Vertical grinders, more commonly called vertical uprights or overhead grinders are perhaps the most recognizable kind of grinders that you will find in modern commercial food production. They’re designed to be mounted directly above a workbench or other work surface and have a single or vertical blade that is used for grinding food items into short, long, or powdery materials. They’re popular in many different types of food processing and are generally easy to operate. They can perform the same kinds of grinding actions that table mills and food choppers can, but because they have a flat or sloping surface rather than a table top, they can also be easier to use.
The most frequently used vertical grinder is the straight vertical grinder, which was the first model designed for commercial use. It is basically a two-piece machine that has an arbor with two slots down its center. These two slots are lined up vertically, so the material coming down the side of the arbor are all pushed into the up and down movement. This arrangement makes it possible to grind with consistent pressure and the two sides of the triangle of grinding contact are always lined up. This type of grinder is ideal for material removal applications where the material being ground is large and smooth.
In addition to having a straight rectangular face, the straight vertical grinder is designed for greater material accuracy and reduced clamping force. The arbor may be made of cast iron or high alloy steel, which is what contributes to its larger surface area and increased capacity for material handling. Because the blades are arranged in a circle around the center of the arbor, the overall cube-like surface has less distortion and therefore produces smoother grinds. In addition, the blades can rotate more quickly than with a standard vertical grinder because the blade system does not need to rotate around an axis. Also, the angle of the blade edge will be slightly different from a standard design, which will result in less distortion.
While the straight vertical grinder is generally more suited for workpiece removal applications, the flat top variety may be useful in grinding finer and lighter materials such as alloy steel, titanium, aluminum, and copper. The flat top grinders also tend to produce less distortion, as well as providing a smoother final result. This type of grinder also allows for higher productivity because the surface has less surface area to handle during the grinding process, which results in faster tool wear. However, this type of grinder can also produce “ferrous” results and may not be appropriate for applications where the work will be held below the level of the workpiece. This type of grinder can only work in areas that have access to a shaft and has relatively limited clearance. This means the flat top is not appropriate for working on taller projects such as buildings or bridges.
One final difference between the vertical grinder and the jackhammer is the amount of material removal that can be performed. Jackhammers are often used in applications where the materials being ground need to be removed from the workpiece directly and material removal needs to be minimal. Grinding wheels on the other hand are often used when materials need to be moved from one location to another. In this instance, the grinder wheels are typically used in a grinding mode. The vertical grinder wheels are usually considered more versatile because they can also grind in a variable plane that is not a continuous plane or circle.
There are several advantages and disadvantages to either type of grinder. The choice between the two depends upon what the project will require. A vertical grinder will generally produce a finished product that is identical in size, height, and overall shape to the workpiece it is grinding. However, this setup may cost more time if the operator manually moves the workpiece back and forth between rows or if additional material need to be removed manually from the workpiece. Also, the chuck in a vertical grinder has to be carefully sized to match the height of the workpiece and its diameter. Lastly, the cost of using these machines is substantially less than the cost of manually operating a vertical stand.