Best Bench Grinder

A bench grinder is not only a beneficial device in its own right, but it can also help prolong the life of other tools, such as chisels, lawn mower blades, and even scissors and hunting knives. When you combine this fact with the danger to yourself or others because of dull tools or knives, a bench grinder can be worth every penny.
That’s why I’ve selected my top picks for the best bench grinder, whether you’re just starting a tool collection, or you’ve been doing things like woodworking for years.

Bench Grinders Reviewed

Here are some of the best bench grinders currently on the market:

WEN 6-Inch Bench Grinder

Specs

  • Weight – 4 pounds
  • Dimensions – 14 x 9.75 x 15 inches
  • Warranty – Two-year
  • Power – 120-volt
  • Two wheels – Yes
  • Variable speed – No
  • Motor – 2.1-amp with 3450 RPM

Pros

  • Flexible work light
  • Low vibration
  • Protective eye guards in addition to shields
  • Affordable
  • Quiet yet durable motor, yet super lightweight 

Cons

  • Poorly-constructed tool rest
  • No ideal for grinding longer objects

Overview

The Wen 4276 6-inch bench grinder is a fantastic little model for beginners or those who only need a sharpening device now and then. This lightweight grinder is surprisingly sturdy for its size and comes with a convenient, flexible light that takes a 40-watt bulb (which unfortunately does not come with the package).

You get two wheels with 36-grit for heavy-duty removal and 60-grit for more general-purpose grinding. This little grinder is excellent for sharpening chisels, lawn mower blades, knives—any reasonably-sized common household item. It does need to off-gas a little when first unboxing, so let it air out in the garage or outside for a day or two. Overall, the value for an affordable bench grinder with this much stability is well worth it for the average homeowner.

DEWALT 8-Inch Bench Grinder

Specs

  • Weight – 39.5 pounds
  • Dimensions – 17.75 x 12.63 x 10.75 inches
  • Warranty – One-year (full), three-year (limited)
  • Power – 120-volt
  • Two wheels – Yes
  • Variable speed – No
  • Motor – 3/4 horsepower with 3600 RPM

Pros

  • Good quality for a reasonable price
  • Overload protection helps safeguard the motor
  • Rapidly removes material/sharpens at 3600 RPM
  • Runs quietly
  • Reputable brand name

Cons

  • The 36-grit wheel can get some vibration
  • No work-light

Overview

Next to the Jet model, the DEWALT DW758 bench grinder is among the highest rated on this list. Considering that, as well as the fact that it’s an 8-inch grinder, the value of this machine is incredible. You get two wheels (36-grit and 60-grit), adjustable tool rests along with eye shields and guards, and a heavy-duty 3/4 hp motor for a relatively affordable cost.

There is also plenty of space between the wheels for sharpening larger objects. This grinder is heavy-duty enough to handle lots of grinding but priced decently for both shops on a budget or hobbyists who want a bench grinder at home. If you like dealing with reputable names for tools, the DEWALT is a grinder to consider.

Delta Power Tools 6-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder

Specs

  • Weight – 29.2 pounds
  • Dimensions – 9.5 x 14.5 x 16.5 inches
  • Warranty – Five-year limited
  • Power – 120-volt
  • Two wheels – Yes
  • Variable speed – Yes
  • Motor – 2.5-amp with 2000-3400 RPM

Pros

  • Offers variable speed for more control
  • Quiet motor with minimal vibration
  • Heavy, stable base
  • Eye shields in addition to guards
  • Built-in water tray

Cons

  • Flanges or washers can arrive out-of-alignment, causing some wobble
  • Customer service can be challenging to work with

Overview

The Delta 6-inch grinder not only gives you two wheels (36-grit and 60-grit) but also variable speed control, which you can’t always find on a smaller bench grinder. This grinder is another model with a flexible light to help you watch your sharpening with more precision.

