What Is a Bench Grinder Used For?

If you’re asking, “What is a bench grinder used for?”, chances are you’re still contemplating whether or not to purchase a bench grinder.

A bench grinder is one of the most versatile tools in any workshop. Whether you’re a professional contractor or a DIYer, it’s one of the basic tools you should have.

That said, let’s learn more about a bench grinder and its different uses.

Table of Contents

    What Is a Bench Grinder?

    A bench grinder is an appliance for sharpening tools, grinding surfaces, and shaping some objects.

    It’s probably something you won’t use every day, but you’d be surprised how often a bench grinder comes in handy when you’re working on different projects.

    From coarse tasks like sharpening tools to delicate tasks like shaping metals, a bench grinder has multiple uses in the workshop.

    Materials You Can Use With Bench Grinders

    One thing about bench grinders is you can use them to work with a variety of materials, including:

    • Metal

    Metal is the most common material you’ll work with using a bench grinder.

    When you buy a bench grinder, the grinding wheels that come with them are usually those for grinding, shaping, and buffing metals.

    • Wood

    You can also use a bench grinder on wood pieces. For example, if you wish to shape wood in a certain way or remove bumpy spots, a bench grinder can serve you well.

    You can even use it to polish wood. However, you need a different grinding wheel than what you normally use for metal.

    • Plastic

    Although it isn’t common, you can also use a bench grinder for polishing, sharpening, or grinding down large, thick, and solid pieces of plastic.

    However, you can’t use this tool for cutting soft materials.

    • Glass

    Professional contractors can grind glass using a bench grinder, but it’s a complicated process due to the fragile nature of glass.

    Besides using a special grinding wheel, you must also practice maximum caution when working with glass.

    • Stone

    Lastly, you can use a bench grinder for polishing and shaping stone.

    What Is a Bench Grinder Used For?

    Bench grinders have many practical uses. Let’s look at the different situations where this tool comes in handy.

    1. Buffing or Polishing Metals and Other Materials

    A common practical use of a bench grinder is for buffing and polishing metals and other materials.

    With the right type of grinding wheel, you can remove small dents from metal surfaces and polish them to make metal objects shiny and look brand new.

    You’ll most likely need to buff and polish after constructing or repairing any metal structure.

    For example, you need a bench grinder to clean and polish your welding projects to enhance their appearance and preserve the structure’s surface, strength, and shape.

    2. Cutting Wood or Metal Pipe

    You can use a bench grinder to cut metal pipes and small wood or metal sheets.

    If you’re cutting a relatively small piece, you can move the grinder in a circular manner, so the grinder cuts through it from all sides, as if you’re cutting with a circular saw.

    This method works well for cutting small metal beams, poles, and similar materials.

    A bench grinder makes your job easier if you’re repairing your plumbing system and need to cut a metal or plastic pipe.

    3. Sharpening Tools

    If you do it properly using the right type of grinding wheel, you can use a bench grinder for sharpening tools, such as knives, axes, and other items with blades.

    Most bench grinders run at approximately 3,450 RPM, which can be pretty high for sharpening blades.

    If you’re using a high-speed grinder, you must be careful and keep the wheel dressed to avoid damaging your blades.

    Consider using a low-speed grinder to protect your tools from heating up.

    Also, take note of the angle that works for each tool. It will make your task easier and lower the possibility of damaging your tools.

    4. Removing Rust from Metal

    Do you wish to make that rusty metal craft look nice and new again?

    Like angle grinders, bench grinders are a remarkable tool for removing any sort of rust or paint buildup on any metal pieces you’re trying to finish.

    Using a wire brush wheel, you can run the bench grinder lightly over the surface to remove the rust.

    5. Cutting Stones

    You can also use a bench grinder to cut thin pieces of stone for floors and counters.

    To do so, you need a special grinding wheel designed specifically for polishing and shaping stone.

    learn what is a bench grinder used for

    How To Use a Bench Grinder

    At first, using a bench grinder might seem difficult. Holding an object close to a moving wheel requires precise hand control.

    Otherwise, the material you’re grinding might have an uneven surface.

    Also, you must take all the safety measures, such as wearing safety goggles and hand gloves, before you practice working with a bench grinder.

    To use a bench grinder, follow these steps:

    1. Perform a Safety Check Before Turning the Machine On

    Make sure that your grinder is securely attached to the bench and that the tool rest is in place on the grinder.

    There must be a 1/8-inch space between the tool rest and the grinding wheel.

    Next, clear the area around the grinder. There should be enough space to easily push the material you’re working on back and forth on the grinder.

    Always keep a bucket filled with cold water nearby to cool off metal pieces when they get too hot.

    Also, wear safety glasses, a face mask, and muffs to protect your face from grinding dust.

    2. Turn the Grinder On

    Stand to the side until it reaches its maximum speed, and hold the metal piece tightly in both hands.

    Then, slowly push it towards the grinder until it touches the edge only.

    Dip the hot metal piece into a pot of water once in a while to avoid overheating.

    Heating the piece too much can leave you with softer metal.

    A good technique is to dip the piece in the bucket of water after grinding it for a few seconds. If the steel edge overheats and turns color, grind it back to good steel and start over.

    If you’re working with small objects, use locking pliers to hold them to protect your fingers from getting burned by the hot grinding wheel.

    3. Dress Your Grinding Wheels Frequently

    Since a wheel is used, the spaces between the grit can get clogged or dull, leading to overheating.

    Wheel dressing returns the grinding wheel to its original condition by removing old greens and exposing new grit for more efficient cutting.

    It also removes excess bonding materials to lessen vibration, improving the metal’s surface finish.

    4. Grind, Cut, or Shape Metal

    If grinding metal, move the piece back and forth until you achieve a smooth finish.

    If cutting through a metal piece, turn it gently until the grinding wheel comes in contact with the part you want to cut.

    Keep turning the piece until it breaks in half. Dip both ends in water when you’re done.

    For shaping a metal piece, touch the metal piece to the grinder at the spot you want to bend. Move it back and forth as you would grind the part off.

    When you see the metal turning orange, it means it’s warm enough to be pulled away from the machine.

    Working quickly, bend the metal with both hands to the shape you want.

    Bench Grinder: The Versatile Tool

    Now that you know the answer to “What is a bench grinder used for?”, you must be convinced that this power tool is worth your investment.

    Once you’ve mastered using a bench grinder, you’d be able to use it in many projects, from metalcraft to woodwork and masonry.

    Help us out by spreading the word!!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *