If you own a workshop and do not have a good bench grinder already, then you are probably having some of your jobs done in a substandard manner. Maybe you are even forced to outsource some of them. Since dull tools are common in the workshop, it is almost impossible to live with a bench grinder. For now, we will assume that you are here to upgrade your tools set or need to set up a workshop for the first time. Whatever the case, it will be prudent to start by saying that a bench grinder is one of the unique tools you can have; it is almost irreplaceable.
Of course, several tools can sharpen metals, but none can do so with the finesse of the bench grinder. The good thing is that you can get a grinder of any size so you can handle your jobs comfortably and effectively. All you need is some tips on which grinder size is fit for which work, and you are good to go.
If this is your first time to read about a bench grinder or buy one, you will be surprised at the amazingly affordable prices. Nevertheless, it is good not to focus on the enticing price tag. Look at the long term. Consider the kind of work you are doing. A whole set of considerations really. Do not worry; we will cover them shortly. That will be after we have outlined some of the best bench grinders in the market today. While there are many ways of categorizing these products, we chose to group them according to price, which is the leading consideration for many buyers. Enjoy!
Table of Contents
- Table of Contents
- Best Heavy Duty Bench Grinder
- Best Quiet Bench Grinders
- Best Variable Speed Bench Grinder
- How To Choose The Best Bench Grinder
Heavy Duty Bench Grinder
Quiet Bench Grinder
Best Heavy Duty Bench Grinder
1. JET 577102 JBG-8A 8-Inch Bench Grinder
Powerful 8-Inch bench grinder for industrial grade use
As a newbie in the woodworking field, looking for the best bench grinder can be tiresome. An entry-level tool is desirable for its ease of use, but it is limited in terms of features. It will not last long as it keeps breaking down. Even if you are a beginner, it is the experts’ view that you go for something that costs at least $200. The JET 577102 JBG-8A 8-INCH BENCH GRINDER more than just fits this requirement.
Sharpness and general good working condition are the hallmarks of the best bench grinders for woodworking projects. Dull tools not only damage the wood, but also stall your project. Most woodworking projects involve many tools. Sharpening tools is the order of the day for any worker in this industry. While there are numerous grinding tools in the market, this bench grinder is in a league of its own.
Its heavy-duty design sets it apart from other entry-level tools in its class. It features a 1-horsepower, 115-volt motor, which is more powerful than most of the competitors. We are yet to come across an entry-level bench grinder with this kind of capability. With its 3,450 rpm, the JET 577102 JBG-8A 8-INCH BENCH GRINDER is ideal even for heavy grinding applications.
This power is considerable, especially if you have used other bench grinders with half the power. With the JET 577102, you grind your tool comfortably without having to apply too much pressure. It will still run at its incredible speed even if you add some pressure on the wheel.
Also contributing to the top ranking of this bench grinder is its excellent construction, starting with the heavy cast iron base. A compact machine, it weighs in at 58.5 pounds and measures 22.7 x 14.5 x 13.3 inches. Most of the components are actually of cast iron construction. What this means is that vibrations are almost inexistent. To add to this stability and smooth performance, the machine comes with a very effective rubber foot. This is option so you do not have to use it because the machine can be stable without it.
When you look at the eye shields, you note that ease of use goes hand in hand with safety on this tool. These components are large, but they are easy to adjust. For even more safety, the product comes with the following additional features:
- Spark guards
- Cast iron wheel guards
- Dust vents
- Fully enclosed ball bearings
Well, for any bench grinder, you will always find an area of weakness. For the JET 577102, the first disadvantage we noted is the omission of lights. This makes it undesirable for a workshop with poor lighting.
Weight is also a bit of an issue for users that need to move up and down.
2. DEWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder
Powerful 5/8 hp induction motor for heavy-duty grinding operations
If you need a powerful industrial grade bench grinder that gives you excellent multi-purpose service, consider getting the DEWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder. Its 3,450-RPM motor offers swift metal removal on a variety of tasks.
