You may have wondered which fared better; the bench grinder or the belt sander. While these two devices are known to smooth and hone dull surfaces, the two were actually designed to tackle different tasks.
However, DIY enthusiasts often ask which works better. This article will further explain provide answers for the bench grinder vs. belt sander debate.
The bench grinder is is designed to sharpen specific items. It needs to be fixed steadily to a work bench or any other kind of mount. It is capable of grinding away rough edges smoothly on items like drill bits, scissors, knives and chisels.
It can also repair tools from screwdrivers down to punches and smooth out welded joints and other sorts of defects. By using a wire wheel or buffer, a bench grinder can clean up and polish lots of tools.
The unit has two grinding wheels located on either side of the motor’s housing. The majority of every wheel is enclosed by a guard, but each perimeter of the component has around a 90-degree arc that is bare in front of the device. It comes with an eye shield as well which is located in the guard’s opening, and below the grinder is where the tool rest is located.
The majority of home workshops do not require any of those business-type grinders and something that has a medium size with a 1/2-horsepower motor will be enough for home use. Bigger ones with powerful motors and larger wheels are more for commercial/business use.
The belt sander, once fitted with abrasive paper, is capable of sanding thick layers of paint and can smooth out coarse surfaces at a quick rate. It should be handled with proper care due to the speed of its performance. If the unit is left immobile in one area of the item, it can damage its shape.
It has two tube-shaped drums which come as a closed loop of coarse paper that travels uninterruptedly. One drum is operated by an electric motor while the other is spring-loaded to sustain the pressure on the belt.
It is recommended for smoothing out flat surfaces and edges of tools or items slashed throughout the grain. The majority of contemporary sanders feature integrated dust collectors for convenience. They are often sold as a bench top or portable model.
To continue our bench grinder vs. belt sander discussion, we now come to which tool should be used best on all your intended sharpening and smoothing projects. For some DIY enthusiasts. they are more into the belt sander because it can be used on not only some metal materials but softer materials like plastic.
This makes the unit more versatile compared to the bench grinder. The belt sander also allows for making more accurate angles and accomplishing flatter surfaces.
Meanwhile, some are into the bench grinder since it has a bigger selection of wheels from the buffing kind down to heavy-duty ones like the diamond abrasive wheel. It can be bought as a bench-type grinder or as a freestanding one. The motors of this unit are intended for metal, thus it comes with a higher horsepower and torque.
One of the most crucial factors you have to consider though is the kind of abrasive belt that both items make use of. The belt sander can be utilized as a lightweight belt grinder by buying belts that are meant to be used on metal; however, belt sanders are limited when it comes to sharpening efficiency on steel materials and can lead to heat buildup faster due to the sander’s higher speeds.
If you want to sharpen your tools and other items with power tools, you can do so with a bench grinder and invest on few belts that are meant for a variety of uses. You can make use of a heavy ceramic belt for repairing the edges or damaged chisels, axes and other tools with thicker blades.
You can also use a flexible, fine-grained ceramic belt for sharpening thicker-bladed tools. If you are after significant sharpening, you can opt for those diamond-plate sharpeners, a ceramic rod or a sharpening stone.
To finish our talk about the bench grinder vs. belt sander debate, just go for the equipment that you are going to use the most often. This means you have to base the unit you are going to invest in on projects that you often do the most. If you tend to work on plastic materials the most, then you will do fine with a belt sander. If you work with metal more often, you can invest in a bench grinder and its various accessories.