Finding the best knife grinder for beginners can be challenging. Especially when you are not sure, what to look for in a grinder to shape the finest looking knife. On top of that, hundreds of identical products making your buy much harder from the start.
If that’s the case with you, let me put your mind at ease with our comprehensive knife grinder reviews. To narrow down the search, I have compiled a list of top 10 options so that you can easily find the best one according to your needs.
So, without further delay, let’s grind right into it!
Best Affordable Belt Grinder for Knife Making – [My Top Picks]
- Best Overall 2×72: WKM Knife Grinder
- Best Value 2×72: Grizzly G1015
- Best 2×82: Happybuy Knife Grinder
- Best Value 2×82: Taishi Knife Grinder
- Best Budget 2×72: Shop Fox W1843
- Best 2×42: Palmgren Knife Grinder
- Best 1×42: Kalamazoo 1SM
- Best 2×42 Belt and Disc: JET J-41002
- Also Great 2×42: Bucktool Knife Grinder
- Best 2×48: Kalamazoo 2FSM
Best Knife Grinders for Beginners – [2023’s Guide]
Here are the best grinders for knife making you should know about.
1. WKM Beginner Knife Grinder – Best 2×72 Belt Grinder
- Easy to assemble.
- Allows quick attachment change.
- Comes with relatively large tool rest.
- Require 3 phase power connection.
First on the list is the WKM 2×72 Beginner Knife Grinder. From the name you can see that the grinder uses a 2×72 inches belt with precision tracking and adjustable tension system. Needless to say, most professional uses exactly that for all grinding work.
This good looking grinder packs with 2 HP motor. That’s relatively pretty powerful for not only knife making but also other grinding operations. When operating it only draws around 2.2kw of power and RPM can go up to 2850.
The whole construction of this knife making grinder is built with heavy-duty metal. Normally with a high rpm machine, build quality is very crucial.
And eventually, sturdy build helps your grinder to last many knives making sessions without much issue.
Furthermore, it comes with the necessary tooling arm and wide tool rest to make your work more pleasant. All these features make this machine the best 2×72 belt grinder for a beginner as well as professionals.
2. Happybuy Beginner Knife Making Grinder – Best 2×82 Belt Grinder
- Comes with various grinding attachments.
- Consumes less power than similar products.
- Variable Speed adjustment.
- Digital display for RMP tracking.
- Lacks detailed instructions.
Next, I have Happybuy Knife Making Grinder. It uses a 2×82” belt placement track. The unique advantage with it is you can easily use a 72” belt by removing the flat platen. That makes it a very versatile grinder for any workshop.
The all-steel frame of this machine contributes to longer service life under pressure. Also every joint of this device are welded to reduce vibration. And pre-bolt-holes ensure precision while changing attachments.
This belt grinder for knife making comes with a highly efficient 2HP motor that draws only 950watts under load. Furthermore, the RPM of the motor can be adjusted between 800-7000 with a specific button and a digital display.
To make it more convenient for you it also comes with 3 grinding wheel attachments for a wide range of sanding work like- profiling, stock removal, satin or mirror finish, and finish work.
Therefore, you can expect it to be the best 2×82 belt grinder for your workshop arsenal.
3. Taishi 2 x 82 Knife Belt Grinder – Best 2×82 Grinder for the Money
- Excellent value for money.
- Powerful 2HP motor.
- Japanese made bearings.
- Less vibration.
- Supports 2×72 and 2×82 belts.
- Cables are not great.
If you’re looking for a capable machine, but don’t want to break the bank, look no further than the Taishi 2×82 knife grinder. It’s an excellent machine offering superior results at a fantastic price point.
As you may already know, 2×72 belts are the most commonly used in the knife making community. Being a 2×82 grinder, it also supports the standard 2×72 belts, which adds more value to your money.
While you’re doing detailing job, precision is the key, and this machine wouldn’t disappoint you, thanks to its steel construction and welded frame.
The 2 HP motor can generate 2800 RPM, which allows you to perform grinding, deburring, flashing, polishing, and sharpening tasks efficiently.
Overall, this is a complete package for beginners who are passionate and dedicated. Give it a try; you will not regret it.
4. Grizzly G1015 Knife Grinder – Best 2×72 Belt Grinder for the Money
- Requires the only 110 volt.
- Comes with necessary belt wheels.
- Small tool rest.
The Grizzly G1015 Knife Grinder is truly a beginner-friendly grinder as it only costs a fraction compared to our other top picks. And yet it still uses the 2×72 inches sand belt to give you the best performance out of the box.
From the build perspective, this cast iron body and all ball-bearing construction usually great for knife shaping. But keep in mind that the machine is also capable of other sanding work as well.
This beginner knife grinder is powerful enough with a 1 HP motor. That only requires a single phase 110volt connection to run at full capacity. The stable 1725 RPM also helps to achieve the desired finishing.
Moreover, this easy to use sander machine comes with a lot of attachment wheels, sanding drums, and disks. This makes it a best 2×72 belt grinder for the money for any beginner, who wants to try knife making.
