regular Bench Grinder
Manufacturers market slow speed bench grinders as the best thing for sharpening tools because of their lower rpm. Regular grinders run at 3450 rpm, a high speed that requires dexterity and a lot of experience.
If you are inexperienced and need to sharpen or grind woodworking projects and small tools, the slow speed grinder is ideal. Because of the low rpm, overheating is more controlled, preventing tools from losing their temper. However, this only lasts for as long as the wheels are sharp.
Slow speed bench grinders also overheat quickly if the wheel is dull. To enjoy the lower overheating levels, dress the wheels to expose sharp, new grits. Otherwise, the machine’s only advantage is the slower speed which makes it easier for inexperienced users to handle.
Regular bench grinders run at a high speed. You will find them in professional workshops for rapid material removal. Because of their higher rpm, these models overheat quickly but get the job done faster.
High-speed grinders can deliver many bench grinder uses besides sharpening and grinding, especially when working with hard materials. They may not be suitable for beginners but you can buy one with variable speed control for more versatility.
Which Should You Use?
Use slow speed grinders for small tasks such as sharpening hand tools and light craftwork. They are also ideal for beginners and inexperienced users. Regular grinders are perfect for professional tasks that require fast material removal. They also need higher levels of dexterity and experience.
Bench Grinder Vs. Belt Sander
The bench grinder and belt sander serve different purposes but many people confuse their roles.
A bench grinder uses two wheels to grind or sharpen dull surfaces on hard objects such as drill bits, hand tools, and large metal sheets. It can also smooth rough surfaces, remove paint, polish, de-rust, and do many other things.
Bench grinders come in different sizes and power configurations. Small units are ideal for homeowner use while the professional shops use the bigger models for industrial applications. This machine features a base that allows you to mount it on a table. A few compact models are portable.
The belt sander has two tube-shaped drums which drive a loop of abrasive paper. Moving at a high speed, the sander is used to smooth out coarse surfaces on flat objects. It can also cut edges into tools and materials. Sanders come in the bench-top and portable models and usually have inbuilt dust collectors for convenience.
Which Should You Use?
The bench grinder is ideal for smoothing hard objects while the sander sharpens and smooths soft items. Sanders are ideal for working flat surfaces, especially if you need to make accurate angles.
If you do precision work on plastic and other soft materials, the belt sander provides all the flexibility you need for professional results. For hand tools, scissors, knives, lawn mower blades, and other hard materials, the bench grinder provides the power and speed to complete tasks quickly.
Bench Grinder vs. Angle Grinder
The bench grinder and angle grinder are two of the most versatile tools in the workshop. Both machines serve almost the same roles but have different designs.
The bench grinder has a base that sits on a table. It uses two wheels to smooth, shape, polish and grind materials. The machine has powerful motors depending on the size and use. Homeowner sized bench grinders can be slow speed or regular while professional workshops often use the high-speed models.
Angle grinders have a single wheel and a handle for holding them during operation. They are more versatile, mobile and suitable for a wide range of applications. The primary function of angle grinders is cutting varieties of materials. But with the right attachment, you can use them to polish, sharpen, remove paint, and more.
Check out our angle grinder reviews for more information on the best brands on the market.
The wheels of angle grinders move at speeds higher than that of the bench grinder and are ideal for cutting hard materials.
Which Should You Use?
The bench grinder handles small items. Because of its design, you have to place the workpiece against the wheels. Angle grinders are mobile and perfect for working on large surfaces. Their handle allows you to maneuver the wheels more deftly across large areas.
You can use both machines for grinding, but the angle grinder is perfect for more aggressive applications.
Bench Grinder Accessories
You can get more out of your bench grinder with the right accessories. Use these accessories to operate your grinder safely and keep it in excellent condition.
- Eye Shields: This protects your eyes from the debris flying off the grinder’s wheels, allowing you to work in relative safety.
- Bases/Stands: Get a high-quality base or stand to mount your grinder for comfortable operation. The base provides a firm and secure hold and reduces vibration, improving precision. You can adjust it to an ideal height for convenience while sitting or standing.
- Wheel Dresser: This helps to prolong the life of grinding wheels. Use them to clean and true the dull surface of grinding wheels to reveal new and sharp grits for faster sharpening and smoothing operations.
- Attachments: Bench grinders can use a wide range of attachments. You can buy adjustable lamps to improve visibility, belts for polishing and grinding, and water troughs to cool the wheels. Heat-resistant hoses and sleeves are important accessories for dust collection systems.
- Dust Collection Systems: These keep the workspace clean and increase convenience.
- Wheels: You can buy wire wheels, buffing and polishing wheels to remove rust, paint and polish dull surfaces.
FAQs & Answers
- Can a bench grinder sharpen large metal objects like a lawn mower blade?
A bench grinder can sharpen a lawn mower blade and other large objects. But the length of material the machine can handle depends on the space between the two wheels. If you need to sharpen bigger items, use an angle grinder.
- How do I know the grinding wheel to use?
Your unit will have the information on the disk. Check the side or the user manual for the grinding wheel compatible with your model.
- What makes my grinder shake?
A shaking grinder has cracked wheel which can shatter without notice, causing serious injuries. If you crack your grinding wheel, stop using the machine until you get a replacement.
- Should I make a tool rest or buy an aftermarket option?
If your grinder has adjustable tool rests, they would suffice for most tasks. However, you may achieve higher precision if your work requires exacting results. If you are a craftsman, it is easy to improvise custom tool rests to make your work easier.
- What precautions should I take when using a bench grinder?
The grinding wheels run at high speeds, sending debris and sparks in different directions. Even if the grinder has eye shields and spark deflectors, always wear goggles, gloves and other safety equipment to protect yourself.
- 6-inch vs. 8-inch Bench Grinder
Bench grinders come in a variety of sizes but the 6″ and 8″ models are the most common.
The 6″ grinders are ideal for light grinding tasks including most homeowner applications. They are more affordable and used for sharpening, smoothing and precision jobs. However, you cannot use them to work on large materials because of the small distance between the wheels.
The 8″ grinder is suitable for industrial tasks. It is the preferred model for professional applications as it can handle larger objects. This model can work for longer and requires less maintenance.
Both grinders can do the same tasks. But the 6″ is better for home use while the 8″ is perfect for large workshops.
Bench grinders are awesome gadgets to have in home and professional workshops. Whether you want to sharpen hand tools, polish wood or smooth the edge of mortise joints, this versatile equipment will always deliver. But it is important to buy the best bench grinder you can afford to get maximum value for your money.
This in-depth bench grinder reviews provides all the information you need to buy the perfect grinder for your projects. Before you go shopping, you want to be sure about the size, power, and functions of the grinder.
It is important to check out the features and attachments the unit can use. This not only improves productivity and efficiency but makes operation safer. You can do more than the regular smoothing or grinding operation with a bench grinder. But you need to know what you want out of the equipment. We hope this article will help you make a good choice.