How To Use a Bench Grinder Machine [Safety Tips Tricks]

Are You Familiar with a Bench Grinder?

Do you often feel the need of sharpening or shaping metal tools in your workplace? Then you are missing a Bench Grinder. A bench grinder is not a common tool in every workplace.

But I think it is a usual requirement for every mechanic shop or regular workplace. In this article, you will learn the significance of the aforementioned tool as well as the answers to every possible question about the use, safety tips, and tricks of a Bench Grinder.

So far injuries are concerned, most of them occur due to hot metals, sparks, and noise. If your hair or clothing gets stuck in the machine, then you might be severely injured. After you finish working, you should switch off the machine and clean it up.

You should keep the machine in a safe place. Never use faulty equipment. You should always make sure that the bench grinder is in good condition before use. If you follow the bench grinder safety procedures, then there will be fewer chances of injury.

Types and Usage of a Bench Grinder


Before you learn how to use a bench grinder, you should know what is a bench grinder good for. A bench grinder is used for sharpening various tools. For woodworks, you need a tool that has slow speed and requires high precision. In the automotive sector, a bench grinder is used to grind sharp metals. So, the speed of the grinders must be high.  A bench grinder is also used in various household works. It can be used to sharpen knives or other metals. You must be familiar with the bench grinder safety rules before using it.

Types of Bench Grinders

You will find different types of bench grinders depending on the applications. The bench grinders that are used in the automotive sector have strong blades that are used for cutting hard metals. The stability of the grinder is very important in this case.

Some bench grinders have various speeds. These grinders have multiple settings so that you can use it for various purposes. There are portable electric bench grinders that can be easily carried from one place to another.

The grinders used for woodworks need high precision. These grinders have low speed. You should use a grinder according to your purpose. Before buying a bench grinder, you should read reviews online so that you know the features and can get the best value for your money.

The 11 Best Bench Grinder: Reviews & Buying Guide in 2019 [Today]

Get Ready to Work– Tools, and Environment

Using a bench grinder is not a simple task as is the case with other simple tools. It works with the tools that can be dangerous if you miss a single safety tip. So you should follow the proper guide with an appropriate arrangement.

Bench Grinder Safety Checklist: The Tools and Utilities

Gloves and Safety Glasses: You should always use gloves and safety glasses for sure while the bench grinder is in operation. Without gloves, you can be affected by the edge of the wheel or the overheating metals. This comes foremost to the bench grinder safety procedures.

Steel-Toed Shoes: Sharpening or shaping woods or metals are quite dangerous. So you should wear steel-toed shoes so that it can protect you from you the overheated debris that could burn.

Ear Plugs or Muffs and Face Mask: The Bench Grinder gets noisy while in operation. It can damage your ear. The debris and fine particles are also harmful to your lungs, throat, mouth, and nostrils. So you need to use earplugs or muffs to protect your eardrums and the face mask for your lungs.

Tool Rest: Here is another important utility for your Bench Grinder. You need to use the bench grinder tool rest that comes with the machine. You can choose another one from the different aftermarket options. If you do not find one adjustable for your Grinder, you should build one to maintain your Bench Grinder carefully.

Enough Space: You might need more space allowed to move the metals or woods which require sharpening or shaping. The space present in the tool rest is not enough for a perfect workspace. So you have to think of a comfortable space to cope up.

Keep the Bucket of Water: Why water? That is equally important like other tools you keep around. You will find that most metal tools are built with tempered steel. When it gets heated the color of metals turns bluish-black. This overheated edge will not last long. So you need to soak it in water as soon as it gets overheated. Other than that you cannot save the edge from damage. So follow the color and move the tools impregnated by water. Releasing the heat starts it over again.

Notice the sparks: When you are sharpening a tool, you should look at the sparks. When the edge of the tool is blunt, the sparks go downwards. As the tool sharpens the sparks go over the tool. At this point, you should be extra cautious as the edge is thin now and can get overheated. You may also hurt yourself if you are too close to the tool.

The Primary Concept

For a first time user, the Bench Grinder projects will not be easy handling. You must keep your concentration while using Bench Grinder. But first, you might experience some uneven results or damaging edges. It happens if you do not have complete control. Besides that, you might burn the tip because of high friction grinding. To avoid these obstacles we have included detailed information and guidance described below. Just follow these basics and you will find your feet on the ground.

Safety Check

Like all the other jobs, you have to check the safety in the first place. You should not hurry or compromise about your safety as it can cause burning or breaking of your fingers and toes. So wear your gloves to save your hand from burning and steel-toed shoes from breaking.

Keep your workplace clean from debris and fine particles. The grinding is noisy enough that can hurt your hearings. So use earplugs or muffs. The face mask is a must to protect you from the effect of debris.

Now check the Bench Grinder itself. The place should be flat so that you can avoid imbalance or extra vibration that can produce uneven results. You need enough room to move yourself as well as the workpiece.

The tool rest for bench grinder is also very important. You have to find an adjustable tool rest for your Bench Grinder or buy one from the aftermarket following the instructions.

Grinding the Small Object

The more risk you will find in grinding the small object. It is risky to keep your fingers near the wheel. So you can use some tools to grab small objects like locking pliers to prevent unexpected injury. It allows your hand to grind the small objects from the safe distance. It will also assist you to handle your object well.

