Best Bench Grinders for Woodworking

Bench grinders are one of those tools that aren’t always thought of as a woodworking tool. Yet as a woodworker, the quality of your finished product often depends on the sharpness of your tools. You could keep purchasing brand new tools every time an edge becomes dull OR you could purchase one of the best bench grinders for woodworking to preserve your investment. Once you have this tool, you’ll wonder what you ever did without it.

Our Favorite Bench Grinders

Bench grinders are a fairly basic tool. It spins 1-2 discs that are composed of various materials to help you sharpen the blades on saws, chisels, and other tools that are used for woodworking. If you want consistent results with this tool, these are the top-rated bench grinders that are available right now.

PictureNameOur RatingNo Load RPMPrice
PictureNameOur RatingNo Load RPMPrice
DeWalt DW756 Bench Grinder 4.3
3450
$$
Delta Power Tools 23-197 Variable Speend Bench Grinder 4.1
3400
$$$
Craftsman 9-21154 Variable Speed 6-Inch Grinding Center 4.4
3400
$$$
Powertec BGSS801 Slow Speed Bench Grinder 4.2
1725
$$$
WEN 4278 6-Inch Bench Grinder 4.2
3450
$
Skil 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder 4.2
3450
$$
Sunex 5002A Bench Grinder with Light 4.3
3450
$$$
Craftsman Professional Variable Speed 8-Inch Grinder 4.0
3400
$$$$
JET JBG-8A 8-Inch Bench Grinder 4.1
3450
$$$$$
DeWalt DW758 8-Inch Bench Grinder 4.2
3600
$$$

Why a Bench Grinder Is the Essential Work Bench Tool

Bench grinders do a great job of sharpening tools, especially when you purchase a single-speed model. If it is rated for 3,000 RPM or more, then you can consistently create sharp tools for your next project. This makes it a lot easier to maintain your equipment so that your woodworking creativity can always be explored.

Yet the bench grinder becomes an essential workbench tool when you choose a model that comes with variable speeds. Once you can have lower RPMs and the discs are interchangeable, then you can use your bench grinder for buffing, polishing, and cleaning.

You also have size options available to you that can facilitate grinding, cleaning, and the other aspects of this tool that you may wish to use. Most bench grinders are either 6-inch or 8-inch models. The 8-inch grinder is generally the best option from which to choose as it provides a 0.25-inch larger wheel that is accessible to the user.

There are 10-inch models available as well, which pushes the wheel size to 1.25 inches. Some manufacturers have commercial or industrial models that go beyond 10 inches, but for the average woodworker, the best value comes with the 8-inch model.

How to Properly Use Your New Bench Grinder

It is important to store your bench grinder in a careful manner. Most of the wheels that you’ll be using with this tool are glass-bonded products, so they are strong, but can still be quite brittle. Any unexpected impact could damage the wheel or the bench grinder – and that type of damage is usually not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.

You’ll also want to check the machine speed against the safe operating speeds that are listed on your preferred grinding wheels. Over-spinning a wheel above its ratings can cause it to dislodge from the bench grinder. This could injure you or cause a lot of damage on your workbench.

Most bench grinders will require you to mount them before use. The only exception would be portable bench grinders that are balanced in a specific way. The last thing you want to have happen is your bench grinder falling over with a sharp tool in your hands, so make sure you’ve given this tool a solid base before using it.

Above all else, you’ll also want to control dust and protect yourself from particulates when using the best bench grinders for woodworking. Use your personal protective equipment and consider adding a dust collection bin or bag if your preferred model does not collect dust on its own. Breathing in glass, grit, and metal shavings is not a pleasant experience.

How to Maintain Your New Bench Grinder

Owning a bench grinder is just one step of the process. For proper woodworking, you’ll also need to know how to maintain your bench grinder. Otherwise you’ll be only receiving a partial benefit from this tool and you could be putting your project or your health at risk.

Most wheels are made from aluminum oxide or silicon carbine. Ferrous metals benefit from the first type of wheel, while all other metals benefit from the latter wheel type.

