bench-grinder

5 Best Bench Grinders (2021 Review)

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The best bench grinder should have a motor with a minimum rating of 150W so its grinding wheels won’t be slowed down when you’re grinding or polishing. Look for wheels that spin at a rate of least 2,500rpm.

To minimize vibration and noise a bench grinder should weigh at least 6-7 kgs and come with rubber feet and bolt holes for firm mounting to a workbench.

Spark guards and tool rests are important features too.

There is a wealth of accessories available for use with a bench grinder so you should ensure that the grinding wheels can easily be swapped out for appropriate attachments, such as polishers, mops and wire wheels. There are many kinds of grinding wheel too, with different diameters and widths and available along with coarse and fine grit options. The most common diameter wheels are 200mm and 150mm, whilst widths can vary from 16mm to 40mm. Bench grinders that come with wheels of different width are often a good option.

Such a range of options is ideal for fettlers, restorers, and hobbyists. I’ve heavily researched the best ones available right now, all so you don’t have to. Read on to see what I’ve discovered…

What is the Best Bench Grinder For You?

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Comparing the Best Bench Grinders

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • Motor
  • Speed
  • Wheel Diameter
  • Wheel Widths
  • Spindle Diameter
  • Weight
  • Work Light
  • Cost
  • Our score
  •  

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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Bench Grinders

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 Record Power RSBG8 200 mm Bench Grinder Record Power RSBG8 200 mm Bench Grinder

Best 8" grinder for low noise

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
4
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Record Power RSBG8 200 mm Bench Grinder Review

Specifications

  • Motor: 500W
  • Speed: 2,800rpm
  • Wheel Diameter: 200mm
  • Wheel Widths: 40mm, 25mm
  • Spindle Diameter: 16mm
  • Weight: 14.0kg
  • Work Light: No

One of the best known tool makers to come from Sheffield, the heart of the British steel industry, is Record Power. Famous for their woodworking machines, the RSBG8 8” bench grinder is an ideal addition to any workshop.

Its small footprint might lead you to believe it’s not powerful. However, the big 500 Watt induction motor is just that. It can spin the pair of wheels up to 2,800 rpm in seconds and won’t be slowed down when you’re grinding or polishing.

Weighing in at 14 kg, this is a heavy bench grinder. Usually weight works against power tools, but it really helps to keep the vibrations down during use. The chunky rubber feet work like shock absorbers to reduce vibrations even more.

What makes this one of the best bench grinders available right now is the width of the right wheel enclosure. It’s large enough to fit wide wheels, mops or other attachments and makes this a much more versatile grinder. The included 40 mm wide fine grit wheel is brilliant for sharpening jobs and should last for a long time.

Pros

  • The wheel diameter of 200 mm is large compared with the Sealey BG150XWL. The extra size means the wheels last for longer and put out more grinding speed.
  • Most users agree that this is a quiet grinder to operate. Obviously not when actually in use, but the motor isn’t loud under no load.
  • 500 Watts of power is the ideal amount for a small footprint bench grinder. Less powerful grinders can lose speed when grinding or sharpening. This isn’t the case here.
  • Record Power have upgraded their tool rests. They’re now adjustable and more solid than the ones that some users had complained about.
  • Having two different size wheel enclosures is great. You can use the included 25 mm and 40 mm wheels or swap them out for other ones. Sometimes you need more width!

Cons

  • Some users have complained about the flimsy tool rests. Record Power recalled this grinder to improve them, so check you get the upgraded ones.
  • Some users have complained about the quality of the instruction manual. First use instructions are vague and not much use to a beginner user.
  • The 40 mm wide whitestone wheel is a bit too fine if you’re expecting it to remove a lot of material. It’s more suitable for fine grinding tasks.
  • If you want to swap out the 40 mm wheel for a 25 mm one, you’ll need to add bushings. They’re readily available if you have accurate measurements though.
BUY HERE →

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Einhell TC-BG 200 mm Bench GrinderEinhell TC-BG 200 mm Bench Grinder

Best budget 8" grinder

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
4
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Einhell TC-BG 200 mm Bench Grinder Review

Specifications

  • Motor: 400W
  • Speed: 2,950rpm
  • Wheel Diameter: 200mm
  • Wheel Widths: 25mm, 25mm
  • Spindle Diameter: 32mm
  • Weight: 12.2kg
  • Work Light: No

Germany’s Einhell are an established tool brand who make solid and reliable equipment that won’t break the bank. The TC-BG bench grinder is a robust benchtop grinder with a large motor and plenty of power to play with.