The tool rests on this model are much more adjustable than some competitors, which I like. The Delta 23-196 also is a hefty little thing. It weighs close to 30 pounds for a relatively compact size, but that cast iron base gives you a lot of stability. You may need to change out the washers or flanges, as some people get vibration with the factory pieces. However, it’s an easy switch and isn’t an issue for most customers.

Rikon Professional Power Tools 8-Inch Slow Speed Bench Grinder

Specs

  • Weight – 36.6 pounds
  • Dimensions – 16.38 x 10.75 x 11.25 inches
  • Warranty – Five-year
  • Power – 120-volt
  • Two wheels – Yes
  • Variable speed – No
  • Motor – 1/2 horsepower with 1750 RPM

Pros

  • Diamond dresser tool included for wheel shaping
  • Slower RPM helps keep objects cooler while grinding
  • Durable construction for a reasonable cost
  • Ideal for those who want a slow-speed grinder (more control)
  • More room under shields for larger objects

Cons

  • Inferior tool rests with a little adjustment
  • Can have wobble/vibration issues

Overview

The Rikon 80-805 8-inch bench grinder features two wheels, one with 120-grit, the other with 60-grit. While you don’t get variable speeds on this model, you control a slower RPM, which can help prevent overheating and over-zealous grinding mistakes faster.

This bench grinder comes with eye shields and guards but offers a lot more space than some competitors do, which allows you to sharpen larger or longer tools. If you’re sharpening larger lawnmower blades or working on lengthy pieces of metal, this model is an option to check out.

Jet 8-Inch Industrial Bench Grinder

Specs

  • Weight – 44 pounds
  • Dimensions – 21 x 13.75 x 14 inches
  • Warranty – Two-year
  • Power – 115-volt
  • Two wheels – Yes
  • Variable speed – No
  • Motor – 1 horsepower with 3600 RPM

Pros

  • CSA/CUS Certified
  • Ideal for heavier workloads/commercial workshops
  • Both safety shields and tool rests are adjustable
  • Built-in dust port
  • Heavy and stable

Cons

  • A little pricier than smaller options
  • No speed adjustment

Overview

The Jet 578008 8-inch bench grinder is for those who often need to use this tool or operate a shop where a bench grinder is necessary. I like this grinder because it is in a sweet spot between super expensive models that run over $1,000 but still can handle more robust work than a 6-inch option that would be better for a home garage. The two wheels are a pretty standard 36-grit and 60-grit

You have the option of adding on a flexible light to this hefty grinder, and a stand is another accessory you can get, but neither come with the machine. I like that the Jet 578008 comes with pre-drilled holes on the bottom for mounting. This robust grinder comes in at 44 pounds, and unless you get a lemon, you shouldn’t get any wobble out of this puppy. Overall, bench grinder has the highest ratio of five-star reviews, with the DEWALT coming in second.

Bench Grinder Buyer’s Guide

New bench grinders have several varying features, but you should consider these essential elements or accessories when purchasing one. Before you spend your hard-earned money on any power tool, it’s essential to know what you need to know most. Here is how to pick the best bench grinder for you.

Dust Port

Just as you will get loads of dust with excessive sanding, a bench grinder creates dust at rapid speeds. Dust ports can vacuum small particles into a collection spot on 8-inch models. On many smaller grinders, such as 6-inch versions, you might find an exhaust port where you can set up your own dust collection bag or tray.

Power Cord

Some bench grinders will not include a power cord, but you should use a power cord with larger motors (and, therefore, a higher voltage). If your bench grinder does not include a power cord, make sure you get one for a proper setup.

Rubber Feet/Anti-Vibration

Depending on whether you get a standing grinder or a more portable model, you might want to check for an anti-vibration feature or rubber feet at the base. Typically, anti-vibration will come in the form of a rubberized bottom to help stabilize the tool.

