Oct 20, 2016 · Grinding Balls. Steel balls ranging from ¾ to 5 in. in diameter are used. Rods range from 1½ to 4 in. in diameter and should be 3 to 4 in. shorter than the inside mill length. Tube mills are usually fed balls smaller than 2 in., whereas 4 or 5in. balls are more commonly used for ballmill grinding.