Like any other power tool including bevel miter saw, table saw, drill, etc., a bench grinder is also a significant tool to be considered for a woodworking shop. With a bench grinder, you can not only give a flawless finish to your workpiece but also can sharpen, shape or buff any other metal piece and others. If you don't have a bench grinder already in your workshop, then it is time that you get one or arrange any other suitable alternative to deal with your dull tools. However, not many tools have the capability to achieve what a bench grinder can. Moreover, using dull tools can be injurious if they constantly worked with and not maintained regularly.
The good thing about a bench grinder is that it comes within a reasonable budget. The grinder is available at 2 different wheel sizes on the market; 6 inches and 8 inches. That's not all, the tool is fit for beginners as well as it is easy to use. You just simply have to mount it on any flat surface or the workbench. From fixing broken blades to polishing steels to sharpening the dulls tools, all are possible with this single grinder tool.
In this article, we will discuss how a 6 inch bench grinder differs from an 8 inch bench grinder. But before that, let's check out what is in a bench grinder.
Description of Primary Construction of a Bench Grinder
A bench grinder consists of a number of important parts.
- First of all, the tool includes a spark deflector mechanism, ensuring that the sparks don’t fly randomly in any direction during the grinder application.
- The eyeshield prevents wheel fragmentation, thereby allowing free movement of the hand.
- The wheel guard prevents splintering of the grinder wheels that may occur from improper mounting.
- The round stone coarse wheel rotates and buffs, shapes and, or sharpens materials based on the material type.
6 Inch Vs 8 Inch Bench Grinders
There are mainly two types of bench grinders widely available: 6 inch and 8 inch bench grinders. You have to purchase one, based on the type of materials and tools you deal with. While the 6 inch bench grinder runs at a standard rotating speed, the 8 inch bench grinder runs at a slower grinding speed.
6-Inch Bench Grinders
The 6 inch bench grinder, although moves at a regular speed, delivers sufficient power allowing you to carry out the general home improvement tasks.
Most 6 inch bench grinder models execute the grinding operation within the 4 Amp range. The speed ranges between (3400 to 3600) RPM.
Note: Some bench grinders can be reasonably hefty. However, the versatility of the tool to be able to be used in a variety of projects makes it one of the most-sought grinder options. Both the pro-grade and unskilled beginners will find the 6 inch grinder tool convenient to use.
The 6 inch bench grinder is an ideal tool for the professionals, tenderfoots as well as the DIY enthusiasts. The tool executes quiet operation and is easy to set up. Plus, it is powerful enough to handle and get any of your work done.
Here are some more; the tool is smaller than the other massive bench grinder models. But it ensures durability and stability that you may need during the work. The enhanced working performance and the ability to accommodate larger materials are what this grinder ensures. Some models include high-end safety features as well.
LED lights for clearer visibility, flexible tool rests, sturdy steel base of the grinder, durable induction motor, adjustable spark arrestor or deflector integrated to the system, are some of the most crucial cum notable features of a 6 inch bench grinder.
8-Inch Bench Grinders
The 8 inch bench grinder is typically meant for the pro-grade users. If you are not looking much for the versatility feature of a grinder that a 6 inch bench grinder offers, then an 8 inch bench grinder is what you probably need. The latter type is the best fit for dealing with heavy-duty work.
The only setback that is already mentioned earlier is that this grinder is a bit slower. But the corresponding good thing is that you will not have to frequently change the grinding wheel as you do in case of a 6 inch bench grinder. Even, it requires lesser maintenance compared to the 6-inch bench grinders.
Although the 8 inch bench grinder is a bit pricier, consider this as a one time investment as the tool has a longer life. Plus, you won't be required to spend on its wheel change, every now and then.
8 inch bench grinders, being designed for the professionals, are mostly used to serve heavy-duty projects. If you are looking for a more industrial grinder tool, then this is it. The slower speed delivered by an 8 inch model lets you achieve a variety of tasks and are fit for precision cutting.
The feature of lower rotating speed of the grinder wheel reduces chances of frequent overheating of the tool edge as in the case of the 6 inch bench grinder. Moreover, the low speed grinder option comes with white grinder wheels which do better sharpening of the tools or metals than the gray grinder wheels of the 6 inch models.
The spark guards, eyeshields, dust collecting port, wheel guards made of cast iron, and a heavy-duty shielded toggle switch, make the 8 inch bench grinder a sturdy, professional-grade option.
Advantages of a Bench Grinder
Bench grinders are primaries for sharpening purposes. While most grinder tools are for buffing and honing tasks, many grinders can also be used for shaping metals.You can use the tool for polishing off the casting burrs as well.
Note: In case of instability of the grinder wheel, immediately replace it with a new one for better sharpening, shaping ,and polishing results. Plus, there are a varied range of grinder wheels that you can switch among, based on the type of material to be worked on.
Factors to Consider While Purchasing a Bench Grinder
Hefty grinder motors have high power voltage requirements to operate and sometimes power cord comes under the overall purchase of the bench grinder kit. However, unlike the 6 inch bench grinders, the 8 inch bench grinders do not come with the power cord.
The larger grinder models come with a dust collector port. This mechanism lets you keep the site of work free from the finer dust particles that are generated during the grind operation. You just simply have to attach the dust port to the vacuum cleaner and get the work area cleaned. But remember that not all models have this feature, so you must choose wisely before the purchase.
For example, all the 8 inch grinder models come with an integrated dust ports system on their wheel guards. Conversely, the smaller 6 inch grinder versions feature exhaust ports instead.
These couple of factors which make your product purchase easier. But these considerations may vary depending upon the size of the grinder you are looking to purchase. The reason why most of the above factors are found in the larger grinder models is that they are widely used for industrial purposes and hence, require additional features.
6 inch or 8 inch: Which Bench Grinder Size Should You Pick
Now that you know the features that you want to have in your selected grinder model, it is time to decide between the 6 inch and 8 inch bench grinder. Make sure to select the size appropriate for your purpose. It is the wheel size that determines the bench grinder's capability and performance.
For minimal shapin or honing, a 6 inch bench grinder is the best. For heavy-duty tasks, the 8 inch one is the best. Opting the former type will ensure more curvature for grinding tasks. However, there is hardly any effect of the wheel size selection on the actual function. Rather, it is the types of grinder wheels available that will facilitate you to explore a range of grinding tasks.
What Next Should You Do?
Your chosen bench grinder won't necessarily have to be an expensive option in order to be the best of its kind. Rather, your produce selection should be such that it is able to meet all your grinding requirements. Check out the wheel durability and the quality of the model construction. Check out its specifications and descriptions carefully to stay rest assured about your choice. Confirm if your chosen bench grinder is compatible with the type of grinding wheel that you want to use. There are several standard wheels available on the market, including the coarse grinding and fine grinding wheels. Check if the grinder motor delivers sufficient power to get your job done. For example, large metal polishing, shaping or honing will require a powerful motor.
While deciding between the 6 inch and 8 inch bench grinder, make sure to consider the tool's durability and ability to support most types of grinding wheels. For occasional and light work purposes, the 6 inch bench grinder would suffice. However, for intricate grinding tasks, get the 8 inch bench grinder.