Important Bench Grinder Features
The primary function of the bench grinder is to shape metal parts and sharpen blades. Generally the grinder is securely fastened to a workbench or table that can be adjusted up or down depending on the job at hand. It is most notable for the two grinding wheels that provide two grades of sanding, a very course and somewhat finer grain.
As well as sanding, buffing wheels can be applied so as to smooth down the surface of the worked metal after a rougher grind has formed it to the general shape of the finished project.
While there is a very similar, but much larger grinding tool called a pedestal grinder, most bench grinders are small enough to fit any average home workshop. They are most commonly used to sharped lawn mower blades, shears, clippers, axes, hoes and other edged tools. Bench grinders vary greatly from one brand to another and between models.
Beyond the various levels of coarseness of the grinding wheels there is a wide variety of motors that can be used to spin them. Some motors are designed to run quietly. There are motors that have variable speed controls. Some heavy-duty motors are expressly designed to minimize overheating from prolonged use.
A water tray can be added to the bench grinder so as to cool the metal being ground. It is sometimes accompanied by a tool rest for more secure work. Spark guards can be added to help divert the stream of sparks down to the floor rather than let them launch out into the general workspace of the shop.
Smaller bench grinders are sometimes fixed onto a base that can be secured with C-clamps for a mobile tool. A bench grinder can be modified with a lamp for better illumination of the work in progress. A specialized tool can also be obtained for the grinder that will allow for the sharpening of drill bits.