Surface grinding is an adaptable and effective machining process that involves the removal of material from a workpiece to achieve a smooth flat surface. To ensure this process achieves the required results, it’s essential to set and maintain tolerances. Surface grinding flatness tolerance plays a critical role in achieving the desired precision and surface finish.

What is surface grinding tolerance?

The tolerance in surface grinding refers to the deviation allowed from a perfectly flat surface. When choosing the right flatness tolerance for a particular application a balance needs to be struck between precision and practicality.

How do you select a surface grinding tolerance?


There are several factors you need to consider when selecting a reasonable surface grinding tolerance. These include the intended use of the part being machined, its materials, and the capabilities of the grinding equipment. Some of the most commonly used tolerances range from a few micrometres to a few tenths of a millimetre, depending on the precise requirements of the application.


More stringent surface grinding flatness tolerances will typically be used in precision industries such as medical device manufacturing and aerospace. In industries, where a high degree of precision is not as critical, it can be acceptable to choose a larger tolerance.


The material being machined will also be a consideration, with harder materials generally requiring tighter tolerances to ensure optimal performance. The size and shape of the workpiece can also be a factor.


Selecting surface grinding tolerance will depend on the unique requirements of the intended application, the material being worked and the available machinery.


Achieving the right surface grinding tolerance


Achieving tight surface grinding tolerances requires the correct machinery, skilled operators, and a controlled manufacturing environment. During the process itself, factors such as machine rigidity, wheel selections, and applying coolant, will all be critical in achieving the specified tolerances.

The stability of the machining process can be impacted by the temperature, humidity levels and cleanliness. This means that environmental conditions will need to be monitored and controlled if consistency in the finished product is to be achieved. Temperature fluctuations can result in thermal expansion or contraction in the workpiece, which left unchecked can significantly affect the accuracy of the grinding process.


The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) published guidelines and standards for surface grinding tolerances.  ISO 8785:1998 sets out the general tolerances for linear and angular dimensions in surface grinding. These standards are frequently adopted by manufacturers to ensure consistency and compatibility.

High-Quality Grinding Machines from Sparx


If you’re looking for a high-quality grinding machine then Sparx Machine Tools can help. Our range can help you enhance precision and productivity in your operations.


At Sparx, our experienced team are always on hand to advise about surface grinding tolerance, grinding machines and safe practice.


To find out more, call us on 01202 830840 or complete the contact form and we will get back to you.

"C_mHzqeKzIPK4": { "on": "visible", "vars": { "event_name": "conversion", "send_to": ["AW-381588625/6rtvCJmkgKkDEJGp-rUB"] } }