The Best Bench Grinder for Woodworking: Complete Reviews With Comparison

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Best Bench Grinder for Woodworking

Bench grinders are extremely handy tools for woodworkers. Often used to sharpen tools, they also make effective polishing, cleaning, and buffing machines. Professional woodworkers also use them to create new tools from raw metal. Here are the five best you should choose from:

​'Top 5 Best Bench Grinders for Woodworking' Comparison Chart

★ Top Pick ★

JET 577102 JBG-8A 8-Inch Bench Grinder

★ Editor’s Choice ★JET 577102 JBG-8A 8-Inch Bench Grinder

8 Inch bench grinder for industrial grade use, Pre lubricated, One piece quick adjusting spark guards, 5/8 Inch spindle


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DEWALT Bench Grinder, 6-Inch (DW756)

DEWALT Bench Grinder, 6-Inch (DW756)

5/8HP 6″ Bench Grinder, 5/8 hp induction motor, Motor runs at 3,450 rpm, 12-1/2-inch distance between wheels for longer and larger grinding


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

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

2.1-Amp motor, 3450 RPM at no load, 6 in. by 3/4 in. wheels, 1/2 in. arbor size, Lightweight design weighs in at 16 lb.


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★ Budget ★

SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder

★ Money Saver ★SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder

2.1 Amp Motor with 3,450 RPM, Built-In LED work lights over both wheels, adjustable tool rests for accurate grinding, rubber for stability


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POWERTEC BGSS801 Slow Speed Bench Grinder, 8'

POWERTEC BGSS801 Slow Speed Bench Grinder, 8″

1725 RPM is designed to save tools from overheating, Quiet 1/2HP motor, Heavy gauge steel base reduces vibration


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​Detailed Product Info & Reviews

​1. Jet 577102 8-Inch Bench Grinder

JET 577102 JBG-8A 8-Inch Bench Grinder

This industrial-grade bench grinder is ideal for heavy-duty woodworking applications. It has an 8-amp motor, nearly twice as powerful as regular grinding machines. Additionally, its single speed of 3450 RPM is more than enough for commercial uses.


Jet 577102 8-Inch bench grinder has 36 and 60-grit options for grinding rough edges and working on more delicate tasks, respectively. The machine also has an adjustable tool rest to allow the user to work on the tools with precision.


The large, adjustable eye shields and spark guards come in handy when working on large objects. What’s more, the toggle on/off switch is fitted with guard shields on the side to avoid flipping the switch when working or replacing the wheels.


Product Highlights


  • 1HP, 115-volt motor
  • 3450 RPM
  • Pre-lubricated ball bearings
  • Aluminum oxide wheels
  • Adjustable tool rests and spark guards


What I Like

With its exceptional power, users don’t need to purchase more equipment; Jet 577102 8-Inch will meet all your woodworking needs. It worked on all heavy-duty woodworking projects effectively and did not overheat even after using it for hours on end. I also loved its enclosed pre-lubricated ball bearings, which kept the spindle rotating smoothly.


What I Don’t Like

The grinder took a few minutes to get up to speed compared to other bench grinders I had used. I also realized the tool rest and guards were not fitted as well as the rest of the equipment.


​​1. ​Jet 577102 8-Inch Bench Grinder

What We Like

  • ​Can work for extended periods without overheating
  • ​Is noise-free
  • ​Adjustable spark guards

What We Don't Like

  • ​Does not have lights
  • ​Extremely bulky and heavy
  • ​Has single speed


2. DeWalt DW756 Bench Grinder

DEWALT Bench Grinder, 6-Inch (DW756)

The brand has built a name for producing high-quality and relatively affordable machines. The 756 model is ideal for woodworking professionals and beginners alike. It has a decent power output of 5/8 HP, sufficient for any grinding work, including tool sharpening.


Additionally, it is equipped with two grinding wheels with a diameter of six inches and an arbor size of half an inch, the standard size for many bench grinders. This is large enough to polish big-sized tools. What’s more, the wheels are 60 and 36 grit, which enhance the versatility of the equipment as it can polish materials with different textures and densities.


