Angle Grinder vs. Dremel: Which One to Choose. Dremel angle grinder

Angle Grinder vs. Dremel: Which One to Choose?

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When you want to get household projects done, getting the right tool for the job is important. One of the common pairs of tools that homeowners and DIYers find themselves deciding between getting are an angle grinder and a Dremel.

Even though at first glance, the tools might look similar, their use cases are quite different. To learn which of the two is better for your needs, continue reading.

Angle Grinders and Dremels: The Basics

Now, before we jump into discussing the differences between these two tools, let’s start by looking at what each one of these tools is. Also, we will briefly discuss what each tool can do.

What Is an Angle Grinder?

An angle grinder is a tool that can cut hard materials like metal, stucco, and tile.

This tool is often used for sharpening blades and to cut steel because the metal is too tough for other cutting tools. An angle grinder can also be used for sanding and polishing metal and other materials.

It is mainly used in construction, auto repair, and workshops.

What Is a Dremel?

Dremel is a brand that makes versatile tools for workshops and construction work. At the same time, it is also used as a synonym for a rotary tool.

A Dremel rotary tool relies on its fast speeds, instead of high torque like a power drill. It has multiple bits that you can add to the base unit to allow for cutting, sanding, polishing, drilling, and carving.

The tool is commonly used for cutting tough materials like metal and glass.

Angle Grinder vs. Dremel: What Are the Differences?

Though these two types of tools are somewhat similar in a few different ways, they do have several main differences that set them apart. I will go into detail about the main differences so you can make your final choice easier.

Weight

The weight of the angle grinder is significantly heavier than that of the Dremel tool.

The angle grinder is great for cutting metal and can handle heavy-duty projects. However, the weight can get to your arms after a while, which can make it a tough tool to use for a long time.

Dremel tools are much more compact and won’t cause as much fatigue on your body as the grinder will.

Cordless Operation

Having portability is a major plus when you are using a tool. You don’t want to be stuck to a certain area because of a cord.

With the angle grinder offering a cordless operation, this is a benefit that outdoes the Dremel. While there are cordless Dremels, just as with the two tools in general, they are much less powerful than cordless angle grinders.

angle, grinder, dremel, which

You Need A Rotary Tool!

So, if portability without loss in output is important to you, make sure you get an angle grinder.

Depth Control

When you are using a cutting tool to cut into metal, you want as much depth control as possible to ensure that you don’t cut too much. Mistakes like this could be costly and if you use it for work, it could cause your boss to speak with you about the mistake.

Dremel tools come with depth control for cutting, but the angle grinder generally doesn’t.

So, if this is important to you and you plan to do precision work, then a Dremel might be better. Having that depth control will allow you to get a better cut that doesn’t go too far from where you want it to go.

Cost of Tool

The cost of a tool is not typically such a big difference unless you are choosing between household options for DIY projects versus a profession-use choice. However, in this case, the Dremel tool does cost a lot more than an angle grinder.

You can find some that are similar in price, but there are several low-cost options for you if you need to stick to a tight budget.

Which of the Two Should You Use?

Well, when you think about the benefits of each of these options, the one that sticks out to you will be your best choice. If you need to stay within a small budget but need to get some work done around the house, then choosing the cheaper angle grinder will help you stay below your acceptable cost.

If you need a tool that is heavy-duty and will last through consistent use for home or work needs, then you will want to go with an angle grinder as well. This will allow the tool to last through tough jobs and projects without you having to worry about it breaking down on you.

On the other hand, if you are looking to get precision work done or need what is generally regarded as the more universal tool, go for the Dremel. Doing so will allow you to do things that an angle grinder can do but on a smaller scale. It will also allow you to do many more things like routing, polishing, and sanding.

Summary

When you need a tool for metal work or construction projects, you need an option that is durable and can do the work that you need to do. Knowing which tools work best for each project will help you decide on getting new tools, but deciding between multiple options can take more time.

With the angle grinder and Dremel being similar in a few main ways, the differences between them make a bigger difference to buyers. Whether you are looking for a cheap but sturdy tool or have a bit of a budget to splurge, you should be able to find a model that works for you – regardless of which of the two tools you will be buying.

How Do Angle Grinders and Dremels Compare with Other Tools?

See how angle grinders compare with: bench grinders | circular saws | cut-off tools | die grinders | oscillating multi-tools | polishers | reciprocating saws | sanders

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Dremel Right Angle Attachment for Rotary Tools

This item is not currently available for immediate purchase, but can be ordered by visiting the selected store.

