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Best Bench Grinders of 2021

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Polish, grind, sharpen, and cut with the best bench grinders.

Not everyone needs a bench grinder, but if you work with metal, it could be an invaluable tool. Smoothing rough surfaces, polishing car bodywork, and sharpening tools and knives are all possible with a bench grinder.

We take a look at the best bench grinders, judging them on price, performance, and value for money.

Our Top Picks

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Model
Product Comparison Table
Features
Product Image of the RIKON Professional Power Tools, 80-805, 8” Slow Speed Bench Grinder, Powerful Shop Table Tool, Perfect for Sharpening, With Anti-Vibration Rubber Feet
Best for Sharpening Chisels
Rikon Professional Power Tools 80-805 8-Inch Slow Speed Bench Grinder
  • Slow speed for better precision and control
  • Diamond grinding wheel stays cool
  • Adjustable spark shield for added safety
Product Image of the DEWALT Bench Grinder, 6-Inch (DW756)
Best for Woodworking
DeWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder
  • Great price (especially for a DeWALT)
  • Powerful motor (3,450 RPM)
  • Premium quality brand
Product Image of the WEN 4276 2.1-Amp 6-Inch Bench Grinder with Flexible Work Light
Best Budget
WEN 4276 6-Inch Bench Grinder
  • Great price (best budget)
  • Flexible work light
  • 16 pound lightweight design
Product Image of the WEN 4280 5-Amp 8-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder with Work Light
Best 8-Inch
WEN 4280 5-Amp Variable Speed Bench Grinder
  • Variable speed for different materials
  • Flexible work light
  • Large 8-inch grinding disc
Product Image of the JET IBG-8, 8-Inch Industrial Bench Grinder (578008)
Best for Polishing
JET IBG-8 8-Inch Industrial Bench Grinder
  • Powerful 15 horsepower motor (3,600 RPM)
  • Durable cast iron construction
  • Pre-drilled base for fixing it in place
Product Image of the SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder
Best 6-Inch
SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch bench Grinder
  • Separate LEDs for clearer view
  • Great price (excellent value for money)
  • Rubber feet for additional grip
Product Image of the Delta Power Tools 23-197 8-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder
Best Variable Speed
Delta Power Tools 23-197 8-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder
  • Variable speed for different materials
  • Water tray included
  • Dedicated drill bit feature

What Is a Bench Grinder Used For?

Bench grinders are versatile machines with a multitude of uses. Let’s see what they can do.

Grinding

Bench grinders reign supreme when it comes to grinding ability. They can smooth metal, shape wood, and sharpen tools. They remove a lot of material quickly, with the grindstones coming in different levels of abrasiveness.

Most models have a grit of 36 and 60, but you can get some grinders with 60 and 120-grit wheels.

You should learn what materials suit different wheels. For example, grinding wheels designed for steel should not be used for softer materials like aluminum. Softer metals could become lodged in the wheel and cause an injury.

When you are grinding, remember to move the material back and forth to avoid overheating. Also, a coarse grain is better for reducing heat because it removes material faster, limiting the amount of time the metal makes contact with the wheel.

Sharpening

Bench grinders are ideal for sharpening metal objects like tools and knives. Other things you can sharpen include lawnmower blades, chisels, and planer blades. Remember to set the grinder at a slow speed to get better precision.

Running at a slower speed reduces heat build-up, which could do more damage to the tool than help it. Most cutting tools are made from heat-treated steel, which serves to harden the metal.

By subjecting the material to increased heat could undo that process, revealing the softer metal and rendering the tool useless.

Cutting

Grinders are excellent at cutting through different materials. Simply hold the object on the rest plate and set the wheel spinning. As the two meet, rotate the workpiece as the grinder does its work until it splits in two.

Turning the object ensures a clean cut. It also prevents the risk of fire. Prolonged grinding in one spot creates friction, which also produces heat. If you are working with wood, combustion could be a real problem.

When the two ends separate, dip them in water to temper the material for the best smooth finish.

Buffing

Attaching a buffing wheel to the grinder ensures objects remain smooth, stain-free, and retains their texture. As the wheel rotates, remember to dip the metal in cold water to reduce heat build-up.

