What's the best knife grinder for beginners? What type of knives do you want to grind? These are the common questions for those who want to buy a new model of knife grinder as a beginner. The answers depend on your budget, experience level, and preferences. There are many different types of knife grinders available on the market today.
Knife grinding is not something everyone wants to learn about or has time for in their life, but if you have a special occasion coming up where you need sharpening services this article should help you.
If you’ve finally decided to invest in a knife grinder, but you are not sure if this is the right investment for you. You do some research and find that there are many different types of grinders on the market. Which one should you buy?
This article will break down what they are and their specific uses so that you can figure out which one is right for your needs.
In A Quick Look
Top Pick: Work Sharp WSKTS-KO-W Knife & Tool Sharpener
Budget Pick: WEN 6515T 1 in. x 30 in. + WEN 6502T 4.3-Amp 4 x 36 in.
Premium Choice: Grizzly G1015 Knife Belt Sander/Buffer
Motor Power (HP)
Motor Speed (RPM)
Grizzly G1015 Knife Belt Sander/Buffer
Bucktool BG2600 Combo 2" x 42" Knife Sharpener
WEN 6515T 1 in. x 30 in. Belt Sander with 5 in. Sanding Disc
RIKON 50-151 Belt with 5" Disc Sander
JET J-41002 2"x42" Bench Belt and Disc Sander
DEWALT Bench Grinder, 8-Inch (DW758)
Palmgren 6" x 48" Belt, 9" Disc bench finishing machine
Belt + Disc
Rockwell Belt/Disc Combo Sander
Belt + Disc
Work Sharp WSKTS-KO-W Knife & Tool Sharpener
WEN 6502T 4.3-Amp 4 x 36 in. Belt and 6 in. Disc Sander
Grizzly G1015 Knife Belt Sander/Buffer is one of the most popular choices among professionals working in different industries. The knife grinder can be used for both knives and as a belt sander or buffer which makes this tool super useful and premium features for professionals.
The 1 Hp motor can produce 1725 RPM of speed within a minute and this speed combined with the 2-inch x 72-inch belt is enough for heavy-duty use. You can also manually adjust the belt tension with ease to suit your needs.
There are many valuable features of this product, firstly the arm of this machine can be tilted fully to accommodate different users and tasks at hand. It also comes with an integral work light that illuminates your working area making things easier.
The main body of this product is made up of cast iron alloy along with aluminum rollers that give you smooth operation without any noise or vibration whatsoever so you don’t need to worry about the quality of the performance either.
Another reason customers may prefer this product over others is that the belt can be changed in less than a minute, because of the quick-release mechanism it has been designed with.
Also, you can use an auxiliary arbor to fit buffing or sanding drums for any type of job, not only knife sharpening. These features make the device beginners be professional oriented.
The ball bearing construction makes this device super sturdy and durable, cast iron body provides additional stability so your work won't slip away from you although you are greedy working at speed.
This tool is great for DIY enthusiasts or professionals who want to get more out of their tools by using them for multiple purposes, not just one single task.
In-Brief Technical information
If you want to use this Bucktool BG2600 with a multipurpose job like metal grinding or woodworking then you can choose this model. The whole structure comes with a sturdy cast iron base and rubber feet so that it ensures stability.
The angle of the belt sander can also adjust from 0 to 90 degrees while the swivel of the belt housing can go from horizontal to vertical for sanding long workpieces. Plus, this machine is equipped with a 6" 60-grit white grinding wheel which will make work easier when sharpening metal or wood tools.
It is easy to use and needs no tool at all for adjusting speed or tension. This 6" bench grinder work table is also equipped with 2 workbenches that give more convenient sanding.
The Belt platen is adjustable for angle and also has an adjustable platen assembly that can move up and down to accommodate different belt lengths.
The Tool-free adjustable eye shield also helps keep them from getting hit in the eyes. And with a sturdy table and 2 workbenches, it ensures stability while working on projects.
One of the facts is the knife grinder/Sander meets CSA standard, which is very safe to operate with the internal wiring of the grounding plug. With this product, you will achieve convenience in your work at an affordable price.
