9 Best (Top Rated) Bench Grinders: 2019 Bench Grinder Guide

Keen to find out which are the best bench grinders of 2019?

Runner Up

DEWALT DW758

  • Grinder is 16-inches long
  • 8-inch Grinder wheel

Check Latest Price

Best Overall

SKIL 3380-01

  • Convenient built-in LED
  • Adjustable tool rests

Check Latest Price

Most Affordable

WEN 4276 2.1

  • Made of iron
  • Boasts a 2.1-Amp motor

Check Latest Price

Any contractor worth their weight will tell you that a bench grinder is an invaluable tool to have in your kit. It’s the bad boy machine that keeps all the other tools sharp. The main purpose of bench grinders is to sharpen, deburr, and polish up tool bits, chisels, gouges, and drill bits. Additionally, these grinders can also be used when welding or fitting to roughly shape metal.

4 Key Components to a Bench Grinder

Bench grinders are typically made up of seven main parts – the motor, the spark deflector, the eye shield, the coarse wheel, the wheel guard, the fine wheel, and the tool rest. However, the most important parts are undoubtedly the motor, spark deflectors, eye shield and tool rest. These are the key components that we are going to look at in-depth.

  • Motor – The motor can be regarded as the heart and soul of the bench grinder. The driving force if you will. For bench grinders used in home workshops, motors of 2.1-Amps will do just fine.  The motor is responsible for the speed at which the machine will operate. The majority of bench grinders work at speeds of up to 3,450 RPM. You may find low-speed grinders with running rates of 1,750 RPM. If all you do is sharpen tools you might want to consider purchasing grinders of lower speeds. These grinders tend to have grinder wheels which are ideal for sharpening and provide less chance of overheating and damaging your tools’ edges.
  • Spark Deflectors – Sharpening or chiseling of tools causes friction which creates sparks. Spark deflectors are small protective guards that are strategically placed above the grinding wheel to prevent sparks from flying all over the place when the grinder is in use. Spark deflectors are solid and are capable of resisting high temperatures. They will not need regular replacing unless they have been damaged or cracked through negligence or gross misuse of the machine. Grinding sparks can cause burns, serious irritation, and injure the eyes. Never operate a bench grinder without spark deflectors.
  • Eye Shield – When using a bench grinder, it is highly recommended that you wear safety goggles complete with side shields. The bench grinder itself has an eye shield as a basic safety feature but it is not enough to fully protect the worker. The eye shield is located above the grinding wheel.  Eye shields are most commonly made of polycarbonate material. Polycarbonate is an engineered plastic capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 140°C. It is used in bench grinders for its toughness, thermal stability, and excellent mechanical properties. Eye shields help to protect your eyes from flying sparks as well as minute metal fragments which are known as swarf.
  • Tool Rest – Tool rests are a safety feature and are needed as they facilitate a streamlined operation. They are solid, sturdy, and located outside of the wheel rotation area. Their main purpose is to provide a place to comfortably rest tools. A bench grinder without a tool rest will result in cuts and shapes that are inconsistent as well as uneven. An inconsistent and choppy bench grinder poses a risk to rotational speed. Therefore, tool rests are an essential element of the entire system.

Associated Risks

It is worth mentioning that bench grinders are tools that can be dangerous if not used properly. Potential hazards include electric shock, corporal burns, amputations, and even death. It is imperative that you know each of the components of a bench grinder and how they work to reduce potential injuries. Follow the set Occupational Health and Safety Guidelines when operating this machine.

5 Different Types of Bench Grinder Wheels

Bench grinder wheels aren’t created equal. They come in all shapes and sizes. They are also made of different materials. The top five most common bench grinder wheels you’ll find on the market are straight, tapered, saucer, cylinder, and diamond wheels. The type of wheel you choose will largely be based on the type of work you wish to carry out.

