What Users Look for in Lab Mills & Grinders

Find out which types of mills and grinders are most popular among respondents, and more

By Erica Tennenhouse

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 or grinder is usually used.

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 mill 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 laboratory mills or grinders used by survey respondents:

Ball mill 43%
Grinding mill 41%
Mortar grinder 21%
Cutting Mill 17%
Mixer Mill 17%
Jaw Crusher 15%
Rotor Mill 11%
CryoMill 9%
Disc Mill 7%
Knife mill 7%
Other 19%

Primary purpose of lab mill or grinder as reported by survey respondents:

Research 48%
Quality control 27%
Processing 21%
Clinical and diagnostic 2%
Other 2%

Nearly 48% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new laboratory mill or grinder. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of an aging system
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Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
First time purchase
Setting up a new lab

Top 10 Features/Factors Respondents Look for When Purchasing a Laboratory Mill or Grinder:

Durability of product 84%
Value for price paid  72%
Low maintenance — easy to use and clean 71%
Results with minimum deviation 61%
Safety features 60%
Reliability of vendor 50%
Service and support 48%
Warranty 47%
Reputation of vendor 38%
Variable speed controls 34%

For more information on mills and grinders, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/mills-and-grinders

See survey results from previous years:

Categories: Surveys

Published In

Laboratory Hazards and Risks Magazine Issue Cover
Laboratory Hazards and Risks

Published: June 12, 2017

Cover Story