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Top Five Myths about Arter Grinders

Updated: May 8

With over one hundred years of engineering and precision grinding experience backing the Arter Precision Grinding Machines brand, there is a lot to take in about the machines. In fact, the historical documents, drawings, and credentials of the brand could literally fill a room. From microfilm to vintage sales brochures to serial number records to photographs, the Arter brand history has been well preserved throughout it’s several transfers of ownership since its formal beginning in 1914.

Arter Grinder Model A
Arter Grinder Model A

Arter rotary surface grinders began early in the 20th century in Massachusetts as a vision of William Arter, an immigrant from England. He was an experienced electrical and mechanical engineer that travelled to America with hope of finding a better field for his profession. In 1908, the year of his arrival on US soil, little did he know the mark his grinders would play in the industrial revolution of the 20th century.

Because of the extensive history of the brand and the evolution of machinery during the last hundred years, many revisions were made to each model as the brand developed. This important point brings us to the number one myth about Arter grinders.

Arter Grinder Nameplate with Serial Number
Arter Grinder Nameplate

1. MYTH - All models are built the same.

FACT - A Model A was first made in 1916 and continued to be manufactured by Sundstrand in the 1960’s. That is a significant time span for machinery and many improvements and changes were made throughout. It is crucial that we have the serial number of your machine to provide you the correct manual, help you fix it, and manufacture for you the correct spare parts.

Leading into the second myth about your Arter grinder, let’s talk about manuals.

Arter Grinder Manuals
Arter Grinder Manuals

2. MYTH - Machinery manuals are expensive and can best be bought on ebay, amazon, and other third-party resale websites.

FACT - We can provide you a free manual for your machine if you’d like to register it with us. Having over a hundred years of serial number documentation is wonderful but it must be kept up to date! By providing us the ownership information of your grinder along with model and serial number, it will help us keep in contact with our machines and customers. When provided accurate information that we can match in our files, we will email you a manual. Keep in mind that it may take us a day or two to do some research on your grinder.

The next myth is very common and has been spread by word of mouth throughout our industry for many years concerning spare parts for older machinery.

3. MYTH – I can purchase parts for my grinder from supply houses, used machinery dealers, or at an auction and they will work great!

FACT – Unfortunately, that is not true. You can purchase them from those sources, but the likely hood of them working correctly with your grinder may be slim. The best way to supply you with the correct spare parts for your grinder is by identifying the model and serial number and then researching the engineering documents. We are the best source for these items because we manufacture and sell direct spare parts for all Arter grinders. We are the sole owner of all proprietary information, documents, logos, and engineering for all Arter Precision Grinding Machines since the brand began. New genuine Arter spare parts can only come from one source and that would be us.

With finishing up our list of top five myths about Arter grinders, we want to talk about product knowledge and availability.

4. MYTH – Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. has only owned the Arter brand since 2018, there’s no way they know anything about my grinder that is fifty years old.

FACT – Yes, our company purchased the Arter brand in 2018 but it has been in our family since 1980. My father purchased Arter from Sundstrand and was involved with the brand until his death in 2021. David Nordman, our vice-president and sales engineer, started his machinist career machining parts for Arter grinders. As the brand grew, so did his career. In the 1990’s his role was vice-president of manufacturing overseeing building new Arter grinders, rebuilding older models and manufacturing spare parts. In the early 2000’s he was a key figure in the development of the modern Arter Model E CNC grinder. Today, he leads our shop in all Arter jobs, does extensive research in our engineering library, and provides troubleshooting and guidance to our customers with their grinders.

Arter CNC Grinder Model E
Arter CNC Grinder Model E

5. MYTH – New Arter grinders are no longer made, and the older ones have no place in the modern machine shop.

FACT – The Model E grinder is still in production and all older grinders can be rebuilt or fixed as there are thousands still in use today! The Arter Model E rotary surface grinder has been in production for nearly 75 years! Today’s model is a CNC machine featuring a cast base and is designed, cast, machined and assembled in the USA. Because of privacy policies, we can’t provide you a list of our customers using Arter grinders in their shops today, but you’d be surprised if we could! Arter grinders established themselves in the rotary surface grinding market over one hundred years ago and retain a strong presence there still today. The well-rounded machine shop of today would include new technology and machinery alongside experienced machines like Arter grinders.

Whether you currently own an Arter grinder, or you are thinking about purchasing a used one, know that we are here to assist you in product knowledge backed by our massive historical engineering library and extensive experience with the machines. We buy and sell used Arter grinders. We do not handle any other used machinery and we are not affiliated with any used machinery dealers. We believe in the superior surface grinding that an Arter grinder can deliver. It’s as simple as that. And we grind with the used grinders in our shop to prove their grinding capabilities before we ship them.

global, international
Arter brand has a global reach.

What started over one hundred years ago in Worchester, Massachusetts continues today with Arter grinders having a world-wide reach. Since 2018, we have had direct contact with customers in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and many countries in Europe each with Arter grinders still being used on their shop floors. We troubleshoot problems, provide manuals, manufacture, sell, and ship spare parts to assist in any way we can to keep our customers grinding.

obsidianmfg logo

Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. is a Rockford, Ill. manufacturing company and is the OEM for Magna-Lock USA workholding, MagnaLift & Power-Grip lift magnets, and Arter Precision Grinding Machines as well providing surface grinding services. They are located at 5015 28th Ave. in Rockford, Ill. with a phone number of 815-962-8700. Check out more at


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