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How To Use a Bench Grinder Perfectly?

A bench grinder is not a common tool; thus, many people are not aware of its complexity or how to use it. When set up correctly, bench grinders come in handy, ranging in use from allowing users to sharpen tools to round over thread ends on cutoff bolts. To better understand how to operate a bench grinder, we have outlined a few tips to follow.

Keep A Container of Water on Standby

Most chisels and cutting tools are made of tempered steel, and when they get too hot, they can overheat and damage the tool. Overheating can be identified by a bluish-black color and dipping the tool in water can help cool it down. After cooling, you can grind the edge back to good steel and start over.

Small Objects Should Be Grinded Safely

To avoid damaging small objects, hold them with locking pliers before grinding them. Doing so keeps your fingers a safe distance from the grinding wheel.

Tool Sharpening Guides

We highly recommend making tool sharpening guides to avoid making mistakes during the sharpening process. It is worth noting that different tools require varying techniques to protect the tool from damage.

Consider a Low-Speed Grinder for Sharpening

As most standard grinders run at about 3,450 rpm, it is extremely critical to take safety precautions. Low-speed grinders run at 1,750 rpm and may be a better choice due to the fact that they rarely overheat the edge of your tool. Additionally, they are usually cost-effective options, and they are often equipped with friable white `s which are more precise than those featured on high-speed grinders.

Dress the Wheels Frequently

For more efficient cutting, the wheels must be dressed frequently to expose new grit. Over time, as the wheel is used, the cutting grit becomes clogged and dulled. Such conditions can cause the wheel to overheat and slow material removal. A wheel dresser ranges from $15 to $30, and you should always use a quality dust mask when using bench grinders as the fine aluminum oxide dust is very bad for your lungs.

Watch for Sparks

Always keep an out for sparking as this is indicative of the edge of the tool getting sharp. When the edge is blunt, the sparks are generally deflected downward. Once the edge gets sharper, the sparks cascade over and down the tool towards you.

Make an Angle Gauge

Achieving the correct angle during grinding is critical and finding the right angle can be done with a simple online search. For this reason, an angle gauge is helpful as it allows you to set the tool rest at an optimal angle. An angle gauge can be made from a thin piece of cardboard and a protractor.

Upgrade the Tool Rest

Inexpensive bench grinders are usually furnished with finicky tool rests that are difficult to adjust. As such, you should consider adding a stand-alone tool rest. While there are several variations, with some used specifically for sharpening lathe turning tools and other various tasks, you must select the one that meets your operational needs.

Portable Grinders

By clamping the grinder onto a board or small stand, users can optimize bench space and store it wherever.

Set Up a Polishing Station

If a bench grinder is fitted with a wire wheel on one side and a cotton buffing wheel on the other, or buffing wheel on both sides, then your grinder can work as a cleaning and polishing tool. First, you will need a set of polishing compound sticks. Hold a stick against the buffing wheel as it spins to transfer some polishing compound onto the wheel. Then, hold the object carefully against the wheel so that the compound polishes the surface.


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November 18, 2022
August 1, 2022


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