Bench Grinder Reviews

As a woodworker, I never thought about a grinder as something I would need in my shop. I never read bench grinder reviews, and the idea of a woodworking grinder was beyond me when I first started. All I can say is, wow, how things have changed for me and my woodshop.

You would be surprised what a bench grinder can do for you. These relatively small grinders can fit on your workbench, or they can mount to a stand. Most of the bench grinder reviews I have read indicate what stands a manufacturer sells separately (or with the grinder in some cases).

I used to think that grinders had a single-speed electric motor that you switched on and off. Traditional bench grinders may have operated that way, but many of today’s models use a variable speed motor that you can adjust. The best variable speed bench grinder designs have several preset speeds that will match the recommended Rotations Per Minute on specific grinding wheels.

The electric motors on the products seen in bench grinder reviews rate in RPMs (Rotations Per Minute). Products in the bench grinder class rate between 3,000 and 3,600 RPMs. Most products make use of variable-speed electric motors, but keep in mind that several budget-friendly grinders may use a single-speed design to help cut costs.

The best variable speed bench grinder motors will peak at the top end to allow you the ability to work hard metals with the grinding wheels. Rotations Per Minute that labels indicate are under no-load conditions. Those speeds will drop somewhat while you grind, but you will not bog down the RPMs enough to notice.

Bench grinder reviews will tell you what accessories come with the grinder under review. Certain safety items come standard with a bench grinder, like some types of eye-protective shield. The good bench grinder reviews will go into more detail than listing the accessory (which you can find on the manufacturer’s website or online sales outlets).

Some accessories are convenient for woodworkers. A woodworking grinder with a water bowl provides a secure holder for adding water to dip your woodworking blades. That is critical as you are sharpening to prevent heat damage on the edge.

You can use your bench grinder for cutting, grinding, and polishing items. Each task will require particular wheel shapes. The jobs will also require wheels made from specific materials.

A woodworking grinder used only for sharpening tools will not need as many wheels as an all-purpose bench grinder will. While I find more versatility better in my shop, you should read several bench grinder reviews to determine what will best fit your needs (now and in the future).

Wheel selection is nearly as important as selecting the right bench grinder. A straight wheel is standard with most bench grinders and provides a concave surface ideal for tool sharpening. Tapered wheels offer a good surface for working on gear-teeth or threads on fasteners, while a saucer-shaped wheel provides the point needed to insert between saw teeth.

Diamond wheels are the go-to when working with super-hard metals, and a cylinder-shaped grinding wheel offers a larger contact surface.

The best variable speed bench grinder will not be of much use if you can not match wheel RPMs to the electric motor’s RPM range. Aluminum oxide grits come standard with most bench grinders and is considered the workhorse wheel for most hobbyists. Silicone carbide grits work well on soft metals or even plastics.

New materials, like ceramic grit promise to last longer and operate cooler, so they are worth reading about in reviews that cover them!