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How to Choose the Right Concrete Floor Grinder for the Job

How to Choose the Right Concrete Floor Grinder for the Job

When it comes to concrete polishing and surface preparation, a good quality, reliable grinder is absolutely essential. However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the right one. As a professional, it's important to consider several factors before purchasing a concrete grinder to ensure that it meets your needs, such as power requirements, unit size, dry versus wet grinding, the availability of parts, and the support you can expect from your supplier.

In this article, we will discuss the key things to consider when selecting a concrete grinder.

Understand Your Power Needs for Concrete Grinding

The power requirements for your grinder as well as other equipment on the job site are the first and most important considerations.

Single-Phase 110V, Under 20" (Small Grinders)

Single-phase 110V electric grinders are typically under 20 inches in width. These smaller machines are ideal for grinding in small spaces or hard-to-reach areas. For many contractors, these smaller machines produce similar results when compared to a hand grinder, only they keep the operator off their knees. While these machines do have their usefulness, it is generally recommended for professional concrete contractors to invest in a larger machine that provides better productivity.

Single-Phase 220V, 20-26" (Medium Grinders)

Single-phase 220V electric grinders are an ideal (and Jon-Don recommended) choice for many small to mid-size jobs. Most 220V grinders are significantly heavier than a 110V unit, and jumping to a 220V circuit allows for a more powerful motor to spin the diamonds across the substrate. Single phase 220's offer dramatically better ROI on your time and often produce a better grind overall.

These middle-of-the-road machines are great choices for residential garages, small commercial settings, and other moderately-sized spaces.

Three-Phase, 220V or 480V, 30" (Large Grinders)

Three-phase 220V or 480V grinders typically offer a larger head size (30" or more) and are best suited for large spaces, such as warehouses or big retail centers. These larger, heavier models can offer greater productivity rates for big areas, allowing you to polish more with fewer workers.

It's important to know if your job site offers power, and what the available connections are. You may need to invest in a generator or be prepared to work with an on-site electrician to configure the electrical hookups your equipment requires.

Propane Grinders

While propane grinders advertise higher peak horsepower and better portability, site-and region-specific regulations may apply to this power source. In some areas, propane is not allowed inside building due to the noise and exhaust that they produce. Users should also prepare for increased maintenance needs, such as oil changes, air filters, break-in periods, and valve adjustments.

OSHA outlines proper storage practices for propane, which should be followed at all times.

Wet Versus Dry Concrete Floor Grinding

For concrete polishing, there are two standard methods for concrete grinding: dry grinding and wet grinding. Both types of grinding produce the same results, so it's often a matter of personal preference when it comes to choosing between the two. Here's what to keep in mind:

  • Wet floor grinders feature an onboard water tank or water inlet where a hose can be attached. Water helps keep the diamond tooling cooler and prevents dust and debris from kicking up in the air. Grinding concrete can expose silica dust particles to the air, so keeping your grinding surface wet prevents those particles from becoming airborne. However, wet grinding produces a lot of slurry, which can require additional cleanup procedures. If you are prepping a floor to receive a resinous coating, your job time may be extended as you wait for the concrete to dry.

  • Dry concrete grinders are ideal for most applications, but especially for removing coatings, such as mastic, glue, paint, or adhesive residue from glue-down carpet. These machines must be paired with an OSHA-compliant dust collector to extract the dust for safe disposal.

Other Important Considerations When Choosing a Concrete Floor Grinder

Your concrete grinder is an important equipment investment that you'll have for a long period of time. That means it will eventually require maintenance and support to keep it in top performing shape. With that in mind, before you make your concrete grinder investment, consider the following:

Parts Availability

When choosing a concrete grinder, it is important to evaluate the availability of replacement parts. Grinders have many moving parts that can wear out or break over time. It is essential to choose a grinder that has readily available replacement parts to ensure that downtime is minimized in case of a breakdown. Jon-Don has unmatched parts availability with more than 10,000 replacement parts in stock.

Supplier Support

The supplier you choose to buy your grinder from can make a significant difference in terms of support and service. A good supplier will provide training and support to ensure that you get the most out of your grinder. They should also have a reliable supply of parts and offer maintenance services. Choosing a supplier with a good reputation for customer service and support means you won't be left in the lurch if something goes wrong.

Jon-Don: Concrete Floor Grinder Experts

The concrete experts at Jon-Don know their stuff and will take time to match you with the right machine for the job. We'll walk through all the most important considerations to help you make a more informed decision on your concrete grinder purchase. With us, you can expect:

  • Trusted Experts. Our team of knowledgeable experts are invested in your success and will guide you to the right products and procedures for your business

  • Live Demos. See the machine in action before you buy so you can be confident you're getting exactly what you need.

  • One-stop shop. Not only do we sell walk-behind grinders, but you can also find dust collectors, hand grinders, densifiers, concrete stains, poly sheeting, tapes, and everything else your business needs all under one roof.

  • Service and support. Jon-Don offers factory-trained service techs who can repair and maintain your equipment, whether you bought it from us or not! If you prefer DIY solutions, our experts are a phone call away and can help you troubleshoot in the field.

  • Training. Get your crews up to speed and build their technical knowledge in our classrooms. Jon-Don provides seminars and workshops on topics like concrete repair, polishing, and epoxy installation.

  • Finance. Your new equipment is more affordable than you think! Financing options are available to help you get the equipment you need while keeping your cash lines open.

Ready to learn more? Shop our full selection of concrete grinders or call 800-556-6366 to speak with a Jon-Don concrete rep today!