The 5 Best Bench Grinders of 2018
The best way to describe a bench grinder is as the trainer of the team. It’s the tool that makes all other tools look good. Depending on the wheel you add, it can buff, polish, sharpen, clean, shape, and of course, grind just about anything. It’s not very expensive, doesn’t take up a lot of space, and can be mounted on a workbench. For such an unassuming instrument, it serves a multitude of purposes like grinding smooth the rough edges on drill bits, scissors, knives, cold chisels, and plane irons; it can fix punches and screwdrivers, smooth welding joints, and grind off rivets. And if you add a buffer wheel, it will clean, polish, and shine too.
Now that you know what a bench grinder is used for, we’re guessing you want to add one to your workshop posthaste. Here are our top 5 picks for the best bench grinders of 2017.
DeWalt is a trusted name in the industry, so you know you’re always getting a quality product. The 6-inch grinder has a 5/8 hp motor that can reach 3450 RPM. It’s made of cast iron and aluminum, weighs around 25.5 pounds, and is 15” long. The DW756 comes with a 3-year warranty, although we believe it will last longer than that. We like that it’s relatively easy to adjust and it has 36 and 60-grit wheels.
- Powerful 5/8 horsepower motor for heavy-duty work
- Motor runs at 3450 RPM
- 12 ½“ distance between the two blades to allow for larger materials
- Comes with anti-vibration base mounts made from rubber
- Compatible with accessories sold separately to improve operation
- Easy to use
- Integrated safety features
- Powerful motor
- Affordable and durable with long-lasting construction
- 3-year limited warranty
- Some users have reported that they had difficulty with the assembly
You can’t go wrong with the Craftsman 9-21154. Its built-in light lets you see the grinding wheel, and tool rests keep your tools at hand for better sharpening and grinding. The base on the grinding center is a good size and gives you the stability you need. It also reduces the vibrations when the motor’s running. One smart innovation is wide eye shields that protect your eyes from flying sparks. The grinder features a 1/5 hp motor that runs between 2000 and 3400 RPM.
- 1/5-horsepower motor with up to 3,400 RPM
- Includes extras like a stoner cleaner tool, a sharpening guide, and a water cooling tray for sharpening tools
- Includes safety features – spark guards, clear eye shields, and a flexible work light for increased visibility.
- Versatile bench grinder that has different uses
- Smooth and quiet operation
- Comes with a water cooling tray
- 1-year warranty
- Machine is too small for larger tools
- Motor is not very powerful
Possibly one of the best bench grinders around, the Metabo DS 200 features a one-inch arbor and a motor with 3570 RPM. The motor, although powerful, produces very little vibration and runs quietly, which means you can use it day or night without disturbing people around you. The wheels have a die-cast aluminum cover that keeps them in place and protects your eyes from sparks. Even though it comes with two grinding wheels, there is also a bayonet lock.
- 3570-RPM motor and arbor size of 1”
- Produces less noise and vibration
- Induction motor is maintenance-free
- Protective covers for blades made from die-cast aluminum to keep sparks away
- Comes with a bayonet lock for easy changing of wheel
- Reduced noise and vibration features
- Small and compact design
- Powerful single-phase motor
- Easy to change grinding wheels
- 1-year warranty
- Tool rest not made of metal
- No cooling system
If you’re looking for value for money, the WEN 4276 is one of the most popular bench grinders. For less than $50 you get a lightweight, portable grinder with a light and a motor that reaches around 3450 RPM. The motor runs quietly, and this bench grinder is especially easy to control.
- 2.1-AMP motor and 3,450 RPM at no load
- Includes a work light for better visibility, two wheel grits (60-grit and 36-grit), and protective eye guards
- Has transparent protection shields so you can get a closer look
- Great for beginners
- Lightweight and compact but sturdy and affordable
- Includes safety features
- Value for money
- Takes time to get to the proper speed
- Assembly may be a bit difficult
While the JET 577102 JBG-8A 8-Inch Grinder looks a little outdated, it comes with all the features you need to grind, polish, and sharpen. There are clear eye shields above each wheel that help you get closer while protecting your eyes, and dust vents on the back keep your work area clean. It has a 1-hp motor and produces 3450 RPM. The grinder comes with a two-year warranty as well as two separate grinding wheels. One is a finer wheel for polishing and sanding and the other is coarser for grinding and sharpening.
- Powerful 1-horsepower motor and 3450 RPM
- Cast iron guards for each wheel as well as sealed and pre-lubricated ball bearings for longer life
- Features a rubber mount to reduce vibrations
- Comes with quick-adjusting spark guards and two grinding wheels – one fine and one coarse
- Larger wheels make it easier to use with larger materials and tools
- Grinders are completely enclosed for safety
- Great additional safety features
- 2-year limited guarantee
- Wheels may wobble and will need adjustment
- The tool rests might be a bit small for bigger jobs
In our opinion, a bench grinder is the unsung hero of your workshop; it buffs, polishes, sharpens, shapes, and even cleans your tools, giving them a new lease on life. This is why you need one sooner rather than later. Our buyer’s guide takes the guesswork out of choosing the perfect bench grinder for your DIY projects or commercial jobs because we tell you what you should expect, what you need to look out for, and which are the essential features.
There are a lot of grinders available, but if you want the right one for you, keep reading!
When doesn’t the price of something matter? Our advice is to figure out what you’re going to be using the grinder for and to then buy the best your budget allows. Our reviews include the JET 577102 JBG-8A Bench Grinder, for example, which is one heck of a machine, but it’s industrial grade and not necessarily suited to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who needs to sharpen a few tools in their shed.
The more powerful the motor, the faster and more accurate your work will be. Look for a grinder with a motor that’s powerful enough to get the job done correctly. If you don’t do commercial jobs, a 1-hp motor is going to be wasted on you.
Guards are set around the grinding wheels to protect your hands. They’re usually adjustable or can be removed if you need to create more workspace. Take into account the type of guards and the ease with which they can be removed.
Power tools have powerful motors, which means noise and vibration are inevitable. But some models have been designed in such a way to reduce them both. Keep in mind that grinders that vibrates a lot can slip or tire your arms and hands out quickly. Also, more vibration could result in work that’s less accurate.
Sparks are good, except when it comes to your grinder. It’s worth looking at a machine that has some kind of spark protection, either in the form of a shield or goggles. In our expert opinion, this and other safety features are non-negotiable. Whatever grinder you choose, it must have adequate safety features.
Newer models are being made with a work light which helps you see what you’re doing. It also improves accuracy and reduces the risk of injury. We think it’s worth getting a bench grinder that includes a light.
Don’t assume the grinders and motor are covered by a warranty. Be sure to check how long each part is covered. A decent warranty should last at least a year.
A bench grinder is a necessary item for serious woodworkers as well as hobbyists, as it helps you smooth and sharpen your tools. We know that finding one isn’t a problem; it’s choosing the right bench grinder that gets a little tricky. It’s easy to get caught up in all the features, specs, and sales speak, and that’s why we’ve created our straight-forward reviews and buyer’s guide. Choose one of our top 5 picks, and you can’t go wrong.