When it comes to bench grinders, WEN, a well-known power tool company, has worthy competitors, such as the WEN 4276 and the WEN 4280. While both of them look similar, they have distinct features, which I will review in this article.
If you are considering getting a WEN bench grinder, check out my comparison below as I point out what makes these two powerful units similar and different from each other. This will help you decide which one you should buy for your needs.
A Quick Review of the WEN Bench Grinders
These two WEN bench grinders have varying wheel sizes (6-inch and 8-inch) so they cater to different purposes. They both have work lights and other convenience features and both will be ideal for most sharpening tasks in your garage or workshop.
Before we dive into the similarities and differences between the products – and their resulting advantages and disadvantages – let’s start with a brief review of each.
This 6-inch bench grinder has a 2.1-amp motor that runs up to 3,450 RPM on its no-load speed. With its work light, you will easily see your material even in a dark garage or work area (you do need to buy a 40-watt bulb separately). Each of the 6-inch wheels has a 3/4-inch thickness and 1/2-inch arbor size.
Because of its lightweight design, at only 16 pounds, it is a decent choice for beginners or those who only want to use them for home repairs. Since the light is flexible, it is easy to position your material for accuracy.
The 36-grit and 60-grit wheels are supported by a heavy-duty base for stability while the eye guards will protect the operator during the sharpening process. If you already have a cast iron stand compatible with this bench grinder, it is easy to set up and will make your job fuss-free. I like that it has a pair of adjustable tool rests for your material.
As an 8-inch bench grinder, WEN 4280 is equipped with a variable-speed feature that lets it switch between 2,000 and 3,400 RPM. This makes it ideal for both slow-speed operations, such as with woodworking chisels and low-grit sharpenings, such as with lawnmower blades and metalwork. Like the 6-inch model, it also has a flexible work light that you can bend for ease of accuracy.
It has a cast iron base that makes it sturdy and less likely to tip over. What’s more, this one has an 80-grit and a 36-grit, making it ideal for removing material from sensitive tools. With its 5-amp motor and its 1-inch-thick grinding wheel, it will cater to larger objects that need to be sharpened.
Moreover, this unit weighs 41 pounds, measures 17 x 18.1 x 13 inches, and has a 5/8-inch arbor size. I also like that it has a wheel guard removal mechanism for quick changing of discs depending on your needs.
WEN 4276 vs. WEN 4280: Similarities
As both bench grinders are from the same manufacturer, it makes sense that both of them have major similarities. Let’s have a look at some of them:
A bendable light is included with these two bench grinders – a feature that provides better accuracy for the user. It is a convenient plus point for both WEN bench grinders because you don’t need to add a work light to your desk, reducing the footprint on your table.
By having a work light in your grinding area, it will assist in avoiding accidents and also help attain the right sharpness that you want to achieve for your material of choice. Garages and workshops are often dim (and sometimes gloomy!) so having a work light to guide you will help save errors and keep you and your material safe from harm.
Wheel Guard Removal
Having a wheel guard removal feature on both bench grinders will help to speed up your task at hand. This is especially useful when you are trying to meet a deadline and you want a safe way to remove the wheels to replace with a different grit or brand.
Both of these WEN bench grinders are backed by a 2-year warranty, as long as they have not been misused or repaired by someone else. They can be taken to any WEN factory for repairs without charge to the purchaser.
WEN 4276 vs. WEN 4280: Differences
Although they are both from WEN, these two models have distinct differences, which we will discuss below:
While the WEN 2476 has a speed of 3,450 RPM which is fixed, the WEN 4280 has a variable-speed feature between 2,000 and 3,400 RPM. This makes the WEN 4280 more ideal for delicate steel such as knives and woodworking chisels.
Choosing the appropriate speed for your needs is important because it can make or break your material in question. High speeds are okay for lawn mower blades, metalwork, and the like. However, for sensitive materials such as knives, you need slower speeds to avoid burns. Consider what material or tool you want to sharpen before getting a bench grinder.
While the WEN 4276 has a 1/2-inch arbor size, the WEN 4280 has a 5/8-inch one instead. This is a likely case due to their difference in wheel size.
Although I’m sure I already gave it away in the intro, these two WEN bench grinders differ mainly in their wheel sizes. The WEN 4276 has 6-inch grinding wheels while the WEN 4280 sports 8-inch wheels.
The 6-inch and 8-inch wheels have different applications. For instance, smaller objects are okay for 6-inch wheels but they usually have a faster speed and are ideal for high-speed removal of material. For finer sharpening that will not burn the material, a slower speed is needed and it is often seen in 8-inch units. Moreover, bench grinders with 8-inch wheels will cater to bigger objects easier.
60-grit vs. 80-grit
While the WEN 4276 has a 60-grit and a 36-grit in its set of wheels, the WEN 4280 has an 80-grit instead of a 60-grit, making it finer in terms of sharpening capability. This means it is more applicable for knives and very sharp and delicate tools.
That said, the wheels can easily be bought later on and exchanged.
Which of the WEN Bench Grinders Should You Get?
If you have smaller materials, such as cold chisels and other items that are not too invasive in a work area, the 6-inch WEN 4276 is already a good choice for you. However, for bigger materials, WEN 4280 is a better choice.
I’d also recommend the WEN 4280 if you prefer to sharpen different kinds of metals and if you also want to use them for knives and woodworking chisels, which require slower speeds and a higher grit. If you will only use a bench grinder for general sharpening of gardening tools such as lawnmower blades then the WEN 4276 is already sufficient.
Before committing to either of the two, though, you might also want to check the list of my favorite bench grinders.
In the long run, you should decide which WEN bench grinder you want to get. The most important factor to consider is that it fits your needs since not everyone works under the same conditions or works to sharpen the same sets of materials.
I hope that this guide helped you somehow in choosing which bench grinder will work for you. Both of them are worthy competitors but their features make them ideal for different situations.