Develop a Tool Sharpening Guide

Sharpening a tool is the first challenge for your maiden operation. So you need to keep a proper guide to follow. You should find a better way to hold your tools securely while in operation and handle the guesswork out of creating a bevel angle. You can make some woodturning tools to control the bevel angle. It can be a short piece of 2×4 including an angled end and a 1-1/4 inch hole for a clamp on it.

You can use some chisels or plane blades, and some more following different angles. Then label them on the face so that you can identify easily which one is suitable for your tools. Before you develop the tools you need to adjust them as per your grinder. It may be a delta grinder with 6 inches diameter wheel including a 5-1/2 inches long piece of 2×4 inches workpiece to align it to the right of the wheel.

Pick a Low-Speed Grinder

There are some grinders with variable speed. But most of the fixed-speed grinders maintain the speed at 3,450 rpm. If you are confident and your wheels come dressed regularly the high-speed grinder is just fine. Otherwise, the low-speed grinder that runs at 1750 rpm is a better choice for sharpening tools.

The lower speed grinder always controls the heat and save the edge from damage. The lower speed grinder also comes with friable white grinder wheels that are far better for sharpening than the grey ones.

Regular Wheel Dressing – Square the Face of the Wheel

Wheel dressing is another requirement for your bench grinder. It will not only square the face of the wheel but also exposes new grit that will increase the cutting efficiency. After using the wheel a little while the space between cutting grit can become clogged. If you prefer a wheel dresser that helps to expose the new grit that protects it from overheating.

The regular dresser from the market comes with a bar including a diamond grit impregnated in it. You just need to hold the bar against the spinning wheel and the dresser will cut away the surface and expose new grit to the square and rounds the wheel. Turn your bench grinder on and wait for it to reach high speed. Then pick the diamond wheel dresser against the spinning wheel is perpendicular to the wheel. Do not forget to use a face mask to protect yourself from fine aluminum oxide dust.

How to Use a Bench Grinder to Sharpen Tools?

The bench grinder is mostly used to sharpen tools. But sharpening tools is not an easy work to do. You need to maintain some rules to get your tools at the correct angle. Follow the steps below to accomplish your job successfully.

Develop an Angle Gauge

You will discover most of the chisels and cutting tools to follow the ground about a 25-degree angle including a secondary 30 degrees of micro-bevel angle. The angle gauge will allow you to place the tool rest at the required angle. You can easily develop an angle gauge cutting a thin paper of cardboard and using a cheap protractor.

Specify the Angle on Cardboard

Here you start to make an angle gauge. First, you need to align the center mark on the protractor using the top edge of the cardboard. Turn the protractor until the required angle is adjusted with the top edge. Then specify the angle drawing a line and cut it to make your angle gauge.

The tool rest adjustment

Now you need to adjust the tool rest and the process will complete. Place the cardboard on the tool rest and adjust the angle until the wheel comes in contact with an angled portion of the cardboard.

Sharpen the Tool

You already have all your required components and now it is time to try a tool. To sharpen a chisel, use the rest of the tools and adjust the proper angle first. Afterward, press the chisel blade slowly to the grinder following a way that it’s angled up or down according to the blade tapers off. However, you should be careful if your tools are overheating, and as soon as the color turns to bluish dark or orange, sink the tool to your bucket of water to save the overheated, vulnerable edge.

How to Use Bench Grinder for Shaping Wood?

Bench Grinder is very useful in woodworking. But before you start we will remind you about the safety tips and checklist mentioned above. Because using a bench grinder is not safer for amateurs at a first sight. Turn on your bench grinder and stand aside. Wait for reaching it at full speed. Now use a back and forth motion and involves the touching of wood with a grinder in that area where you want it to carve.

You can use a buffing wheel to buff up your wooden piece using grinders at a low speed up to 1725 rpm. Basically, these tools are useful to hone a razor edge on carving tools.

More Tips and Tricks

  • You can make your grinder portable for your smaller workplace. You need to add a plywood base at the bottom long edge of the tool rest and adjust it to the clamp in your workbench.
  • It might be useful for the polishing station too. You will have the required wheel with your bench grinder. You just need to set polishing compound sticks.
  • Replacing the wheel is another most important duty. Pick and slide the wheel over your finger and tap in different places with the handle of a screwdriver. If the sound of taping is different you need to replace the wheel.

N.B: A bench grinder machine is very useful, but it should be handled with care. If not, accidents can happen. You should follow the bench grinder safety OSHA guidelines. You can buy a bench grinder safety scale to comply with the OSHA guidelines while using the bench grinder. You can create bench grinder safety PowerPoint slides for your workers.

The Final words

A bench grinder is not common in every workplace. But you will find it too useful because of its pretty varieties of options. In this article, I have covered almost every use and how to use a bench grinder tips and tricks in clear terms.

So it will be easy to use a Bench grinder in order to sharpen tools or shaping woods after reading through this complete guide on how to use Bench Grinder. Do not forget to follow the safety tips and tricks. Before you start always follow the bench grinder safety PowerPoint mentioned above.

Our Bench Grinder Reviews And Buying Guide:

  1. The WEN 4276 6-Inch Bench Grinder
  2. DEWALT Bench Grinder, 8-Inch (DW758)
  3. The Top 11 Best Bench Grinder
  4. The Top 7 Best 8 Inch Bench Grinder

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One Comment

  1. I work in an automotive shop where there are 2 bench grinders with 8″ wheels. I have witnessed guys using air drills to bring their pneumatic punches to a point, using both the face and side of the stone. I have a background in automotive machining and was tought never to do that. How much of a danger is there when grinding as I mentioned?

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