Knife making might be considered an outdated art today, but it’s still a favorable hobby for many people.
However, you need the right grinding tool to be able to do a good job, especially when you’re just starting out as a beginner.
There’s no better tool for this purpose than a knife grinder or belt sander. A good knife grinder enables you to make knives like a real craftsman.
That said, finding the best knife grinder for beginners is not always straightforward. Given the huge number of models out there, it might take a lot of trials to arrive at the right grinder.
Luckily, we are here to save you from all the troubles.
After a lot of research, we’ve finally rounded up the best sanders and grinders in the market.
- 7 Best Knife Grinder for Beginners Reviews
- Features to Consider Before Buying
- Final Words
7 Best Knife Grinder for Beginners Reviews
Choosing the right grinder can make the difference between making a knife that truly depicts your creativity and one that is anything but great.
Following is a review of the top-rated knife grinder for beginners.
1. WEN 6502T 4.3-Amp Belt and Disc Sander
To kick off the list, we have one of the most affordable knife grinders in the market – the WEN 6502T Belt and Disc Sander.
But don’t be fooled by its cheap price; this is a very powerful unit. It is one of the most popular options for homeowners.
The WEN 6502T is a sanding machine that is designed for both home and commercial applications. It is equipped with a 4.3Amp motor that delivers up to 3600rpm speed output. And it delivers just enough power to keep going for a long time.
As a 2-in-1 tool, it features a 4×36 belt and a 6×6-inch disc sander that consists of a table made of cast aluminum. The belt is fully adjustable and very easy to change.
Its tool base is made of cast iron to prevent heavy vibrations and wobbling, thus ensuring you have steady support.
Cleaning is a lot easier with the provision of a dust collector. You can easily make simple changes between sandpaper grits – thanks to the tension release lever.
Overall, this is a reliable knife grinder that can greatly simplify knife making. You won’t find a better unit that offers as much power for the same price.
- Highly affordable
- Comes with dust collector
- Reliable performance
- Blade guard for enhanced safety
- Not suitable for heavy load
2. Palmgren 2″ x 42″ Belt, 6″ Disc Bench Finishing Machine
Palmgren is one of the most reputable brands in the power tool industry. They have a huge product line, which consists of some of the best quality tools in the market, especially for metalworking.
The Palmgren Disc Bench Finishing is a recent tool from the company specifically designed for carrying out the most common metalworking jobs.
It is one of the most reliable units out there, especially when power and safety is a top priority.
As indicated earlier, the tool is versatile; it’s not only suitable for knife making but also other common metalworking projects. It can be used on both ferrous and non-ferrous metal, as well as plastic and wood. This means you’re never limited to the type of material to use for your knife.
Beyond grinding and sanding, it also performs other operations like finishing, polishing, and surfacing. This makes it even more versatile.
The tool is equipped with a powerful 1/3HP motor that provides up to 3500RPM disc speed and 4400RPM belt speed.
This grinder weighs around 38 pounds, which makes it fairly lightweight.
- Powerful motor
- May cause vibrations
3. Kalamazoo 1SM 1″ Belt Sander
Noise is a common issue with most belt sanders. Even the most efficient models have this problem. Luckily, there are still a few units that do quite well in this area. One of them is the Kalamazoo 1SM Belt Sander.
If you’re looking for a grinder that delivers a smooth performance but still operates quietly, then you will not go wrong with this unit.
The unit is equipped with a powerful motor rated 1,725 RPM, which makes it suitable for heavy-duty knife grinding operations.
So, if you’re doing bladesmithing for commercial purposes, then this is the sander to go for. Or else, it is a great tool for DIY applications. With 32 pounds of weight, the tool is fairly portable. It is also easy to use. You can easily change the belt and make tracking adjustments.
The major downside with this unit is that it’s a bit expensive. But even at that, it is still a good deal for its price. Its performance is unbeatable, and it will last you a long time.
- Fairly lightweight
- Easy to use
- Highly durable
- Reliable quality
4. Porter-Cable PCB420SA Benchtop Belt Sander
When purchasing a power tool, it is always a good idea to buy from a reputable brand. This gives a better guarantee of quality and performance. There are very few brands in the industry that can beat the reputation of PORTER-CABLE.
If you’re looking for quality but still want a unit that is affordable, then you will not go wrong with the Porter-Cable PCB420SA Sander. This tool comes packed with a number of interesting features that make it one of the best knife grinders for beginners.
One of the first things you will notice about it is its durable aluminum table, which provides a safe and stable platform for your workpiece. This is both for the disc and belt sanders.
A dust collection system is also added to trap dust while you’re working. This helps to keep the work area free of dust and reduce the amount of mess you have to clean up after every working session.
You can tilt the belt sander to 90 degrees; this allows you to achieve greater curve precision in your work. The use of cast iron base helps to minimize vibration while the powerful ¾ HP motor provides just as much power you need to tackle both small and large projects.
