Crushed stone is an essential material used for various purposes in the construction and landscaping industries. It is made by crushing large rocks into smaller stones, which can be used for different projects or sold to the public. However, not all crushed stone is created equal - some types of stone are harder than others and require more crushing power and specific equipment for effective crushing. Learn different techniques and equipment used for crushing stone and their various applications.

Identifying Rock Types and Their Hardness

There are two critical factors influencing choice of crushing techniques and equipment. Hardness of the rock and abrasiveness. Hardness of the rock is typically measured using the Mohs scale, where talc is rated as 1 (softest) and diamond as 10 (hardest). This scale helps determine what type of rock crusher is needed for the job. Harder rocks require more powerful crushing power from machines like jaw crushers and cone crushers, while softer rocks may be crushed effectively using less forceful equipment.

Understanding the most common rock types used in crushed stone production is essential for selecting the proper crushing process and rock crushing equipment. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Granite: With a Mohs hardness of around 6 to 7, granite is one of the most common rock types used in crushed stone production. It's durable, perfect for high-traffic areas like driveways and pathways.

  • Limestone: Ranging from 3 to 4 on the Mohs scale, limestone is softer and often used for decorative purposes in landscaping and building facades. It's also a popular choice for enhancing soil conditions.

  • Basalt: This rock type falls between 6 and 7 on the Mohs scale, similar to granite. It's highly durable and resistant, ideal for road construction, and a base material for construction projects.

  • Sandstone: With a hardness rating of 6 to 7, soft rocks like sandstone are often used in landscaping projects for their aesthetic appeal.

By correctly identifying the rock type and understanding its hardness, operators can choose the most efficient crushing technique and equipment, reducing wear and tear and maximizing production efficiency.

Applications of Recycled Crushed Stone

Crushed stone is a versatile material used across numerous industries, each benefiting from its durability and aesthetic appeal.

  1. Road Construction: Crushed stone provides a stable base for roads and highways, ensuring durability and resistance against weathering and heavy traffic.
  2. Agriculture: It improves soil drainage and aeration, enhancing crop growth and health by preventing waterlogged soil.
  3. Drainage Systems: Acting as a reliable filter, crushed stone separates water from various materials, preventing erosion and protecting infrastructure.
  4. Roofing and Heat Reduction: Roofing reflects sunlight, reducing heat absorption in buildings and contributing to energy efficiency.
  5. Erosion Control in Bridge Construction: It stabilizes soil and prevents erosion around bridge abutments, contributing to the structure's longevity.
  6. Concrete and Soil Layering: Crushed stone is a critical component in concrete production and is used for layering in soil to improve stability and drainage.
  7. Decorative Landscaping: Beyond its practical uses, it also serves decorative purposes, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of outdoor spaces with its natural beauty.

In each application, crushed gravel and stone are invaluable, offering both functional benefits and enhancing the visual landscape. The demand for crushed stone is primarily determined by the level of construction activity and the demand for construction materials.

Equipment for Crushing Stones

Choosing the right equipment to crush rock is essential to maximize efficiency, minimize maintenance, and produce high-quality crushed stones suitable for various applications.

  1. Jaw Crushers: A jaw crusher is immensely powerful, making it ideal for crushing large, hard rocks like natural stone, granite, and basalt. They work by applying compressive force, which breaks down large materials into smaller pieces, making them the first choice for primary crushing stages where large rock sizes are encountered. Jaw crushers are also used for rock such as sandstone as this aggregate is extremely abrasive. The exception though, is that small/mini jaw crusher while perfect for concrete, block, and brick, should not be used for hard rock.
  2. Impact Crushers: Impact crushers offer efficient crushing capabilities for soft to medium rock types, such as limestone and less abrasive materials. These machines operate by hurling materials against hard surfaces to break them down into smaller pieces, which makes them particularly suitable for creating well-shaped particles for construction projects.
  3. Cone Crushers: Suited for secondary and tertiary crushing stages, cone crushers are designed to crush medium-hard to hard materials. They are particularly effective in achieving fine material grades. Their design allows them to crush materials by compressing them between an eccentrically gyrating spindle and a concave hopper.
  4. Hammer Mills: Hammer mills can be a practical choice for softer rock types like sandstone. They use the principle of impact to fracture materials, with hammers attached to a spinning rotor impacting the rock at high speeds, breaking it into smaller pieces.

Essential Stone and Rock Screeners

Beyond the primary stone crusher and secondary crushers, screeners play a vital role in the stone-crushing process by grading the crushed material by size.

Screeners, or screening equipment, are integral to this process. They work by sorting crushed stones into various size categories using vibrating screens or mechanical separators. Thus, sorting large, medium, small, and stone dust into separate piles can help simplify the project and ensure that the desired results are achieved.

Here are a few notable types:

  • Vibrating Screeners: These machines combine gravity and vibrations to separate crushed rock into fractions of different sizes. They are versatile and can handle a wide range of materials, from hard rock to softer stones.
  • Rip Rap Trommel Screeners: Though most Trommels are intened for things like soil and mulch, Rip Rap Trommel screeners are useful for screening larger pieces of crushed stone. They consist of a rotating drum with screen panels around it, through which different-sized materials can be sorted.
  • Grizzly Screeners: Grizzly screeners are an excellent choice for separating soil and rock. They allow smaller particles to fall through the gaps while larger stones remain on top.

The ability to accurately separate and aggregate crushed stone into specified sizes ensures that a construction project meets specifications and can achieve the desired aesthetic. Furthermore, the efficiency of screeners in sorting materials helps to minimize waste and improve the overall sustainability of stone-crushing operations.

Selecting the Right Crushing Equipment

Selecting the right equipment to crush large rocks is crucial to ensure efficiency and cost-effectiveness in clean stone production. Factors to consider when choosing the right machine include:

Rock Type

Understanding the type of rock being crushed is essential in selecting the appropriate equipment. Different rocks have varying properties, such as hardness and abrasiveness, affecting how efficiently they are crushed. Limestone, dolomite, granite, and traprock are the most commonly crushed rocks in stone production.


Crushed stone serves as an essential component in various construction material uses. It is primarily used as an aggregate, and it's crucial to consider the intended use of the crushed stone when selecting equipment. Different applications, such as road construction or landscaping, may require different sizes and shapes of crushed stone.

Production Capacity

The desired production capacity also plays a significant role in equipment selection. Crushing large quantities of rock will require more powerful machines than smaller-scale operations.

Maintenance Requirements

Maintenance is an unavoidable part of equipment ownership, and it's essential to consider the maintenance requirements of different types of machines before selecting. Some equipment may require more frequent maintenance, which can affect production efficiency.

Understanding the various types of crushers and screeners available and their uses and benefits is vital to making informed decisions that will ultimately contribute to the success of stone-crushing operations.

Concluding Insights on Crushing Stone Effectively

Crushing stone efficiently requires a well-designed process and the right combination of crushing equipment and screeners. By understanding the options available and their specific uses, operators can ensure that crushed stone meets project requirements while minimizing waste and improving sustainability.

In addition, regular maintenance of equipment is crucial to maintaining efficiency, reducing downtime, and ensuring cost-effectiveness in production. With these factors in mind, crushing stone can be a highly effective and valuable process for various industries.

So, it is essential to carefully consider the options available and select the right equipment for each specific application to achieve the best results.

GrinderCrusherScreen A Leader In New & Used Machines

At GrinderCrusherScreen we understand that the heavy equipment industry can be difficult for our customers to navigate alone. With over 50 years of experience our team has the expertise needed to help our customers make informed decisions and the industry experience and longevity to assist in sourcing the right machine and financing for your business.