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The Differences Between Planetary and Rotary Concrete Grinders

An image of a flooring contractor operating a concrete grinder.

Use the right concrete grinder for the job.

Flooring contractors on the market for a new concrete grinder for their kit have to choose between either a rotary or a planetary grinding mechanism design. Grinders are a big investment for any contractor. You should have as much knowledge of your needs and what each design fulfills as possible before making a purchase. This article will help you save time on research by breaking down the difference between the two designs.

Any flooring contractor knows that a quality concrete grinder is an essential component of your flooring toolkit. This is especially true for those that install epoxy, or otherwise work with concrete floors often. Buying a full kit can often be more affordable than buying a standalone grinder, so visit our Concrete Grinder Packages article to fill in the gaps in your kit. Working with the right equipment ensures better quality floors for your clients!

Planetary Concrete Grinders

Planetary grinding mechanisms consist of a central rotation point, surrounded by several grinding heads. These machines are often lighter, and are generally easier to control and use for operators, especially on smaller jobs. Due to their design, planetary machines are very mobile and affordable.

Planetary Concrete Grinder Pros & Cons

Learning more about the best use cases and possible weaknesses for your potential new concrete grinder is a great way to figure out if its right for you.

PROS:

  • Planetary machines have high mobility from site to site, perfect for contractors who focus on smaller jobs
  • Generally lower in price than their rotary alternatives, which are meant for larger jobs
  • Planetary machines are easy to control, and the method of grinding is a simple straight line, making it easier for operators to use effectively

CONS:

  • Not meant for larger floor grinding jobs because of their lower production rate
  • Less effective at grinding thicker coatings or polishing large areas

Recommended Planetary Grinder

For smaller residential jobs, a flooring contractor can feel safe using the Concrete Genie model, which is highly efficient. If you work with medium sized commercial projects as well, you could purchase the Peanut Mammoth concrete grinder instead.

An image showing a ground, and unground, concrete floor from using a Concrete Genie.

Rotary Concrete Grinders

Rotary concrete grinding mechanisms are defined by a single spinning grinding head which rotates around its center. Rotary machines are highly efficient, perfect for larger jobs, but often heavier and less mobile than their planetary counterparts. Using a large rotary concrete grinder takes more effort and training than a planetary mechanism.

Rotary Machine Pros & Cons

Because rotary machines are specialized for more exhaustive grinding projects, knowing what your workload is and what you'll be grinding is essential in making a purchasing decision.

PROS:

  • Rotary mechanism concrete grinders will handle the largest of floor spaces, and thick coatings, and still grind efficiently and with ease.
  • Their powerful grind ensures you can grind and polish a large floor more exhaustively, giving you a better finished product
  • Higher production rates & RPM give any flooring contractor the perfect tool to work on large floor spaces quickly and efficiently

CONS:

  • May require more training for operators to use due to its weight and grinding pattern, also less mobile from site to site
  • Rotary machines are a larger investment than the planetary alternatives because of their design and grinding capabilities

Recommended Rotary Grinder

From medium sized commercial jobs to the largest warehouses, the Mammoth 800 concrete grinder will pass the test. Its highly durable, efficient and quality design at a competitive price make it an incredibly attractive choice for any successful contractor.

Making the Choice: Planetary or Rotary?

This article has hopefully helped you understand some of the most important differences between the two mechanism designs. In order for you to make the most informed decision you can, you should understand not only the information in this article, but also, most importantly, what you actually need from your grinder. From the size of the job site, to the kinds of floor coatings you'll be grinding, and other flooring factors.

While rotary mechanisms may seem like an objectively better solution on paper, planetary designs will go further for contractors who only work smaller projects, like garages. For contractors who do aspire to, or currently do, work on larger flooring projects, a quality rotary grinder can make a world of difference.

Get Trained In Operating Concrete Grinders

An image showing a professional teaching a flooring contractor proper concrete grinder usage.

Investing in a quality concrete grinder without investing in the training to use it can result in lower quality grinds, and worse floor installations. Not only do you risk the quality of your finished floor, but you also introduce unnecessary safety risks by using your grinder incorrectly. Help boost your on-site productivity and safety by enrolling in our 5 day Polished Concrete University course and learn from experienced flooring professionals. During the program, we will teach you:

  1. How to operate a concrete grinder
  2. Polishing, grinding & repairing concrete
  3. How to market, manage and price your flooring services

Flooring is a growing industry, so let us help you get a foot in the door today!

Conclusion

To ensure that you utilize your new concrete grinder to its fullest potential, it's essential to buy the right grinder for your work load. With the information from this article, you will make a fully informed purchasing decision that will help boost your flooring business to the top! A concrete grinder is a big investment for any contractor, so buy smart.

If you need any further help with purchasing the right grinder, or you need help with anything else related to flooring, contact our technicians at (954) 228-8856. You can find the best grinders & other flooring resources at competitive prices on our EpoxyETC store.

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