The majority of customers who bought this combo belt sander / grinder said that they were satisfied with the quality and performance of their Bucktool BG2600.
Some reviews for this product state that this machine works great without any problems, gets the job done quickly, and is very well built.
In-Brief Technical Spec.
The WEN 6515T model is a great sander for light to medium duty work. The WEN 6515 is a good entry-level belt sander that would be suitable for the occasional home or garage user, but it will struggle with heavy-duty use.
It has a large one-inch by thirty-inch belt size that covers almost the entire surface of the sander's bench which allows you to get into larger, more awkward spaces.
The WEN 6515T has two separate dust ports, one located on either side of the machine allowing you to attach your vacuum hose, maximizing suction for reduced mess while working. This benchtop bench grinder houses a 2.3 amp motor which provides up to 3160 FPM of belt speed to get the job done quickly. With these fast speeds, it doesn't even matter if you're sanding wood, plastic, or metal surfaces like knives since the WEN will have them smooth in no time.
The work table which is included provides an accurate platform for your project while protecting the flat surface from spills and splinters. This solid table measures 9 inches by 16 inches so it's large enough to provide support for most pieces of a knife.
A dust bag can be hooked up to one of two ports on either side of the grinder in order to keep your sanding line clear and free of debris. This sander has a disc attachment included which can be used for sanding flat surfaces.
In addition, it also features a belt rotation function that allows you to change the direction the sanding belt rotates so you have even more control over each area being worked on.
This is not an industrial-grade bench grinder but does a great job at tackling smaller jobs around the shop. The WEN 6515T 1" x 30" Belt Sander with 5" Disc comes with a 2-year warranty.
In-Brief Technical Spec.
As with the WEN Model, this RIKON knife grinder provides the measuring grinding 1 inch by 30-inch belt and 5-inch disc sander. This is the belt knife grinder for small blade sharpening works which can fulfill your daily task easily.
The 3/4 HP motor of RIKON 50-151 Sharpener is quite standard and provides a better grinding experience. The machine also makes use of a safety switch to avoid any type of accident while using this belt grinder on heavy-duty project work like sharpening knife blades etc.
The perfect angle tiltable table allows the user to grind at a 45-degree angle to achieve extra accurate angle edge geometry without hurting hands while working with this product. The design also focuses on customer safety and includes a five-year warranty from the manufacturer for a safer usage experience
The belt tracking knob is also available on the product and offers you a more accurate and safer grinding experience. Besides the 2-inch dust port is also available to prevent the dust from polluting your working station.
In-Brief Technical Spec.
We've previously talked about a 1-inch diameter belt size knife grinder, but the JET J-41002 has a 2-inch diameter and a belt of 42 inches. This machine (JET J-41002) is slightly smaller than the other recommended belt sander, but it's still heavy enough that you won't easily tip it over while using it.
The cast iron construction gives your machine the durability to handle anything you throw its way.
It's not as powerful as other options (3/4 HP compared to 1 HP), but if you're looking to get started with a perfect knife blend, this is the perfect option for you.
The 45 degrees both left and right measures the flexibility of this tool, giving you the ability to sand anything from small projects to flat surfaces.
The table size is good for working on small projects or knives up to 7-1/2 inches long by 10-3/4 inches wide. The adjustable tool rests are another nice addition that allows you to sharpen curved knives.
Also the adjustable dust deflector will help you to control sawdust, and adjustable dust chute makes clean-up a breeze. All in all, a great machine for the price.
In-Brief Technical Spec.
The Dewalt DW758 can produce superior power with its 3/4 HP of induction motor and this power is the main reason why the DW758 Bench Grinder has become popular among knife makers. This grinder offers 1/4 HP increments, and it can deliver 3600 revolutions per minute.
There is a durable body made with cast iron, and this makes it more stable for heavy applications. To make the most out of the grinder, there is also an adjustable eyeshield guard which can help you block dust or sparks coming from your work material.
The bench grinder's 8-inch size ensures that it is both sturdy and long-lasting. Besides these features, the aluminum tool rests sanction to the user’s accurate positioning. The rear exhaust ports are smooth and can effectively eliminate any sort of debris that might cause any disturbance in your work.
