Bench grinders are a must-have tool for every craftsman, thanks to their versatility in a number of professional applications.
However, not every bench grinder is designed for sharpening, which requires precision and slower-speed wheels. This is why the Wen 4280 Variable Speed Bench Grinder solves your issues.
WEN 4280 can be used for both sharpening and grinding, because of its variable speed between 2,000 – 3,400 RPM. It comes with a 36-grit (silicon carbide), and 80-grit (aluminum oxide) wheel and is a compact but stable bench grinder that can take care of most work.
The product offered me great value for the money I invested in it. If you are here looking for more information, then this article will give you exactly that.
Read on as I detail various aspects of the product and give you my opinion about this bench grinder after using it for some time.
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WEN 4280 Variable Speed Bench Grinder Review
The Wen brand has established itself over years for providing high-quality power tools at an affordable price. The innovative technology and useful features are a trademark of the company, attracting customers looking for cheaper alternatives to big brands like Dewalt and Makita.
The Wen 4280 caught my attention when I was looking for a new 8” bench grinder for my workshop. Attracted by its price point, I decided to research the product further before I was convinced that I had found the model that met my requirements.
I have listed the specifications as well as various features that really impressed me after using it.
|Speed||2000 to 3400 RPM|
|Weight||41 lb. or 18.5 kg|
|Wheel||80-grit and 36-grit 8″ x 1″|
I have also listed down a few aspects from a user’s perspective that I liked and disliked, before concluding with my honest opinion of the product. Do read on for a detailed review of the Wen 4280 Bench Grinder.
The Wen 4280 Variable Speed Grinder has a corded 5 amp motor that produces a variable wheel speed between 2000 and 3400 RPM, which can be adjusted with a knob. It comes with 36 grit and 80 grit wheels of size 8”.
This bench grinder has dimensions of 21.85” L x 12.01” W x 13.98” H. It has a total weight of 41 pounds, with a cast iron base supporting the machine. The product comes with two years of manufacturer warranty on the purchase of a new product.
- Variable speed operation: The Wen 4280 is a versatile model thanks to its variable speed operation, which allowed me to use a single bench grinder for a variety of applications.
The motor can be adjusted anywhere between 2000 RPM and 3400 RPM with the help of an adjustable dial, ensuring I had the perfect settings dialed in.
The slower speeds were perfect for applications that needed precision such as sharpening my tools and knives. At the higher speeds, I was able to remove and deburr material quickly, increasing my efficiency as a handyman.
This feature is complemented well by the 36 grit and 80 grit wheels provided by the manufacturer. The former is ideal for higher RPM applications like removing rust and material removal, while the 80 grit wheel allows for smooth finishes at slower speeds.
- Safety features: The eyeshield protectors came as part of the packaging when I purchased the product. It helped protect my eyes from the sparks that are created due to the high friction between the workpiece and the grinding wheel.
As a user, I liked the fact that I could move the eyepiece around easily such that it did not get in the way of my work. This gave me the confidence to operate the machine without worrying about my safety at any given point in time.
The cast iron base makes for a solid foundation on which the machine rests. It also has mounting holes that allowed me to screw it to the workbench. This ensured the machine was more stable, which reduced the chances of an accident and improved accuracy.
- Additional accessories: This product from Wen comes with an LED work light that helps improve visibility in low light conditions. The work light could be adjusted, allowing me to focus the light on the exact spot where my workpiece was coming in contact with the grinding wheel.
The spot where I keep my bench grinder is not well illuminated by the shop lights. Having the work light allowed me to work at night, increasing my productivity and improving my experience with this machine.
Things I Liked
- Smooth and quiet motor operation
Most bench grinders tend to be very noisy while in operation, making it a disturbance for the entire workshop. However, I was happy to note that the motor was quiet and smooth, which allowed me to sharpen tools and complete other procedures without any difficulty.
The Wen 4280 Variable Speed Bench Grinder allowed me to perform multiple operations using the same machine depending on my requirement. The higher speeds, which maxed out at 3400 RPM were sufficient to ensure speedy material removal.
