How do I dress my grinding wheel?

In the manufacturing industry, you know you often need one type of tool to maintain the maximum efficiency and life of other types of tools. Diamond dressing tools are among those essential assisting tools that keep grinding wheels true and free from buildup of particles. This dressing procedure keeps grinding tools, drill bits, chisels, and other tools with points or edges honed to their required sharpness.


Using the appropriate diamond dressers or other diamond products on these abrasive wheels performs three important functions: (1) trues or re-balances the wheel to a concentric shape; (2) dislodges buildup of abrasive particles and bits of metal, exposing new abrasive surfaces of the wheel for more accurate grinding; and (3) cleans the wheel, renewing its edge and revealing sharper abrasive and fresh grains.


Here are the steps to take to effectively and properly dress a grinding wheel.

Step 1

Determine the proper dressing tool for the wheel. Make sure the grit of the dressing tool is finer by one or two sizes than the abrasive surface of the grinding wheel. Also make sure you choose the appropriate shape of dressing tool to coincide with your grinding wheel.

Step 2

Turn your grinding machine's coolant pump off (if it has one).

Step 3

Turn on your grinding machine and allow it to operate until it reaches its full RPM; you might choose to turn off your spindle motor, or keep it running, based on your personal preference or experience. Excessive need for truing might dictate keeping the motor on, rather than turning it on and off.

Step 4

Using light to medium pressure, apply the dressing tool to your wheel's abrasive section; continue applying pressure just until the wheel stops rotating.

Step 5

Repeat Step 4 until the dressing tool until the grinding wheel feels as if it is pulling the dressing tool away from you.

Step 6

Repeat Steps 4 and 5 as many times as necessary (four to five times, typically), depending on your grinding wheel's surface condition.


  • Ensure the tool rest is the appropriate distance from the grinding wheel (typically 1/16th of an inch) to prevent damage to the tool or injury to yourself.
  • Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying particles.
  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing, such as long sleeves, and pull back long hair, when working near a spinning grinding wheel.