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Bench Grinder Wheels: The Best Buying Guide In 2017

Bench Grinder Wheels: The Best Buying Guide In 2018

A bench grinder is a great addition to your work place. It allows you to grind and sharpen your tools. Even better, they are currently sold in the market at an affordable price. That's why we believe that getting a bench grinder is a great investment if you want to improve your workflow.

Today, we want to educate you on the definition of a bench grinder, how they work, and why they are beneficial to your home. Our main goal is to give you enough information so that you can purchase your first bench grinder correctly.

*Notice: On mobile devices, scroll right to see entire table.

What Is A Bench Grinder Wheel

A bench grinder wheel is a tool that's permanently mounted on your work bench. Their main purpose is to help you sharpen blades, chisels, gouges, drill bits, and tool bits. Also, they might be used to shape metal and prepare it for fitting and welding.

Bench grinder wheels.

Buffing or wire brush wheels can be changed with the grinding wheels to polish and clean work spaces. Some of the buff machines are designed on the same concept as the bench grinders. It's used for larger homes and works with buffing wheels instead of grinding wheels.

How Does A Bench Grinder Wheel Work?

Before you work with a bench grinder wheel, you should be aware of how it works. 

Wheel Speed

Your wheels will show the maximum RPM that's printed on a label. Make sure that your grinder's RPM is lower or equal. The maximum RPM should never be exceeded when the bench grinder is in operation. Over speeding your grinding wheel is dangerous and will cause an explosion. This can kill or injure an operator with the intensity of a gunshot.

Work Piece Material

The most common wheels you'll see on a bench grinder is are vitreous-bond wheels. They work and perform best to complete their intended task. But they have a slight risk of cracking. Grinding wheels that are made of steel shouldn't be used to grind softer metals such as aluminum.

The soft metal will get lodged into the pores of the wheel. In fact, it starts to expand with the heat of the grinder wheel. This results into dislodged pieces of the wheel and potential injury.

Wheel Sides And Periphery

Grinding is not allowed on the side of a grinder wheel, which is made for grinding on the periphery. Doing this will cause for your wheel to explode. Some cutter grinders and tools have cup shaped wheels that allow for side grinding.

Spark Arrestor Replacement And Tool Rest

Your tool rest has to be tight and placed within a range of 2 to 3mm on the wheel. This will stop the workpiece from falling down through the tool rest and the wheel. You spark arrestors might capture stray sparks and damage the machine.

Wheel Guards

When getting a bench grinder, you should invest in a pair of wheel guards. Wheel guards work to intercept and capture the fragments of exploding wheels. This prevents it from damaging surroundings or killing workers. Buy wheel guards to increase the safety in your work area and prevent extra issues from occurring.

Bench grinder wheel guard.

Coolants

When grinding metal on power driven grinding wheels, the machine will quickly heat up the work place. Most of the bench grinders are dry types. This means that there is no coolant is used on the grinding interface.

Instead, the workpiece is dunked in pot of water or a pan for cooling. Doing this prevents the machine from burning the user's hand, overheating, or both. The pots are then placed under the grinder for easy access.

For carbon workpieces of medium to high intensity that are hardened and tempered, you'll have to dip the workpiece in water often. This will prevent the device from overheating and quenching, which could destroy the device and the heat treatment.

Some of the grinders used for knife sharpening are of a wet type. Wet types are machines where the bottom of the machine wheel is joined with a water coolant or a water pan. The tube might deliver the coolant on the top of the wheel. Wet type grinders aren't known as bench grinders and are considered to be benchtop grinding machines. 

Why You Should Choose Your Bench Grinder Wheels Carefully

Before you waste money on buying the wrong wheel, you need to understand the different types of wheels that are available. Here is a table demonstrating the different types of bench grinder wheels that can be used:

Wheel Type

Explanation

Straight Wheel

This is a favorite type of grinder wheel. It creates a concave surface on the item. Also, it's ideal for sharpening chisels.

Tapered Wheel

Tapered wheels are good at grinding gear teeth and threads. It's tapered at the edge of the wheel which makes it ideal for more precise projects.

Dish Cup Wheel

Dish cup wheels are used for cutter grinding and jig grinding. The shallow shape of the wheel makes it easier to work with slots and crevices. It's an optional wheel to have and is suitable for specific DIY projects.

Diamond Wheel

For cutting very sturdy materials, you'll need a diamond wheel. As its name suggests, diamond grinder wheels have diamonds located on the edge of the wheel. In fact, they can grind carbide easily. While it can be used for gems and concrete, only experienced users should use this type of wheel.

Cut Off Wheels

You’ll usually find cut off wheels on the angle grinders. Cut off wheels are used for jobs that require cutting bolts or rebar. This is because cut off wheels can slice objects easily and quickly.

Saucer Wheel

Saucer wheels are users to keep the saw blades sharp and maintain them. They are a specialized wheel and is used for projects that involve grinding items such as twist drills. Still, this is not a form of wheel that you'd use on your average bench grinder.

Diamond Mandrel Wheels

You'll only want to use a set of diamond mandrel wheels for jog grinders. Even then, you'll only want to use it for things like profile work. The wheels are designed with small files with diamonds attached to them.