  • Straight Wheel – If you walk into a store and ask for a bench grinder wheel, you will most probably be offered a straight wheel. This is because these wheels are the most common bench grinder wheels available. Their major function is grinding. They will grind down almost any object. They are good for sharpening cylindrical objects.
  • Tapered Wheel – This wheel grinder’s name is straightforward and gives away its purpose. Because of the tapered wheel’s unique narrowed edges, it makes the perfect tool for sharpening the edges of delicate tools. Thanks to the tapered edges, accessing the grooves and sharpening gear teeth and or grinding threads becomes easier.
  • Saucer Wheel – Anyone who has ever worked with saw blades will tell you that a blunt saw blade is extremely difficult to use. If you’re prone to using saw blades regularly in your work then consider purchasing saucer wheels for your bench grinder. These types of wheels will efficiently sharpen your saw blades.
  • Cylinder Wheel – Cylinder wheels are particularly suited for the sharpening of large metal sheets. These wheels tend to be hollow with an extensive grinding surface which creates a suitable medium for sharpening large objects such as metal sheets.
  • Diamond Wheel – When you saw ‘diamond’ in the heading, you must have known that this type of wheel would be used for those materials that are extremely hard to sharpen on any other type of wheel. Diamond wheels have diamond bits embedded onto their surface making them one of the toughest wheels around. You’ll be able to sharpen almost anything on these kinds of wheels.

Why Choosing the Right Wheel Matters

The right wheel will get the job done right the first time around. The wrong wheel can destroy your tools leading to costly replacements. The wrong wheel can also be expensive to buy. Purchase a wheel that you will get good value out of often. There is no point in purchasing an expensive diamond wheel when all you really need is a tapered wheel for fine sharpening of delicate tools.

Bench Grinder Reviews

Finding the right bench grinder to suit your needs can prove to be a challenging task, especially if it’s your first time buying such a piece of machinery. Not to worry though, because we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve put these bench grinders to the test and they proved their worth. Here are 2019’s best grinders!

Overall Best Bench Grinder in 2019

SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder

Key Features:

  • Medium and coarse grinding wheels enable the grinding of different materials
  • Convenient built-in LED work lights for evening work
  • Adjustable tool rests for accurate grinding
  • Eyeshields and a solid cast-iron base for safety and increased stability
  • Robust 2.1-amp motor with speeds of 3,450 RPM

Overall Best Bench Grinder – The SKIL 3380 6-inch Bench Grinder is designed for your home workshop. It features a 6-inch wheel, 2.1-amp motor, a convenient LED work light, eye shields to protect your eyes from flying sparks and swarf, as well as a solid, sturdy cast-iron base complete with rubber feet.

Grind down and smooth drill bits, chiseled tool edges, and knives. The adjustable tool rest on each grinding wheel enables an even grind down and sharpening. Two eye shields located above the grinding shields aid in preventing eye injuries from flying metal particles and sparks. This bench grinder is also cSAus certified.

Pros: 

  • Quality bench grinder boasting a powerful motor, protective eye shields, and a solid base
  • Weighing in at 8.48 pounds this is one of the lighter bench grinder models
  • Measuring in at 15.4 x 10.8 x 8.5 inches it can comfortably fit onto most home bench surfaces – no need to get a tailored benchtop
  • Regarding noise levels it is one of the quieter models

Cons:

  • Product packaging could be improved.

DEWALT DW758 8-Inch Bench Grinder

Key Features:

  • Heavy-duty ¾ HP induction motor suitable for commercial-grade operations
  • Grinder operates at speeds of up to 3,600 RPM for an efficient grinding down and sharpening
  • Solid and sturdy cast-iron base and motor housing
  • Grinder is 16-inches long and weighs in at 39.5 pounds
  • Grinder wheel size is 8-inches
  • Boasts 36- and 60-grit wheels

Best 8 inch Bench Grinder – DEWALT is a trusted brand in the world of tools and machinery, and this bench grinder does not disappoint in terms of quality, robustness, efficiency, and overall ease-of-use. It is powerful enough to be used as an industrial grade bench grinder because of its ¾ horsepower motor capable of running at speeds of up to 3,600 RPM.

