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Bench Grinder vs. Belt Sander


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Another couple of newbie question, sorry. I have done a quick forum search and couldn't find anything directly answering the question.

Is there a major benefit to grinding blades on a belt sander rather than a bench grinder? It seems most people on videos etc use a belt sander for grinding knives.

I assume its because the larger grinding surface area gives potential for straighter/flatter/more even ground faces?

 

I currently have a bench grinder, and am wondering whether this will get me far enough in terms of grinding blades. Of course the bench grinder is also nearly useless on wooden handles etc. so I will need a belt sander in the long run.

 

Also- does anyone have any advice regarding swapping out wheels on a bench grinder? I've used polishing wheels in the past and they appear to be similar pieces of kit, but I'm aware there are safety pitfalls such as max RPMs etc. Can I swap out one of the wheels on my bench grinder for a polishing wheel or no!?

 

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bench grinder is restricted to only one size of contact wheel.  belt has many options. Bench is stuck to a few grits, belt has many,  plus small wheel and  platen or slack belt work can not be done on a bench grinder. there is no speed control on the bench grinder, they are not the same machines

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Be advised that a belt sander is made for wood (also known as a linisher on your side of the pond), whereas a belt grinder operates with a much bigger motor, at much higher speeds, and with interchangeable belts and wheels especially made for metal removal. 

We are not talking apples and oranges, more like mopeds vs. Harley-Davidson.

Multiple bench grinders and polishers are useful in the shop, mostly because they are relatively inexpensive and readily available, new or used. Set up a variety of wheel diameters and grits, wire wheels and buffing pads, and don't bother to change them until they wear out.

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Belt grinders do a much better and much faster job; if you are a pro, or hope to make money doing it, that counts. (Among other things the lack of chatter when grinding.)

IIRC "Step by Step Knifemaking",  Boye;    shows several ways to work with a standard bench grinder; however I know more people who use drawfiling by hand than a bench grinder.

 

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