Slow-speed bench grinders are designed for those that need to sharpen their garden tools, lathe tools, or knives. They can remove rust, polish, sand, or remove imperfections from an object or car.
Not a professional but need to sharpen or polish your tools? The best slow-speed bench grinder for sharpening might be what you need.
Bench grinders have too much power for these tasks because of how quickly they operate.
They usually operate at speeds of 3,450 RPM or higher. This can cause warping, overheating, or breaking of your tools.
A slow-speed bench grinder operates at a lower RPM around 1,750 RPM to 3,000 RPM. This type of grinder helps to prevent damage and overheating to your tools because of the slow operation.
Slow-speed bench grinders often offer variable speeds to give you better control. It will allow you to perform your heavier jobs like grinding rusty parts off and your light projects like sharpening a knife.
Quick Comparison: Best Slow Speed Bench Grinders for Sharpening[wptb id="5378" not found ]
Top 6 Best Slow Speed Bench Grinder for Sharpening Reviews:
1. Wen 4286 3-amp 8 Inch Slow Speed Bench Grinder
The Wen 8 Inch slow-speed bench grinder is the perfect grinder for those that need continuous work on their tools or blades.
The grinder weighs in at eight pounds and feels durable and well-built. The components on the grinder add to the durability.
It has 8-inch by 1-ich aluminum oxide wheels that help reduce overheating when you use it.
The wheels come in two different grits at 60 and 120. The 60-grit allows you to grind and remove materials, while the 120-grit finishes and sharpens blades. The wheels do have guards on them to make removal effortless.
This slow speed bench grinder has a 3-amp motor that’s designed for a quicker start-up.
This low RPM bench grinder works better than the faster RPM grinders. It provides better performance and steady speeds with the 1750 RPM.
Despite the low amp motor, it still packs a punch. However, you won’t have to deal with the noise that most larger machines experience.
You don’t even need to mount it before you turn it on because it doesn’t operate with high vibrations. You can set it on a table, and it won’t move when operating.
This grinder does take some time to power up to maximum speed and will slow down once you’re done. However, you won’t experience issues once it reaches the speed level.
- Includes 8-inch wheels with two guards
- 5/8-inch arbor size
- 1750 RPM at no load
- 3-amp motor
- Adjustable eye guard with a magnifying lens
- Aluminum oxide wheels designed for durability and roles
2. Bucktool 8-inch Dual Speed Bench Grinder
This adjustable speed bench grinder features two speeds and RPM with high and low speed (1725, 3450 RPM).
The faster speed is meant to remove dust and debris, while the slower speed helps make precise edges and sharpen tools.
Similar to the Wren, the motor does offer 2.1/3.1-amps. It will hold enough power to get most of your projects done without any stalling or issues.
However, we did notice it’s not really suitable for polishing. It comes with two wheels at 80-grit and 120-grit. The 120-grit will sharpen any tools or blades, but the 80-grit is meant for grinding.
It does include a buffing wheel that’s meant for multipurpose polishing. Unfortunately, we didn’t find it to work as expected. If you want to polish, you’re better off buying an additional wheel.
The Bucktool slow-speed bench grinder has a heavy-duty cast iron base which includes rubber feet. You won’t have to worry about the grinder moving around if you don’t want to mount it. It has very little vibration for more accurate grinding.
The cast aluminum tool rests adjust automatically to make up for wheel wear. It also increases your ability to reach angles you might have trouble getting at.
The base of the grinder is cast iron. It makes it a little heavier than most models but does offer more durability.
- Doesn’t require a riser because of the height of the base
- The aluminum oxide wheels prevent overheating while working
- Has two speeds for grinding non-lathe tools
- Has a cast iron base
- Very quiet operation without much vibration
- Adjustable eye shield with a magnifier for precise grinding
3. Grizzly Industrial T28523 Slow Speed Bench Grinder
We like The Grizzly Industrial T28523 because it’s a perfect bench grinder for lathe tools. This slow speed bench grinder features a 1/3 HP motor that will power your small projects easily.