Friable Wheels

You want to have a modernized bench grinder wheel, so look for wheels labeled “friable.” Friable wheels have tiny particles that wear away and expose a fresh grinding surface as you use them. Friable wheels also remain cooler while grinding, helping to preserve the integrity of materials such as metal that you sharpen.

Diamond Grinding Wheel Dresser

A Diamond dresser is technically a separate tool from the bench grinder, but you want to have one if the bench grinder you purchase does not come with one. You might be surprised to find that to get the evenest results using a bench grinder, you will want your wheel to have a minor curve, with the center curving out a bit and the edges shaved down a bit (just slightly).

Tip: You don’t need to make the curved surface of your friable wheel extreme; just a slight curve will do. When you start grinding, gently move the object you’re sharpening back and forth across the wheel’s high point to get smooth results. If you need to learn about dressing a grinder-wheel, there are helpful videos that show you how to do this.

Using a diamond dresser to shape your wheel’s grinding surface will provide you with smooth, even results on any tool you plan to grind. If your bench grinder does not come with a diamond dresser, make sure you get one of these handy tools, too, and prep your bench grinder before use.

Shields/Eye Guards

Any new bench grinder should come with eye shields built onto the unit. It’s smart to wear safety glasses, though, as bench grinders can cause many sparks and debris.

Updated Tool Rests/Jigs

Old-school tool rests (or jigs) on bench grinders did not adjust well and could give you uneven results while grinding. Looking for bench grinders that have excellent reviews on the tool rest’s adjustability, or you can even consider replacing it with an after-market model.

Water Tray

A built-in water tray is by no means necessary but can be convenient. If you’re working with metal that you don’t want to overheat while sharpening, you should keep a small bucket of tepid-to-cool water nearby to dip it occasionally while grinding. Getting a built-in water tray is just a bonus on these tools.

FAQs

I’ve gotten several questions about bench grinders over time, so I’ve picked the top questions I get asked about bench grinders.

Which projects are bench grinders best for around the house?

Bench grinders are excellent tools for sharpening tools such as chisels, shaping or buffing wood (with the buffing wheel), and even shaping objects for artworks or DIY home projects. If you use hand tools often, having a bench grinder can be incredibly helpful to have around so you can keep them sharp or even repair chipped tips.

Is variable speed important on a bench grinder?

Variable speed can be helpful, but it’s not necessary. The amount of pressure you apply matters more than the RPM, so honing your technique is far more crucial than purchasing a grinder that has several speeds. Having options with your grinding rate can be great if you want a touch more control, but it’s not a requirement.

What size bench grinder do I need?

Most grinders you’ll find will come in either 6-inch or 8-inch sizes. For the beginner or those who only need occasional use, a 6-inch bench grinder is generally ideal.

The 8-inch bench grinder is often better for professionals who will perform heavy-duty work or use their bench grinder almost daily. An 8-inch bench grinder will need wheel changes less often, but they also tend to cost more than a 6-inch model.

Which brand has the best bench grinder?

It’s not so much about getting the right brand as looking for a bench grinder with excellent reviews and is durable. A durable model is one of the most vital elements to look for in a bench grinder.

How do I keep my tool from overheating on a bench grinder?

I find it helpful to have a bowl of cool water next to my bench grinder (obviously away from any electrical components) to lightly dunk tools into, such as the tip of a chisel, while sharpening. I also use friable wheels, which help to prevent overheating.

Make sure you lift the object you’re sharpening away from the wheel frequently while allowing it to continue spinning. Doing so will enable the wheel to cool, the item to lose a little heat, and will keep you checking the surface to make sure you’re getting consistent results in the meantime.  

Final Thoughts

Durability and smooth operation (without wobble) are key features to look for in a bench grinder. There are many options on the market, but these are among the best-rated models that also provide you tons of value at reasonable price-points. Keeping your tools in sharp shape is vital and keeping yourself safe from dull blades is even more so. If you have more projects to do and a more portable grinder is what you need, check out my review of the best cordless angle grinders.

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