You need to know which wheel is related to your project. Buying the right set of wheels will improve your cutting speed and efficiency. We suggest that you try a few set of wheels before buying. This makes sure that the wheel is suitable for the project and is easy for you to control.

On What To Pay Attention When Choosing Your Product

In this section, we'll show you the few specs that you should look for. Understanding them will make it easier for you to find the right bench grinder wheel that you need. Thus, resulting in a better purchase and a grinder wheel that will last for a long time.

Dimensions

You need a bench grinder that comes with the right dimensions. Having one that's too small will result into the metal slipping accidentally. We suggest that you have a bench grinder wheel that has a dimension of at least 6 inches for it to cut properly.

Grit

Grinding wheels come with two major components when it comes to cutting. The bond that supports and holds the grain while things are cut and the abrasive grain that does the cutting.

Your wheel's grit size measures size of the abrasive grains found within the wheel. The machine follows and creates a set of openings per inch (linear inch) in the last screen sized used to cut the grain. Larger numbers have lower openings for the screen to move through.

Smaller numbers denote that the wheel has a coarse grain. Large coarse grains means that the more material that is removed. They are used for quick stock removal regardless of the finished result. High numbers (ex: 180, 100, and 70) used for fine cutting. These fine grit wheels are useful for hard materials, small contact areas, and creating fine finishes.

Bench grinder grit.

Material

You need to buy the proper bond for your cutting wheel to work efficiently. The machine's bond is a piece of material that keeps the abrasive grains aligned to cut properly. Also, the bond will wear away once abrasive grains go away, so new sharp grains are created

There are three popular types of bonds used for personal and professional grinding wheels. All of the types can give a unique characteristic to the wheel's grinding action. The bond that you'll need will depend on the grinding operation type, the precision needed, and the wheel operating speed.

Vitrified Bonds

About 75{0793d9a3577dc031384e59193c226db3e9e1de4cb8554d8c49579a36cd66d2fc} of grinding wheels are made of vitrified bonds. Vitrified bonds are constructed out of various clay mixtures.

At high temperatures, the abrasive grains, and the clay fuse and make a molten glass condition. When cooling, it will form into a span, support the grinding grains, and attaches all of the grains to their neighbors.

Also, vitrified bonds are resistant to elements such as acid, water, oils, and temperature fluctuations. They can grind at precise requirements and remove stock material.

Vitrified bonds are known for their hard outer covering. However, they can become brittle when exposed to high amounts of pressure. Keep your grinder wheel at a proper pressure to prevent any accidents from arising. 

Rubber

Another grinding material is rubber. Rubber allows for a smooth and easy abrasive action. They are often used in projects where a high-quality result and finish is needed. Plus, they are used to cut off wheels where the burn must be kept to a minimum.

Resinoid 

Resinoid bond is a common organic bond that's made from synthetic resin. You should use resinoid bond wheels for projects that require fast stock removal. They are used for high-speed cutting operations and is used for gumming, and saw sharpening.

Remember, the strength of the bond is measured by the grinding wheel's grade. Wheels that have a hard grade are used for machines with high horsepower, long wheel life, and for jobs that have narrow levels of contact.

You should use small grade wheels for stock removal, hard material such as carbides and tool steels. Make sure you know what type of wheel grade is needed for your project. Doing this will ensure that you complete it faster and with more efficiently.

Grinding Wheel Maintenance

Your grinding wheel must be mounted, handled, and used safely. After you unpack the wheels, you should inspect them to see if they aren't damaged. All used grinding wheels should be inspected to see if they work properly.

If your wheel breaks during operation, make sure that the protective guards and hoods are not damaged. Then, inspect the spindle, mounting nuts, and the flanges and make sure they aren't damaged nor bent.

Grinding wheel maintenance.

After reading our review, we'll show a few tips on how to keep your grinding wheel clean. This will ensure that your wheels work properly and are safe from damage. Make sure you read it so that you'll know how to use your wheels properly.

Our Recommendations

Now, we're close to our review section. Here, we'll show two examples of quality bench grinders that are currently available. The first product is manufactured by Powertec. It's a compact, yet useful device that's used for home use. Second, Forney is another manufacturer that delivers high-quality products.

That being said, we'll get onto our review. No matter what you buy, you'll have a bench grinder wheel that's suitable for you.

Powertec Grinding Wheel

Technical Specs: 

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    Fits most bench grinders
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    Green silicone carbide
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    Provides potent surfaces
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    Arbor Size: 1/2inch and 36 grit
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    Dimensions: 6 inch
POWERTEC 15500 Arbor 36-Grit Silicon Carbide Grinding Wheel

Our Rating

Starting our review is the Powertec Grinding Wheel. It's simple to install, affordable, and is efficient at cutting up metals. You should look into this wheel if you want a clean finish after each cut. You can find them on Amazon for the low price of around $16.

The wheel has a grit number of 60. Consumers like this fact because it can be used for 95{0793d9a3577dc031384e59193c226db3e9e1de4cb8554d8c49579a36cd66d2fc} of their products. It enhances the tool's versatility and makes it easier to cut more effectively. If you want a wheel that's precise, you should buy this device.

