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Concrete Grinder – Parts, Types and Applications

Concrete grinders use horizontally rotating discs to perform a multitude of tasks, from light texturing to open the pores of the surface to the removal of paints and thin coatings. The key to their versatility is the grinding attachments, which are available in a variety of types and grits to suit different applications. A concrete floor grinder can be used for many different applications such as cleaning concrete floors, removing concrete coatings and polishing concrete floors. It is utilised as a surface preparation tool, aggressive coating removing tool and concrete polishing tool.

Grinding eliminates inconsistencies in the concrete, resulting in a smooth and usable surface. Old and damaged concrete surfaces can be restored to their former glory and used for years and years to come. Once the grinding and polishing have been completed and the smooth surface is left, the floor becomes very easy to maintain. Floor preparation is key in the longevity of any kind of flooring option. Concrete grinding is done using floor grinding machines in combination with a diamond tool on rough concrete surfaces to attain a smooth finish. Concrete grinders can be used both wet and dry. The concrete grinders with multiple heads can be mainly categorized as planetary or rotary based on the configuration of the grinding stones or pads used at the base of the equipment.

The concrete grinder is best used for dull surfaces due to excessive dirt and mud accumulation on the surface or to remove a layer of aggressive coating from the surface. More on the grinder, it can be used to perform polishing on the concrete surface giving out a shiny surface. In the process of grinding the new diamond gets exposed to the surface as it is carried out. The diamond particles are not put in contact at the very beginning. As the process is carried out, the coarser grit shifts to finer grits.

Planetary Floor Grinder
Surie Polex Planetary Floor Grinder HSP-650

Parts of concrete grinder

A concrete grinder generally contains a rotating head that is used to smooth and level the concrete surface. Nowadays, the use of such tools is growing rapidly, most of the concrete grinding is done by diamonds. This process is known as “diamond grinding” as the abrasive discs utilized to grind the surface contain diamond particles.

The main parts of a concrete grinder are;

  1. Diamond-these are found in various strengths, shapes, and sizes. The size of the diamond is denoted in terms of grits which are found in various sizes denoted by grit numbers. These grits are useful in proper work optimization. The size of the diamond and the corresponding grit number is always inversely proportional to each other.
  2. Bond- it fully supports the diamond utilized for grinding. During the grinding process, the bond goes through wearing in an arranged way so that the new diamond is vulnerable to grinding without the sudden breakage of the diamond. The choice of diamond grit and the bonds differ with the needed application.
Hilti DGH 130 Concrete grinder

Types of concrete grinders’

Hand-held concrete grinders- used for smaller floor grinding applications and for polishing concrete countertops. These are generally used to smooth rough patches on a concrete floor, surface preparation for coatings like epoxy, and for polishing concrete countertops.

Walk-behind concrete floor grinder – These come in many different sizes from small to very large. Walk-behind floor grinders can be ganged together to cover more floor surface area. These floor grinding machines are used to quickly remove coatings like epoxy, paint, tile glue, mastic, and thin-set.

Ride-on floor grinder – This type of floor grinder is mostly used to grind and polish commercial flooring, shopping centers, showrooms, distribution centers, retail outlets, and warehouse floors. A ride-on floor grinder can grind and polish up to 5 feet wide in one pass, producing flat, durable, high gloss floors. Ride-on concrete floor grinder and polisher All the concrete grinders are powered by either gas, propane or electricity.

HTC 1500 ixT

Applications of concrete grinders

Concrete grinders can be used with finer-grit abrasives to create a beautifully polished concrete surface, the process that contractors go through to prepare that surface is more than just polishing. There are three parts to concrete preparation processing: grinding, honing, and polishing. Ground concrete surfaces have a flat appearance with low sheen, whereas a polished concrete surface has a clear reflection with a glassy finish. Its application includes;

  • Paint removal, epoxies, clear coats
  • Tile residue, glue, adhesives
  • Leveling uneven surfaces
  • Stains, oil, grease, dirt
  • Old sealers or coatings
  • Polishing concrete surface


Some concrete grinders are more versatile than others while some grinders are more job-specific and take more skill to operate. There’s no doubt that using the right type of high-quality grinder can speed up job productivity and deliver professional results, selection of the right manufacturer is the key. While there are a ton of grinders available, many can be multipurpose with the use of different types and sizes of grinding pads.

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