10 Best Bench Grinders | April 2017

We spent 32 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Look after your tools and your tools will look after you. These bench grinders are ideal for sharpening cutting tools, such as lathe tools, drill bits, ax heads, and chisels. They can also roughly shape metal prior to welding or fitting, and clean or polish work pieces. Skip to the best bench grinder on Amazon.
10 Best Bench Grinders | April 2017
Overall Rank: 4
Best Mid-Range
★★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 8
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
The SKIL 3380-01 has bright, built-in LED work lights above both wheels to increase visibility, allowing you to get the job done even in poorly lit working conditions. The unit has an adjustable tool rest for accurate grinds.
  • can be used on wood
  • removable wheel guards
  • rather under-powered
Brand Skil
Model 3380-01
Weight 21.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
9
The Ryobi BG612GSB delivers incredible grind strength and precision despite its low price and compact size, but it's still not suitable for large industrial applications. For home use, like keeping an ax sharp, it's perfect.
  • works on a standard 2-prong plug
  • heavy gauge steel base
  • small grinding areas
Brand Ryobi
Model BG612GSB
Weight 17 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
8
The WEN 4276 is a compact and lightweight unit, coming in at just 16 pounds, which makes it convenient if you need to move it around the shop. Its 2.1-amp motor works your grinding wheels up to a rotation speed of 3,450 RPM.
  • ideal for deburring unwanted edges
  • quick startup motor
  • lamp can't run independently
Brand WEN
Model 4276
Weight 17.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
7
The powerful motor of the POWERTEC BG600 helps it maintain speeds through even heavy applications, so you get a smooth grind every time. Its heavy steel base reduces vibration and maintains stability in the majority of situations.
  • coolant tray for use with metal
  • magnifier in the safety shields
  • mid-grade tool guides
Brand POWERTEC
Model BG600
Weight 23.3 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
6
The DeWalt DW758 is powerful enough for professional daily use, but affordable enough that it's a great choice for hobbyists, too. Its rear exhaust ports keep your work clean and smooth without interfering with the process.
  • cast iron motor housing
  • precision-machined tool rests
  • excessive vibration from 36 grit
Brand DEWALT
Model DW758
Weight 37.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
5
The Sunex 5002A grinds even hard metals with ease while its protective spark guard and adjustable eye shields help keep the operator safe even in the midst of serious work. Its power switch is prominently located for ease of use.
  • rubber feet reduce vibrations
  • mounting holes for simple setup
  • flexible tool rests are flimsy
Brand Sunex
Model 5002A
Weight 38.2 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
4
The Craftsman 9-21154 Variable Speed Grinding Center puts the power in your hands with speed controls and an adjustable tool rest for precise grinding of all sorts of implements. At over 30 pounds, it's a heavy, but stable, unit.
  • patented bit sharpening attachment
  • water cooling tray
  • frustrating bolt hole spacing
Brand Craftsman
Model 9-21154
Weight 32.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
3
Despite its high power, the Metabo DS 200 offers both low noise and low vibration in its operation, handling the toughest jobs with ease and without the unpleasant whine of many grinders. It's a pricey, but reliable, professional-grade tool.
  • protective cover bayonet lock
  • maintenance-free induction motor
  • spark protection glasses
Brand Metabo
Model DS 200
Weight 39.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
2
The Baldor 662R is powered by a 115-volt, single-phase, 1/3 horsepower motor that gets the wheels spinning up to 3,600 RPM. This is an industrial-duty tool that complies with all OSHA standards and comes with a three-year warranty.
  • two-piece tool rest
  • vertical and horizontal adjustments
  • 36 grit wheel included
Brand Baldor
Model 662R
Weight 31.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
1
The JET 577103 is a full-sized, industrial model featuring two large, 10-inch grinding wheels and a guarded, heavy-duty toggle switch that's easy to use and prevents accidental powering on or off. The included wheels are 24- and 46-grit.
  • pre-lubricated ball bearings
  • cast-iron wheel guards
  • motor designed for heavy daily use
Brand Jet
Model JBG-10A
Weight 104 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

What Is A Bench Grinder?

