Macerators and pulverizers are pretty easy to use, doubling ore output. Grinders from Factorization seem to produce more, but need a bigger factory setup. At the end of the day, which one produces the most using the least?
Grinders will give you a 3:1 ratio of output metals to input ores, while macerators will give you 2:1. A grinder takes more in resources and infrastructure to get up and running – however, the more resources you process, the smaller the initial cost of setup becomes as a percentage of output. Therefore the longer you run a grinder setup, the more it pays for its original cost, and before too long the grinder becomes strictly better in terms of ratio of output to setup costs.
Think of them as tiers.
- The Pulverizer is a T1 tech; easy to get, easy to power, but kind of self upgrades to T2 as your powerflow/system grows (it works faster when has more energy)
- The Macerator is also a T1 tech, but self upgrades to T2 when you get overclockers and the like (T3 would be the rotary Macerator)
- The Grinder is a T3 tech. It's expensive to make. It is quite powerful, however, and has many more uses than a Pulverizer or a Macerator.
I haven't messed with it much, so I'm not sure if this is true or not, but the Grinder doesn't use any source of power. Factorization power generation and use is still very much a WiP.
At the end of the day, you will probably already have a competent Macerator/Pulverizer setup that you don't even have a need for a Grinder by the time you can achieve it.