Best Bench Grinder | UK Guide | 2023
Many people associate bench grinders with professional workshops, but these incredibly useful power tools can be an affordable addition to your own DIY kit. A bench grinder is a useful tool for smoothing out wood and metal surfaces, but can also be used for sanding applications. They can also be used to sharpen the edges of tools, allowing you to keep your DIY essentials in optimal condition with minimal effort. Need some further guidance on what to look for when selecting the best bench grinder? Read on for our bench grinder buying guide.
Bench Grinders Explained
A bench grinder is a heavy-duty power tool that includes two wheels that spin at high speeds. Usually, bench grinders feature two varieties of wheels to provide you fulfil different applications. In most cases, one wheel is coarser in texture, while the other is finer. Faster bench grinders can be used to make cuts in wooden work pieces, or even some metal sheeting. Bench grinders with slower rotational speeds are handy for buffing wooden surfaces or polishing other pieces down to a smooth finish.
Bench grinders can also be put to use if you need to sharpen up your tool collection. More or less any metal tool with an edge can be sharpened with a bench grinder wheel. If you are a DIY enthusiast with a lot of tools in their collection, a bench grinder can be a worthy investment just for this application alone.
Bench Grinder Dimensions
If you are looking for a bench grinder to use at home in your own workshop, you will probably be limited to smaller models. The smaller the bench grinder, the smaller the motor and the less powerful it will tend to be. However, even the smallest bench grinder should be powerful enough to carry out a variety of cutting, grinding and sanding tasks. You can also use them for polishing and finishing jobs if you select suitable wheel attachments.
Although compact bench grinders have their limitations, they can be very effective for carrying out delicate work requiring precise control.If you can afford to purchase a larger bench grinder and have the space to house it, you can expect to carry out more substantial cutting and sawing. You can also undertake more heavy-duty filing tasks with a larger bench grinder.
Even if you are limited to a smaller bench grinder, you can still enjoy high levels of performance if you purchase one with a powerful enough motor. The higher the motor rating, the more efficient it will be. A more efficient motor makes it easier to cut through masonry and hardened materials like metal. If possible, choose a bench grinder with a brushless motor. This type of motor is generally more efficient, but also has the benefit of requiring no maintenance or brush replacements.
The speed of your bench grinder will also determine how effective it will be at carrying out cutting, sanding and grinding tasks. If you plan on working with hardened materials, you should look for a bench grinder that delivers very high speeds of around 2000-3000 RPM. However, if you only intend to work with wood, a lower speed should be more than suitable for your needs.
A hallmark of any bench grinder are the grinding wheels on either side of the main unit. First, you will want to think about grinding wheel size. Most compact bench grinders allow you to use grinding wheels with a 6-inch diameter. These are fairly versatile and fine for most tasks, but they will eventually wear out and require replacing.
You also need to consider the grit of grinding wheels. As with sandpaper, there are various grit sizes to choose when selecting a grinding wheel. Bench grinders usually come with two different grits supplied, with a smoother grit and much coarser grit provided. You can of course change wheel grits to meet your individual needs.
Essential Safety Features
As a bench grinder works at speed and at high power, you can not overlook the importance of safety. Spark deflectors should be standard with any bench grinder. These guards cover a substantial part of the wheel diameter, leaving only a small section of the wheel exposed. This prevents sparks from flying into your eyeline as you work. Additional eye shield may also be included to add a further barrier between you and your workpiece.
If you want to use your bench grinder regularly in poorly ventilated indoor spaces a dust extraction system is also advantageous. These dust removal systems will ensure sawdust and other debris is quickly removed from your work area, preventing you from breathing them in or getting debris stuck in your eyes. Finally, you may wish to purchase a bench grinder that includes an adjustable work light. These lights are both convenient in that they illuminate your grinding wheel and materials as you work so you can achieve precise results, but also make it less likely that you accidentally make contact with wheel as you handle materials.
Product Reviews – The Best Bench Grinder
Keen to add a new sharpening tool to your repertoire? Below are some of the finest bench grinders currently on offer to UK buyers.
