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Metalworking Machines - Surface Grinders

What should you know before working with a surface grinder?

Surface grinders can be dangerous if not used properly.

  • Read the owner's manual carefully.
  • Make sure you understand instructions and are properly trained before operating a surface grinder.

Refer to Metalworking Machines - General for basic safety tips.

Also refer to Abrasive Wheels for further information.

What are some basic safety principles to know when using a surface grinder?

  • Wear appropriate safety glasses. In addition, use the eye shield on the grinder, when provided.
  • Ensure that the grinder has a start/stop button within easy reach of the operator.
  • Check the grinding wheel before mounting it. Make sure it is properly maintained and in good working order.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for mounting grinding wheels.
  • Keep face of the wheel evenly dressed.
  • Ensure that the wheel guard covers at least one half of the grinding wheel.
Ensure that the wheel guard covers at least one half of the grinding wheel
  • File off any burrs on the surface of work that is placed on the magnetic chuck.
  • Clean the magnetic chuck with a cloth and then wipe with the palm of your hand.
  • Place a piece of paper slightly larger than workpiece in the centre of chuck.
  • Position work on the paper and turn on the power to the magnetic chuck.
  • Check that the magnetic chuck has been turned on by trying to remove work from the chuck.
  • Check that the wheel clears the work before starting the grinder.
  • Run a new grinding wheel for about one minute before engaging the wheel into the work.
  • Stand to one side of the wheel before starting the grinder.
  • Turn off coolant before stopping the wheel to avoid creating an out-of-balance condition.
  • Keep the working surface clear of scraps, tools and materials.
  • Keep the floor around the grinder clean and free of oil and grease.

What are some things you should avoid doing?

  • Do not run a grinding wheel faster than the speed recommended on the wheel.
  • Do not clean the magnetic chuck or mount or remove work until the wheel has completely stopped.
  • Do not grind material for which wheel is not designed.
  • Do not grind without proper ventilation.
  • Do not start the machine until the wheel guard is in place.
  • Do not stand directly in front of a grinding wheel when starting a grinder.
  • Do not apply work too quickly to a cold wheel or disk.
  • Do not jam work into the wheel.
  • Do not reach above or around a moving wheel.

Document last updated on August 21, 2001
Document confirmed current on March 30, 2011


Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.