Wise Buys: Bench Grinders
Porter-Cable PCB575BG (8") $119; PCB525BG (6")
Wheels: 36- and 80-grit silicon carbide
RPM: 2,075?3,425 (8"); 2,065?3,435 (6")
The wheels of these similarly featured grinders cover a wide range of tasks, from rough grinding to touching up woodworking tools. Both grinders run nearly vibration-free, with smooth rpm changes across the variable-speed range.
Threaded knobs make positioning the tool rests and safety shields easy. The poker-chip-like interlocking ridges in the tool rest and mount provide solid, repeatable positioning, but prevent fine-tuning between those gradations. A T-shaped, diamond-embedded dressing tool stores on the back of the base and a quench cup sits up front.
Two gripes: I didn't care for the drill-bit-sharpening groove cast into the left tool rest, as narrow chisels tended to dip into it. And the task light only comes on when the motor is running, so it can't be used when setting up the grinder.
Get it if: Sharpening chores range from lawnmower blades to chisels.
Forget it if: You want a grinder mostly to touch up woodworking tools.
-- Tested by Lucas Peters, How-to Editor
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