Marilyn knows how to present the dullest topic in an interesting and easy-to-read way. When she’s not teaching English Literature at a local school or writing for our site, Marylin loves to knit and bake for her two grandchildren.
Julie owns a shop specializing in sewing equipment and accessories. No wonder she knows everything when it comes to technical specifications of practically anything we review. In her free time, Julie loves quilting and scrapbooking.
Last updated: December 12, 2020
Crafty Hangouts is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Crafty Hangouts is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
What makes the best stained-glass grinder stand out from the rest? Is it the size, convenience, or just the price point? Lots of people ask these questions, and the truth is dependent on many different factors. A high-quality stained-glass grinder can be one of the most needed tools you have in your workspace, whether you’re a seasoned expert or just starting the artistry.
Not all of the best stained-glass grinders are as good as they are made out to be, so we created this review. In this review, we will look at some essential features like work surface, size, and weight. These features are crucial to examine because they help determine the quality and condition of a stained-glass grinder and dictate which one may be right for you.
The Gryphon Convertible Grinder is known for its top-tier levels of comfort. You can easily rotate its base and make it more inclined or horizontal to meet your needs. The grinder comes with a 1″ and 1/4″ grinding bits and can take all other sizes as well. The electric pump is automatic and gives a steady flow of water to the bits. With this pump, you do not need to use a sponge, as it is completely optional. The powerful motor results in a clean and smooth grind with minimal splashing and is not too loud. This grinder is high-quality and does an excellent job, and will last long-term. This is a great stained-glass grinder for beginners.
What we liked: This grinder is very convenient, given that you can sit while using it and rotate the base to move with you. It is easy to maintain and clean, as well.
What could be better: A drain hole placed in the corner instead of under the work shelf would allow for easier draining and less pooling of water.
This professional-grade grinder is very durable and heavy-duty. With a work surface that is larger than other stained glass grinders on the market, you get plenty of work space. This grinder even comes with a mini table for grinding smaller pieces of glass. There is a built-in accessory drawer for optimal convenience, a drain, and a rubber splash guard attached. This is one of the best-stained glass grinders for hobbyists. To clean this grinder, you unplug a small stopper, and the water drains through a small exit opening on the bottom. Glister has excellent customer service and reviews on their products, making it an extremely trustable brand.
What we liked: This grinder has a very simple set up with instructions that are easy to follow. The mini table makes it extremely versatile for all types of projects.
What could be better: This grinder can be slightly messy to use, so it is smart to use a small towel in the back that keeps the water contained.
The Inland Wiz Grinder is one of the top choices for a budget-friendly option, and it is one of the best-stained glass grinders in its class for beginners. This machine can be used for grinding and curving the edges of the glass and other stained glass projects. The grinder takes many different sizes of bits, but it comes with one 3/4” bit and one 1/4” bit for smaller-sized pieces. The surface of the Inland Wiz Grinder is made of a lightweight and rust-resistant material. If you’re needed to travel with your grinder, this one is easily portable. With a large work surface, you have enough room for larger projects. The reservoir is also removable for quick and convenient cleaning. The set-up of the grinder is fairly easy and comes with easy-to-read instructions and a five-year warranty.
What we liked: This grinder has excellent power and speed. It is an all-around, very trustable grinder that is affordable. The top tray is removable, which makes for very easy clean-up.
What could be better: To turn the grinder off, you must completely unplug it. The addition of an on/off switch would be smart.
Description – The Inland Craft Wizard IV Stained Glass Grinder is one of the best in its class. It is the ideal grinder for hobbyists and experts. This grinder is best used for shaping the edges of stained glass, regular stained glass work, and even to drill holes in the glass. This grinder comes with two sizes of bits and a face shield. The motor provides strong power to get your stained-glass jobs finished, making it a top choice for professionals. It is heavy-duty while maintaining a lightweight and rust-resistant surface material. The work surface is large and comes with a compartment to keep small items conveniently close by. This grinder comes with an attached on/off switch. All Inland machines are crafted in the US A with quality materials. With this grinder, you get a five-year warranty.
What we liked: This Inland grinder is convenient and heavy-duty for those who are more experienced in the field.
What could be better: This grinder does not come with a smoother grinder bit, but you can purchase one separately on the Inland Craft’s website.