Beside Knife grinding, The Dewalt bench grinder is also very practical for sharpening lawnmower blades, axes, shovels, etc. Its long power cord enables you to move freely while working on it. Overall, the DEWALT Bench Grinder is ideal for grinding applications like sharpening knives, chisels, etc.
A higher HP ratio is recommended for larger projects.
Palmgren is a brand that is mostly trusted in the market. So when it comes to bench combination belt and disc finishing machines, it needs no introduction, as its products are always above average. Thus this makes the knife grinding super easy especially for the beginners.
The cross-feed unit has a gear rack with a 2” pitch lead screw drive for indexing workpieces. The T-slot table provides sturdy support and easy positioning of jigs and fixtures during various tasks.
Its all-cast iron construction ensures ultimate durability and consistent performance over the long term.
Palmgren offers you two different variants: one is a 6"x 48" Belt; a 9" Disc, another one is a 2” X 42” belt; a 6″ Disc which you can choose according to your requirements. We advise opting for Palmgren 6'' X 48'' Belt, 9'' Disc finishing machine because it is quite efficient and delivers consistent performance.
Though 1/3 Horsepower isn't powerful enough for heavy-duty tasks, the motor is more than enough for general-purpose tasks. You will be able to do your work quickly without having to worry about waiting for it to catch up.
For the Knife grinding task this ROCKWELL model can give you convenient results. This is the solid sander that has very good gliding services, with almost perfect finishing results.
It comes with a 4.3 amp induction motor, which is pretty powerful for providing smooth buffing on all your woodworking projects.
Which avoids too much roughness in the final product. It has an adjustable belt platform which can be adjusted from 0-90 degrees to accommodate almost any project.
The sanding table is also flexible enough to adjust degrees anywhere between 0-45 degrees angle . Moreover, the central screw of the belt keeps falling out after some time without the use of a thread locker. So, you can easily lock it by using a thread locker before working with the belt tension mechanism.
In-Brief Key Spec.
As a knife grinder for beginners, this work sharp WSKTS-KO-W is perfect for daily use with its variable-speed motor. You can choose these tools because the brand lasts for over 40 years of tool production.
It comes with variable speed control (1, 200 SFM to 2, 800 SFM) provides you with the optimal belt speed for the task at hand.
The sharpening guide is fully adjustable- produce edge bevels from 15° to 30°.
With high quality of flexible abrasive belts, it can sharpen every knife you own like a pro quickly, easily and with repeatable consistent results.
Another essential design on this work sharp KO WSKTS-KO-W is its expandable tool rest. It also makes the ideal handheld detail grinder.
The built-in design and handy size make this better than any other knife sharpener.
Several good reviews choose the Work Sharp WSKTS-KO-W as their first grinder for beginners and professionals to achieve a factory quality edge on all your knives and tools.
The product dimensions come with 5.5 x 10 x 6 inches and its weight is 3.1 pounds. So you are easily able to move with it and work freely.
In-Brief Technical Spec.
Despite being WEN's cheapest benchtop belt and disc sander, 6502T is a powerful and versatile machine. You can do all your knife grinding tasks in the easiest way. This is because the trunnion tilts the belt up to 90°, while the heavy cast-iron base keeps it from moving around.
This model also has a 4.3 Amp motor that provides up to 3600 RPM. Plus, with the included dust collection port you can always keep the work area clean when sanding.
WEN 6502T is a great entry-level and beginners model with all the features you need from a belt and disc sander. In fact, it has been praised by customers as one of the grinders for knives out there.
When using this machine, you will notice that its 4 x 36-inch belt provides plenty of real estate to complete your tasks. And the 6-inch disc is giving you enough sanding area to work with.
So we can say that WEN 6502T is also among those sanders which do not wobble much while in use. This means no matter how intense your knife grinding jobs are, this will remain stationary and prevent any mishaps or injuries.
If you want to buy the best knife-grinding machine for your kitchen or other personal works, then there are certain things that need to be considered.
It is important for you to get all the details of the product before making a purchase otherwise it may lead you to buy the wrong one which will cause some serious problems in your task.
