Understanding the Differences: Grinding Mill, Pellet Mill and Pin Mill

Milling processes play a crucial role in various industries, facilitating the transformation of raw materials into usable products. Among the array of milling equipment available, three commonly used machines are grinding mills, pellet mills, and pin mills. While these devices may seem similar at first glance, they possess distinct characteristics and serve different purposes in industrial applications.

In this blog post, we will explore the differences between grinding mills, pellet mills, and pin mills. By understanding their unique features, working principles, advantages, and limitations, you’ll gain valuable insights into their respective functions and applications. Whether you’re involved in manufacturing, agriculture, or other industries that rely on milling processes, this exploration will provide you with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about selecting the right equipment for your specific needs.

Overview of Grinding Mills, Pellet Mills and Pin Mills

  • Grinding Mills: Grinding mills are mechanical devices used to break down solid materials into smaller particles through the process of grinding. They are widely used in various industries, including mining, construction, pharmaceuticals, and food processing. Grinding mills come in different types, such as ball mills, rod mills, and vertical mills, each designed for specific applications.


Ball mills are cylindrical devices with a rotating drum that contains grinding media, such as steel balls, which are used to grind the material inside the mill. Rod mills, on the other hand, utilize long rods as grinding media to achieve finer particle sizes. Vertical mills, also known as roller mills, use a vertical orientation and centrifugal force to grind materials between rotating grinding rollers and a stationary grinding table.

  • Pellet Mills: Pellet mills are specialized machines used to produce pellets from various materials, typically biomass or feedstock for livestock. They are widely employed in the agricultural, forestry, and biomass energy sectors. The primary purpose of a pellet mill is to compress the raw materials into dense pellet forms, typically through the use of heat, pressure, and binding agents.


There are two main types of pellet mills: flat die pellet mills and ring die pellet mills. Flat die pellet mills feature a flat die with small holes through which the material is forced under pressure, forming cylindrical pellets. Ring die pellet mills, on the other hand, utilize a rotating die with larger holes, resulting in more efficient and uniform pellet production.

  • Pin Mills: Pin mills are versatile machines used for grinding and pulverizing a wide range of materials, including chemicals, food products, pharmaceuticals, and minerals. They consist of a disc or rotor with pins or hammers that rotate at high speeds, impacting and shearing the material to achieve particle size reduction.

Pin Mill

Pin mills are available in different configurations, including universal pin mills and impact pin mills. Universal pin mills use a combination of impact and shearing forces to grind materials, while impact pin mills primarily rely on high-speed impact for size reduction. These mills offer precise control over particle size and are known for their ability to produce fine powders.

Differences in Grinding Mill, Pellet Mill and Pin Mill

Factor Grinding Mills Pellet Mills Pin Mills
Function Reduce particle size Compress biomass into pellets Crush and disperse materials
Principle of Operation Impact, attrition, or compression Compression and extrusion Impact and attrition
Applications Food processing, pharmaceuticals, minerals, chemicals Biomass pellet production, animal feed Food processing, pharmaceuticals, chemicals
Particle Size Control Good control of particle size distribution Can produce uniform-sized pellets Good control of particle size distribution
Output Capacity Varies based on model and application High output capacity Varies based on model and application
Energy Efficiency Depends on the specific mill and process Moderate to high energy efficiency Moderate energy efficiency
Flexibility Can handle a wide range of materials and sizes Primarily designed for biomass pellets Can handle a wide range of materials and sizes
Operating Cost Cost varies based on size, type, and brand Cost varies based on size, type, and brand Cost varies based on size, type, and brand

By understanding the differences between grinding mills, pellet mills, and pin mills, you are better equipped to optimize your milling processes, enhance product quality, and achieve greater efficiency in your operations. At JM Industrial, we are sale and buy used or surplus size reduction equipment’s and more. The company is well reputed for tested quality, competitive pricing, and technical assistance to their customers. If you have any questions, please contact us on equip@jmindustrial.com and 304-273-0795.