◊ Information regarding the delivery method for your purchase:

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Rated 2 out of 5 by Ghost from Shat is weak and easily breaks. I bought this at True Value for my dremel, used it with cutting disks in hard to reach places to cut/shape steel. The shaft in the bottom of this is made of pressed thin wires to form a square shaft. Well this is weak, and this just twisted apart and broke after only using it a few times. I was disappointed because it was pretty expensive and did not last very long. I do not recommend using it for anything stressful like cutting disks, sanding, or grinding. It seems to be built for light applications only.

Rated 2 out of 5 by Dorfie from Handy, ideal for cutting I enjoyed this tool but it did not last long before the multi-wired drive shaft failed. It failed soon and after relatively light use. I used it for cutting thin aluminum sheeting (20-40 thou). So far I have been unable to locate a replacement shaft which is frustrating. I opened the unit and the bearings and gears are in healthy shape. It is pricey for such short lifespan.

Rated 5 out of 5 by jimmy from very productive it’s a great step forward. it makes it possible to do things that couldn’t be reached before. it makes the dremel tool much more diversified. the only problem is the design has a little to be desired. the unit should be totally self contained without having to remove parts and adding parts which can lead to loosing necessary small pieces of equipment it’s just a thought but all in all, it’s a great step forward jim healy

Rated 5 out of 5 by TUDrewser from Saved me many times This tool is very helpful for getting into hard to reach places. 98% of the time I use this with a cutting wheel, cutting off screws, nails, etc. Have used it 20-30 times, so can’t speak to longevity mentioned in the other review, but have had it for a few years and it really fits a need no other tool or attachment fits.

Rated 1 out of 5 by auger001 from shaft broken can not find a spare part. the shaft broken after few utilisation, nobody have a spare part

Rated 1 out of 5 by geezz from can’t just buy one I have now owned 3 of these and they all failed the same way, drive stem releases from gear, no repair or replacement part.

Rated 2 out of 5 by Seidel5 from Awesome idea, but didn’t last. I bought this about 2 weeks ago to help with hard to reach spaces on a bathroom remodel. It is a great idea and was very helpful, but the shaft broke after only 2 weeks (about 6 hours of actual use). It was disappointing. I really like the concept and I love my Dremel!

Rated 4 out of 5 by OmniD from Works well but other parts needed to make it work [This review was collected as part of a promotion.] I have a model 4200 Dremel I used this with. One thing to know, you will need the shaft attachment for this to work. It’s a shaft that has the square opening in one end that is used with the flexible extension for the Dremel tools. This attachment is quite noisy but it worked very well for cutting the bottom of our door jamb for installing laminate flooring. Still had to chip out the leftover wood but this tool helped a lot.

  • Dremel Right Angle Attachment for Rotary Tools Reviews. page 2
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Dremel Right Angle Attachment for Rotary Tools

This item is not currently available for immediate purchase, but can be ordered by visiting the selected store.

◊ Information regarding the delivery method for your purchase:

Online exclusive: Price includes shipping Total price indicated for that product includes the price of delivery without the payment of any additional fees. Delivery time may vary due to factors beyond the control of RONA stores. Some restrictions may apply for remote areas. See all details.

You may also like

Rated 2 out of 5 by Ghost from Shat is weak and easily breaks. I bought this at True Value for my dremel, used it with cutting disks in hard to reach places to cut/shape steel. The shaft in the bottom of this is made of pressed thin wires to form a square shaft. Well this is weak, and this just twisted apart and broke after only using it a few times. I was disappointed because it was pretty expensive and did not last very long. I do not recommend using it for anything stressful like cutting disks, sanding, or grinding. It seems to be built for light applications only.

angle, grinder, dremel, which

Rated 2 out of 5 by Dorfie from Handy, ideal for cutting I enjoyed this tool but it did not last long before the multi-wired drive shaft failed. It failed soon and after relatively light use. I used it for cutting thin aluminum sheeting (20-40 thou). So far I have been unable to locate a replacement shaft which is frustrating. I opened the unit and the bearings and gears are in healthy shape. It is pricey for such short lifespan.

angle, grinder, dremel, which

Rated 5 out of 5 by jimmy from very productive it’s a great step forward. it makes it possible to do things that couldn’t be reached before. it makes the dremel tool much more diversified. the only problem is the design has a little to be desired. the unit should be totally self contained without having to remove parts and adding parts which can lead to loosing necessary small pieces of equipment it’s just a thought but all in all, it’s a great step forward jim healy

Rated 5 out of 5 by TUDrewser from Saved me many times This tool is very helpful for getting into hard to reach places. 98% of the time I use this with a cutting wheel, cutting off screws, nails, etc. Have used it 20-30 times, so can’t speak to longevity mentioned in the other review, but have had it for a few years and it really fits a need no other tool or attachment fits.

