A double-sided grinder is essentially a solid coarse grinding tool with only two sides attached to it. However, a double-sided grinder does have its advantages. One of these advantages is its ability to evenly and quickly grind both sides of the material together. In addition, the two pronged design is able to prevent the formation of cupped areas as well.
The downside to a double-sided grinder would be the difficulty in keeping the lid open while the grinding is in progress. Most designs will require that the lid be left open for the duration of the grinding process. This can present a problem when you are in a rush or need to use the material immediately. Some designs however will allow you to close the lid on one side while the grinding is in progress on the opposite side. Additionally, a two-sided grinder will likely require an additional grinding helmet or vice to keep the lid closed during use. Some two-sided units will even include an anti-tip mechanism to prevent the material from being ground unevenly.
On the other hand, a two-sided grinding tool will allow you to perform two different types of grinding operations. The most common is the ‘dual’ grind which is named because it performs both coarse and fine grinding operations on the same side of the unit. Another option would be the ‘balanced’ grinder that will fine-tune the grinding action on one side and leave the other side open for additional material. Some designs will even allow two ‘machines’ to be attached to the unit, allowing you to grind in different configurations. An example would be a two-side grinder that could be locked in place and used for grinding at the same time as another machine for sanding.
While there are obvious benefits to using a two-sided machine, there are some disadvantages that should be considered as well. One main disadvantage of this design is the increased risk of kickback. Because the blade is able to move along the surface of the workpiece, grinding can cause the work to be lifted off the workpiece. While this may not seem like a problem with a two-sided unit, it can pose a safety hazard when the grinder is positioned in a way that allows it to come into contact with any part of the item being worked with.
Because of these potential hazards, it is often preferred to purchase a single-sided unit. However, if a project entails the need to grind at different heights, the safety concerns of the two-sided design do not present an issue. Also, it is not always possible to attach a single unit to the workbench. In these situations, two-sided grinders tend to offer an advantage in that they can be mounted to the wall or shelving. The ability to elevate the grinding platform is a benefit that is sometimes not available with one-sided units. This is especially true when using the grinder near the ceiling where weight and distance from the ceiling can be an issue.
Another option is to purchase a unit that has a built-in tabletop. Typically, this unit will also incorporate a workbench attachment that can be attached to the unit. This type of setup offers the user the ability to grind larger pieces without having to dedicate a separate area to the task. It is important, however, to make sure the tabletop unit can support the size of the piece being ground in order to ensure optimal performance.