Grinding wheels are used for stock removal, grinding, cutting, blending, finishing, repairing, and sharpening. Surface grinding wheels are also known as toolroom wheels and are used primarily for grinding and finishing flat surfaces. Depressed center grinding wheels are designed for stock removal and blending, typically with right angle grinders. Cutoff wheels are designed specifically for precision cutting. Tool and cutter grinding wheels are used for heavy stock removal and for repairing and sharpening tool bits and cutting tools. Dressing tools are designed for restoring cutting sharpness and wheel shape.
Grinding wheels are bonded abrasives and are formed by setting abrasive particles in place with a bonding agent. Most grinding wheels have a vitrified bond, a general purpose bond type appropriate for most uses except cut off. Silicate bonding is designed for cool cutting when heat is a concern and is good for light to medium grinding. Resin bonds are strong and flexible and are used for heavy stock removal and for cutoff wheels. A rubber bond is extremely flexible and allows for a very thin wheel. Superabrasive wheels typically have a single layer of diamond or CBN held in place on a metal hub by a nickel binder. A hybrid bond is a combination of metal and vitrified bonding for low wear and high strength. Common abrasive materials include aluminum oxide, ceramic, alumina zirconia, silicon carbide, CBN, and diamond. A wide range of grits and grades are available in each of the categories.