Bench Grinder Safety

Posted by Dave Corbett on June 17, 2012 as ,

Bench Grinder Safety – How To Use

Bench grinder safety is a very important topic, don’t just walk up to a bench grinder and switch it straight on. The last person to use the bench grinder may not have taken care of it properly and the first thing you need to do is to inspect the bench grinder to see if it safe to use.

What To Check Before Turning The Grinder On

  • with the power turned off at the wall, spin the wheel to make sure it turns freely.
  • make sure the resting post is as close as possible to the wheel without touching it.
  • If the machine has a safety shield is it in place.
  • Are you wearing safety glasses. Ordinary reading glasses can shatter if hit by an exploding grinder wheel.
  • Is the wheel clean and unclogged from bad materials.
  • Are you wearing the correct clothing. Sleeves that are to long can get caught in the machine.
  • Do you have quenching fluid to keep the metal cool while working on it. Correct coolant will keep the temper of the steel right.
  • Is the machine fitted with a lamp to see your work better.
  • Has the bench grinder got a safety zone of exclusion marked around it. A good aspect when considering bench grinder safety.
  • know where the safety cut off switch is located.
Here is an article on bench grinder safety!

What Not To Grind On A Bench Grinder

  • Never grind wood, brass or aluminium on a bench grinder. They will clog the machine up and make it useless for anybody else to use.
  • Do not use the bench grinder for jamming metal straight into the machine heavily, this can cause the wheel to get a large groove worn into the front of the wheel.
  • Do not use the side of a grinding wheel to grind off metal, this could cause pressure on the spindle of the machine and cause the grinding wheel to explode.
  • Never use just the edge of the wheel, this will cause the wheel to be worn in a rounded shape and make it less effective to use.
  • Sharpening tools on a bench grinder is a trade skill in its own right, sometimes it may be better to sharpen tools with a hand stone, and not a grinding wheel.
  • Never have more than one person working on a bench grinder, there may be to wheels to each machine, but only one person on the bench grinder at a time.
  • Never adjust a grinding wheel with the power turned on.

Bench grinder safety is very important, grinding wheels can explode and blind people. Here is a safety video on using a bench grinder!


So bench grinder safety is not something to be taken lightly, the next time you are going to use a bench grinder follow the safe working practices of using a grinder and live to talk about it later.

Bench grinder safety, Grinding wheel example

Bench grinders can be used with wire wheels and polishing pads on them. Don’t be tempted to jam your work to hard into the wheel, this can cause the machine to be given to heavy a load on it and it is possible to burn a grinder out. When using any bench grinder always wear your protective clothing. Never replace a bench or pedestal wheel with a loose-fitting stone, they must fit the spindle properly. If you fit an incorrect wheel to a grinder they can vibrate and scatter all over the place. If you drop a wheel on the floor, put it in the rubbish bin, hair line cracks can happen and the wheel could fly to bits under load.

How To Dress A Grinding Wheel

There are 3 ways to dress a grinding wheel, the first way is to use a diamond dresser and the second way is to use a metal lathe to dress the wheel. Here is a video on dressing a grinding wheel.

Grinding wheels can be cleaned and trued up using a metal lathe, make sure the jig you make up for them locks down well and is not to far away from the chuck head.

The third way is the common everyday wheel dresser, that you can buy from your local hardware. Here another video on using a common dressing tool.

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