Are you looking to sharpen your cutting tools? Or are you looking to shape metals prior to fitting or welding? In that case, you are most likely in the market for a bench grinder. It is a standard piece of equipment in most home workshops. However, purchasing one is not an easy decisions. You will want to purchase a bench grinder that will last you a lifetime therefore it is important to research the alternatives in order to make an educated purchase.
A bench grinder is a portable tool that can be secured to a table, others are fixed and already secured to tables. The majority have to be plugged in while others can run on batteries. It includes a motor that powers one or two discs. Attached to these discs are any number of stones, metals, or brushes, designed to bring your tools back up to pristine condition. Need the blades of a gardening sheer sharpened or a wood piece polished? The bench grinder is the right tool for you.
There are many factors to consider when purchasing a bench grinder. What will you be using it for? This tool has many applications as it can be used to sharpen existing cutting tools, balance your mower blades, modifying parts that need to be resized or even refurbishing old rusted parts. Some grinders work better than others for certain applications.
The main component of the bench grinder is the grinding wheel. Different grinding wheels are used for different tasks. Therefore it is imperative that you make sure that the grinder you buying has the ability to equip the correct wheel for your use. Coarse grinding wheels, fine grit grinding wheels, buffing wheels and wire brush wheels are just some of the different kinds of wheels that are typically used.
Additionally, the size of the motor and wheel measurement are factors you want to consider before purchasing a grinder. The larger the motor, the more grinding power you will have. For tough and large metals, you will notice increased performance with the larger motor. The wheel measurement for home workshop use can range from 3 inches (mini-grinders) to 8 inches. 6 to 8 inches is the preferred size for the majority of tasks.
Here, you will find articles reviewing the best bench grinders currently available on the market. The grinders are reviewed by industry experts based on the considerations noted above. The grinders will be reviewed based on motor size, wheel measurement, features and cost.
Top 5 Bench Grinder For Woodworking Reviews
DEWALT 8-Inch Bench Grinder (DW758)
Dewalt power tools are instantly recognizable thanks to their yellow paint scheme, but the truth of the matter is regardless of what color a Dewalt tool was painted you would always know exactly who was behind it thanks to the elite level durability, reliability, and usability that these products provide.
This Dewalt 8-inch bench grinder (model DW758) is no different than the rest of the Dewalt power tool line, offering professionals and amateurs alike in the kinds of grinding, sharpening, and cleaning capabilities that they simply would not have been able to take full advantage of with any other tool available.
If you’ve been looking for an 8-inch bench grinder to round out your workshop, this is the kind of product that you’ll want to purchase.
Not only do you need to make sure that you have invested in a high quality grinder built by a company that enjoys one of the very best reputations in all of the power tool world, but you also need to make sure that it has the motor and horsepower capable of producing instant power that you can use for years and years to come.
Thanks to the ¾ hp induction motor that this Dewalt 8 inch bench grinder uses, you’re never going to have any reason to want for a bigger or more powerful unit unless of course you’re looking to step up to something designed for the industrial level.
As far as professional workbenches and even hobbyist workbenches are concerned, this motor is going to provide you with absolutely everything you need to get the most out of each and every one of your machine products and projects without ever swatting at all. It’s also capable of pumping out 3600 rpms without any degradation in quality, speed, or consistency. There really nothing else quite like it!
You’re definitely going to appreciate the 8 inches that you’re working with on this piece of equipment, and the dual rear exhaust ports also help you to enjoy the process much more than you may have otherwise. 12 ½ inches of clearance distance between each wheel allows you to use larger and longer projects on the 8 inch grinder, another thing that you’re definitely going to appreciate.
This is, after all, a Dewalt 8 inch bench grinder – it doesn’t get much more special than that.
However, the ¾ hp motor has been engineered to the highest level possible, allowing you to leverage this specific piece of equipment for decades and decades to come with proper maintenance, which is jaw-dropping simple and straightforward.
This grinder is backed by Dewalt’s 3-year limited warranty which covers defects due to faulty construction or materials. It also includes Dewalt’s signature one-year free service contract which will replace any part due to heavy use (especially beneficial if you plan on using this tool a lot!)
Similar to other bench grinders, the DW758 includes 36 and 60 grit wheels, spark deflector and eye shields.
Sometimes 8-inch bench grinders can set you back more than $150, but you’re going to be able to invest in this high quality piece of equipment for less if you are willing to do a bit of price shopping. Yes, you heard that right, this premium Dewalt power tool can be acquired for less than some of the lesser quality competing products!
Most people invest in a 6 inch bench grinder when they are looking to purchase their first entry-level solution, but stepping up to an 8 inch grinder allows you to leverage bigger and bigger projects, work with pieces that you wouldn’t have been able to tackle otherwise, and enjoy a control over the entire project that you may not have had with a 6 inch grinder.
SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder (For the Money)
Let’s be honest, there are many bench grinders currently on the market. Offered by pretty much every power tool company and ranging in price under $100, it can be hard figuring out which bench grinder is worth getting. This is made more difficult by its use. Most people aren’t constantly sharpening things, which mean that the bench grinder doesn’t need to be as reliable and heavy duty as other more frequently used tools.
So where does that leave us? Well, the SKIL model 3380-01 120-Volt 6-inch is just over 21 pounds, with dual grinders on either side of a central motor and stand. It is about a foot across by half a foot wide. From what I’ve seen, it is on the low end in terms of the products currently on the market. Experience and success with this SKIL grinder really seems to be based on the individual, so here are some specifications to see if it is right for you.
The SKIL bench grinder sports a 2.1 amp motor. This is particularly powerful for a bench grinder, and allowed for all tools to be sharpened without weighing down the motor. With 2.1 amps, tools can be pressed solidly into the wheels with little to no slowdown. Unlike a few other reports, there were no smells or smoke from repeated pressing.
The wheels for both the coarse and medium wheels have a six-inch diameter and are ½ inch thick. Numerous reports suggested that the wheels might begin to wobble after use. This didn’t happen, and they remained solid through use.
This SKIL model comes as a solid attachable unit with cord and tool rests. Also included are 6-inch by ½ inch thick medium and coarse wheels. More importantly, this bench grinder works with many other kinds of wheels that are 6 inches by ½ inch, including wire wheel brushes and buffing wheels. Finally, there is an adjustable lamp for increased visibility while using the grinder.
The cost compared to many of its competitors is significantly less. If you’re budget conscious, you can’t go wrong with this bench grinder.
Overall, I’m happy with the SKIL 3380-01 120-Volt 6-inch bench grinder. Where as other people have reported problems in manufacturing or concerning the wheels and wobbling, I’ve been either lucky or fortunate not to experience them. However, keep in mind I haven’t used this model for a significant length of time. If you are thinking of getting this as a stepping stone to something far more expensive and durable, it is a good choice and is more than capable of getting the job done. As a parting word of wisdom for anyone about to use this device, make sure it is properly secured! You can use it without securing it to a surface, but it is probably the most unsafe thing you can do. The low cost sure is attractive!
Metabo DS 200 Bench Grinder
The Metabo DS 200 8-Inch Bench Grinder is a true high-quality product. It’s a bit heavy, yes, but even that isn’t much of a problem. In fact, because of its weight, there’s hardly any vibration while using it all and I didn’t even bother bolting it to my workbench. Whether I’m using it sharpen shovels or axes, using this unit has been a real pleasure and I’m hoping that it will remain that way for many years.
From top to bottom, you can see that the Metabo 8 inch bench grinder is a well-made product. Setting up is also easy and it won’t take long for you to realize that the bench grinder comes to speed in no time. Though, you may want to be careful about the grinding wheels because they’ll remain turning for about three minutes even after shut-off.
Do note, that even if I said that setup is easy, assembling the eye shields and grinding platforms using the diagram isn’t easy.
The Metabo DS 200, though, is well worth the hassle as it’s one of the best grinders out there that’s sold to non-industrial users.
The dual push on/off button is a nice added feature. Aside from the different colors to help you tell which one is off or on, the off switch is slightly raised to make it easier to hit in case of an emergency. What’s even better is that the switch deactivates if there’s no power, so it’s impossible for the motor to turn on when plugged off.
Made of aluminium castings, the guards and side covers are as sturdy as they can get. Though, small, the included tool rests and the protective clear plastic shields are also quite durable.
Despite being one of the more expensive grinders out there, this one has the features, build and quality to go with its price. If I were to put everything in simple terms, I’d say that by buying the Metabo DS 200, you’ll get more than your money’s worth.
Expensive, yes, but with this investment, you won’t have to worry about a replacement unit for years or even a decade or so.
Dewalt 6-Inch Bench Grinder (DW756)
If you’ve been looking for one of the very best bench grinder utility machines on the planet, a machine more than capable of commercial output but small enough for any residential or hobby application, then you need look no further than this amazing product from Dewalt.
Leading the construction industry for years and years with some of the very best tools and technologies ever created, this is the kind of 6-inch bench grinder (model DW756) that you’ve been looking for.
When you’re looking for a bench grinder, the motor is absolutely everything. It’s the workhorse that drives all of the bench grinding wheels and accessories, and allows you to leverage all of the utility that this piece of machinery has to offer.
As far as 6-inch bench grinders are concerned, you’re not going to find a more powerful motor than the one offered in this Dewalt tool. With a 5/8 hp induction motor designed and developed from the ground up to produce amazing performance at high rpms (we’re talking about rpms that reach almost 3500 with variable options), this is the kind of workhorse that you’ve always dreamt of, all without ever threatening to break your budget.