Unlike most models, it won’t produce loud noises, so you won’t get any complaints from your neighbors.
The safety features are what make this slow speed bench grinder for sharpening stand out from the rest. Many models only include the basics, but the Grizzly Industrial does have a spark reflector.
The spark reflector reduces the sparks that fly back towards you. They naturally happen when you sharpen or grind an object.
The Grizzly Industrial does come with standard eye shields and wheel guards for added eye protection and accidental grinding.
Like most models, the grinder does come with the standard 8-inch by 1-inch wheels. These wheels provide you with a larger surface area to work more efficiently.
- Doesn’t heat up quickly or overheat
- Runs quietly and smoothly for the most part
- Made of well-built materials
- The large wheels provide more surface for faster work and accuracy
- The adjustable tool rest allows you to reach hard and awkward places
- Won’t cause a loss of temper in your tools
4. Jet JBG-8B 8-inch Bench Grinder
The Jet JBG-8B is a powerful grinder for all your needs. It’s not a slow speed grinder for lathe tools but it will grind, sharpen, and smooth any tool with precision.
The grinder has a powerful 1 HP motor and one speed. This makes it ideal for grinding your larger and smaller projects. For example, it won’t stall or slow on projects like horseshoes.
The grinder was made with safety in mind. It comes with a CSA certification for safety regulations and standards. Similar to the Grizzly Industrial, it provides more than the basic safety features.
The grinder features an adjustable spark guard, a guarded toggle switch, cast iron wheel guards, and dust vents.
Most slow speed bench grinders will include wheel guards and eye shields and not much else. This makes it superior in terms of safety.
The Jet JBG-8B has a durable, heavy base that will keep it from moving around while you work.
While it helps to keep vibration at bay, it doesn’t make it easily portable. Unlike other models, where you station it is where you will have to keep it.
- Durable and lasts for years
- Gets up to speed quickly
- Runs extremely quiet
- No vibration
- Doesn’t slow down too much or stall on large projects
- Wheels are balanced out of the box
5. Wen BG4280 5-Amp 8-inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder with Flexible Work Light
The Wen BG4280 has a powerful motor that will tackle any job you have. You can revive your dull tools and make them like new.
This bench grinder rotates from 2,000 RPM to 3,000 RPM. It has a quick startup and a smooth operation.
We like this grinder because of the bonus features it includes. The Wen BG4280 comes with additional features to make your work easier and more efficient.
When you use a grinder, your tools can become hot. Luckily, this one includes an onboard water tray to cool your work and avoid warping.
Many grinders require you to use the light you have in your garage or outdoors. Sometimes this isn’t enough, and you end up missing spots that needed extra grinding or polishing.
The bonus of a work light allows you to see exactly where your tools need the most work.
- No vibration at any speed
- The high amp motor handles any job you have
- Very quiet operation
- Easy to assemble and mount
- Wheels were easy to replace with the guards
- Runs smoothly
6. Delta Power Tools 23-196 6-inch Variable Speed Bench Grinder
The Delta 23-196 is an adjustable speed bench grinder that comes packed with various accessories. It includes something for all household projects. Beginners will appreciate the control of the speeds.
The included tool rests support and allows for proper angling. You won’t struggle to grind or sharpen corners or tools like chisels or blades.
In fact, we consider it the best bench grinder for sharpening chisels on our list because it includes a water tray to cool it after grinding. The speeds of the grinder also contribute to it.
You do get additional features with this bench grinder compared to others, but it does come with a major drawback. The light works great out of the box to brighten up your work area.
Many models don’t include a light bright enough. The convenient on/off switch lets you use the light whether the machine is running or not.
Now, the major issue we have with this low speed bench grinder is the base. When operating, it has a vibration that can get annoying unless you mount it.
Although it includes rubber feet, it doesn’t help much with the vibration. The good news though is you won’t experience loud noises like you’d think you would. It does run quietly despite the vibration, so if you can mount the grinder you won’t have any issues.
