Chromium Grinders - Who? What? Why?
Chromium grinders are very popular, as they tend to be aesthetically pleasing at a low price. Chromium grinders are made by casting metals to a mold. Chromium grinders and zinc grinders are made using the same method—they contain lead, mercury, silicone, and other industrial materials that should not be near a medical device. Both chromium and zinc grinders are not recommended.
Chromium Grinders R Heavy!
Chromium is heavier than aluminum. If your product is made of chromium, your grinder should feel very heavy, like you are holding a piece of iron. A traditional 2-inch aluminum grinder should not weigh more than 3 ounces, while chromium grinders would be double the weight at the same size. Please note that in order to save costs, manufacturers design products with the lowest volume possible. When comparing products, make sure to consider the volume of material the product holds.
Chromium Grinders Mistaken For Stainless Steel
We have seen it happen more than once, where due to lack of knowledge, chromium grinders are often mistaken for stainless steel grinders. The difference lies between two planes. First, the texture described above should help you identify the difference. Stainless steel processing is very similar to aluminum, so the texture on the bottom should be smooth, not rough with little dots. Weight, on the other hand, can be misleading, as chromium would feel heavy at the same volume as stainless steel. Stainless steel grinders, are not as common, since manufacturing them is costly. Some stainless steel grinders are priced at over 100 USD.
Stainless steel and aluminum grinders made using CNC machines would have a surface that clearly indicates with a tool path on the bottom of the grinder’s surface. In the picture below, you can see the coloring changes and the round markings.
Chromium Grinders - Identify by Texture
Identifying your chromium grinders by texture is probably the easiest way to identify them. The bottom of the grinding chamber should have little bumped dots that look like dust particles stuck on the floor. This kind of texture is common in the forging process. Forging is a cheap metal manufacturing process, often done with a plastic molding manufacturing process. In the picture below, notice the channel on the side; this is due to the deformation of the grinder as it is released from the mold. Normally, the texture in the channel is the same texture found in aluminum grinders, externally. This process is called "turning" and is achieved through the turning of the metal and clearing the metal with a cutter tool.