Concrete Grinders, Polishers & Burnishers

Our concrete grinders and polishers featuring National’s magnetic tooling system and are perfect for removing coatings, surface preparation and polishing. While the high-speed burnishers produce a high-gloss finish.

Concrete floor grinders and polishers are industrial machines that press 1 – 4 rotating heads against a concrete floor to prepare the surface. Accordingly, these machines grind coatings, grind down the concrete itself, or polishing a concrete floor. It’s important to note, all concrete polishers can grind, but not all grinders can polish. Polishing concrete takes significantly more weight and power to perform in a reasonable amount of time. Thus, polishers are usually bigger, heavier, and have more rotating heads than grinders.

In the match of a Concrete Grinder vs Concrete Polisher we find the terms are used interchangeably. Yet, they actually perform different functions.

Concrete Floor Grinders are available as small as 7” single-head hand grinders and as big as 32” 4-head 480v industrial machines. Even a hand grinder can aggressively grind coatings off a concrete floor. Regardless of the number of heads a grinder has, each head would have any number of diamond pad(s) or blade(s) attached to it that cut into the coating or concrete.

On the other hand, Concrete Floor Polishers almost always have four counter-rotating heads (2 rotate clockwise, the other 2 counterclockwise). While single-head polishers do exist, they are extremely weak and slow because effective polishing requires a large amount of weight over a large area (1,000lbs over a 20”x20” footprint).

A single head floor polisher would take several days (and may passes)  to polish a small section of a garage floor that a multi-head grinder could finish in 2-4 hours. Just like with sanding wood, a good polish requires several different sets of diamond pads, sometimes with multiple passes each.

Wet Grinding a concrete floor is always faster and more effective than Dry Grinding a concrete floor. The reasoning is, because the water makes it easier for the diamond pads to cut into the coating or concrete, and also helps the grinder move around the floor with less effort. Wet Grinding also produces a smoother floor and more polished surface.

Equally important to note, wet grinding can have disadvantages. Many older concrete slabs have contaminants like asbestos in them, which makes disposal of the wet slurry difficult and complicated, depending on your local laws. Wet grinding also requires a more powerful vacuum that supports wet applications. All shop vacs work with dry material and only some work with wet material.