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Which bench grinder wheel dresser?


Mar 24, 2005
I've been cleaning up my shop and found 4 wheel dressers.
Which one is best for just general dressing of wheels around 6 to 8 inches?
I've never used a dresser before but have seen others do it.
As I recall it was noisy, dirty, and border line scary. Like either the tool or the wheel was going to give. Any opinions on the four I have?

IMG_1477 - Copy.jpgIMG_1478 - Copy.jpg
What we call a star dresser seems the easiest for a flatwheel.

Never used a diamond bar dresser, they might be good?

Great for TC dressing a wheel flat or to an angle

Also good for Tc dressing flat and to an angle.
Two hand desmond is great but also has to be held at angle or it may expload.

A carborundem stone (silicon carbide stick) can be a good dresser.

An old dull brazed catbide tool bit can be an OK dresser

QT Op:( (As I recall it was noisy, dirty, and border line scary.)
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For most purposes, the style of dressers which are the two (2) on the extreme right in your picture are what I'd suggest. I use this same style/type dresser for the wheels on my pedestal and bench grinders. The dressing of a grinding wheel with this style dresser is, as you correctly stated, a noisy and dirty proposition.
The 'star wheels' in this type of wheel dresser do eventually wear down so the dresser loses its effectiveness. I've used the Desmond-Huntington 'star wheel' type dressers for well over 50 years, and it was what we were taught to use at Brooklyn Technical HS back in the 60's.

The wheel on a bench grinder is a different proposition than the wheel on a surface grinder or other precision grinder. The 'star wheel' type dresser is, IMO, all that's needed. I keep the wheel dressers hanging by my pedestal and bench grinders. I've had them so long I can't remember where or when they came into my shop. I do not recall ever buying one new. One dresser even had a replacement set of star wheels and spacer discs wired to it. If you are having a shop to do fine work such as gunsmithing, dressing grinding wheels with this type dresser is best done with the grinder located in another room, or with some sort of dust collector. I've found that a "Dust Deputy" ( a cyclone type separator) ahead of my shop vacuum makes a good dust collector for this sort of thing.
I have a star dresser that I converted to an abrasive wheel dresser by making it fit desmond abrasive wheels. Abrasive wheels are better for Tc grinder wheels because they dress to a true running diameter and face with little pressure on the wheel. With caution they can even true dress the OD of cup wheels, best with set to wheel at an angle and holding your thumb on as a speed regulator to about 100 to 200 RPM.
But they are overkill for bench grinders.

Wow desmond star disk set are clost to 40 bucks..but they last a good long time
SC stick $8 (the Norton one is about $25
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The star wheel ones are great for getting a fresh edge on the wheel, the flat bar diamond type are good for dressing out grooves in the wheel or touching up a corner. Wearing a mask and/ or holding a running shop vac close to the dresser is a great idea
Far right dresser, both photos. No idea if they’re less scary on anything smaller than a 10” wheel. Makes a heck of a racket and does sound like it’ll come apart due to the nature of the star wheels.
Thanks for the great advice from all.
Is the dresser on the right worn out?
There are no sharp points like the other one. Not sure if it ever had points.

Nope, the one on the right still has lots of life left on it.
And if you hunt around, you can find replacement star/disk sets for it when it does finally dress its last.
I have a couple of the diamond ones shown above & I use them most of the time . I do have a couple of the star dressers & in my experience to a untrained person ya can remove a whole bunch of wheel with a star dresser if ya don't know how to use one properly . I'm no pro with the star & I always give a large of amount of respect when using .
Question, I have a larger grinder aprox 2" x 18" wheel and it is out of round. What is the best way to get it back to round? Without putting an indicator on it I would think .065 or less out of round.
in post 7 both are still good, good till you bump the dressed. body.
Abrasive wheel dressers are better for making a wheel round.

I would adapt the wire out star dresser to take an abrasive wheel...you hold the abrasive wheel at an angle so it rotates slow.
IMO star dressers are best used for deglazing. Single point diamond for returning a wheel to round (make sure the nut is tight, if the wheel moves it will be out of round again). Dressing stick for quickly breaking a corner or opening the grain.