Bench Grinder Reviews in the UK: Which is the Best Bench Grinder?

​Bench grinders are one of our favourite power tools as they are useful machines that can be used for grinding, polishing, and linishing (or belt sanding), and at the same time they are relatively simple machines which makes picking the best bench grinder for one's workshop an easy process. Essentially, once you have decided on the grinding wheel diameter to go for, usually either 6" (150mm) or 8" (200mm), it simply then becomes a matter of buying the highest powered machine that you can afford, while keeping an eye out for the features that each offers. What's good about bench grinders is the ability to change out the wheels for different types of grinding wheels, wire wheels, or polishing mops, endowing the humble bench grinder with a whole range of capabilities. In this look at bench grinders, we first examine the features to look out for when choosing a machine for your workshop before analysing individual bench grinders that are available in the UK in our more detailed bench grinder reviews further down the page.

What to look for in a Bench Grinder

Grinding wheel diameter - There are a few different standard sizes of wheel in the DIY hobbyist bench grinder category. Obviously, the larger the wheel diameter, the larger the physical dimensions of the bench grinder, which may be an important consideration in a space-restricted garage or home workshop.  The most common diameters are:

  • ​75 mm (3")
  • 150 mm  (6")
  • 200 mm (8")

So what size to get? After deciding on whether the bench grinder size will fit in the workshop space allocated for it, choosing which size is best is to some extent a matter of personal preference. The size of the wheel does affect some characteristics of the bench grinder, like a larger wheel has a faster angular velocity at the grinding edge affecting the rate of frictional heating, or smaller wheels are more curved at the grinding point which can cause slight differences in bevel formation, however, for the most part, the effect on actual function is minor.

Power - This is probably the most important parameter to consider when buying a bench grinder. Power is given in Watts which best indicates how tough a material can be used on the bench grinder and how quickly material can be removed from the subject being grinded. The harder the material being grinded and the faster it needs to be removed, the higher the pressure needed on the grinding surface. If the machine is insufficiently powered, pressing too hard on the grinding surface will begin to slow the wheel down (or even stop it altogether), making the work of grinding tedious and difficult. In the case of polishing with a wire wheel or a mop, a powerful motor in the bench grinder is even more important and most low power (eg. 150W) budget machines will not be able to be used effectively as a polisher at all.

Capabilities - You need to decide up front what you would like your bench grinder to do and although you can chop and change discs on most bench grinders, deciding beforehand what you will use it most for can help you chose the grinder up front. Common configurations include the following:

  • ​Two dry grinding wheels of different grits
  • One dry grinding wheel & one cloth polishing wheel
  • One dry grinding wheel & one wire brush wheel
  • One dry grinding wheel & one belt sander
  • One dry grinding wheel & one wet grinding wheel

Wheel bore size - The wheel bore size only becomes relevant when you want to change the wheels to ones of different coarseness or to different wheel types. In such cases it is important to know the wheel bore size so appropriate sized replacements can be purchased that will fit.

Noise - The more powerful the bench grinder and the less well built it is, the more vibration and noise it will generate. In general however, bench grinders are relatively quiet compared to most other power tools!

Popular Bench Grinders in the UK

​(If you are located in the US, then check out what the popular bench grinders are in the US here​)

