Understanding Abrasive Wheel Markings

Abrasive wheel markings are used in a variety of different industries.

It is important that you choose the right abrasive wheel for the right job and it is used safely.

When using an abrasive wheel it is important that you are following the best working practice so that wheel doesn’t break. Take a look below at how an understanding of abrasive wheel markings can help you work more safely.

Abrasive Wheel Markings

Abrasive Wheels TrainingEvery wheel must adhere to the British Standard (BS EN 12413 and BS ISO 525) system for marking. All wheels are marked with the: type, size, specification and the maximum operating speed of the wheel. Take a look below at the fundamental markings a wheel should have.

  1. Trade Mark
  2. Test Record
  3. Restriction for Use
  4. Expiry Date
  5. Speed Stripe
  6. Dimensions in mm
  7. Specification Mark
  8. Code Number
  9. Maximum Operating Speed
  10. ISO Type No. (shape)
  11. Mounting Instruction


The wheel type signifies the wheel’s shape- this is marked as an ISO number e.g.

  • ISO Type 27 – Reinforced Depressed Centre Grinding Wheels
  • Type 41 – Reinforced Flat Cut Off Wheels
  • Type 42 – Reinforced Depressed Centre Cut Off Wheels


The wheel size is marked in mm – e.g. 610 x 80 x 254, diameter x thickness x hole size.


A series of numbers and letters make the wheel specification – e.g. A16 R 5 B S4. These numbers symbolize the abrasive wheel material, grit size, grade, structure and the bond type.

Maximum Operating Speed

The maximum operating speed (MOS) is featured on large wheels over 80mm in diameter. The peripheral surface speed is displayed in metres per second, e.g. 50 m/s and the rotational speed is displayed in revolutions per minute, e.g. 8500 rpm.

For wheels below 80mm in diameter; there is a separate notice is stored with the wheel; this will have the maximum operating speed on it.

Speed Stripes

Abrasive WheelOn the centre of each wheel will be a colour coded stripe; the stripe is used to help judge the maximum operating speed of a wheel when it is moving at high speed.

  • 50m/s – Blue
  • 60m/s – Yellow
  • 80m/s – Red
  • 100m/s – Green
  • 125m/s – Yellow/Blue

Restrictions for Use

Each wheel will have a certain restriction code or graphic to depict the wheels restrictions. The markings used are:

  • RE1 – Do not use for manually guided and hand-held grinding.
  • RE2 – Do not use for hand-held cutting-off machines
  • RE3 – Not suitable for wet grinding
  • RE4 – Use only in totally enclosed workspaces
  • RE6 – Do not use for face grinding

Other Markings

  • A test record number to signify that the wheel meets the safety standards.
  • A traceable code number to display the manufacturing and source details of the wheel.
  • The wheel manufacturer name.
  • If it’s an organic wheel it will feature the expiry date.
  • An arrow that points downwards on the bottom of the wheel, this is the mounting point of the wheel.

What can I learn from Abrasive Wheels Training?

If you are due to attend some Abrasive Wheels training and you would like to find out more about the benefits of the course click here.

If you would like to learn more about using abrasive wheels you may want to attend an Abrasive Wheels training course. To view, our upcoming dates and prices take a look at our book a course page here.

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