DEWALT brand has a reputation of quality construction and we think that this yellow and black product has lived up to the big name. Despite being assembled in China, this bench grinder has the body to do heavy-duty operations through the years. When you combine the tough motor housing and industrial cast iron base with the powerful motor, this product is, undoubtedly, the best value for your money.
While powerful, the product offers minimal vibration thus it scores highly on user experience. Specifically, this is essential for accuracy, which we also agree is high. Another factor that contributes to accuracy is metal positioning. Using the DEWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder, you will realize that you are able to accomplish your grinding tasks efficiently.
For a bench grinder to be considered one of the best, nothing short of a perfect finish cuts. You can get the best results thanks to the 6-inch grinding wheel. With the distance between the wheels being 12-1/2 inches, grinding larger projects is free of interference and hesitation.
When we are considering the accuracy and finesse of the product, we cannot fail to point out the tool rests. These components are made from very durable and precision-machined aluminum. They help you take complete advantage of the high quality grinding wheels every time.
Rear exhaust ports add more value to this bench grinder. Apart from preventing overheating, they enhance smooth operation. Even at old age, we believe that the DEWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder will outperform other products in its category even more because of this feature.
Owing to the powerful motor, the machine can sometimes vibrate, but not to the extent of rendering work impossible. It also takes some time to come to a stop. The lack of stability and probably slight overheating are issues you can handle through proper mounting and introduction of breaks between jobs. Like for any power tool, maintenance plays a big role in the long-term performance of the DEWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder.
This bench grinder is considered one of the best because of durability, high performance, reliability and affordability. We can assure you that these attributes are evident even for tough tools and applications. If you have ever wanted to upgrade to a more powerful bench grinder for your workshop or garage, then choose this 8-Inch grinder.
3. Baldor 662R 6-Inch
Two-piece tool rest permitting vertical and horizontal adjustments
If you are looking for a powerful and sturdy yet quiet bench grinder, you will come across many products that claim to bring these characteristics. The truth of the matter is that very few, if any, can match the benefits and features of this product from Baldor.
This product is head and shoulders above the rest in its category in terms of overall performance. Not only does it perform excellently, but also it has an astounding life cycle. Users will definitely love the fact that the motor 1/3 HP motor hums quietly for a grinder this powerful. Even if the product comes with a 3-year warranty, we doubt you will ever need it given the quality of the 3600-RPM motor and 6″ grinding wheel.
Most users have had understandably had problems with noise emitted by most heavy-duty bench grinders. The engineering behind the Baldor 662R 6-Inch 1/3-Horsepower Industrial Duty Big Red Grinder/Buffer has put into consideration the noise level. It appears their aim was not only to make the product quieter than competitors did, but also bring the decibels to a low and comfortable level for the user. No matter how long you use the bench grinder, you can be sure you will not end up with ringing ears.
Some years back, there were reservations about the artistry, but this has since died. There is no doubt the steel construction adds immense quality to the product. No one working in a garage will hesitate to grab a bench grinder that promises lasting power and strong quality.
Even if you were to analyze the components one by one, you will notice the overall durability and quality put in by the manufacturer. When such is the case, you can do any job worry-free. Remember that this product comes with two-piece tool rests that allow for both vertical and horizontal customizations. These components add the much needed durability and stability for all grinding projects. Included also are the tough wheel guards for utmost user safety.
Is the price too high? We tend to agree to what has been a concern for many people. This product is a little pricier than others in its category are. But we must always remember that the best measure of the true cost of a product is the value you get, not how others cost.
In our analysis of heavy-duty bench grinders, we have come to the belief that three things matter the most: user comfort, performance and life cycle. The Baldor 662R scores highly on all. This top of the heap product should not be missing from your collection if you are interested in a functional and compact product.
Best Quiet Bench Grinders
1. POWERTEC BGSS801 Slow Speed Bench Grinder, 8″
Cool running 1725 RPM is designed to save tools from overheating
Are you looking for a mix of user convenience and good results on your grinding jobs? The answer lies in this enticing POWERTEC BGSS801 Slow Speed Bench Grinder. It comes with a load of features, but it is very easy to use. It is also super cool because its features discourage overheating.
