How to Use a Gear Grinder All by Yourself?

A grinding machine is a name used to refer to any of power tools used for grinding. It uses an abrasive wheel to cut a workpiece. Every grain of abrasive on the surface of the wheel cuts a tiny chip from the workpiece.


Grinding is needed to finish workpieces that must reveal high quality surface and high accuracy of dimension and shape.

As the dimension accuracy in grinding is around 0.000025 mm, in majority of applications it tends to be a finishing process and removes only a small amount of metal, usually no more than 0.50 mm in depth.

What is a Grinder?

A grinding machine is comprised of a bed with a fixture that holds and guides the work piece. It also has a power-driven grinding wheel that spins at a specified speed.

The wheel’s diameter as well as manufacturer’s rating determines how fast the machine will go. The grinding head moves across a fixed work piece, or the work piece can be rotated or moved while the head stays in one position.


Grinding machines uses abrasion to get rid of material from the work piece and this action generates high amounts of heat. The workpiece needs to be cooled off so it does not overheat.

The coolant is advantageous to the machinist as the heat generated may lead to irritation or skin burns. For sophisticated grinding machines, the final grinding stages can eliminate 200 nm (less than 1/10000 in) per pass – so since it generates very little heat, the coolant is not necessary.

Types of Grinding Machines

There are several types available:

  • The belt grinder is often used as a machining method for metals, and it works with the help of coated abrasives. Sanding machines are used to finish wood.
  • Belt grinding is a multipurpose process that works for all kind of applications including stock removal and burring.
  • A bench grinder often has two wheels of dissimilar grain sizes and they are used for roughing and finishing operations. The grinder is secured to a floor stand or work bench. 
  • A cylindrical grinder have several grinding wheels. The workpiece is spun and fed past the wheel to take the shape of a cylinder. This equipment is used to create precision tubes, rods, bushings, bearing races, and many other parts.
  • A surface grinder, on the other hand, has a "head" which is dropped to a workpiece and moved back and forth underneath the grinding wheel. The most widely used surface grinders are equipped with a grinding wheel revolving on a horizontal axis along the circumference of the grinding wheel.
  • Tool and cutter grinder can perform the smaller functions of the drill bit grinder, as well as other specialized grinding operations.
  • The jig grinder, on the other hand, offers a range of applications such as finishing jigs, dies, as well as other fixtures. Its main function is grinding pins and holes but it can also be used to finish work started on a mill.
  • The gear grinder is often used as the final machining process. The main function of a gear grinder is to remove the last few thousandths of an inch of material.
  • The die grinder is a hand-held rotary tool that works in very high speeds using a small diameter grinding bit. These machines are often air driven but can also be electric powered.

Operating a Gear Grinder All By Yourself

Gear cutting is any process that uses a machine for creating a gear. The most widespread processes employed for this purpose include hobbing, milling, broaching, and grinding.

Geer teeth can be created solely by grinding, entirely by cutting, or they can also be created by cutting first and then grinding afterwards to the desired dimensions.

Oftentimes, gear grinding is done after a gear has been cut and treated to high temperatures to achieve a high hardness. This process is necessary for parts above 350 HB which makes cutting rather difficult.

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Teeth created by grinding are typically those of fine pitch, in which the amount of metal taken out is very small. Moreover, grinding of gears is most recommended for fully hardened steels. In such materials, it may be hard to keep the heat-treat gear distortion within satisfactory limits.

Finally, there are also some cases wherein medium-hard gears need to be ground when finished by cutting so as to save costs on cutting tools which are every costly such as hobs, shaving cutters or shapers, or to get a surface finish that you desire.

Form grinders utilize a disc wheel that is designed to grind 2 sides between 2 gear teeth. It is equipped with an involute form dressed into the wheel’s side.


Remember that the materials must be removed in tiny increments when a person uses the grinding process as compared to cutting. This makes grinding more expensive.

Moreover, ground gears tend to attract more inspection than gears that are cut. As such, it may involve the inspection of both magnetic particle and macro etching.

Final Words

Learning to use a gear grinder requires patience and skill. You need to make sure you read the instructions manual carefully and practice due diligence when operating the machine. Doing this ensures a much better outcome and at the same time, keep the operator safe from injuries and accidents.

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