- The right tool rest compensates for wheel wear
- Easy, quick assembly
- Runs quietly despite the slight vibration
- The speed adjustment is smooth and uneventful
- The light brightens the whole area out of the box/no need to change for a brighter bulb
- Includes two grit options
Things to Consider before Buying A Slow Speed Bench Grinder for Sharpening
In order to buy the best slow speed bench grinder for sharpening, there are factors you’ll want to consider.
When it comes to sharpening tools, you will want a bench grinder for sharpening that has a slow RPM.
High RPMs can damage your tools or even the machine itself depending on what you use it for. Most regular bench grinders have speeds up to 3,450 RPM.
However, some grinders come with variable speeds with a high and low setting.
Low settings run around 1,750 RPMs and the high runs at the standard 3,450 RPMs. This prevents you from buying two machines and will allow you to sharpen with the slower RPM.
Slow speed bench grinders have a more powerful motor. This is because they need more power to keep from stalling.
Standard bench grinders come with a strong motor but it’s generally not as powerful as a slow speed grinder.
Depending on your project, you may need a slower RPM grinder to accurately complete the job.
Grinder wheels come in two different sizes 6-inch or 8-inches. 6-inch grinders tend to cost less and offer varying speeds.
They typically weigh less than an 8-inch wheel too. 8-inch wheels are designed more for professionals or woodworkers.
They have more powerful motors and spin slower than a 6-inch grinder. They tend to cost more and weigh much more than a 6-inch wheel.
Power tools come with a risk, especially grinders. This is because they generate heat, create sparks, and shard debris.
You must wear safety goggles when operating a grinder. Also, that your grinder comes with its own set of safety features.
For example, many bench grinders come with eye guards. Eye guards are acrylic shields that extend over the grinding wheel and keep metal debris from your eyes.
Spark arrestors are steel plates that are placed between the eye guards and wheels. This helps keep sparks from shooting out all over the place. It won’t completely rid of sparks but will help reduce them.
Most bench grinders are built to last. Typically, cast iron-based grinders will last longer. However, improper care can affect durability.
For example, using the wrong wheel size or type on a project. An easy way this can happen is if you were short on time and decided to use the high-speed setting.
Wheels come in various materials. You’ll want to choose the type of wheel that best matches what you need for your tools.
The first thing you’ll notice is the grit. it can come in various grits but the most common are 36, 60, 80, or 120 and it will impact how fine it grinds.
Buffing wheels use thick, brush fabric to polish steel or metal with a shine. They’re commonly used in auto shops on hubcaps or chrome features on a vehicle.
Ceramic aluminum oxide is used for grinding materials off, like an ax head for example. Wire wheels use steel and brass bristles to clean grease or debris from auto valves. It’s commonly used in mechanic shops.
Aluminum oxide won’t heat up as quickly as other wheels. They’re commonly used for grinding metal like carbon steel and alloy steel.
Silicon carbide wheels are the most common type of wheels. They’re commonly used for various jobs, but they tend to heat up quickly. A grinder with CBN wheels grinds the hardest materials with ease.
Comfort and Control
You want to ensure that the grinder is properly set in place. The last thing you want is the wheel to dislodge or the grinder to move around while you use it.
You also don’t want to get tired while using it. Proper control will improve precision and accuracy.
Material of the Work Piece
Different workpieces will require different grit, wheel types, size, RPM, or accessories. For example, straight wheels are suitable for any surface and sharpen chisels or tools.
Tapered wheels will best suit delicate projects. Saucer wheels will sharpen saw blades with ease and diamond wheels can grind materials off.
Another example of this is woodworking tools will need a slower RPM. However, automotive materials will need a faster RPM and, in some cases, a variable speed grinder.
Price is a factor for most. You may not be able to afford the extra costs an 8-inch grinder will have over a 6-inch one. You might get by with just a 6-inch because it generally costs a few hundred less than an 8-inch.
