Which Bench Grinder Is the Right Size for You?

Which Bench Grinder Is The Right Size For You?

A bench grinder is an essential addition to your workshop. Without a bench grinder, you would have to find a good alternative to deal with dull tools. Not many other tools can accomplish what a bench grinder does.

Using dull tools can also cause injuries if they are not maintained regularly. A bench grinder is an affordable tool, and it typically comes in wheel sizes such as 6 inches and 8 inches.

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Using a bench grinder is easy even for beginners. Just mount it on a workbench or any flat surface. With a bench grinder, you can smoothen dull tools, fix broken blades and polish steel.

What’s in a Bench Grinder?

There are several important parts in a bench grinder. Firstly, the spark deflector is essential to ensure that sparks don’t fly in all directions while you’re using it. The eyeshield functions to help keep your wheel from fragmenting.

The wheel guard on both your wheels keeps them from splintering due to improper mounting. The tool rest on your bench grinder provides a smooth surface for all the materials that you want to use.

What to Consider When Choosing Your Bench Grinder

If you go through different bench grinder reviews, you will find that most of these tools are primarily used for sharpening. While other tools can help you to sharpen metals or other materials, a bench grinder is the best tool that you can use to get the task done efficiently. Bench grinders can also be used for honing and shaping metals.

To get rid of burrs in castings, a bench grinder works well to accomplish this task. If you find your bench grinder to be unstable, you can immediately change the wheel on your bench grinder to clean, polish, sharpen or shape any metal. There are different wheels that you can switch to depending on your needs.

What are the different bench grinder sizes available?

When choosing the right bench grinder for the job, there are several factors you want to consider in addition to the size.

Power Cord

Larger motors call for higher voltages of power, and sometimes you will find that power cords are not always included with your bench grinder purchase. For 6 and 7-inch bench grinder models, however, this is not a concern because this size typically does come complete with the power cord.

Dust Port

Also, with larger grinders, you will find that dust collection is a huge consideration. Therefore, you may want to have the option of connecting a vacuum to your bench grinder to help collect all the dust, including the finer particles.

All 8-inch models and bigger have built-in dust ports on the wheel guards. The smaller 6 inch and 7-inch models, however, feature exhaust ports instead.

As you can see, these additional considerations also vary according to the size of the bench grinder you are purchasing. You will typically find more in the way of features for the larger models because it is the larger bench grinders that are going to be used most often and for those bigger jobs.

Other Common Bench Grinder Features

There are also many other features to consider when choosing the right bench grinder that don't really have anything to do with the size you choose.

Tool Rests. Lower quality bench grinders come equipped with tool rests that are difficult to adjust. Therefore, you want a higher quality machine with easy to adjust tool rests to help with all your tasks.

Rubber Feet. Pedestal grinders often sit on rubber feet and are used for a variety of different rough grinding tasks.

Variable Speed. A variable speed grinder can provide you with great results and fast. Variable speed is often a feature to look for when choosing an angle grinder. It simply means the speed can be changed according to the requirements.

Angle Grinder. This is a very versatile tool and can cut metal, tile, and so much more. An angle grinder can also sharpen and cut or grind steel.

Vibration. Anti-vibration rubber helps to stabilize the grinder while it is in use and cut down on the amount of vibrations you experience for more stable work.

Eye Guards. Also known as eye shields, eye guards are used to help protect your eyes from debris and sparks when using your bench grinder.

Water Tray. Many bench grinders are considered the dry type but sometimes a water tray is needed while working to help cool the surface and prevent overheating.

Flexible Work Light. This helps improve visibility as well as safety while you are working with your bench grinder.

Grinder Stand. The grinder can be mounted to the grinder stand so it stays in place. It often also uses vibration-resistant rubber feet as well.

Motor. The amp motor for a bench grinder typically falls around 3450. However, some models will have motors that are more powerful.

What are the Advantages of a Bench Grinder?

If you go through different bench grinder reviews, you will find that most of these tools are primarily used for sharpening. While other tools can help you to sharpen metals or other materials, a bench grinder is the best tool that you can use to get the task done efficiently. Bench grinders can also be used for honing and shaping metals.

To get rid of burrs in castings, a bench grinder works well to accomplish this task. If you find your bench grinder to be unstable, you can immediately change the wheel on your bench grinder to clean, polish, sharpen or shape any metal. There are different wheels that you can switch to depending on your needs.

What are the Different Bench Grinder Sizes Available?

Once you have identified what you want to use these machines for, you can easily pick one for your workshop. These bench grinders are fairly simple machines which make the task of selecting one for your workshop and simple process.

