How to Remove a Bench Grinder Wheel (10 Easy Tips)

You will always make a change. No matter how long or short you have owned your bench grinder, you will have to change the grinding wheel at some point. The wheels wear down, or you have a task that requires a different wheel to do it. You can’t avoid it forever.

How to remove bench grinder wheel: The easiest way to remove your grinding wheel is to use a wrench to loosen the bolt, pull the wheel off and replace it with the next one. If you can change a drill bit, you should be able to do this task as well. It just takes a little longer.

As easy as it sounds, changing a grinding wheel is not without its nuances. You will run into some unique situations that will leave you scratching your head. In the following article, we will address those nuances as well as give you step-by-step directions on how to change a grinding wheel.

How to Remove the Grinding Wheel for Bench Grinder

Without further ado, let’s get right down to it and get you on your way to changing the grinding wheel on your bench grinder. Soon, with a little practice, you can do it like a pro and maybe even a bit faster.

Here are the steps:

  • Safety first - make sure you unplug the bench grinder before you do anything else.
  • Remove the safety guards - this may take a little while if you have a lot of guards to remove. You should have the tongue guard, eye guard and the wheel guard to remove. Make sure to keep your screws organized and in a safe place so they do not get lost.
  • Next, remove the tool rest.
  • After that, use an adjustable wrench to loosen the nut or bolt holding the wheel. You may need to hold the other wheel when you do this to keep the wheels from turning.
  • Once you have that done, take off the washer and pull the wheel off.
  • Put the new wheel on and reverse the above process.
  • After you have replaced the wheel, plug in your bench grinder and test the new one out. Remember, you do not want the nut too loose or too tight. If there is a problem, you will have to do this all over again until you have fixed the issue.

How to Remove a Stuck Grinding Wheel


Every once in awhile, you will come across a situation where your grinding wheel gets stuck. One of the more common reasons is you haven’t used your bench grinder in a long time and the nut, bolt, washer rusted and now the wheel is not going to come off.

When this takes place, you are going to need to follow some of the steps listed above. But after you unplugged the bench grinder and before you start removing guards and the tool rest, spray some WD 40, penetrating oil or similar rust-fighting compound on your nuts, bolts, and washers.

Then you can start removing the guards, etc. You need to give those compounds time to work. After you got the extra parts off, there are several methods you can try if the penetrating compounds do not do the trick:

  • Heat up the metal parts and melt wax over them.
  • Use a light impact wrench to apply the proper force (hopefully you won't break the wheel).
  • ​Check the threads. Sometimes the wheel gets stuck because you are turning the nut the wrong way. Bench grinders come with left-handed, right-handed threads and sometimes both.
  • ​Place a screwdriver or wrench near the nut, etc. And use a hammer to apply the appropriate force (again, be careful not to break the wheel or the wrench).
  • ​Use a heat /cold cycle to loosen the wheel.
  • Get someone stronger than you to apply greater force.

Tool to Remove Grinder Wheel


The tool you use depends a lot on what type of grinder you are working on and how the wheel is attached to the bench grinder. The most common tools you will need are a wrench, screwdriver, possibly some lubricating oil.

Due to some of the nuances that come with bench grinders, it might be a wise choice to wear the appropriate gloves. There will be times that you will have to hold on to the wheel on the other end of the grinder so you can loosen the nut quickly.

It is not that grinding wheels are extremely sharp, though they can be, it is that they are very abrasive and may hurt your hand when you hold them. Also, you may want to wear safety glasses just in case the wheel breaks or chips and the pieces start flying.

The only time you are going to need more tools than the ones described here is when the wheel gets stuck and you need extra help getting it off.

Remove Grinder Wheel Without Tool


In our research, we found no instructions or guides that showed how to remove a grinder wheel without a tool. There are a lot of reasons for this. One, there are just too many screws, guards, and other accessories in the way.

Two, the nuts, screws, and washers, etc. Are just too tight for hand twisting. If your hardware is that loose, then you should have been experiencing some difficulty with your grinding wheel and bench grinder.

Once you get all the extra equipment off your bench grinder and remove the washer and nut you won’t need a tool to slide the grinding wheel off. What you will need, if it applies, is a little WD-40, penetrating oil or lubricating oil to make the wheel slide easier as you pull.

When you pull on the grinding wheel, you should use gloves or wrap a cloth or a rag around the wheel to keep your hands protected. Then reverse the process when you need to put the wheel back on again.

How to Remove Dewalt Grinding Wheel

Replacing a grinding wheel on a Dewalt grinder is also a very simple task if the wheel is not damaged or stuck. Just follow these few steps and you should be fine:

  • Unplug the grinder.
  • If your grinder has a spindle lock, press it and spin the wheel till it locks in place.
  • ​Use a wrench to turn the nut counter-clockwise.
  • ​Pull the wheel and the backer plate, if there is one, off.
  • ​Replace the backer plate with the concave design facing away from the grinder.
  • Put the new wheel on and re-tighten the nut.

Types of Bench Grinder Grinding Wheels


We have produced this list before but it bears repeating because there are some risks involved when you use the wrong metal on the wrong grinding wheel. We want to make sure you understand that grinding wheels are not universal.

For example, if you use aluminum on a grinding wheel made for steel, you run the chance of clogging up the wheel and rendering it useless. You may also spend a long time cleaning the wheel.

Two potential risks you run into when you use the wrong material on the wrong grinding wheel is that the wheel may crack, break or not grind. The other risk is that it may explode and sending pieces of the wheel everywhere.

Also, you may not see any danger when you use aluminum but that is normal. It is the next person in line that is exposed to the risk. So you have to be careful and use the right materials with the correct grinding wheel.

Here is a list of wheels and the metals you can use on them.

  • Aluminum oxide - this wheel is designed for steel, carbide steel, iron. Alloy steel, high-speed steel, and similar metals.
  • Silicon carbide - works with brass, cast iron, bronze, and other soft metals. It also handles stone, rubber, and non-ferrous metals.
  • Ceramic aluminum oxide - very abrasive and it targets steel and the other hard metals. They are for when you need to do precision grinding.
  • Zirconia alumina - another version of a grinding wheel that tackles steel and most hard metals.
  • Fine wheels - these are your polishing wheels.

10 Tips for Removing a Grinding Wheel

It always pays to get a few tips when it comes time to remove a bench grinding wheel. Someone else may have a great idea that you never thought of. That idea may save you some pain or a little time.

Here are some tips for you to consider using if you have not heard of them before:

  • Put a rag or cloth into the wheel opening to stop it from spinning when you are loosening the nut.
  • Do not over tighten the nut. The spinning wheel should keep the nut nice and tight.
  • ​Lightly lube the shaft so putting the wheel and nut back on is easier.
  • ​If the nut is tight, use a mallet to give it a tap or two to loosen it up.
  • ​Ring the new wheel before you put it on. You do this by putting a nail through the bore and then lightly tap the wheel on the other side with a metal tool. If you hear a dull sound, then there is something wrong with the wheel. If the ring is good, then it is okay.
  • ​Stand to the side of the bench grinder when starting it up to test the new wheel. This protects you from possible injury.
  • ​Make sure to remove all the obstacles that are in your way before you remove the wheel.
  • ​Read your instruction manual thoroughly, It is filled with great information to help you use your bench grinder correctly, including replacing your wheel.
  • ​If you drop your grinding wheel on the floor toss it out and get a new one. Too risky to use even if you do not see a crack.
  • There are left and right-handed threads on a bench grinder for a reason. Know which side is which and you should save yourself a lot of frustration.

Answers to Your Questions

1. How do I know which side has left-handed threads and which side has the right-handed ones?

Not all bench grinders come with left and right-handed threads. But if yours does, generally the left-hand wheel has left-handed threads and the right wheel has right-handed threads.

2. Do I need to take all the guards and the tool rest off first before I remove the grinding wheel?

It is always best to get all items that may be an obstruction out of your way first. This makes changing the wheel easier and helps you to avoid banging it or dropping the wheel. You may be able to leave the tool rest in place if you have enough space.

3. How often do I have to change the wheel?

This would depend on how much you use your bench grinder. If you use it a lot, then your wheel will wear out faster and you would have to change the wheel more frequently.

Some Final Comments

You are not going to avoid it. So it is best if you learn how to change the grinding wheel on your bench and other grinders as soon as you can. The steps to doing this are quite simple and the key is always going to be - safety first.

Make sure there is no power supply connected to your bench grinder before you start removing parts. After that, it just takes a little time and a little patience to remove all the parts and the wheel.

The hard part of changing the wheel comes in when the nuts, washers, screws, etc, get rusted and stuck Or if the wheel itself is rusted to the shaft or is stuck some other way. When this happens, be prepared to do a lot of work to get the wheel off.

Keep in mind that grinder wheels can be very fragile. You do not want to treat them very rough and you do not want to drop them. You also need to be careful not to hit them too hard when trying to get them unstuck.

Finally, watch which metals you use with which wheel. Avoiding risk is the best way to use a bench grinder.

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