A continuous miner is a machine that uses strong bits to cut coal and constantly extracts coal while it is loading -- as opposed to the conventional (or cyclic) machine that is required to stop extracting in order for loading to begin.

The continuous miners specfications including it's thrust and power provide sufficient force and torque to penetrate the rock surface and overcome the drag force. Your typical longwall mining, and room and pillar mining will included a continuous miner, as well as a stacker conveyor, conveyor cars and a wheel loader.

Continuous miners are mobile units consisting of a cylindrical cutting head and mechanism for transporting coal to the back of the machine. They are used primarily in underground coal mines.