Bench Grinder Vs Angle Grinder - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Bench Grinder Vs Angle Grinder

So yesterday I was in the hardware store and found a Steel Grip Bench grinder. It has two wheels on it, and it's 1.1amp and 1/4HP. I have been hearing for a while about angle grinders, and how useful they are. However this was on clearance for $30 and I figured I should snatch it up if it comes in handy. I originally thought that a bench grinder was a stationary version of an angle grinder, but it seems to take totally different wheels. In fact, when I googled information on the difference between bench and angle grinders, I was unable to find anything that really compared the two. I have no idea what the two wheels that it comes with are actually good for, although they are something like 30 grit and 62 grit I think. I tried grinding my steel washers by clamping them in a vice wrench and had some success, but the "softer" aluminum I tried working on was significantly harder to work with because it kept causing the wheels to slow down when I pressed too hard. Probably also a product of the fact that it's so cheap and a low HP, but I have no idea how these things are really supposed to function. I guess the main thing I am asking is, can you use bench grinders for the same thing as angle grinders? Are there special wheels that are designed to cut certain materials on it? I cannot find much of anything for information on that. The default wheels don't have any information other than their grit.
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post #2 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 12:08 PM
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Bench grinders can do a lot of things, I have 5 of them for different applications.

Grinding wheels vary by grit, and material they are used for. There are also metal conditioning wheels of various compounds and designs, coarse, to very fine. Wire wheels, and buffing wheels also. Plus you have some grinders that turn slower for special applications like grinding the initial bevel/edge on a cutting tool and not impart too much heat.

As you have found, the difference in a good bench grinder, and a cheap one, is the power.

I won't talk about how many angle grinders I have...
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post #3 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Would you be able to point me in the direction of a good grinding WHEEL for stuff like shaping aluminum? What would you say is the minimum amp/HP that is needed for better than average performance? I have no idea which one affects the performance more.
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post #4 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 12:24 PM
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you will find that filing or grinding aluminum does not go well, the aluminum does not clean off the file or the wheel. rasps are the only thing I have found to work with aluminum.


1/4 hp will be troublesome for the grinder, it is small. sorry.
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post #5 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 12:31 PM
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indeed aluminum clogs media right quick.

for the angle grinder, 60 grit flap wheels; buy the big package.
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post #6 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by chughes10 View Post
Would you be able to point me in the direction of a good grinding WHEEL for stuff like shaping aluminum? What would you say is the minimum amp/HP that is needed for better than average performance? I have no idea which one affects the performance more.
Google...

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourcei...for+aluminum&*

When I am working on aluminum the bench grinder is rarely my goto tool. Stationary belt/disc sander, die grinder, angle die grinder with roloc abrasive discs, and good files are typically what I will use.
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post #7 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I did try a Google search but I guess I was asking the wrong questions. I do have a decent rasp along with some files I might try, although my band saw seems to work for knocking out the large cut outs in my aluminum pieces.
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post #8 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 01:26 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Your bench grinder is ...

That grinder is too small and underpowered for all but the smallest tasks. It will NOT grind aluminum well at all, it has the wrong type of wheels. Aluminum clogs most grinding wheels, but an angle grinder has many different types of discs you can get..... silicon carbide, aluminum oxide and zirconia alumina. Here's some tips:
http://www.thefabricator.com/article...grind-aluminum

Some discs:
https://www.metabo.com/us/enus/acces...-for-aluminum/

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #9 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 01:42 PM
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Difference between angle grinder and bench grinder is the speed. Angle grinders run at high RPMs and have universal motors, while bench grinders run at lower speeds and have induction motors. I use my bench grinders for fine work like sharpening chisels, plane irons, and axes, and burnishing handles. Angle grinders are used for rough work like cutting steel and smoothing rough edges.
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post #10 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 02:28 PM
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Angle grinders and bench grinders are two entirely different tools. There is no comparison in how they are built and their intended function.

Maybe you are trying to compare something else.

George
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post #11 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 04:21 PM
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Both tools are pretty completable, they're meant to spin an abrasive disc at high speed to remove metal. An angle grinder is handheld and generally spins faster, it's meant to drive thin cutting discs to cut metal, as well as smaller grinding discs or flap wheels to shape metal. The bench grinder is meant for driving somewhat larger grinding wheels for heavier duty shaping of metal. They're also handy for buffing too.

Both tools have similar uses, but one you move the tool to the workpiece, the other you move the workpiece to the tool

Oh, and it's already been said, but seriously, don't try grinding aluminium, you'll just end up with a clogged wheel and burnt fingers, and a bar of aluminium that's almost exactly the same shape. Files work much better, or a carbide Burr in a die grinder

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post #12 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 05:53 PM
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To grind aluminum you need a special wheel Norton makes them under the Gemini brand, don't know why they are different but definitely are regular wheels will clog up and if you keep pushing them they can explode form too much heat, the Gemini wheels stay clean

A die grinder with a carbide burr will also clog up with aluminum, at least mine did when #2 son decided he was going to grind some aluminum, but he was tenacious, he plugged every damn one of them, took an afternoon to dig all the aluminum out of the burrs with a fine scratch awl
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post #13 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 06:13 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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What did you mean here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
Both tools are pretty completable, they're meant to spin an abrasive disc at high speed to remove metal.................
What does this word mean .... and in what context? Spell check didn't catch this?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #14 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 06:28 PM
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What does this word mean .... and in what context? Spell check didn't catch this?
Nah, spell check caught it, it just corrected to the wrong word. That should be "comparable", thanks for bringing that to my attention. Pretty sure my tablet hates me

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post #15 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 07:21 PM
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I've got the usual assortment of angle grinders (4.5 & 7"), die grinders and bench grinders. Each has a use it is better suited for. I'm not sure what a 1/4hp bench grinder is suited for, jewelry? Many different wheels are made for the intended use. For harder metals the harder the metal the softer the wheel is the general way it goes. Also the faster you turn a coarse wheel the finer the finish. Too fine of wheel heats too much. Some wheels break down fast enough that they don't require a lot of dressing. Get yourself a dressing device of some sort when you get a bench grinder. A single point diamond dresser can be used to shape a (G or H) wheel to match a profile. Our 8" Baldor bench grinder is only 3/4hp, but they might be bigger horses.
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post #16 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 07:39 PM
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1/4 hp would be good for sharpening chisels. You can get bench grinder wheels for grinding aluminum.

A right angle grinder lets you take the grinder to the work when the piece is too big to hold up to a bench.

Like a few others, I have different grinders for different jobs. My big grinder weighs over 300 lbs and you won't slow it down no matter how hard you push a chunk of steel into it.
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post #17 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
Both tools are pretty completable, they're meant to spin an abrasive disc at high speed to remove metal. An angle grinder is handheld and generally spins faster, it's meant to drive thin cutting discs to cut metal, as well as smaller grinding discs or flap wheels to shape metal. The bench grinder is meant for driving somewhat larger grinding wheels for heavier duty shaping of metal. They're also handy for buffing too.

Both tools have similar uses, but one you move the tool to the workpiece, the other you move the workpiece to the tool

Oh, and it's already been said, but seriously, don't try grinding aluminium, you'll just end up with a clogged wheel and burnt fingers, and a bar of aluminium that's almost exactly the same shape. Files work much better, or a carbide Burr in a die grinder
If you think that is comparable, more power to you. You have more imagination than I do in the use of the bench top grinder and do not use the angle grinder for as many different operations as I do. The angle grinder is much more than just a tool to remove metal.

George

George
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post #18 of 28 Old 03-23-2017, 10:06 PM
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To grind aluminum you need a special wheel Norton makes them under the Gemini brand, don't know why they are different but definitely are regular wheels will clog up and if you keep pushing them they can explode form too much heat, the Gemini wheels stay clean

A die grinder with a carbide burr will also clog up with aluminum, at least mine did when #2 son decided he was going to grind some aluminum, but he was tenacious, he plugged every damn one of them, took an afternoon to dig all the aluminum out of the burrs with a fine scratch awl
There are special burrs for grinding aluminum...

http://www.carbidebur.com/nfburs/nfall.htm

I've ground a lot of aluminum out of two stroke cylinders in my day, those burrs make quick work of the areas that need to be radically reshaped.

This is one of my boxes of hand pieces, and burrs...

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post #19 of 28 Old 03-24-2017, 04:37 AM
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Quote:
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If you think that is comparable, more power to you. You have more imagination than I do in the use of the bench top grinder and do not use the angle grinder for as many different operations as I do. The angle grinder is much more than just a tool to remove metal.

George

George
I said comparable, not identical. There are tasks with both that aren't really doable with the other, can't really put a turboplane on a bench grinder, cant hog off metal like you can with a stationary grinder with a handheld, they've both got their uses. My comment was just that 90% of those uses overlap, same as the table saw/RAS debate

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post #20 of 28 Old 03-24-2017, 05:54 AM
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I would disagree

When grinding welds I grab my Black and Decker Industrial angle grinder and "hog away" and that big brute doesn't even slow down. It will take up to 9" discs. I have other angle grinders from nice 6" Bosch, older Craftsmans to several cheap 4 1/2" Harbor Freight. I also have a pair of vertical Porter Cable grinder/sanders that really are work horses for grinding.

I have a pair of 8" Jet bench grinders, one set up just for wire brushing, the other strictly for grinding. For sharpening drill bits and hand tools with edges I use my 6" X 48" belt sander with various grit belts. It's also good for getting a flat surface on parts to be welded.

They are comparable like a table saw and a circular power saw, in that one is stationary and the other is "portable" or hand held. They both have motors, but the table saw is more likely to have an induction motor and the circ saw will have a universal brush type motor. That's were the similarity ends for me.

Abrasive discs:
http://www.empireabrasives.com/7-x-1...20Group%20%231


Sanding discs:
http://www.harborfreight.com/4-12-in...-pc-60231.html
I use my smaller angle grinders with abrasive discs just as much as with sanding discs. I use them primarily on metal to clean and smooth the surface better than the hard discs. Rust removal is made much easier with the angle grinders. Taking the razor edge off a sheared piece of metal is a breeze with the angle grinder and a sanding disc. I use the green 3 M discs which are industrial grade from auto supply and paint shops. http://www.shoplet.com/3M-Abrasive-G...20Items&rtop=1

For sanding wood I use the ROS from Dewalt and Porter Cable with the velcro or hook and loop backing. I use Freud red sanding discs in all the grits from 36 to 220. Because I can attach a shop vac to the exhaust port I can keep the sanding dust to a minimum.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 03-24-2017 at 06:50 AM.
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