You get a powerful 400 Watt motor that spins the grinding wheels up to an impressive 2,950 rpm. And thanks to the beefy motor, it makes short work of grinding tasks without losing too much speed.

You get two 25 mm wide grinding wheels to choose from, one coarse and one fine. Both wheels are the large size 200 mm or 8” ones. I find the bigger size to be more effective and smoother to operate than the smaller 150 mm wheels.

The grinder itself has a set of rubber feet to help deal with vibrations alongside holes for fixing it to a bench when needed. It’s one of the best bench grinders you can get for the money.

Pros

  • Larger abrasive wheels like the 200 mm on the Einhell help you to achieve a smoother finish. Compared with the tiny 70 mm wheel on the Katsu SLM93, it’s easier to use too.
  • Even though it has a smaller motor compared with the Record Power RSBG8, it runs at a higher speed. You get 2,950 rpm on the business end, for more grinding power.
  • The spark guards are oversized to help stop any debris flying towards the operator.
  • Weighing in at 12.2 kg, the extra heft should help to keep things stable on the bench. Usually, lighter bench grinders are more prone to wobble.

Cons

  • Several users have complained about the balance of the wheels straight from the box. You might need to dress the wheels before they work at their full potential.
  • The tools rests are basic compared to the ones on the Record Power RSBG8. There’s not much platform to rest your tools on.
  • Some users have complained that you need to tighten the nuts holding the grinding wheels before each use. This process will help to reduce vibrations but is a bit of a pain.
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Sealey BG150XWL Bench Grinder and Wire WheelSealey BG150XWL Bench Grinder and Wire Wheel

Best with wire wheel & work light

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
4
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Sealey BG150XWL Bench Grinder and Wire Wheel Review

Specifications

  • Motor: 250W
  • Speed: 2,850rpm
  • Wheel Diameter: 150mm
  • Wheel Widths: 20mm, 20mm
  • Spindle Diameter: 13mm
  • Weight: 8.6kg
  • Work Light: Yes

British heavyweights Sealey have been in the tool game since 1978. Their BG150XWL combination bench grinder and wire wheel is a seriously handy bit of kit. If you need a wire wheel more than two different grit sanding wheels, this is the best bench grinder for you!

Starting with the motor, it’s 250 Watts, so not as powerful as some of the competition. Bear in mind though that the wheel is smaller at 150 mm, so it doesn’t need quite as much power. If you’re using the wire brush, there’s nowhere near as much friction and this little grinder will power through whatever you’re cleaning up.

I like the fact that this tool comes with a built in wheel dresser. It sits on top of the unit for when you need it. And if that wasn’t enough, you also get a brilliant little work light on a flexible stalk. Getting a good look at what you’re working on really helps, so I’m glad to see it here.

Pros

  • A lot of users favour a grinding stone and wire wheel setup, so it’s an ideal setup already. If you’re cleaning up metalwork or removing paint, a wire wheel is the best tool to use.
  • Having a flexible work light is ideal. It’s useful for lighting up a murky workshop, but it’s essential for fine sharpening jobs. You can position the light to show up defects on a blade.
  • Most users have found this bench grinder to be quiet under no load. It does a good job to keep the vibrations down to a minimum as well.
  • Dressing your grinding stones is a crucial part of keeping a bench grinder performing well. Sealey have included a dressing tool for doing just that. I like it.

