Today we’re discussing Die Grinder vs Angle Grinder – let’s get grinding! (Pardon our sense of humor)
Truth is, for anyone working with a lot of different materials, Grinders put power in the palm of your hand. They are an essential part of any workshop or garage, as they let you complete precision tasks in minutes instead of hours.
Here are the basics – The grinder is a handheld power tool used for grinding, sanding, polishing, cutting and buffing. It can be cordless or have an electrical connection and may be single-speed or have multiple speeds. There are many different types of grinders from benchtop to milling machines.
When it comes to grinders, here’s the difference between a Die Grinder and an Angle Grinder. Both tools are used to perform different tasks, even though they serve the same purpose of grinding. You need to understand that choosing one type over the other will largely be determined by the type of project you are doing.
If you aren’t sure whether you need an angle grinder or a die grinder, our straight-to-the-point guide can help. Here, we will talk about the difference between the die grinder vs angle grinder question, and offer the pros and cons of each one to help you quickly decide which to use for your specific project.
Short Version / TL;DR
Don’t have time? No worries I get you! Here’s the short version of the Die Grinder vs Angle Grinder topic.
It’s easy to make the switch.
Die Grinders, which are sometimes called a rotary tool, are most often used for precision work like engraving metals, carving wood, and cutting ceramic tile. Though similar to an angle grinder, a die grinder can be much smaller and less expensive. It also uses different accessories than an angle grinder.
Angle Grinders, on the other hand, is made for power cutting materials and rough level grinding. When you need to cut through materials like wood, metal, or even concrete, the angle grinder is a go-to tool. It’s an easy-to-use and reliable workhorse in the workshop.
Both the die grinder and angle grinder share features that made them a topic of interest in the first place. They have similar power sources, rotations per minute, and many other things.
Both the die grinder and the angle grinder have a handgrip that allows them to be held comfortably. Both have motors that rotate at high speeds to generate friction between the bit or wheel and the object being worked on.
Another thing that is common, that a die grinder and an angle grinder have. Both die grinders and angle grinders rely on rotations per minute (RPMs) to function. Die grinders remove material via the friction between the bit and the material being worked. In contrast, the cutting wheel of an angle grinder removes material via friction. Angle grinders are by design less powerful than die grinders.
In general, the spindle of die grinder rotates at 25500 to 30000 rpm whereas that of an angle grinder is not generally over 28000 rpm.
The last similarity to note would be they both have similar end goals, to grind or cut with precision, only they do so with different methods.
Here’s a comparison table for Die Grinder vs Angle Grinder to easily tell you which is which:
|Features||Die Grinder||Angle Grinder|
|Power Source||Compressed Air or Battery||Corded (Electric) or Cordless (Battery)|
|Speed||15,000 – 30,000 RPM||6,500 – 20,000 RPM|
|Form of Use||Handheld – portable and flexible to use||Large Tool – need two hands to operate|
|Best On||Die Making Jobs, Precision Cutting and Grinding Jobs, Etching and Engraving jobs (Metal, Glass, and Wood)||Power Grinding Tough Materials like masonry, concrete, mortar and rust removal|
|Best For||DIY, Precisions Based Projects for Woodworking, Metalworking, Glass works||Construction Work, Medium to Large Scale General Projects|
Don’t have time To read? No worries!
Below are our top picks for your convenience
Dweller Power’s Best Pick
Best Die Grinder in the Market
Ingersoll Rand 3101G
- 1/3 HP Motor
- Ball Bearing Construction 1/4 Collet
- Rear Exhaust
- Up to 20,000 RPM
- Ergonomic Grip
Dweller Power’s Best Pick
Best Angle Grinder in the Market
DEWALT DCG413B 20V Max Grinder
- Brushless Ball-Bearing Motor
- 3/8-Inch Single Speed
- 20V Cordless Grinder
- 9,000 Max RPM
- Paddle Switch Operation
What Is A Die Grinder?
The Die Grinder is one of the most versatile tools in your toolbox. Capable of grinding, cutting, sanding and shaving all manner of materials, it can help you complete projects quicker with better results.
It is a hand-held tool that utilizes extremely fast rotation to remove material from a workpiece. It has collet, a device that functions similar to a drill chuck and holds the cutting bits that rotate at very high speeds. The die grinder can operate either by electricity or by compressed air.
It uses a grinding disc or burr, either attached to a flexible shaft or connected to a chuck, to cut, shape, deburr, remove oxidation, polish and buff. The set of dies on the burr is called a collet and it can be changed quickly. They are typically used in metalworking and woodworking.
