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I was thinking of getting a bench grinder for my shop. I’m not sure I’d have a ton of use for it but you know how that goes, once you get something then you seem to find uses for it you never imagined. My primary thought was sharpening my chisels. Does anyone else see this as helpful or do you just prefer to work them by hand on a diamond sharpener or stone? If I got one, is a 6” adequate or is 8” better? I’m seeing all kinds ranging in price from $40 up to $200. That much difference seems ridiculous to me for just roughly shaping and sharpening a blade.
 

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Hey Duane. It doesn't look like you've looked too deep. You can spend way more than $200 if you look at the T8 Tormek. I won a slow speed Rikon at my somewhat local Woodcraft and outfitted it with a couple of CBN diamond wheels for sharpening my lathe tools but can do chisels and plane blades as well. I also have the diamond stones with a few jigs for sharpening. That said the Rikon grinder is a 8" and I did need to remove the wheel housings to take full advantage of the sides of the CBN wheels.

Hope this helps some. Either way it isn't inexpensive but with good wheels you should be set for a long while.
 

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Whilst I have a Tormec and an 8" high speed grinder, the 8" half speed one shown is the one used most of the time. The chisels don't get anywhere as hot as they do on a high speed one and the Tormec is far too slow.
 

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I have an 8" but it only gets used occasionally. It is nice when the chisels need reshaping or getting deep nicks out of them and the wheels do give you the dished edge that cuts better after. Otherwise diamond hones get the job done. It takes a a fair number of sharpenings with the diamond stones to wear down the hollow grind from wheels. If the grinder comes with the coarse gray wheels you'll need to replace at least one with a white wheel. I have a hard felt wheel that I charge with green honing compound which is equivalent of 8000 grit and a follow up with it gets my chisels to where they will shave hair off my arm. I can't speak to the Tormek or Stay Sharp or any of the other systems as I haven't tried them.
 

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I couldn't live without a bench grinder. I use to hand sharpen all my drill bits and cold chisels. I do allot of metal work. I use it for a ton of other stuff too. I have a 6 " I think I use it almost every day. I have had it for years I think it cost about 50 bucks. I even use it to sharpen pencils. LOL
 

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I don't use one often, but find a bench grinder a valuable addition to my shop. Had two, so gave one to my younger son. Checking around, looks like the other one followed my son out the door. So now looking for another one.

I don't use one for sharpening chisels or lathe tools tho. Find it handier, faster, and as accurate, sharpening those on a small belt sander. Got that tip from a top-of-the-line custom furniture maker years ago, it has worked out very well for me. And I only use mechanical pencils now, no sharpening at all.
 

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Duane,

As Chuck stated the grinder is good for removing nicks in chisels but, that is where I stop. A bench grinder turns way to fast to use for sharpening. You need a low speed grinder for that and use the white wheel made for that purpose. I don't have a low speed grinder yet, but I will eventually buy one. For now after the grinder removes the nicks, I go to my trusted oil stone and have been teaching my students also. Like so many other aspects of woodworking, you can spend a fortune to get the latest technology, or, you can use tried and true old school that costs way less and gets the job done. How many pieces of furniture were built over centuries without water stones and diamond stones ?
Dan
 
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Which ever you get be sure to replace the wheel with a good one. I use a CBN wheel and it's almost impossible to over heat my lathe chisels yet it sharpens then very quickly. A regular wheel can burn the steel almost instantly. The wheel alone was about $200.
 

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Duane (and anyone else reading this) Do not use your grinder for Aluminum, and then for steel. You can have a catastrophic failure of the grinding wheel! I'm talking about stone shrapnel here. Don't do it.
Aluminum particles basically melt into the stone's pores and fuse there; bad Karma.
 
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