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Bucktool Combo 2" x 42" Belt Sander 6" Bench Grinder, Knife Sharpener BG2600

Grizzly G1015 Knife Belt Sander/Buffer

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Bucktool Combo 2″ x 42″ Belt Sander 6″ Bench Grinder, Knife Sharpener BG2600

Grizzly G1015 Knife Belt Sander/Buffer

Shop Fox W1843 Knife Belt Sander/Buffer

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Grizzly

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Bucktool Combo 2" x 42" Belt Sander 6" Bench Grinder, Knife Sharpener BG2600

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Bucktool Combo 2″ x 42″ Belt Sander 6″ Bench Grinder, Knife Sharpener BG2600

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Bucktool

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$209.99

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Grizzly G1015 Knife Belt Sander/Buffer

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Grizzly G1015 Knife Belt Sander/Buffer

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Grizzly

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$790.33

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Shop Fox W1843 Knife Belt Sander/Buffer

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Shop Fox W1843 Knife Belt Sander/Buffer

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Belt Grinders – A Buyer’s Guide for Knife Makers

Video Review


Video Transcript


hey Walter Sorel’s back with more tips
for the knife maker today a belt grinder
buyer’s guide welcome to my knife maker
belt grinder buyer’s guide now let me
just say this right from the get-go I’m
not going to tell you what kind of belt
grinder to buy this isn’t a Consumer
Reports type of valuation where I’m
going to show you a whole bunch of
different belt grinders and say these
are the features of this one and know my
objective here is to give you a sense of
the features that are found on grinders
generally the various types of grinders
out there and give you the tools for
evaluating and making a decision about
buying one on your own you know I
haven’t tried every kind of grinder ever
made and I for sure don’t own them all
so I’m going to use the grinder that I
use day in and day out as kind of a
reference to give you a sense of what’s
out there but it’s just a reference
point it’s an excellent grinder but it’s
not the be-all and end-all it’s just a
starting point for you to do your own
evaluation so today I’m going to focus
on two by 72-inch grinders because
that’s what most knife makers use
perfect world every belt grinder is
going to cost you know two dollars and
have infinite functionality but we don’t
live in a perfect world so in reality
there’s a general correlation between
how much you spend and what you get let
me start by talking about function the
prime use of belt grinders is to grind
steel a belt grinder needs to be robust
enough to grind bevels and to grind the
general outlines of knives hopefully
without going through millions of belts
and hopefully in a reasonably short
period of time secondarily of course
there used to grind handles wood pins
pretty much every other material in the
shop as I said I’ll be using my bait or
b3 here as a reference but every grinder
is not built exactly the same quick
terminology point manufacturers
generally
these machines as Sanders rather than
grinders abrasives industry
professionals use the term grinder for
devices which use abrasive wheels rather
than belts okay whatever knife makers
call this a belt grinder you call it
what you want
the first thing to note is that grinders
are typically referred to by the size of
the belts that they use as I said before
the most common knife making grinders
use two by 72 belts now the most common
belt grinder question I always get is
can I use a 1 by 4 T 2 or a 4 by 4 T or
6 by whatever the short answer is yes
but there are a few serious knife makers
who use large 3 by 79 inch grinders or
even larger industrial grinders but by
far the vast majority use 2 by 72 s and
almost no pros use anything smaller than
a 2 by 72 the reason is that smaller
belts wear out very quickly smaller
machines don’t grind as efficiently or
accurately and really wide belts 4 inch
6 inch whatever they tend to not be set
up in ways that work all that
effectively for knife makers so my first
recommendation is this if you ABS ABS
absolutely can’t afford a 2 by 72 then
go with something like a 1 by 42 but
recognize that if you’re serious about
knife making you’ll rapidly want to move
on to something bigger and more powerful
and that smaller grinder is going to end
up sitting in the corner collecting dust
all right
let’s break down the components of the
grinder to give you a sense of what you
need the first component of the grinder
is the frame itself the function of the
frame obviously is just to hold all the
pieces in alignment so the grinder
actually functions fair enough that’s
easy but anytime you’re working with
high speed rotating tools made for
removing metal you have to deal with
something called chatter that’s the
tendency of work pieces to vibrate
against the cutting or grinding surfaces
of the device chatter makes it harder to
work accurately the more massive and the
more rigid the frame of your grinder the
better it will operate now some grinders
like this bader use a heavy casting for
the
frame some use large steel plates that
are welded or bolted together some use
what are basically small arms or
attachments sprouting directly off of
motors all things being equal the more
mass in the frame the longer it will
last and the better everything will stay
in alignment
