Not to be confused with a milling machine, a grinding machine is a heavy-duty machine that's used to remove material from the surface of a workpiece. While milling machines feature a rotating cutting tool that's placed against a stationary workpiece, a grinding machine features a rotating grinding wheel, which is also placed against a stationary workpiece.
Bench grinding machines are characterized by their bench-like shape. They usually feature two different grinding wheels: one for the removal of material and another for finishing processes. They are called “bench grinding machines” because their grinding wheels are secured to the top of a workbench. As a result, bench grinding machines are easy and convenient for manufacturing workers to use.
Belt grinding machines are characterized by the use of a belt sander. Like other grinding machines, they are designed to remove material from workpieces, thereby making workpieces smaller and with a smoother and more desirable surface. With belt grinding, the belt is coated in an abrasive material, after which it's run against the surface of a workpiece until the desired results are achieved. Belt grinding is most commonly performed on metal workpieces, though it supports workpieces made of other materials as well.
A third type of grinding machine is a surface grinding machine. Surface grinding machines are unique because they feature an adjustable head. The head on a surface grinding machine can be lowered down to the workpiece. Once lowered, the head can then rotate back and forth under the machine's grinding wheel.
While belt grinding machines are typically used for finishing processes, surface grinding machines are most commonly used for material removal. When compared to other grinding machines, surface grinding machines are able to remove significant amounts of material, making them desirable for such applications.
Gear grinding machines are designed specifically for the removal of material from shafts. Using grinding wheels, they can grind the centre of a shaft with extreme precision.
A smaller and more basic type of grinding machine is a die grinding machine. Unlike the other machines listed here, die grinding machines are handheld. They are connected to an air compressor, which works to power the machine's grinding wheel. If an air compressor isn't used, the die grinding machine will likely receive power from an electric motor.