So it is better for you to know about some of the features of this machine and make sure that they are working properly before giving an order.
Types of knife grinder:
There are basically two types of grinders available in the market. Both of them come with their own set of pros and cons. However, before making a purchase you need to decide on which type is suitable for you according to your needs.
Electric Knife Grinder:
This machine comes with an electric motor that will help you in grinding the blades swiftly and precisely. This product will be plugged into electricity and the electric power motor will run the belt or disc. You may also find this machine equipped with separate switches so that it can run at low speeds when necessary.
So this machine is suitable for all kinds of knives including small ones, serrated knives, etc., but keep in mind one thing if any part breaks down then it will be difficult for you to repair the machine as there is no one who will do it.
This product is quite efficient but it can be costly so this device may not be suitable for everyone. So before buying one, make sure that this machine fits your budget and does assembly or any kind of fixing work can be done at your place.
Manual Knife Grinder:
This type of grinder comes with a handle that needs to be operated by hand in order to grind the blades properly. There are different varieties available of these machines according to the speed they provide, grinding angle, etc.,
However, since this machine is coupled with manual power you cannot use them efficiently on heavy work because doing so may lead to an accident. Plus the speed is also not that much in this machine.
But if you want to grind a blade for your personal use at home then this can be the best product for you because it comes with a very little price tag and is equally efficient when compared to electric models. Plus they are quite portable so you can carry them anywhere you want according to your needs.
What are the criteria before purchasing the knife grinder?
Before you buy the knife grinder, you must look at these criteria in mind. Here is the pick from below-
Power is an important part when it comes to any type of machine so make sure that you choose a model according to your own power. The more powerful the motor, the better results you will get from this device. The knife grinder usually has from 1/4 Horsepower to 1 Horse power.
Motor speed depends upon the power of the machine and the speed with which it can grind blades. So before buying one, make sure that you choose a machine according to your needs otherwise they will not fulfill your expectations.
What we've discussed about motor speed rotation is in between average 3500 RPM that is decent enough for any knife grinder.
The size of the disc is another criterion that you should consider because it helps in maintaining a proper balance to make sure that your device will work properly for a long time without causing any major damage.
Plus they come with different materials like ceramic, nylon, etc., So make sure that you choose the one according to your needs otherwise it may lead to serious problems while working.
Grinding angle is also important when you are buying this machine because the blade grinding angle varies from 15 degrees to 26 degrees depending on the thickness of the blade. So you need to buy one according to the angles so that no unnecessary force will be applied during sharpening which can cause damage or injuries.
Besides for knife grinding, the Grinding angle may slightly vary. But, as it is very limited and for this limited angle you will get the right sharpening result.
This is another crucial thing as there are two different types available in this category i.e., disc grinder and belt grinder. So it depends on your choice whether you go for these two or not. Both have their own pros and cons so make sure that you know about them properly before making an order.
Lastly you must consider a grinder which obviously eases your task and gives you better results so if you are buying a knife grinder for the first time you should go for an easy to use device so that it will be easy for you to master the art of using this machine.
So, these are some major things that you must take into consideration while buying this machine. All these factors are equally important because they have their own advantages and disadvantages to give us better results in less time.
In case of durability and long term use, you must choose a good disc and belt for your sharpening machine. You can check a knife grinder comparison chart here in order to get a good quality belt and disc that will last long for your sharpening machine.
Last but not the least, price is another factor that should be considered while buying a sharpening machine because these machines vary in prices according to their features and models. So before making an order, you must compare all different factors of the product because there can be a substantial difference in price up to 100$ or more depending on your requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to sharpen a knife with sandpaper?
Yes, but that's not a good idea.
Sandpaper is quite abrasive and most knives are made of metal which will be scratched by sandpaper. It is advised to use honing steel instead, because they engage in the same process using small ridges on the metal blade to realign the particles for smoother cutting action.
Are these sander reversible?
They are not reversible, but they have a high capacity to remove material from wood so you don't need to use it often. And besides, if you want a durable tool then using it with care is always recommended.
Is there something wrong with my knife if it's harder to slice through food items, meat with bones in particular?
