A bench grinder is a highly versatile stationary power tool used in a variety of applications. There are numerous bench grinder uses such as grinding, sharpening and polishing tasks. A bench grinder has wheels that will often be made from abrasive materials such as silicon carbide or aluminium oxide. The bench grinder will typically consist of a coarse and fine grinding wheel. These will be mounted on a motor-driven spindle that rotates the wheel at high speeds. This facilitates high-precision work, whether that’s grinding or sharpening.


Bench grinder uses can vary from coarse to more delicate tasks depending on the shape and type of wheel.


What you need to know about using a bench grinder?


As with other machine tools, bench grinders need to be used carefully and with due consideration of safety procedures. You should always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including safety glasses, gloves and hearing protection.


Checks should be made to ensure that the grinder is securely mounted to a stable surface, and the workspace should be kept clean and well lit. Most bench grinders are equipped with adjustable tool rests that allow for consistent angles and control during grinding. This needs to be positioned at the appropriate angle for your particular task.


Some bench grinder uses, especially metal grinding, may require the use of a coolant or lubrication to prevent overheating. The workpiece should be held firmly against the tool rest, moving it smoothly and evenly across the grinding wheel. You should avoid applying too much pressure as this can not only lead to overheating but premature wear on the grinding wheels.


What can you grind on a bench grinder?


The range of bench grinder uses means that they’re often put into service to grind different materials.


Bench grinders are excellent at shaping and sharpening metal tools such as drill bits, knives and chisels. They can also be used to smooth rough edges on metal surfaces and remove rust.


There are various bench grinder uses in woodwork such as sharpening chisels, plane blades and other cutting tools. If equipped with an appropriate wheel they can be useful for shaping and smoothing wood. Soft plastics can also be smoothed and shaped using a bench grinder.


The sharpness of blades such as lawnmower blades or kitchen knives that have dulled with use can be restored with a bench grinder. With the appropriate accessories, a bench grinder can be used as a polisher or buffer for metals and other materials.


Do you need training to use a bench grinder?


A bench grinder is a relatively simple machine tool to operate but some tasks may require specialised training or knowledge. This particularly applies to precision grinding tasks. Simple sharpening and basic shaping procedures can usually be completed by a beginner with a minimal amount of instruction and safety training.


More intricate tasks with more expensive materials and tools will usually be carried out by more accomplished operatives who have undergone some form of training or apprenticeship. This can help you understand elements such as wheel selection, proper tool rest positioning and different grinding techniques. 


Short courses and tutorials on bench grinder use are widely available to help you get the most out of your bench grinder and to ensure you use it safely.


Are bench grinders worth it?


Because of the range of bench grinder uses they can be a highly useful addition to any workshop. Providing versatility and precision, bench grinders can ultimately save you both time and money. Because of their flexibility and range of uses, and their ability to help you maintain other tools, they can be a highly cost-effective choice.


The versatility of bench grinder uses make them practical for both industrial applications in or in the workshop of DIY enthusiasts and hobbyists.


Bench Grinders from Sparx Machine Tools


If you’re looking for a bench grinder for your workshop or business, then Sparx Machine Tools can help.


We’re a family-run business located in Poole, Dorset.


Our range of quality used engineering and fabrication machinery is serviced and prepared by our own in-house engineers before being made available for purchase.


To find out more, call us on 01202 830840 or complete the contact form and we will get back to you.

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