If you work in the auto industry, where car restoration is typical, you will know the benefits of a buffing attachment on a bench grinder.

Removing Rust

Exposed metal can rust easily. Also, if you are welding, fresh welds are prone to rusting quickly. Bench grinders are the ideal tool to use when removing these rust spots. Always work at a slower RPM to avoid overworking the metal surface and creating heat build-up.

Grinding away stubborn rust spots is also possible with a bench grinder.

Shaping Objects

Grinders are useful when shaping materials like metal and wood. Place the workpiece on the top of the wheel and work gradually, moving the object back and forth.

By holding the material firmly and allowing the grinding wheel to work across the same section, you can see the shape of the object change. Keep working back and forth, holding it steady, ensuring that if you are working with metal, it is dipped in the cold water to reduce heat build-up.

How To Choose the Best Bench Grinder

So, what are the things to keep in mind when shopping for a new bench grinder? Let’s look at the basics.

Wheel Size

The most common wheel sizes are 6 to 8 inches. You can get smaller grinding wheels that measure 3 inches, but these are better suited to craft work rather than DIY.

If you are looking at the best all-around option, a 6-inch wheel will tackle most DIY tasks. This is the best size to use when you are removing paint and rust, as well as sharpening tools and objects.

When using a smaller wheel, you can run at faster speeds between 3,400 and 3,600 RPM.

When you use the larger 8-inch disc, it’s better to operate at a slower pace. Somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 RPM is the ideal speed. Larger bench grinders are typically found in metal workshops and auto repair shops, as well as woodshops.

The good news is that 8-inch grinding wheels are more robust and need to be changed a lot less than smaller discs. It makes them the perfect attachment for industrial uses.

Motor Size

The motor size is the second most important consideration because it’s what drives the wheel. Most motors are rated in either horsepower or amps. The higher the HP and amps, the more powerful the motor is.

Expect an amperage between 2 and 5, and most motors are rated at 0.5 to 1.0 horsepower. Also, look for continuously rated engines, as this gives a more accurate picture based on continuous use.

You might see a sticker on some models stating they have been rated “On for 10 minutes and off for 15 minutes.” It isn’t an issue if you don’t intend to use the grinder every minute of every day; just be aware of it.

Wheel Width

You often find that budget wheels are thinner, at around 16 mm. These cheaper discs are prone to wearing faster and possibly breaking. You should also check your grinder to see if the threads will accommodate a wider grinding disc.

Safety Features

Most bench grinders have a wheel guard that protects you from sparks and flying debris. These guards should have a transparent window over the wheel to see what you are doing, and they need to be easy to remove to get at the wheel when the grinder is stationary.

Look for safety cut-out switches that engage when the wheel jams. The on/off switch should be dustproof and large enough to be triggered without too much fuss. Also, the guard should be adjustable to close the gap as the wheel wears down.

Variable Speed

Not all bench grinders have this feature, so it is a huge advantage if you can find one with variable speed. Slower speeds are better for precision sharpening and working with harder materials, while faster rates are better for shaping and cutting.

A variable speed grinder allows you to move between the two extremes, giving you greater flexibility with the types of materials you can work with.

What Size Bench Grinder Should I Get?

This question depends on what you intend to use it for. Smaller bench grinders are better for DIY tasks like polishing, deburring, general sharpening, and other duties, whereas a larger bench grinder tackles more industrial applications better.

Also, large grinders work at a slower pace, making them ideal for cutting through the material. When you are slicing through harder metals and shaping robust workpieces, a slower rotation gives you better control, reduces the instances of overheating, and better precision.


The Best Bench Grinders of 2021

We chose our top 7 bench grinders for their speed, size, power, and versatility. Your search is a lot easier because we have done the legwork.

1. Rikon Professional Power Tools 80-805 8-Inch Slow Speed Bench Grinder

Best Bench Grinder for Sharpening Chisels

This Rikon is a professional tool, so it can cope with industrial applications. The grinding wheel measures 8 inches, giving you greater scope to work on tougher materials. The grinder is equipped with a diamond wheel, so it can sharpen any tool while staying cool.

