Updated on November 16, 2022
The best bench grinder can vary depending on the application. Where heavy usage is required, an 8-inch grinding wheel is preferable to the 6-inch wheels, and heavy-duty grinders may not have frills such as mounted lights.
No matter what your specific application, look for a grinder that is well balanced, both for durability and sound reduction. In general, a quieter motor indicates less friction in the assembly, and that results in more work over a longer period of time.
It’s usually recommended to mount the grinder, as the torque of the motor could cause it to move about considerably without proper mounts. Additionally, grinders will create sparks, so wear proper safety gear and do not operate your grinder near potential fuel sources. You should also have a fire extinguisher close at hand.
Our 6 Favorite Bench Grinders for your Shop or Garage
|DeWalt DW756||6-Inch||0.63 HP||3,450 RPM||1/2-Inch|
|Jet JBG-8A||8-Inch||1.00 HP||3,450 RPM||5/8-Inch|
|Rikon 80-805||8-Inch||0.50 HP||1,750 RPM||5/8-Inch|
|Metabo DS 200||8-Inch||1.13 HP||3,570 RPM||1-Inch|
|Skil 3380-01||6-Inch||0.33 HP||3,450 RPM||1/2-Inch|
|WEN 4276||6-Inch||0.33 HP||3,450 RPM||1/2-Inch|
Bench Grinder Reviews
#1 – DeWalt DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder
The DeWalt DW756 is manufactured with the same durability as other DeWalt tools, which is why it ranks among the best. The 5/8 horsepower induction motor effortlessly rotates the grinding wheels at 3,450 RPM (no load).
The 1/2-inch arbor (shaft) is well balanced and the base is solid so don’t expect to have any wobble issues like other grinders in this price range. You’ll also notice it’s really quiet so if you previously had to put up with an entry level grinder, you’ll hear the difference right away.
Note that while the 6-inch model is perfectly fine for most uses and doesn’t take up much space, those who plan on sharpening or grinding longer or larger pieces may want to step up to the 8-inch model where the housing doesn’t stick out further than the wheels.
With any tool, it is a good idea to verify the factory installation before using, to be sure that all nuts are securely in place. A few users have reported they had to remove and remount the wheels, which were not installed well at the factory. Fortunately, the process is pretty straightforward.
All in all, this DeWalt is considered by many to be the best 6-inch bench grinder for the money. If you need something a bit more heavy duty, consider the Jet or Metabo models below.
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#2 – Jet JBG-8A 8-Inch Heavy Duty Bench Grinder
With a full 1 horsepower single phase motor, this Jet bench grinder makes quick work of almost any job. The two 8-inch vitrified wheels are an industrial 36-grain and 60-grain coarseness for improved versatility and spin smoothly at 3,450 RPM.
Safety features include easy-adjusting spark guards and eye shields, cast iron wheel guards with dust collector ports, and heavy-duty guarded toggle switch. A rubber foot adds stability without preventing you from bolting the grinder to a surface.
When you want a fast, powerful, and relatively quiet grinder, the 577102 JBG-8A is an excellent choice. Owners repeatedly place it at the top of their list when discussing grinders, noting how smooth and quiet it is compared to similar models. If price is no object and you simply want the best 8-inch bench grinder available, the Jet fits the bill.
A few consumers have reported receiving their grinder damaged. This issue suggests a shipping problem, as opposed to an overall design flaw.
A few users have also reported their grinder was producing excessive vibration, even when bolted down – although most report little or no vibration. This is usually the result of a wheel that has become unbalanced and can happen to any grinder.
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#3 – Rikon 80-805 8-Inch Slow Speed Bench Grinder
This powerful 8 inch grinder has slower heat build-up, making it perfect for sharpening tools. A cast iron base with anti-vibration rubber feet and adjustable eye shields and spark resistors help ensure maximum safety on the job.
The 1/2 horsepower motor provides 1,750 RPM to the wheels. 60 and 120 grit white aluminum oxide wheels are included so you can get started right away.
Owners of the Rikon love how well it sharpens tools, especially for its price. Expect it to outlast cheap bench grinders by years. It has no problem running at full speed when fitted with heavier CBN wheels. The included dressing tool helps ensure wheels fit snug.
Several consumers have complained about wobbly tool mounts on first use but a simple tightening quickly takes care of the issue. In addition, random quality issues have been reported, from paint defects to bent flanges but most report no issues at all out of the box. But, you should always inspect any grinder thoroughly upon arrival to ensure it is free of problems.
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#4 – Metabo DS 200 8-Inch Industrial Bench Grinder
German made Metabo is one of the most well-respected names in the grinder industry. The powerful 1-1/8 HP motor spins the 1-inch arbor smoothly and effortlessly, and has almost zero vibration. This means a longer life and more extensive usability.
The large 8 inch wheels will last longer than comparable 6 inch models and have less of a tendency to bog down during heavy usage. It is a German-made tool, with the dependability and craftsmanship that Germany is famous for. The most powerful bench grinder on our list, it’s heavy duty enough for commercial use but works well for home use as well.
There are a couple of items that need to be considered on the Metabo grinder. The first is the shaft size, which is larger than a comparable American grinder. You will have to purchase wheels designed specifically for this machine, but they are easily available online and from some local tool companies at reasonable prices.