A die grinder’s maximum speed rating must not exceed the maximum speed rating of any accessory or attachment used with it, because doing this could increase the chances of an attachment breaking or shattering due to excessive stress on the accessory.
Die Grinders with High RPM’s and the proper accessories or bits will accomplish things with pure accuracy. This is what makes them perfect for metal, but it also gives them the strength and precision to work on other materials like plastic and wood.
Die grinders are also used for polishing and buffing the surfaces of workpieces as well as materials. The accessories or attachments are connected to the grinder by a flexible shank that can also be referred to a collet.
When purchasing a die grinder, you should take into consideration the rotations per minute (RPM) and no-load speed. RPM tells you how fast the tool spins while in use, while the no-load speed is the number of rotations per minute when there’s no pressure on the tool at all. If one number is higher than the other, you could risk breaking the tool upon first use.
Kinds of Die Grinders
To be clear, both of these types of Die Grinders function the same way and are for the same purpose. It’s a matter of preference between the two that will be the real deciding factor for you.
Straight Angle Die Grinders
A standard tool used by carpenters, metal workers, HVAC technicians, and miscellaneous handymen, the Straight Die Grinder is a must-have in any toolbox.
Straight die grinders are very useful in metalwork as it allow the craftsman to bend and shape metal into different shapes like regular hand tools. This tool will remove any burrs and imperfections. The best part is that they are powerful, made from high quality metals, and have long lasting blades!
Right Angle Die Grinders
Right Angle Die Grinders are used for welding and grinding. They work the same as Straight Die Grinders but have a 90 degree bend in the bit.
Right Angle Die Grinders are engineered to clear obstructions and make the most out of their reach. The Right Angle Die Grinder is the ideal tool for clearing obstructions in a variety of hard-to-reach locations, making it an essential tool for automotive technicians, HVAC installers, electricians, and plumbers.
When To Go For A Die Grinder?
Die grinders have become the go to tool for a lot of woodworkers. There are many things that you can accomplish with a die grinder, but its size and output will probably tell you what projects to take on.
The die grinder is not a power tool to undertake a large project or work on extremely hard wood or metal. Choose this tool for lighter duty drywall, plastic, or stripping paint off of hard to reach areas.
If you’re a die maker or someone doing precision grinding jobs, then your projects probably involve cutting, grinding, and polishing small workpieces. You’ll also be working with small tool bits such as carbide burrs.
Lastly, the Die Grinder is best if you are the DIY enthusiast or Artist who wants to do precise carving on wood or stones.
Die Grinder Pros & Cons
- Light and Easy to Carry
- Great in tighter spaces
- Works on a variety of materials
- Large assortment of bits
- Lacks Power for Medium to Large scale projects
- Bits are sensitive and may come loose
Die Grinder Recommendation –
Ingersoll Rand 3101G
The new 3101G Angle Die Grinder is built on the tried-and-true Ingersoll Rand platform, and brings you industry leading power at a great price. With its 1/3 HP motor, ball bearing construction, ¼” collet and rear exhaust, the 3101G is perfect for shaping metal and other materials such as wood and drywall. Now you can get the power of an Ingersoll Rand in a compact size.
It’s part of the Ingersoll Rand Edge Series, which offers premium power and performance in an innovative design. Providing 1/3 HP at 20,000 RPM, this angle grinder delivers powerful results. The 20,000 RPM motor and ball bearing construction are perfect for removing paint and rust.
The Ingersoll Rand 3101G Angle Die Grinder comes with a lightweight, durable composite body and contoured ergonomic grip for comfortable operation while reducing wrist injury risk.
The Ingersoll Rand 3101G Angle Die Grinder is the perfect tool for all of your on-site nail shaping and fitting needs. This fantastic new Grinder has lighter, composite body, more control, and a redesigned handle to enhance comfort while decreasing hand fatigue.
Ideal for applications that require superior control when trying to get into hard to reach places like weld grinding, deburring, surface prep and polishing. Its telescopic handle makes easy access holes and narrow spaces.
Die Grinder Bits
With your Die Grinder, you can attach:
- Grinding Bits
- Polishing Wheels
- Carbide burr
- Wood Cutting Wheels
- Metal Cutting Wheels
- Grindstone Bits.
- Wire Wheels
- Sanding Wheels
Die Grinder Tutorial for Beginners
What Is An Angle Grinder?
For ages, man has been using angle grinders to create everything from arrowheads to modern day scissors. It started with the manual movement of sharp stones and harder minerals for the processing of materials.
