Die Grinder vs Angle Grinder

angle grinder vs die grinder

There exists some confusion when it comes to the different types of rotary tools. This page focuses on angle grinders a great deal, which is the most popular type of rotary tools based on overall performance capabilities; however, a die grinder is just as efficient for cutting and grinding but with a little less overall power.

This guide will explore the similarities and differences in die grinder vs angle grinder tools and provide a summary of which is better for different types of grinding and cutting. Read on to find out more.

What Is the Difference Between a Die Grinder and an Angle Grinder?

Die grinders provide a means to grind, cut, polish, and sand thick materials and structures, yet it is easy to see why some confusion exists because angle grinders do the exact same. The main difference between die grinder vs angle grinders it that die grinders are better suited for smaller tasks where a degree of precision and finesse are needed to grind small materials.

For heavy-duty projects that require a tool that can work quickly–an angle grinder is preferred due to the incredible power of this tool. Both grinders perform the exact same tasks with varying levels of power and precision based on the type of material you are working with and how quickly the job needs to get done.

Rather you decide to choose which of these tools is a matter of deciding which will perform the job better. A die grinder will typically have a smaller nose than what is seen on the head of an angle grinder. Unlike an angle grinder, you can use one hand to operate a die grinder since the emission of power is not as severe as that of an angle grinder.

Since you can operate a die grinder with just one hand, this allows you to make more finely-tuned swipes or cuts without having to use so much restraint and caution. Die grinders are also air-powered which frees up the need to remain near an electrical outlet.

Since a die grinder uses less overall power, you can also work safely with wood with one of these tools. You can remove bumps or abrasions on wood since the drive shaft is not emitting as much power when comparing a die grinder vs angle grinder.

Angle grinders are commonly used by construction workers when working with metal, making notches and cuts, shaping stones or other rock-based materials. Angle grinders get this name because the precision of the cut is angled to the drive shaft which allows a sharper and more even display of movement when the disc comes into contact with the material.

Angle grinders are also compatible with a range of attachments and discs for polishing, sanding, or cutting thick materials. The discs for an angle grinder are much larger and can be used for many more heavy-duty types of tasks.

makita die grinder

Which One Should You Use?

Angle grinders are easier to maneuver and are versatile in nature; these tools can be used for sharpening, cutting, or smoothing among various other activities. For single-hand operation, it is best you opt for a die grinder; this type of grinder features smaller blades and works at a higher speed, which makes it ideal for working in small spaces.

If you will be working with materials such as metal, stone, or mortar, an angle grinder is a no-brainer due to the incredible power behind the tool. Angle grinders have a higher horsepower when compared to die grinders, which increases the pressure against the material allowing for better precision against some of the thickest of materials.

One aspect of an angle grinder to keep in mind is that these tools are heavy and are meant to be used to cut and grind incredibly thick and sturdy materials. If you want to just use a tool that has more precision that you can easily control for smaller, less thick materials, a die grinder would be the best tool for the job.

Die Grinder vs Angle Grinder: Which Is Best?

Both of these tools are wonderful to have when it comes to grinding but it would be hard to say which is better because both tools are meant to be used in entirely different ways. Consider these highlights when deciding which is best based on the type of job:

Angle Grinders

  • Powerful horsepower and disc versatility
  • Perfect for cutting, sanding, and grinding metal, stone, and mortar
  • Good for accurately grinding large amounts quickly

Die Grinders

  • Easier to handle and maneuver
  • Great for precise grinding or sanding
  • Non-electrical and more lightweight

Many workers will quickly say that an angle grinder is better–but the efficiency and precision provided by a die grinder is also a major difference between the two. Make the best decision based on the job at hand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use a Die Grinder to Cut Metal?

A die grinder is not recommended if you will be cutting through metal. The horsepower and limitations of the disc in a die grinder is simply not enough to achieve results with metal.

An angle grinder is designed to cut through some of the most durable and stubborn metal types in the world, and is the go-to tool for metal cutting or grinding.

Why Is it Called a Die Grinder?

Die grinders got its name from the process of grinding against dies during manufacturing applications with die and press techniques. A die was a block of metal that was used to press smaller pieces into rigid formations to become the objects people use.

The die would need to be smoothed-out and molded to adhere to the contours of the object it was working with, which is where a die grinder would come into play to help smooth out the edges to fit the die into the mold it needed to become. The name stuck and this is why the tool is called a die grinder.

Is a Die Grinder the Same as a Dremel?

A die grinder may resemble a Dremel–and both are rotary tools, but there are major differences between the two tools. Remember how we were comparing die grinders vs angle grinder uses?

If angle grinders are more powerful than die grinders than it can be said that a die grinder tool is to a Dremel tool what an angle grinder is to a die grinder. A Dremel tool is used much in the same way die grinders and angle grinders are used except the materials a Dremel tool can work with are much more limited.

Die grinders have much more power.


There you have it, the main differences between a die grinder and an angle grinder. Always remember that a die grinder should be your first tool in consideration if you just need to do basic grinding or sanding of normal materials.

An angle grinder is meant to plow through a job with efficiency and quickness, therefore, you should only consider using an angle grinder if the material is thick and durable to where a less powerful die grinder simply wouldn’t be efficient. Both of these tools are somewhat similar–but the difference is found in the level of power between the two.

Ben Jones

When it comes to selecting the right tool for the job there are some important factors that you have to consider. I hope by sharing some of my knowledge I'll be able to educate you on a range of grinders so you can get the job done.

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