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A bench grinder is one of the most useful tools in your shop, so it makes sense to try and find the best one.
However, the various specs can be confusing…
Why are some advertised proudly as slow speed, while others tout high RPMs?
Does variable speed matter? What about wobble? The significance of tool rests, whether or not you need (or even want) an integrated work lamp—it can all become a little confusing.
Have no fear! We’ll help you understand all this and more in our concise, yet thorough guide!
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
Best Bench Grinder with Reviews 2020
Here’s a list of the best bench grinders we found:
1. JET 577102 JBG-8A 8" Bench Grinder - Best Pick
- Powerful industrial grade bench grinder.
- Suitable for heavy grinding.
- Solid and very well built - feels quality.
- Users have reported back after many years saying it still works perfectly.
- A tool for life.
- It is one of the more expensive models, however, the price tag seems justified.
- Made in Taiwan which some users don't link, this does not affect it's quality though.
- No built-in light
If you are thinking of putting your next bench grinder through its paces, then you might want to invest in a more robust and powerful model – like this JET 577102.
A popular model amongst the community who recognize the added benefits compared to the cheaper models. Even after many years, users have returned to update their comments noting how it still works perfectly after many years of heavy use.
2. DeWalt DW758 8" Bench Grinder - Best for the Money
- Overload Protection: Maximizes motor life
- Tool-Free Adjustable Guard: Provides quick guard installations and adjustments
- The product is durable
- 3/4 hp induction motor provides superior power for industrial grinding applications
- Rugged cast iron base and motor housing provide durability and prolonged life
- Motor runs at 3,600 rpm for high speed material removal
- Precision-machined aluminum tool rests allow the user to accurately position work
- Rear exhaust ports in wheel guards for smoother operation; 12-1/2-inch distance between wheels for larger and longer grinding applications
- An extremely smooth and vibration-free operation for quiet work.
- Maintains high RPM even under load, so it’s great for quick jobs.
- Very easy to assemble, even for amateurs.
- Some people don't like that it's made in China
- No built-in light
Overall, this is one of the best value for money bench grinders on our list due to the intersection of quality, performance, and price. It’s highly rated by professionals and hobbyists alike.
The quality bearings and (typically) high-quality wheels, as well as the rear exhaust ports, all help to contribute to smooth, quiet operation. However, if the wheels aren’t balanced out of the box, you may have to do some work to make them true.
It holds up well and is no doubt a reliable heavy-duty machine aside from the wheel issue. It is a suitable option for an experienced worker.
3. WEN 4276 Bench Grinder 6" - Best Budget
- Comparable in RPMs to more expensive grinders.
- Very portable with the right base at only 16 lbs.
- The built-in work light is sure to come in handy.
- RPMs are known to drop after an extended period, leaving you with longer grinding time and less durability over time.
- Seems to have a slight persistent wobble even after wheel replacement.
This grinder is certainly worth the price when it comes to excellent results. You’ll be able to sharpen blades and freshen up parts effectively. Also, while this review focuses on the 6-inch model, we found that the larger models are similar in terms of comparable value.
The biggest flaw, as such, is just the drop in quality from higher priced models. We were unable to resolve the wobble issue even after swapping wheels. Not a big deal if you are a hobbyist or will not be moving the grinder that much.
4. Jet 577102 JBG-8A Bench Grinder
- This grinder runs quietly.
- With the proper connections, the ported outlets dispose of grinding debris efficiently.
- Great torque, so you can really lean into it if necessary.
- The screws are low quality for the price
- Overpowered for home use.
This is a great grinder, with tons of power. However, if you don’t need the high speed and torque it offers, you may be better off with something less pricey.
Assembly wasn’t difficult, but we found that the screws were very prone to stripping if overtightened. Not the worst complaint, but disappointing at this price.
The ported outlets for debris disposal are fantastic. Of course, you should be wearing goggles regardless, but cleanup is much easier with this than its competitors.
5. RIKON 80-805 8” Bench Grinder
- Ideal for slow speed uses like knife sharpening.
- It has very high-quality wheels.
- This tool comes with a grinding wheel dresser which is definitely a value-added perk!
- Tool rests aren’t very sturdy and don’t easily adjust to appropriate angles.
- The motor could be more powerful.
Perhaps one of the best bench grinders out there for slow speed applications, so be sure you know what work you’ll be doing before purchasing.
That said, don’t expect much versatility. For delicate, slow work like knife and lathe tool sharpening, it’s hard to beat!
6. SKIL 3380-01 6" Bench Grinder
- Very quiet
- The LED-lit wheels are a nice touch and less clumsy than the bendable neck work lamps.
- Super simple to set up
- Doesn’t have as much torque as comparable units, so it either slows or overheats with heavy duty work
- The wheel can even stop with heavy pressure
Great little grinder in terms of convenience. Quiet, smooth, and with nice perks like the individually lit wheels. It is one of the best bench grinders in this regard.
Set up was very easy, and overall it seems to have a quality build. For small jobs, the convenience, small footprint, and speed are admirable.
Great buy, if you respect its limits. However, don’t anticipate a heavy duty, heirloom tool from this machine.
7. Delta Power 23-197 Variable Speed Grinder
- This grinder runs smooth as silk right out of the box.
- The drill bit rest guarantees a perfect angle every time.
- Generous five-year warranty.
- The light is rather top-heavy and needs to be precisely balanced to stay in place while working.
- Assembly required is limited, but the instructions are not intuitive at all.
Reliable power, convenient variable speeds, and some sweet extras like the drill bit rest make this grinder a winner.
The washers are stamped metal, however. While we didn’t have a problem that’s usually not a good sign. If you happen to get a bad set, it could cause wobble. Ours ran very smoothly, however.
Tool rests are adjustable, but lower quality metal than the rest of the machine.
8. Grizzly G9727 6" Bench Grinder
- Assembly is absolutely painless.
- This grinder puts up with hours of light use and is suitable for small household jobs.
- It is not particularly powerful and certainly not close to industrial strength.
- Be prepared for heavy jobs to take a while even at 3,450 RPM.
This is a superior, inexpensive grinder for very light work. If you have significant amounts of light work, it’s an awesome investment since you can run it for a long time without issue.
However, it is unsuitable for any heavy duty work due to the low torque.
9. Sunex Tools 5001A 6" Bench Grinder
- This machine is heavy and stable.
- The rubber feet do a great job holding firm.
- The lamp was also surprisingly bright.
- The wheels are noticeably lower quality than the grinder.
- The tool rests are flexible steel, which can lead to unintentional bending.
Very high-quality build, in most respects. This grinder spools up fast and is powerful enough for moderate weight work.
The tool rests definitely need improvement; they’re a bit on the flimsy side. We can’t recommend using the wheels it comes with due to their quality, so expect to pay for replacements.
Overall, this grinder is for someone experienced enough to tinker with it and make it the beast it could be.
Is it worth buying a more expensive bench grinder?
In general, spending a bit more is worth it when it comes to finding the best bench grinder. That higher price tag should come with a heavier build, higher or adjustable RPMs, and more torque.
Whether or not it’s worth spending more for bells and whistles, like adjustable lights and higher quality wheels, is going to be more specific to your needs. Remember, you’re going to have to replace the wheels at some point and paying more to have better ones included may or may not be the best decision. Do some comparison shopping on compatible wheels before you decide.
When it comes to paying more for a light, this depends on your shop set up and routine. Are you working out of the back of a truck, with a grinder clamped on a workbench? The added light might be well worth it. If the grinder is staying put in your well-lit shop, don’t feel compelled to opt for the light.
What to consider when buying a bench grinder
Size, speed, and torque are going to be your main considerations when it comes to choosing the best bench grinder for your workshop. Your budget will also be an obvious primary concern as well.
Some people have a fairly specialized need for their grinders, while others need a very versatile tool. If you’re only going to be sharpening lightweight, precision tools then get the best slow speed grinder you can for the money.
However, if you’re going to be doing a variety of different tasks, a powerful variable speed grinder in a larger size is going to be more practical.
Bench grinders have to withstand a lot of force, due to the very nature of this useful tool. That’s why it’s so important to find one that’s well built.
Moreover, if you are going to be doing heavy duty grinding, you need to make sure that the grinder has the speed and torque available to get the job done. No one wants to spend all day standing in front of his or her bench grinder because of an inadequate comparison!
How do I get the correct angle on my tools using a bench grinder?
While many grinders come with tool rests, and even adjustable ones, serious craftsmen often prefer to make their own tool sharpening guides. These can be as simple as an angled end of a 2×4 with a clamp guide on the opposite end.
Is faster always better?
Sometimes faster is better, sometimes slower is better. Sharpening delicate tools at low speed helps to prevent overheating.
Does my grinder require any maintenance?
Generally, your grinder requires the same care as your other quality tools. However, it does have one special requirement: wheel dressing. Wheel dressing can square the wheel and round it, reducing wobble. It also exposes fresh grit.
What safety issues might I experience using my grinder?
Flying debris and sparks can both be safety issues with your grinder. Using eye shields, if provided, can help, but you should wear goggles as well. Sparks are usually a sign that the edge of your tool is becoming very thin. While that may be ideal for a sharp tool, it also indicates that you should take extra care to ensure it isn’t at the breaking point.
Wrapping it up
Finding the best bench grinder for your workshop doesn’t need to be a headache. Yes, there are many options out there, and they can be confusing. With the basics included in this guide, you can make an informed decision.
Our top pick, the JET 577102 JBG-8A 8″ bench grinder, is certainly one of the best bench grinders for your workshop. It offers industrial powerful and quality to work with the toughest jobs, and will survive the test of time.