The Glastar SuperStar II Grinder is a great grinder option for beginners. This grinder has a decently sized work surface of 8″ x 9″ and comes with two grinder bits, one at 3/4″ and the other at 1/4″. The motor is powerful and gets the job done while remaining quiet. This grinder is well-engineered and a favorite among beginners in the stained-glass industry. The SuperStar is extremely easy to clean and possesses a 1/12 HP motor. Other features include a coolant drain, build-in drawer, and splash guard. This grinder comes equipped with an adjustable straight edge as well, which comes in handy when accurately grinding edges of squares to an exact length and size. The on/off switch on this grinder is much more useful than unplugging the entire machine to turn it off.
What we liked: This grinder is well-made and respectable, and great to use if you are just starting out at stained glass work.
What could be better: It has a respectable motor, but this grinder could be much stronger with a different one.
The YaeTek power Stained Glass Grinder is extremely affordable and convenient for stained glass experts and beginners. This grinder is great for glass, ceramics, and other brittle materials. With this grinder, you can easily grind shapes with curves and rounded edges. The YaeTek’s new design is mini-sized, easy to carry, and extremely portable if you are traveling with your stained glass grinder. This grinder is capable of doing lots of work for its size, as it is extremely powerful and durable. For beginners, the YaeTek grinder makes it easy to learn and understand how they work and how to care for them. If you need to travel with your grinder, you can easily do so with the YaeTek. This grinder does have the on/off switch on the side, which is extremely convenient and preferred over having to unplug the whole machine.
What we liked: Some sizes have automatic water available, and this grinder makes it easy to grind various shapes and curves into the glass.
What could be better: Using too much strength with this grinder will reduce the lifespan and quality of the grinding wheel.
Things to Сonsider
Picking the best stained-glass grinder that fits all your needs can be a tricky thing to do when there are so many options and brands on the market. Before diving into your search, I suggest narrowing down exactly what it is you’re looking for. The six options we listed above are all fantastic grinders in their class. But with all the differences and information we provided you with, we know extremely well that it is a lot to take in and understand all at once. With our buying guide, we have outlined some of the key features to look for, what they mean, and which grinder has which feature. We’ve given you an in-depth look at what each feature does and why it is important to pick a quality stained glass grinder.
Why do you need a stained-glass grinder?
If you are just starting out in the stained glass artistry, a beginner-friendly model like the Glastar SuperStar II Grinder is an excellent choice and will allow you to easily learn. If you consider yourself a hobbyist and are well-experienced in work, something in a professional realm may work better, perhaps the Inland Craft Wizard IV Stained Glass Grinder. Either way, a stained-glass grinder will provide you with the tools and equipment needed to begin creating beautiful stained-glass art in an efficient way.
Features to consider before you buy a stained-glass grinder
Buying a stained-glass grinder can be somewhat daunting due to the various features they each provide. With work surface, grinding bits, motor, size, etc. all taken into consideration, there are a plethora of options on the market.
The work surface of your stained-glass grinder is also known as the “table,” and it is the flat surface that you lay your glass on while you work on the edges. If you are working on larger stained-glass projects with large pieces of glass, it would be best to look for a grinder with a larger area to work with. The Gryphon Convertible Professional Stained Glass Grinder has a large work surface of 13.5 x 10.5 inches, which is plenty of space to work with large bits of glass.
Sometimes, having a larger space, even if your glass pieces are small, is just more comfortable and convenient.
Grinding bits are the small pieces of your grinder that help refine edges and shave down pieces of glass. For any generic grinding machine, the size and shape of your grinder will directly correlate to what kind of grinding bit you need. Most grinders come with a couple grinding bit that fits over the motor, and these are typically 1″. Smaller grinder bits, around 1/8 inches, are used for tight curves and edges, and drilling holes in the glass. The Glastar All Star G8 Grinder comes with a 1” and 1/4” grinding bit. The different sizes of grinding bits will tell you what kind of cut you’ll get on your glass.
A stained-glass grinder’s motor is what decides if the grinder is powerful or not. Grinder’s with high RPM’s offer flawless grinding experiences, even if the grinder itself is quite small. RPM stands for rotations per minute, which tells you how fast the motor is running.