5. Shop Fox W1843 Knife Grinder – Best Budget 2×72 Belt Grinder
- Bigger driver wheel.
- Adjustable tool rest.
- Plastic power button.
This particular grinder is another good example of an affordable 2×72” belt grinder. After all the features are considered, the tool found a spot on the list.
Although this is a budget knife making belt grinder, it has a pretty decent horsepower to achieve 4500 FPM. Also thanks to the motor for efficient power draw rated only at 110 volts.
The sander comes with an adjustable tool holder that allows you to attach a sanding arm or a tool rest in the front. No matter the project you are on, it will surely give ample advantage over other grinders.
To make it more efficient, the 10-inch driver wheel has a rubber face for a better grip. On top of that, you can easily move it around in your workshop as it only weighs around 54 pounds.
With that being said it’s apparent that this is the best budget 2×72 belt grinder in the competitive market.
6. Palmgren 2×42 Beginner Knife Grinder for Knife Making
- Relatively small-sized.
- Comes with both belt and disk sander.
- CapableHigh RPM operations.
- Hard to adjust the bottom roller.
If you are just starting on knife making, you don’t need any fancy grinder to make your dream come true. You can choose a decent grinder at a pretty low price. And the Palmgren 2×42 Beginner Knife Grinder is a good example of that.
The grinder is a bit smaller than the traditional 72” belt grinder. Instead, it uses 42” belt sander and a 6” disk sander for simultaneous use. Now you won’t need a separate disk sander for your finishing work.
The grinder is capable of putting 3500 RPM with the 1/3 HP motor. The motor requires only 120volts for all your operation need.
With its strong structural rigidity, this cast iron sander tool will offer vibration less action. Furthermore, there are two separate tool rest for both the belt and the disk sander to get the most out of the grinder.
7. Kalamazoo 1SM 1×42 Knife Making Belt Grinder for Beginners
- Minimalistic design.
- Large contact wheel.
- The tool table can be tilted.
- Not suitable for heavy work.
The Kalamazoo 1SM 1×42 is another small yet powerful belt sander. This didn’t make it to the top but has qualities to give it a chance if you are looking for a minimalistic sand machine.
This simple belt grinder is very useful in shaping, sanding, sharpening, smoothing, and sizing. Whether it’s a metal, wood, or plastic, the 1×42” belt can handle with ease.
The tool is so light compared to other grinders in the market. With only 32 pound weight you can move the machine as you choose without any issue.
Even though this tool relatively tiny from other similar brands, it can pull 1725 of RPM without complication. Plus the worktable can be tilted so you can have flexibility while working.
8. Bucktool 2×42 Knife Grinding Machine for Beginners
- Offers both a sand belt and grindstone.
- Easy belt tracking Nob.
- Durable construction.
- Tool-free belt replacement.
- Vibrates if not bolted.
Bucktool is a well-known trustworthy brand offering high-performance tools for your work need. This well-built knife sander and grinder combo is no exception.
All the adjustments and replacing the belt system completely tool-free. It means you can spend more of your time in the actual work rather than on changing belts.
The tool uses 2×42 inches belt track for metal sanding work as well as 6 inches grinding stone. The 60-grit white stone with a 3.5 amp motor is ideal for temperature-sensitive work.
You can use the belt sander either vertically or horizontally fulfilling your work need. On top of that, the sturdy tool rest provide better support on any sanding work.
9. JET J-41002 2×42 Beginner Knife Making Belt Grinder
- Combo sander for maximum flexibility.
- Various nobs for angle adjustment.
- Strong base with four rubber feet.
- Some complained motor doesn’t reach full speed.
This is another belt and disk sander combo, which can be a bit costly. But if you need to have the combo tool, you may give it a look. This 3/4 HP belt grinder can run 42” belt sander and 8” disk sander.
Like any other low powered grinder, it only draws up to 115 volts under full load. With such low power, the belt unit also works as a saw and filer that allows ultimate finishing experience.
For easy tracking, you can turn the miter gauge either on the left or right. There are marking up to 45 degrees so you can follow those for a precise finish.
This performance machine comes with a fairly large tool table for both sanders. And both tables can be easily adjusted with lever according to your requirement.
10. Kalamazoo 2FSM 2×48 Beginner Knife Grinder Machine
- High RPM operation.
- Removable platen.
- Allows both horizontal and vertical operation.
- Platen moves out of alignment easily.
- A bit heavy on the price.
This is another Kalamazoo knife grinder that can be used either horizontally or vertically. You can also tilt the table to go for a tricky angle. Similarly, the platen can be moved if need be.
The machine uses a 2×48” sand belt, which can be easily replaceable by pulling a lever. Besides, there is a shield cover around the belt to protect you from accidental slip off.
Equipped with ½ HP direct-drive motor that is able to reach a maximum speed of 3,450 RPM. The power consumption is relatively low, around 110volts to be exact.
11. Grizzly H8192 1×42 Beginner Knife Makers Belt Grinder
- 45 degree tilt action.
- Single knob tracking tuning.
- Ports for dust collecting.
- Takes longer to assemble.
