Grinders and Grinding Machines Information


Grinders and grinding machines use an abrasive that is bonded to a wheel, belt or disc to remove material and improve surface finish. Devices can be pneumatically driven or powered by a combustion engine or electric motor.How to Select Grinders and Grinding Machines


Grinders and grinding machines can use single-phase or three-phase power and are available in a range of voltages. 60 Hz power is used in North America. 50 Hz power is used internationally.


Some devices require manual loading, setup, and operation. Others load parts automatically, include computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools and a programmable logic controller (PLC), or can be programmed or controlled through a personal computer (PC) interface.


Bench mounted, floor mounted, stationary, handheld, and portable grinders and grinding machines are commonly available. Devices can also be mounted on tool posts, machines, or robotic arms.  


Video Credit: Weldon Solutions / CC BY 3.0




There are a variety of applications for grinders and grinding machines. Some devices are designed or suitable for metal grinding, ceramics grinding, carbide grinding, and composite grinding. Grinders and grinding machines are also suitable for automotive applications such as grinding, surfacing and finishing of weld joints, engine blocks, engine heads, transmission components, brake rotors, flywheels and other vehicle parts. How to Select Grinders and Grinding Machines


Grinders and grinding machines are used in the manufacture of medical devices, ceramics, glass, plastics, composites, semiconductors, and electronics. They are also used in:


  • Cleaning and surface preparation
  • Deburring and deflashing
  • Tool and die sharpening
  • Construction
  • Maintenance and repair (MRO)


Honing, lapping, and superfinishing equipment such as wafer planarization and chemical-mechanical polishing (CMP) machines are specialized devices that provide very flat, smooth, or low roughness average (RA) surface finishes. Very rigid machines make better use of abrasives in precision grinding applications.


Types of Grinders and Grinding Machines


There are many types of grinders and grinding machines.


  • Angled grinders are suitable for manual tasks such as finishing, deburring, patterning, cutting, and polishing.
  • Belt grinders and sanders consist of a driven contact wheel and a tensioning idler wheel or pulley.
  • Grinding machines for grinding wheels are designed to hold bonded abrasives and provide greater rigidity or stiffness than equipment that is designed for flexible coated abrasives. Profile, form, gear and other processes shape the grinding wheel with a dressing to create a specific profile.
  • Edge and platen grinders consist of a driven contact wheel, a tensioning wheel or pulley, and an intermediate platen behind an abrasive belt.
  • Backstand or benchstand grinders and polishers are suitable for offhand grinding or finishing.
  • Crankshaft
  • Centerless  
    Creep Feed
  • Cylindrical / External (OD)  
  • Disc Grinder  
  • Hobbing / Gear  
  • Inner Diameter (ID) / Internal  
  • Jig Grinder  
  • Metallographic Prep  
  • Polisher-Grinder  
  • Precision Grinder  
  • Profile / Form  
  • Rotary Surface (e.g., Blanchard)  
  • Superabrasive Grinder  
  • Surface Grinder  
  • Thread Grinder  
  • Tool Grinder / Sharpener  
  • Universal (ID/OD)



Important specifications for grinders and grinding machines include:How to Select Grinders and Grinding Machines


  • Rotary speed
  • Surface or linear speed
  • Power
  • Current




Optional features include:


  • Cabinets and enclosures
  • Double-sided disks
  • Dressing systems
  • Dust collection or filtration systems


Devices with multiple heads can be used to carry abrasive products with a range of grit sizes. Some grinders and grinding machines use an orbital or planetary motion. Others use a vibratory or oscillatory motion. In some devices, motor speed can be adjusted continuously or set at discrete speeds within an operating range. 


Image Credit:


R. S. Hughes Company, Inc.




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