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10 best bench grinders for metalworking

If you work with metal or regularly use chisels, blades or knives on the job, you need a reliable bench grinder to keep your implements in prime condition. You can extend the life of your tools with a bench grinder. This will ensure your tools are sharp enough to keep them working efficiently and safely and saves you money in the long run as you won't need to replace tools as often.

In this article: Jet 8-Inch Industrial Metalworking Bench Grinder, Jet 6-Inch Bench Grinder With Wire Wheel and DeWalt 8-Inch Bench Grinder.

What you can do with a bench grinder

Bench grinders are essentially motor-powered grindstones. While manual sharpening and buffing require a lot of time and repetitive motion, you can use a bench grinder to zip through such jobs with minimal effort. Some of the tasks you can accomplish with a bench grinder include:

  • Sharpening lawnmower blades.
  • Removing paint from metal tools.
  • Polishing metal objects to a mirror finish.
  • Shaping metal for making custom parts or art.
  • Shortening, cleaning or otherwise modifying bolts, nails and screws.
  • Sharpening kitchen knives. 
  • Removing burs or damage from the blades of bolt cutters and pliers.

Choosing a bench grinder wheel size

There are two sizes of bench grinder wheels.

  • Six-inch bench grinders will satisfy most users. The smaller wheel size allows for faster speeds and makes for a more compact tool. Six-inch bench grinders are also more affordable than 8-inch grinders with comparable features. 
  • Eight-inch bench grinders are better for industrial and commercial work. Because 8-inch wheels have more surface area than 6-inch ones, they last longer before needing to be replaced and can treat larger items. Their larger wheels also spin slower, lessening the chance of overheating your metal.

Bench grinder features to consider

  • Lamp. Some bench grinders have a built-in lamp. This can be fitted with an LED or a standard bulb, depending on which grinder you choose. Even if your shop is well-lit, being able to directly illuminate the tool you're working with is convenient.
  • Variable-speed motor. The ability to choose the speed at which your grinder operates lets you work on different materials without them getting too hot.  Slower speeds are also better for making more precise modifications.
  • Motor power. The more powerful a bench grinder's motor, the more torque it can deliver. High-powered motors add to the machine's cost, so don't splurge unless you're sure you need the additional power. More torque also demands more care while grinding, because you can quickly remove more material than intended.
  • Included wheel types. Most grinders include a coarse wheel on one side for heavy work, shaping and sharpening, and a fine wheel on the other end for polishing, buffing and fine detail. However, some offer a wire wheel that can scrape rust, paint and corrosion off of metal that is old or has been exposed to moisture. 

Best bench grinders

Jet 8-Inch Industrial Metalworking Bench Grinder

A 1-horsepower motor makes this grinder a must for industrial jobs. Its base has pre-drilled holes for permanent mounting and enclosed ball bearings keep it running smoothly with minimal wear and tear. 

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Jet 6-Inch Bench Grinder With Wire Wheel

This grinder comes with a crimped wire wheel pre-installed, making it a good buy if you need a tool for paint and rust removal. Its pre-drilled base can be used to mount it to a table or stand.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

DeWalt 8-Inch Bench Grinder

This grinder features a cast-iron base and motor housing for durability and stability. There are more than 12 inches of space between the two wheels, letting you sharpen or grind longer objects without the risk of accidentally hitting the stone you aren't using.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

DeWalt 6-Inch Bench Grinder

Removable spark deflectors keep dangerous metal shavings and sparks from becoming airborne on this speedy bench grinder. Great for heavy-duty jobs, this tool's cast-iron construction keeps it firmly in place while you work.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Delta 6-Inch Variable-Speed Bench Grinder

A built-in lamp with a gooseneck and on/off switch lets you light up your workspace as needed. Variable speed settings mean you can choose how fast you want the wheels to spin, letting you treat different materials as you see fit.

Sold by Home Depot

Wen 8-Inch Slow-Speed Bench Grinder

This grinder's low speed keeps the heat to a minimum and allows for careful precision grinding. A magnifying shield keeps debris from flying back at you and lets you get a close look at your work without having to lean over it.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Wen 6-Inch Single-Speed Bench Grinder

This grinder features a flexible lamp with an on/off switch. Its 2.1-amp motor and 6-inch wheels make it a great choice for zipping through small sharpening and shaping jobs. 

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot 

Wen 8-Inch Bench Grinder With Lamp

This grinder's 5-amp motor and 8-inch wheels make it a workhorse capable of treating everything from mower blades and machetes to drill bits and nails. Variable speeds allow maximum flexibility and a built-in lamp makes it easy to see wherever you work.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Ryobi 6-Inch Bench Grinder

This grinder's built-in LED lights are powered by included AAA batteries and its removable eye shields magnify the task at hand. Its steel base reduces vibrations and its 2.1-amp motor is built to last.

Sold by Home Depot

Shop Fox 8-Inch Variable-Speed Bench Grinder

A bright LED gooseneck lamp lets you direct light precisely where you need it and a dial lets you adjust this grinder's speed according to your needs. A lock on its power switch prevents it from being accidentally turned on or off.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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