Skip to content

How to Select the Right Grinding Wheel

How to Select the Right Grinding Wheel

Choosing the proper grinding wheel for a specific application is often challenging. There are several types of spins, and therefore the differences between the various sorts of used abrasives can be confusing.

What is a Grinding Wheel?

The grinding wheel is an abrasive cutter. In a grinding wheel, the abrasive grains are distributed on the wheel's edges to perform the cutting function. Thousands of those hard, chewy grains move against the workpiece to chop away tiny chips of fabric.

These abrasive grains stick together by a bond, a mixture of selected clays, and separated by pores.

While the grinding wheel is operating, the abrasive grains dig the fabric by removing the unwanted surface material in small chips.

The abrasive type, the dimensions of the abrasive grains (or grit), and the bond are the three most vital characteristics to think about when choosing a grinding wheel.

How to Select the Right Grinding Wheel

These five factors affect the Grinding Wheel Types

Table The Five Factors of Grinding Wheel


Grain Size




Nature of abrasive grain

Size of abrasive grain(F or #)

Retention strength of abrasive grains

Proportion of grains to the entire wheel

Nature of bonding agent

Types of Grinding Wheel Material

To offer you a touch more clarity, we've mentioned all the characteristics that differentiate grinding wheels.


There are four primary types of abrasive grains available for grinding discs. Each class has unique properties when it involves hardness, strength, fracture toughness, and resistance to impact. The selection of the abrasive is inevitably associated with the fabric of the workpiece.

  • Aluminum Oxide

Aluminum Oxide is the most common abrasive utilized in grinding wheels. It's generally recommended for grinding materials like chrome steel and gear steels, but it is the right choice for cutting high tensile aluminum and bronze alloys.

  • Silicon Carbide

Harder than standard alumina with a sharp abrasive grain, it's mostly used for grinding gray iron, chilled iron, brass, soft bronze, aluminum, and stone, rubber, and other non-ferrous materials.

  • Zirconia Alumina

Zirconia Alumina is mainly used for rough grinding applications where high stock removal is required. This grain is related to high-tech resin bonds.

  • Ceramic Alumina 

Often mentioned as just "Ceramic," it is the foremost modern sort of abrasive. This ceramic grain features a unique microcrystalline structure that's self-sharpening. This abrasive is exceptionally hard and powerful. It's primarily used for precision grinding in demanding applications on steels and alloys that are the foremost difficult to grind.


As we mentioned above, grit is said to the abrasive grains' dimensions distributed on the wheels. The more the grit size, the finer the abrasive is. The essential descriptions of abrasive types range from coarse to medium to fine. Here's a basic table of the various sorts of grit sizes.

  • Coarse Grain - 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 20, 24
  • Normal Grain - 30, 36, 46, 54, 60, 70
  • Fine Grain - 80, 90, 100, 120, 150, 180, 220
  • Very Fine Grain - 240, 280, 320, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 1000, 1200, 2500

Grinding wheels with a coarse grit size are commonly utilized in applications where the fabric finish isn't essential, and therefore the focus is on material removal. On the opposite hand, fine grit wheels are preferred when finish may be a fundamental aspect of the project.


The material that holds the abrasive grains together so that they can cut effectively is called a bond. Most Grinding wheels are developed with vitrified bonds, which contains a mix of carefully selected clays. These cutting wheels are strong and porous and aren't suffering from water, acid, oils, or variations in temperature.

An essential factor to consider about the bonds is their strength or grade.

Grinding Wheel Bond Type

  • Strong bonds - Such bonds are recommended for soft materials, small or narrow areas of contact, or longer wheel life. 
  • Weak bonds, or soft grades - Such bonds are preferable for hardened materials, like hardened tool steels or carbides, giant areas of contact, or rapid stock removal.

Wheel Shapes

    The wheel itself comes in a variety of shapes. The grinding face—a part of the wheel that addresses the work—is on the straight wheel's periphery. The following are the commonly used grinding wheel shapes:

    • A standard variation of the straight wheel design is that the recessed wheel is so-called because the middle of the wheel is recessed to suit a machine spindle flange assembly.
    • On some grinding wheels, the cutting face is on the side of the wheel. These wheels are usually named for their distinctive shapes, as in-cylinder wheels, cup wheels, and dish wheels.
    • Mounted wheels are small grinding wheels for concrete with unique shapes, like cones or plugs, that are permanently mounted on a steel mandrel. They're used for a spread of off-hand and precision internal grinding jobs.

      Grinding Wheel Composition

      The grinding wheel consists of the main five parts: abrasives type, bond, grain size, structure, and grade.

      The Five Factors of Grinding Wheel


      Grain Size




      Nature of abrasive grain

      Size of abrasive grain(F or #)

      Retention strength of abrasive grains

      Proportion of grains to the entire wheel

      Nature of bonding agent

      Grinding Wheel Marking

      Grinding wheel marking makes the identification of the wheel type easier. The Grinding Wheel Specifications are mentioned in the following manner:

      Grinding Wheel Codes:




      Marking Codes


      Abrasive Material

      A – regular aluminum oxide

      WA – white aluminum oxide

      19A – mixture of A and WA

      SD – synthetic diamond

      ASD – synthetic diamond, metal coating

      FA – semi-friable aluminum oxide

      PA – pink aluminum oxide

      SA (HA) – single crystal aluminum oxide

      23A – mixture of A and SA

      AZ – zirconium oxide

      C – black silicon carbide

      GC – green silicon carbide

      RC – mixture of C and GC


      Grit Size

      (Coarse) 10, 12, 14, 16, 20 etc. to 600, 800, 100, 1200 (Fine)



      (Soft) A, B, C, D, E etc. through to V, W, X, Y, X (Hard)



      (Dense) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 (Open)


      Bond Type

      V – vitrified

      B – resinoid

      R – rubber

      O – MgO

      E – epoxy

      M – metal

      EP – electroplated

      In the end, selecting the grinding wheel may be a process that needs tons of your time and careful analysis, but if done right, it can cause significant results.

      Previous article How To Clean Metal Before Welding

      Compare products

      {"one"=>"Select 2 or 3 items to compare", "other"=>"{{ count }} of 3 items selected"}

      Select first item to compare

      Select second item to compare

      Select third item to compare