The adjustable aluminum tool rests on each grinding wheel allow for a precise tool positioning. There is no worry about vibration thanks to the rugged cast iron base which guarantees a sturdy operation.

Pros: 

  • Motor life is prolonged thanks to the Overload Protection SystemTM
  • Integrated eye shields, spark deflectors, and tool rests act as protective systems
  • Renowned brand known for quality products

Cons:

  • Heavy bench grinder model which may require a customized benchtop

WEN 4276 2.1 Amp 6-Inch Bench Grinder with Flexible Work Light

Key Features:

  • Measures in at 14 x 9.8 x 15 inches
  • Made of iron
  • Boasts a 2.1-Amp motor
  • 3,450 RPM at no load
  • Size is 6-inches, wheels are ¾ inches, and arbor size is ½ inches

Best Budget (Cheap) Bench Grinder (Under 50) – This 6-inch Regular Speed WEN Bench Grinder is designed to make buffing, sharpening, chiseling, and polishing tools a seamless job. Compact, powerful, robust, the WEN 6-inch Bench Grinder does not disappoint. Considering its price this model offers true value for money.

This grinder comes with two 6-inch by ¾ grinding wheels, grit wheels of two sizes 60 and 36 inches, and a 2.1-amp motor with running speeds of 3,450 RPM. The streamlined product design allows a convenient assembly and disassembly if parts such as wheel guards and eye shields need to be replaced. Flexible work light improves accuracy and work precision.

Pros: 

  • One of the lightest bench grinders in the market with a weight of only 16 lb.
  • Adjustable work light for visibility and precision work
  • Two-wheel grits 60-inch and 36-inch included

Cons:

  • Getting the machine to optimum running speed takes a bit of time
  • Unit has been known to vibrate and is noisy

WEN 4280 5 Amp 8-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder with Work Light

Key Features:

  • Runs on a 5-amp motor capable of speeds of up to 3,400 RPM
  • 80-grit wheel and 36-grit wheels included
  • Variable speeds available
  • Adjustable work light for precision work
  • Product weight 41 pounds
  • Product dimensions 16.5 x 10.5 x 16 inches

Best Variable Speed Bench Grinder – Deburring, tool sharpening and chiseling just got a whole lot simpler thanks to the WEN 4280 5-Amp 8-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder with Work Light. This model has been designed as the perfect companion for your home workshop. Mount it easily onto your workbench by simply screwing it down through the mounting holes and securing it.

The quiet 5-amp motor is capable of delivering speeds of 2,000 to 3,400 RPM. These speeds are ideal for those wishing to grind down tools as slow speeds encourage precision work. Take advantage of the 80-grit and 36-grit 8-inch by 1-inch grinding wheels for a smooth and efficient operation. Work with precision and accuracy thanks to the flexible work light.

Pros: 

  • Powerful 5-Amp variable-speed motor capable of delivering speeds of up to 3,400 RPM
  • Switch between variable speeds at the touch of a button
  • Includes 80-grit and 36-grit 8-inch by a 1-inch grinding wheel
  • Adjustable work light means you can clearly see what you’re working on without straining your eyes

Cons:

  • Heavy bench grinder weighing in at 41 pounds

5 More Top Rated Bench Grinders

The bench grinder market is full of high-quality models. Here are an additional five models that come with a favorable recommendation. These following five grinders deserve to be on any list featuring premium grinders on the market.

Rikon Professional Power Tools, 80-805, 8-Inch Slow Speed Bench Grinder

This is truly a high-quality model boasting a 1-inch by 8-inch 60-grit and 120-grit white aluminum oxide wheel. This Rikon Professional Power Tool Bench Grinder has a powerful ½ HP motor with speeds of up to 1,750 RPM. This grinder is suitable for home workshops. The secure, solid, and sturdy cast iron base ensures a firm mounting which eliminates vibration. The adjustable eye shields and spark deflectors keep you protected from flying sparks and metallic particles.