  
Power
(Watts)
Wheel Dia.
Bore Size
(mm)
Discs
Sound
Pressure
(dB)
Weight
(kg)
Silverline 263511
150 W
6-inch
12.7 mm
36 grit
60 grit
63 dB
5 kg
Einhell TH-BG 150
150 W
6-inch
12.7 mm
36 grit
60 grit
77.5 dB
5.38 kg
FERM BGM1019
150 W
6-inch
12.7 mm
36 grit
60 grit
62.6 dB
5.92 kg
Clarke CBG6RP
150 W
6-inch
12.7 mm
coarse
fine
--
8 kg
Sealey BG150CX
150 W
6-inch
12.7 mm
coarse
fine
--
6 kg
Silverline 263524
200 W
6-inch
12.7 mm
36 grit
60 grit
63 dB
6.29 kg
FERM BGM1020
250 W
6-inch
12.7 mm
36 grit
80 grit
62.6 dB
8.2 kg
Makita GB602
250 W
6-inch
12.7 mm
coarse
fine
74 dB
9.2 kg
Draper 66804
250 W
6-inch
12.7 mm
36 grit
60 grit
84.2
8 kg
Sealey BG150XWL
250 W
6-inch
12.7 mm
coarse stone
wire wheel
--
8.6 kg
Record RPBG6
370 W
6-inch
--
coarse
fine
--
10 kg
Draper 29620
370 W
6-inch
12.7 mm
36 grit
60 grit
70 dB
12 kg
Sealey BG150XLW/98
370 W
6-inch
13 mm
coarse stone
wire wheel
--
11 kg
Sealey BG150XD/99
450 W
6-inch
13 mm
coarse
fine
--
13 kg
Titan TTB521GRB
400 W
8-inch
16 mm
36 grit
60 grit
102 dB
10 kg
Record RPBG8
500 W
8-inch
--
coarse
fine
--
13.5 kg
Draper 05096
370 W
6-inch
12.7 mm
36 grit grinder
80 grit belt
84 dB
10 kg
Silverline 612519
240 W
6-inch
12.7 mm
-- grit grinder
80 grit belt
89 dB
7 kg
Silverline 544813
250 W
6-inch
8-inch whetstone
--
36 grit
80 grit whetstone
--
9.5 kg
Power
(Watts)
Wheel Dia.
Bore Size
(mm)
Discs
Sound
Pressure
(dB)
Weight
(kg)
-- Information Not Available

Bench Grinder Reviews

Silverline Bench Grinder Silverstorm 263511 & Silverstorm 263524

Silverline Silverstorm 263511 bench grinder

Silverstorm 263511

One other thing to remember with the 263511 is that the machine starts to warm up after 10-15mins of grinding and should not be used for more than 30 minutes at a time without allowing it to cool down, otherwise the motor will not last very long. It is reasonably quiet, but vibrates a little bit so it does need to be bolted down to the workbench.

Silverline Silverstorm 263524 bench grinder

​Silverstorm 263524

As for the Silverline Tools company, most DIY-ers have heard of the brand which covers a vast range of different tools that are very economically-priced. Some tools are exceptional value for money, but others can be pretty poor. Silverline usually offers a 3-year warranty on their products but don't rely on this too much since the return postage is the responsibility of the owner, and since the price of their tools are usually so low to begin with, most people find that it is just not worth the effort of returning a faulty tool.

Einhell Bench Grinder TH-BG150

Einhell Bench Grinder TH-BG150

Einhell is a less-well known German company which produces a range of tools for both the DIY-er and the trade professional. Their tools are usually not the cheapest but are reasonably priced and are usually very good value-for-money. Owners of Einhell tools are usually completely satisfied with their performance.

FERM Bench Grinder BGM1019

FERM Bench Grinder BGM1019

FERM is not very well-known in the UK but it is a reputable dutch company that sells a wide range of tools (including bench grinders) to an international base of customers, and owners of FERM tools are usually surprised how good their tools are!

Clarke Bench Grinder CBG6RP

Clarke CBG6RP 6-inch bench grinder

As for other types of activities that can be undertaken on the bench grinder, the Clarke CBG6RP machine is not powerful enough for regular polishing work but, at a stretch and if not too much pressure is applied on the wheel, can be used for some very light buffing when used with an appropriate polishing wheel. The Clarke CBG6RP 6-inch bench grinder is relatively heavy considering its motor size coming in at around 8kg which bodes well for greater stability on the bench top, but not so for moving it around a lot. In fact as with most bench grinders, the Clarke machine should be bolted down to the bench top for maximum safety and in this regard there are four screw holes moulded into the base of the machine designed to permanently fix it into place.