A bench grinder is a portable version of larger, industrial grade grinding machines found in many machinist and metal working shops. They spin at high speeds to remove material, which can be anything from wood to metal, by abrasion. Since they are using abrasion, there is a lot of friction and they generally produce a lot of heat. Because of this, you may see operators using gloves when using one, especially if working with highly conductive metals.

Most bench grinders have two wheels with varying grain sizes. This allows one to be used for removal of a large amount of material, while the other can be used for smooth finishing work. Grinding wheels can be made from a variety of materials, with each type being best suited for a certain type of application. The most commonly seen grinding wheels are made from either silicone carbide or aluminum oxide. Bench grinders also allow for the installation of fiber and wire wheels designed buffing and polishing.

Since bench grinders are relatively small and lightweight, it is often necessary to mount them to a table or bench of some kind, hence the name bench grinders. Otherwise the vibrations may cause them to move around while you work. They are usually mounted by bolting them to a surface through pre-drilled holes in the base.

How and what you use a bench grinder for will depend on the size, grain, and type of wheel you have installed. Some of the most common uses include sharpening blades and metal hand tools, rough shaping metal work, and roughing up metal surfaces before welding. They can also be used for removing burrs and casting, or polishing and buffing items.

Choosing The Right Bench Grinder

There are four main things you should consider when picking the right bench grinder for you: power, precision, durability, and cost. Buying one that is cheap, but breaks after a couple of uses is just as much of a waste of money as buying one incredibly overpowered for your needs.

First ask yourself what you will be using the bench grinder for the majority of the time. If you plan on grinding tough metals or need to grind large areas quickly, one with a bigger motor will be a good bet. The larger the motor, the more power your grinder will have and the quicker you'll be able to get the job done.

If you are new to using a bench grinder, you may feel more comfortable with a slow speed model as there is less chance of over-grinding an object. They also make models with dual speed options or adjustable speed controls. These kinds are usually more expensive, but can be invaluable to a beginner or somebody who often works on different kinds of materials.

Since bench grinders operate at high speeds and you put strain on them as you grind down materials, it is important to buy one from a well known company that makes quality tools like DeWALT, JET, or Metabo. If you go with a low-quality China-made model that costs considerably less, you may find that the motor burns out after just a few months.

Wheel size plays a big factor in how you can use your bench grinder and how quickly it gets the job done. For home workshop use, bench grinder wheels range in size from 3 to 8 inches. Ideally it's best to go with one between 6 and 8 inches unless you know you will only be using it on very small objects that don't need heavy grinding.

Other features you may want in a bench grinder include an integrated work light, an adjustable tool rest, adjustable eye guards, a soft start function, and a vibration resistant base. These will help you safely use a bench grinder.

Choosing The Right Grinding Wheel

After finding the best bench grinder for your needs, you'll need to be sure to purchase the right type and grit wheel. Understanding all the differences between grinding wheels can get very confusing, but luckily you don't need to know everything. There are a few things that anybody picking a grinding wheel needs to know though.

First is what type of wheel material is right for the job you are doing. A silicone carbide blade is highly abrasive and ideal for working with stone, brass, and aluminum. An aluminum oxide wheel is best for grinding steel, steel alloys, and other ferrous metals. They can also be used for woodworking or other softer materials that might crumble if you put too much pressure on them while grinding.

The next thing to understand is grit size. Bench grinding wheels generally range from 16 to 120 grit, with the higher the number, the finer the grit. They are often labeled as coarse (16 to 24 grit), medium (36 to 60 grit), and fine (80 to 120 grit). If you want to remove a lot of material quickly and the worked object can be left with a rough finish, use a coarse grit wheel. If you need to work slowly and precisely and want a smooth almost polished finish, go with a fine grit wheel.



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Last updated on April 23 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.