This bench grinder from ToolTronix demonstrates you do not have to spend a considerable amount on quality sharpening tools. This bench grinder provides you with superior dry and wet grinding functionality, with the grinding stone ensuring incredibly sharp results, every time you use it. It also comes with a solid work rest that allows for more comfortable operation. Spark arresters are also included as a standard element here, making your work area as safe as possible. This is particularly useful if you are looking to add a bench grinder to a small indoor space.
This bench grinder also includes a dust-proof switch, meaning you do need to worry about debris building up and impairing your use of this machine. Spark guards are also included, adding to the overall safety features of this bench grinder. The induction motor makes this a particularly smooth bench grinder, while the cast iron base allows it to sit sturdy on your surfaces. You can place this bench grinder on top of a surface and use the rubber feet to keep it in place, or opt to remove them and bolt it down more securely on your bench.
On one end of this grinder, you will find an aluminium oxide stone that is very effective at removing surface material. The other end of the bench grinder features a lighter stone that is ideal for sharpening certain tools, including chisels.
If you are searching for a versatile bench grinder that is easy to use, the Silverline 263511 is a good option. This DIY grinder is incredibly easy to use and is a good choice for those less experienced with such tools. This grinder is suited toward lighter applications, although it will be able to handle more demanding grinding jobs. You will find both 35-grit and 60-grit grinding wheels attached, providing you with grinding performance for various tasks. The coarser wheel is ideal for when you need to get rid of a lot of surface material and debris, while the lighter wheel is better suited to sharpening jobs.
The aluminium body is more lightweight than other bench grinders out there, but it is still sturdy enough that it can be clamped securely to you work surface. The induction motor will also provide you with smooth grinding motion, while sealed bearings protect your motor from dust and debris intrusion. Each wheel is partially encased with eye shields, allowing you to work safely for longer.
Wheel guards are also included to protect you from stray debris cast off from your work pieces. In addition to the bench grinder, you will find two adjustable tool rests and spark arrestors included. With its reliable safety features, handy safety features and low price tag, this bench grinder is definitely something to think about.
The Einhell TH-BG 150 is a quality choice of bench grinder that will satisfy those looking for smooth and reliable performance with a low price tag attached. This bench grinder includes rubber feet along the base, making it safe to use atop a variety of surfaces. These feet also serve to prevent vibration from occurring when the tool is being used. You will also find adjustable work supports so you can put this grinder to use for a variety of jobs.
Despite being well suited to more demanding DIY tasks, this bench grinder is fairly compact. However, the compact size does not result in an inferior product. In fact, the stripped-back design makes it particularly robust, making it a good bet for those after a grinder that will perform for a long time.
You can also expect a high degree of precision with this bench grinder. The ball bearing shaft is a high-grade component, allowing you to grind precisely and smoothly at all times. Spark reflectors are also included, meaning you do not have worry about spark risks and fire hazards. The wheels are also partially covered with guard hoods, making it particularly safe to use. Both coarse and fine grinding disks are included, granting you a wide range of potential applications. You can use this bench grinder to shape and polish materials, as well as resharpen bladed tools.
This Sealey BG150CX bench grinder is slightly more expensive than the previous options in this list, but it is still a very affordable prospect for DIY enthusiasts. This compact sander comes with two grinding wheels, with coarse and fine grinding surfaces making it suitable for a wide variety of tasks. You can use the coarser wheel to get rid of thick layers of debris and surface material, or carry out repair jobs and shaping tasks. It can also be used to carry out polishing of some material surfaces. The finer wheel is better suited to sharpening tasks and will come in handy if you want to keep your bladed tools in good condition.
The 150W motor makes this bench grinder a smooth and reliable operator. Not only does the motor ensure the wheels grind away at optimal speeds, it also does so at relatively low volume. Therefore, this bench grinder can be used in an indoor workshop for long periods, without you worrying about bothering others nearby. Tool rests are also included, while safety features are also standard with this bench grinder. You have spark arrestors to prevent the fire hazards, while eye shields protect debris from casting off from the grinding wheels as they are put to work.
Although most bench grinders are fairly similar in what they offer, the Sealey BG150WL brings some extra features to the table. All the standard features required from a quality bench grinder are on offer here. There are two grinding wheels on either end, with one offering you a coarser grinding surface and one offering a finer finish. This provides you with plenty of versatility when it comes to grinding tasks.
