How to Use a Bench Grinder? (9 Steps & Tips Included)

How to Use a Bench Grinder (1)

A bench grinder is a handy tool to lets you do tasks like grinding, cutting, or shaping any metal. Also, a bench grinder can assist you in grinding down the sharp corners or smoothening the metal burrs.

You may not be required to work with a bench grinder every day. However, if you have a bench grinder and you set it up correctly, it will give you a great result.

Now, the question is how to use a bench grinder correctly. Let’s follow the below steps intently and use a bench grinder efficiently.

Step-by-Step Process to Use a Bench Grinder

Step-by-Step Process to Use a Bench Grinder

Step 01: Do a Safety Check

Before switching on the grinder, make sure you have taken the necessary safety precautions below.

  • Be assured the grinder is securely positioned on the bench.
  • Inspect whether the tool rest is available in its place or not. The tool rest is a small portion of a bench grinder where the metallic item takes place during grinding, and it must be placed securely. The space between the tool rest and the grinder wheel has to be 1/8”. Then only you can say the tool rest is secured.
  • If you find any debris and dirt everywhere, the grinder clears it. Without enough room, you can’t effortlessly drive the cut of metal that you are dealing with to and fro in the grinder. So, enough spacing is mandatory in this regard.
  • The metal will get too hot during the work, and you need to make them cool. So, keep a bucket of water near the metal grinder.

Step 02: Wear PPE

Protecting yourself should get top priority. Get necessary safety gear such as safety goggles, hardened-toed gumboots, face masks, and earplugs. All this PPE will save you from flying metal sparks.

Step 03: Turn the Grinder On

Switch on the grinder. Don’t start working up until the grinder comes to its maximum speed.

Step 04: Start Grinding

Start Grinding

Take your position at the front portion of the grinder. Take the metal piece and hold it tightly with both hands. Put the metal piece at the tool rest and gradually drive it on the way to the grinder. The metal has to be in contact with the edge, not with the side of the grinder.

Step 05: Dip the Metal into the Water when it gets cool

As I stated earlier, the metal piece will get hot due to excessive heat. So, dip the metal into a container of water periodically to keep it cool. When the heated metal touches the water surface, steam will be created, and you need to keep your face away from the steam at that time.

Step 06: Grinding a Metal

Let the metal move to and fro crosswise the bench grinder. And finish it only when the amount of metal is removed. Avoid holding the metallic piece in the same place as the grinder for an extended period, as it may create damage to the place.

Step 07: Cutting a Metal

  • Place the metal onto the tool rest. Gently rotate it and stop rotating when the grinder touches the mark where you want to cut.
  • Keep on rotating until it breaks apart. Don’t let the piece fall on the ground; be confirmed you hold both of the cut pieces in your hand. Once you finish the work, dip the hot parts into the water to make them cool.

Step 08: Giving a Shape to the Metal Piece

  • To give shape to the metal piece, let the metal piece touch the specific required bendable area. Give a to-and-fro motion. This way, the particular area will go off slowly.
  • When the metal piece becomes orange in color, be sure it is comfortable enough. And pull the metal away from the bench grinder. To give a shape to the metal piece, use both hands. Once you have given the metal piece the ideal shape, dip it into the water.

Step 09: Sharpening a Blade of Metal

  • Place the metal blade at the top of the tool rest and grip it with both hands securely.
  • Give the metal blade a slow push to the grinder. Slightly give the blade an up-and-down motion with an angle. This way, the metal cuts away to make the metal sharp. Continue the same process until the blade comes to your required sharpening point. Once the work is completed, remove it from the grinder and dip the metal into the water. After it gets cool, take it out of the water.

How to use a Bench Grinder


  • While working or cutting metal, make sure you use the correct grinding wheel for your metal. A grinding wheel works similarly to sandpaper. To perform different precision work, they are made differently. The majority of the grinding wheels are prepared to give a gentle rub to any metallic objects.
  • At the time of working with a grinding wheel, don’t wear hand gloves. It is prohibited because if the gloves come in contact with a running wheel, you may have a severe problem. Even a glancing touch to the wheel can remove your skin. However, you can use light latex gloves to protect your hands from irritating dust.

Sum Up:

Undoubtedly, a bench grinder will help you in many projects, such as plumbing, flooring, carpentry, and small household work.

All you need to do is, you need to use it in the correct way to get the best benefit from it. Incorrect operation of a bench grinder will give you inefficient results and put you at risk.

More FAQ

What is the prime responsibility of a bench grinder?

Bench grinders are used to sharpen any metallic items.

What are the types of bench grinders based on wheels?

You will find many types of bench grinder wheels in the market. Out of them, straight wheel grinder, tapered wheel grinder, cylinder wheel grinder, and to name a few, are popular among the users.

What are 4 important rules for a bench grinder?

  • Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying sparks and debris.
  • Don’t wear gloves, ties, loose clothing, or jewellery that could get caught in the wheel.
  • Adjust the tool rest so it’s within 1/8 inch of the wheel to prevent the workpiece from jamming.
  • Don’t over-tighten the wheel nuts or bear down too hard on the workpiece to avoid wheel damage.

What would I use a bench grinder for?

A bench grinder is useful for various applications, including sharpening tools like chisels, shears, and knives, deburring metal parts, buffing, and general grinding, shaping, and smoothing of metal pieces.

What not to use on a bench grinder?

Using a bench grinder on materials like wood, plastic, or glass is not recommended. The high-speed grinding wheels are designed for metal work.

Grinding soft materials like wood can quickly clog the wheel, reducing its cutting ability. Plastics may melt from the heat generated, and glass can shatter, causing injury.

How do you grind on a bench grinder?

Start by adjusting the tool rest close to the wheel, around 1/8 inch. Turn on the grinder and let it reach full speed. Gently rest the workpiece on the tool rest and apply light pressure against the spinning wheel.

Slowly move the piece back and forth across the wheel to achieve the desired grinding. Use smooth motions and light pressure for best control. Cool the workpiece often by dipping it in water to prevent overheating.