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Sharpening, shaping, buffing, stripping, polishing, these are just a few applications possible with a variable bench grinder.
They are one of the most versatile power tools going and are invaluable to individuals who perform a large variety of work.
Some only have a single speed at which they operate while others, like those on this list have different speeds. For more info on single-speed grinders, check out this article we put together.
This article will focus on 5 of the best variable speed grinders that are the result of hours of market research, let’s delve in!
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
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Best Variable Speed Bench Grinder with reviews
Here is a list of the best variable speed bench grinders we found on the market
1. Delta Power Tools 23-197 8-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder
- Strong motor
- High-quality construction
- Minimal vibration
- The work light can be awkward to position due to being top-heavy
- Poor assembly instructions
The Delta Power Tools 23-197 is our top pick among all variable speed grinders. It features an easily accessible upfront speed dial that gives you control of speeds from 2,000 to 3,400 RPM.
Of course, safety is the number one priority when it comes to power tools, especially when they operate at speeds in excess of 3,000 RPM. This why Delta has added two fully adjustable, full-sized safety shields over each wheel with thumbscrews for easy adjustment.
Each two-piece tool rest is independently adjustable, with the left rest featuring a drill bit rest milled into its surface for accurate. Additional features include a built-in water tray to keep your workpiece cool while grinding and a flexible work light.
The Delta 23-197 comes with 36 and 60 grit wheels (8’’ diameter, 1’ thick). A 6ft cord and 5-year warranty. Positioning the work light can prove tricky due to it being top-heavy and the assembly instructions provided are substandard.
2. Shop Fox W1840 Variable-Speed Grinder
- Best value for money bench grinder
- Cast iron base with rubber feet limits vibration
- 2-year warranty
- The wheels need frequent dressing to avoid excessive vibration
- The wheels may need balancing before first use
The Shop Fox W1840 offers great value and performance, making it a great pick for both beginners and experienced users. Powered by a 3/4 horsepower induction motor it offers variable speeds ranging from 2,000 – 3,400 RPM via the use of an easy to use speed dial.
There is a large in-built flexible LED work light for complete working visibility while large eye shields over both wheels provide added user protection. Further features include dual adjustable aluminum work rests and a cast iron base with mounting holes for grinder stability.
Dual 8” aluminum-oxide grinding wheels (36 and 60 grit) are included, however, they must be frequently dressed to avoid excessive vibration. Also, there is a chance they’ll need to be balanced before the first use.
3. WEN 4280 8 Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder
- Best budget bench grinder
- Quick start-ups
- Smooth performance at operating speed
- Work light only works while the grinder is in operation
- The tool rests are questionable
The WEN 4280 variable speed bench grinder would be an excellent addition to any workshop, especially at a below-average price point for a model of this quality. Powered by a 5 amp motor it is capable of speeds from 2,000 to 3,400 RPM at the turn of a knob.
This allows you to do anything from creating precise and sharp edges on your old tools at low speeds to rust removal and deburring unwanted material at faster speeds. To facilitate the grinding process it comes with drill bit rests, flexible work light, adjustable eye guards and eye shields.
This model comes with 80 grit and 36 grit wheels (8’’ diameter, 1’’ thick), a wheel dressing tool and 2-year warranty. Unfortunately, the work light only comes on when the grinder is in operation which may not be ideal for prep work and tool set-up. Also, it is recommended to purchase to aftermarket tool rests as those provided are questionable.
4. CRAFTSMAN 921154 6" Variable Speed Grinding Center
- Runs smooth and quiet
- Easy assembly
- Plenty of power
- Not built for professional use
- The work light isn’t the most reliable with grinding
The CRAFTSMAN 921154 is a great option for hobbyists looking for a 6’’ variable speed grinder. It is easy to assemble, comes with plenty of convenient features and runs incredibly smooth and quiet.
Powered by a 1.5 horsepower motor, it offers speeds from 2,000 to 3,400 RPM to tackle a variety of grinding applications. The large adjustable tool rests with patented attachment are great for precise bit sharpening. Further features include wide clear eye shields, spark guards, flexible work light and a water cooling tray.
The accessories included are; 1 x 6’’ grinding wheel and 1 x 6 ‘’ wire wheel, 1 x handheld wheel dresser to clean and reshape the wheels between uses and a 1-year limited warranty. It is important to note this model is not intended for professionals, rather more casual users with a lighter workload.
5. Porter-Cable PCB525BG 6" Variable Speed Bench Grinder
- No excess noise or vibration
- Smooth speed control
- Strong motor
- The tool rests are flimsy
- Wheel covers are tedious to remove
The Porter-Cable PCB525BG runs on a 2.5amp ball bearing induction motor. Variable speed control is accessible using a knob that is conveniently placed on the front of the grinder and allows control of anywhere from 2,000 to 3,400 RPM depending on the material being used.
Each of the two-piece tool rests are adjustable, with the left side rest housing a pre-cast drill bit groove for sharpening. Built-in 40w work light with a flexible gooseneck for complete work area illumination (bulb is not included).
Added accessories include; 36 and 60 grit wheels (6’’ diameter, 0.75’’ thick). A heel dresser for reshaping and cleaning the grinding wheels. Removable quench water tray to cool workpieces while grinding.
A few drawbacks to this model are the flimsy tool rests the wheel covers that can be tedious to remove if you need to change the wheels often.
Wrapping it up
While putting this list together we made sure to keep in mind a wide variety of potential buyers. As a result, we are confident you will find a variable speed bench grinder suitable to your needs, whatever they may be.
If you are here to find the best model, that would be the Delta Power Tools 23-197. It ticks every box you expect from a top of the line variable speed bench grinder.
Whatever the task, tackle it with confidence with the Delta 23-197.