The coarse wheel is best used for shaping and polishing, while the finer wheel is ideal for sharpening jobs. An integrated wheel dresser is also included. The 250W motor makes this a more proficient bench grinder than other options, making it better suited to those looking to work with more robust materials. The more powerful motor also makes this something to consider if you are looking for equipment to add to a professional workshop.
You will also find all the essential safety features required of a bench grinder provided here. Spark arrestors prevent unnecessary injury and negate fire risk, while the eye shields keep debris from flying free of the grinding wheels and causing you harm. A particularly useful feature of this bench grinder is the adjustable work light attached to the top of the tool. Although this work light is fairly small, it is still long enough that it can provide you with spotlit illumination of your grinding area.
If you want to work well into the night or have a workshop with no natural light sources, this work light will be a very welcome addition to your bench grinding equipment. However, this bench grinder is a bit more expensive than other options. The more powerful motor and work light do justify this additional cost, but you will have to ask yourself whether these features are that useful to you to warrant paying more.
The Draper 05097 is a heavy-duty choice of bench grinder that is well suited to more intensive use and professional applications. This bench grinder has a 550W motor that makes it particularly powerful. Thanks to this advanced motor, you can put the bench grinder to work for longer periods and with more hardy material types. There are two grinding wheels included here, with fine and coarse textures provided.
The coarse aluminium oxide wheel is ideal for working with tougher material types, especially if you need to carry out shaping work or polishing. The finer wheel can be used for the same tasks when working with more delicate materials, although it is also ideal for sharpening blades and certain tools.
Spark deflectors come as a standard safety feature here, preventing stray sparks from causing you injury or causing any fire damage. Wheel guards also partially encase the grinding wheels, ensuring stray debris does not fly in your direction when the grinding wheels are in operation. These shields can be adjusted slightly, allowing you to work with larger pieces. This quality bench grinder also includes a built-in work light at the top of the unit.
This work light is fairly small, but as it can be adjusted, you can move it to illuminate each grinding wheel area as you work. Although this bench grinder costs a fair bit more than the other products in this shortlist, the high-grade motor and work light make it a worthwhile choice for the professional.
This Record Power RSBG8 bench grinder will satisfy the requirements of professionals looking for more powerful motor credentials and grinding performance. The 500W induction motor makes this the most powerful and efficient bench grinder in this list. If you need a bench grinder that can be used intensively throughout the day, this Record Power model will not disappoint.
You can also look forward to very smooth operation, even when working with the coarser grinding wheel on tougher material surfaces. The two wheels included provide you with a choice of fine and coarse grinding textures, providing you with enough versatility to undertake a variety of grinding tasks. These wheels are also interchangeable, which makes this bench grinder model a good option for those who want to tailor their machine to cater strictly to coarse or fine grinding exclusively.
All the other basic features you would expect from a quality bench grinder are provided here. Spark arrestors are standard, while eye shields partially encase the wheels to prevent sparks and debris from flying in your direction. This model is also quite compact, which makes it ideal for use in smaller workshops with minimal surface space. However, you will have to pay considerably more for this bench grinder than the most basic models in this list. Ultimately, you need to ask yourself whether or not the more powerful motor is worth the additional cost and if you genuinely have need for it.
Bench Grinder Buying Checklist
If you want to take your home workshop to the next level, a bench grinder is something you should probably invest in. When choosing a bench grinder, first thing about the amount of space you have available for it. If you have a larger area to play with, go for a bigger bench grinder as these will usually include a more powerful motor. However, even compact bench grinders can include powerful motors. Go for the most powerful motor possible, unless you only intend to use your bench grinder for very delicate work. If this is the case, a more modest motor with a slower rotational speed may be a better fit.
Grinding wheels also warrant some further thought. If you are sticking with a smaller bench grinder, you will probably find yourself limited to a 6-inch wheel diameter. Regardless of the size of grinding wheels you will be working with, make sure you have a bench grinder that allows for easy removal and replacements of wheels. Grit sizes are also important. Most bench grinders will come with two different grit sizes supplied, giving you a choice of coarse and fine grit textures.
Finally, make sure your bench grinder does not neglect safety. The minimum safety features you need include spark deflectors and eye shields, although dust extraction systems and cooling systems are also good to have. An adjustable work light is also a very useful feature addition, although models that include them can be far more costly than basic bench grinder products.