Types of Grinding Wheels – A Thomas Buying Guide

Grinding Wheels are circular abrasive cylinders, cups, cones, etc. used with various stationary and portable machines for material removal, surface preparation, machining, etc. They are generally mounted to the central shafts of the grinding machines with plain or threaded arbors, except in the case of mounted points, which are furnished with integral shafts and held in place with collets or chucks. Although grinding wheels share many attributes with other non-woven abrasive wheels and abrasive discs such as flap discs, sanding discs, etc., grinding wheels are generally solid (not flexible), single-piece devices (no flaps), with applications that are specifically defined as regards use and appropriate work materials.

The principal types of grinding wheels in common use include:

  • Rough Grinding Wheels
  • Cutoff Wheels
  • Precision Grinding Wheels
  • Diamond and cBN Wheels
  • Mounted Points

Grinding wheel care and use is explicitly spelled out by ANSI B7.1 because they are easily misused and can impart great harm. Users should always observe appropriate safety measures both for themselves, in the way of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and for any bystanders. Among the many attributes that can define grinding wheels, common ones will include:

  • Maximum speed, either rpm (revolutions per minute) or sfpm (surface feet per minute)
  • Diameter
  • Width
  • Abrasive type, or grit, or construction
  • Wheel or mounted point shape

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