If your knives have become more difficult to slice with then it needs sharpening because over time most blades lose their sharpness and make incisions more effortless.
How much horsepower does a knife grinder need?
1 HP (horsepower) is equal to 746 watts in electrical energy or mechanical torque which might be calculated by multiplying the belt speed in feet per minute by the size of the pulleys. And the average knife grinder takes 1/4 to 1 Hp energy.
What is a knife sharpener's wheel made from?
Most grinding wheels are either metal or resin-bonded diamonds which do not wear away as fast but have less cutting power than aluminum oxide. The diamond compound on these wheels bonds to metal better than any other substance and also makes for a really smooth surface.
What type of grit should you use to sharpen a knife?
The perfect grit size to sharpen a knife is 220-grit. This will make the blade sharp but not as aggressive as it would be with coarser grits.
What is the right way to maintain your knives?
To keep your knives well maintained, you should wash them right after use because food items can stick fast onto the surface which might be difficult to remove once dried up. After washing them, store them in a wooden block to protect the blade and make it easier to remove when in use.
How can you tell if a knife is too dull?
Knives that are too dull might be hard to handle, slip from your hands while cutting food items and require more power to get through each cut. If your knives fall into this category then it's time you need some new ones.
What is the right way to sharpen kitchen knives?
The right way to sharpen your kitchen knives is using a stone because they are easier to control than electric knife sharpeners. Stones need less maintenance and keep their sharpening ability for longer periods of time. But for the frequent user it's recommended to go with a knife grinder.
Is it safe to clean this sharpener?
Yes, it's completely safe! The diamond-coated disk has no exposed blades so there's no way you can cut yourself during cleaning. It's totally risk-free! You just need to use water and wipe dry with a towel after running through once or twice on each side.
How much horsepower should I look for in a knife grinder?
The knife grinder is powered by a 1/4 to 1 HP which is enough horsepower for a good beginner grinder.
How can I clean my grinder wheel?
To clean your grinder wheel you should use a wire brush and spray with compressed air after every use to keep your grinding wheel free from rust and particles sticking onto its surface. This will ensure the longest lifespan possible for your grinder wheel.
What is the right angle to sharpen knives?
15 degrees per side on your blades will give you an exceptional sharpness that's able to cut through anything.
Does this sander have a dust collection port?
Not all of them have duct collection ports but most of them have. You can check the description for additional details on this before making a purchase.
Does knife grinder sharpen serrated knives?
Yes, this grinder sharpener can be used to sharpen serrated knives because the belt has enough power to grind through any rough surface.
What type of sandpaper is used to sharpen knives?
To sharpen the knife, you can use #400 or #500 silicon carbide sandpaper.
How much do I need to spend on honing steel?
Honing steels are available for under $20, however the good ones are made of high carbon spring steel which can be considerably more expensive.
The best knife grinder for beginners is one that can handle the particular task they are using it for. For example, if you’re starting out with grinding meat or vegetables to make your own sausages, then a manual model might be more appropriate than an electric powered miller. But electric knife grinders have lots of tasks.
However, If you want something portable and easy to use without too much maintenance required, go for a hand crank model like our top pick Work Sharp WSKTS-KO-W Knife & Tool Grinder.
Otherwise if you want to pick a professional and well built and expensive knife grinder then we'll suggest going for the Grizzly G1015 Knife Grinder.
And lastly for the budget oriented buyer can choose between WEN 6502T 4 x 36 in. or WEN 6515T 1 in. x 30 in. Knife grinder. Both tools have higher positive ratings.
In the end, it depends on your budget and type of knives that you are looking to grind. If you want more options then check out our top knife grinder list. And enjoy your grinding.
I am a graduate of Bangladesh Agricultural University, where I delved into various agricultural disciplines, equipping me with a profound understanding of agriculture. Beyond academics, I have hands-on experience in gardening and crop cultivation. My passion is to embrace sustainable farming and horticulture. With a BSc in Agriculture, I am dedicated to promoting environmentally conscious and efficient agrarian practices.
Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Agriculture (Hons.)
Master of Science. (Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security ) (MS)
Bangladesh Agricultural University