The angle grinder is an invaluable all-around cutting tool that is completely adaptable to a wide range of different uses. Its size and motor power can make it an efficient alternative to a saw in some cases, while its spinning disc makes it useful for doing aggressive cleanup work where most other tools would be too dangerous.
As versatile as the job you have in mind, the tools you use to get them done are equally important. The angle grinder is a tool no garage can be without. Whether you’re shaping metal, wood or stone, an angle grinder will always come handy.
When To Go For An Angle Grinder?
The angle grinder possesses more power than the die grinder. It can cut through and grind metals, particularly hard metals. It’s commonly used for masonry projects that require a large amount of cutting or grinding.
The angle grinder is by far the most versatile power tool for DIYers. It offers exceptional value for money and is a true ‘must-have’ within any DIY arsenal.
The Angle Grinder is ideal for grinding, cutting, polishing, and much more. Choose from a wide variety of different projects with your Angle Grinder to help get them finished faster than ever before.
Principle applications include polishing metal and grinding down metal joints. From auto body repair to polish and buff to wood workers cutting concrete or metal strap for homes, the angle grinder is one of the most all-around tools you can have in your workshop.
Angle grinders are useful tools for cutting angles, grinding paint or parquet and polishing different materials. Need to bring back your old ballet flat to life with a deep shine? These are the perfect tools.
Angle Grinder Pros & Cons
- Handles a variety of materials
- Powerful Motor
- Designed for larger projects
- Sanding Disk Variety
- Not for tighter spaces
- Requires strength and a steady hand
Angle Grinder Recommendation –
DEWALT DCG413B 20V Max Grinder
Powered by DeWALT’s revolutionary brushless motor technology, the DCG413B unleashes next-level power and performance. The DeWALT DCG413B Grinder packs a powerful punch and gives you complete control. It includes a brushless motor that lasts up to 57% longer than brushed ones.
The compact and versatile DeWALT DCG413B 4-1/2-inch 20-Volt cordless grinder features a brushless, ball-bearing motor that delivers more power, speed, and run time.
The DEWALT grinder is a powerful 3/8-inch single speed motor that offers a no-load speed of 9,000 max RPM. It has easy paddle switch operation; the brake is engaged as soon as the paddle switch is released, bringing the wheel quickly to a stop.
Designed for optimum user comfort, this DEWALT 4 ½-Inch Angle Grinder includes a 2-position side handle for greater user control. That, along with its metal motor bearings and paddle switch, enables you to get maximum power out of every cut.
The DEWALT DCG413B Brushless Angle Grinder is equipped to handle most tough jobs. It features an all-metal gear housing for maximum durability and a two-position side handle for comfort and control.
Angle Grinder Uses
With your Angle Grinder you can:
Angle Grinder Tutorial for Beginners
Die Grinder VS Angle Grinder
When it comes to the Die Grinder vs Angle Grinder discussion, Design comes into play.
A die grinder utilizes cutting bits designed to cut over a large surface area, which is done by drilling extremely small holes. The width of these small holes is also known as the diameter.
On the other hand, the angle grinder is a power tool with a disc of thin abrasive material attached to a disk wheel. It is designed for shaping, smoothing, and removing material from surfaces or objects like stone, metal, wood, and concrete. These tools are available in handheld and vehicle-mounted versions.
Die Grinders and angle grinders are both used for mechanical purposes. An angle grinder is a heavy-duty power grinder with an attached handle, which usually requires two hands to operate. A die grinder however can be held and used with one hand.
Angles Grinders are larger power tools with attached handles. They’re used to remove tiles, stucco, and other loose material or debris from walls and ceilings. Die Grinders are more like fast rotating screwdrivers and can be held in one hand.
Simply put, Angle Grinders are larger and bulkier.
Because it’s bigger, an angle grinder has a lot more power than a die grinder. This means you can use it to get work done faster and with less strain on your body since you don’t have to apply as much pressure.
When it comes to power, nothing beats an angle grinder. For heavy-duty use on heavy duty jobs these tools can’t be beat!
As with the Dremel tools, you can use the Die Grinder to cut metal, wood and plastic. However, the Die Grinder cannot hold a candle to the sheer power of an angle grinder.
Die grinders, in comparison with angle grinders, have a smaller head and a shorter handle, which makes these tools slightly easier to maneuver. Their speed ranges from 15,000 RPM to a maximum of 30,000 RPM.
In general, the rotational speed of a die grinder is always higher than that of a comparable angle grinder. However, it depends on the motor power and RPM range for both tools.
