Last updated on April 29, 2022 11:45 am by the writer.
Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional woodworker, you know the benefits that come with owning both an angle grinder and a bench grinder.
While an angle grinder cuts faster, a bench grinder is slower but is more precise.
Although both are different in size weight and design, both bench grinders and angle grinders do share some similarities in their grinding they are not the same.
Let’s take a look at the many differences between angle grinders and bench grinders. And finish the debate on bench grinders vs angle grinders once and for all.
What are the similarities of angle grinders and bench grinders?
- Usage: Both are used for grinding metal. Depending on which wheel you install, both can polish, buff, and shape metals and wood.
- Users: Both require professional handling because reckless usage can lead to eye injuries or lacerations.
- Wheels: Each tool option have a range of different wheels to learn about;
- Guards: Using included guards while using both tools can help protect users.
When to Use an Angle Grinder?
An angle grinder is a versatile tool and a staple for you and every builder and DIY’er. You should use an angle grinder when:
- Cutting metal, wood, and ceramics.
- Removing rust and old paint from metal surfaces and tools.
- Clearing rust from metallic tools.
- Cutting square holes in ceramics.
- Sharpening tools like ax blades and lawnmower blades.
- Smoothing and polishing surfaces.
- Cutting, carving, and shaping wood and metals.
- Cutting masonry.
- Removing mortar from bricks.
- Polishing aluminum and steel metals.
When to use a bench grinder?
Versatility makes an indispensable tool when used correctly. What can a bench grinder do?:
- Buffing metal products.
- Removing paint and rust from tools.
- Sharpen tools with slow or variable speed.
- Shaping wood pieces.
- Smoothen rough edges.
- Shaping metal for welding.
- Grinding metals.
Features of an angle grinder
1. Design and build
An angle grinder is an electric portable hand-held tool that is powered using an electric motor. It’s fitted with an adjustable guard. The back is made of plastic or hard rubber depending on the amount of work to be done.
- Grinding wheels. The hardness and smoothness of a grinding wheel are determined by the grit. A rough grinding wheel has a high large grit while a smooth grit has a finer grit.
- Cutting disks. Unlike a bench grinder, an angle grinder can be used for cutting. The thin abrasive wheels work best with low pressure from the user, to stop them from wearing out too fast.
- Cutting steel and concrete while being portable.
- Sharpening tools.
- Grinding welding metals.
- Grinding concrete smooth or flat.
Here is the detailed guide for angle grinder uses.
An angle grinder is more flexible and weighs only 8 to 10 pounds.
Since the tool can fit into a user’s hand, it’s moveable from one workplace to another.
It can get into all corners and small spaces of a workpiece with ease. A cordless angle grinding tool is a considerably more portable.
The motor is responsible for powering and moving the blade of an angle grinder. The motor should have varying power ratings based on the quality, size, and brand of the tool.
An angle grinder uses a universal motor attached to a V-belt transmission. Connected with a spindle, the V-belt serves as a force that pulls the grinding discs in a circular motion. This motor runs the wheels between 8000 to 1200 RPM.
Medium to large-sized grinders running on direct power is more powerful for concrete cutting. Smaller ones are ideally cordless and have a brushless motor for better efficiency.
A removable, semi-circular component that protects the user from touching the moving blade. It also acts as a shield from flying sparks.
You will find the guard attached under the side of the angle grinder’s body, facing the holder’s body. The unguarded part is reserved for the discs to contact the workpiece.
Features of a Bench Grinder
1. Design and build
A bench grinder is a stationary tool attached to an adjustable or solid workbench.
There are various designs suitable for large-scale functions, home uses, and small businesses.
Sizes available are 3 to 15 inches, but the commonly used are six and eight-inch grinders.
Grinding wheels vary in size and texture depending on their functions.
Coarse and fine-textured wheels are used to achieve coarse and fine finishes respectively.
You’ll find different grits or blade types on both sides of the grinder, separated by the motor.