Grizzly tools are usually popular among the DIY community and professionals. Mainly because of their unparalleled product quality and support. That’s why I have managed to squeeze another Grizzly tool on the list.
The 63 pound beast of a machine is powered by 1/3 HP motor that runs on 110 volts single phase connection. That is more than enough to run any sanding task through 42” belt or large 8” disk sander.
There is only a single knob to adjust belt tracking. Plus you can tilt the tables up to 45 degrees to the right. Additionally, there are two dust ports to collect any residual from the material you are sanding to keep your workspace clean.
The dual Cast-Iron Tables with Miter Slots also helps in achieving perfect finishing regardless of the materials.
Best Budget Knife Grinder for Beginners – [Updated Buying Guide]
If you’re looking for the best knife grinders for beginner, you’ll have to know the things that you should consider before buying a belt grinder.
I wanted to make the process easy for you, so I made a list of essential checklist to consider before choosing. I recommend you to read the belt grinder buyer’s guide below.
1. Ease of Assembly
Some belt grinders are easy to assemble, and some of them are hard and time-consuming. If you’re new in the grinding jobs, I recommend you to get a machine that is easy to assemble.
In the beginning, you will not want to mess up with your belt grinder, and that will be very disappointing if you fail to bring together your machine accurately.
An easy to assemble machine will save your time, and you can invest that time on learning the grinding job more accurately
2. Motor Power
A belt grinder with lower HP motor will not provide you with a satisfactory performance which is necessary for knife making. Belt grinders with more than 1 HP motor will offer better performance.
The higher the horsepower is, the better the machine will perform. Chinese motors are just fine, but you should avoid them as they do not last long.
Quality motors from known manufacturers will provide you with durability and better performance in your knife grinding jobs.
3. Belt Size
The belt size of a belt grinder is one of the most important things you need to consider when buying a belt grinder. A smaller machine cannot do the grinding job efficiently, and shorter belts wear out very fast.
On the other hand, a bigger grinder with larger belt costs you more money and takes up more space, but you will be able to grind more efficiently.
Besides, a substantial belt grinder has more options than the smaller ones. Most of the professional knife makers use 2” x 72” belt grinder for their jobs.
If you are a beginner or in a budget, you can go for a sander with at least 1” x 42” belt size.
4. Dust Collection System
If you’re a professional knifemaker, you know belt grinder produces lots of dust while you’re grinding. There are many belt sanders available that have built-in dust ports to keep your shop dust-free with less effort.
While choosing a belt grinder, you should consider this feature. Dust collection feature may not be essential to you if you’re a hobbyist and make knife occasionally.
But if you’re a determined knife maker, then this feature is a must-have one.
5. Variable Speed Settings
Some grinders have only one speed, and some have variable speed settings. Speed control feature is going to cost you more money.
However, if you are a beginner in knife making, variable speed feature will help you to learn the grinding job more accurately. If you have no problem with the extra cost for this feature, it’s always great to have a belt grinder with variable speed setting.
6. Tool Rest
Tools rest is another vital aspect to consider. Some knife makers use Jig for their grinding jobs. If you’re one of them, you’ll need an ample tool rest.
But if you’re a beginner or don’t use Jig for grinding then small tool rest will work fine. Make sure the tool rest isn’t that much little; otherwise, you will not be able to grind efficiently.
7. Chatter Issue
You should also look at the frame of the grinder. Grinder with low-quality frame will cause chatter. As a result, grinding will be inaccurate. The robust the structure is, the lower the chatter will be. A heavier structure will reduce this issue.
Manufacturers add more mass to the frame in different ways which reduce the chattering effect. So make sure the frame is heavy and rigid to get accurate grinding performance.
Best Belt for Knife Making – FAQs
What are belt grinders used for?
A belt grinder is an electric device. You can use belt grinders for sanding or grinding different materials to give it a required shape. The general use of belt grinder is to grind metals for making knives.
What is a good belt grinder for knife making?
A good belt grinder comes with minimum 1HP motor and 2” by 72” belt, that offers excellent performance and accuracy. All the professional knife makers prefer powerful sanders with at least 2×72 strap.
Belt Grinder Vs. Belt Sander – What is the difference?
Belt grinders are also known as belt sanders. There is absolutely no difference between a belt grinder and a belt sander. Knife makers call it belt grinder instead of belt sander.
Congratulation! You have managed to read the full reviews regarding the best knife grinder for beginners. By now you should have a detailed idea about all the top-rated knife grinders that I have mentioned above. You can go with any of these depending on your budget and requirements.
Nonetheless, as a quick reminder- Whether you are just starting on knife making or you are a professional looking to replace your old grinder, WKM 2×72 Beginner Knife Grinder offers the best of both worlds.
The Happybuy 2×82 Knife Making Grinder is more on the pricier side. But if you don’t want to waste your hard-earned money on some premium sham product, this is the option to go.
Finally, I would highly recommend Grizzly G1015 Knife Grinder to the individuals with a tight budget. It’s no surprise that knife grinder costs pretty penny. But with this grinder you can ensure the best bang for your buck.
That being said, now it’s your time to choose the best grinder for your next knife making project.
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