Bench grinders are one of the most important tools to have in a workshop, considering the versatility they offer when it comes to performing different tasks.
Around three years back, I purchased the Delta 23-197 8 inch Bench Grinder as I was in need of a compact model for my workshop.
This bench grinder has a variable speed option that makes it versatile, be it while cutting or polishing workpieces. It offers great value for money, making it the perfect tool to have for basic grinding and DIY applications.
In this article, I will be giving you a first hand owner’s opinion of how this tool has fared over the years. This will help you understand if this tool is the best choice for you in the long run while giving you an idea of the various applications that it works well for.
Delta 23-197 8Inch Bench Grinder Review
Delta Power Tools is one of the oldest power tools manufacturers based out of the United States. The company has been a constant innovator in the field, which is one of the reasons I decided to purchase the Delta 23-197 8” Bench Grinder for my workshop.
At first glance, the product was quite affordable, which ensured buying this machine did not burn a hole in my pocket. It seemed to offer a great combination of features and performance, which convinced me that this was the product for me
Here are a few specifications for those looking to understand the technical aspect of the Delta 23-197 bench grinder.
- Motor: 5 AMP, 1 Phase
- RPM: 2,000 to 3,400 RPM
- Arbor Diameter: 0.5 inches
- Wheel Diameter: 8 inches
- Wheel Grit: 36 (coarse), 60 (medium)
- Weight: 44lbs.
- Cord Length: 6 inches
- Voltage: 120 V
- Warranty: 5 years
In the next section, I will discuss some of the main features of this product. These aspects of this bench grinder from Delta Power Tools were the most useful and important to me, proving the worth of this machine in the long run.
- Variable speed motor
The Delta 23-197 has a 5 amp induction type motor that works on a single-phase 120V power supply. It has a ball bearing assembly to ensure more stability during the performance.
The variable speed option allows the wheels to rotate in a range between 2,000 and 3,400 RPM. This gives operators the versatility to choose the exact speed needed for the given operation using the variable speed wheel placed at the front of the machine.
- Grinding wheels
This bench grinder from Delta Power Tools comes with two grinding wheels while purchasing the product itself. The coarser 36 grit wheel is used mainly for quick material removal and operations that require less precision.
The 60 grit wheel allows you to do tasks that require precision such as polishing and grinding.
- Safety Features
The Delta 23-197 ensures that no compromises are made when it comes to the safety of the operator.
Full-size eye shields protect the eyes from sparks that may be generated while operating the machine. The On/Off switch is provided with a lock that ensures the motor is not accidentally started when changing the wheels.
It also helps safeguard the machine from being switched on accidentally by children.
- Other features
This product comes with grooved tool rest, allowing you to find the perfect angle to grind and sharpen your tools with precision. It also has a work light mount that allows you to illuminate the workbench.
The product also comes with an inbuilt water tray that allows you to cool heated workpieces by the grinder itself for maximum convenience.
Things I Liked
- Compact design
I was quite impressed by the compact nature of this bench grinder from Delta Power Tools. Its clever design allowed me to place it in a tight spot at the workshop, without having to worry about making space for the tool.
I was also helped by the LED work light attachment, which meant I did not have to worry about how well-lit the spot was.
This had the added benefit of allowing me to work at night while allowing me to see the workpiece and operate the machine with better precision.
- Versatile performance
The motor and variable speed mechanism of the motor of the bench grinder works like a charm for those looking to increase the versatility of this tool.
The slow speeds allowed me to work on precision jobs while the faster speeds helped me save time in tasks like stock removal.
At the same time, the machine was quiet for the most part, which allowed me to work for longer hours without a definite need for ear protection.
I also enjoyed the simplicity of this machine, with straightforward controls ensuring easy access. The large variable knob in the front as well as the power switch ensured that I did not have to worry about searching for these controls, which could result in injury otherwise.
- Warranty period
It is quite rare for manufacturers to issue a 5-year warranty on bench grinders. However, I was quite pleased that this model from Delta offered exactly this period on this bench grinder. This gave me the confidence that the machine was built to last.
I must also mention the customer service support that I received from Delta. They were prompt and courteous when I contacted them regarding a few minor issues.
They understood my problem and gave me the best solutions that ensured I did not have the same trouble again.
Things I Disliked
- Susceptible to vibration
I was aware that the product had some issues with vibrations, as mentioned by multiple reviews online. However, I was confident that the iron cast base would keep it to a minimal level.
To my disappointment, it only increased the weight of the product considerably, making it a lot less portable.
At the same time, it kept experiencing heavy vibrations on multiple occasions. It tended to affect the accuracy of my work, forcing me to redo a number of parts as a result.
- Hard to understand manual
The manual provided by the manufacturer has a number of incomplete instructions and diagrams, especially when it comes to the assembly of this bench grinder. As a result, setting up this bench grinder is not the easiest of tasks.
It also means troubleshooting an issue by referring to the manual is quite difficult. This forced me to contact customer service more often than not, which was quite cumbersome.
- Not designed for heavy duty work
I was hoping that the product would be able to cater to the occasional job that required a high quality professional bench grinder.
However, this product worked best for occasional DIY projects and small house repairs.
It did not offer good performance over long periods in operations involving metal, which was a big let down in professional scenarios.
The vibrations further affected precision, while the tool rests were not able to accommodate larger workpieces that needed to be grinded or sharpened.
After three years, I am quite happy with the overall performance of this bench grinder. Its affordable pricing and features made it the perfect choice for small household projects as well as some of my DIY requirements.
There has been no considerable drop in performance, which makes me confident that this product will last for many more years to come.
The bench grinder does not disappoint when it comes to performance, thanks mainly to the solid performance of the motor as well as its variable speed option.
It also has a number of safety features that allow amateurs and DIY enthusiasts to use this machine without much prior experience.
However, this tool is not designed for heavy-duty applications that professional contractors like me might be hired for.
Issues regarding the vibration and its performance with respect to metals make it unsuitable for workpieces that require precision.
If you are someone looking for an affordable bench grinder to get you started easily, then the Delta 23-197 is a great product that offers you excellent value for money.
Bench Grinder Buying Guide
When it comes to choosing a bench grinder, there are many different factors to consider. There are many different types of bench grinders on the market.
It can be hard to know which one is best for you, so here are some features to look out for before buying. Make sure that your grinder has a powerful motor, sharp blades, precise adjustments, safety features and more!
Here are some of the most important things to look for:
- Power – A bench grinder needs to have a powerful motor in order to do its job effectively. Make sure that you get one with enough power to handle the type of grinding you need to do.
- Blades – The blades on a bench grinder need to be sharp in order to produce good results. Make sure that they can be easily adjusted so that you can get the precise edge you need.
- Safety features – A good bench grinder will have a variety of safety features, such as guards that keep your hands safe from the blades.
- Size – While size doesn’t affect performance, it can be important for your needs. Make sure that you choose one at the proper height and size to suit your work space.
- Price – Bench grinders come in a wide range of prices, so make sure that you do some research before making any purchase.
Choosing the best bench grinder for your unique needs can be difficult, but with these features to consider, you should be able to find one that will get the job done effectively and safely!