The wheels may look the same but should be set up for different uses. For example, how a blue aluminum oxide wheel is advisable for harder steel and stainless steel  and polishing wheels should be used for buffing.
Due to its heavy weight, the bench grinder cannot be moved around.
It’s fixed on a stationary bench and has heavy grinding wheels attached. For these reasons, the metals and workpieces have to be moved towards the grinder.
Located in the middle part of a bench grinder is the motor whose speed is adjusted depending on the type of work to be done.
It’s attached to the wheel to prevent flying sparks and wood particles from reaching the user.
The user’s hands won’t be able to come into contact with all parts of the wheel because the guard is large enough to cover a fair amount of the wheel.
Which is better?
Here’s our angle and bench grinder comparison by jobs so that you know when to use what.
1. For polishing metal
To use an angle grinder for polishing, a flap disc is attached and its speed regulated. For a bench grinder, a buffering wheel is attached.
As such, an angle grinder makes a better polisher for metal because it not only polishes but smoothens surfaces and enhances the color of surfaces.
2. For sharpening (blades, bits, knives, ax)
Angle grinder vs bench grinder blade sharpening?
A bench grinder is ideal for when you are sharpening tools that require the use of both hands for stability to achieve a perfect edge.
On the other hand, an angle grinder works well as a sharpener when the item is too large for a bench grinder to sharpen easily, as long as the tool is secured to prevent it from slipping.
In this case, a bench grinder’s stability, slower speed, or variable speed makes the tool ideal for sharpening hand tools or blades since the wheels can easily remove thicker layers of steel much faster than any sharpening stone.
However, you need to run the blades on a sharpening stone for finishing touches.
3. Grinding metal and concrete
An angle grinder grinds concrete using a stone-grinding wheel. For concrete, the concrete is better wet to reduce heat and dust. For grinding metal a thick abrasive wheel is used.
A bench grinder on the other hand grinds even the hardest of materials, making the tool ideal for grinding purposes but only for smaller objects.
With the added stability of a bench grinder on a table, we find this the best for precision jobs, on craft or mechanical engineering work.
4. Cutting metal and stone
The diamond wheel of an angle grinder cuts through stone and concrete but you must wet the stone first ideally.
The thin abrasive cut-off wheels cut through metals of any thickness.
So, ideally, angle grinders are perfect for cutting because they are smaller, more flexible, and more portable.
5. Removing rust
Angle grinders are ideal for rust removal where the layer of rust is thin and you don’t need to damage the metal underneath. On the other hand, a bench grinder removes rust off small surfaces provided the wheel’s speed is slow.
Overall, a bench grinder is efficient for rust removal on small tools because it easily removes thick layers of rust with fine control.
For large tools like spades and axes, an angle grinder will work much better to remove rust and have access to the entire surface.
When do I use an angle grinder?
- For cutting metal on the go. Its lightweight size and flexibility enable an angle grinder to maneuver through the material and give desired cuts where needed.
- When removing old paint from metal surfaces, an angle grinder works fast and efficiently without causing damage to the metal by using a paint stripping disk.
- Sharpening garden tools.
- Mostly used for cutting or grinding concrete.
When do jobs need a bench grinder?
- When sharpening hand tools and grinding small hard metals or rocks.
- With the correct rotating speed and pressure, you can achieve the shape or sharpness needed on a range of different materials.
- When removing rust and grime from metal surfaces, especially in humid areas.
- Polishing metalwork projects.
- Deburring, metal rods.
Next time you need to finish up your home DIY project, either of these tools will come in handy as an essential tool at different times.
While an angle grinder is perfect for cutting and shaping, a bench grinder is perfect for removing thick layers of rust on hand tools, polishing, deburring metal rods, and sharpening tools.
A bench grinder’s discs are not designed to grind non-metallic materials like plastic whereas an angle grinder can grind non-metallic materials. For this reason, the two tools are a must-have in your workshop arsenal.
It is advisable to take safety precautions when working with these tools because they use high speeds and power that makes sparks which require the user to wear eye protection during use.
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