The 60-grit wheel is ideal for smoothing and polishing surfaces as well as sharpening woodworking tools like chisels. The 36-grit is suitable for removing unwanted material from surfaces. Additionally, its 12-1/2 inch gap between the wheels allows you to work on larger materials.

The machine is also equipped with a safety feature in the form of adjustable spark deflectors and a tight tool rest. They protect you when using the machine.


Product Highlights


  • 5/8 HP induction motor
  • 3450 RPM
  • Cast-iron base
  • Six-inch bench grinder
  • The 12-1/2-inch gap between the wheels


What I Like

DW 756 didn’t make as much noise as other bench grinders for woodworking. With the 5/8 HP motor, I found the noise bearable. I also loved the fact that the grinder remained stable throughout the process. Its cast-iron foundation and a base equipped with insert holes enhanced its stability. I also found the location of the power switch pretty convenient compared to other bench grinders.


What I Don’t Like

The machine is suitable for DIY projects only. Projects running for extended periods caused the machine to overheat.


​2. DeWalt DW756 Bench Grinder

What We Like

  • ​Adjustable spark deflectors
  • ​Durable construction
  • ​Stable base
  • ​Able to work with large stock

What We Don't Like

  • ​Overheats after prolonged use
  • ​Is not fitted with a work light


3. WEN 4276 Six-Inch Bench Grinder

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

This bench grinder is an excellent entry-level machine. It has a 2.1 amp motor modest for casual woodworking applications like shaping, honing, and polishing. Additionally, it has a speed of 3450 RPM, fast enough to sharpen tools, including those made of hardened steel.


The equipment has two six-inch wheels: the fine 60-grit wheel and the coarse 36 grit wheel. The wheels have enough versatility to allow users to perform material removal and general grinding tasks.


Its base is somewhat large yet stable. Stability affects the accuracy and effectiveness of the equipment. It is especially true when sharpening many tools continuously. WEN 4276 is also equipped with a transparent spark deflector.


It allows the user to view what he is grinding while protecting him from random sparks. Additionally, the deflector is flexible, letting you position it the best way it suits you.


Product Highlights


  • 60-grit wheel and 36-grit wheel
  • 2.1 amp rotor
  • Speed of 3450 RPM
  • Adjustable eye guards
  • Worklight


What I Like

I particularly loved the detachable work light that illuminated the working surface. It uses a clip-on system that allows you to relocate or remove it. I also loved the removable wheel guard that made replacing the wheel reasonably easy. What’s more, the equipment was rather quiet, probably because it used a smaller motor.


What I Don’t Like

The only caveat with this model is that it does not have insert mount holes. It made it difficult to mount it to a workbench.


​3. ​WEN 4276 Six-Inch Bench Grinder

What We Like

  • ​Low noise
  • ​Can be upgraded to an eight-inch wheel
  • ​Flexible spark deflector
  • ​Clip-on lighting system

What We Don't Like

  • ​Its build is not up to standard
  • ​Difficult to bolt on a workbench


4. Skil 3380-01 Six-Inch Grinder

SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder

If you are looking for an affordable DIY grinder Skill 3380-01 is a good buy. The machine is primarily designed for sharpening tools and light grinding tasks thanks to its 2.1-amp motor with a speed of 3450 RPM. You can also use it for smoothening rough chisel edges, knives, and drill bits.


The equipment is fitted with two six-inch wheels. The first is coarser hence suitable for fast grinding uses, and the second is medium-sized for general applications. Weighing 20.8 pounds only, the grinder is pretty light and portable.


Its base is made of cast-iron with rubber inserts underneath to enhance stability when working. The machine is also equipped with clear eye guards to keep sparks and debris off your face. Its tool rests are adjustable, allowing you to work on a tool at any angle.


Product Highlights


  • Speed of 3450 RPM
  • 2.1 amp motor
  • Medium and coarse wheels
  • Cast-iron base
  • LED work light on both sides
  • Tool rests on each wheel


What I Like

I particularly loved the fact that it is equipped with an LED work light, which helped work even in dimly-lit areas. I also found its construction pretty sturdy for this price range. Additionally, the eye shields came in handy when using the grinder.


