Centerless Grinder Process Description

What does it do? How can I use it? Why will it help me?

A centerless grinder is an abrasive finishing tool where the workpiece is supported between two rotating wheels, without any workholding. Centerless grinding is not usually used for anything other than surface finishing, but it can be used for very high-volume runs.  The shape of the part to be ground is also a factor, since centerless grinders can't be made to finish very complex parts.

The centerless grinder eliminates the need for workholding or mounting of parts. All the operator needs to do is insert the piece between the wheels. In the majority of cases, the wheels will be oriented so that the part passes through the wheels automatically and only needs to be caught coming out of the other side.

Thus, centerless grinders are the premier choice for quickly finishing simple cylinders. But they can also round out-of-round workpiece blanks and reach roundness, surface finish, and dimensional tolerances better than most other processes.

CNC grinders are also available, in which the machine automatically feeds and catches the workpieces.

For answers to your questions or more information on centerless grinders call Liberty at 847-276-2761 or send us an email

Liberty Machinery buys and sells all types of centerless grinders.

We are your trusted source for high quality centerless grinders and other used equipment.

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Process Description: How does it work?

There are three main elements to a centerless grinder: the grinding wheel, the regulating wheel, and the workrest. Various other elements can control, for example, the rotation speed of the wheels or the height of the workrest.

The regulating wheel is usually made of a rubber bonded material and functions to rotate the workpiece so that every part of it is exposed to the grinding wheel. It also helps hold the part in place.

The grinding wheel is the piece that performs the abrasive action on the part. For centerless grinding, the wheel cannot be dressed in as many ways as with other methods, but it can accommodate angled pieces or stepped sections. This wheel rotates more quickly than the regulating wheel, creating friction between the two wheels and therefore grinding the workpiece between them.

The workrest is simply the place where the workpiece sits. This may be one or two blades or a slanted bed that keeps the workpiece at the lowest point and enables much greater roundness.

There are three methods of moving parts through a centerless grinder: through-feed grindingin-feed grinding, and end-feed grinding.

Through-feed grinding is the most common method. The part automatically moves completely through the two wheels and comes out on the other side.

In-feed grinding allows for some dressing of the grinding wheel. It is used when the operator wants to grind a part that has many different diameters at different points.

End-feed grinding is similar to through-feed grinding except instead of passing all the way through the wheels, the part enters, sits for a time, and then backs out again. This can be used for creating cone-like pieces.

Major Centerless Grinder Manufacturers

Bryant, Cincinnati (Heald, Landis, Milacron), Cinova, Fives, Koyo, Lidkoping, Litton, Microcentric, Micron, Monza, Nicco, Royal Master, Schlafli, Viking, Toyo

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Liberty is always looking for used centerless grinders to buy for inventory. Contact us and let us know what you have for sale. We’ll be happy to give you a free quote.

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  1. Robert H. Todd, Dell K. Allen, Leo Alting, Manufacturing Processes Reference Guide (Industrial Press Inc: 1994), 21.
  2. Chris Koepfer, "Centerless Grinding: Not Magic!" Modern Machine Shop Magazine, 12/15/2000.
  3.  "Centerless Grinding," Processes: Machining, eFunda, Inc.