Have you ever wondered how to put a buffing wheel on bench grinders? There’s no doubting that bench grinders can be incredibly useful for reshaping metal, removing sharp edges and burrs, and the like – but the final quality of the result will depend on the bench buffing wheel that you’re using.  As such, from time to time, you may need to switch out your grinder buffer wheel. 

Fortunately, this doesn’t need to be a major challenge to accomplish. So, if this is something that you have been considering, then our team is on hand today to help you find out more about this topic and ensure you have the information you need to successfully install a buffing wheel.

Can I Install a New Buffing Wheel for my Bench Grinder?

So, can you install a new buffing wheel for your bench grinder? Well, we’re pleased to announce that the answer to this is: yes! In fact, replacing a buffing wheel for your bench grinder is an incredibly easy process that doesn’t take vast amounts of expertise to accomplish. As such, this may be something that you want to consider for your own workshop.

However, if you want to convert your bench grinder to a buffer for the first time, the process is more complicated than simply replacing an existing buffing wheel. Nevertheless, this is still entirely possible with a few tools and a little patience.

Things to Think About

Now, we should mention that there are a few points you should consider before attempting to install a new buffing wheel for your bench grinder. We’ve summarized a few of these as follows.

How to Install a Buffing Wheel on Bench Grinders?

bench buffing wheel

When it comes to your buffing wheel, it’s crucial you follow the steps below to be successful with your installation. Fortunately, these five simple steps will help give you an overview of what you need to do. 

  1. Loosen the bolt and nut using a wrench
  2. Remove the bolt and the existing wheel from your bench grinder
  3. Remove the wheel covers
  4. Replace the old buffer wheel with the new one, tightening the nut and bolt to secure it.
  5. Check that the newly installed buffing wheel is tightly secured to your bench grinder. If it feels loose, a few spacers should ensure that the gap is filled and the buffing wheel is securely tightened.

Never Rush with Installing a New Bench Buffing Wheel

As you can see, there aren’t too many steps involved with installing a buffing wheel on a bench grinder. However, if this is something that you have been considering, then you should stop and take some time to consider whether you would be rushing to do it now.

Of course, when it comes to changing your buffing bench grinder wheel, we recommend that you do so when you have enough time to do the job properly. At the end of the day, a mistake could be costly for your project, and so you should always take the time needed (especially while learning) to properly install a buffing wheel on a bench grinder.

Before you get started, you should ensure that you know how to thread the wheel and bolt, if necessary. This usually depends on whether your chosen buffering wheel has a reverse thread or not.

Secondly, you should check the positioning of your buffing wheel on the grinder. If you get the position wrong, you might find it hard to polish all angles for your material – in which case, you’ll likely need another buffering wheel.

As a final point, you should also carefully consider the chosen size of your buffering wheel. Smaller 6-inch wheels are usually easier to use, but they have the drawback that they can press harder against the material than a large buffering wheel.

Converting a Bench Grinder to a Buffing Bench Grinder

If you have been looking to convert your bench grinder into a buffing bench grinder, this fortunately isn’t too difficult. Nevertheless, converting a bench grinder is somewhat more involved than simply replacing out the buffing wheel, and we’ve explained the steps you should follow as part of this effort below.

  1. First, you should always ensure you have bolted the grinder firmly down. Bolting the bench grinder ensures that the workspace is secure, stable, and won’t move as you try to work, potentially avoiding mistakes and accidents.
  2. Once you have secured the grinder, all wheels and wheel guards should be removed until you reach the axles and motor. Always do so carefully to ensure that you don’t accidentally damage any of the components of your grinder.
  3. If the axle needs to be cut down to size, then a hacksaw will do the job easily and effectively. To make this even easier, turn the grinder’s motor on to start the axle moving; then, all you need to do is hold the hacksaw against the grinder to start automatically trimming the axle. You should then allow the axle to cool if you have trimmed it before continuing with your conversion efforts. 
  4. At this point, you’ll want to consider the second axle. If the second axle appears too wide for rapidly attaching a spindle, you should place a lathe chisel hard tip in vise grips to begin altering the overly thick axle. As before, turn the motor on. The hard tip should then be held against the spinning axle carefully to begin cutting back on the unneccessary thickness. Always take this step slowly to ensure that you don’t end up over-trimming the axle by mistake.
  5. Once more, you should allow the modified axle to cool before continuing to the final step.
  6. Lastly, screw the spindle into place, and you’re good to go!

As you can hopefully see from our list of instructions above, while converting a bench grinder to a buffing bench grinder is a little more involved than simply replacing the buffing wheel, it’s not exactly an impossible job to complete either. Once you are confident that you’ve finished the conversion effectively, all you then need to do is carefully test out the buffing wheel to see how well it’s working!

Using a Bench Buffing Wheel

buffing bench grinder

At this point, we’ve outlined how to create your own bench grinder into a buffing bench grinder – but how can you actually use the buffing wheel?

Well, if you have installed the buffing wheel correctly, you can just use it as normal so long as you have the right protections in place, such as eyewear. Moreover, we recommend that you keep a bowl of cold water to hand while using your new buffing tool, as buffing tools can cause the material to get incredibly hot. This may make it harder to work with and potentially risk damage.

Is it Safe to Use a Bench Grinder as a Buffing Tool? 

Is it safe to use a bench grinder? So long as your bench grinder is fully secure and you have safety protection in place, then there is no reason why using a buffing bench grinder shouldn’t be safe. Always wear protective clothing and eyewear and heatproof gloves for the best safety results with your bench grinder.

Is There a Right Size for my Buffing Wheel?

If you have been looking to install or replace a buffing wheel for your bench grinder, you might be wondering about the right size for the wheel. There is no right or wrong size for a buffing wheel, but we recommend that you start out with a small wheel if you are new to buffing. Then, once you have greater experience with buffing, you can progress onto a larger sized wheel for more rapid polishing.

Why Do Buffers Make Materials Hot?

When you use a buffer, you might notice that it is making the materials it is polishing hot. This is completely normal. Indeed, the heat derived from your materials is the result of friction causing heat to build up on the surface of your material through a transfer of energy into heat energy. To this end, while using your buffer bench, it’s crucial to keep a cool bowl or cup of water nearby so that you can cool down the materials you are trying to polish if they get too hot.


Today, we’ve had a look at some of the different ways that you can install a new wheel on your buffing bench grinder. Whether you’re looking to switch out an existing wheel or modify your bench grinder, it’s entirely possible to do so from the comfort of your own home. Provided that you have followed all relevant rules carefully, doing so is a safe way to create a buffer quickly without needing to invest heavily in new equipment for your property.

The most crucial takeaway here is to ensure that you have gotten the buffing wheel on your bench grinder tight. If you aren’t entirely satisfied that your buffing wheel is tight, there are a few ways you can go about tightening it to ensure that things continue running smoothly for as long as possible. This should help you ensure that your new buffing wheel on bench grinders will work efficiently and safely.