A bench grinder is key to maintaining the rest of the tools in your shop. You can use it to sharpen pretty much anything with an edge. From chisels to lawn mower blades, you can prolong the useful life of your tools by investing in a bench grinder. Bench grinders don’t cost much, and they easily pay for themselves in the long run by making the rest of your tools last longer.
A bench grinder can also be used for heavy duty cleaning, paint and rust stripping, and polishing as well.
An angle grinder can do many of the same jobs, but isn’t as well-suited to heavy duty use as a bench grinder is. The wheels on a bench grinder last much longer, and it sharpens tools faster than an angle grinder does. If you use a lot of tools that need to be sharpened, or you do a lot of polishing, cleaning, or grinding, investing in a bench grinder will pay off.
So, what should you look for in a bench grinder? Well, that depends on what you’ll be using yours for. Blain’s Farm & Fleet has a few tips to help you find the right one for you.
What To Look for In A Bench Grinder
Easy to Use
Look for a grinder with large, well-marked buttons and switches that you can operate with gloves on and see in low light. Also, bench grinder wheels can be made from a lot of different materials that work best for grinding certain tools and objects. So, if you will be using the grinder for a lot of different things, make sure the wheels are easy to change.
When you pick a grinder, make sure that it doesn’t vibrate when it runs at high speeds. Vibration makes it very hard to grind a straight edge on longer pieces, like mower blades. Grinders with larger-diameter wheels tend to vibrate less than ones with smaller wheels.
Attachments That Suit You
If you do a lot of grinding or sharpening, there are some attachments that will make your life a lot easier. Water Trays are a handy way to cool down whatever you’re grinding, and dust collectors will catch the mess that a lot of grinding can make. An eye shield will protect you from the particles that fly off during grinding. A tool rest gives you a place to rest what you’re grinding to make sure you get an even, straight edge. Some grinders also have gooseneck lights attached to help you see your work better.
Powerful Enough for What You Do
Look for a bench grinder with at least 3,000 RPMs, and a 1/4 horsepower motor. The more grinding you do, and the harder the materials you grind, the more powerful you’ll need your grinder to be. If you are mostly polishing or cleaning,
Variable Speed Settings
When you’re sharpening and polishing, it’s good to have a lot of control over the speed of the wheels on your bench grinder. A variable speed grinder will allow you to adjust the speed to suit the job you’re doing. This is great if you use the grinder for sharpening, or for multiple different tasks.