A comprehensive 3-dimensional measurement and characterization method for grinding tool topography was developed. A stylus instrument (SOMICRONIC, France) was used to measure the surface of a metal-bonded diamond grinding tool. The sampled data was input the software SurfStand developed by Centre for Precision Technology (CPT) for reconstruction and further characterization of the surface. Roughness parameters pertaining to the general surface and specific feature parameters relating to the grinding grits, such as height and angle peak curvature have been calculated. The methodology of measurement has been compared with that using an optical microscope. The comparison shows that the three-dimensional characterization has distinct advantages for grinding tool topography assessment. It is precise, convenient and comprehensive so it is suitable for precision measurement and analysis where an understanding of the grinding tool and its cutting ability are required.