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Bench grinder suggestion

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  • Bench grinder suggestion

    I am in the market for a lower cost (non-industrial) bench grinder. Does Ridgid/Emerson make one? If not, which brands/models do people have experience with? It will be used for just general purpose projects around the house including sharpening lawn tractor mower blades. I was leaning towards a 6" grinder thinking that 8" is overkill and the accessories are more expensive. It probably does not need to be heavy duty.

  • #2

    I regularly use two types in the shop: a 6" two-wheel grinder dedicated to fine blade sharpening (wood chisels, block planes, kitchen knives, center punches and awls, etc), and a larger 8" single-wheel grinder for rough metal shaping and sharpening large/long blades like for the lawnmower or the wood ax, general metalworking or reconditioning metalworking tools like chisels and hammers. In my case, the choices were primarily guided by the tasks at hand more than size or cost of the grinder. Keep in mind that sometimes a wire wheel or polishing wheel may be needed, and for such use a long-spindle grinder with replaceable wheels would be ideal. A good grinder stand and lamp attached to the machine are also very helpful and improves safety. Just my 2 cents...


    • #3
      Excuse my ignorance on this subject since I have never had a grinder, but what is a long-spindle grinder? Don't all grinders allow replacement of wheels. Would a 6" grinder with a smaller diameter motor be able to grind large blades like mower blades? Thanks for your help.


      • #4
        Guess I should have said "arbor" instead of "spindle". In any case, a long-arbor grinder has a long arbor on each end without a casing (cover). This allows a grinding wheel, a wire wheel or a buffing cloth to be attached, of varying diameter, to one or both of the arbors. It may or may not have a tool rest, depending on style or model.

        Sure a small 2-wheel normal bench grinder can be used for sharpening a mower blade, but with some problems. Often, the 2 grinding wheels of the grinder which are of same diameter are only about a foot apart if not less, and they are covered partly by their casing; a mower blade that is longer than that distance between the grinding wheels would be difficult to position perpendicular to one grinder wheel without touching the other grinding wheel. Or sometimes the body/casing of the motor is too large preventing the mower blade from being positioned properly at all for sharpening. Under both situations, one ends up sharpening the mower blade using only the corner of one grinding wheel which is really no way to sharpen anything!

        Now off my soap box...sorry for the long post!


        • #5
          Nope, sorry we don't make a grinder...



          • #6
            I have a Delta 6" thin-line bench grinder that I got from home depot about two years ago. I don't do too much work with it, only really cleaning fasteners and fittings with a wire wheel on it. The only problem I've had with it is that some wheels for it that say they're for a 6" unit won't fit it properly. Craftsman also makes a similar sized model for about the same price. I've seen it in the stores but don't know anyone who has one. Good luck.
            Marcus Rinaldi<BR>Service Tech<BR>F&W Heating & Cooling


            • #7
              If you are going to sharpen chisels, etc. on the grinder, get a low RPM (1760 rpm or so) model. The regular (inexpensive)bench grinders are around 3000 rpm and will heat good blades and take out the temper. If the edge turns blue or red, the temper is gone.

              The problem with a 6" grinder and sharpening mower blades is that the wheel guards are in the way. What Dustmaker said about the long spindle grinder is good advice.

              HTH [img]smile.gif[/img]
              Mac<P>Problems are opportunities in disguise


              • #8
                I decided that a 6" grinder would best fit my needs since the wheels are far enough apart to handle my 16" blades (assuming I need a 8" reach for each blade side). I am considering three 6" entry level thinline grinders: Sears #00921106000 2.8 amp, Delta 23-589 2.5amp with lamp , and Ryobi BGH615 2.1 amp with lamp. Anyone have any experience with these grinders. The cost is the same.


                • #9
                  Ivan, I have had the Delta 6 inch for I forget how long, at least 15 years and I love it. It has never let me down and is so quiet and smooth. The one feature the newer ones have, the Lamp, is one that I would like. It's nice to have light exactly where you want it. That point alone for me would be a deciding factor. So I think that leaves Delta and Ryobi and of the two I would be inclined to go Delta but with the comment I have never seen the Ryobi so a biased viewpoint...
                  I have Ryobi cordless drills and they're great.

                  My 2c worth.

                  Cheers Ivor in Calgary


                  • #10
                    I have heard there are 6" grinder wheels that are 3/4" wide and others are 1" wide. Anyone know? Are they interchangeable? Also, is there much a difference in power between a 2.1amp and 2.5amp motor?

                    [ 06-11-2002, 05:10 PM: Message edited by: Ivan ]


                    • #11
                      I have a wide fine wheel and keep the guide set up so I can "instant" sharpen my chisels - just a quick touch since the angle is already set, and the wheel is wide enough to get all but one chisel I own in a single touch. Maybe not as good as a good whetstone or wet grinder, but almost (not quite) razor sharp in a few seconds is a joy! I even hand-sharpen drill bits on it. The coarse wheel doesn't matter as much, since (in my lawn mowing days) it would grind dings out of the mower blade and other rough work, but it isn't used for the final touch, and is never used on knives or chisels.

                      As far as I know, as long as the shaft is long enough to securely mount the wheel, it should work.

                      An inexpensive dressing wheel is a good investment, if you ever see one, to keep the surface of the grinding wheel flat and clean.


                      • #12
                        I have a Delta 8" and like it very much. I use it for a variety of things that I never thought of until I received the grinder as a gift. I am not sure how much they cost, but I am happy with it.