On the more negative side, although most of the motor housing on the Clarke bench grinder is made of metal, the base of the machine is made out of plastic which, although tough, would have been better if it too was made out of metal so as to increase long-term robustness. One other point to note with the Clarke machine is that the bench grinder is only designed to continuously operate for five minutes at a time before needing to cool off for five minutes. This can sometimes make using the bench grinder inconvenient especially with prolonged grinding jobs.

Clarke International is a UK company that has been around since the 1960s and supplies powered and unpowered DIY and home improvement tools to the UK consumer indirectly via a number of retail outlets. Although Clarke products are sourced mostly from abroad, they keep a sharp eye on quality. This means that Clarke tools are reasonably good tools that are priced competitively, and also means that literature accompanying its tools is accurate and written in good English. This is also true of the Clarke CBG6RP bench grinder.

Makita Bench Grinder GB602

Makita Bench Grinder GB602

The Makita bench grinder accepts 150 mm grinding wheels up to a thickness of 20mm, however it should be noted that the grinding wheels that come with the bench grinder are only 16mm in thickness. Fortunately, upgrading the wheels if desired is a relatively simple process, and since the wheel bore size or spindle diameter on the GB602 is the standard 12.7 mm that one finds on most 6-inch bench grinders, alternative wheels should not be hard to come by.

Structurally, the Makita bench grinder is a well-built, sturdy and stable machine as one would expect from a Makita power tool weighing in at about 9.2 kilograms. It also incorporates two recessed screw holes in its base that allow it to be bolted down to the work surface for even more stability.

One notably nice feature about the Makita bench grinder is that the housing over each wheel contains an integrated light that lights up the grinding area. However, it should be noted that these lights only come on when the machine is in operation whereas ideally we would have liked to see them have a separate control switch so that they could remain permanently on if desired.

Surprisingly for a Makita tool, there is the odd outstanding imperfection with the Makita GB602 bench grinder. One notable dislike is the magnifying lens found in one of the eye shields that is supposed to provide greater clarity in the grinding area but instead provides a less than perfect image that most users will prefer to do without. Almost as if to address this issue, Makita bundles in safety goggles as part of the bench grinder’s accessories making the eye shields a little redundant, and to some extent making up for the poor quality magnifying eye shield.

Overall, the Makita GB602 bench grinder is a high quality power tool that runs smooth and quiet. It is powerful enough to handle most DIY grinding jobs and although it can be used with polishing or wire wheels, it will be a little bit on the deficient side for heavier polishing work. Makita tools tend to be more expensive than equivalent power tools from the majority of other brands, but in general, you get what you pay for with a higher quality tool, and that is indeed the case for the most part with GB602 bench grinder.

The Draper Bench Grinders 66804 & 29620

Draper 66804 bench grinder

Draper 66804

Draper 29620 bench grinder

Draper 29620

Draper is a large and well-known player in the DIY and trade professional arena producing a wide range of power and hand tools. However, with Draper, it can sometimes be a bit of a lottery as to whether you get a perfectly built tool as quality control at Draper seems to slip up once in a while and lets through some substandard units. Sometimes it is a matter of going though a couple of rounds of returning substandard items until you are satisfied with the unit you have received.

Draper Bench Grinder & Belt Sander 05096

Draper Bench Grinder & Belt Sander 05096

As alluded to elsewhere, Draper is a medium-sized UK firm that is well known to the DIY consumer and trade professional for their wide range of Draper-branded tools. Build quality and quality control can sometimes be a bit hit-or-miss, but on the whole the 05096 is well-designed with reasonable build-quality. When the unit first arrives, make sure that the sanding belt alignment is true, and correct it if necessary using the appropriate tracking knob. This is important since the belt can get damaged if the motor is switched on and the belt is significantly misaligned.