moreover more mass equals more accuracy
and less chatter on a machine like the
Baader I can really bomb into it and it
stays solid as a rock
when you’re evaluating the overall
quality of a grinder recognize that a
good frame is a heavy frame the next
component of the grinder is the motor
the best grinders typically have motors
and the one to one and a half to even
two horse range occasionally even more
than that my bader has one and a half
horse Leeson I don’t typically bog it
down but I’ve seen guys who really lean
into their machines and so they like
even bigger motors even more important
than the horsepower is the overall
quality of the motor grinders exist in a
really nasty gritty wet environment show
me a knife maker with a super clean
grinder and I’ll show you a guy who
doesn’t make many knives you will never
be sorry about buying the best motor you
can afford super cheap Chinese motors
will work fine for a while high quality
motors from name manufacturers like
Leeson and Baldor will work better and
last longer shielded bearings gasketing
capacitors and so on her best anything
that keeps all that grip from getting
into the guts of the motor the motor on
this faders lasted fifteen years of
fairly heavy use with zero maintenance
and still works as well as it did the
day I bought it I guarantee you a
bargain-basement motor wouldn’t have
made it this far typically grinders
either run at one speed or use variable
speed controls my machine is a single
speed type so I run it at full speed all
the time there’s a smaller power wheel
that you can put on very laborious leaf
that will slow down the belt speed but
it’s such a pain in the neck to put on
it’s just not worth it as you can see I
had to replace the switch one time the
switch cost me about thirty bucks if it
had been a variable speed
that I’d have to replace it would have
cost a whole lot more money so variable
speeds add complexity and cost but when
you’re first learning to grind it’s
really really nice to have variable
speeds point is if you have the budget
you’ll probably be happy you got a
variable speed control for me it’s not
mission-critical
you might find it really handy let me
jump in here to mention that today’s
video is sponsored by combat abrasives
there are a family-owned American
manufacturer offering a wide selection
of belts now I’ve used many of their
belts including ceramic aluminum oxide
and zirconium the prices are good and
their focus is specifically on the knife
making community they’re basically
monomakh side belts come in at a good
price point and lasts a lot longer than
some of the inexpensive belts that I’ve
used in the past another thing that I’ve
really been excited about is their
ceramic belts for roughing in the 40 60
and 120 grit range their performance is
very competitive with the big
manufacturers at about half the price so
check out their online shop by clicking
the link in the description all belt
grinders have a power wheel which
transmits power from the motor to the
belt and at least one additional wheel
which might be called an idler and
sometimes a tracking skill now anything
running a belt needs to have some kind
of tracking device without one the belts
will run out of true and fall off the
machine basically you have a crown wheel
and you have to have some way of
changing the axis angle a little bit and
that’ll move the belt back and forth
across the working surface now different
machines use quite different locations
for the tracking and some even use the
power wheel itself if you’re tracking
wheel gets loose or doesn’t run true
you’ll be hard-pressed to run your
grinder at all all of these arrangements
can work fine if they’re well executed
there’s not really a better or worse way
of doing it
the main point I’d make about tracking
parts is the more robustly built they
are the better they’ll work and the
longer they’ll last if you get a chance
to evaluate a grinder in person test the
tracking and make sure that the tracking
works correctly
okay let’s turn to the business end of
the Machine an important point in
evaluating grinders is how versatile
they are some designs such as Grizzlies
knife grinder and burr Kings two wheel
grinders use a contact wheel as a power
wheel the advantage of this is
simplicity which in turn translates to
less expense the disadvantages are that
you can’t easily change contact wheels
and you don’t gain the increased mass
that comes from a heavy frame other
designs like my Bader have replaceable
grinding attachments which slide through
a yoke or collar I don’t want to get too
deep in the weeds here because to a
large degree these attachment schemes
are what distinguished the various types
of machines
so there are near infinite variations on
these some like the Baader and kmg have
arms that slide on and off others like
the burr King have somewhat more complex
assemblies I’m sure there are many other
approaches that I haven’t seen basically
all these detachable gizmos increase the
complexity of the machine which in turn
increased cost the advantages though are
numerous first comes the side benefit of
the increased mass resulting from a
bigger frame second machines with
various attachments are only limited by
the number of attachments you can slap
on them one more point to look at is
grinding tables and tool rests basically
a tool rest or work rest is small and a
table is big so the bigger the tool rest
the more table e it is and the smaller a
table it is the more tool resti it is if
you’re planning on using grinding jigs a
bigger table is important otherwise a
little tool rest D type table like this
will work fine almost any grinder can be
modified to add a big table if you want
