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3 Common Industrial Grinders and Grinding Machines

Industrial Grinders and Grinding Machines

Grinding and grinders machines have been used in industrial facilities since the early 1900’s. They are among the most commonly used machine tools in manufacturing and fabrication facilities today.

Disk Grinders

Disc grinders, sometime referred to as angle grinders or side grinders, can be handheld as well as machine-mounted machine tools. They consist of one or more circular spinning abrasive wheels or disks that are designed to remove material from a work piece. The grinding or polishing of parts is complete having pressed the material against the broad side of the continuously spinning abrasive wheel.

The machine mounted disk grinder is similar to a disk sander in which a circular spinning wheel in mounted vertically, perpendicular to the work – table. The only difference is that an abrasive grinding wheel is used instead of sand paper. The abrasive grinding wheel is effective for metal removal applications, whereas sand paper is only useful for wood or other softer materials.

The handheld disk grinder can be used for metal grinding, polishing and cutting applications. Since the machine tool is handheld, the process is less precise and more prone to error. For this reason, the handheld version is used mainly for grinding, cutting or polishing of very large structures or parts that cannot be placed on a work- table.

Bench Grinders

Bench grinders are rinding machines commonly found in maintenance and fabrication shops. They are a very simple design of machine consisting of dual abrasive wheels with the narrow side exposed. The grinding and polishing of parts is accomplished by pressing the part against the narrow side of the grinding wheel.

Typically, two different grits of grinding wheel are equipped; one courser wheel meant for removal of material, and the other a finer grit wheel meant for finishing or polishing of parts. This grinder can fairly accurately grind angles thanks to an adjustable guide. The guide consists of a half inch, flat steel plate attached to the machine in front of the grinding wheel.

The wheels can easily be removed and replaced with the desired grinding wheel.

Tool & Cutter Grinders

Tool and cutter grinders are used to sharpen machining tools, bits and many other cutting tools. These are among the most versatile of all grinding machines and are capable of grinding functions such as: surface grinding, cylindrical grinding and complex angle grinding.

There are two main types of tool and cutter grinders; mechanical and CNC grinding machines.

Mechanical Tool & Cutter Grinders

The mechanical version requires a high level of operator skill since all adjustments must be made manually. In fact, the entire grinding and cutting process is very complex because the table and tools can be adjusted laterally and longitudinally. The operator must know how to tilt the grinding head to adjust to the many different angles.

For this very reason, computer controlled cutting and grinding machines are becoming more popular.

CNC Tool & Cutter Grinders

The CNC grinding machine requires less skill than the mechanical version since the machine operates precisely according to the user specifications. These grinding machines operate on up to 5 axes and also operate similar to a machining center. Measurements and adjustments to the grinding and cutting heads are made using sensors or lasers, making all operations very accurate.

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