There are two types of bench grinders – 6-Inch (Regular Speed) and 8-Inch (Slow Speed).

6-Inch Bench Grinders

The 6-inch bench grinders move at standard speeds. These bench grinders have sufficient power to help you execute the most common home improvement task.

Most of these machines run within the four amps range. RPM level is around 3400 to 3600.

An important thing to note about these bench grinders is that some of them can be reasonably heavy. 6-inch bench grinders are usually multipurpose tools that can be used for a variety of projects. Beginners and advanced users will find that this tool is convenient to use.

Features of 6-Inch Bench Grinders

6-inch bench grinders are the ideal power tool to use for both professional and DIY projects. They are incredibly easy to set up, have a quiet operation, and are also powerful enough to tackle anything you need to get done.

They are also a compact option when compared to bigger bench grinder models but still offers you the stability and sturdiness you need as you work.

6-inch bench grinders can accommodate larger materials and provides you with enhanced performance. Some models even come with advanced safety features as well.

Some features you may find on 6-inch bench grinder models include:

  • Heavy-duty induction motor
  • LED lights for visibility
  • Heavy gauge steel base
  • Adjustable tool rests
  • Integrated adjustable spark shields

8-Inch Bench Grinders

The 8-inch bench grinders are made for professionals. As mentioned earlier, the 6-inch edge grinder works fine for most people looking for versatility and multipurpose use.

However, if you are dealing with heavy-duty work, using a buffing wheel or a wire brush, an 8-inch bench grinder will serve you well.

One of the downsides when using an 8-inch bench grinder is that they are a lot slower but need fewer wheel changes. Compared to the 6-inch bench grinders, less maintenance is required.

While the price point of an 8-inch bench grinder is higher, you can save money in the long run because you don’t have to switch the wheels as often as the 6-inch bench grinders.

Features of 8-Inch Bench Grinders

8-inch bench grinders have a slightly slower speed and are built for professionals who do regular, heavy-duty work. It is a more industrial bench grinder option. The slower speeds offered by the 8-inch models help you accomplish a number of different tasks and are also good for precision cutting.

At these lower speeds, you are also reducing your chances of overheating the edge of the tool. Lower speed grinders also often include white grinder wheels which do a much better job of sharpening than the gray grinder wheels included with the 6-inch models.

Some features you may find with 8-inch bench grinder models include:

  • A heavy-duty and professional-grade option
  • Spark guards
  • Eyeshields
  • Cast-iron wheel guards
  • Dust collector ports
  • Heavy-duty guarded toggle switch

What Bench Grinder Size Should You Get?

Now that you have a rough idea of what you can expect from a bench grinder, you need to select the right size for you. Given the two sizes which are 6-inch and 8-inch, your size choice needs to reflect the purpose of using the bench grinder. The wheel size largely determines the capability of the bench grinder.

If your choice is an 8-inch bench grinder, the size of the wheel will provide you with more speed, and this will affect the frictional heating of your machine.

Opting for the 6-inch bench grinder which is a smaller wheel in comparison to the 8-inch provides you with more curvature for grinding purposes. However, your selection of the wheel size has minimal effect on the actual functions.

As you are using a bench grinder, you might find that other types of wheels will suit your tasks better. If that is the case, you can easily swap the grinding wheels for other kinds of wheels such as wire wheels. Using different types of wheels will enable your bench grinder to explore a larger range of tasks.

Once you have decided on the size that you want to go for, it is now simply a matter of buying the highest-powered machine that you can afford while keeping an eye out for the features that each bench grinder offers.

What Should You Do Next?

Remember that selecting the best bench grinders does not have to be an expensive investment. Rather, they should be the ones that can satisfy your requirements.

Here are several guidelines and suggestions that you can follow before you purchase your next bench grinder.

  1. Determine the use of your bench grinder. Once you have decided what the primary purpose of your bench grinder is, you will be able to choose between a 6 inch or an 8-inch model with confidence.
  2. Look for durability. If you are going to make the best out of your investment, you need to find a durable model. Therefore, read the product description before you purchase a bench grinder. Educating yourself with the product specifications is very important.
  3. Confirm that the bench grinder can work with the wheel you have in mind. Several standard wheels that you can use include a fine grit grinding wheels and coarse grinding wheels.
  4. Determine the motor power that you want. If you are going to work with large metals, buying a powerful bench grinder is important.

Wrapping It Up

When buying a bench grinder, always think of the long term. If you are only going to use the grinder occasionally and for light work, you should consider getting a 6-inch bench grinder.

However, if you are a professional and you see yourself doing more intricate work, get the 8-inch bench grinder.

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