This DeWalt DW756 bench grinder offers dual 6-inch grinding wheels driven by that same 5/8 hp induction motor, all that guaranteeing that you’ll be able to tackle any project you can imagine. Included is 12 ½ inches of distance (not variable difference, which is important to mention) between each of the wheels, allowing you to grind longer and larger projects without any interference whatsoever.
At the same time, there are aluminum tool rests that you’ll also be able to take full advantage of just the need for each of the grind wheels – acting as that focal point you need to anchor the work as you machine it.
As far as special features are concerned, you’re not going to find this DeWalt product to be too terribly overloaded with special, really “out there” features – it is a DeWalt after all. Super easy to clean and maintain and jam packed with extra accessories and features that you can purchase separately to turn this into a workhorse in your garage or workshop, there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever to sleep on this amazing product.
This grinder comes with DeWalt’s signature 3-year limited warranty and one-year free service contract. The free service contract covers replacement of any part due to normal wear and tear and the 3-year limited warranty covers manufacturer defect.
Grinders that are capable of this exact same performance regularly run $150 or more – but you should be able to invest in this amazing DeWalt solution at a smaller cost, if you take the time to search for the best deal. You’re just not going to find this kind of power and performance with a price tag this affordable anywhere else.
This is the kind of workmanlike piece you’ve been searching for, the kind of workmanlike piece of equipment that can provide you with reliability, durability, and long lasting use you simply will not find anywhere else. When it comes to a 6-inch bench grinder, this is one of the best you can purchase.
Delta 8-inch Variable Grinder (23-197)
The Delta 8-inch Variable Grinder is a reasonably priced equipment. It’s not that cheap, but it’s not too expensive either. It also has many of the features that most people would need in a Variable Grinder.
For example, its slow variable speed capability makes it a great for sharpening lathe tools. To add to that, the Delta 23-197 8-inch Variable Grinder has quick change wheel nuts. This is a nice added feature as it makes changing wheels easier by eliminating the need for wrenches.
The best part about this Delta grinder, though, is that it comes with a variety of added accessories. This includes a diamond wheel dresser, a handy storage clip on the back and even a mounted flexible lamp.
The Delta 23-197, however, is not without its flaws. Much like other owners, I had a hard time in getting the wheels to run smoothly. While the diamond dresser proved useful and corrected any wheel diameter issues I encountered, it may be necessary for most people to use tape ships to correct the wobbling. Fortunately, this isn’t an isolated case. Many previous users have posted their own means of solving the handling wheel wobble problem.
As for the wheels, they’re fine. They’re great for sharpening and grinding, but it may be a good idea to invest in better and more expensive wheels once the time comes to replace them.
The grinder also rums smoothly. It’s able to perform all of its tasks well and is quite the powerful machine. It’s heavy and sturdy and the alignment is spot on.
I also found that the Delta 23-197 worked better when I replaced the wheel on the right with a Norton Blue friable wheel for high speed steel. The same wheel also worked best for me as it kept most of my lathe tools as sharp as possible.
Basically, though, the main reason why I’d recommend buying this model is because of its variable speed. This feature makes it rather versatile as you can use it to sharpen tools, lawnmower blades and even scraping tools.
Features aside, the make of the Delta 23-197 is just great. There’s no other way to describe it. Sitting tightly on my workbench without any clamps or bolts, I rarely had to worry about it falling off while using it.
How to Use a Bench Grinder in 5 Steps
When it comes to anything that needs to be sharpened, worn down, or buffed, your best bet is getting a bench grinder.
Now you have one, great. What’s the next question you ask yourself?
How Do I Use a Bench Grinder?
Using a bench grinder isn’t difficult, and despite the number of models currently on the market, they all follow a similar formula for use.
1. After getting a bench grinder, make sure to secure it to whatever surface you are working on. This will more often then not involve bolting it to a table, however some models come with clamps and other means of securing. It is not recommended to operate without bolting it down, as sharpening objects can cause the entire machine to move. This puts you in danger.
2. Before turning it on, make sure you have the correct wheel installed. The wheel will change depending on what you are doing, and properly fitting it is paramount to using it safely. Check the model for proper installation instructions. Make sure it is not plugged and turned off when changing the wheel.
3. Once the correct wheel is secured, make sure the belt grinder is plugged in, or that the batteries are in. This will depend on the model. Turn on.
4. While firmly holding onto what you are working on, move it into contact with the spinning wheel. Be sure not to press to hard. Instead take your time, and allow the spinning wheel to slowly perform its task.
5. After your done, clear the surface of excess material and wait before removing the wheel as it can become very hot while cutting. Consider wiping down the bench grinder after to help keep it in pristine condition.