Probably you are looking at the name and wondering why you would need a slow speed bench grinder in this era. While 1725 RPM may seem too slow, you only need to put the machine to work to realize how crucial this feature is. Of all the products we have reviewed here, this one has to be the coolest running one. This is important. Tools tend to overheat on grinding and this affects their life.
We love the POWERTEC BGSS801 because it has deliberately dealt with this challenge. The slow speed combines nicely with the aluminum oxide wheels to counter any form of overheating. The result is that the machine can grind harder materials with better results.
If you are a fan of fast starting devices, you will probably not like the POWERTEC BGSS801 in this respect. The device takes some time before it comes to full speed. However, if you look at it in the safety angle, this feature is desirable.
To add to the smooth running, this product is incomparable to its rivals in terms of safety. While the bench grinder has spark arresters, what impresses the most is the locking power switch. This feature comes in handy in homes where kids or pets are likely to play around.
A bench grinder however smooth-running, will still develop vibrations. It is upon the manufacturer to arrest these vibrations to make usage convenient. We must say that the POWERTEC BGSS801 also does well in this area, coming with a heavy gauge steel base for stable and vibration-free operation. Even the perpetual wobbling in bench grinders is not an issue here. It must be because this product weighs in at a decent 36.3 pounds. In addition, it is evident the motor is of high quality given its quiet operation and longevity.
If you look at the other side of the coin, there is not much to hate the product for, apart from the tiny tool rests. The good thing is that you can always modify or change these components to suit your needs.
We loved this product because it has all the features a woodworking beginner would want in the best bench grinder. Pros may find the slow speed to limiting, but ultimately, this could be good if the nature of work demands such. To crown everything, the product comes at an affordable price.
2. SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder
Medium and coarse wheels for a variety of materials
In your search for the quietest bench grinder, consider yourself lost if you do not have the SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder in your fine list. The product is very popular for not only its low weight and nice appearance, but also a quiet running motor. Its versatility has also endeared to a wide range of users. It is fair to say that this product has represented the globally respected SKIL brand name well.
Featuring two grinding wheels, this tool is perfect for working on a variety of jobs without the need to make numerous adjustments. As you can guess, the easily detachable tool rest impressed us. If you need to attach a custom made one, it will take you just a few seconds.
Noticeably, the SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder has expertly dealt with vibrations. Usually, quiet operation goes with small tasks, hence the modest power and speed. The motor on this product boasts of 2.1 Amp and 3,450 RPM for power and speed respectively. This is more than enough for flawless results on a wide range of small tasks. At home, this tool will handle almost any job including polishing surfaces, grinding welded joints, drilling knives and smoothening chisel edges.
Ease of use will always excite users, so it is easy to understand why this product features in this list. Dimness or darkness will not limit your use of this bench grinder thanks to the built in LED light features. These features are installed on both wheels so your work piece is conveniently illuminated.
Safety is crucial on a bench grinder no matter how smooth or lightweight the device. To enhance stability, the SKIL 3380 6-Inch Bench Grinder comes with a solid cast-iron base. To protect your eyes, the product features eye shields.
As a slow machine, the SKIL 3380 6-Inch Bench Grinder is obviously limited to light work, which means you might need to acquire a different tool if you handle heavy-duty work. Still, this is a wonderful tool to have around the home, where most jobs are not so demanding.
The two tool rests adjust easily making it possible to grind at the perfect angle. Other irresistible things from the product include a 1-year warranty with 30-day money back guarantee, quick/simple mounting and durability. Note that 2-pack and 4-pack of the same are available probably at discounted prices.
3. Grizzly G9717 Bench Grinder with 1/2-Inch Arbor
This 1/3 hip 110v single-phase industrial-duty bench grinder turns at 3450 rpm
Here is another superb bench grinder for DIY and home based tasks. Very low priced, the tool is considered a surprise from Grizzly, a company that is renowned for industrial grade bench grinders. Though low priced, this product gives a performance enough to give other products in this category a formidable challenge.
The design of this device is visibly accommodative of any mechanics shop or machine shop. You can mount the bench grinder on an optional stand or simply mount it on the workbench. This machine is a friend to anyone that grinds small items, sharpens tools and generally does small scale grinding. We are confident users will also love the adjustable tool rest as this enables different grinding angles.