- Comes with miter gauge
- Stable cast iron base
- Reliable performance
- Reasonable price
- A bit heavy (51 pounds)
5. Grizzly Industrial H6070 Combo Sander
If you desire a highly portable unit that is powerful and affordable, then you cannot go wrong with the Grizzly Industrial H6070 Disc and Belt Sander. At 20.1 pounds, there’s no doubt this tops the list of the lightest grinding machines out there.
But don’t be deceived by its small weight. This unit is still powerful.
Obviously, it is not nearly as powerful as most units on the list, but it still provides adequate power for most simple DIY projects. It is equipped with a 1/3HP motor, which delivers up to 3450rpm speed.
You get up to 45-degree tilt with the small table provided with the belt and disc sanders. Some parts of the tool handle are made with plastic, which might not go down well with a lot of people, but this to reduce the weight of the sander.
The unit is also reasonably priced, so you get exactly what you’re paying for.
Overall, choose this unit if you want a knife grinder that is easy to carry around and convenient to use.
- Highly portable
- Great for wood and metal
- Easy to assemble
- Not suitable for heavy-duty projects
6. EX ELECTRONIX EXPRESS Mini Belt Sander
You don’t need a machine that weighs over 50 pounds to make a small knife that is not even up to 8 inches in length. Maybe you could use something that large for blades and swords that are longer than normal.
However, to make a small, good-looking knife, what you need is a small grinder that is lightweight and not complicated to use. One of the best options you will find in this category is the EX ELECTRONIX EXPRESS Mini.
This is a top-rated grinder with a sander size of 1”x30” and table size of 5”x5”. The work table and belt sander work together to help you achieve precise and smooth finishing on a blade. You also have the option to replace the existing belt and knife guide if you feel the finishing could be better.
The machine is equipped with a 120V motor rated 1/3 HP that delivers up to 3400 RPMs. It has rubber feet that help to significantly reduce vibration, thereby providing a stable platform for your projects.
A dust collection system is provided to collect dust around the work area while the belt table tilts up to 45 degrees allowing you to achieve a more precise curve. The unit is incredibly lightweight. In fact, it’s the lightest option on the list.
So, if you need a simple tool for knife making that is very light and easy to use, then you cannot go wrong with the Express Mini.
- Perfect for beginners
- Highly portable
- You need to buy additional resources
7. JET J-4002 Bench Belt and Disc Sander
The JET J-4002 is another powerful unit that is preferred by many DIY enthusiasts. Built with precision and durability in mind, the J-4002 is a belt and disc sander that promises superior performance.
But it’s not just the power and accuracy that’s amazing; its versatility also puts it ahead of many grinders in the same category.
Apart from sanding or grinding blade, it can also do the work of a coping saw, jigsaw or hand file. In other words, it doesn’t only help you remove material but also helps to create excellent finishes, as well.
The tool is built with high-quality materials that guarantee its quality and durability. It runs quietly and is quite easy to assemble and take-down.
It weighs around 62 pounds after removing the belt, so it’s a bit heavy. But this doesn’t mean it cannot be moved from one location to another.
A removable platen is included – enabling you to perform grinding, finishing, and sanding operations on the workpiece using the tool belt.
Overall, this is a great product for its price. We recommend it.
- Powerful motor
- 45 degrees table tilt
- Multiple uses
Features to Consider Before Buying
Before you make your final decision, there are certain factors to consider in order to find the perfect grinder that will suit your needs.
Power is a very important requirement for choosing a sander. You want to choose a tool that has enough power to tackle the job you have at hand. The most common challenge people face is buying a sander only to discover that it can’t handle the heavy jobs they want to do.
If you buy a grinder that provides inadequate power for what you want to accomplish, the tool’s motor will most likely bog down every now and then.
So, make sure you consider the tool’s power. And also make sure it’s something that can really serve you.
In addition to power, you should also consider the speed and size of the tool you’re buying. You don’t want a grinder that is too heavy, or else you may not be able to go for long hours without developing hand fatigue.
In the same manner, you want a tool that offers the correct speed for your task (not too high or too low). Ideally, you want to go for a sander with variable speed settings, as this offers you more control.
When using any power tool that removes materials, you should always think about how it takes care of dust produced from the job.
Choosing a sander or grinder that has a dust collector will reduce the amount of dust on the workspace, allowing you to work with more freedom.
It also reduces the amount of mess you have to take care of when you’re done working.
Ease of Use
You want to get a tool that is simple to operate. This is very important for you as a beginner.
The best rule is to stay away from sophisticated grinders that require users to be a little more technical. Or else you would spend hours trying to do something that would have taken you a few minutes if you were using a simpler grinder.
Such models are better suited for more experienced users. Stick with something that is simple and easy to use.
By now, you should have an idea of what it takes to get a good grinder for knife making. As long as you adhere to the criteria we discussed above, you shouldn’t have any problem.
Make sure you take safety seriously while using any grinder or sander. Use the right safety gear to protect yourself and your work.
Also, make sure you go for a unit that will not require you to make huge adjustments. This is really important when you’re just starting out.
With our list, you should be able to get the best knife grinder for beginners that meets your requirements.
Feel free to drop your questions in the comment box if you have any.