Making sure you have the right tool for the right job is key to having successful and safe projects. So, when you are looking for that perfect tool to make sure your metal blades and projects are sharp or rust free, the first tool you should think about is a bench grinder.
These small but mighty tools can make your work easier, but there are so many options from hundreds of brands. So, which one is the best? Which one will meet the needs of your work?
In this guide, we will strive to help you with very good questions. We will breakdown some of the best bench grinders of 2019 as well as give you a comprehensive guide on what you should be looking for when purchasing your bench grinder.
Let’s put our safety goggles on and get to it.
Top 5 Bench Grinder Comparison chart
Bench Grinder Reviews
One of the innovative tool companies that helped brings us power tools brings us our first entry.
WEN has been crafting high-quality, innovative tools for almost 70 years and continues to do so with the 4276 6” Bench Grinder.
This tool is a versatile one to add to your workshop. No more will you have to worry about rust or sharpness of any other tool.
The WEN 4276 brings the durability and high-quality performance you have come to expect from WEN as well as these features:
- Multiple wheels (60 grit/36 grit)
- Reduced noise levels
- Enhanced motor speed (3450 RPM)
- Improved wheel changes with easy to remove wheel guard
- Two-year warranty
- Crafted with lightweight, durable materials
- Included: eye guards, adjustable work light
This WEN 6” bench grinder is a budget-friendly addition to any shop that brings with it many features that will serve to enhance your use.
With a reduced noise level from the 2.1-amp motor, your household will thank you for making this choice as well.
The reduced noise, adjustable work light, and built-in eye guards also mean higher safety levels which are never a bad thing to have when you are working with metal.
This small bench grinder also gives you the ability to upgrade to a bigger wheel and that gives this bench grinder more uses making it easily one of the best options out there.
As great of a choice as this is, there are a few things to look at before making this your choice. The first is what size jobs you are looking to accomplish with this bench grinder.
The fact is it does have a smaller wheel and a motor that is not as powerful as others. That means that if you are looking to work with high-density materials like platinum alloys you will find that this bench grinder does not work as well as with other materials.
The other thing is that the main body may not be durable; there are components of this bench grinder that are made of plastic. Plastic is just one of those materials that tends to break and that could be an issue for you.
The last thing is stability. This unit is not able to be mounted to a workbench, so that could make this less appealing to you if you were looking to build out your shop with that in mind.
In the end, this is a great choice for anyone looking to do small projects that include sharpening and polishing if you are not working on metal pieces made of high-density materials.
#1. WEN 4276 2.1 Amp 6” Bench Grinder
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2. SKIL 3380-01 6” Bench Grinder
The next entry brings us the dependability and quality of a company that has been striving to help with your DIY projects for almost a century.
The team at SKIL lands on our list with the 3380-01 6” bench grinder.
The versatility of use is one of the reasons that the SKIL 3380-01 finds its way onto our list.
You will be able to smooth rough edges, polish and many other tasks. This 6” grinder offers a heightened performance with these features:
- Multiple wheels (medium and coarse)
- Improved visibility in low light with built in over the wheel LED work lights
- Enhanced accuracy from an adjustable tool rest
- Increased safety from eye guards and easily mountable rubber feet that are attached to a sturdy base
Small but powerful (it has a 2.1 Amp motor that can reach 3450 RPM) the SKIL 3380-01 could be a great tool to augment your workspace and tool kit.
It offers high levels of safety and visibility with its built-in work lights situated above the wheels.
In addition to the work lights, the team at SKIL included rubber feet in its design to give the beck grinder more stability which is also a great safety feature.
Then when you add in the improved accuracy you get from the adjustable tool rests you can easily see why this is one of the best choices on the market today.
This is one of the grinders that just sings and though it has a plethora of amazing features and benefits, it can be a little difficult to assemble.
The bottom line is that if you can be a little patient with the assembly portion of the whole process, you will eventually be working with a high-quality, high-performance piece of equipment.
#2. SKIL 3380-01 6” Bench Grinder
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3. WEN 4282 4.8 Amp 8” Bench Grinder
Another entry from the innovative and reputable team at WEN, the 4282 4.8 Amp 8” bench grinder keeps this company’s name and mission alive and well.
WEN always brings quality and performance to any worktable with features designed to meet any handyman or woman's needs. Features like:
- Multiple wheels included (60-grit/36-grit)
- Built-in coolant tray for better performance
- Improved motor speed (4.8 Amp/3450 RPM)
- Designed with easy to remove wheel guards for quick changes
- Increased visibility with adjustable eye guards and LED work lights
- Enhanced accuracy with work rests that are adjustable for better angled grinding
Once again, the team at WEN brings us a tool that functions at the highest level and brings with its security as well.