Jet 578008 1 HP 8-Inch Industrial Bench Grinder

The Jet 578008 8-Inch Bench Grinder features a heavy-duty motor that’s suitable for both residential and industrial buffing, sharpening, and deburring requirements. This is an electric model (115 volts) with double grinding wheels, protective systems such as eye shields and spark deflectors, and a toggle switch with a safety key. The grinding wheels are for both fine and coarse grinding. Grinder weighs 44 pounds and measures 21 x 13.8 x 14 inches. Optional features include an LED lamp, pre-drilled bases for mounting purposes, and a stand. This product is also Csa/Cus certified.

TruePower 199 Mini Multi-Purpose Bench Grinder and Polisher with Flexible Shaft, Tool Rest and Safety Guard, 3-Inch

True to its name, this Mini Multi-Purpose TruePower Bench Grinder boasts a powerful 150W high-speed motor with variable speed control from 0 to 10,000 RPM. This bench grinder comes with a 31-inch flex shaft attachment, 3-Inch grinding wheel, and a 3-Inch fiber polishing wheel. It is a lightweight bench grinder weighing only 7.2 pounds and measuring 11 x 7 x 7 inches making it a perfect accompaniment for any home workshop benchtop.

ATD Tools 10558, 8-Inch ¾ HP Bench Grinder

This compact ATD Tools 8-Inch Bench Grinder is a worthy model to feature because of its heavy-duty ball-bearing 4.8-amp motor, flexible work light for better visibility, medium and coarse grit grinding wheels, no-load speed of 3,450 RPM, and moderate 33-pound weight. Regarding protective systems, the grinder has two adjustable tool rests and shatter-resistant circular eye shields with a magnifying glass for precision work.

Craftsman 9-21124 1/6 HP 6-Inch Bench Grinder with Lamp

This Craftsman 6-Inch Bench Grinder has a 36-grit and 60-grit grinding wheel and large cast iron base to give the grinder stability while helping to reduce vibration. It is an electric model with an easy-to-operate ignition system. Safe operation is guaranteed by the work lamp and eye guards. Measuring 19.3 x 10.2 x 9.3 inches and weighing 19.7 pounds this bench grinder is considered as a medium-sized model suitable for home workshops.

Our 2019 Bench Grinder Buying Guide

How do you go about buying a bench grinder? Do you know what to look for? How do you know which brand or model will provide real value for money?

We can understand your concerns about buying a bench grinder, especially if this is your first time making such a purchase. Buying a bench grinder is no small feat. Fortunately, we’ve put this 2019 bench grinder buying guide together. After going through it, you’ll know exactly how to go about purchasing the right grinder for your work requirements.

Without further ado, here are some helpful bench grinder buying tips.

  • Are you purchasing a bench grinder for residential or commercial purposes? Are you simply buying a grinding wheel for your own personal DIY home projects? If yes, then you do not need to purchase the expensive, commercial-grade bench grinders. The average bench grinder will meet your requirements just fine and will not require a fully-fledged benchtop uniquely designed for the bench grinder. If on the other hand, you’re purchasing a bench grinder for a commercial project, we recommend going in person to hardware stores and discussing your intended use with experienced salespeople. They will be in a better position to advise on the type of bench grinder brand to buy according to your unique needs.
  • How much motor horsepower do you need? The motor on a bench grinder determines the power of the machine. If you’re buying for your own home workshop chances are you will not need a super-powered commercial-grade motor. A bench grinder featuring a motor that generates a quarter or a half horsepower will probably do just fine. If all you’re planning on doing is sharpening tools, we recommend purchasing grinders with running speeds of 1,750 rpm as these grinders will not subject tools to overheating and potential edge damage.
  • Which type of bench grinder do you need? While there may be a wide range of bench grinders in the market, it’s vital to know that there are only two main types of bench grinders available – the 6-inch (regular speed bench grinders) and the 8-inch (slow speed bench grinders). Regular speed bench grinders have RPM levels in the range of 3,400 to 3,600. These grinders are well-able to cater to simple residential tasks. These 6-inch grinders have minimal noise output levels and run at average speeds of 4-amps. 8-inch bench grinders are typically used by professionals. They are ideal for heavy-duty, extensive work. These grinders tend to be slower than their 6-inch counterparts, but you’ll change their wheels less often.
  • How big of a grinding wheel will you need? How big should the grinding wheel be? For the average workshop, you won’t need wheels that have a diameter larger than 125mm. For these types of grinder wheels, ensure that the power rating is above 250W. Weak grinders can cause jamming and increase the likelihood of accidents. If however, you plan on sharpening larger metal sheets or objects you may need to consider grinding wheels with a bigger surface such as cylinder wheels. These may have diameter ranges of 200 to 250mm. The power rating needed to accompany wheels of such diameters should be at least 500W.
  • What will your major work be? While all bench grinders are designed to sharpen, deburr, and polish up tools it will be helpful to know beforehand what sort of work you intend to do on your bench grinder. For example, if you plan on sharpening delicate tools you will need a bench grinder with a tapered wheel. If you intend on carrying out general sharpening work then a bench grinder featuring a straight wheel will work just fine.