However, if your work requires an 8-inch you may have to opt for a basic setup until you get more established.
Post-purchase Services and Accessories
Accessories make the grinder and handling the tool easier. Some common tools include a tool rest, LED lights, wheel guards, rubber feet, or a water tray.
Services may be offered by a company that offers 24/7 customer service, warranties, or repair should a tool break.
Tool rests come on most grinders and brace a knife or blades to keep it stable. LED lights light up your work area so you can see more clearly.
Wheel guards keep the wheel in place when you’re operating the grinder. Rubber feet keep the grinder from sliding around and reduce vibration. Water trays help to cool items after you grind them.
What is Slow Speed Bench Grinder?
The average bench grinder uses around 3,450 RPM. These can sharpen your tools quickly but may also cause damage for some because of how fast they spin. For those that want to sharpen knives, this speed may run too quickly.
A slow speed bench grinder for sharpening is a better choice. It reduces the chance of overheating or damage to the tool. Ideally, you want a grinder that runs around 1,750 RPM.
Today, many include speed dials to make it an adjustable speed bench grinder. You don’t have to go out and buy two grinders for your jobs.
A slow speed grinder does tend to cost more because they use better motors with more torque and power. This prevents stalling during the grinding process.
You may have a bench grinder and wonder if you must buy a new one. The answer is no.
You can adjust your current bench grinder for sharpening and regulate the speed. We don’t cover it in this article but just know it can be done.
Sharpening a Knife Using a Bench Grinder
Before you begin to sharpen a knife using a bench grinder, you’ll want to keep these few tips in mind.
1. Don’t Use a Vice
Vices keep the knife in one position. You want the blade to move naturally against the wheel to ensure you get the proper edge.
2. Allow Natural Movement
You want to follow the natural curve of the blade when sharpening. Your grinder will pull the blade into line when sharpening. This keeps you from staying in one grinding position.
3. Use the Correct Angle
You want to always maintain a 45-degree angle during the sharpening process. If the side sits flush against the grinder, your blade will get shiny but lack sharpness.
4. Don’t Apply Too Much Pressure
It’s easy to press hard and not realize it when you’re a beginner. However, this can cause the blade to break, chip, or lose control of the blade. Remember that the wheel spins quickly and won’t need additional force.
5. Control the Speed
A bench grinder for sharpening rotates at high speeds. This makes it very difficult to sharpen a knife. Take it as slow as you can with a slow speed bench grinder for sharpening.
How to Sharpen your Knife Using a Bench Grinder
Step One: Clean Your Knife
You want to start by cleaning the surface with a general-purpose oil to remove any debris or rust.
Step Two: Determine Your Blade Number
Different knives will have a different number of blades. For example, a pruning knife has two sharp sides, but a pocketknife has a flat and bladed side.
Step Three: Begin to Sharpen
Turn on the slow speed bench grinder for sharpening and wait for it to reach the speed you need. Once it’s ready, you can place the blade on the tool rest area to start grinding.
Step Four: Mind the Pressure and Knife Type as You Sharpen
For straight blade knives, apply a light downward pressure to the knife while also pushing the edge forward.
Turn the knife over and hold the blade flat against the wheel. Brush it across the surface to remove any nicked or rough edges.
For double-sided blades, you complete the same process. For single-sided blades, ensure the flat side doesn’t have any sharp burrs.
If they do have them, you can remove them by running the flat side over a coarse-grit wheel a few times. Remember to avoid sharpening the blade.
Step Five: Test for Sharpness
You may have to use your slow speed bench grinder for sharpening more than once. Take your time with this process. To see if your knife has been sharpened, take a sheet of paper. Hold it up and use the knife at the top of the paper.
If it cuts through with ease, then you’re done. If not, repeat the process until it does.
Step Six: Clean and Store
Once the blade is sharp, you can put the slow speed bench grinder for sharpening away and clean up.
Remember to use a general-purpose oil rag to clean off the knife to remove debris. Then, treat it with the same oil and store it or any special oils you normally use to treat it.
