How to Balance Bench Grinder Wheels (8 Easy Steps)

To get the most out of your bench grinder you'll need to learn how to balance its wheels. Out of balance wheels can slow your work, cause damage to it and the grinder. Keeping your grinder wheels balanced is an essential task you need to perform regularly.

How to balance bench grinder wheels: This is not a difficult task to perform. The key is to find the right source of the problem. The source can be the spindle holding the wheels or the washers or flanges. Just replace these and you are on your way to balancing your wheels.

In the following article, we will take you through the steps to find the right balance for your bench grinding wheels. It should only take you a few minutes to find the help you need.

Balancing Bench Grinding Wheels

Getting the help you need when you need it is important. Especially when you have a deadline. Balancing your bench grinder wheels is essential if you are going to meet your deadlines and not cause any damage to yourself, your project, your wheels, and your bench grinder.

Materials you will need:

  • Chalk (or you can use colored pencils).
  • Stand.
  • ​Arbor.
  • Balancing weights.
  • Screwdriver.

Here are 8 easy steps to help you balance your bench grinder wheels:

Step 1. first, ring your wheels - here you have to take your wheel off and tie a piece of rope or twine through the center so the wheel can dangle in mid-air. Then take a small object and tap the wheel. If you hear a nice tone, then the wheel is fine and the out of balance issue is in your grinder.

Step 2. grinder wheels can expand and that can cause the problem. What you need to do is take the grinding wheel and place it on the sleeve. Spin the wheel with your hand. If the wheel moves freely then there is still enough room for the wheel to move freely on the sleeve.

Step 3. attach the wheel firmly to the spindle with the flanges. Only go finger tight and do not over-tighten. Spin the wheel with your hand again. If the wheel doesn’t wobble, then your flanges may have been too loose.

Step 4. Now take the wheel off the sleeve and attach the balancing arbor and place the grinder on the balancing stand.

Step 5. remove the weights and spin the arbor. Let it spin naturally and do not stop it. When it stops, mark the spot where the arbor is facing up.

Step 6. put the weights back on the flanges but keep them in line with the chalk mark. Tighten the flanges. Move the wheel until the chalk mark is at the 1 o’clock position. Move the weights to align with this new position.

Step 7. tighten the flanges all the way now with a screwdriver.

Step 8. Remove the arbor and make sure the wheel is in position. Then spin the wheel again to check the balance. If there are no vibrations or a very minimal amount, then the wheels are balanced.

Balanced grinder wheels are very important to every bench grinder user. You should check their balance on a regular basis to make sure all users can use the bench grinder safely.

How to Balance Bench Grinder Wire Wheel


Balancing wire wheels on your bench grinder is not as involved as balancing a regular bench grinding wheel. The issue is that the wire wheel’s stem may be a bit thinner than the threaded opening on the bench grinder.

To solve this issue all you need to use are a couple of washers to make sure the wire wheel’s fit is nice and tight. That is it, oh and you might need a nut to hold everything nice and snug.

The only other item you may need is an adapter. Just slip the wire wheel’s stem into the adapter and fit the adapter into the arbor hole. There is no great mystery to balancing a wire wheel in a bench grinder.

Reasons for Unbalanced Wheels


There can be a variety of reasons why there is a wobble in your grinder wheels. One problem is manufacturing. Unfortunately, manufacturing standards are not always like they used to be and far from the top of the line.

An off-center hub hole, badly made spindles and other manufacturing issues. When this happens, it is very difficult to have your grinder wheels spin freely and true. To solve this issue, you can do some minor tweaks that make up for the manufacturing shortcomings.

One of those tweaks is to use a wheel dresser to true up the spin. This is probably the easiest option for you. Another tweak you can do is check the wheel’s flanges and see if they are out of shape or not holding as tight as they should.

You can replace those washers that can be replaced. Also, if the spindle’s shoulder has not been milled properly, This means that the flanges have nothing to hold on to and lose their grip on the wheel. Replacing the spindle for a better-milled one is a good option.

Also, if you do not want to spend the money or time finding replacements you can use the steps above to help balance the wheel.

