So, what do you need to consider when buying a bench grinder? Well, not that many things, but what you do have to consider is very important. Not checking any of these things could lead to you selecting a very bad machine, and, basically, throwing away your money.
Firstly, you need to consider the quality of the materials, then the power of the motor, then the type of wheel and cooling system. Further, you need to check the machine’s ability to sharpen, and this might even be the most important consideration, seeing as the machine is used primarily for that.
Okay, let’s start from the top. Naturally, you want your machine to be well-built. These machines aren’t that cheap, so to say, and you want them to last. Not only that, but the quality of the materials can influence the machine’s ability to do its work; this is especially true of the grinding wheel. A bench grinder generates a lot of heat, and having a grinding stone burst on you is massively inconveniencing, and a more powerful grinder will generate more heat.
This is why it’s important to size up the machine’s power. The more powerful the motor has, the more rpm you’ll get out of it. Having a big motor will allow you to work on tough materials, and will also allow the device to work harder without overheating. However, if you’re going to use the grinder for sharpening tools you use around the house, bigger is not better, as it will cost you more, but bring nothing to the table. So, it’s better to go with a smaller motor and save a few hundred bucks, than to go all out and buy an industrial-grade bench grinder.
Moving on from the motor to the wheel, there are several types of wheels, or, rather, roughness levels. Different wheels are good for different things, and you probably won’t use a particular type of wheel for metal and then use it for wood. Also, you won't use a single stone for steel and brass. Rough
stones are the perfect choice if you need to reshape or repair tools. A smooth
stone is perfect for flattening out the tools, and for removing inconsistencies on the metal without compromising it. A buffering
stone is used for removing rust, and a white sand quartz
stone is for smoothing out brass and copper. Lastly, you will use an aluminum-oxide
stone for shaping steel.
As we said, this is a machine that generates a lot of heat. For that reason, you will need to check the product’s cooling system. This is of prime importance, as you won’t need to stop constantly if the machine has a good cooling system. However, there are bench grinders without a cooling system, and you’ll need to wash their stones with water to keep them cool. There’s also the option of wet grinding. Keeping your tool wet will keep the machine going, as the tool will remain cool.
Another consideration is the device’s ability to illuminate. If you’re working in low-light conditions, you’ll want a machine that has some sort of light attached to it so you can see what you’re doing.
Lastly, there is the device’s ability to sharpen. Whether you’re sharpening garden hoes
, or survival knives
, the stone will begin to wear down, and its effectiveness too decreases. For that reason, some machines feature diamond cutters so you can sharpen the stone, keeping you from having to constantly buy a new stone to replace the dull one.
One of the most important considerations is, of course, the price. Bench grinders usually fall into two categories: household grinders and industrial-grade. Industrial-grade machines are very heavy and quite expensive. They can cost up to $1000, so we wouldn’t suggest you get such an expensive device for your home tools. Smaller, household grinders are much lighter and much, much cheaper. They cost about $100 to $250, rarely over. There are also very cheap bench grinders, costing about $50 or $60, but we wouldn’t trust them all that much.
One of the most common and best features on bench grinders is an eye guard. They are, essentially, pieces of translucent plastic or even glass, and they’re meant to protect you from the sparks generated by grinding. Further, all devices come with some kind of a stand, though there are pedestal grinders that are attached directly to the floor. We also mentioned in the considerations section that there are machines with cooling systems built in and diamond cutters for the wheel. Some grinders’ bases can be tilted, too. Lastly, a good deal of grinders come with an integral lamp for working in low-light conditions.
To sum up all the features, here is a short list:
- Eye Guards
- Cast-iron Base (Sometimes Can be Tilted)
- Attached Lamps
- Cooling System
- Diamond Cutter
Construction and Design
There are three main types of table grinders, with two being different only in their size. Traditional grinders are what you’ll probably be buying, and all the products we’ve reviewed are of this type. They’ve got a cast-iron (usually) stand that can be screwed down into a table, but they’re largely portable. There are also industrial-grade grinders, and they’re much heavier and much larger, but they have the same portability as the traditional grinders. Pedestal grinders are similar to traditional models, but they come with a pedestal attached which is screwed directly into the floor. They’re immobile but very stable. Grinders’ bodies are usually made of plastic, and they feature usually two stone wheels.
Performance and Ease of Use
The performance of a grinder rests on several things. Firstly, the power of its motor—the stronger the motor is, the more the device can work without overheating. Secondly, the type of stone will affect your performance in relation to the work piece. Further, a cooling system allows the device to run for longer without having to be turned off to cool down. Bench grinders are pretty easy to use; you just switch them on, and start grinding. However, it’s your own personal skill that will determine how good the work piece will be molded or sharpened.
Of course, the five we’re about to present aren’t the only ones around. There are many models out there and many brands. Even so, these are about the best bench grinders for a simple household. But, in the end, the decision is yours, and you’ll go for the grinder you like most. From here, you’re on your own to find the best bench grinder that will cater to your needs.
And, there you have it, five of the best bench grinders on the market, plus our little guide. We’re sure you went through the entire text and not just read the features. And, at that, we’re sure you found out a lot about bench grinders that you didn’t know, and that you’re ready to make your decision. All we’ve got to say is good luck and good grinding. If you need more time to look at other models, check out the various grinders these brands have to offer.