The shield is adjustable, so as the disc reduces in size, you can close the gap for safety. It has a 0.5 horsepower motor that generates 1,750 RPM. The running rate of larger grinders is a lot slower than their 6-inch cousins.

Not only is this bench grinder the perfect choice for sharpening chisels, but it also has a groove that allows you to sharpen drill bits as well. You also get an on/off switch with a key to prevent unauthorized use.

Why We Love It

Slow Speed

When you slow the speed of the grinder, you get better precision and control. It is ideal for grinding harder materials like steel and stone, as well as sharpening tools and knives.

Stays Cool

The diamond grinding wheel is specifically for sharpening tools and knives because it gives a smoother finish without heating the material.

Adjustable Spark Shield

As you use the grinder, the wheels diminish in size, so your spark guard must be adjustable so you can close the gap between the wheel and the guard for added safety.

Keep In Mind

Slow Speed

Because this bench grinder runs slower, it isn’t suitable for general-purpose DIY projects like polishing. It is better suited to industrial applications thanks to its size.

Additional Specs

Weight (pounds) 37.5
Dimensions (inches) 16.38 x 10.75 x 11.25
Grit 60 and 120
Wheel size (inches) 8
RPM 1,750
Motor power 0.5 HP
Price $$$
Warranty 5-year

2. DeWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder

Best Bench Grinder for Woodworking

There had to be a DeWALT on the list, and this 6-inch bench grinder deserves its place. It has a 0.625 horsepower motor that delivers a maximum RPM of 3,450 for faster material removal.

It also has an industrial cast-iron base, so it feels solid, and it protects the motor, increasing its longevity. You also get a precision-machined aluminum tool rest to place the material accurately.

Plus, there’s a 12.5-inch gap between both grinding wheels so you can work on larger projects, and each wheel guard has an exhaust port for a smoother operation.

Considering it’s a DeWALT, you might expect to pay more for this tool, but it is relatively inexpensive, making it a great starter bench grinder.

Why We Love It

Great Price

When you compare this grinder to others that make the list, the price is pretty competitive, especially for a DeWALT. It makes this a great mid-priced bench grinder, which is suitable for beginners.

Powerful Motor

Thanks to the 0.625 horsepower motor, you get 3,450 RPM, which is ideal for sharpening tools and shaping wood. You also get a decent 12.5-inch gap between the grinding discs, so working on that large woodwork project is fine.

Quality Brand

Everyone knows the DeWALT name. They are an American success story, with products sold across the globe.

Keep In Mind

Smaller Grinding Wheel

The 6-inch wheel might restrict the types of applications you can undertake. It is better suited to more general DIY tasks rather than industrial-size projects.

Additional Specs

Weight (pounds) 28.5
Dimensions (inches) 16.75 x 11.38 x 9.44
Grit 36 and 60
Wheel size (inches) 6
RPM 3,450
Motor power 0.625 HP
Price $$
Warranty 3-year limited

3. WEN 4276 6-Inch Bench Grinder

Best Budget Bench Grinder

For a budget model, this WEN has a considerable fanbase. It scores good reviews on Amazon, and yet this model costs less than half of the DeWALT, and we thought that was cheap!

It has a 2.1-amp motor that generates a no-load RPM of 3,450, and the grinding discs measure 6 inches, so it is better suited to domestic DIY tasks rather than commercial applications. This is the ideal novice’s bench grinder.

It has eye guards, a heavy-duty base, and a flexible work light (minus the bulb), plus an adjustable tool rest. The grinding wheels are 36 and 60 grit, so you can sharpen knives and tools and get the smoothest finish possible.

Why We Love It

Great Price

You can pick up 3 of these bench grinders for the price of some that make the list. It may not be the most powerful grinder money can buy, but it is still an effective tool and excellent value for money.

Flexible Work Light

Sometimes you need a bit more light, and this WEN has a flexible work light, so you can direct it where you need it.

16 Pound Lightweight Design

This model weighs just 16 pounds, which is half the weight of the Rikon bench grinder. So, if you want to transport it to your worksite, it should be a breeze.