Cons

  • Be prepared, Sealey haven’t included any setup instructions. All you get is an exploded diagram of every part. You’ll need to use common sense to install the guards and rests.
  • The tool rests are just bent pieces of metal. They’re not strong compared with the ones on the Record Power RSBG8. Don’t put too much pressure on them.
  • The power switch isn’t protected with a dust cover. If you’re doing a lot of grinding work, dust gets everywhere. It might get gummed up before long.
  • It’s not the most cost effective bench grinder around. For the money, I’d expect a more powerful motor or a larger diameter grinding wheel.
BUY HERE →

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FERM 150 mm Bench GrinderFERM 150 mm Bench Grinder

Best budget 6" grinder

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
4.3333333333333
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FERM 150 mm Bench Grinder Review

Specifications

  • Motor: 150W
  • Speed: 2,950rpm
  • Wheel Diameter: 150mm
  • Wheel Widths: 16mm, 16mm
  • Spindle Diameter: 12.7mm
  • Weight: 6.0kg
  • Work Light: No

Netherlands-based tool manufacturers FERM have been in business since 1965. Famous for their no-nonsense power tools, the BGM1019 bench grinder is an inexpensive way to keep your tools sharp at home.

With a 150 Watt motor that can spin the two wheels up to 2,950 rpm, it’s an ideal DIY level grinder. It’s supplied with a 36 grit coarse wheel and 60 grit fine wheel. You can take off burrs and sharpen up whatever you need for the next job quite easily.

The tool rests are much sturdier than some of the ones found on more expensive grinders. They’ve got an extra fold in them for rigidity and have a nice hand tightening knob on them for ease of use. The rubber feet act like suction cups for extra stability, but you can mount the grinder easily if you want too.

Pros

  • It’s hard to beat the price for this kind of performance. It’s not the most powerful grinder, but it gets the job done. If you’re on a budget it’s the best bench grinder you can get.
  • The power switch has a rubber dust guard on it. It’s a useful feature for any tool used in a dusty environment. It should keep the electronics safe from dust ingress over time.
  • I’m always a fan of free accessories, so I was happy to see a pair of safety goggles included. They’re a decent pair as well, with vents in the side to help cut down on fogging.
  • This grinder has the standard style of mounting holes. It’s easy to bolt it down to your workbench.

Cons

  • The 150 Watt motor is probably underpowered compared with the big 400 Watt Einhell TC-BG 200. If you plan on sharpening a lot of tools, get something more powerful.
  • Some users have complained that grinder heats up significantly. If you use it for more than a few minutes at a time, it can get too hot.
  • The grinding wheels are just 16 mm wide. Compared with the huge 40 mm wide wheel on the Record Power RPBG8, they won’t last anywhere near as long.
  • Lots of users have complained about the amount of noise this grinder makes. Compared with the relatively quiet Sealey BG150XWL it makes a bit of a racket.
BUY HERE →

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KATSU Tools Multi-Function Electric Bench GrinderKATSU Tools Multi-Function Electric Bench Grinder

Best mini grinder

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
4
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KATSU Tools Multi-Function Electric Bench Grinder Review

Specifications

  • Motor: 150W
  • Speed: 0-10,000rpm
  • Wheel Diameter: 70mm
  • Wheel Widths: 20mm, 20mm
  • Spindle Diameter: 10mm
  • Weight: 3.4kg
  • Work Light: No

Budget tool heroes KATSU make some surprisingly good kit for a brand you probably haven’t heard of before. Perfect for hobbyists and small scale jobs is the KATSU SLM93 multi-function bench grinder.

Don’t mistake this bench grinder for one of the beefy 500 Watt ones on my list. This is a small grinder designed for delicate work and intricate polishing. The 150 Watt motor is more than powerful enough to spin the small 70 mm grinding wheels though. They’re driven up to an astonishing 10,000 rpm, an ideal speed for light work.

What makes this an astonishing bit of kit for hobbyists and model makers is the flexible attachment though. Using the power throw off spindle, the long flexible shaft can take different types of bit for any job. It transforms this bench grinder into a versatile tool that any hobbyist will make good use of.