To maintain these wheels, you’ll want to dress them regularly so that you can remove any clogged grains that may be on the wheel. You have two options available to you: diamond dressers or star-wheel dressers.

We recommend this diamond dresser for general needs

We also recommend this emery star-wheel dresser.

For general cleaning purposes, the star-wheel dressers will give you consistently clean grains. If you have cleaned the wheel several times already, then the diamond dresser is a better option because it will help to restore the sharpness of the wheel to some extent. Just run the dresser over the wheel as instructed by the manufacturer.

You’ll also want to inspect your bench grinder to ensure there are no cracks in the wheel before and after use. The most common reason for wheel cracking is an over-tightening of it.

What will it cost me to buy the Best Bench Grinders?

Compared to the cost of constantly replacing dull tools or having a professional sharpener address them for you, a bench grinder is reasonably affordable. There are several models that are available right now for less than $100. Most of the cheaper bench grinders are 6-inch models, however, so they may not be suitable to the needs of every woodworker.

Most bench grinders fall between $100-$200. At this price, you can find an 8-inch bench grinder with features like an attached light.

Industrial-grade bench grinders can be priced all the way up to $1,000.

Over time, you will also need to replace the various wheels that are being used with your bench grinder as well. Prices go up based on the fineness of the grit that is required. 36-Grit wheels can be found for $10, while 6,000-grit wheels may cost upwards of $100 each. Most woodworkers can find replacement wheels between these two pricing extremes.

Let’s Have a Look at Some Reviews

DeWalt

This 6-inch bench grinder features a 5/8 HP induction motor that allows you to quickly complete heavy-duty grinding operations. We loved the cast iron base and motor housing, adding durability and stability to this particular grinder. It runs at 3450 RPM, so you have high-speed removal and precision sharpening when you need it the most. The 12.5-inch distance between wheels also allows for larger grinding applications when they may be needed.

Click here to look at prices on Amazon and get a great deal.

Delta

The variable speed controls of this bench grinder are some of the best in the industry today. You can grind, sharpen, buff, or polish with relative ease Part of this is due to the 5-amp motor, which lets you power up to 3400 RPM for fast work. There’s a tool rest that has been milled into the surface of the grinder so that you always get the correct angle for sharpening, while there are also compensations for wheel wear so you never wind up with the wrong edge. Give it a try and we think you’ll love this bench grinder just like we did.

Click here to look at prices on Amazon and get a great deal.

Craftsman

Out of all the bench grinders we got to take a look at, this model at the least overall vibration. It’s a little underpowered at 2.5 amps and 1/5 HP, but it still reaches a no-load RPM of 3400. The wider eye shields are transparent and help to act as spark guards as well, limiting the amount of metal flake mess that you create while using this tool. It includes a water-cooling tray and handheld wheel dresser, working with its adjustable tool rests, so that you have accurate sharpening or polishing every single time. It’s also priced to move.

Click here to look at prices on Amazon and get a great deal.

Powertec

If you’re preference is for a slow-speed grinder, then this is going to be the best bench grinder to meet your needs. It operates at 1725 RPM, so you never have to worry about your tools overheating as you work to obtain an edge. Despite the slower speed, the ½ HP motor gives you the right amount of movement and torque for fast results. The wider wheels, at 1-inch, also give you a better grinding experience with a minimum amount of vibration.

Click here to look at prices on Amazon and get a great deal.

WEN

This was the lightest of the bench grinders we had the honor of looking at, but don’t let its size fool you. Despite some compromises on the construction of the base to reduce weight, the amount of vibration and drift received was minimal. This allows the grinder to attach to most workbenches, allowing you to take advantage of the no-load 3450 RPM produced by the 2.1-amp motor. And best of all, you can grab this grinder for less than $50 right now.

Click here to look at prices on Amazon and get a great deal.

The best bench grinders for woodworking don’t have to break your budget. You can find versatile grinders with multiple features that will help you take your projects to the next level. Grab yours today.