What Do The Numbers On Meat Grinders Mean?

Last Updated on March 8, 2021 by Cynthia A. Rose

Are you a hunter, butcher, or a professional chef who has to deal with meat grinders really? You may then wonder of what do the numbers on the meat grinders mean, don’t you?

Anyway, no matter which branded meat grinders you have bought, you will notice some numbers on the packet & the grinder’s body; if you want to select the most suitable meat processor for yourself, you must know about those numbers.

For instance, I always prefer #12 for my house purposes; on the other hand, #42 for commercial uses; please read the article to find out what the numbers indicate & how would you differentiate between various meat grinders.

What Do the Numbers on Meat Grinders Mean: Find Them out

1. The diameter

First of all, the hash tagged numbers indicate the meat grinder steel grinding plate’s diameters because it’s quite important; how much meat can you grind at a time depends on it. Let’s check the chart where the numbers on a grinder indicates it’s size:

Grinder’s Model Number Steel Plate Diameter
#5 2 inches
#8 2 inches
#10 2 inches
#12 2 inches
#20 3 inches
#22 3 inches
#32 3 inches
#42 5 inches
#52 5 inches

Therefore, you can see that the numbers begin from 5 & 52 is the highest number; let’s now briefly differentiate them:

  • The #5, #8, #10, & #12 has the same plate size, and that is 2-inches; you can use them as alternatives, but the holes on the grinding plate would be different. Please remember that they are not heavy-duty meat grinders; you can use them for personal purposes, especially while preparing something for one person.

On the other hand, you must not put more than 5lbs in the grinder once because that’s the highest capacity. Therefore, you should make multiple batches & run them twice to have fine ground meat for yourself, family members, or guests.

  • The #10, #12, & #20 has 3 inches plate, but they come with different holes on the plates; on the contrary, some numbers lead exactly the same size. For instance, #20 & #22 plates are exactly the same; that’s why, you may even exchange the meat grinder parts.

You should bring the items if you want a better working or a heavy-duty machine; please be careful while choosing, especially the attachments.

  • Lastly, the 5 inch diameter models come with numbers #42 & #52; you must not bring them for home uses because these items are in the market for commercial or business purposes.

You can fill the meat grinders with boneless flesh up to 20 or 25lbs; moreover, you will have some additional facilities with those grinding products.

I hope the meat grinder plate size chart was helpful for you & you can now decide which will you buy from the store or online.

Let’s now make a list of hole’s size chart so that you can get the idea about which dish you can prepare with what grinder, or how finely chopped meat you can have.

2. The Holes

Grinder Model Hole Diameter
#5 1/8 units
#8 ½ units or 0.5 units
#10 ¾ or 0.75 units
#12 ¾ or 0.75 units
#20 ¼ or 0.25 units
#22 ¼ or 0.25 units
#32 7/8 units
#42 1/16 units
#52 1/8 units

You can see from the chart that the #5 & #52 have the same size of holes; on the other hand, the #10 & #12 inches are similar & #20 and #22 have 0.25 units holes. However, they can have almost the same performance; so, you can replace them with each other if the plate diameters are almost the same.

Therefore, you can choose the meat grinder attachments that you will need; you can have the most finely ground meats from #42, but which size is appropriate for different dishes?

  • If you want to grind chicken flesh finely, including the skin, but not the bones, you can pick the #5 numbered meat grinders; moreover, you can prepare lean meats for sausages.
  • Meat grinders number #8 is also suitable for light or lean meat that are not hard to break; beef or lamb has some soft body parts that you can grind there.

You can prepare meat for cooking soft patties or meatballs, but you may have to run one batch twice to mince it more.

  • You should grind meat in a large scale in #10 & #12, especially for your friends & family; you can use them for grinding vegetables or soft fibers. However, no matter what things you have for grinding, you have to run them twice, but if you want, you can keep the semi solid.
  • The #20 & #22 meat grinders are right for making anything powder, such as spices, vegetables, & nuts; the hard food items are easygoing in the meat grinders.

You can put the beef, lamb, turkey, or pork inside the grinders with hard fibers & sometimes bones; please be careful about putting the ingredients inside the machine.

  • You can tag the #32 numbered meat grinder as the moderate yet most professional or best one because it’s suitable for small commercial shops & house uses if the person buying it has a good budget.

You can even prepare ground meat of almost all animals; on the other hand, if you ask what size grinder plate for hamburger is the best the answer would be 3 7/8 inches or bigger, but the holes should be the smallest because you will need finely chopped & ground meat for preparing hamburger patties.

  • The #42 & #52 is more likely commercial than personal uses; you can prepare either powder or paste for any food item you want. The grinder is a good choice for any meat, including deer; therefore, if you own the large sized grinder plates, you shouldn’t have any tension.

3. The Horsepower

The horsepower of the grinder’s motor is another type of number written on the packet or body that indicates how much power it can deliver or if the grinder is heavy-duty or not.

However, after plugging the machine with the switch, you will see the differences of various powered meat grinders; they are of a total 4-types horsepower: 0.5Hp, 0.75Hp, 1Hp, & 1.5Hp.

Most of the time, you will find the 0.5Hp written as ½ HP, 0.75 as ¾ HP, 1.5 HP as 1 & ½ ; however, the grinders with 0.5Hp & 0.75Hp are for moderate uses, but 1Hp & 1.5Hp are for heavy-duty purposes.

4. Speed

Well, the last thing you will notice the numbers for is the speed; it indicates how fast the circular blades will move. The numbers are from 1 to 5, but if you want to mince meat the speed should be at 4; now you may think how the speed is measured.

The speed measures how many pounds of meat is ground in every minute; you may not see the speed numbers on the packet, but you will see those on the grinder where you have to determine the circulation.

These were the mostly used numbers, but if you talk about related numbers, the other one will be the warranty period; mostly, the warranty is 2 years, but you won’t see that on the grinder.

How Many Times You Should Grind One Batch of Meat: Know What Is Good

Most of the time you must grind the meat two times even if you’re using a plate of thin holes, such as 1/8 or 1/16 units; moreover, you should make it 3 if you want to grind meat with bones.

However, the performance also depends on the manufacturers & model numbers; some model numbers or manufacturing brand’s products are so perfect that they grind meat finely in one round.

Therefore, you are supposed to check the product details first before buying anything; sometimes, you may not understand the size, & the numbers written on them are only for indicating the specific model of a company.

How Do a Meat Grinder Generally Works: Know the Standard Facts

It usually has a funnel which fills with meat & slowly pushes them to be ground; the meat then goes to the horizontal conveyor screw for further process. The grinding plate is connected to the conveyor & blades that later helps the cubic meat pieces to be ground.

You may need a stomper in some models to push the meat, but some models can automatically do that & doesn’t need any extra pressure. The grinders with number #20, #22, & #32 are sufficient enough for you; lastly, you will see a tube that brings out the ground meat, needing a bowl to be set.


You shouldn’t have any confusion about what do the numbers on meat grinders mean because the article depicted every possible number & their meaning with causes. Anyway, you may not be a professional, still you must know the specific or basic indications so that you can quickly shop or use.

Anyway, buy a grinder that is appropriate for you & check the numbers on it to understand the size; you can buy them from stores instead of online. You may also take an expert’s help to get one because they know better which would be multitasking yet budget-friendly.