One thing that separates this product from the competition is its sturdiness. For instance, it can operate without causing vibrations during its use. This prevents injuries and malfunctions and ensures that your machine will work properly. Get this grinding wheel if you want your machine to last longer than its average life expectancy.

We also like the grinding wheel's quality. On average, it can last for up to 7 months without getting a replacement. It can be used for fine cutting and has doesn't take much time getting a replacement. Consumers like this device because it can cut multiple pieces of metal without failure.

But, there is one thing that consumers disliked about this product. Some consumers felt that the wheel didn't perform as well as silicone carbide. Since it has a smaller grit number, it can't be used for most fine cutting projects. Look for its 70 grit size or higher if you want something to last.

Still, we believe that the Powertec Silicon Carbide Wheel. It's a useful piece of equipment that helps users cut their metals faster. And, it has a grit size that's large enough to handle most of the projects. Buy this product if you want something that will increase the cutting performance and efficiency of your bench grinder.


Forney Bench Grinding Wheel

Technical Specs:

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    Vitrified bond
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    Aluminum oxide wheel
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    Made for most stationary bench
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    Used for mild steel applications
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    Easy to use
Forney 72405 Bench Grinding Wheel

Our Rating

Next up is the Forney Bench Grinding Wheel. It's a vitrified bond wheel that's strong enough to cut through ferrous and non-ferrous metals. You can find it on Amazon for a price around $25.

Since it's a vitrified bond wheel, it's strong enough to work without issues. Vitrified bond wheels are known for having high cutting speeds to 5,000 RPM and are heat resistant. Because of its material, they are sturdy enough to last for up to 3 years.

This grinding wheel is made for stationary benches. First, you unwrap the wheel from its box. Then, place the wheel right on the machine. Make sure that it's tightly screwed on the top of the machine to prevent issues. If you have a stationary bench that needs a wheel replacement, then this is the right choice.

Another thing that we like is the versatile options it provides. Users can buy the wheel at three different grit sizes (36, 60, 80). For most projects, you can use the 60 grit size wheel. However, you should opt in for the 80 grit sized wheel if you're trying to make precise cuts and fine finishes.

Consumers like this wheel because of its smooth grinding. It separates itself from the competition because it can fully polish a blade within 20 minutes. This is a huge advantage as competing devices take up to 40 minutes. You'll like this device if you want something that can cut your materials without losing its quality.

However, you might want to watch out for the machine's lack of balance. Consumers reported that the wheel would wobble on some occasions. Find a sturdier bench grinding machine if you see these problems occurring.

Still, we believe that the Forney Bench Grinding Wheel is the best grinding wheel in the market. The wheel is versatile, fast, and can be used for almost every project. If you want a powerful wheel that won't break, then you should look into this device.


Tips On Maintaining Your Bench Grinder

Once you have bought your bench grinder wheel, you need to know how to maintain it. This ensures that your device will last and not become exposed to rust and over ailments.

Do's And Don'ts 

Do:

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    Store and handle your grinding wheels carefully.  Most wheels are made of glass bonds/vitrified bonds. This means that they are strong, but they are brittle
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    Check all of the wheels for damages and cracks before using it. And you should create a "Ring Test" on the wheels to make sure that they are working properly
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    Use flanges that are smooth, clean, and flat
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    Inspect the mountain flanges to see if they are of equal sizes. The flange diameter has to greater than or equal to a third of the wheel's diameter (example: 12-inch wheel, 4-inch flange)
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    Make sure that the bench grinder has an adjustable spark arrestor/tongue guard and make it a 1/4th inch away from the wheel's grinding face
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    Check to see if your bench grinder has the right wheel guard. Your bench grinder guard comes with side guards that cover flanges, spindle, and end nut of the device. Your grinding wheel should cover at least 75{0793d9a3577dc031384e59193c226db3e9e1de4cb8554d8c49579a36cd66d2fc} of the diameter
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    Use the mounting blotters that are provided by the manufacturer

Don't:

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    Jam the metal into the wheel
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    Exceeds the maximum RPM speeds of the wheel
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    Excessively tighten the mounting nut. Keep the nut tight enough to prevent the wheels from slipping
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    Use the wheel until you have specifically reviewed all of the safety materials of the device. Get properly trained in using the wheel and the tool to prevent issues
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    Don't begin the machine until you properly mounted the safety guard
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    Making any adjustments to the spark arrestor/tongue guard while the wheel is in operation
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    Use wheels that are damaged or dropped. If your wheel can't pass the "Ring Test," then you can't use it
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    Force your wheels onto a machine or change your machine's mounting hole. If your wheel doesn't fit the machine correctly, then you need to get some that will

The Verdict

We think that the Powertec Grinder Wheel is the best wheel in today's market. It's fast, durable, and can be used in high temperatures. Consumers like this wheel because it helps them cut their metals and gems at a rate faster than the competition.

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions. Also, if you have any experience using any of the grinder wheels, please share your story.

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