Keep In Mind

Lighter Duties Only

This bench grinder is aimed at the home market. It’s lightweight, cheap, and better suited to lighter applications.

Additional Specs

Weight (pounds) 16
Dimensions (inches) 14 x 9.75 x 15
Grit 36 and 60
Wheel size (inches) 6
RPM 3,450
Motor power 2.1 amps
Price $
Warranty 2-year

4. WEN 4280 5-Amp Variable Speed Bench Grinder

Best 8-Inch Bench Grinder

Compared to the budget WEN grinder, this 8-inch model is streets apart. This one has a 5-amp motor that generates a maximum RPM of 3,400, which is impressive for a larger grinder. Typically, they are a lot slower.

However, this model can do fast and slow, thanks to the variable speed control. The lowest speed is 2,000 RPM. You get 1-inch thick grinding wheels with a 36 and 80 grit, plus a flexible work light to direct the glow where it is needed.

The eye guards are adjustable, so you can move them up and down as the wheels reduce in size.

Why We Love It

Variable Speed

Having the ability to speed or slow the running rate of the grinder means you can work on different materials and choose more robust projects.

Flexible Work Light

Getting a clear view of your workpiece is crucial if you want the best results, so a flexible work light is an ideal addition to your bench grinder.

Large Grinding Disc

Thanks to the 8-inch grinding wheel, you can tackle larger projects and complete more robust workpieces because of its superior size.

Keep In Mind

Build Quality Issues

WEN sell their products at such a great price, something has to give. And in this instance, it’s the quality of the components, as well as the quality control before the grinders are sent to customers’ homes.

Additional Specs

Weight (pounds) 41
Dimensions (inches) 16.5 x 10.5 x 16
Grit 36 and 80
Wheel size (inches) 8
RPM 2,000 to 3,450 (variable speed)
Motor power 5 amps
Price $$$
Warranty 2-year

5. JET IBG-8 8-Inch Industrial Bench Grinder

Best Bench Grinder for Polishing

If you want extra punch, this JET industrial bench grinder has got what you are looking for. The 1.5 horsepower motor delivers a maximum RPM of 3,600, which is pretty impressive for a large bench grinder.

The emphasis with this machine is on durability. It is constructed from cast iron, so you know it will last the distance, and the pre-drilled base ensures that it stays where you want it. You also get a large paddle-style switch for emergencies and easy operation.

The grinding wheels measure 1-inch in thickness, and you get a 36 and 60-grit for fast material removal and fine sanding. The only downside with this JET bench grinder is the price.

It costs over double the amount of the 6-inch DeWALT, making it one of the most expensive to feature.

Why We Love It

Powerful 1.5 Horsepower Motor

The motor generates a massive 3,600 RPM, which for a large grinder is impressive. This is thanks to the 1.5 horsepower motor.

Cast Iron Construction

Forget plastic components and cheaply-made elements with this bench grinder. The emphasis is on quality and durability. This machine will keep going for years.

Pre-Drilled Base

When you find a permanent home for this bench grinder, it has pre-drilled holes so that you can fix it in place. Once in situ, it won’t move.

Keep In Mind

Very Expensive

This bench grinder will set you back serious amounts of money. We realize that you are paying for quality and longevity, but unless you need a tool this robust, you might be better off saving some money and getting a cheaper model.

Additional Specs

Weight (pounds) 44
Dimensions (inches) 21 x 13.75 x 14
Grit 36 and 60
Wheel size (inches) 8
RPM 3,600
Motor power 1.5 HP
Price $$$$$
Warranty 2-year

6. SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch bench Grinder

Best 6-Inch Bench Grinder

This is another 6-inch grinder that is better used in DIY and domestic settings. It will never rival the JET for power or performance, but with a 2.1-amp motor and a maximum no-load RPM of 3,450, you still have enough to tackle most tasks.

Rather than an adjustable work light, you get a separate light for each grinding wheel and spark guards to protect your face from injury. The cast-iron base has rubber feet, so it stays in place once you set it on the workbench.

You also get adjustable tool rests, and each grinding wheel is 0.5 inches in thickness.

Why We Love It

Separate LEDs

Instead of a directional work light, this SKIL has separate LEDs over the grinding wheels, so you get a clearer view of your project.

