Grinding may create flaws that control strength and limit the performance of finished ceramics. Machining cracks sometimes have been difficult or impossible to find especially in toughened ceramics with interlocking grain microstructures that create rough fracture surfaces. Our fractographic examinations show that machining damage leaves telltale markings on fracture surfaces that may be easily detected using common fractographic techniques. A comprehensive study with over 400 ground rods and rectangular bars was conducted on several commercial silicon nitrides to study the effects of various machining conditions. Similarities and differences in behavior were observed. A paradoxical finding was that tougher silicon nitrides developed deeper grinding cracks. Machining crack size and shape strongly depended on the grinding wheel grit size.