Cheap vs expensive Dremel insane result!

Rated 1 out of 5 by auger001 from shaft broken can not find a spare part. the shaft broken after few utilisation, nobody have a spare part

Rated 1 out of 5 by geezz from can’t just buy one I have now owned 3 of these and they all failed the same way, drive stem releases from gear, no repair or replacement part.

Rated 2 out of 5 by Seidel5 from Awesome idea, but didn’t last. I bought this about 2 weeks ago to help with hard to reach spaces on a bathroom remodel. It is a great idea and was very helpful, but the shaft broke after only 2 weeks (about 6 hours of actual use). It was disappointing. I really like the concept and I love my Dremel!

Rated 4 out of 5 by OmniD from Works well but other parts needed to make it work [This review was collected as part of a promotion.] I have a model 4200 Dremel I used this with. One thing to know, you will need the shaft attachment for this to work. It’s a shaft that has the square opening in one end that is used with the flexible extension for the Dremel tools. This attachment is quite noisy but it worked very well for cutting the bottom of our door jamb for installing laminate flooring. Still had to chip out the leftover wood but this tool helped a lot.

  • Dremel Right Angle Attachment for Rotary Tools Reviews. page 2
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Top Tools: Dremel Multi Tool

Today I want to talk about one of the most indispensable tools in my shop: the Dremel multi tool. I love Dremel multi tools. I don’t get paid to write that. I buy all my own Dremel tools. Whether it’s Dremel brand or not probably doesn’t matter.

I’ve put together an Amazon shopping list if you want to get started with a Dremel. Its linked at the bottom of the article.

If you want to watch my overview video, click on the play button, otherwise, read on.

This tool is simply a high-speed motor with a small chuck at the end to grip the shanks of various accessories. The combination of high-speed and specific accessories to cut, grind, sand, carve, brush and polish (have I missed any?) makes the multi tool very useful.

As with any cutting tool, the general concept is a harder material can be used to cut or grind a softer material.

This is the third one that I’ve owned in around 15 years. The earlier two eventually quit working, but they lasted me a long time, and, honestly, they were probably abused. I keep buying the Dremel brand, only because I know they will take a beating. I haven’t used a battery-powered Dremel. I’m always using it in my shop, so I stick with a mains-powered version.

This particular model Dremel has a variable speed motor with a spindle and a small chuck at the end. Frankly, I have never run my Dremel at anything less than full speed, so a single speed model would probably be adequate. Dremel’s website does however advise slower speeds for cutting and grinding metals, and slower again for plastics. Most cutting or grinding tools work best at a particular speed range (measured in metres per minute, or some similar velocity measurement). At the tiny scale of Dremel accessories, the tool needs to be spinning very fast to achieve the optimum cutting velocity.

When you screw the collet nut down it squeezes the collet which grips the tool shank. Different size collets are available. This allows you to use tools with various shank sizes. My version of the tool has a shaft lock (the silver button on the side of the black body), and an included wrench that tightens the collet nut. Most of the accessories are nominally 1/8” diameter, however I have a smaller collet and some accessories in 3/32” diameter. If you screw down the collet nut and the cutting bit shank is loose, then you need a smaller collet. You can buy the smaller collets separately.

The benefit of a Dremel multi tool is similar to an angle grinder – dozens of accessories to extend it use. I would suggest it is far cheaper to purchase a kit with an assortment of accessories, rather than purchasing them individually. Here are some of the accessories and a description of where and how you might use them.

Cut-off wheels

The cutting wheels are almost always the reason I take my Dremel out of the case. Use them for cutting small metal stock or parts. Much more finesse than an angle grinder, and faster than a hacksaw. Need to cut down a steel rod? Shorten a small bolt or screw? Trim a couple of millimetres off some metal? Need to get into a tight space? Need to cut a slot in a mangled screw to fit a screwdriver?

You could compare a Dremel with a cut-off wheel to an angle grinder with a cut-off wheel – just on a mini-scale, for mini-scale jobs. Like an angle grinder, the wheels need to be treated carefully. If you bend the discs significantly while they are cutting, they’ll shatter.

The shank that carries the replaceable cut-off wheels is also used for other accessories, such as sanding discs. Buy bulk packs of the cut-off wheels if you can find them on sale.

Grinding stones (or “mounted points”)

I know the article on angle grinders didn’t recommend grinding wheels due to their aggressive nature, but on a micro-scale, Dremel grinding stones are really useful on motorcycle tasks.

After you’ve cut something with the cut-off wheel, there is a chance you’ll need to smooth it.

