Best Bench Grinders: Seamlessly Sharpen Your Tools

Easily complete some workshop tasks with one of these top bench grinders

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Bench grinders are affixed to a worktable or other worktop. They are used for sharpening tools such as tool bits and chisels, but you can also use them to roughly shape metal before welding it. Some bench grinders are better than others, so we've put together this buying guide to help you select the top products on the market.

  • Best Overall
    DEWALT Bench Grinder, 6-Inch
    Summary
    Summary
    This easy-to-use bench grinder has a 5/8-horsepower induction motor for heavy-duty grinding operations. The motor runs at 3,450 RPM for high-speed material removal.
    Pros
    Pros
    This grinder is quieter than its competitors due to its high-quality wheels and bearings. It's smooth, solid, and quick to set up.
    Cons
    Cons
    It can be hard to adjust the guards, and it wobbles and vibrates.  It may also be hard to remove/replace the wheels due to the design of the wheel covers.
  • Best Value
    SKIL 6-Inch Bench Grinder
    Summary
    Summary
    This bench grinder features a 2.1-amp motor with 3,450 RPM, medium and coarse wheels for a variety of materials, built-in LED work lights, and adjustable tool rests for accurate grinding.
    Pros
    Pros
    It has a high-quality feel, and the grinder motor casing is solid metal. Mounting the lighted shields and tool rests is a snap, and it's a great tool for the price.
    Cons
    Cons
    It vibrates and may rub against the side guard. It's best for small jobs and light work because it can bog down on heavy-duty jobs.
  • Honorable Mention
    WEN 5 Amp 8" Variable Speed Bench Grinder
    Summary
    Summary
    This grinder has a 5-amp, variable-speed motor that goes from 2,000 to 3,400 RPM. It includes an 80-grit and 36-grit 8-inch by the 1-inch grinding wheel.
    Pros
    Pros
    The grinder's sturdy cast iron base with mounting holes prevents wobbling, and it features a flexible work light. It produces very little to no vibration and provides plenty of power.
    Cons
    Cons
    The tool platforms can't be adjusted very much. Changing the wheels is challenging because you must disassemble the wheel guards. It also has a lot of small screws/nuts that can easily disappear.

Tips

  • The more power a bench grinder has, the better it is. Bench grinders are typically rated in amps and range from one-quarter to one horsepower. If the tool doesn't have enough power, it won't work properly and can even stall.
  • Wear ear protection when using a bench grinder because they can be very loud. Those that are more heavy-duty tend to vibrate less than lower-quality options and dampen noise better. Also, wear eye protection.
  • Make sure to bolt down the bench grinder. It can easily move with light pressure against the grinding wheel, which can cause safety issues as well as problems with whatever you're working on.

FAQs

Q: What is a bench grinder used for?

A: Bench grinders are great for grinding various types of metals. You can use them to shape, sharpen, or polish objects, depending on what type of wheels you use.

Q: When should I replace my grinder wheels?

A: Check all the parts to make sure they are functioning properly. If you notice the wheel is chipped, cracked, or wobbling, it should be replaced. Otherwise, it may shatter and potentially harm you.

Q: What do the numbers on the grinding wheels represent?

A: The number on the grinding wheel is related to how coarse it is. For example, a 36-grit wheel removes material quickly, while a 100-grit wheel is intended for finer sharpening.

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the best bench grinder is the DEWALT Bench Grinder, 6-Inch. It's easy to set up and operate and can be used for heavy-duty grinding projects.

For a more budget-friendly option, consider the SKIL 6-Inch Bench Grinder.