but if you know going into your purchase
that you want to use a jig for grinding
bevels you might as well start off with
something that will work perfectly for
you right out of the box so my general
point here is once you narrow down your
choices study the attachment choices and
options very carefully the options that
are most important to you may not be
important to me
if there’s a specific type of grinding
hollow grinding for instance that you
intend to do make sure the grinder
offers the right size contact wheels if
you’re not sure exactly what you’re
going to be doing make sure that you
have both some kind of flat grinding and
some kind of hollow grinding
capabilities on whatever machines you’re
looking at so I may be throwing around
some terms that are mysterious to you so
let’s drill down on this issue a little
bit there are three basic ways of
introducing belts metal the first and
simplest is what’s known as a contact
wheel the second is known as a platen
which is generally a flat surface and
the third is known as slack belt
grinding in which the belt is
unsupported probably the most common use
of the belt grinder is to grind flat
bevels in a blade for this you need a
flat platen
this Vader has a detachable armed with a
platen that’s this flat surface here if
you grind on a contact wheel you’ll
necessarily translate the radius of the
wheel to the radius of the grind what
that means in practice is that grinding
on a contact wheel results in a hollow
ground bevel now if your machine uses
the power wheel as a grinding wheel
which is the case with most two wheel
models then you can only grind on
whatever radius that power wheel is if
the machine comes with an eight-inch
contact wheel you’re stuck with an
eight-inch grinding radius forever and
ever
third there’s slack Gulf grinding in
this case the belt is unsupported
allowing you to grind a soft convex
radius when you’re buying your machine
if it has detachable arms make sure you
budget for all the attachments you’ll
need I recommend buying the largest
diameter contact wheel available a very
small wheel in the one-inch range and an
arm with a flat platen I also recommend
buying some sort of table or tool rest
okay let’s summarize now look we all
have to live within our means and you
know nobody’s budgets infinite but my
first point is this by as much machine
as you can afford at the time that I’ve
made this video the best machines cost
you know two to four grand and that’s
just for the base machine that’s a lot
of money but that money will buy you
more durable and powerful motors more
rigidity more mass more flexibility so
if it’s a question of waiting a few
months to save for a better machine you
will not be sorry you did it
so beyond that my recommendation if it’s
within your budget is to go for machines
with multiple attachments you know some
machines offer interchangeability but
you have to go you know use a lot of
tools and diddling around where others
have simple slide in slide out kind of
attachments anything that requires a lot
of fussing you’re probably not going to
use it at all so you might as well not
have it my Bator and many others you
know have fairly similar similar designs
on those you can change arms in about 30
seconds so I would recommend studying
the attachments the options available
you know table surface grinding
attachments jigs whatever and the means
by which they attach to the grinder
variable speed you know I went through a
period where I really wished I had it
but now I suspect I probably not use it
much at all so I’m confident enough on
the machine that I don’t really need to
run it slow but when you’re learning to
grind it’s really handy to be able to
run it a little slower also some
materials tend to burn and grain wood
for instance so it’s handy there so if
you have the budget by all means go for
it where to buy now most of these
machines can be purchased from knife
making supply places that you can find
easily enough online but some of them
can be bought directly from the
manufacturer the price is usually about
the same so to me kind of six of one
half dozen of the other so another point
on price by and large these are very
durable long life machines it’s not
uncommon for people to buy a machine
like this
thinking they’re going to use it and
then you know a couple years later they
realize it’s been sitting in their shop
gathering dust that doesn’t mean that
it’s it’s a bad machine it may be as
good as the day that they purchased it
and you may be able to get it for a good
discount all right here’s the good news
you know there are lots of good grinders
out there good manufacturers good
designs so do your research camp out on
the forums study the features get
recommendations from people you trust
Google is your friend the more that you
know the better off you are buy a good
grinder and you’ll have an incredibly
durable and versatile machine that will
serve you well for years and years
[Music]
thanks for watching guys if you feel
like you got something out of this video
don’t forget to subscribe also click on
the link to patreon for a great way to
give back to the channel plus check me
out on Instagram Facebook Twitter links
in the description if you want something
sharp and pointy maybe a gift for
yourself or one of the cooler people in
your life check out my tactics Armory
website and pick up one of our tactical
or outdoor knives and finally if you
want to learn to make come-ons or
Japanese swords check out walter Sorel’s
blades comm where you can find videos
about how I make her moans as well as
forging mounting polishing and fittings
for Japanese swords thanks and see you
soon

