The Best Bench Grinders: Reliable Workshop Steeds

There’s plenty of use to be found in bench grinders. Our guide helps you narrow down the best one for your workshop.

byPeter Nelson|
The Best Bench Grinders
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When it comes to power tools, one staple of anyone's garage or workshop (which are often one and the same) should be a quality bench grinder. They've just got so many uses: Sharpening blades, cleaning off rust and oxidization, cutting piping, and even polishing. Throw on the right disc, and the sky is the limit.

But choosing the right bench grinder can be tough—like most tools, there are way too many options out there. That's why we've come up with this handy buyer's guide to help you narrow down your search. We stuck with 8-inch grinders as that's the most common and universal size, but a lot of them have 6-inch and 10-inch siblings with the same exact features.

Best Overall

DeWalt DW758

Summary
An all-around solid option at a good price.
Pros
  • Sturdy construction
  • Well made
  • Quiet operation
  • Cleverly placed exhaust ports
Cons
  • One speed
  • Flimsy aluminum stands
  • Not a whole lot of features
Best Value

WEN BG4282

Summary
Lots of options that give higher-priced units a run for their money.
Pros
  • Built-in LED light
  • Comes with two wheels
  • Quiet operation
Cons
  • Base isn't very sturdy
  • No motor coiling means shorter use intervals
Best High-End

Delta Power Tools 23-197

Summary
This unit packs the highest price tag, but then packs the most performance and features.
Pros
  • Good crop of features
  • Big work light
  • Sturdy base
Cons
  • Often needs adjustment out of the box
  • Noisier than other options

Summary List

Our Methodology

We wish we could get our hands on each of these bench grinders and take our sweet time weighing their advantages and disadvantages, but that sadly wasn't in the cards. Instead, we ranked them based on user reviews, specifications, features, and other noteworthy schema, and weighed them against their retail prices. All of them have eye shields for user safety, but the options vary from model to model thereafter. For more on how we outline and rank products in our buyer's guide, have a gander at this.

The Best Bench Grinders Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall

DeWalt DW758

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Pros

Solid price

Sturdy construction

Well made

Cleverly placed exhaust ports for smooth operation

Quiet operation

Cons

Missing certain useful features that other models have

One speed

Flimsy aluminum stands

The DeWalt DW758 bench grinder is the top dog on our list for a reason: The majority of users report that it's a well-made product that operates smoothly, and is quite universal. We even took a page from our Recurrent Media colleagues over at BobVila.com—that team ranked it as their top pick.

This unit features 3/4 horsepower, 36- and 60-grit wheels, one speed (3,600 RPM), and a rugged cast iron base. Most users point out that it arrived in good shape and well-balanced, ready to take on any applicable job—your mileage may vary depending on your deliverer's mood the day it arrives.

It only spins at one speed, but that doesn't seem to be a major issue for the vast majority of DIYers' needs. Though, users report that its aluminum stands are a bit flimsy, and point out that similar-priced models from other brands come with lights, better stands, and so forth.

Pros

Excellent price

LED lights

Smooth operation

Cooling trays

Cons

No motor cooling

Rubber base helps with vibration, but isn't the sturdiest

Northern Illinois-based WEN offers the BG4282 at a very competitive price: Well below $100. For that, you get a one-speed (3,450 RPM) unit with a quiet 4.8-amp motor, good eye protection, and LED lights to aid in seeing finer details. So unlike that song by Len, this WEN ain't stealing any sunshine. OK, that was a terrible joke.

Anyway, this quality tool also has built in cooling trays to sizzle down freshly-ground items. So far, there don't appear to be any knocks against long-term reliability, either.

Users report that the stands are of good enough quality, but the fact that its sealed motor doesn't have any cooling means that shorter operation is necessary. It also comes with a rubber base that isn't as sturdy as the DeWalt's thick iron unit, though it does cut down on overall weight.