One of the highlights of this product is definitely the high-speed motor. At 3450-rpm and 0.3 HP, the electric powered motor starts instantly and can continue running the whole day. The bearings come factory sealed and will not need any form of lubrication in their entire life. This amazing device also features both 30 grit and 60 grit-grinding wheels whose thickness can be as much as 3/4″.
In spite of having these exciting features, the Grizzly G9717 is extremely easy to use. It features a rocker type switch for the ON and OFF functions. To enhance user safety, the product spots tool rests for work piece support. Fixed to the support bracket are adjustable eye shields.
At 18.25 pounds weight, the product is light, but this does not limit its performance in any way. The two mounting holes ensure firm attachment to the bench or any other surface so that vibrations do not interfere with work. Add this to the cast iron stand and you have a smooth running but powerful gadget for all your DIY grinding projects.
A warranty of just 1 year may not be impressive for a grinding tool and this may probably put off some users. Although the device is fast starting, some users have had issues with the long time it takes to attain full speed. There have also been complaints about the wheel wobbling, but we think you can handle this issue with minor adjustments.
Overall, the Grizzly G9717 offers good value for its price especially if its use is restricted to the home environment.
Best Variable Speed Bench Grinder
1. TruePower 199 Mini Multi Purpose Bench Grinder
Powerful 150W high-speed motor rated at 110 volts, 60 hertz
If you are looking to do all sorts of jobs on your grinder, you need to get one of the best variable speed bench grinders. It will help you use all forms of grinding wheels to achieve a wide range of results. One of the bench grinders that are perfectly designed for such work is the TruePower 199 Mini Multi-Purpose Bench Grinder. This product is a testament that you do not need a big machine to do much.
It is true that the TruePower 199 Multi-Purpose Bench Grinder is tiny (11 x 7 x 7 inches dimensions and 7.55 pounds weight), but you will not believe that it carries a 110 volts and 150W motor inside that case. You will also be surprised that the machine can generate up to 10000 rpm under load conditions. The smaller-than-normal wheels spin faster to give such kind of performance.
Another reason this machine makes the list is its impressive variable speed control, which ranges from 0 -10, 000 RPM. See the bench grinder for the first time and you will probably notice the speed knob in seconds. It is placed strategically on the front for easy reach. If you have never used a bench grinder before, you will find this feature very essential before you develop the skill of operating by feel.
User convenience and safety is well managed on the TruePower 199, starting with the durable wheel housing. Coupled with the eye shield, this feature ensures maximum protection from sparks. Although the eye shield comes separate from the machine, it is easy to attach. You also need to attach the tool rest for the ideal angle when you are grinding, sharpening or doing any other operation. A tool rest is one of those crucial components for this device that works on small work pieces such as drill bits.
Several other attachments make the TruePower 199 perfect for small tasks. For example, the surprise inclusion-the flex shaft- allows for mounting of different items. Other attachments that we find valuable to the user include the stone bit, hex wrench and collet wrench. The product also comes with a polishing wheel and a grinding wheel so you can start your job right away.
For all your small grinding tasks, you have the perfect tool in the TruePower 199 Mini Multi-Purpose Bench Grinder and Polisher with Flexible Shaft, Tool Rest and Safety Guard, 3-Inch. Budget friendly equipment caters for precision works and does not even need mounting. It is highly recommendable.
2. Porter-Cable PCB525BG 6″
Sharpen, shape or grind wide variety of materials with the variable speed range of 2,000 to 3,400 RPM
Porter-Cable has been churning out world beating power tools for many years, so the Porter-Cable PCB525BG 6″ Variable Speed Bench Grinder being on this list is not a surprise. Here is a versatile, powerful and smooth running that guarantees solid performance. It is available in many stores at a very affordable price.
If you are a diligent person seeking to accomplish a wide range of tasks using a variable speed bench grinder, this is a product to consider. It will definitely help you polish and grind things here and there. One of its most imposing features is the pair of wheels at both 60-grit and 36-grit. The wheels give the wheel versatility not common on products in this price range.
