Do You Need a Mill or Grinder In Your Lab?

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

By Jason Kerkhof

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 34%
Grinding mill 32%
Jaw Crusher 19%
Mortar grinder 18%
Rotor Mill 14%
Cutting Mill 12%
Knife mill 11%
Mixer Mill 7%
CryoMill 4%
Disc Mill 4%
Other 23%

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

Research 42%
Processing 26%
Quality control 19%
Clinical and diagnostic 2%
Other 11%

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
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%
Low maintenance — easy to use and clean 72%
Value for price paid  63%
Results with minimum deviation 60%
Safety features 49%
Reliability of vendor 48%
Service and support 45%
Warranty 40%
Reputation of vendor 40%
Recommendation from colleagues/peers 35%

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

Categories: Surveys

Published In

Raising Safety Awareness Magazine Issue Cover
Raising Safety Awareness

Published: June 11, 2018

Cover Story

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