Pros

Big worklight

Variable speeds

Two-piece adjustable tool rests

Sturdy base

Cooling trays

Cons

Highest price of the lot

Often needs balancing out of the box

Slightly noisier than other options

Delta Power Tools' 23-197 has a lot going for it. Between having a sturdy base, big adjustable light, variable speeds (2,000-3,400 rpm), and cooling trays to bring down temps on ground/sharpened/polished items, it's a nice unit. Plus, it comes with 36- and 60-grit wheels.

Users report that it's a great unit to use, with smooth operation and great adjustability. However, many say that it's needed a lot of balancing after assembly and that it runs a bit loud at lower speeds. Regardless, its fine-tuning expands one's capabilities and competes with heavier duty units for commanding less than $200.

Honorable Mention

SKIL 3.0 BI9502-00

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Pros

3.0-Amp operation

Magnified eye shields

Heavy and stable operation

Built-in LED lights

Cons

Water tray is too small

Sometimes requires balancing

Higher price than comparable models

This single-speed (3,450 rpm) unit by Skil boasts 0.5 horsepower, 3.0-Amp power, and some nice features. Notably, its eye shields are magnified to make the finest, most minuscule jobs easier to see. Bolstering that are built-in LED lights. Even though it's slightly lighter than some of the other units in this guide, users say it's very sturdy and solid to use, even when it's not fully bolted down.

The Bl9502-00's negatives are few: It's a bit pricier than comparable products, its water tray is a bit small, and some users report that it requires balancing before full use.

Honorable Mention

Bucktool TDS-200DS

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Pros

Two speeds

Sturdy cast iron base

Runs smoothly and quietly

Cons

One of the heaviest options (though, to some that's not a bad thing)

Higher price

Some of the assembly hardware can wear out and be difficult to source

Don't let the weird name fool you: This bench grinder is serious business. It sports two speeds (1,725 and 3,450 rpm, has a very sturdy base (perhaps too sturdy), and runs smoothly and quietly. Few users complain of it needing balancing out of the box, and its tool rests are easy to adjust and sturdy. Its two wheels are 80- and 120-grit and have a whole half-horsepower to work with.

Pros

Quiet operation

3,580 rpm

Cast aluminum construction

Low price

Cons

No features besides eye shields, though to some that might be a pro

Imprecise runout makes for imprecise work

Not good for tough work

Here's yet another oddly named brand. Vevor's entry in this field gets the basics down: It comes with 36- and 80-grit grinding wheels, is made of cast aluminum, and has sturdy steel tool rests. It's also among the least expensive options in this guide.

However, users report that it has a decent amount of runout, so precision jobs might be best left for something higher in price. It has a quiet operation, and Vevor boasts low vibration, however, users say there's a decent amount of it. Still, for a basic grinder for basic jobs, and at a great price, it's an honorable mention on our list.

Our Verdict

For top quality, DeWalt's DW758 has the best balance of features and useability at a reasonable price. If you're after a cheaper option that gives the DeWalt a strong for its money, you can't beat WEN's BG4282.

Pricing

$50-100 will get you a basic, no notable features (usually), gets the job done. $100-150 is the going rate for a quality, well-made unit that'll get a lot done. While $150+ nets you all the features, variable speeds, and powerful motors.

FAQs

You've got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: What sort of jobs can I accomplish with a bench grinder?

A: All kinds! Cleaning rust and oxidization off of any metallic surface, prepping surfaces for gluing and welding, cutting piping, polishing, sharpening, and more.

Q: What are some safety recommendations for using bench grinders?

A: Make sure all assembly hardware is tight, use the eye shields, wear sturdy gloves, fasten them down to proper mounting surfaces, and always ensure any flammable liquids and materials are at least 12 feet away from them. Also, never hold small items by hand, keep baggy clothing away from the wheels, and never leave a running bench grinder unattended.

Q: How far should I keep a bench grinder's tool rests from the grinding wheels?

A: At least one-eighth of an inch.

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