What I Don’t Like

The LED lighting was not well-positioned for my needs. I often relied on the garage lights to execute my tasks instead of the built-in LED light. I also avoided pressing on the wheel too much as it slowed down the rotation of the wheel.


​4. ​Skil 3380-01 Six-Inch Bench Grinder

What We Like

  • ​Lightweight
  • ​Sturdy construction
  • ​Equipped with eye shields
  • ​Has LED work light

What We Don't Like

  • Not ideal for heavy-duty applications
  • ​The LED lights are poorly mounted


5. Powertec Slow Speed Bench Grinder

POWERTEC BGSS801 Slow Speed Bench Grinder, 8'

This slow speed bench grinder is an excellent addition to your workshop, especially if you work on metalwork projects too. It helps in DIY buffs, sharpening and honing knives, blades, chisels, and other similar tools used in home projects.


The Powertec is equipped with a shield for every wheel, comes with a tool rest, and a pair of spark arrestors. The wheels are made of aluminum oxide, which is known to generate less heat when sharpening or buffing tools. Also, the low speed of 1725 RPM ensures the machine does not overheat during use.


Product Highlights


  • Speed of 1725 RPM
  • ½ HP motor
  • One-inch wide wheels
  • Weighs 36.1 lbs


What I Like

Being an avid DIYer and a parent, I look for machines that have safety features. The unit has a locking feature that ensures the device remains off even when the switch is turned on accidentally. I also loved its steel base construction, which reduced vibration.


What I Don’t Like

I found the tool rests relatively tiny, which made it difficult to modify. I had to purchase another tool rest to work with the machine.


​5. ​Powertec Slow Speed Bench Grinder

What We Like

  • ​Lightweight
  • ​Affordable
  • ​Does not overheat
  • ​Has locking power switch
  • ​Does not vibrate

What We Don't Like

  • ​Takes time to begin operation
  • ​Small tool rest
  • ​Only Suitable for small DIY projects


'Woodworking Bench Grinder' Buyer’s Guide


Type of Wheels

Choose a wheel designed for the job you are handling. It should also be rated for the speed of the grinder. Using a wheel on a faster setting than it can handle may cause the motor to explode. Here are the different types of wheels used on bench grinders:


  • Straight wheel: It is the most common type. The straight wheel is ideal for sharpening chisels and other such tools thanks to its concave surface. Although it is often used for surface grinding it is also used for cylindrical grinding
  • Cylinder wheel: This kind has a hollow construction and can only be used with vertical or horizontal grinders. Cylinder wheels are pretty large measuring up to 12 inches in diameter
  • Tapered wheel: The wheel tapers towards the edge making it ideal for delicate woodworking uses
  • Disc cup wheel: This kind has limited uses because of the cup has a shallow construction. As such, it is suitable for cutter grinding or jig grinding
  • Diamond wheel: The wheel has diamonds at the edge to help cut and grind hard materials. It is also used on gems and concrete
  • Saucer wheel: This kind is ideal for sharpening saw blades. It often used in professional woodworking settings due to its special nature. It is also used for grinding items like twist drills


Size of Equipment

Most grinders are constructed in six and eight inches. Six-inch bench grinders are ideal for simple honing, sharpening, and other DIY projects while eight-inch machines are suitable for professional workshop applications.


Speed

Bench grinders have two types of speeds: variable and fixed speed. If looking for a machine for DIY projects, a bench grinder with a constant speed is ideal because the needs are somewhat limited. However, professional woodworkers need bench grinders with variable speeds to meet the varying requirements of a workshop.


Lower RPMs are suitable for cleaning, buffing, and polishing as the grinder does not generate much pressure. Woodworkers set high RPMs when sharpening the tools.


Grit Size

Several factors come into play when it comes to the grit size. They include the softness or hardness of the material getting grounded, the smoothness of the finish, the amount of material being removed, the speed of rotation, and the area of ground surface.