Typically, motors range from 2,900 to 4,500 RPM. With a faster RPM, your motor will run quickly and perform more efficiently.
Quick RPM speeds ensure that the edge of the glass remains smooth for more precise flow. The YaeTek Power Stained Grinder has an RPM of 4200, which means high quality, high power, and efficient speeds. High RPM’s are necessary if you’re looking to get your projects done quickly, as the speed of the grinder is increased with higher RPM’s.
The size of the overall stained-glass grinder is relevant if you are someone who plans on traveling with your grinder, has a limited workspace, or simply doesn’t want the hassle of a large machine. For many, a large workspace is needed and preferred to fit their stained-glass grinder in. For others, a small, portable grinder is desired. Smaller sizes don’t always equal less power; take the Glastar SuperStar II Grinder, for example, with a surface size of 8 x 9, it still performs exceptionally well without taking up a large amount of space. Some people find it convenient to keep their grinders in large sinks, so consider where you’ll be storing yours when choosing between sizes.
Weight is an important factor in searching for a grinder if you were hoping to have a portable grinder. If you have one workspace and keep your grinder there at all times, weight may not be a factor for you.
If you want an easily moveable grinder, consider how the weight of the grinder could impact your ability to do that.
Lighter weighed grinders like the Inland Wiz CG Stained Glass Grinder, at 9 pounds, are much easier to transport from workspace to workspace. The cleaning process also requires you to lift your grinder, or at least move it around, so keep that in mind when weighing your options.
Mostly all stained-glass grinders come with two accessories, and those are the bit options. However, a stained-glass grinder requires much more than just the bits. A plethora of other accessories is needed and available when purchasing a high-quality grinder. Some grinders, like the Glastar All Star G8 Grinder, come with built-in accessory drawers for maximum convenience. Other accessories would include extra grinder bits and precautionary accessories like more than one work surface and built-in face shields. Some grinders come with all of the necessary accessories, but most of these can also be found at any craft store.
Stained glass grinders are heavy machines that can break if not properly taken care of. This is why most stained-glass grinders come with a warranty, typically one that is five years. This simply means the issuer of the purchase promises to repair or replace the machine if necessary. This is an important factor to look when buying your grinder, as the machines are not bulletproof and can break if something goes wrong. The Inland Craft Wizard IV Stained Glass Grinder is one of the grinders listed above that comes with a five-year warranty. Because these grinders are large, heavy, and electrical, some mistakes are inevitable. A warranty will have you back when the worst happens.
Before using your grinder, remember that safety always comes first. A stained-glass grinder is a heavy-duty electric machine, so be wary of any electrical safety hazards. To help minimize the possibility of danger, keep your studio or surrounding area tidy and make sure to clean up after each use. Wear eye goggles or use a protective face shield to keep small bits of glass from coming in contact with your eyes. Don’t forget how close your fingers are too small bits of glass and the grinding head, and try to avoid picking up glass bits with your bare hands. Finger guards are never a bad idea, and they can be purchased at almost every craft store.
Stained glass grinders need optimal care and cleaning to make sure the machine stays running smoothly. To clean, the water reservoir should be drained after every use. To avoid unpleasant smells and for overall health reasons, it’s best not to keep water in the reservoir. If your grinder uses a sponge, clean it out to avoid it from becoming hard and useless. The extra glass that as accumulated should be discarded into a wastebasket, not into a sink. Glass grit is thick and become clogged in your pipes. It is also important to clean any eye or face shields after each use with running water and avoid rubbing it to ensure to scratches appear.
In this review, we have given you an inside look at six stained glass grinders on the market today and what each one entails. With each feature outlined and explained, you can accurately pick which one is right for you. We know you want the best of the best when it comes to stained glass grinders, so we’ve shown you the Editor’s Choice grinder, Gryphon Convertible Professional Stained Glass Grinder, the Best Value grinder, Inland Wiz CG Stained Glass Grinder, and our Premium Pick grinder, Glastar All Star G8 Grinder. We believe these three grinders contain some of the best features you need in your stained glass grinder to get the best use and favorable results. When it comes to choosing the best stained-glass grinder, consider your options, go with the grinder that you feel best fits, and make some beautiful art.