We like the ease of operating the Porter-Cable PCB525BG 6″ Variable Speed Bench Grinder. Its ON/OFF switch is unmistakably in front of the operator. If you are operating in the dark, you will not have a problem locating it, partly because of its placement, but mostly because the device comes with another crucial feature- an adjustable 40-watt lamp. Add a bulb to the lamp and your work area is illuminated suitably for extended and convenient use.
A notable and equally crucial aspect of this product is that it comes with a 2,000 RPM- 3,400 RPM variable speed range, which caters for all those specific tasks. We also see more adjustability in the die cast aluminum tool rests. The groove on these components certainly makes drill sharpening easy.
With the cast iron base, the product provides unmatched stability as you work. Keep in mind that this tool features course and medium wheels for easy handling of surface preparation, sharpening, grinding and shaping tasks. You can use it for drill bits, garden tools, knives and lawn mower blades. The manufacturer added rubber feet to reduce the vibrations even further and enhance longevity so you want to have this one around your home.
Have you ever used a wheel dresser when grinding? The Porter-Cable PCB525BG 6″ Variable Speed Bench Grinder also includes this tool that cleans and reshapes the grinding wheel. When not in use, you can place it on the clip.
We could not close this review without mentioning the removable quench cooling tray. Cooling the work piece during operation is important and this feature comes in handy for this.
How do you like the 6-foot cable that comes with the product? A number of users have expressed their dislike for it as it compromises functionality in the work area.
All said, we recommend this bench grinder because we believe you want remarkable results for your grinding project. Variable speed, unusual features, wheel dresser etc. make the product a top performer.
3. Craftsman 9-21154 Variable Speed
Large adjustable tool rests with patented attachment for accurate bit sharpening
Are you fond of changing the wheels often? Here is a tool to suit this and many more needs. The Craftsman 9-21154 Variable Speed 6-Inch Grinding Center is one of the most flexible and versatile tools in its class. To free the wheel guard, all you need to do is to remove a threaded button.
The product has the power to perform a wide range of tasks. Its 2.5amp and 1/5 horsepower motor generates 2000 – 3400 rpm with no load. An admirable aspect of the Craftsman 9-21154 is that it is extremely easy to control. Use the adjustable speed control near the power switch to set the wheel spin speed as you desire. You can use it for small grinding tasks such as sharpening.
User protection and convenience is also a strong point on this bench grinder. The clear eye shield guard keeps flying debris from the eyes so you can continue grinding unabated. The large oversized cast iron base adds stability and absorbs vibrations.
An overhead lamp illuminates the working surface helping you work in dimly lit areas without problems. This added vision enhances accuracy of work. The tool rests also contributes to the high accuracy associated with the Craftsman 9-21154.
Grinding through metal fast as the Craftsman 9-21154 does is sure to generate a lot of heat. Fortunately, this product also comes with a cooling tray to take care of the heat. The hand-held wheel dresser adds to the performance of the machine by truing the wheels as needed.
Can you ask for more for a tool that is so affordable? In summary, this machine from Craftsman is superior for its low weight, impressive variable speed control, incredible power and high quality. Furthermore, the product offers amazing user-friendliness and versatility from the two wheels. Though some users find the motor weak, we believe you can live with this if you restrict use to minor tasks. As for the tool rest, you may want to replace it with a larger one if your jobs find the manufacturer-made component limiting.
How To Choose The Best Bench Grinder
Having gone through the above reviews and many more, you will agree that choosing the best bench grinder is rarely an easy task. As you shop for your first bench grinder, it is important to take your time and follow some guideline. You do not buy a power tool of this caliber hastily or by impulse. Most shoppers who do this end up buying low quality products that do not even fit the requirements of the job.
If the reviews have not given you sufficient guidance, this section outlines important factors that characterize a good bench grinder. Most of them revolve around three features: safety, design and overall quality. We hope you find them helpful as you head to the store.
The motor is easily the most important component of a bench grinder because it revolves the grinding wheel. Consider both the revolutions per minute (rpm) and motor speed. For motors that come with horsepower rating, you will mostly find one-horsepower, ¾-horsepower and 1/2-horsepower motors. A bench grinder with 3,500 RPM or above is perfect.