The power level of this motor allows you to work fast and precise on whatever project you want to take on. With the multiple blades (as most WEN products come with) you can work easily with many different materials.
This is a great tool for anyone no matter what level of experience you’re at.
No matter how easy this bench grinder is to use, there are still a few drawbacks you should consider when deciding whether this might tool is the right one for you.
Though it does work with multiple materials, some have found that you will need to apply more pressure when sharpening some of them than other models available. In addition, because of the strength of the motor, there may be more sparks than normal so making sure you have additional safety precautions handy may be a good choice.
The final verdict on this bench grinder is that it is a high-quality piece that if you take a few extra precautions might be the perfect fit for your needs.
#3. WEN 4282 4.8 Amp 8” Bench Grinder
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Taking into consideration the needs of handymen and women, Rikon has dedicated themselves to designing high performance and quality tools that will enhance the efficiency and accuracy of their tools.
The 80-805 8” grinder takes that mission head on and brings to your tool kit many great features and benefits that will enhance your work. Look at some of these below:
- Elevated low power motor that reduces heat build-up
- Multiple wheels (60-grit/120-grit) made of white aluminum oxide
- Designed with a robust base that has built-in rubber feet for vibration control
- Elevated safety implementation with a safety shield that is adjustable and the inclusion of work resistors
- Ability to sharpen drill bits
If you are looking for a lower powered bench grinder that still gives you all the versatility of its more powerful counterparts, the 80-805 from Rikon could be your tool. It offers an important focus on safety precautions that means less chance of accidents and injuries.
The team at Rikon smartly added a sturdy base with enhanced features that make the balance and stability of this bench grinder perfect for your DIY projects. It has less heat build-up and adjustable eye shield.
All of this makes this one of the best low powered options.
The power level may be the biggest concern, but only if you are looking to do large, major projects. Then the low-powered level is something that you should really consider.
As well as the fact there have been some complaints about the effectiveness of the tool rests in relation to creating stability for your tool.
For the Rikon 80-805, the only drawback is the power level and if you are not working on big projects this seems to be of little concern.
So, if you are just looking for a bench grinder that can help with your DIY projects at home then this grinder may be the one you have been looking for.
#4. Rikon 80-805 8” Bench Grinder
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5. TruePower 199 Mini-Bench Grinder
The last entry comes from a newer company, TruePower, that looks to create high-quality products in many industries including home improvement tools.
If you are looking for a compact lightweight bench grinder for your small at home DIY projects, check out the TruePower 199 mini. This mini-bench grinder brings with it some great features like:
- Built with a high-power 150W motor
- Ability to select multiple speeds (0-10,000 RPM)
- Included in the box: flex shaft add-on, x2 wheels (grinding & polishing)
The TruePower 199 mini’s lightweight compact design makes it perfect for sharpening the small tools just hanging around your house and shop. It gives you a diversity of speed so that your wheel attachments can handle multiple materials quickly and efficiently.
Plus, the addition of the flexible shaft makes this bench grinder even more versatile because it allows you to get into spaces other grinders can’t. It is also a great price, so when we were curating this list, we knew we had to add this to a list of the best bench grinders available.
The only drawback to this mini bench grinder is its power. It was obviously not designed to handle major projects.
If those major projects are not on your agenda and you are just looking for a small bench grinder to keep some of your finer tools sharp or polished to perfection, then make sure to look at the TruePower 199 mini-bench grinder.
#5. TruePower 199 Mini-Bench Grinder
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When you are getting ready to make decisions like which product to go with there are always key features that make up the list of things you should be looking at.
This will change with each product, and so below we have crafted a buyer’s guide that will help you make your choice when it comes to bench grinders.
By taking a hard look at where each of your options lands in these five categories we hope you will be able to wade through the heaps of choices out there and find the right fit for you.
The first thing to think about is what type? This means you need to think about what you are intending to use your bench grinder for. Here are a few of the different types available:
These have strong blades for working with higher density metals. They tend to have enhanced stability and durability as they need to be used time and time again.
These can be great if you are looking for versatility and improved control. These are great as home DIY tools because of the versatility of speeds.
The electric bench grinder offers ease of portability and quick set up.
These usually work at lower speeds to allow for less heat build-up and better precision that is needed when doing intricate woodwork.
Wheel diameter and type are very important to make sure you end up with the right bench grinder.
Let’s start with material. Making sure your wheel is the right material for the material you will be working with is key.
For instance, if you are working with metal you may want to make sure that you get a wheel made of aluminum oxide. Now wheel type comes into play. There are three main types:
This is the most common and is great to use when sharpening things like chisels.
These tend to be large and are also known as hollow wheels. This is great for mounting on either horizontal or vertical workbenches.
This is the style of wheel that is good for fine detailing like grinding gear teeth.
