Best Cheap Bench Grinder in 2019 for Professionals

Though most bench grinders will get the grinding job done, you need to pay attention to some details if you are looking to purchase a cheap bench grinder for the purpose of woodturning. You might want to consider a bench grinder for professionals with wheels that are a minimum of 6 inches. Any bench grinder with wheels that are 5 inches and below are likely to be underpowered. Also, the smaller radius of the wheel’s curvature can produce a hollow grind on the bevel of the tool. A bench grinder with 8-inch wheels is ideal for woodturning if you are willing to spend a little bit more.

Many professionals who use bench grinders for woodturning prefer to customize the wheels as per their needs as it protects expensive high-speed steel tools from damage. You might also want to consider investing in a wheel that is made with material that prevents overheating that can considerably affect the lifespan of the tools. Avoid the wheels that are made with unrefined aluminum oxide grit. Those are exceptionally hard and mainly designed to grind carbon steel. These wheels can cause severe damage to premium quality high-speed steel (HSS) turning tools. The preferred choice of wheels would be a pink or white wheel made with aluminum oxide. Alternatively, you can consider microcrystalline or blue ceramic wheels. If the price isn’t a concern, you can also opt for cubic boron nitride (CBN) wheels that are metal-plated, as they deliver the best results.

Honing tools after grinding is always a good idea, as it makes the edge razor sharp. However, if you are using a microcrystalline wheel or cubic boron nitride (CBN) wheel, you need not bother with honing the woodturning tools as these wheels make the edges optimally sharp. Mentioned below are the top three cheap bench grinders for professionals that are the most preferred choice for woodturning.

WEN has been making innovative and quality products for decades and is the preferred choice of most professionals in the woodworking industry. WEN 4282 features two wheels. One is an 80 grit wheel for fine grinding work such as cleaning, polishing, buffing, sharpening, etc. The second wheel is 36 grit for coarse grinding work such as deburring metal of ragged and chipped edges or protrusions, removal of rust, etc. WEN 4282 has a cast iron base. It also has mounting holes to fasten it on a work surface or on a pedestal stand with bolts to prevent wobbling and provide better stability. It has adjustable eye shields also feature built-in LED lights for greater accuracy during grinding. Learn how to fully use this type of bench grinder by reading our full guide for newbies here. 

What We Liked

  • WEN 4282 is a high-speed bench grinder. It can shape, smoothen and sharpen tools.
  • The powerful 4.8 Amp motor is durable and long-lasting.
  • It turns the wheels at 3450 revolutions per minute (RPM)
  • This bench grinder features a quenching tray.

What We Didn't Like

  • The motor takes longer than expected to come up to speed.

Advanced woodworkers and professionals alike, all prefer Delta Power Equipment as they have over 9 decades of expertise in making woodworking equipment. The slow speed helps you grind with better finesse. High speed allows faster removal of unwanted material. You can choose to run the grinder at the desired speed depending on the task. Delta 23-197 features a powerful 5 Amp motor. It offers variable speed. It turns the wheels at 2000 to 3400 revolutions per minute (RPM)

What We Liked

  • One wheel on the bench grinder is for fine grinding (60 grit).
  • The other wheel is for coarse grinding (36 grit)
  • This bench grinder also features a water tray to help you keep the tools cool through grinding sessions.

What We Didn't Like

  • Online reviewers who have used this bench grinder have said that they found the tool rests uncomfortably to use for precise sharpening work
  • Have invested in a jig instead of relying on the tool rest.

RIKON 80-805 is a low-speed cheap bench grinder that can complete any grinding task with flawless results. The higher speed facilitates faster removal of unwanted material on the surface. The slower speed is good for precise results and offers a greater finesse – which is what is required when sharpening HSS tools for woodturning. This bench grinder features two grinding wheels made of white aluminum oxide. One is a coarse grinding wheel and one is a fine grinding wheel.

What We Liked

  • The 1/2 HP motor turns the wheels at 1750 revolutions per minute (RPM)
  • RIKON 80-805 features a cast iron base, making it durable.
  • Rubberized feet help absorb excess vibration as the motor runs making it more stable.

What We Didn't Like

  • Reviewers are of the opinion that this model works best on a fixed surface such as a work station or a tabletop.
  • It tends to become wobbly when used on a pedestal.

If the primary purpose of using a bench grinder is to use it for woodturning, you might want to consider investing in a jig. Even if you are an expert at using a bench grinder, you will notice that you get much better results using a jig. Don’t forget about the safety precautions though, stay safe when using these bench grinders! 

A good bench grinder for woodturning must have transparent flaps/eye shields, which are adjustable and can also be replaced in case they get scratched or develop cracks over time. The on/off switch should be dustproof and must be easily accessible. All tools and machines need maintenance. So do machines that maintain the tools. To maintain the grinding wheel in top condition, it needs to be dressed regularly. A T-Bar dresser (preferably multi diamond) helps you maintain the grinding wheels with the least effort. Grinding and sharpening woodturning tools require a great deal of concentration and attention to detail. It would be ideal to work with these tools in a well-illuminated area for better results.

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