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New or used? A Quick Guide to Buying the Perfect Surface Grinder for You

With any large purchase in business, especially with machinery, finding the correct solution to buy requires an immense amount of work. Research, consideration, approval, and more are the bare minimum requirements for making such large purchases, with more steps potentially being added to the arduous process.


This directly applies to purchasing a surface grinder and deciding whether or not to move towards purchasing a new or used machine. There are benefits to either option, with surface grinders being around for nearly 150 years, the technology advancing with time, and many used options being available.



This CNC Model E is the current generation of Arter Precision Rotary Surface Grinders that we manufacture in our Rockford, IL USA factory and sell direct.  It is available in 24”, 30” and 36” table sizes.
This CNC Model E is the current generation of Arter Precision Rotary Surface Grinders that we manufacture in our Rockford, IL USA factory and sell direct. It is available in 24”, 30” and 36” table sizes.


As the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for Arter Precision Surface Grinding Machines, a brand with over 100 years of producing surface grinders, we at Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. know the struggle of finding the perfect machine. Here are five points to consider when purchasing a surface grinder.


1. Funding


There are a lot of instances in personal or professional atmospheres where money and funding will essentially make a decision for us. When purchasing a surface grinder, this is a chief consideration when making a decision on buying a new or used machine as budgets and bottom lines are the ultimate deciding factor for businesses.


Does your company have budget constraints? What are they? What are you willing to potentially sacrifice in the quality of the surface grinder when using budget as the main consideration?


And while typically a used surface grinder will be cheaper than a new surface grinder, where do you draw the line at for the condition of the surface grinder? Will the machine give you a long life before having to move on? Does the manufacturer provide excellent support and provide spare parts quickly when needed?


These are all relevant and primary questions to ask yourself when looking at what surface grinder to buy and having budget constraints that need to be met because ultimately, money will be near the top of the list in what surface grinder a company purchases.



The Model A-3 was a belt-driven surface grinder manufactured as an upgrade to the Model A.
The Model A-3 was a belt-driven surface grinder manufactured as an upgrade to the Model A.


2. Needs


The solution to your needs are always going to be a top point to look at when making a large purchase. You’re looking at machines in the first place because you have a need, and being sure that the need is met is crucial.


Are you looking to be able to put out a large output of grinding? Do you need shoulder grinding capabilities? What size of workholding do you need for your parts? Does a newer CNC model fit your needs more than a manual machine? What do your operators prefer using?


While surface grinding might seem straightforward, certain machines will give certain capabilities that might fit your needs better.


An example of this is how our Arter surface grinders range from belt driven surface grinders from the 1920’s to manual hydraulic models up to the current generation of our CNC Model E.


If your specific needs are met by a used surface grinder, there would be no real need to purchase a new machine other than other variables beyond those needs.


3. Availability


Another factor to consider is the availability of the surface grinder you are looking for. You can wait months if not years for the perfect used surface grinder to come to the surface of the selling market while a new machine could check the boxes and be made in a shorter period of time.


If you’ve already ruled out a new machine, availability can be used further to determine the best option in terms of manufacturer. Quality products can only go so far if service is subpar and used parts are hard to come by.


Availability should be weighed heavily at various stages of purchasing machines, especially surface grinders.



Spare parts should always be available for your used surface grinder, no matter how old. Keep that in mind when considering what surface grinder you will buy.
Spare parts should always be available for your used surface grinder, no matter how old. Keep that in mind when considering what surface grinder you will buy.


4. Reputation


Taking the reputation of first the manufacturer and second the model of grinder should also play heavily into a decision on what direction to go when making a purchase.


Using resources available during research, such as testimonials, are important to determining the reputation of the manufacturer and grinder. Seeing how others have experienced what they’re purchasing can push you one way or another when deciding what to do.


5. Quality


Last but not least, quality should be taken into consideration. Finding the cheapest new surface grinder may save on cost up front, but on the back end, it could break down frequently and require fixes on a regular basis with maintenance costs adding up to greater than the cost of a higher quality surface grinder.


Beyond cost, the quality of work that the machine provides can provide clear advantages or disadvantages to any manufacturer or grinder, whether it be new or used. On top of that, used machines were made to last generations, and are doing so.


As an example, many used Arter surface grinders are still being used to produce today and can still outlast some new models from other manufacturers. The way older machines were designed and manufactured far exceeded some new attempts at surface grinders, causing the used models to outlast new models with proper maintenance.


This provides you with a solid starting point at what you should be thinking about when searching for your perfect match of a surface grinder, and can also be used for other machinery that you may be considering purchasing.



Check out all we have to offer at Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc., including Magna-Lock USA workholding solutions, MagnaLift & Power-Grip lift magnets, and, as stated before, Arter Precision Grinding Machines.


Check out all we have to offer at Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc., including Magna-Lock USA workholding solutions, MagnaLift & Power-Grip lift magnets, and, as stated before, Arter Precision Grinding Machines.


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