On the other hand, the slower speeds allowed me to grind with the precision I needed to sharpen my tools, making this machine a one-stop-shop for all my work.
The machine was also able to handle most materials thrown at it thanks to the sturdy cast iron base which ensured good stability.
I was genuinely pleased with the investment I had made in this product from Wen. It had a number of user-friendly features that met all my requirements.
What made me happier was the amount I had to spend, which was completely justified by the quality and overall satisfaction.
Things I Disliked
- Hard to understand manual
For those with little to no experience with power tools, the manual can be a bit difficult to understand. The diagrams are not well labeled, requiring users to spend more time than normal to understand the manual completely.
- Lack of switch for work light
In the model I received, the work light would turn on only if I turned on the power to the entire machine itself. This meant I had to keep the grinder to observe the workpiece in low-light conditions.
However, I was reading recent updates to the product in which customers highlighted that Wen had taken care of the issue and given the light an independent switch. This is a positive step as it shows that the company takes its customers’ feedback seriously.
Important things to know before buying a Bench Grinder
If you don’t like the Rikon 80-805 bench grinder then you can buy another one according to your needs and likes.
But before going further looking for another bench grinder, we want to share some of the must-have things that you need to consider before buying a bench grinder.
There are a few points of consideration that you must know before you buy a bench grinder-
- Power of the Motor: The motor’s power determines the performance efficiency of a bench grinder. So, a higher horsepower gives the motor better vigor to cut through tough and rigid materials.
For heavy-duty work, we recommend you use a 1 HP (horsepower) motor. For small to medium-duty work, go for ½ HP motor.
Therefore, it is essential to establish what kind of work you need the grinder for. It makes no sense if you try to cut through a comparatively soft material with a high powered motor as it may end up damaging the material.
- Size of the bench grinder: You do not want to buy a bench grinder so big that it doesn’t fit in your workplace. Before purchasing a grinder, you must see that the size of the grinder is compatible with the space in your room.
It is also not advised to buy a small grinder as that will not allow you to work on large projects. A giant grinder will have a larger wheel to make it easier to work on massive projects.
- Grit: The grit is composed of different materials, and you must choose the type of grit according to the function you want the grinder to perform.
- Aluminum Oxide Grit- This is a common grit and mostly recommended for grinding. It comes in brown, grey, pink and white colors.
The first two colors are inexpensive and used to grind low carbon steel, whereas the other two colors are expensive and provide better cooling grind action.
- Silicon Carbide Grit- These grits are available in green and black colors, generally used for finishing. The black grit smoothens soft objects, and the green grit is sharp to smoothen more rigid things.
- Ceramic grit- Compared to the other grits, this is the latest kind of grit available in bench grinders. They’re more expensive and durable as they do not wear out or dull with use.
- Price: Well, needless to say, the price of the bench grinder should be within your budget. You need not burn a hole in your pocket while buying a new product.
Most bench grinders are available in the price range of $100 to $500 with attractive features and multiple benefits.
- Brand: The brand of the bench grinder also plays a decisive role in the buying process. It is wise to go for brands that are renowned and reliable, as they have more credibility.
Of course, if you want to take a chance and go with a new and coming brand, that is entirely your choice. But known brands have won the trust and loyalty of most users, and they work hard to retain them.
As someone looking for an 8” bench grinder to meet my needs, the Wen 4280 Variable Speed Bench Grinder ticked all my boxes.
This affordable model gave me a plethora of features to explore. This included good safety features and a friendly user experience that is ideal for amateurs and those looking for a product for DIY requirements.
Its smooth motor with the variable speed option made it versatile and more than capable to do numerous tasks like grinding, deburring, and precision sharpening of tools. As an owner, I am completely satisfied with this product.
If you are a beginner or are looking to purchase a new bench grinder with a tight budget, the Wen 4280 Variable Speed Bench Grinder is a great model to consider.
With this article, I hope to have given you enough information to help you understand this product better. My hands-on experience as an owner will help you decide if this product suits your requirements as well!