What is a Grinding Wheel?
A grinding wheel is an abrasive disk that is used for sharpening, cutting, shaping and polishing etc. The wheel is often mounted on a machine fixed to a bench. This is the ideal setting for sharpening chisels and bladed tools. If you need more flexibility you can use a wheel or disc on a handheld device. This might be the best option for a car body workshop, for example.
Sharp grains provide the abrasive element of a grinding wheel. These grains are held in place by a powerful adhesive bonding process. If you want to remove more material during use you need larger grains. Conversely, smaller grains would suit a job where you need a smoother finish. Most reputable abrasive suppliers are happy to offer advice on specific projects.
Different types of grinding wheels
A straight wheel is probably the most familiar type of grinding wheel. These are commonly used for sharpening items, like tools and blades for example. Large diameter wheels can be up to 36 inches, and are used a lot in heavy industry. Cup wheels are often used to polish stone or concrete. They generally have a hollow centre, hence the reference to the word 'cup'. Dish wheels are a similar shape, but shallower, so they can fit into tighter spaces.
Much thinner grinding wheels (or discs) are commonly used with handheld devices. Their narrow edge makes them ideal for cutting stone or metal, or for a job that needs more precision.