The second item of concern is that the plastic shields which come with the DS 200 are not very well designed. Since the shields inhibit a clear view of your work, it may be a good idea to go ahead and purchase replacement shields separately, or wear a pair of good quality safety glasses when using the Metabo grinder.
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#5 – Skil 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder
The Skil 3380-01 is a low cost alternative to industrial-purpose grinders. If your primary use is to sharpen tools or do light grinding, it will serve you well. The 1/3 HP motor is powerful enough for most light to medium duty tasks and we prefer Skil build quality over the WEN below.
Unlike the DeWalt grinder, this model provides you with better access to the grinding wheels, and the shields are more useful than those of the Metabo grinder. It is designed for the garage or home shop, and may not be able to handle the strain of extended, heavy usage.
The biggest complaint with the Skil grinder is that the utility lighting built into the machine is not positioned very well, and may be more of a hindrance than a benefit. If you have a well lit area to mount it in, you can leave the lights off, which will also allow better access to the grinding wheels.
>> Check current price <<
#6 – WEN 4276 6-Inch Bench Grinder
Beginning with its quiet 1/3 HP (2.1 Amp) motor and 3450 RPM wheel speed, this 6 inch grinder is one of the most popular bench grinders for light duty use in your workshop or garage. The low price probably has something to do with that as well but it’s actually pretty well made compared to some other cheap bench grinders out there.
A flexible work light makes it easy to monitor progress, while the included 60-grit and 36-grit wheels give a wide range of grinding options. The heavy duty base ensures steadier operation and safer mounting.
This grinder does an excellent job buffing and polishing large pieces of metal. The rubber feet keep it steady and eliminate vibration. The machine can sharpen most of your tools with little effort. And in the rare event there’s a problem, WEN’s customer service is top-notch.
Despite having a good overall speed, this grinder can have a slow startup. The light only works while the grinder is running, which has also frustrated some users. Also, too much pressure on the wheels will bog down the unit so if it’s in your budget, we’d recommend going with the DeWalt above.
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There are a few things you should consider before investing in a bench grinder. The following common questions can mean the difference between making a great investment and wasting money.
What Size Bench Grinder Should I Get?
For the most part, both 6 and 8 inch grinders can serve the same purpose, although they excel in different tasks. 8 inch grinders function better for heavy-duty tasks such as buffing and require less maintenance. They’re better suited for frequent use, when using on larger objects, or in industrial settings.
6 inch grinders are cheaper and do a better job at sharpening or working with smaller objects for more intricate work. Their biggest downside is the base is often flush with the wheels or even sticks out further so working with longer or larger objects is a hassle. While not as efficient at some tasks, they are better suited for home use.
What is a Bench Grinder Used For?
Besides grinding (as the name implies), bench grinders serve a multitude of tasks. They’re one of the most efficient means for sharpening tools (even drill bits), as well as honing and shaping metal. Depending on the type of wheel you attach, you can also clean and polish.
Bench Grinder vs Belt Sander – What’s the Difference?
Bench grinders are designed primarily for sharpening and polishing. They use two wheels that can be changed out to serve different tasks.
For instance, you can swap out a solid wheel for a metal brush wheel to remove rust for tools. They’re generally restricted to metal and remain affixed to a surface.
Belt sanders have two drums onto which a sanding belt is stretched. They can be used on softer materials, such as plastic. The speed of these machines is enough to easily damage material when not used carefully. Using one to sharpen tools can cause it to quickly overheat.
Bench Grinder vs Angle Grinder – What’s the Difference?
Angle grinders are a lightweight sibling to bench grinders. While not as powerful, they’re highly portable and the ability to hold one makes it more precise. Because of their versatility, there are probably over 100 different uses for angle grinders.
Another key difference is the single wheel. You will need to swap wheels more often on an angle grinder, although the design means you can more easily cut and shape metal or remove paint from larger surfaces.
8 thoughts on “6 Best Bench Grinders for Sharpening and Grinding”
If I just want to get a grinder for sharpening a lawn mower blade or gardening tools, which size should I get?
Really any size will do. The only issue you may have with smaller 5-6″ grinders is that there is less surface area available so larger tools may not fit so well in the opening. It’s kind of hard to describe without physically demonstrating.
Also, a lower speed is usually better for sharpening and generally speaking, the smaller the grinding wheel, the higher the RPM.
If you’re talking about best bench grinders why did u not mention the Made In USA Baldor machine? Or the Craftsman?
Baldor makes fantastic grinders (and the last made in the US grinder I’m aware of) but we do consider price when putting together these lists. The smallest Baldor 6″ 1/3 hp will set you back around $500. But for those interested, here’s a sampling of their models.
As for Craftsman, all their stuff has been Chinese made for years and there are better alternatives. But if you find an older one that’s used (that was still made in the USA) and in good condition, it would be a good find.
If I am mounting a bench grinder to a worktable, how much bolt do I need coming through the bench? I always seem to end up with a lot hanging under but I don’t want to undersize and lose stability
You really only need enough to be able to fully tighten the nut plus a hair more. On mine, I have about 1/4″ of the bolt showing past the nut.
The Dewalt 6” grinder is at the top of the list. However, the Dewalt 8” is it on the list at all. Are there problems with the 8” Dewalt?
The 8″ DeWalt is excellent as well. Unless, the competition is bad, we prefer various brands to be represented in our lists unless the manufacturer has different “series” with notable differences. In this case, the main difference between the DeWalts is only the wheel size.