One of the many attachments you can get for your drill is a grinding stone or a grinding wheel. In this article we wanted to check out what types are available and what you might use them for.
There are plenty to pick from end each has their own purpose. In the main though they are used for one of 3 purposes:
- Deburring – removing rough edges
They come in a range of shapes, sizes and are made from different materials. The selection available is pretty wide, and those that you pick, will come down to the exact purpose that you want to achieve.
Typical Grinding Stones
These are mainly used for sharpening tools and creating nice sharp edges. Mainly they are made from aluminium oxide and are attached to the drill by a hex shank. On most of them you will see a recommendation for a maximum speed. This is for your own safety and should be adhered to.
The one in the image to the right is a cylindrical type but the most common shape is a tapered shape that is designed to be used on curved surfaces.
They both provide a similar purpose but designed to work on different shapes. The tapered ones can be used to work on things like weld joints, removing rust from gates and fences, and for smoothing out cut surfaces to remove any jagged or ragged edges.
A lot of buyers also opt for a wire brush to do their gates and fences as these cover a larger area of work, and as such will speed up the job. These smaller stones will however give a much better finish.
These cost around $2-6 depending on which type you are after and they are a handy little add-on to have in your tool bag. Anyone who works on old cars or any type of restoration projects will have a few of these for sure.
Many gardeners will also use these for making sure their tools are sharp. They do take a little bit of practise to get used to. Once mastered though you will find that they do an excellent job.
Grinding & Polishing Sets
This is what I prefer to buy as I just think a set is far better value for money. You can get a set of 10 for around $8-10 and that way you have a lot of variety and choice. I find it frustrating when you go to do something and you don’t have the right tool for the job.
I know you can always find a way around things, but life is just easier and simpler if you can just get on with it, and having a selection of these just gives you more options. This little set has a number of good and useful options, including wheel, cylinder, ball and cone types.
In most cases it will be a bit of a trial and error process to pick the right attachment from the set, to do the particular job you need doing. Over time and as your own skills improve, that selection will of course become a great deal easier.
Using A Bench Grinder
For most jobs of this nature I do prefer to use a simple bench grinder which is of course more expensive, but saves a lot of time changing drills etc.
I would of course only recommend this if you are going to get enough use out of it. It is certainly a very useful piece of equipment to have in your workshop.
The simple drill attachments will still get the job done of course, but one of these is just handier. You can bench mount it and you then bring the material to the grinder. It is a more flexible solution and many people have one of these in their workshop.
They cost around $50-100 depending on what you want, but this one from SKIL does everything that I need it to do. The guy in the video doesn’t clamp it down, but I would recommend that you do, by bolting it to a piece of plywood and you can then clamp that to the bench.
There are two stones on this one, a rough one and then a finer grade of wheel for finishing. So as you can see there are a quite a number of options when it comes to grinding stones.
Grinding Stone Conclusion
The good news is that as attachments go these grinding stones are relatively cheap and can turn your drill into a handy little grinding tool. If you plan on doing a lot of grinding, then definitely go for some type of bench grinder.
If on the other hand you just have a few small projects to do, a small stone grinding set, along with a variable speed drill is a good second option.