Ranging from small hand-held models to large scale, industrial models, there are dozens of different types of grinders found on the market today. Many grinders can be fitted with an assortment of wheels and attachments to perform different tasks with the use of just the one tool. Additionally, there are also grinders designed for very specific applications such as ceilings or floors.
Die grinders are
small, hand-held grinders designed for shaping and polishing round objects such as metal pipes and plumbing. Additionally, they can be used for fabrication, engraving, contouring, and woodworking.
With motors that typically deliver 27,000 RPM or more, die grinders usually have much higher RPM, but less torque, when compared to other grinders. Higher RPM with less torque is ideal for the type of applications die grinders are designed to for. These grinders can be electric while other, more powerful ones are pneumatic.
A specialty for die grinders are the attachments available besides the typical abrasive discs. Mounted points (abrasive stones), burrs, drill bits, and end mills can be used for grinding, machining, and honing. These attachments are mounted to the tip of the grinder by a collet, similar to how a drill bit mounts to a drill.
Wet grinders are used to
polish and grind stone and tile. To help avoid cracking or damaging the stone or tile, wet grinders use water to cool and lubricate the cutting wheel during the cutting process. They generally use an abrasive disc with a very fine grit to achieve a smooth finish and are available in hand-held models, such as angle grinders, as well as table top and industrial, floor size models.
Bench grinders are
stationary machines that are usually bolted to a work table or bench. Featuring a central motor with an abrasive disc on each side, these grinders can be used for heavy duty cleaning, such as removing rust, sharpening tools, grinding, shaping, and buffing of metal, stone, pipes, and wood.
For frequent and heavy use, motors on bench grinders will typically have around 3,500 RPM to produce faster removal of material. The wheels generally range from 5” to 10” in diameter. Having two wheels allows the option of using different abrasive discs on the same machine. For example, one disc can be a lower grit for coarse, rough grinding while the other disc can be a higher grit for finer, more detailed work.
Belt grinders are primarily used on metals and other tempered materials for finishing processes including
finishing surfaces, deburring, and stock removal. These grinders are similar to belt sanders and feature an abrasive coated belt that is ran over the material to produce a finished surface. There several varieties of belt grinders including wide belt, stroke belt, platen belt, backstand belt, centerless belt, and hand-held portable.
While smaller grinders, such as angle grinders, can be used on concrete floors, they are generally only ideal for smaller projects, hard-to-reach places, and detail work.
For larger commercial, civic, or residential applications with a lot of floor square footage that requires grinding, a floor grinder is the best solution.
Floor grinders are large, walk-behind grinding machines, similar in shape and size to a vacuum cleaner. They typically weigh between 100 and 300 pounds and often powered by gas or propane. They are used to level, smooth, or clean concrete surfaces with horizontal rotating discs that remove surface material. Compared to other similar machines including scabblers, scalers, scarifiers, and blasters, floor grinders can produce the smoothest finishes on surfaces.
Like other grinders, floor grinders can also be fitted with various attachments for different jobs. With the appropriate disc, old floor coatings can be loosened and removed including carpet glue, paint, and epoxy, creating a clean base for new floor coverings. Furthermore, discs with accessories are also available including scarifiers, grinding stones, wire brushes, and diamond-segmented inserts.