A grinder is an excellent addition to any toolbox or workshop. Grinders work by the means of rotating abrasive wheels. When the wheels rotate at high speeds, they are able to grind and buff various surfaces as well as cut materials, from wood to metal. Wheels of different grains are used for different purposes. The versatility of a bench grinder is rooted in different wheel attachments.

Grinders come in a variety of shapes. Handheld types such as angle grinders or die grinders are pretty popular, but a lot of people use the standalone type, called a bench grinder. A bench grinder is placed on top of a desk or a workstation. You work it by putting the item you want to grind against the rotating wheels. So when using a bench grinder, you don’t control the grinder itself but rather the item in your hands.

A bench grinder can be used for many purposes but one of the main ones is sharpening tools. Using a bench grinder will allow you to keep all of your other tools as well as kitchen knives sharp and ready to use at all times.

The high rotating speed, however, means that the surface of the item being ground gets extremely hot. It is important to not grind continuously for a long time and to regularly put the ground item in a bowl filled with cold water to cool it off. Not doing so can cause damage to both the bench grinder and the ground item, and also be a fire hazard. Bench grinders are tools that absolutely should not be used without preparations and knowledge about how to properly handle them.

But doing all of that prolongs your work time considerably. That is where the slow speed bench grinder comes in.

Slow speed bench grinders operate at slower speeds than regular ones. They control the heat better and because of that, they are safer to use. The risk of overheating is much smaller. They are great for more delicate work which requires greater control and coordination.

If you have a traditional bench grinder that only operates at high speed, it is possible to slow it down using some DIY techniques but it is not recommended. Should you do any mistakes during the process, the grinder itself can be rendered completely unusable or become very unsafe for use. If you use your bench grinder regularly, it is worth it to invest in a newer model with adjustable speed settings. Slower wheel rotation requires a more powerful engine with more torque which is why a slow speed bench grinder will usually cost slightly more than a traditional one. If you care about workplace safety, however, this shouldn’t be a difficult choice.