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Best Glass Grinders

Updated January 2022
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Best of the Best
Gryphon Corporation Convertible Professional Stained Glass Grinder
Gryphon Corporation
Convertible Professional Stained Glass Grinder
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Best for Experts
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A versatile stained glass grinder with a number of appealing features for the professional artisan.


The clever design allows the large work surface to be inclined to help alleviate muscle fatigue. The unit comes with two bits, a second-story work platform, and a small shield for added protection.


Cooling problems in previous models have been addressed with a new electric pump, but the system still could use a minor tweak or two.

Best Bang for the Buck
Gryphon Corporation Gryphette Glass Grinder
Gryphon Corporation
Gryphette Glass Grinder
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Simple Yet Solid
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A high-quality yet affordably priced entry level grinder that is designed with the beginner in mind.


This entry-level glass grinder runs at an impressive 3000 rpm. It has a compact 7 x 7 inch workspace that is designed for smaller projects and has a standard 5/16 inch shaft that will accept all standard grinding bits.


Because it is for beginners, this glass grinder is limited in scope. If you want to attempt a wide range of projects, consider a pricier model.

Gryphon Corporation Studio Stained Glass Grinder
Gryphon Corporation
Studio Stained Glass Grinder
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Mid-Size Grinder
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With a 9.75 x 9 inch work surface and additional features, this glass grinder offers more flexibility than other entry-level options.


This grinder has a powerful motor that delivers 3000 rpm for smooth grinding. It also includes a face shield that sits atop a gravity-fed cooling system and the unit can accommodate mounting two grinding heads at once — the smaller sits on top of the larger.


Be sure to check the contents of your package because, rarely, a model may arrive without all the included parts.

Inland Craft Wiz CG Stained Glass Grinder
Inland Craft
Wiz CG Stained Glass Grinder
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Intermediate Level
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A solid glass grinder with a powerful motor that works for a beginner as well as a serious hobbyist.


The strong, quiet, and powerful motor allows you to work without the need to apply much pressure. It features a handy removable water reservoir, includes 2 diamond grinding bits, and comes with a 5-year warranty.


It is important to note that this model does not ship with any shielding, so all protective equipment must be purchased separately.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best glass grinders

Working with glass can produce breathtaking creations that no other medium can match, but few artists choose to pursue this discipline. It requires precision and patience, and there's a little bit of risk involved, but if you’re serious about shaping glass, you will eventually need a glass grinder.

A glass grinder has a rapidly spinning diamond bit that allows you to file down the glass to the exact shape you want. The best models are durable, high-powered devices that have a number of safety features. If you're a beginner or a part-time crafter, you won't need to spend as much as someone who uses a glass grinder every day.

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The key to grinding glass is to be gentle. If you push too hard, the glass will chip along the edges and could also break.

Key considerations

Before purchasing a glass grinder, you need to think about what size glass you’ll most often be shaping and how frequently you’ll be using your machine. Those two factors will help you find the glass grinder that is best for your needs.


The first thing you want to consider is the size of the glass grinder's work surface. This is the area where you place the glass to grind it. If you mostly work with larger pieces of glass, you want a surface area large enough to support the glass so it doesn't break. If you only work on smaller pieces, you should be fine with a smaller model. Some glass grinders have a large surface area with a smaller, removable second-story workspace so they can accommodate a variety of sizes of glass. If you prefer to work on an incline, look for a glass grinder with an adjustable working surface.


The power of a glass grinder is torque, which is expressed in ounces per inch. If you’re only interested in working with smaller pieces of glass, you will be fine with a model that has a torque value between 20 and 29. If you anticipate doing heavy-duty work, you need a glass grinder with a torque of at least 40 ounces per inch.

Revolutions per minute

The revolutions per minute (rpm) tell you how fast the drill bit is spinning. The faster the diamond head spins, the smoother the grind. Around 3,000 rpm is a satisfactory speed. Beginners can go lower (the mid-2000s), but if you dip too low, you won't be happy with the results. The higher the revolutions per minute, the better the quality. Look for a glass grinder with the highest rpm rating that is within your budget.

Face shield

You need protection to keep the glass particles from damaging your eyes while you work. If your glass grinder doesn’t have a face shield, at the very least you need to purchase and use safety goggles.

