Glass breaks easily.
You don’t need to be an expert to know that.
But if you are making stained glass windows or another form of glass art it’s crucial to make pieces of exactly the same size.
You can get roughly the right shape by using a diamond cutter. But you will need a Glass Grinder if you want smooth edges or need to small changes to individual pieces.
Is this your first time buying a glass grinder?
Then keep reading to learn everything you need to know before purchase.
Best grinders for stained glass
1 Glastar All Star 8 – Best glass grinder
Glaster is a popular brand when it comes to glass grinders. And their All Star 8 model in particular has been popular among both beginners and professionals.
It has many special features that you can’t find anywhere else that will make your life much easier.
Let’s start with the motor which has 42 ounce per inch of torque, resulting in an RPM of 3560. While at the same time producing minimal noise.
Moreover, the the All Star 8 has a bigger working area compared to most other models. Thanks to this 11″x13″ work surface, you will be able to work on both small and big projects.
Most high-end stained glass grinders will come with a range of bonus features. And the All Star 8 is not exception.
It comes with an scratch resistant shield to keep your eyes safe, an accessory drawer to easily store all your extra bits, and a coolant drain to speed up your workflow.
The 5-year warranty also lets you buy with confidence and shows that Glastar stands behind their products.
It isn’t hard to see why the All Star 8 is a great grinder for stained glass. It gets high grades in all the important categories and even comes with a ton of extras.
While at the same time it’s only slightly more expensive than mid-range glass grinders. If you are able to invest money in a stained glass grinder, this model would be ideal.
2 Gryphon Gryphette – Cheap glass grinder
It’s not always possible to buy the best grinder. Especially if you are living on a tight budget or if you are hesitant to invest too much in a new hobby.
Don’t worry, there are cheap glass grinders available as well. However, if you choose one of these you shouldn’t expect stellar performance.
Yes, they will grind your glass, but the motor will be weaker, the size will be smaller, and there will be little to no extra features.
However, if that is what you are looking for, then the affordable Gryphon Gryphette is a good choice.
Gryphon is well known as a brand for producing great grinders. And with the Gryphette they managed to combine good performance with a low price.
The motor is 0.67 amp and goes up to 3000 RPM. Not the most impressive specs but it works. Although grinding might take a little longer than models with stronger motors.
The work surface is admittedly a little small (6.75″x6.75″). This makes a pretty difficult to work on bigger pieces of glass and can be uncomfortable for people with big hands.
However, since most beginners work on small projects the size doesn’t have to be a huge disadvantage.
People short on space might actually see it as an advantage. The combination of small size and light weight (only 6 pounds!) makes the Gryphette very easy to store or travel with.
All in all, the Gryphette is maybe not the most impressive performance wise, but offers great value for money. If you want a basic stained glass grinder without all the bells and whistles, the Gryphette is for you.
3 Glastar Super Star II – Honorable mention
The Super Star II is another solid stained glass grinder by Glastar.
This model is considered to be Glastar’s entry-level option.
Its specs are less impressive than the All Star 8. However, most beginners might not really notice the difference in performance.
With a torque of 19 ounce per inch, the motor isn’t as powerful as professional grinders. However, the motor is pretty quiet and the grinder can reach up to 3450 RPM.
Moreover, the work area is 8″x9″ in size, which is enough for most beginners.
Although the the Super Star II is considered to be an entry-level product, it still comes with many of the same features as the All Star G8.
There is a useful cooling drain, and accessory drawer to keep all your drill bits safe, and a splash-guard that will keep your room clean.
Both in terms of performance and price, the Super Star II falls between the All Star G8 and Gryphette. It is a good option both for people who are just starting out and hobbyists with more experience underneath their belt.
4 Gryphon convertible grinder
At first glance the Gryphon Convertible grinder doesn’t look very different from it’s competitors.
However, this particular model has one trick up it’s sleeve that you won’t find anywhere else.
