Dressing Bench Grinder Wheel: What, Why and How?

Dressing bench grinder wheel is a part of maintaining the bench grinder. It is needed for perfect operation. It saves the workpiece from rough grinding wheel.

What and why is dressing bench grinder wheel?

Dressing the grinding wheel means smoothing the rugged surface of the grinding wheel. Because of using for different purposes, the surface of the wheel becomes rugged. Instead of grinding properly, a rugged surface of bench grinder makes the workpiece rugged too. Dressing is done to remove the abrasive particles that are already used and bring out a new layer of abrasive with a smooth surface so that the wheel becomes ready for performing next job smoothly.

When is the dressing needed to do?

Dressing bench grinder wheel also keeps the wheel clean for different harsh materials that can ruin the workpiece. It is a regular job to do if you are a regular user. If you are not so much regular in grinding, you may dress the wheel if you feel the necessity of it.

As dressing grinder wheel removes a layer of rugged abrasive and reveals a new layer, it generally reduces the diameter of the wheel. So, I normally suggest not dressing the tool unless dressing is needed. Otherwise, the lifetime of the wheel will be less than normal and you can’t use a wheel for a long time. But I am not discouraging you by these. Dressing is a must for bench grinders. All you have to be careful about is the frequency of dressing. If it is needed, dress the tool. If it is not needed, don’t do it. It is that simple.

Which is needed to dress bench grinder wheel?

In order to dress bench grinder wheel, you will need grinding dresser. It is used for removing extra abrasive particles which make the surface of the wheel rugged. Like grinding wheel, grinding dresser is also made of abrasive particles. When you will touch the dresser with the spinning wheel, the abrasive part will remove the elevated particles of the wheel.

Grinder dressers come in different types. Among those, star dressers and diamond dressers are frequently used by most of the users. Star dressers are tools with long handles and free running, hardened and star-shaped strong dresser portion. Diamond dressers are relatively shorter handed tool having a combination of small diamonds on a side of the tool or a single diamond attached at the top of the tool. Other types of dressers are stationary dresser, crush rolls etc.

Only with this dressing tool, you will be able to dress your grinding wheel regularly. A good dresser is really needed because, without proper dressing, the surface of the wheel will not be smooth properly. As a result, there is a huge chance of your workpiece getting rugged too. So, choose a good dresser to dress the wheels of your bench grinder.

How to dress the bench grinder wheels? 

Dressing bench grinder wheel is not a tough task to do. All you need is the bench grinder connected to a proper power source, grinding dresser and concentration. Without proper concentration, you will find that dressing has made the wheel more rugged.

To dress the wheel, at first, start the bench grinder normally by connecting it to the power source. Let the grinder run and come to its normal speed. Bench grinder takes a few seconds to reach the normal speed of it. If you start dressing before reaching the normal speed, dressing will not be done properly.

When you will see that the wheel has reached to its normal speed, take the hardened free-running side (in case of star dresser) or the diamonded side (in case of diamond dresser) near the wheel and touch up the dresser to the wheel.
When the dresser will touch the wheel, the free running wheels will start spinning and do their duty of removing rugged surface. All you have to do is to move the dresser side to side slowly. Move the dresser a few times to make sure that the whole wheel is being dressed.

After few times of moving the dresser from side to side, detach the dresser from the wheel and switch off the grinder and disconnect it from the power supply. You will find that the wheel becomes smoother than before because the dresser has removed the extra smaller parts of the wheel.

Generally, the wheel diameter decreases after dressing. So, the gap between the tool rest and the wheel increases. At the time of working, there is a chance of the workpiece being stuck in that gap. This will destroy the workpiece. This sudden movement might be a reason for losing your balance. At that time, you may get your hands in touch of the spinning wheels of the grinder. This will not be good at all. So, you need to adjust the tool rest keeping appropriate gap with the bench grinder wheel. By doing so, you can reduce the risk of accidents in future operations.

And congratulations! You have successfully finished the task of dressing bench grinder wheel.


Safety should be ensured at the time of dressing the wheel of a grinder.

At first, you need to dress the wheel with your full concentration. The whole process of wheel dressing takes only a few minutes. I think keeping concentration for 2-3 minutes is not so tough.

Don’t forget to wear gloves. Gloves will protect your hand from the sparks. It will also work as a shield for your finger and save those from the touch of the wheel.

Start dressing when the wheels are spinning at the max speed. This is actually for the safety of your wheel.
Don’t forget to adjust the tool rest after dressing the wheel.

Dressing the bench grinder wheel allows you to use it for a few more days besides providing smooth operation. So, it is better to learn to dress the grinder wheel. I couldn’t show the procedure by creating a video but I have tried to write step by step for your easy capturing. I hope you have learned something from this.

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