This is not to say slower bench grinders are not applicable. In fact there are both high speed bench grinders and slow speed bench grinders. So, do not shy away from a 2,000-RPM device. You never know, it could be perfect for your kind of work. Usually, such grinders are most suited for precise grinding since they do not damage the work piece easily. In addition, more people prefer them to faster ones these days.
A powerful bench can generate disturbing vibrations, unless of course some feature to counter this is added. Fortunately, the best bench grinders come with anti-vibration features, some of which we have already covered in the reviews. No matter how powerful the motor is, you will not have to worry about your hands shaking if you buy the best product. A good example of an anti-vibration features is cast iron feet for added grinder stability. Cast iron wheels are also ideal for smooth movement of the equipment.
What we find most relevant and practical to taking care of vibrations is the base. Apart from keeping the grinder stable, it holds the internal parts. You need to search for a tool with high runtime stability, a characteristic that a sturdy base offers. If you are buying a high-speed device, look for this feature as a matter of priority because the vibrations can be pronounced.
The design of the bench grinder must be such that it puts user safety first. Nowhere on the bench grinder are risks as high as near the grinder wheel. This makes the guard a crucial determinant of whether a grinder is good or bad. The grinder spin must stay away from hands. Look for a guard that not only plays this basic role, but also incorporates adjustment settings to cater for different user positions.
Spark shields may or may not feature on the bench grinder, so be alert when buying. Usually, these shields are plastic and are designed to divert sparks away from the user. These shields may be of any shape, but circular and rectangular ones are more common. The most important thing is to pick wide one to maximize protection.
Remember that these should not replace goggles or safety glasses for proper eye protection. Protection is not restricted to the eyes. The best bench grinder should also feature the following.
- Hearing protection
- Hand protection
- Grounded electrical cords
- Anti-restart device
We do not expect any bench grinder to come without a wheel guard, but it is important to be sure it is there. Perhaps you should go for those guards that leave only a small portion of the wheel visible- they offer maximum protection. Make sure the guard is adjustable because you need to be able to change the wheels quickly.
Tool rests play the important role of holding the work piece properly as it is being worked on. You need this feature for added user comfort. This component is your best bet for cutting down on hand and arm fatigue when grinding. Since this is a common feature, you want to look for the best ones. Sturdier and adjustable ones are most preferable.
Some modern bench grinders come with some type of lighting that works on the touch of a button. This feature will come in handy when you are working in dimly lit areas. When a power blackout strikes and you want to continue working, you can count on this feature to illuminate the workstation. Overall, this enticing feature is meant to increase accuracy of work. While this is not a must-have feature, we really recommend it if your garage or workshop is dimly lit.
You already know the relationship between vibrations and weight. However, an extremely heavy tool may be difficult to replace, leave along carry around. Unless you do not mind about mobility and replacements, opt for a relatively lightweight bench grinder. You will note that the best bench grinders do not differ so much in weight, so you should not take so much time choosing in this regard.
Like for any other product, the warranty should guide you when you are buying a bench grinder. The best bench grinders have warranties for both the grinders and the motors. Some will extend to the other built-in parts. Whatever the case, only settle for a warranty of at least one year, so you can have enough time to test performance of the bench grinder.
We may cover all the best bench grinders in the market, but we know that users still want to pose this question, “Where can I get the best bench grinder?” From experience, we are convinced that Dewalt makes some of the best power tools in the market. Their products have a longer lifespan and tend to handle a wide range of jobs.
However, other manufacturers are also doing a good job as attested by this short list of the best bench grinders. The bench grinder market has grown steadily in recent years and the choices are uncountable. Remember to consider what you are going to use the machine for and the features you want. While price is normally indicative of quality, we suggest we take more time to research on pricey products.
Of course, you just need to open the budget to get the most powerful and swiftest tools. Even if you are on a budget, you can still get a product that suits your specific needs. The secret is in shopping around and searching for the best deals.
Have used an of the featured bench grinders? Please share your experience.