Bestseller No. 1


Bucktool Combo 2″ x 42″ Belt Sander 6″ Bench Grinder, Knife Sharpener BG2600

  • 1/3 HP, 120V motor, 3.5 Amp, 3450 RPM, CSA listed
  • Combo 2″x42″ belt sander 6″ bench grinder for general purpose sanding and finishing on most metals, wood, plastics and other materials. Include a 2-Inch x 42-Inch high-quality metal sanding belt
  • The belt action can be positioned either vertically or horizontally. Cast iron belt sander work table which can give better support when sharpening
  • 6-Inch 60 grit white grinding wheel with tool-free adjustable eyeshield, Led light. Additional brush wheel for quick rust removal
  • The quick-release tension and tracking mechanism make belt changes quick and easy. Belt platen is removable for contour sanding. Belt housing swivels from horizontal to vertical for sanding long workpieces

Before deciding on the best belt grinder for knife making, it is important to have an understanding of what the grinder is primarily used for and how it is going to be used. Some manufacturers of grinder machines are known for having a wide variety of settings and accessories which allow their grinder to be used in various ways; however, all of these tools are geared towards one goal; grinding. The blade grinder is one of those types of tools that are designed specifically for grinding knives.

While the blade grinder for knife making can be operated with a standard hammer drill motor, it is a good idea to purchase a high-end model to provide you with the same quality of grinding experience that only a more modern and efficient motor can provide. These models will typically feature a higher RPM and more power to grind all kinds of materials, including wood, leather, plastics, and even metal.

There are also belt-drive versions of the grinder that may provide similar level of performance as the ones with the motorized drive systems. This means that they will have the same grinding force but will operate on belt drives instead of the more common electric motors. However, many of the belt-drive models will require a special tool to properly mount them on your workbench.

A blade grinder is also one of the most popular models when it comes to knives. While the blades themselves may not be very large, they will provide you with the smoothest cutting surface you canpossibly imagine. The grinders themselves come in many different sizes and styles and can be used on just about any surface. The smaller, compact versions are often referred to as mini-grindersgrinders, as their blades tend to be much smaller than most traditional grinders.

While most of the high-end models of this type of machine tend to feature high speed belt grinders, many of the more basic versions will offer the same level of grind as the high-end models. Therefore, these models can be used on just about any surface, although it is not recommended that you use a grinding wheel with one of these machines; they will simply wear out too fast.

High-speed grinder is one of the top choices for a knife grinder machine. It offers a wide variety of grind settings and is very effective in both materials and the surfaces; it is simply amazing how much difference a good belt grinding wheel can make in how effective a grinder can be!

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Disclaimer: as an Amazon Associate a Simply Philosophy team earns from qualifying purchases.

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Last update on 2020-10-28 / Disclaimer: as an Amazon Associate a Simply Philosophy team earns from qualifying purchases.