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Thread: Bench grinders?

  1. #1
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    Bench grinders?

    I know nothing about bench grinders but they look to me like a motor with two wheels on them. Seems pretty simple to me. I understand that some are more powerful than others. Why then , is there such a wide range of prices? $50- $589 on Amazon, is it simply motor power?
    Dennis

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    Variable speed is nice & costs more. Better balance, more power, & less shaft runout also cost.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennis thompson View Post
    I know nothing about bench grinders but they look to me like a motor with two wheels on them. Seems pretty simple to me. I understand that some are more powerful than others. Why then , is there such a wide range of prices? $50- $589 on Amazon, is it simply motor power?
    What Frank said.

    And some have brakes while others take minutes to slow and stop. Some have really lousy junky tool rests. Some have 6" wheels instead of 8". Most come with low quality wheels that are best replace with good Norton wheels at first opportunity (or CBN wheels, depending on use.)

    I have several for sharpening, some less expensive, some not so cheap. The Rikon grinders are not too bad. Bought a Metabo for my metalworking - very nice quality. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0054M9546 Everyone likes Baldor but expect to pay. Like many things, you get what you pay for.

    What do you plan to use it for? Frequent use, heavy grinding, sharpening electrodes for TIG welder, sharpening delicate tools or axes, HSS or mild steel?

    JKJ

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    I have a old Stanley that works fine. Not much to go wrong with it unless the tool rest gets lost. My model they quit making in 1932. I am not sure if it has a capacitor or not. that will be hard to source when it goes bad. I bought it at a flea market for less then a made in china special.
    Bil lD

  5. #5
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    What John and Frank said. If this is to help you with that new spinny tool, my preference is 8" wheels and low speed (1750). I currently use the OneWay wheel balancing system, but when I get around to switching to CBN wheels, that's not likely going to be required anymore. My actual grinder is a "not known name" and runs smoothly. I don't remember when or where I bought it.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    ...I currently use the OneWay wheel balancing system, but when I get around to switching to CBN wheels, that's not likely going to be required anymore. ...
    That OneWay balancer is incredible. I used one for years with some good Norton wheels (until I switched to CBN).

    If you have the old No Name grinder that Woodcraft used to sell, it's great. I'd like to find a second one.

    JKJ

  7. #7
    I use a 40 year old, $29.99 special from Lowes. Replaced both wheels years ago. Remember that the surface speed per minute on an eight inch slow speed (1750 rpm,) is about 67% of the surface speed of a 6" 3450 grinder

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wrenn View Post
    I use a 40 year old, $29.99 special from Lowes. Replaced both wheels years ago. Remember that the surface speed per minute on an eight inch slow speed (1750 rpm,) is about 67% of the surface speed of a 6" 3450 grinder
    Also remember that a 6" grinder will put a deeper hollow grind on the tool. Even more as the diameter of the wheel gets smaller with use. Another difference in the OPs price comparison. Cheap gets you stamped steel washers that are not flat, expensive gets you machined steel washers.

  9. #9
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    I just recently bought the Rikon 8" slow speed grinder half horse. Even with the stock wheels it seems to do a great job. Next year I will probably get the CBN wheels but for now it was a big upgrade from what I had. Noticed Rockler has it for $99 on sale right now.
    Michael Dilday
    Suffolk, Va.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    If you have the old No Name grinder that Woodcraft used to sell, it's great. I'd like to find a second one.
    The one I have is maroon in color...I'll see what name is on it when I head out to the shop in a bit.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
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    I was lucky enough to get a Craftsman (by Dayton) several years ago. 7", 3450 rpm. Put good Norton wheels on it. This puppy runs as true as can be, is mostly vibration free, has real safety glass with metal frames, and task light.
    On the other hand, I still have five fingers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michael dilday View Post
    I just recently bought the Rikon 8" slow speed grinder half horse. Even with the stock wheels it seems to do a great job. Next year I will probably get the CBN wheels but for now it was a big upgrade from what I had. Noticed Rockler has it for $99 on sale right now.
    I just bought it, along with a face shield, some Fostner bits that were half price and a small wooden handscrew which I plan to use to hold small parts on the router table. Looked at some CBN wheels, they'll have to wait a while.

    John Jordan , your comment when I bought the lathe, about future purchases is quickly coming true
    Dennis

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennis thompson View Post
    I just bought it, along with a face shield, some Fostner bits that were half price and a small wooden handscrew which I plan to use to hold small parts on the router table. Looked at some CBN wheels, they'll have to wait a while.

    John Jordan , your comment when I bought the lathe, about future purchases is quickly coming true
    It's not original. Woodturning is addictive and it only gets more addictive as you develop skill. The only escape is to never get any good at it. No, wait, even that isn't assured.

  14. #14
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    If I summarized what was said so far, you pay for:


    1. More Power
    2. larger wheels (see above)
    3. better wheels
    4. better balance
    5. better tool rest


    How much that matters is based on how you will use it. I purchased one of the cheapest things that Woodcraft had on sale some years back because I needed to do some very rough profiling. The wheels are not great, but not horrible, the balance is not great, but I don't care, and the tool rest is horrible. With all that said, for what I paid, it suits my needs very well. I only use it when I need to do very rough profiling. I could add a better tool rest with no problem. I own other things that I use for better profiling, which might be by hand and might be done on my Tormek.

    So, define how you will use this slow speed grinder (you do want a slow speed grinder, right?) and then use that to direct what you will purchase. If you will immediately replace the wheels, factor that into the cost.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennis thompson View Post
    I know nothing about bench grinders but they look to me like a motor with two wheels on them. Seems pretty simple to me. I understand that some are more powerful than others. Why then , is there such a wide range of prices? $50- $589 on Amazon, is it simply motor power?
    No, definitely not. There are, as pointed out, a few more variables to consider. Motor balance and bearing quality being a big factor.
    I have a 20 year old Jet, two speed grinder, it's pretty nice for what it is. It's not a Baldor, but it works just fine.

    Wait until you see the range of wheel prices.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

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