For better control, maneuverability, and accuracy, the Die Grinder is ideal for precision-oriented projects. Meanwhile, the Angle Grinder is intended to perform coarse power cutting and forceful polishing on tough surfaces.
Another distinction is the method of power. Angle grinders with electrical or battery power are more expensive, as they offer more precision than anything else.
Die grinders are different from standard grinders. They operate with compressed air, usually supplied by an air compressor. For this reason, they are also occasionally referred to as pneumatic grinders or air grinders. Die grinders can also be battery powered for use in case of power failure, but these are hard to find.
The angle grinders are designed to work with larger in-diameter discs than the mounted bit systems found on die grinders. When you need to clear your workspace of large, non-conductive debris, these are the perfect choice for metal or stone removal.
The discs with angle grinders are more effective and efficient. These power tools can cover a large surface area, making them superior when compared to die grinders.
Flat vs Curved Surfaces
The discs used in Angle Grinders are made flat so they can be used on flat, broad surfaces. They work to polish a car body more effectively than a hand held circular sander.
The flat discs and side wheel of an angle grinder enables the user to get maximum precision, versatility, and control. This tool is immensely popular among professional users as it helps them smoothen complex shapes, both inside and outside, leaving your car shiny and smooth.
Angle grinders are used in variety of operations from basic cutting to intricate grinding. They make it easier to cut through different types of materials with greater precision than rudimentary hand tools, and they allow the user to control the direction and level of disk abrasiveness for a variety of applications.
You might get away with using a die grinder for some small tasks that involves cutting, but it’s not really made for this. If you plan on doing any cutting you will need an angle grinder equipped with a cut-off wheel and guard.
When it comes to versatility, Die Grinders are miles ahead of Angle Grinders. Die Grinders offer a multipurpose range of practical uses, unlike Angle Grinders that are mostly used for cutting and grinding.
Now with Die Grinders, on the other hand, may come with dozens of different attachments that you can use. They help to make this an extremely valuable tool. As we said earlier on, with the right set of attachments, accessories, and bits, you can do an insane number of jobs with your Die Grinder.
Dweller Power Safety Guide
When running a die grinder, it is important to follow some simple safety rules:
- Never wear loose jewelry while operating the grinder.
- Neck chains can easily become caught in the grinder and cause strangulation.
- Safety goggles should also be worn at all times.
- The operator must keep a strong hold on the grinder at all times.
- Similarly, the component being ground should be held in a bench-top vise or clamp.
- Fingers should be kept out of range of the die grinder.
- When the die grinder is not in use, it should be unplugged.
Die Grinder vs Angle Grinder
To conclude this Die Grinder vs Angle Grinder guide, as stated above Die Grinders are very versatile tools. Die grinders leave a precise, smooth finish that can’t be matched by other tools. They are an essential tool for any work space, and with dozens of options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect model for all of your needs.
When practicality is a concern, it’s smart to invest in the Die Grinder. If you need to take down small scale projects such as paint removal and rust grinding, you can count on this reliable piece of equipment.
Angle grinders have a wide variety of uses, and they can be quite versatile. They are most commonly used for cutting and removing material, such as masonry or concrete; and in the construction industry for cutting or shaping metal. They offer greater control and precision for a variety of tasks, whether you’re the DIY handyman or an automotive technician.
Your angle grinder will be good for when you need to cut down larger metal, wood, concrete, or asphalt surfaces, but won’t do very well if you have to slice through something small and delicate.
While the two tools are often confused for each other, they are distinct in construction, function and design. It is important to know which tool will do the best job for you, both literally and figuratively.
We highly recommend having both a die grinder and an angle grinder for optimal grinding and cutting access, especially if you’re always in the need to do DIY projects and other kinds of cutting, polishing, and grinding.
This ends our Die Grinder vs Angle Grinder Discussion.
With that, please always remember that you need a good set. And by ‘good’, a properly organized set of power tools, including power grinders, will see you through the best projects. Nothing is impossible with dedication, practice, and patience, and better yet – choosing the right power grinder.
We want you to be sure of what you plan to get, please don’t hesitate to ask for advice.
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Henry is a long time Trade Instructor at Dunwoody College of Technology. Henry has been teaching the trade of carpentry for over 15 years and is excited to share his knowledge with the next generation of builders. With his posts you will explore some general terms, tools, and techniques that are helpful for the beginning DIY Enthusiast!. He’ll also provide a list of all the best tips needed to start your building journey right away!