How to Change a Bench Grinder Wheel

How to Change a Bench Grinder Wheel

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If you have a bench grinder, you know just how useful this tool can be. They are generally used for spinning grindstones so that you can shape and sharpen various pieces of metal. They’re ideal for getting dull tools back to their original condition.

That said, the wheels on bench grinders can wear down and break. Therefore, today we are going to show you how to change a bench grinder wheel. It’s a very easy process, but it’s important to know the steps so that it is done properly.

When Should You Change Your Bench Grinder Wheel?

Bench Grinder Wheels Something you might be having trouble determining is when that wheel on your bench grinder needs to be replaced. Let’s take a quick look at all of the most common reasons for having to replace the wheel on your bench grinder.

Do keep in mind that these wheels are used to sharpen and shape metal. Therefore, you can imagine that those grinding wheels won’t last forever. They’re going to get much smaller and they’re going to lose the grit that is required to efficiently grind. Therefore, if your grinding wheel is very worn down, then it is time to replace it.

It may also be the case that the grinding wheel on your bench grinder is damaged. With prolonged use, especially heavy-duty use, they can break. They can suffer from big cracks, or full chunks can even come right out of them. If your bench grinder wheel is damaged, it needs to be replaced.

The other reason why you might need to change the wheel on your bench grinder is if you need to use a different type of wheel. For instance, there are silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, zirconia alumina, ceramic aluminum oxide, and fine wheels.

All of these types of bench grinder wheels have different purposes. For instance, you need an aluminum oxide wheel for grinding steel, carbide, or iron. However, if you are just polishing something, you will need a fine wheel. For this reason, we do recommend doing some extra research on exactly what type of bench grinder wheel you need for your next task.

How to Change a Bench Grinder Wheel

Changing the wheel on a bench grinder is not hard at all, and only involves a few easy steps. Follow the step-by-step tutorial as listed below.

1. Gather Your Materials

Before you can change the wheel on your bench grinder, you need to gather a few materials. You are going to need safety glasses, a replacement grinder wheel, safety gloves, a screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, and some lubricating oil. Once you’ve gathered all of these materials, move on to the next step.

2. Ensure That You Are Being Safe

What you need to do here is to unplug the bench grinder. Before you start working on any tool of this kind, make sure that there is absolutely no power flowing through it. Moreover, at this point, you do also want to familiarize yourself with the tool in question.

With this being said, we recommend reading the owner’s manual of your bench grinder to see exactly what kind of components it needs, and how to replace them.

Generally speaking, replacing a bench grinder wheel is going to be the same across the board, although you never know, as there may be some specifics that you need to be aware of in terms of your specific bench grinder.

3. Remove the Safety Guard

To access the wheel of your bench grinder you are first going to need to remove the safety guard. The safety guard is what stops sparks and debris from flying into your face while the grinder is in use.

Now, some people are going to just turn this out of the way, although this can cause damage to it. The better method to follow here is to detach the safety guard from the bench grinder.

You need to find the screws that hold it in place, and then use the proper kind of screwdriver to remove it. With the screws unscrewed, you should be able to pull it off easily.

4. Remove the Grinder Wheel

Now you can actually get to removing the wheel from the bench grinder. Here, you are going to have to find the driveshaft, which is going to be right in the center of the wheel.

Once you have located the driveshaft, you should see a nut and a washer that anchors the wheel to the drive shaft. You are going to use an adjustable wrench to unscrew that nut.

If it is very stiff and you cannot unscrew it, you can apply a bit of lubricating oil to the shaft, as this should loosen it enough for you to remove it.

Once the nut and washer are gone, you can then remove the wheel. Just remember that these wheels can be quite sharp, so wearing some gloves is recommended.

5. Attach the New Wheel

All you need to do now is get your replacement bench grinder wheel and put it on the drive shaft. Just like you used your adjustable wrench to unscrew and remove the nut and washer, you are now going to replace them. Make sure that you tighten them quite securely so that the wheel cannot come undone while the machine is in use. You can now turn on your bench grinder to see if it is functioning properly.

What Should You Do If the Wheel Is Stuck to Your Grinder?

If the wheel is stuck to the grinder because the nut is stuck, the best thing you can do is to add a bit of lubricating oil to lubricate it. If the wheel itself is stuck to the grinder, you may be able to use something like a thin file or a chisel to hammer it loose. You need something relatively thin and durable that can get in between the wheel and the main body of the grinder.

Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks

Lastly, let’s go over some valuable tips when it comes to changing the wheel on your bench grinder:

  • Remember that you can hand tighten these. Although the spinning wheel should be kept tight, the nuts should not be over-tightened.
  • Put a cloth or towel over the wheel opening so that it does not spin while you are loosening the nut.
  • When starting up the bench grinder after having changed the wheel, stand to its side, just in case something goes wrong.
  • Always read the instruction manual for your specific bench grinder, as some can be different than others.
  • Always inspect the threads, as some feature left-handed threads, and others feature right-handed threads.


There you have it, you should now know exactly how to change the wheel on your bench grinder.