Updated: November 2017
Grinder Reviews:Any workshop should have a grinder simply because they are versatile tools that shape, grind, polish, and cut quite a few materials. A grinder can also be used to maintain your other tools that may need sharpening with blades, cutters, or bits. Grinders come in a variety of designs with the ultimate goal of making repetitive tasks easy and efficient. You need to consider what your needs are before buying a grinder. Bench grinders are perfect for sharpening cutters, bits, blades and hand tools. Any piece that needs smoothing, shaping, or polishing can be done at the bench grinder. These are stationary machines which mount to workbenches or stands. The motors on a bench grinder are rated in horsepower and go from 1/3 HP to 1 HP. If you work with tough materials like carbide or tungsten, then go with the higher HP and more powerful motors. For more accurate shaping look for a bench grinder with a tool rest. The sizes range from 6" to 10" and the diameter of the wheel they accept is how the size is determined. Anyone who does detailed work and doesn't want to strain their eyes should look for a model with lights that mount near the wheels. Die, or cylindrical, grinders are handheld power tools that are specially designed to polish or shape the insides of cylindrical objects. The long thin shafts and spindles help them reach way down inside the piece you are working on. You will find die grinders in machine and metal workshops where the workers polish the interiors of plumbing systems, joints, and piping.
Buying Guide - Straight grinders or angle grinders are portable, handheld tools with wheels that range from 4 to 9 inches. They are the best grinders for working on pieces that may be too large to fit at a bench. 4 to 15 amps is what the motors offer and they spin at speeds from 4000-11000 revolutions per minute. Quality angle grinders will have variable speed options to help in shaping the work piece. Polishing is done at lower speeds and higher speeds allow for "rough shaping". Consider a high amp motor if you want enough power (torque) for heavy use without stalling or slowing. Having the right accessories will make your grinder so versatile that sanding, cutting, polishing, and shaping will never be easier. A pre-punched disc is great for sanding wood. For polishing and rust removal, try a wire brush. A cutoff wheel will go far when cutting metals and masonry. An abrasive disc sands light metal and woods with ease. A polishing bonnet will shine up wood or metal finishes. When shaping and cutting metal or wood and when sharpening blades, cutters, and bits use a grinding wheel for the best results. Lastly, a buff belt will buff out any blemishes on a wood surface. Some of the top brands of grinders are Bosch, DeWalt, Milwaukee, Makita, Hitachi, Neiko, Delta, Wilton, Ingersoll-Rand, Metabo, Mountain, and Porter Cable. Prices range from $100-$200. For a listing of the best selling grinders online go here.