Sharpie Tungsten Grinder Review: The Sharpie SD vs Sharpie DX

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Here’s Arc-Zone’s breakdown on the hand-held Sharpie SD and Sharpie DX tungsten grinders.

The two Sharpie tungsten grinder models are the perfect Pro-Hobby grinders:  They are the least expensive, they offer a lot of bang for the buck, and they extremely easy to use—not to mention easy to hold.

Watch our video on the Sharpie Tungsten Grinders

Looking at some of the features of the grinder, it’s important to first mark the difference between the 2 models of Sharpie Tungsten Grinder available:

The standard model produces a fixed grind angle of 20 degrees; whereas the deluxe model can be easily adjusted for grind angles from 15 to 45 degrees; and, although there is no degree scale letting you know exactly what angle it’s set at, once the grind angle is locked with the set screw, it will give you the same grind angle every time.  So, it’s a bit of grind-and-test for the first electrode; but every one after that will be the same.


That’s the only difference between these 2 grinders—but it’s worth noting that that is a pretty big difference.  While 20 degrees is an extremely versatile angle to have on your electrodes, being able to change that angle is a valuable tool.  That’s why we’d recommend outfitting a welder who’s working out in the field with the Standard model, but for our own work shop we’ll use the Deluxe model.


The other capabilities shared by both Sharpie Tungsten Grinders are:

The ability to do a tip flat– and, just like with the grinding process, it’s nice to be able to see where the electrode hits the wheel.

The ability to do notched-cut-off.  And, just a quick disclaimer here:  tungsten is extremely brittle, so ‘snapping’ the tungsten will fracture the electrode and ruin it’s performance.  So, if you were to use this wheel to grind completely through the electrodes, the life of the wheel would be shortened dramatically; the compromise here is to score the electrode deeply all the way around; then, use the tip flat holes to finish the job.

Another great feature is the range of electrodes that they cover:  From .040” all the way up to 1/8”.  And this also brings us to the one short fall of these grinders.  Even though they can grind eighth inch electrodes, it puts a pretty good strain on the motor, which is not very robust… but it is inexpensive to replace.  Also, on the topic of the motor, these do have adjustable speeds, but like all tungsten grinders with adjustable speeds, it should be set to the fastest possible setting, and you should exercise patience when grinder:  low pressure, constantly rotating the electrode.  This will give you the best finish, and it’ll prolong the life of the grinding wheel as well as the motor.

The last topic to note is the safety of the units.  While it does expose the user to the grinding dust, the wheel is fully encased in the grinding head, and we like the ability to see the process as we’re grinding.

To recap:  they cut, they do tip-flat, they grind consistently, they grind up to eighth inch electrodes, and, although it doesn’t offer dust collection, and the motor isn’t too robust… at these price points, the Sharpie tungsten grinders are the best value.

What are your thoughts on the Sharpie hand-held tungsten grinders? Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below. Until then, good welding!


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