What Do The Numbers On Meat Grinders Mean?

Many of those who are going to purchase a meat grinder for the first time would have wondered looking at that numbers on it. The number on your meat grinder denote the diameter of the grinder plate. There are various meat grinders in the market of kitchen utility. The first thing you need to fix is the size of a meat grinder that you would require.

The sizes determine the place of use either home or industries. The one that is for home use will be small in size, and the large size will be suitable for food industries.

The difference between the small and large sizes are the feeding tube and the power used for processing the meat.

Number Plate Diameter
#5 2 1/8 inches
#8 2 1/2 inches
#10 2 3/4 inches
#12 2 3/4 inches
#20 3 1/4 inches
#22 3 1/4 inches
#32 3 7/8 inches
#42 5 1/16 inches
#52 5 1/8 inches

The #10 and #12 plates have the same diameter. Likewise, #20 and #22 plates have the same diameter. If you want your meat grinder to do a simple grinding of your meat for house uses, then you can opt for a smaller plate. In some cases, the meat grinder doesn’t have any number indications on them. You can see the size as small, medium and large.


Cast Iron meat grinder with number

#5 Plates– The biggest disadvantage is that you have to cut your meat/fat into fairly small pieces, say around 1″ in size, to fit through the feeding tube into the auger. You can also grind chicken skin with this plate without issues.

You can make 5 lb batches of sausage. It only takes a few minutes to run the 5 lbs through the #5 grinder. If you are a person who does double grinding then you can go for this.

#8– The only difference between the #5 and #8 is the horsepower and size. If you usually do 5-10 lb at a time then this plate is capable of doing your work in short time. If you do double grinding then you can first put the meat back into the fridge to firm up before doing the second grind. You can rarely use the stomper to push the meat to the feed tube.

#10– This plate will be comfortable if you want to grind in largely say 25lbs. The meat grinders with this number are quite larger for house use. If you do regularly party with a good quantity of friends and relatives then you can opt for this.

#20 and #22– It is quite larger than the #10 meat grinders. If you are in real need of a large quantity grinding then you can definitely go with this for house uses. You can also grind hard veggies easily for the large requirement.

#32– Saying #22 is a heavy, #32 is much heavier and you may not need it for house use. In this case, you can opt for the previous other plates. This heavy meat grinder is perfect for small commercial usage.

#42 and #52– These two sizes are definitely insignificant ones for house use. Whereas they are best for commercial purposes.

The plate’s size is same for the particularly numbered meat grinder, but the hole size will vary depending on the purpose of it. If you are occasionally grinding in small quantities, then all you need is a small, inexpensive grinder.

If you have a stand mixer, you can buy the meat grinder attachment and use it. The #5 and #8 grinders will serve good for your home-made sausages.

If you want to grind the bones and feed your pets at home, you can go for the meat grinders that can grind the bones. It will be powerful for making raw food for your pet. The operation is very fast and would take half the time used by most grinders.

Despite being costly, it is worth it. From small raw bones to partially frozen meat, you can also use it for grinding rabbit, chicken, turkey and even soft pork rib bones.

The diameter of the holes on the plate determines the texture and use of the sausage. For example, 1/8 inches hole can grind the meat for finest grind suitable for Hamburger whereas 3/16 inches hole can give coarse ground meat. If you want to grind the raw meat with the bones for the house uses, then you can go with the #32 grinder which can grind the chicken bone easily.


#32 Meat grinder

The size of the grinding plate depends on the size of the feeding tube. Supposedly, if you miss your grinding plate, then you have to consider the number on the grinder and the size of the feeding tube.

The difference between the small meat grinders and the large meat grinders are the price, weight, power, place of use (domestic/commercial), and the size.

The hole size denotes the various usages. The following are the uses of the holes in the plate.

  • 1/8 inches is used for finest grinding suitable for Hamburger, Bologna, Hot Dogs and Jerky
  • 3/16 inches is used great for second grinding and best suited for coarse Hamburgers
  • 1/4 inches is used for regular grinding which is the best fit for making coarse sausages like Summer, Salami, and Pepperoni.
  • 3/8 inches is used for coarse grinding which is ideal for the first grind, Chili, Chorizo and, Linguisa.
  • 1/2 inches is used for coarse grinding perfect for the first grind, coarse chili, and Stew Meats.

You might have seen the plates with a bean-shaped hole which is a great one for stuffing meat, and it can term as grinder stuffing plates. This blade is mainly used for filling the meat bags and stuffing the sausages.

There are also the knife blades available in the market which is used for grinding up a steer, deer, and apples including the cores and stems.

The are two types of grinder plates. One is with the hub, and the other one is hubless. The plate with the hub is intended to keep the plate in place. The hubless plate is sharp from both the sides and can be used by changing the sides for extended performance.

If you want you’re ground to be easy, you can do that with an electric meat grinder. Or if you want to stick to the traditional way of grinding, then you can go for a manual meat grinder.
When it comes to the manual meat grinders, they have the number specifications in most of the models. And you can easily choose the one which is more appropriate for your need. The manual meat grinders can be used effortlessly in case of power shutdown- there is no huge dependency on the plug, motor ability, and the HP. Even when you are in the forest, you can make your best use of it.

When it comes to the electric meat grinders, you cannot find the number specification easily on them. There are certain meat grinders which have their number on the label. If you want your work of grinding the meat should be smart and with the touch of the button, then your choice should be the electric meat grinder. They tend to be placed intact to the surface while grinding; you need not trouble your hand during the process. But you have electric power dependency during use.

Electric meat grinder

You may find the numbers on almost all the vintage cast iron meat grinders. Both electric and manually operated grinders are ideal for processing different types of food.
Though generally known as “meat” grinders, these machines are ideal for processing vegetables, cheese, and nuts. It is quite tasking and challenging to produce sausages using hand-powered grinders.
Hope you have got the idea of the number on your meat grinder and some extra information related to it!



Hi! My name is Erika. I'm the chief editor at MeatGrinderHelp.com. My Favorite things to do consist of hiking, and making Jerky. This blog is a place where my team and I share information related to meat grinders.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
Bruce Clark - November 22, 2019

I have a Universal meat grinder and I need new cutting blade and plate. I can’t seem to find a number on the grinder denoting the size. My cutting blade measures 2 13/16″ tip to tip with a 9/16″ square hole. The plate measures 3 3/16″ across with a 1/2″ circular hole.

Can you advise me on what replacement parts will be right?

thank you very much

Dave - December 21, 2019

Thanks for the great info

Hardly - June 26, 2020

Please I have universal # 2 and love it bought in Ohio in the 1980’s for a big family it’s the empty nest syndrome.
Well I found a great way to get a jump start on the Compost pile All and only food items only works great, Bananas oranges watermelon and egg shells cantaloupe all the scraps from the kitchen and vegetable garden trimmings Some of it looks so good we use it right away. No stinky or long wait.
can you tell me main difference Of my universal # 2 meet grinder and see # 72 what is different.
Thank you


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