It explains why the grit size is divided into four categories: coarse, fine, medium, and superfine. Course grit ranges from 16-24, medium from 36-60, fine grit from 80-120, and the superfine grit from wheel 150 onwards.


Coarser grit removes material faster but leaves the surface rough. If looking to remove less material, then finer grit is ideal.


Tool Rest

Choose a bench grinder fitted with adjustable tool rest, e.g., using knobs instead of using a wrench or Allen key. Also, check the metal used to construct the tool rest. It should be thick enough to avoid deflecting during use. Cast iron is an excellent alternative.


You also need to check the tool rest set up. It should be as close as possible to the wheel (1/8-inch distance is best). Tool rests set too far from the wheel increase the risk of tool getting caught between it and the wheel.


Spark Guards

Wearing protective eyewear is the best way to keep your eyes safe from flying sparks and debris. However, bench grinders are also equipped with spark guards to serve a similar function. When buying the equipment, ensure the guard is large enough and can be replaced easily when it is damaged or dirty.


Additional Features

You also want to ensure the bench grinder is fitted with lights. On-board lighting comes in handy addition for those with poor eyesight or if you are planning to mount your equipment in a dark corner. A magnifying lens is also useful if you want to scrutinize the tool.


FAQs


(Q) What Precautions Should I Take When Using a Bench Grinder?


  • Wear a face shield or safety glasses with side shields
  • Avoid overtightening the nuts when installing a wheel. It causes cracks in the wheel
  • Once you turn on the grinder, stand aside until the wheels come at full speed. It protects you from flying debris
  • Inspect the wheels for damage or cracks before installation
  • Keep the spark shields in place and maintain a 1/8-inch gap between the grinding wheel and the tool rest

(Q) Why Do I Need to Use a Coolant When Sharpening the Tools?


(A) Most cutting tools are made of tempered steel, which does not hold the edge for long if overheated. Water helps cool the edge of the device to avoid ruining it. The best way to sharpen the tool is to move it across the bench grinder for just a few seconds then dip it in water.


(Q) Which is the Best Angle for Sharpening Tools?


(A) The ideal angle depends on the task and the material you are handling. If you want a sharp edge, then you need to use something sharper, but if using the grinder to sand or polish material, then the angle is not much of an issue. Be sure to mount pressure from the front and not upwards. The pressure exerted from the side damages the grinder, causes the router to warp, and may cause the stone to get damaged.


(Q) How Do I Maintain the Bench Grinder?


(A) Maintenance is critical to keeping your bench grinder productive. The wheels often develop clogs due to prolonged use. Diamond dressers and star-wheel dressers help clean the wheels for effective performance. Star-wheel dressers are great for performing general cleaning, while diamond dressers are ideal for restoring the sharpness of the wheel. You also need to inspect the bench grinder for cracks before and after use. Most wheels crack due to over-tightening. Ensure you have tightened it enough, so the wheel remains in place.


(Q) How Often Should I Dress Wheels?


(A) As the wheel gets used, the spaces between the grit get clogged, causing the grit to become dull. Clogged wheels are prone to overheating and slow material removal. Dressing removes clogs leaving new grit exposed for more efficient grinding and cutting. The dresser has a bar coated with diamond grit, which eliminates the clogs. Here are some steps to guide you through the process:


  • Switch on the bench grinder and wait for it to gain full speed
  • Draw a line on the wheel to help you determine when you have removed enough material
  • Press the dresser against the wheel
  • Dress the wheel until the line disappears


Conclusion

This guide should help you buy the best bench grinder for your needs. Our top pick- Jet 577102 eight-inch grinder is a good buy if looking for commercial-grade equipment. However, if you want an affordable bench grinder for your DIY projects, Powertec Slow Speed bench grinder performs just as well. Be sure to go through the buyer’s guide to determine the type of bench grinder that will suit your needs.


About the Author Dan

Just a random guy who likes to build things. Providing tool knowledge, appliance/device testing tips, and DIY project info in an easy-to read & non-intimidating style.

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