Pros

  • It’s an excellent little bench grinder for delicate, precision work. If you work with things like knives, jewellery, or models, it’s hard to beat.
  • The flexible tool attachment turns this into a completely different machine. You can make use of cutting discs, die grinders, small drill bits or anything else you can fit in the collet.
  • Compared to any of the grinders on my list, this is the only one with a variable speed control. It means you can use the appropriate speed for the job at hand.
  • Weighing in at just 3.4 kg, it’s extremely light and portable. It’s much easier to store compared to the 14 kg Record Power RPBG8.

Cons

  • Don’t assume you can carry out heavy duty grinding jobs with this machine. The 150 Watt motor and small diameter grinding wheels aren’t up to it.
  • Several users have had problems attaching different bits to the flexible shaft. You need to insert the bit into the collet and tighten it with a small diameter hex key.
  • If you happen to break the flexi drive shaft, it’s difficult to find spare parts. Some users have resorted to using automotive speedo cables, bought separately.
  • Only one of the grinding wheels has a tool rest and spark guard. Even if it’s a polishing stone, it would be useful to have guards and rests on both sides.
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Things to Know Before Buying a Bench Grinder

Before you go off and choose a bench grinder take a look at its main features below to make sure you make the right choice!

Coarse & Fine Grinding Wheels

The main feature of a bench grinder is of course its grinding wheels. Coarse and fine wheels are often used in conjunction with one another.

A coarse wheel removes more material faster but won’t leave a clean finish. So for shaping metal for instance, the coarse wheel removes bulk and creates a shape, then the finer wheel can be used for cleaning the piece.

One of the most common uses of the fine wheel is for maintaining tools and creating clean, sharp edges on them.

Wheel / Stone Guard

The grinding wheel or stone produces sparks and debris when grinding. Most grinders come with a protective guard that is positioned near the wheels to help catch the bulk of the waste material and protect against sparks.

Regardless of the function of the guard always wear eye protection.

Tool Rests

A strong and sturdy tool rest is a very important component of your grinding operation. The tool rest needs to be fully adjustable in terms of angle and tilt in order to optimise the tool’s positioning for sharpening. The tool rest also needs to be large enough to accommodate whatever you plan to work with.

Rubber Foot Pads

Rubber footprints ensure that the grinder stays secure on the work bench and go a long way to counteracting vibration and wobble.

Bench Mounting Holes

Better still than rubber foot pads, having good bench mounting holes and fixings ensures the grinder fits securely to the bench, minimising the risk of slippage and injury.

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Bench Grinder FAQs

What is a bench grinder?

A bench grinder consists of 2 grinding wheels that rotate at speed – one wheel is coarse and one is fine. Material for grinding is offered up to either or both wheels for removal of surplus debris and further refinement into the finished object.

The grinder can also be used to sharpen, buff, polish or clean up rusty or tarnished metal. It is also very good for tool maintenance, enabling you for example to sharpen knives and chisels with relative ease compared to using a whetstone.

How do I use a bench grinder?

If you have never used a bench grinder before a great way to practice your skills is to shape a scrap piece of metal.

Firstly ensure you are properly protected. Both the grinder and the piece of metal may shoot debris towards you. Therefore, it is important to wear eye protection, a leather apron, and gloves.

You then need to check the machine is fit for purpose. Ensure the wheel is correctly mounted and secure so it spins properly and won’t fly off the spindle. You will also need to ensure the tool rest is securely positioned beside the wheel. If you are grinding for any length of time the metal will heat up, so make sure there is a water tray nearby.

Once all safety checks are done the fun part begins! Turn on the machine and begin to shape your metal.

Ensure you grip the metal with both hands. Lay the piece on the tool rest and slowly press against the wheel of the grinder. You want to let the machine do the work – don’t apply excess force on the metal against the wheel. Also never position your work piece on the side of the wheel as this will damage it.

As the machine starts to shape the metal experiment by moving it around and trying to create different shapes and curves.

Finally don’t forget to regularly dip your workpiece into the water to keep it cool.

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