Sealey Bench Grinder BG150XLW/98

Sealey bench grinder BG150XLW98

The Sealey brand is a well-known brand in the UK as they are one of the largest equipment suppliers to the DIY consumer and the trade professional and it is not uncommon to see Sealey tools in the home garage or workshop and also in the factory. They have a reputation for procuring and selling reasonably well-built tools that are reliable but also sell at a reasonable price.

Titan Bench Grinder TTB521GRB

Image of the Titan Bench Grinder TTB521GRB

As with most other consumer bench grinders, the Titan comes with coarse and fine grinding discs, namely 30-grit and 60-grit wheels, but as an added bonus, a useful wire-wheel is also included in the box. Unfortunately, however, not a lot of thought has gone into the use of wire wheels on the Titan grinder as the included one can sometimes partially brush against the wheel guard securing bolts which protrude a fair amount. Continuous striking of these bolts with the wire wheel will eventually damage them making removal of the wheel guard more problematic. One option is not to use the wheel guard at all when using a wire wheel but this poses an increased safety risk to the operator and is not recommended.

The incorporation of a light on the Titan bench grinder is another added bonus and although we like the modern LED bulb incorporated, the brightness of the light is a little bit on the disappointing side. This makes the light really only useful in dimly-lit environments while in brightly-lit workshops, it can be difficult even to tell if it is actually on. The LED light also does not have a separate control switch so even in bright environments, the light will remain on rather wastefully. Fortunately, however, the use of low-powered LED bulb technology will make its electrical consumption negligible. The positioning mechanism for the light so that it illuminates the desired area has been well designed, although if the machine vibrates excessively, the light can drift out of its set position.

As for build quality on the Titan machine, this can be variable from component to component. For example, the tool-rests on the Titan bench grinder are not of the best quality and can be deformed if enough pressure is applied. In addition, although they are adjustable in the horizontal ‘closer / further away’ dimension, they cannot be angled upwards making the consistent sharpening of tools, such as chisels and plane irons, more challenging. In other places, the build quality appears better, for example, when switching off the machine, the wheels take quite some time to come to a rest suggesting the use of decent spindle bearings.

Quality control on Titan-branded machines can also be a bit hit-or-miss with some TTB521GRB units better than others. Thankfully, Titan is a brand that is essentially owned by Screwfix, which works well for the variable quality control since Screwfix has a very liberal returns policy especially for faulty or substandard equipment. So in the case of this Titan bench grinder, one should be prepared to make one or two trips to a Screwfix outlet to return any defective products before one gets a machine that works satisfactorily.

Assuming the reception of a relatively flawless machine, the Titan TTB521GRB is, for the most part, a relatively smooth running bench grinder. However, a common issue with the Titan bench grinder is the often heavier than expected vibration as the wheels gain speed at start up. Fortunately, the vibration usually subsides when the machine reaches its normal running speed. To help with the vibration, the machine has been endowed with rubber feet as well as well-positioned screw holes in its base for securing it to the workbench.

Finally, one feature on the Titan that we don’t particularly like is the use of a 16 mm spindle bore. Most consumer bench grinders come with a 12.7 mm spindle and the majority of grinding wheels on sale to the consumer tend to cater to this smaller spindle, either by having 12.7mm bore holes or by coming which bushes that adapt them to this smaller shaft size. This makes finding replacement grinding discs and other wheel types for the Titan bench grinder slightly more difficult and seems like an unnecessary complication.

In summary, the Titan TTB521GRB bench grinder is designed primarily for the home workshop, and is ideally suited for typical home grinding and sharpening tasks such as those on lawnmower blades, chisels, drill bits and axes. It is a relatively powerful machine with a good design and, although not perfect in all its features and build quality, it is overall good value for money considering its price and its high technical specifications.

The Record Bench Grinders RPBG6 & RPBG8

Record RPBG6 bench grinder

Record RPBG6 bench grinder


Record RPBG8 bench grinder

Record RPBG8 bench grinder