Lab Manager

2014 Mills and Grinders Survey Results

In a laboratory, most materials required for sampling are, in practice, nonhomogeneous mixtures. The best method of obtaining a small representative sample of the nonuniform whole is to take a quantity of the material large enough to be compositionally representative and reduce it to a fine homogeneous powder. For this purpose, a laboratory mill/ grinder is usually used.

By Trevor Henderson

Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Mill or Grinder

  1. Will the mill/grinder be used for wet or dry milling?
  2. For dry milling, ask how finely the material needs to be ground and what are the properties of the material? Rotor beater, disc, and mortar mills, for example, are best for mid-range grinding (final fineness of ~0.01-0.1 mm).
  3. For wet milling, ask what capacity of grinder you will need. Bead mills are usually best for small capacity applications while rotor-stator homogenizers should be considered for larger scale applications. For very large scale applications, industrial-scale mills are probably the best fit.
  4. How important is preventing cross contamination? Bead mills are likely a good choice if you don’t want any risk of contamination.
  5. Based on the materials you will be milling, how long does the miller or grinder typically last? How much do replacement parts cost and how easy are they to get? What level of support/warranties does the company offer?

Types of mills and grinders used by survey respondents:

Grinding Mill 20%
Ball Mill 13%
Rotor Mill 13%
Mortar Grinder 11%
Mixer Mill 10%
Cutting Mill 8%
Disc Mill 6%
Jaw Crusher 6%
Knife Mill 6%
CryoMill 4%
Other 3%

Primary purpose for a mill or grinder as indicated by survey respondents:

Research  47%
Processing 24%
Quality Control 23%
Clinical and Diagnostic 3%
Other 3%

Nearly 26% of respondents plan on purchasing a mill or grinder in the next year. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of aging model  
Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
Setting up a new lab
First time purchase of a mill or grinder

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a mill or grinder:

Durability of product 89%
Low maintenance - easy to use and clean 87%
Value for price paid 85%
Reliability of vendor 79%
Results within minimum deviation 75%
Service and support 72%
Safety features 69%
Warranty 69%
Reputation of vendor 66%
Variable speed controls 61%

Completed Surveys: 191

For more information on mills and grinders, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit 

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Categories: Surveys

Published In

Growing Green

Published: April 7, 2014

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