(There are also saucer cut-off and diamond wheels as well.)
Now that you know what you are looking at how you can think about the wheel diameter. The best rule of thumb is that if you are looking to do home DIY projects the better choice is a 6” wheel.
Whereas if you are looking for a neck grinder for your workshop an 8” is a better choice. But this all depends on what you are looking to get into.
This feature should be looked at through the lens of the work you intend to be using this bench grinder for. So, if you are looking to do projects and work that deal with tough materials and on a larger scale, you will need as much power as you can get.
On the other end of the spectrum if you are doing small projects or working with a material like the wood you may want a slower powered motor so that you have better control.
There are grinders that offer both set and variable speeds. If you are just doing around the house projects, then you may not need a variable speed motor. When looking at motor speeds here is a good guideline:
- 3400-3500 RPM = general grinding
- 2000 RPM = polishing
If you use this as a basic guide, then you will be able to find the motor speed that will work for your needs.
No one wants to spend money and then something goes wrong and there is no warranty; that means you are out that money.
Finding a bench grinder that has a good warranty that at least is for a year and covers the entire grinder is as important as the functionality features above.
Bench Grinder FAQ
So, by now, you should be feeling pretty good about the odds of your picking the right bench grinder for you.
Also, by now, we are sure you have some questions bouncing around in your mind. So below we have gathered some of the most commonly asked questions for you.
How to Use a Bench Grinder
The ability of what your bench grinder can do depends, overall, on what you have mounted to it and this also dictates how you use the grinder as well.
You will want to use a cars wheel (like a 36-grit) for sharpening things like gardening tools. Whereas if you are looking to sharpen something like chisels you need to use a 60-grit wheel.
Wheels that are 80-100-grit ratings are good for sharpening super delicate things.
No matter what wheel you use the process of using is basically the same. Here is a step by step method:
- First, you will want to place the item to be ground at about a 25-30-degree angle at the front of the wheel.
- Always Make sure to keep it moving.
- You should be safe when it comes to overheating but if your item gets a little too hot then makes sure you have a bowl or something with a fast quench-oil close and just dunk the item in the oil.
That it. It's that simple.
What is a Bench Grinder?
A bench grinder is a tool that comprises a motor, two spindles, and fitted with grinding wheels. The two spindles are mounted on either side and are moved by the motor.
This rotation causes the wheels to rotate. These wheels can be made of different materials and sizes, but by placing an item on the grinding wheels you can use it to sharpen, polish or grind it down.
What is a Bench Grinder Used For?
Depending on what you are using it for, a bench grinder can be used for many tasks. If you are a home improvement person, they can be used to sharpen knives or do small DIY projects.
If you are working on cars and have the right type, you can use a bench grinder to work on engines or even bodywork. You can also use a bench grinder for woodworking as well.
Overall the bench grinder is used to sharpen, polish or grind materials ranging from metal to wood.
How to Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades with a Bench Grinder
If you are looking to make sure your lawn mower can get that lawn looking sharp, you need blades that are sharp. So here is how you would use a bench grinder to do just that:
- Start by running the lawn mower blade back and for perpendicular to the grinding wheel. This will get rid of dents in the blade.
- Once that is done then take the blade and at a right angle of the bevel and run the length of the blade across the grinding wheel until the blade is the sharpness desired.
- Now you need to ensure that the blade is balanced. An unbalanced blade can be bad for the performance of the mower. Take a plastic balancer and set the blade on it. If any side dips down, then the blade is not balanced. All you must do is grind down the none cutting edge until it is balanced.
- Replace it on the mower and cut that grass.
Here’s a YouTube video you can watch for a better understanding:
How to Balance a Bench Grinder
Balancing a bench grinder is important for peak performance and safety. Here is how you would de that:
- Take the grinding wheel and place it through the sleeve. Make sure it can rotate freely by rotating it.
- Then take the wheel and attach it to the grinder and tighten it. Rotate the wheel again and watch for wobbles.
- Once you know how much vibration you get to remove the wheel from the grinder and the sleeve. Take a balancing arbor and take both sleeve and the wheel on the stand.
- Make sure to remove the weights that are on the sleeve. Then rotate the sleeve. Mark the spot where it ends up (make sure it is faceup.
- Take those weights that you removed and attach them to the flanges, making sure that they are aligned with the previous mark.
- Now tighten the flanges. Rotate the sleeve until the mark you made lands at 1 o’clock. Then repeat the weight adjustment that you did previously.
- Take out your tightening tool and tighten the flanges further.
- Now you can take off the arbor and replace the wheel into the sleeve. Rotate the wheel again to make sure there are no vibrations.
The information we have laid out above is a great start to preparing you to find the right bench grinder for your needs.
Hopefully, you feel less stressed and better equipped to get out there and do just that.