If you are wondering how to use a bench grinder effectively, here we cover the basics of using a bench grinder with tips you should know.

Can you name any tools that have so much versatility in its use that it is a must-have for any workshop? Well, thanks for trying, it is definitely a bench grinder. If you want to sharpen your gardening tools, shape metal for making parts, or even polish some wood sculptures you have made, a bench grinder is your go-to solution. Although you might not use a bench grinder every day, there is no harm in learning some tricks about using it. A bench grinder is a very basic workshop tool that doesn’t require any complicated operation. All you need to know is some parts, what they do and how you can use it effectively. This article explains the basics of a bench grinder that you must know before using it.

What Is A Bench Grinder?

A bench grinder is an appliance that is used to sharpen other tools. It is a must-have for your home workshop. Bench grinder has wheels that you can use for grinding, sharpening tools, or shaping some objects. Depending on the types and shape of the wheel, the use of a bench grinder can vary. From delicate to coarse tasks like shaping metal or even peeling potatoes, a bench grinder can be used in different ways.

Parts of a Bench Grinder

A bench grinder is not just a grinding wheel. It comes with some additional parts. If you have done the research on bench grinder you might know that each of those parts has different functions.

The Motor

The motor is the middle portion of a bench grinder. The speed of the motor determines what type of work a bench grinder can perform. On average the speed of a bench grinder can be 3000-3600 rpm( revolutions per minute). The more the speed of the motor the faster you can get your work done.

Grinding Wheels

The size, material, and texture of the grinding wheel determine a bench grinder’s function. A bench grinder usually has two different wheels- a coarse wheel, which is used for carrying out the heavy work, and a fine wheel, used for polishing or shining. The average diameter of a bench grinder is 6-8 inches.

Eyeshield and Wheel Guard

Eyeshield protects your eyes from flyaway pieces of the object that you are sharpening.  A wheel guard protects you from the sparks generated by friction and heat. 75% of the wheel should be covered by a wheel guard. You shouldn’t by any means run a bench grinder without a wheel guard.

Tool Rest

Tool rest is a platform where you rest your tools when you are adjusting it. Consistency of pressure and direction is necessary while working with a bench grinder. This tool rest ensures a balanced state of pressure and good workmanship.

Using a Bench Grinder

For a first time user, a bench grinder might seem like a frustrating skill to learn. Although the concept of holding an object close to a moving wheel might seem simple, you need precise control over your hands if you want to master the skill of using a bench grinder. Otherwise, you will end up with an uneven edge of the object that you are trying to shape. Take all the precautions such as wearing hand gloves, safety goggles before you experiment with your skills.

Whether you are using a bench grinder for making furniture or some industrial work, there are some tips you always need to follow. Here are some crucial steps that you have to maintain while using the bench grinder.

Keep a Pot Full Of Water Nearby

When you grind a metal such as steel with a bench grinder the metal becomes extremely hot. The heat can damage or deform the edge of the tool. To cool it down at a regular interval you need to dip it in water. The best way to avoid edge deformation is to hold the tool to the grinder only for a few seconds and then dip it in water.

Use Pliers When Grinding Small Objects

Grinding small objects can be dangerous if your hand gets too close to the grinding wheel. While you are shaping small objects like a bolt or screw, hold it with a plier.

Make a Guideline for Tool Sharpening

When you hold a tool at a wrong angle while grinding you can ruin the tool. If you frequently use the same sharpening method, you can make a note of the angle that works for each tool. It will be more time saving and you will have less chance of damaging your tools.

Use Low-Speed Grinder

If your primary use of a bench grinder Is to sharpen your tools, consider using a low-speed grinder. It will allow you to learn the ropes of a bench grinder. The low speed will also protect the tools from heating up.

Adjust the Tool Rest According To Your Desired Angle

The tool rest of a bench grinder is adjustable to any desired angle. You can make an angle gauge with cardboard to place on the tool rest and adjust its angle.

Know When to Stop The Wheel

When you grind a blunt edge in a bench grinder the sparks go downward and the wheel guard can keep them away. As the edge gets sharper with grinding the sparks fly upward. Keep an eye out for the sparks to know when to finish grinding.

Safety Tips

As a bench grinder uses friction to sharpen tools or shape objects, it emits a lot of sparks. You need to be cautious and wear gloves and safety goggles while working with a bench grinder. As you grind an object with a bench grinder try not to hold the object in the same place for a long time. Move its position frequently so the friction doesn’t produce heat at the contact point of the object.

On a final note, if you master the skill of using a bench grinder you can use it for various purposes. However, don’t forget to take all the safety measures before you start working with a bench grinder. If you frequently use the tool you need to keep up its maintenance to avoid any accident.