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Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

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  • Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

    I'm wanting to move to CBN wheels for my all-around tool grinding needs. Everything from bench chisels, to carving tools and lathe chisels. The works.

    I do not presentaly own a bench grinder (a have a Tormek T7 water-wheel grinder and a venerable Veritas "record player" style sharpener (their Model 1), both of which I am planning to hold onto.

    I am looking at the following two grinders, and would like to hear from those who are using them with CBN wheels; if there are other grinders you'd suggest, I'd like to hear about them, too:

    - Rikon 8" model sold by Lee Valley for $249
    - Craftex 10" model CX900 on sale now at Busy Bee for $209 (regular $265)

    I'm also interested in hearing about CBN wheels to mount to the grinder. The ones sold by Lee Valley don't have a flat side, which is a feature I think will be helpful... but would like to hear what others think about that, as well as other aspects of these wheels.

    Thanks, in advance for your input!

    All the best,

    Marty

    President of Kingston Wood Artisans https://kwoodartca.wordpress.com/

    Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club
  • Thread Continues Below...

  • #2

    Re: Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

    I bought that craftex grinder a few years ago. I was happy with it until I decided to change one of the wheels, and discovered that the spindle was 20 mm, not the listed 3/4”. I couldn’t find any reducer bushing sets that would work, so had to get some ground. Not a huge expense, but it still bugs me to think about it.
    Tim

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    • #3

      Re: Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

      I don't know anything about CBN wheels but I would want to be able to sharpen on the side of the wheel more than the face. The bigger the diameter the less hollow the grind.
      Rob

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

        I've got the Rikon grinder but the 80-800VS... the variable speed version. It wasn't on Stockroom Supply's website but they had it in stock. LV said they could order it but it would take a while. No CBN wheels on it.

        So far so good. I like the ability to adjust the speed - but it vibrates. It was severe when I got it and it seemed like it was because one of the wheels wasn't installed well. I took it off an put it back on carefully and the wobble was definitely minimized... but it'll still wander across the bench if I let it. It might be easily fixed but I haven't had the time to tinker lately! I clamped it onto my bench to put new grinds on my (rust-pocketed) chisels and sharpened them up, and they perform really well - that's all that matters in the end!

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

          Originally posted by guitarchitect View Post
          I've got the Rikon grinder but the 80-800VS... the variable speed version. It wasn't on Stockroom Supply's website but they had it in stock. LV said they could order it but it would take a while. No CBN wheels on it.

          So far so good. I like the ability to adjust the speed - but it vibrates. It was severe when I got it and it seemed like it was because one of the wheels wasn't installed well. I took it off an put it back on carefully and the wobble was definitely minimized... but it'll still wander across the bench if I let it. It might be easily fixed but I haven't had the time to tinker lately! I clamped it onto my bench to put new grinds on my (rust-pocketed) chisels and sharpened them up, and they perform really well - that's all that matters in the end!
          I have a cheap Porter Cable 8" variable speed grinder that I bought at Lowes about 4 or 5 years ago for $130. I bought two quality Norton wheels and the Lee Valley balancing kit. It runs as smooth as silk with the balancers on, even at top speed.
          Cheers
          Randy

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

            I'm also now looking at this offer from Woodturners Wonders from the US. $349.95 + S&H within the US (I could have it shipped to where we go down south every year and pick it up there and bring it home with me).
            All the best,

            Marty

            President of Kingston Wood Artisans https://kwoodartca.wordpress.com/

            Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club

            Comment

            • Thread Continues Below...

            • #7

              Re: Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

              Originally posted by Randy in Calgary View Post

              I have a cheap Porter Cable 8" variable speed grinder that I bought at Lowes about 4 or 5 years ago for $130. I bought two quality Norton wheels and the Lee Valley balancing kit. It runs as smooth as silk with the balancers on, even at top speed.
              oh wow, I didn't know about that - neat! I'll have to add that to my wish list!
              I should also say that I'm currently running it with a wire wheel and stone - I suspect that the uneven load doesn't help much. I've been loving the wire wheel for cleaning off old tools but I should probably just get a variable speed angle grinder to use when i need that!

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              • #8

                Re: Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

                Any idea why those CBN wheels are so expensive?

                Just curious to know

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

                  Originally posted by Andre in Quebec View Post
                  Any idea why those CBN wheels are so expensive?

                  Just curious to know
                  it's basically a circular diamond stone... on a well-balanced wheel of steel.

                  maybe the better question is - why would you expect them to be cheap?

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

                    Originally posted by guitarchitect View Post

                    oh wow, I didn't know about that - neat! I'll have to add that to my wish list!
                    I should also say that I'm currently running it with a wire wheel and stone - I suspect that the uneven load doesn't help much. I've been loving the wire wheel for cleaning off old tools but I should probably just get a variable speed angle grinder to use when i need that!
                    I have a General International 1800 rpm 6" grinder with a coarse wheel and wire wheel that I use for rough stuff. The 8" is for sharpening, mainly turning tools.
                    Cheers
                    Randy

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

                      Had an 8" low speed Rikon for about 3 years now with no complaints. I'll soon be buying a CBN wheel for it as well.

                      Comment

                      • Thread Continues Below...

                      • #12

                        Re: Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

                        I have had this grinder and will install a One way wolverine jig i just picked up (Video Below) Its a King industrial 8” slow speed. I bought new for 150. Happy with it so far and those wheels you mention are supposedly an upgrade everyone should have done.

                        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=S2RMFGjhous

                        Edit its 130$ with amazon atm. Cheers
                        Last edited by dwight80; 01-11-2019, 04:40 PM.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

                          Mine is a sixty dollar princess auto with mu+h different stones than what it came with.
                          KenL likes this.
                          Egon
                          from
                          The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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                          • #14

                            Re: Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

                            I bought an 8 inch grinder from PA also and replaced the wheels with better quality ones as Egon did. Mine is on a grinder stand that I acquired from Canadian Tire (indirectly!) and it runs nice and smooth. Not industrial quality for certain but it works very well; bags of power and it is unlikely that I will ever wear it out. The tools rests are kind of flimsy but they will be replaced as soon as I get the new ones machined and installed (down there in my list of shop-related projects somewhere). It is very similar to the Craftex.

                            Ken

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                            • #15

                              Re: Which Low-speed Bench Grinder to Purchase?

                              Marty, I am really happy with my Rikon from Stockroom, and Katie couldn't have been nicer to deal with.
                              A CBN is next.

                              Noel
                              "Being so impressed with the beauty of nature, I never cease to be amazed at how the
                              'touch of the human hand' can transform it into another kind of beauty that is so uniquely human.
                              "
                              John Snow, Outdoorsman and Retired Teacher

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