The secret can be found in the base.
By simply rotating the base you can change the grinding surface from a horizontal to an inclined position.
This might not sound very impressive, but tit makes a huge difference. This simple feature lets you grind while either standing or sitting. And using the inclined surface is more comfortable and less fatiguing.
So for people working on their glass grinder for long stretches at a time the Gryphon Convertible is great.
The engine has an impressive torque of 67 ounce per inch, which is even higher than the Glastar glass grinders. However, the Gryphon convertible grinder only goes up to an RPM of 3000, which isn’t as high as I was hoping for.
In terms of size, the Gryphon convertible glass grinder is quite big. With a working area of 13.5″x10.5″, it is comparable to the Glastar All Star 8.
It also comes with some basic features such as a protective face shield, electric pump for fast cooling, and 2 different sized grinding bits.
Compared to the other stained glass grinders mentioned on this list, the Gryphon convertible is definitely the most comfortable to work. So if you need to work with a glass grinder for long stretches at a time, you should consider buying this grinder.
5 Inland Wiz CG stained glass grinder
The Inland Wiz CG grinder is a bit of a hit or miss for people. It has some clear pros and cons, so you need to know what you are looking for.
In terms of power it’s quite impressive, going as fast as 3550 RPM with 30 ounce per inch of torque. Which comes close to the All Star G8.
So you hardly have to put pressure on the grinder head to get smooth edges.
Moreover, since the top tray can come off completely, it’s super easy to clean the reservoir. Which can save you a lot of time between projects.
However, the lack of any bonus features that you can expect from most high-end grinders can be a big drawback for some people.
For example, since there is no splash guard dirty water can spray anywhere. So don’t use this grinder inside your house without extra precautions.
It also doesn’t come with a face shield. So to keep yourself safe you will have to use a pair of protective goggles.
In short, the motor of this Inland grinder a respectable punch. But some corners were cut to keep the price low which might make it less enjoyable to work with.
However, if you want a powerful stained glass grinder for little money, this model will be exactly what you want.
Buyer’s guide: how to choose a glass grinder
Buying a glass grinder for the first time really doesn’t need to be difficult
If you are looking for the best glass grinder, go with the All Star G8.
If you are on a low budget and are ok with a cheap grinder with no extras, then the Gryphette is a good option.
Any of the other grinders mentioned above will get you something in between those two.
But I know what you are thinking.
You don’t just want some generic advice on the best stained glass grinders. You want to know which one is the best for you specifically.
If that’s the case, you will have to keep the following factors in mind.
Rotations per minute (RPM)
The RPM indicates how fast the grinder is spinning. Most grinders will have an RPM between 2800 and 3600.
In general, the higher the RPM the better. Since it will help smooth the glass edges and remove excess material.
However, if you want a good indication of performance you always want to look at the RPM and the torque together.
The torque indicates how powerful a grinder is and how fast it can keep rotating even when in contact with the stained glass. Normally the torque is measured in ounces per inch.
How much torque you will need depends on how advanced you are.
- : these grinders are pretty weak and are only used by beginners
- 20~35: enough torque for most projects a hobbyist could think of
- >35: grinders in this range are the most powerful and used by professionals
When talking about the surface area we mean the area on which you lay your glass pieces while grinding (also known as the table).
Ideally you want to small surface area if you are working with small glass pieces, and a big area if you are working with bigger glass pieces.
So most professional will have glass grinders in several sizes or a model that can change the surface area.
However, if you are only buying a single glass grinder, I would advise you to go for a model with a big surface area.
One of the main differences between average and great glass grinders is the accessories that come with them.
Having the right accessories can make working with a glass grinder much easier, faster, and safer.
Some examples of common accessories include:
- Extra grinder bits
- Face shield
- Foot pedal
- Multiple tables
The post Best Stained Glass Grinders For Beginners In 2020 appeared first on The Beginning Artist.