A vertical grinder is typically a type masonry grinding machine which rotates horizontally like a hammer. It has a large flat disk with an abrasive blade attached to one end, opposite the grinding wheel. It is used mainly to grind surfaces like concrete, tiles, granite and countertops. Grinding in one direction is done by grinding at one side, and the burr in the opposite direction is ground down into the concrete.
The vertical grinder has the advantage of providing a good compromise between power, speed and control. When the disk is turned, it moves vertically on the workpiece, but does not move at very high speeds. This allows a greater degree of control over the size of the workpiece, since the size of the disk is directly related to its diameter of course. On the other hand, the speed at which the disk turns is directly related to its diameter, so a larger diameter disk can move more quickly than a smaller diameter one. The combination of high speed and high diameter allows the vertical grinding process to achieve excellent quality and low wear and tear.
In addition to power, speed and efficiency, there is another factor to consider when choosing a vertical grinder: clamping force. A vertical grinder requires less clamping force than a horizontal one, which allows the user to move the tool closer to the work surface. Since less force is required to move the tool, the resulting cutting angle is also smaller. Also, the angle generated by a horizontal grinding wheel is almost completely non-existent in a vertical grinder, which allows for greater accuracy with less slop.
The type of workpiece also affects the type of vertical grinder to choose. If the workpiece moves relatively slowly, such as during the drilling or milling process, a stationary vertical grinder will be needed. This type of grinder must be capable of bearing the constant force necessary to move the workpiece through its full range of motion. Because of this, most vertical grinder units use a sliding or fixed diamond plate.
A horizontal vertical grinder, on the other hand, works better with fast, but lesser amount of movement. This type of unit can usually handle a greater amount of pressure, but the accuracy generated is still less than ideal. If the work is not held straight up against the chuck or the workpiece, the diamond plate may catch cracks. This means the work will be slightly off from roundness, reducing the accuracy significantly. To counter this, vertical grinding units with longer slides generally utilize a rounder chuck to counter this effect.
Finally, another aspect of the chuck to consider is how it is controlled. The majority of vertical grinder machines are either manually or electronically controlled; electronic controls are far more affordable than their manual counterparts, although manual ones are more likely to malfunction. For many workers, the benefits of using a vertical grinder far outweigh the negatives. Regardless, of whether one installs the unit on their own, or works with the assistance of a professional, a vertical grinder in the home or workroom is an efficient alternative to standard power tools.