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Grinder Bits - Which is right for my mosaic?

Grinder bits come in different grits. How do you know which grit will work best for you? Here's some good information about which bit you should use for your project.

The standard grinder bit that usually comes with your new grinder, is 100/120 grit. It is good for shaping tile, glass, stone, porcelain, bone, antler, etc., most any dense mineral-based material. It does; however, produce some chipping on the edges of stained glass, and for harder surface could keep smooth surfaces but be a little too slow.

A speed bit or production grinding head is 60 grit and is used for ripping through especially hard materials, like stone, a little faster than the standard bit. The finished edge will be rough, so you might start with this bit to remove a lot of material, then finish with a finer grit bit.

The medium 170 grit bit is favored by many mosaic artists to shape and take off the sharp edges of their glass pieces. This is my preferred bit since I use a lot of stained glass in my projects. 

NippinSquares are a great addition to your tesserae and are easy to smooth with a grinder. Use a 170 grit bit for stained glass to prevent chipping.

The fine 220 grit bit is best for very thin or delicate glass, such as dichroic and iridized coated glass. Again, it is smoother and doesn't cause the chipping that we often see with a standard grit bit on these types of glass.

An ultra-fine 600 grit bit is also called a mirror bit and would be most appropriate for smoothing the edges of mirror. It doesn't polish the glass, it still looks cloudy, but it is very smooth to the touch.

And, there are jewelry bits that grind a groove into the edges of fused glass or stone cabochons to have a wire wrapped around them so that they can be used as beads or pendants in making jewelry.

If you're considering adding a grinder to your mosaic tools, I highly recommend you also decide what grinder bit will work the best for you and that you order it with your grinder. That way you'll be on your way to creating a wonderful mosaic!

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