FAQ

  • What is a bench grinder good for? Bench grinders have a variety of uses. The most common uses are to grind down metal objects to shape, to sharpen blunt tools, to buff, and polish up tools. The type of role played by a bench grinder is determined by the wheel that you add to the grinder. Grinders, as their name suggest, are machines with an abrasive surface that is designed to grind down any items the wheel comes in contact with.
  • What are bench grinder wheels made of? There are different types of bench grinder wheels. The work done by each wheel is determined by the abrasive material the wheel is made of. There are five main abrasive materials used to manufacture bench grinder wheels: aluminum oxide (also known as corundum), ceramic, cubic boron nitride, diamond, and silicon carbide. You may be asked if you are looking for conventional abrasive wheels or super abrasive wheels when making a purchase. Super abrasive wheels are those made from diamond and cubic boron nitride. The remaining four abrasive materials make wheels that are referred to as conventional abrasive.
  • Can you use a bench grinder on wood? The nature of bench grinders is to grind down everything the grinding wheel comes in contact with. The most common objects cleaned, polished, buffed, shaped, and sharpened by bench grinders are made of metal. However, it is possible to use a bench grinder on wood. Grinding wood objects requires that you be extra careful as you don’t wish to end up grinding through the wood.

Why are grinding wheels available in different colors?

If you’ve ever browsed through a selection of grinding wheels you might have noticed that the wheels come in a range of colors. This is a pre-determined color-coding system linked to the work each of the wheels does. The colors are brown, grey, white, and green.

  • Brown – grinding wheels are used for heavy fetting.
  • Grey – grinding wheels are ideal for grinding regular steel.
  • White – grinding wheels tend to be the softest of the wheels and are used to sharpen tools.
  • Green – grinding wheels are manufactured from silicon carbide and are recommended for grinding of drill bits, blades, and carbide tools.

How many types of grinding wheels exist?

There are at least seven known grinding wheel types available. Each wheel is made of a particular material and is designed for a specific use. The seven grinding wheels available are: a straight wheel, cylinder (also known as wheel ring), tapered wheel, straight cup, dish cup, saucer wheel, and diamond wheels.

What do they mean by ‘dressing’ the grinding wheel?

Every so often it is important to remove the existing abrasive layer on the grinding wheel. This process of removing this layer is the one referred to as ‘dressing’ the wheel. Another term you might also hear is ‘trueing’ the wheel. Trueing a wheel simply refers to the process of refining the grinding surface to ensure that it is even and is parallel to the reference plane. An uneven grinding wheel can make grinding down objects a difficult and even dangerous task.

Conclusion

The products reviewed in this article have been put to the test and assessed on their performance, quality, efficiency, and ease-of-use. With so many different bench grinder styles on the market, we kept things simple by putting aside the trills and focusing on the machine itself. If all you’re looking for is a home workshop bench grinder, we don’t hesitate to recommend any of the grinders we’ve mentioned in this article. If you’re looking at purchasing commercial-grade grinders, use the information we’ve provided but consult extensively with your local sellers to find the right fit for you and your company.

 

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *