Choosing the Ideal Option Between Bench Grinder and Angle Grinder

The bench and angle grinders are among the most utilized tools in trade-oriented industries. But although both devices boast 0f practical efficiency in sanding, grinding, and shaping materials, there are differences to note. So, let’s go to choosing the ideal option between bench grinder and angle grinder to get a better understanding of which one you need for your work.

A bench grinder is suitable for cutting materials, grinding, deburring, and sharpening drill bits, whereas an angle grinder features a fast rotating disc to cut, sand, and polish surfaces.

Also, the bench grinder is stationary and has two wheels operating simultaneously, but its counterpart allows more motion and better angles.

Both machines come in handy for various projects, and it is prudent to determine which one is fit for your tasks.

Therefore, read through this article for more insight and better decision-making.

What Is a Bench Grinder?

Bench grinder In the Bench Grinder Vs Angle GrinderA bench grinder is a benchtop grinding tool with abrasive wheels and is suitable for hand grinding applications.

Moreover, depending on the grinding wheel’s grade and bond, you can use it to sharpen various cutting devices.

The tool is also a piece of standard equipment in many machine and metal fabrication shops as it can roughly shape metal before fitting or welding. 

The grinder features stiff buffing that comes in handy during deburring workpieces.

And you can interchange the buffing or wire brush wheels with the grinding wheels to polish or clean surfaces.

Please note that some buffers work on the same principle as bench grinders. But they have longer housings and arbors with buffing wheels instead of grinding wheels.

Thus, they may not work as efficiently as grinders.

What Is Angle Grinder?

An angle grinder, also known as a disc, or a side grinder, is a handheld device for polishing workpieces, grinding, and abrasive cutting.

It also features a high speed and is thus perfect for more extensive and demanding projects.

In addition, although the grinder initially came as a tool for rigid abrasive discs, it has an interchangeable power source, making it ideal for various cutters and attachments.

Woodworking angle grinderAngle grinders get their power from compressed air or electric motors.

Further, the engine drives the geared head at right angles on which we have a thinner cut-off or abrasive disc.

The machines have a side handle and an adjustable guard for two-hand operation.

And they accommodate a sanding disc with a backing pad to vary their speed range.

On top of that, the grinder’s backing system consists of phenolic resin, medium-hard rubber, or rigid plastic. Therefore, you enjoy optimal flexibility during operations.

Lastly, the devices are available in corded and cordless versions, making them excellent choices for various worksites.

In addition, they feature impressive versatility that allows you to interchange discs.

Can You Use an Angle Grinder as a Bench Grinder?

It is possible to use an angle grinder as a bench grinder. In addition, the exercise does not require too much effort and even saves you money.

Otherwise, getting a bench grinder for lightweight applications can be a bit expensive.

Turning the angle grinder into a bench device does not damage the power tool.

Moreover, the innovation makes you appear professional and impresses your friends.

All you need to do for this exercise is attach a square tubing piece lengthwise to the angle grinder.

Then, tie another square tuning to the first piece and use it as a tool rest.

The next step involves minimum welding to secure the pieces together.

Then, place the lengthwise tubing piece into your vice and tighten its jaws.

However, please be careful as the grinder may damage your workpiece if it moves during operation.

Finally, you do not have to buy new materials to make a special grinder stand as you can use woodworking scraps.

But the structure may not be that effective or stable. So, consider getting a bench grinder for demanding grinding tasks.

Here’s How to Use Angle Grinder as Bench Grinder:

What Is the Difference Between Bench Grinder and Angle Grinder?

Now that we know the basics of a bench and angle grinder let’s look at the primary differences between them.

  • Portability

A bench grinder is not a portable tool. You will mostly find it stationary and fastened to a heavy stand or bench. Thus, it is challenging to move around with it unless the mounting has wheels.

However, the device is not as massive or heavy, and thus you can change its location with more hands. Besides, it is movable with some help despite being a shop floor machine.

On the other hand, angle grinders are portable as the user powers them using air compression or electricity.

In addition, only the power source’s location and the air’s length or electrical lead hose limit its mobility.

Further, we have angle grinder brands that eliminate the need for direct power sources and rechargeable batteries.

But interchanging from direct power sources to batteries lowers the tool’s lifespan and power output.

An angle grinder weighs around eight pounds, making it easy to hold and maneuver during small projects.

In contrast, a bench grinder sits on a workbench and requires you to control the workpiece, not the machine itself.

Therefore, the angle grinder can work in different worksites, whereas a bench grinder spends its useful life in a workshop.

  • Vibrations

Due to their power and speed, you will feel vibrations when working with most tools.

However, angle grinders vibrate more than their counterparts, depending on the product model and workpiece.

In addition, angle grinders are handheld, making them less stable.

Conversely, bench grinders work on a flat surface. Therefore, the tool’s weight and position keep the vibrations to a minimum.

  • Working Principles

A bench grinder is a stationary machine mainly used for sanding, grinding, and polishing projects.

Its standard design comprises two wheels attached to a gear head and a centrally located motor.

The grinding device utilizes an electric motor that powers these wheels.

The two wheels work simultaneously on the workpiece, but the abrasive wheel is interchangeable to suit various project needs.

Conversely, the working principles of the angle grinder are similar to those of bench grinders but with the ability to cut-off materials.

Moreover, they are handheld and portable power tools suitable for cutting, grinding, and polishing projects.

All angle grinders have an air compression system or small motor to power the gear head.

They also utilize a spindle that accommodates various discs for efficient operations.

The gear head and attached disc rotate when you switch on the grinder, allowing you to abrasively cut materials.

In addition, you can use the machine to cut metal, thanks to its robust structure.

  • Power Source

You can distinguish between bench and angle grinders by checking the type of power used to drive their motors.

For instance, bench grinders need electricity for optimal and smooth operations.

On the contrary, angle grinders can use compressed air, electricity, or a battery, depending on their model and configuration.

  • Number of Wheels

Generally, bench grinders come with two wheels, and you can attach and use them simultaneously.

This attribute is unique to the machine as an angle grinder only uses one wheel at a time. 

In addition, the angle grinder only has room for one wheel. Thus, you have to stop the work and change the wheel when necessary.

Although the above is not a significant variance, a bench grinder saves the time of having to switch to a different disc.

  • Speed

Bench grinder wheels spin at about 3,500 RPM, plus or minus 1,000 RPM. Also, you can choose a version whose wheels spin at approximately 1,700 or 1,900 RPM.

Conversely, the angle grinder has the edge over its counterparts as its wheels spin between 8,000 to 12,000 RPM. You can also get a machine turning at 6,000 RPM when working on more precise tasks.

  • Machine Use

Bench grinders can work on various workpieces, including wood, metal, concrete, plastics, and ceramics.

They also come in handy during tool sharpening, polishing, sanding, deburring, chamfering, and grinding.

On the other hand, an angle grinder comes in handy during paint and rust removal, cutting screws, bar stocks, rebar, and welding clean-up projects.

Also, they are suitable for various materials like plastics, wood, concrete, and plastics.

  • Flexibility

A bench grinder is more specialized than its counterpart as its immobility limits flexibility.

Moreover, you cannot use it as a portable device or with multiple functions.

However, we have a wide range of grinding wheels of different thicknesses, coarseness, and functions.

Therefore, the tools boast broad potential applications, from simple grinding works to sanding and polishing.

Oppositely, angle grinders have an impressive flexibility range when working on different materials.

Hence, they are perfect for multiple industries such as concreting projects, woodworking, and metalworking.

The devices are ideal for applications with varying material sizes.

All you need to do is adjust the grinder discs to suit the workpiece or get a different grinder size.

Further, grinder disc interchangeability is equally impressive, with a wide range of available grinding, cutting, and sanding discs.

You will also find more unique tools and discs for potential usage.

For instance, the flap disc is a commonly used accessory on an angle grinder.

It is not a grinding wheel, but it works perfectly in removing materials. And you can also use it for carving and woodworking.

  • Accuracy

Both bench and angle grinders’ accuracy depend on the user. Besides, neither is accurate without the woodworker’s precision and skills. Therefore, practicing and using the tools keenly helps to master them.

  • Price

Typically, a bench grinder goes for $50 to $800. You can pick up a light-duty machine for essential home use for about $50.

However, the price for grinders with more power and a longer lifespan starts from $200.

In contrast, you can get an extremely budget-friendly 4.5 to a six-inch angle grinder for as low as $20.

But the tool will not meet your durability and quality expectations.

Nonetheless, the cost of these machines depends on their power sources, brand, and size.

Therefore, prepare to spend around $80 to $300 or more for a quality angle grinder of any size.

It is advisable to think about your project requirements and expectations when choosing between bench and angle grinders.

Consider working with the former when sharpening blades and go for the latter when cutting metals or pavers.

Nonetheless, you can still have both machines in your workshop. It will make your work easier as you have the perfect tool for each job.

Pros and Cons of Bench Grinder

Bench grinders are excellent tools. But they have their imperfections just like any other machine on the market.

Pros of Bench Grinders

  • The devices have potent motors, guaranteeing efficient operations.
  • They come with variable speeds to accommodate various projects.
  • Some models can run on a generator, allowing you to work without interruptions.
  • Bench grinders have a cast iron base to minimize vibrations.
  • They feature lots of safety features for smooth working sessions.
  • The machines have a variety of wheel sizes.

Cons of Bench Grinders

  • The tools can be expensive.
  • They may feature inferior parts.
  • Some brands are non-adjustable. 
  • Bench grinders are not portable.
  • You need to adjust the machine’s wheels before use.

Pros and Cons of Angle Grinder

Angle grinders also have their benefits and drawbacks. However, their good side outweighs the bad, as shown below.

Pros of Angle Grinders

  • The machines are portable and very mobile.
  • Their wheels operate at high speeds.
  • You can easily change the wheels when necessary.
  • Angle grinders can get into other angles and tricky corners.
  • They are convenient to switch on and off.
  • The devices are easy to hold and protect against vibrations.
  • They are easy to use and have a trigger lock.

Cons of Angle Grinders

  • The appliances overheat too fast.
  • They do not have extra wheels.
  • Beginners need more time to learn how to use the tools.
  • The machine’s spindle may be too long for some workpieces.

Uses of Bench Grinder In Woodworking

Bench grinders are perfect for the following applications:

  • Buffing and Polishing Materials

You can use a bench grinder to buff and polish metals and other workpieces.

Moreover, the proper grinding wheel allows you to buff minor dents from metal objects. Then, smooth the surface to make it shiny.

The machine is perfect for all sorts of craft and construction applications. In addition, it works on wood, plastic, and glass and removes rust from metal.

  • Cutting Wood or Metal Pipe

A bench grinder cuts metal sheets, pipes, small wood blocks, and other workpieces.

In addition, you can circularly move the tool when cutting relatively small materials. Thus, it effectively acts like a saw.

This device also works best for small metal beams, and you can use it for multiple applications, including plumbing, electrical, and construction work.

  • Sharpening Knives and Axes

Bench grinders are excellent for sharpening knives, axes, and other tools with blades.

However, having the correct grinding wheel is advisable to avoid damaging the machine.

  • Cutting Stone Counters and Floors

A bench grinder is ideal for cutting thin stone pieces for floors and counters.

Also, although we have better tools for this purpose, these devices do not disappoint as they support heavy-duty applications.

  • Grinding Metal and Other Objects Down to Size

Consider using a bench grinder when constructing workpieces out of metal.

It will also give you a satisfactory outcome when installing various fixtures such as pipes. And you can cut metal pipes, screws, and bolts to appropriate sizes.

Uses of Angle Grinder In Woodworking

This section discusses in detail the uses of angle grinders. Check them out for clarity on where to use them.

  • Laying Tiles

You can use an angle grinder for rough cutting. It accommodates a diamond wheel, allowing you to cut ceramic materials easily.

Further, the tool perfectly cuts tiles and performs jobs in hard-to-reach areas.

You can mount a diamond crown on the angle grinder to drill holes in tiles.

Also, it has diamond core bits that are perfect for grinding tools used in dry work.

Only ensure that the accessory matches the machine’s diameter.

The classic angle grinder has a speed adjustment feature, allowing you to set it to your preferred speed.

Moreover, you can equip it with caps and pads that can mount nylon discs with abrasive and resin granules.

  • Polishing

The grinder can polish flat surfaces for finishing tasks thanks to its flap discs. These discs feature different grains depending on the material and purpose.

For instance, the more the material to cut off, the more abrasive power is needed.

  • Building Site Construction

Angle grinders feature a diamond cutting disc that allows you to cut brick, concrete, granite, stone, and reinforced concrete.

On the other hand, consider rasp discs for processing light materials.

  • Sawing

Angle grinders come in handy in sawing projects. They have a shape reminiscent of a circular saw’s blade, and you’ll find some versions fitted with a saw chain all around. 

However, please consider using a classic saw as the device’s high speed may result in overheating.

  • Sanding

The angle grinder also reveals its full potential as a multi-tool during sanding.

Besides, it allows you to install various sanding discs: rigid, semi-rigid, and more flexible.

On top of that, you can sand flat or non-flat surfaces on multiple materials depending on the machine’s grain.

  • Metal Pickling

Angle grinders are excellent in removing rust and paint from metal surfaces.

They utilize wire brushes that come in various forms to accommodate tasks such as stripping, cleaning, and deburring.

  • Metal Processing

These machines are compatible with metal discs and thus are helpful in body repairs like dismantling metal structures and car parts.

They also cut stainless steel, various metal elements, cast iron, and structural steel.

  • Brushing

Angle grinders remove loose adhesions, especially when derusting the surface.

Besides, we have multiple brushes to accommodate different projects. But the cup or disc shape wire brush works best.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most asked question:

  • What Is a Bench Grinder Used For?

A bench grinder sharpens other tools and has wheels helpful in shaping and grinding objects.

In addition, the machine comes in various types and shapes to accommodate different applications.

However, the grinder is pricey, and you need to remove materials bit by bit, making it a time-consuming exercise. 

Also, it is advisable to be careful during operations to avoid damage.

  • How Do I know the Correct Wheel to Use?

There are many wheel types for your bench or angle grinder, and it is prudent to get one that handles your specific workpiece.

Therefore, check the charts online or consult your power tool dealer.

  • What are the Safety Rules for Bench and Angle Grinders?

First, learn how to use the machines safely and comfortably and ensure that the workpiece is stable before operations.

In addition, adopt a comfortable position when working to avoid distractions.

Test the wheel by starting the grinder and letting it run for a few seconds. Then, proceed with your work if all is okay.

Please avoid bringing the machine too close to your body and watch the pressure amount you put on the grinder. More is not always the better option in this scenario.

Always tie long hair back and avoid loose clothing. Also, unplug the machine when not in use to prevent accidental starts.

  • Do I Need Safety Gear When Using a Grinder?

It is advisable to wear safety gear when working with grinders, regardless of whether you are working at home or in an industrial setting.

It includes safety glasses, a safety shield, gloves, aprons, hearing protection, metatarsal safety boots, and hearing protection.

Finally, ensure that the work area is clean to avoid accidents.


Choosing the most suitable tool for your work requires assessing your project expectations.

Besides, various grinder options are ideal for specific applications, and an in-depth discussion will help select the best.

Bench Grinder vs Angle Grinder

A bench grinder uses more abrasive wheels and is ideal for sharpening tools and shaping metal before welding. On the other hand, an angle grinder comes in handy during aggressive polishing and abrasive cutting.

Image of a woodworker wearing hearing protectors for woodworking

Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.

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