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Don’t rub your eyes until you’re finished grinding and have thoroughly washed your hands. Hands get covered in glass particles that you do not want in your eyes.

Glass grinder features

Most glass grinders come with only what you need to get started, but some include a few extra bells and whistles. Following are a few of the more desirable features to consider as you shop.


  • Dual-bit option: You'll be thankful for the convenience of a motor shaft that’s long enough to allow you to stack two different-size bits on it at the same time. The smaller bit sits on top. In this case, the glass grinder has a detachable second-story working space to facilitate using the upper bit.

  • Additional bits: Most glass grinders include one large and one small bit. As you gain experience in your new hobby, you’ll find that there are many specialty bits, each designed for a specific purpose: drill bit, groove bit, and ripple bit, just to name a few. Some grinders might include additional bits, but it’s likely you'll have to purchase these items separately.

Straight-edge guide

If you need to grind a straight edge, you won't be able to do it without a guide.

Accessories drawer

As you begin to accumulate more and more bits, you’ll see the value of an accessories drawer built into your glass grinder so you can keep everything in one place.

Foot pedal

A foot pedal isn’t a necessity, but it’s a convenience. If you prefer using a pedal to turn your glass grinder on and off, look for a model with this accessory.

Glass grinder prices

All glass grinders might look similar, but the cost is a very important consideration because, in many cases, it reveals the power under the hood.

Inexpensive: If you’re just interested in glass etching, a handheld rotary tool is available for under $100. These powerful tools allow you to create artwork directly on the glass, but they aren’t suitable for larger needs, such as the shaping you’d use for stained-glass work.

Mid-range: In the $100 to $150 range, you can find a quality glass grinder that is good for the occasional hobbyist. These models have lower revolutions per minute and less torque than higher-priced machines, but they’re still effective tools.

Expensive: If you’re doing regular glass work, you will appreciate a tool that allows you to work faster and has more durable parts. These glass grinders range from $150 to $300, but the power driving these tools can greatly increase your productivity.


  • Use a coolant. Don't skip the coolant. This will also help extend the life of your diamond bit.

  • Keep the bit wet. Keeping the reservoir full enough to keep the sponge wet will not only prolong the life of your bit but also cut down on dust and help protect your lungs.

  • Empty the reservoir. You want to empty the reservoir after you finish using your glass grinder to help protect the motor and keep the water from smelling funky.

  • Clean the reservoir (and the sponge). Undesirable materials can build up in the reservoir fairly quickly. Don't neglect cleaning the glass grit out of the reservoir after each use.

  • Do a trial run. Not all glass grinds the same way. Before you get to work on your finished piece, do a test with a scrap piece of glass to gain an understanding of how much pressure you can use without chipping the edges.

  • Pay attention to the direction you move the glass. If you move your glass into the spin of the bit, it will grind faster (and more harshly). To work on a delicate section, always move the glass in the same direction the bit is spinning (if you can).

  • Level it up. Make sure the bit is not too high or too low for the glass (and technique) that you’re using.

  • Use fresh bits. A worn bit can chip even heavy-duty glass.

  • Don't force it. Glass breaks easily. The more delicate your touch, the fewer unexpected chips and breaks you’ll experience. The glass grinder head should do the work, not you.

  • Don't be sloppy. The more precise your cuts are, the less you'll need to grind.
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If you’d like to engrave glass with a laser instead of a grinding tool, that option is available, but it might cost up to 100 times more. If you have a limitless budget, that could be an option for you.


Q. What safety gear do I need when using a glass grinder?

A. Eye protection is not negotiable. Glass chips will launch from the grinder and can damage your eyes. You need a glass grinder with a shield to keep the bits of glass contained. Safety goggles will keep the hazardous material out of your eyes but not your hair and face. Additionally, you want a mask to keep from breathing in the glass dust and an apron to keep the dust from getting on your clothes.

Q. I keep getting tears and cuts and dry fingers when working with glass. Any suggestions?

A. You can wrap your fingertips with surgical tape to help prevent injuries. Alternatively, there are finger gloves that you can slide over your fingertips to help protect them. Be sure to use a healing moisturizer to prevent painful, dry cracking on your fingers, too.

Q. What is the sponge for?

A. The sponge works in conjunction with the reservoir. It wicks up water and applies it to the bit to help keep the glass dust to a minimum and prolong the life of your bits.