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11 best products for using and maintaining a bench grinder

Bench grinders are handy tools for woodworkers and metalworkers. These machines let you sharpen other tools or shape, buff, polish and clean various metals. Bench grinders are relatively easy to use if you utilize proper safety practices. Still, there are several things you'll need to know before using one and several things you'll need to do to extend its life.

In this article: Atlin Grinding Wheel Dressing ToolPeachtree Woodworking Store Adjustable Replacement Tool Rest and Wen 3-Amp 8-Inch Slow Speed Bench Grinder.

Wheel selection

There are various bench grinding wheels to choose from; the one you use will depend on the job you're completing. Each wheel has a different abrasive grain and material used for grinding and holding the wheel's materials together.

  • Aluminum oxide: This is a standard grinding wheel abrasive used for grinding alloy steel, wrought iron, bronze and various other metals. There are a variety of aluminum oxide grinding wheels that are fine-tuned for specific metals.
  • Silicon carbide: These wheels are harder and more abrasive than aluminum oxide, making them an excellent choice for grinding hard or soft metals.
  • Ceramic aluminum oxide: These wheels have a unique structure that allows them to grind various metals precisely. It is harder and more robust than traditional aluminum oxide and sharpens itself in many cases.
  • Zirconia alumina: These wheels are made with aluminum oxide and zirconium oxide. They are durable and work well with various types of steel.

Dressing your wheels

Cuts, nicks and imperfections will reduce your wheel's performance. You must inspect your wheel for flaws and use a wheel dressing tool to clean and shape it.

Start by ensuring your wheel is clamped and can be rotated by hand. Put on some protective goggles, turn the grinder on and step aside as it runs for a few seconds. This keeps you safe from any accidents that may occur if the wheel has chipped materials that may fly off.

Once you're sure it's safe, press your dressing tool against the grinder wheel. Hold it safely and steadily against the rest and apply a small amount of pressure. Within a few seconds, you should notice the wheel running smoothly. You must never try to dress the sides of the wheel as they aren't designed to be dressed from the side and doing so can create a dangerous situation.

Proper use

Maintain steady pressure on your grinder while using it, but don't apply too much pressure, or you may damage your wheel. Make sure to adjust the tool rest, so it's close to the wheel but not touching it. 

Grinding small objects is incredibly dangerous; if you must grind small tools or metals, ensure you hold them with a long pair of pliers. You'll also want to make sure you're always wearing durable safety glasses and a face shield.

Damaged wheels can spell trouble. If you drop your grinding wheel, it's best to throw it away and use a new one. You'll also want to ensure your wheels are stable and secured correctly; don't use too much force when tightening the wheel's nuts, or you may crack it.

Best bench grinder safety and maintenance products

Atlin Grinding Wheel Dressing Tool

This features a long, surfacing head that's easy to use. Many said they were impressed with the user-friendly design. It is quick and efficient at removing imperfections.

Sold by Amazon

Mudder Store Grinding Wheel Dressers

This inexpensive set comes with three dressing tools. Some said you'll need to tighten the handle before using them. You get three tools in a set.

Sold by Amazon

Sinyum Grinding Wheel Dressers

This set comes with one gold dresser tool and one silver dresser tool. They're inexpensive and easy to use. Some people didn't like that the gold tool had a plastic handle, but most were satisfied overall.

Sold by Amazon

Peachtree Woodworking Store Adjustable Replacement Tool Rest

If your tool rest is shaky, it may be time to replace it. This features a sliding tool holder that makes it easier to get the perfect angle while sharpening your tools. The platform is adjustable.

Sold by Amazon

Cast Iron Bench Grinder Pedestal Stand With Water Pot

This durable stand is ideal for keeping your bench grinder in place. It is easy to assemble and has a built-in water pot for cooling hot materials.

Sold by Home Depot

3M Safety Glasses

The built-in foam gaskets help keep dust and debris out of your eyes. They wrap around your face for a more secure fit. Many said they were surprised by how comfortable they were.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Lincoln Electric OmniShield Professional Face Shield

This is made with a thick material that protects your face from flying debris. You can quickly adjust the tightness and face-to-lens distance. Many said it is comfortable and easy to clean.

Sold by Amazon

Best bench grinders

Jet IBG Industrial Metalworking Bench Grinder

This is an efficient grinder that works quickly and precisely. It is durable and has built-in safety shields. It is easy to set up and is powered by a 1-horse-power motor.

Sold by Home Depot

DeWalt 6-Inch Bench Grinder

This has a powerful motor, built-in safety guards and an efficient tool guide. It is backed by a three-year limited warranty. The assembly process is straightforward. Many said it was easy to change out the grinding wheels.

Sold by Home Depot

Delta 6-Inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder

The variable speed settings are ideal for sharpening tools and learning how to use a bench grinder. It features a built-in light to illuminate your work surface. It comes with a wheel dressing tool.

Sold by Home Depot

Wen 3-Amp 8-Inch Slow Speed Bench Grinder

This features eight speed settings and has built-in eye guards. It's an excellent choice for sharpening tools.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

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

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