Achieving the desired finish with a surface grinder requires a combination of proper machine set-up, the right grinding techniques, and close attention to detail.


At Sparx, we’re often asked how to use a surface grinder, particularly when it comes to achieving the right results.


Whether you’re working with metal, plastics, or other materials, it’s important to follow a few key steps to achieve the kind of results you require for your specific application.

How to use a surface grinder: The key steps


Machine Preparation


Before you begin the grinding process it’s important to ensure that the surface grinder is properly set up and calibrated. The grinding wheel should be correctly installed and properly balanced to minimise vibration. Magnetic chucks or clamps should be securely in place before you begin grinding. This prevents movement during grinding that could reduce the quality of the end result.


Selection of Grinding Wheel


It’s critical to choose the correct grinding wheel to achieve the right surface finish. You should consider factors such as wheel hardness, grit size, and bonding type based on the material being ground and its desired finish. Finer grit wheel will produce smoother finishes, while coarser grits will remove material more effectively.


Preparing the Workpiece

It’s essential to properly prepare the workpiece to achieve a quality finish. In practice, this means ensuring that the workpiece is clean and free of any contaminants or surface defects that impact the grinding process. Techniques such as degreasing, cleaning, or pre-machining to prepare the surface for grinding should be used.

Setting Parameters


The grinding parameters on the surface grinder should be set to meet the requirements of the workpiece and desired finish. This can include adjusting the table speed, wheel speed, and the depth of cut. Start gradually with more conservative parameters, making steady incremental adjustments as required to achieve the desired surface quality.

Grinding Technique


The correct grinding techniques are required to achieve a uniform and consistent surface finish. This means maintaining a steady feed rate, avoiding sudden changes in direction or pressure that could lead to surface irregularities. It’s important to ensure that the grinding wheel is dressed regularly to maintain effectiveness during the grinding process.



Coolant may be required to control heat generation and prevent thermal damage to the workpiece depending on the material being ground and the grinding conditions. Proper coolant application helps to improve surface finish and extend tool life by reducing friction and dissipating heat.

Monitoring Surface Finish


The surface finish should be continuously monitored during the grinding process using appropriate measurement tools. You can then adjust grinding parameters and the techniques used to maintain consistent surface quality and to meet specifications.

Post-Grinding Inspection and Finishing


After grinding, the surface finish should be inspected to ensure that it meets the required specifications. Depending on the material and application additional finishing processes such as polishing or coating may be necessary to achieve the final desired surface quality.

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 how to use a surface grinder, best practice, angle grinder safety, and answer any questions about angle grinder use you may have.


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

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