AbstractDuring industrial wood grinding, logs are pressed against a rotating stone, with the logs and fibre axes parallel to the axis of the stone. For this study, wood blocks were fed into a laboratory grinder with various alignments in relation to the surface of the grinding stone. The effects of the alignment on the properties of the pulp, the amount, and the quality of the fines were measured, and a grinding mechanism is proposed. In this paper, the obtained results showed that the pulp quality was highly sensitive to the angle between the stone surface and the log, and different for fatigue-based and force-based grinding. The tests were observed using microscopic techniques and discussed in terms of fines amount and fines quality. In gentle refining, the fibre structure is loosened by fatigue before it is bent on the surface, pressure pulses produce fibrillar material, and fibres develop good bonding ability. In forced grinding, the process is “violent” and the fibre wears and is crushed immediately on the surface into small particles with low bonding ability.