Some Tips to Help You Balance Your Wheel:

There are always tricks of the trade that can help you in a pinch. These little trade secrets should help you find and solve the out of balance problem very quickly:

  • Tip 1: remember that the nut on the right side spins clockwise. The nut on the left side spins counter-clockwise.
  • Tip 2: remove the inside and outside washers holding the wheel. Place them on a surface you know to be exactly flat. If they do not lie flat, then you can sand them down carefully until they lie flat on the surface.
  • Tip 3: when changing wheels often, make sure to note where the washer is. This will help you get to balance when you change back to the previous wheel.
  • Tip 4: If the inside washers are spinning, then use a little CA glue to keep them still on the spindle.
  • Tip 5: if the plastic bushings have too much play, use the CA glue again and bind the bushings together. Hint— remove the wheel so you do not make a mistake and glue the bushings to the wheel.
  • Tip 6: Replaced stamped washers with machined washers. It is okay if there is a little recess in the replacements. That will change the force of the nut from the hub to the outside edge of the washer.

Why do you balance a bench grinder wheel?

There is always a valid reason to do anything. To use bench grinders safely, you need to make sure all the parts are in top working order. Out of balance wheels are not in top working order.

The following reasons should help you to understand why you regularly balance your grinding wheels:

  • An unbalanced wheel will ruin your work. It can damage the item you are working on making it unusable. Replacing the item can be costly in time and money.
  • You cannot do a good job. You may not damage the item you are working on but the results will be less than professional. This could result in a few choice words from your boss.
  • ​It tales more time to complete your task. You may not have that extra time and being forced to slow down can cause unscheduled delays and other issues.
  • ​The edge of the tool may not be sharpened correctly. This issue can cause you issues on other parts of your job site or make your tool vulnerable to damage.
  • ​The interior parts of the bench grinder can be damaged. This includes the bearings and possibly the spindle. A damaged bench grinder can be costly to repair or replace and still cause unscheduled delays.
  • ​You put yourself at risk if you do not balance the wheels. Grinder wheels are fragile and you risk having them break apart or explode if you do not balance them.
  • You shorten the life of the grinding wheel. They don’t last as long and you may not have a spare to replace it.

Taking Care of Your Bench Grinder

You may think that it is not important to take care of your bench grinder. After all, it is big, heavy, well constructed and it should take a lot of rough treatment. But taking care of your bench grinder does more for you than balancing its wheels.

Keeping your bench grinder in the best shape possible is essential to your saving money, time and can extend the life of your other tools indefinitely. Here is what the bench grinder can do for you:

  • Sharpen all your knives - including regular kitchen knives and carving ones.
  • Renew your screwdrivers - a bench grinder can get those old screwdrivers into shape and sharp enough to handle most tasks.
  • Keep your chisels nice and sharp - that way you do not have to run out and get anew set. You just flick your bench grinder on, and go to work.
  • Make your lawn chores easier - you can sharpen your mower blades so they cut better and faster.
  • Keep your axe ready for chopping - splitting wood goes easier and faster with a sharp axe.
  • Keeps garden tools ready for action - a nice edge on your gardening tools lets you enjoy your gardening hobby more.

A healthy and balanced bench grinder contributes more to your life than you may realize. It has been described as the most important tool in your complete tool arsenal. You can see why it got that reputation. It does so much with just a wheel or two.

How to Use a Bench Grinder

You have heard so much about bench grinders you want to rush right out and get one., At least we hope. But before you do, here are some tips on how to use one and get the most out of this important tool:

  • Select the right wheel for the job you have to do- one of the most important steps there is. The wrong wheel will only give you problems.
  • Select the right speed for the task- this helps you get a smooth finish to whatever item you are grinding. Tool sharpening really needs this.
  • ​Get the bench grinder set- make sure the wheel is mounted correctly, other parts are all in top working order and even bolt the bench grinder down for stability. This also helps the wheels to stay balanced.
  • ​Don’t put a lot of pressure on the wheel- under normal use the wheel will heat up. Too much pressure can cause overheating and the wheel can be damaged or explode. You need just the right touch.
  • ​The correct angle is important- when you are sharpening a tool, etc., you need to make sure you have enough room to get that angle. The task you are doing dictates the angle you are going to use.
  • ​Always have water on hand- to keep the wheel and item from overheating, make sure to have a jar, bowl or pan of water near by. Take time to regularly dip the item into the water to cool it down.

Some Final Comments

Truing and balancing your bench grinder wheel doesn’t take a lot of work. You just have to go through the steps in order to make sure you get the job done right. Just be patient when you do it as rushing through the steps may mean you might make a mistake and still did not balance the wheel.

Buying a wheel dresser is a good move to make as it can save you some of the steps if the problem is not serious. Keeping your bench grinder wheels balanced and the grinder in top shape, will help you out in so many areas of your life that you will be glad you have the grinder around.

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