Difference Between Angle Grinder and Bench Grinder
There are differences between a low RPM bench grinder and an angle grinder. One difference is the weight.
Angle grinders tend to weigh significantly less than a bench grinder. Another difference is the make. Most bench grinders have a cast iron base for better stability and fewer vibrations.
The designs differ too. Angle grinders are designed to fit in your hand and come with a long handle to lessen vibrations and ease of handling.
A low speed bench grinder is meant to work with you when you have long or awkward angled pieces.
Their functions differ too. For example, a bench grinder’s main job is to sharpen tools.
Angle grinders can sharpen tools but are meant to grind mental down or cut off excess pieces. Angle grinders are better at polishing and sanding too.
The wheel on both grinders is an obvious difference. Bench grinders come with two, while an angle grinder only has one.
The speeds are vastly different. Angle grinders use high speeds up to 12,000 RPM, while a low RPM bench grinder uses a maximum speed of 3,500 RPM.
Pros of Angle Grinders:
• High RPMs
• Easy to hold and maneuver
• Best for corners or angles
• Lightweight and easily portable
• Easy to change wheels
Cons of Angle Grinders:
• Can overheat quickly
• Not beginner-friendly
• Only has one wheel/must purchase additional ones
Pros of Bench Grinders:
• Some models have variable speeds
• Cast iron base for better balance and vibration
• Usually comes with various safety features
• Has multiple wheel options
• Powerful motors
Cons of Bench Grinders:
• Tend to be more expensive
• Does require some skill to use
• Tool rests aren’t always adjustable
1. Can you sharpen garden tools with a bench grinder?
Yes, you can! It’s not the most common or typical method but you can use a slow spend bench grinder for sharpening.
A bench grinder for sharpening will remove dredges, nicks, and scratches on the surface of your tools. It will sharpen any dull tools too.
2. How to mount a bench grinder?
In the past, people would mount their grinder on a workstation. Nowadays, people buy stands and mount them to the ground.
Alternatively, you can make a wall mount for your bench grinder. Whichever way you want to mount your grinder, you will want to use screws/bolts. You can use a support frame that you bolt it into to hold it in place.
3. Should I get a 6-inch or 8-inch bench grinder?
This will depend on the types of jobs you need it for. For example, an 8 inch slow speed bench grinder will have more power than a 6-inch and usually are larger.
They require less maintenance too. If you’re a professional or have heavy-duty work, then you’ll need an 8 inch slow speed bench grinder.
4. What is the best grit for sharpening knives on a bench grinder?
It’s not recommended you use a low speed bench grinder for sharpening a knife. Why? It can damage your knife if you’re not skilled or use an improper method. However, it can be done.
The grit a knife will need depends on your knife. For example, under 1,000 is used for damaged knives or with nicked edges. 1,000 to 3,000 is the best for most knives.
A slow speed bench grinder for sharpening usually comes with two or more wheels with different grits.
5. What is the maximum gap between a bench grinder grinding wheel?
You never want to exceed past 1/8-inch. This prevents workpieces from getting jammed between the wheel and the work rest. You won’t have to worry about wheel breakages and injuries.
6. How do you maintain a bench grinder?
It doesn’t take much to maintain a low speed bench grinder. There are three main tips you need to remember. The first is safety.
You need to check the guards and main features of the slow speed bench grinder. Then, check for malfunction or damage before you begin work.
Next, you want to keep it clean from debris as much as possible. The last thing you want to do is inspect.
Always inspect the machine to see if it has any damage after you’ve completed a job. Double-check the wheels and make sure you don’t experience more vibration than normal.
These top 6 slow speed bench grinders for sharpening are the best for various reasons. Through this guide, it’s easy to figure out Wen 4286 is the best slow-speed bench grinder for sharpening.
It has a powerful 3-amp motor with large aluminum oxide wheels, operates quietly, and has a 1,750 RPM.
Hopefully, these slow bench grinder reviews will help you to complete your next project.