Great Price

This SKIL could easily have been our budget pick, but it just missed out with the WEN. Comparing it to the other grinders that feature, this is still excellent value for money.

Rubber Feet

Even though this SKIL has a cast-iron base, it also has rubber feet for additional grip. Knowing that the grinder will stay in situ is crucial if you want the best results.

Keep In Mind

Lighter Duties Only

You would only want to use this bench grinder at home or for lighter tasks. It lacks the real power of the more industrial models, which limits its scope.

Additional Specs

Weight (pounds) 8.48
Dimensions (inches) 15.4 x 10.75 x 8.5
Grit 36 and 60
Wheel size (inches) 6
RPM 3,450
Motor power 2.1 amps
Price $
Warranty 1-year

7. Delta Power Tools 23-197 8-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder

Best Variable Speed Bench Grinder

This Delta bench grinder is the ultimate variable speed model. It has a range of 2,000 to 3,400 RPM, so you can polish, buff, sand, cut, and grind lots of different materials with ease.

It features a 5-amp motor and adjustable safety shields to keep your face safe from sparks and debris. There is a cast-iron base for stability, which also reduces vibrations, and you even get a dedicated drill bit slot so you can always find the right angles when sharpening.

The 2-piece tool rests are independently adjustable to compensate for when the grinding wheel wears down.

It also has a water tray, so you can dip your tools to keep them cool during the grinding process. And just like the other models featured, this Delta has a directional light to give you a better sight of your workpiece.

Why We Love It

Variable Speed

Adjusting the rate that the grinder works is crucial if you want to swap to a material that is a different hardness. It gives you the versatility to perform a multitude of tasks.

Water Tray Included

Including a water tray is a great idea, and this is the only model to do so. It means you can dip the material to keep it cool and carry on working.

Dedicated Drill Bit Feature

Delta has even included a drill bit rest that accommodates your drill bits. You don’t need to worry because you will find the right angle for the tips every time.

Keep In Mind

Quite Pricey

This Delta costs more than 3 times the price of the budget model, so while it isn’t the most expensive to make the list, it isn’t a cheap option either.

Additional Specs

Weight (pounds) 44.2
Dimensions (inches) 9.5 x 14.5 x 16.5
Grit 36 and 60
Wheel size (inches) 6
RPM 2,000 to 3,400 (variable speed)
Motor power 5 amps
Price $$$$
Warranty 5-year

Bench Grinder Comparison Chart

Product Best Weight Dimensions Grit Wheel size RPM Motor power Price Warranty
Rikon Professional Power Tools 80-805 8-Inch Slow Speed Bench Grinder Best for Sharpening Chisels 37.5 lbs 16.38″ x 10.75″ x 11.25″ 60 & 120 8″ 1,750 0.5 HP $$$ 5-year
DeWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder Best for Woodworking 28.5 lbs 16.75″ x 11.38″ x 9.44″ 36 & 60 6″ 3,450 0.625 HP $$ 3-year limited
WEN 4276 6-Inch Bench Grinder Best Budget 16 lbs 14″ x 9.75″ x 15″ 36 & 60 6″ 3,450 2.1 amps $ 2-year
WEN 4280 5-Amp Variable Speed Bench Grinder Best 8-Inch 41 lbs 16.5″ x 10.5″ x 16″ 36 & 80 8″ 2,000 – 3,450 (variable speed) 5 amps $$$ 2-year
JET IBG-8 8-Inch Industrial Bench Grinder Best for Polishing 44 lbs 21″ x 13.75″ x 14″ 36 & 60 8″ 3,600 1.5 HP $$$$$ 2-year
SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch bench Grinder Best 6-Inch 8.48 lbs 15.4″ x 10.75″ x 8.5″ 36 & 60 6″ 3,450 2.1 amps $ 1-year
Delta Power Tools 23-197 8-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder Best Variable Speed 44.2 lbs 9.5″ x 14.5″ x 16.5″ 36 & 60 6″ 2,000 – 3,400 (variable speed) 5 amps $$$$ 5-year

Headshot of Mark Weir

About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.

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