Surface Grinder Operation Basics

bench grinder
  • 1-100 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-200

A surface grinder is one of those pieces of machinery that looks intimidating to use, but is essentially very easy to operate. Surface grinders can come in a lot of varieties, both in handheld and benchtop models. The most common are benchtop models with six-inch to 24-inch grinding wheels.

Step 1 - Let the Grinder Do the Work

Designed to operate on their own, surface grinders do not need a lot of help from the operator. You basically hold the piece and apply a little pressure. The abrasive surface of the grinding wheel will grind the piece for you.

Step 2 - Set Metal Piece a Few Inches from Grinder

You do not want to start the grinder with the metal piece already resting on it. Start the workpiece a few inches away from the grinding wheel. Most of the time, a larger model will have a palette that is magnetized to hold the piece. A smaller benchtop model will have a tool rest where you can place the piece.

Step 3 - Turn Grinder On


Activate the grinder by pushing the "On" button. This will start the grinding wheel turning. In larger, floor models, the wheel will begin moving back and forth on the workpiece. On benchtop models, it will spin rapidly.

Step 4 - Hold Piece Tightly

Hold onto the piece and make sure you do not grind too much of it. You are looking for a smooth, polished look. If left too long on the grinder, you will get scratches, and dust particles.