These tiny stones come in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials. In the Dremel brand, stones are provided in two material types:

  • Aluminium oxide (tan colour) – generally used for steel and stainless steel
  • Silicon carbide (blue/gray colour) – suitable for glass, stone and aluminium

The large variety of sizes simply give you more options when you have a specific task at hand. Silicon carbide is more expensive than aluminium oxide, but if you only work with steels then you don’t really need silicon carbide. However if you use aluminum oxide on aluminum, you’ll find the stone clogs up with aluminum quickly and becomes unusable.

The only way to address this problem is to use the accessory dressing stone. This stone essentially tears the surface grit from the mounted point and reveals a new, clean surface. To use the dressing stone, carefully bring it to the spinning mounted point and let it “grind” the mounted point.

Obviously this action reduces the size of the mounted point. Eventually you’ll wear the mounted point to a point it becomes unusable and needs to be replaced.

Sanding discs

These tiny sanding discs are simply clamped to the cutting shank by the mounting screw. For stripping paint off inaccessible areas, to smoothing small areas, the sanding disc is great accessory. The sanding grit is very fine. This means its most effective when used after other, rougher smoothing tools (such as files, flap discs on an angle grinder, or hand sanding).

The discs don’t last long if you press too hard as they’ll wear the edges quickly and eventually break off around the clamp screw. Use a light touch and let the speed of the spindle do the hard work for you.

Sanding drum

The sanding drum spindle consists of a rubber cylinder and a clamp screw. When you tighten the screw, the rubber cylinder is compressed and bulges out to hold the sanding drum.

I’ve found these most useful when I need to slightly enlarge a hole. With very careful motion of the sanding drum inside a drilled hole, you can increase the size a little. Its also useful for cleaning off the rough edges of a hole generated by drilling or using a hole saw. You might also use them for sharpening an edge tool, like an axe.

Polishing wheels

Many accessory kits come with a threaded spindle and tiny polishing wheels. I haven’t found much use for these outside polishing jewellry. You’ll need a metal polishing compound if you want to use this accessory (California Custom Purple is my favourite all-round metal polish).

I’m not sure where you’d use these on a motorcycle, but let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев if you have any success.

Wire wheels

I’ve picked up genuine and “no-name” accessory wire wheels in brass and nylon. The brass ones are useful for paint removal around irregular shapes like welds – especially if your angle grinder won’t fit in the smaller spaces on the bike.

Like the sanding discs, they don’t last long with heavy-handed use, which is why I had none to photograph for the article! Useful, but if you rely on these to remove a lot of paint it’ll cost a fortune in replacement wheels.

Cutting bits

These bits are made of “high speed steel”, which is a tool alloy. They cut very aggressively and are suited to softer materials like wood and plastics. While I haven’t done this, they could be used for careful freehand carving in wood or soft metals such as aluminum.

Carbide bit

I bought these expensive bits for a particular job and they paid off. Strictly these bits are ‘Tungsten Carbide”. This material is very hard, strong, stiff and dense. When used in cutting tools, they withstand very high temperatures and can be used to machine through many different steels. This is where they shine.

When working on a 1970’s Kawasaki engine that had been in storage for years, I found the intake manifold screws (steel) were corroded into the aluminum cylinder head. When I tried to remove them, they snapped off. When I attempted to use a screw extractor, it also snapped off in the manifold screw. Many expletives were audible in my shop at this time. I needed to grind away the screw extractor, and the steel screw without damaging the cylinder head. A carbide bit in the Dremel eventually saved the engine. I used it to carefully eat away at the steel screw. I had to use a helical insert to repair the cylinder head, but it was successful. I can’t think of any other way I could have done that repair in my shop.

Carbide bits are not easily identifiable – compared to the many other cutting bits available – so make sure you store them carefully so they don’t get mixed up.

Diamond points

I’ve used diamond-coated bits to engrave very hard materials like alloy steels, stainless steel and even glass. Eventually the diamond grit is stripped from the carrying material, and they need to be replaced. If you are grinding or engraving very hard materials, then a diamond bit might be the right tool.

Dremel safety

How could such a small tool cause any harm? Well, they spin very fast, and many of the accessories will make short work of your skin.

Firstly, the workpiece should be firmly secured. If it’s a small part, put it in a vice. If you have the Dremel in one hand, keep the other hand clear of the spinning tool.

Secondly, consider your eyes and lungs. If the Dremel is shooting particles into the air, you should wear some glasses and even a dust mask.

There are lots of additional resources on the internet related to multitools. Test your multitool accessories on some scrap materials before attacking your motorcycle. Once you’ve cut or ground the material away, it’s tough to put it back!

Check out the Dremel shopping list to get started:

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