Polycrystalline diamond (PCD) grinding takes an important role in the field of tool manufacture. Regardless, there is still lack of process knowledge about the occurring material removal mechanisms in PCD grinding. In order to get a better understanding of the process characteristics, the surface integrity zone of PCD inserts has been analyzed in detail after grinding for the first time. The drawn conclusion questions solely ductile or brittle behavior as removal mechanisms. Both thermal and mechanical process loads during the grinding process lead to thermophysical and chemical effects on a micro- and mesoscopic-scale and might thus have a significant impact on the material removal mechanism.