Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional in the construction field, you’re surely going to need a multi-purpose power tool that is versatile enough to help you get a variety of tasks done.
These two powerful tools fairly look almost the same. Both machines also offer an extensive selection of attachments that provide different uses.
Both of these tools offer similar services such as cutting, sanding, polishing, and finishing. That’s why people often interchange the two. Nonetheless, they also have their unique differences and distinctions with regard to their strength, capacities, and full capabilities.
This article will dismiss the confusion as we discuss the differences between an angle grinder and multi tool or oscillating tool.
Angle Grinder vs Multi Tool
To eradicate the confusion, we have laid down for you the angle grinder and multi tool or oscillating tool comparison.
When we compare an angle grinder vs oscillating tool or multi tool with regards to maneuverability, an oscillating tool is considered to be more maneuverable.
Its thin blades and attachments make it possible to fit into tight spaces and perform the task with much ease and comfort.
They are also much lighter to carry. But if you need to bring it outdoors, this will be a bit of a hassle due to the numerous attachments that you need to bring along with it.
Angle grinders can also be handled with ease. But their attachments are often larger in size.
This machine should also be used in a large workspace due to the sparks it produces during cast iron pipe cutting, metal cutting, auto body work, and polishing.
When it comes to outdoor job sites, this is more convenient to bring because you will not need to bring tons of attachments for it.
While both of these two tools have their versatile attachment, systems designed to perform a specific task, each of them uses different kinds of blades.
Take note that you cannot use the attachments on an angle grinder for an oscillating tool and vice versa. Oscillating tools often have a straight blade attachment to slice through different materials.
These blades can be used to perform different tasks from removing mortar to cutting wood. Oscillating tools also come with other attachments such as scraper tools, sanding pads, and toothed saw blades.
On the other hand, angle grinder attachments differ entirely. These attachments come as a disc or a wheel which makes cutting, sanding, grinding, and polishing possible.
They also vary in size, RPM level, and level of sharpness.
People that are on a tight budget often prefer to buy oscillating tools. The machine itself as well as the attachments are cheaper compared to an angle grinder.
An oscillating tool often costs around $100 to $180, depending on the brand and quality of the machine.
But when it comes to maintenance you might shell out more dimes with an oscillating tool. They require high maintenance since they have more attachments.
Prices for angle grinders are sure to be way more costly. They range from $180 to $500 excluding the attachments that you need to purchase along with them.
Well, when we talk about probable danger and damage, these two items are not excused. They both represent safety risks. But when it comes to the level of danger and preparation requirement, angle grinders are riskier to use.
Because of its strength and power along with the sparks and debris that may fly around during use, operators are required to use the recommended protective gear and clothing to secure maximum safety.
With oscillating tools, they don’t require any PPE when you operate them because they don’t throw off any debris.
They often have clean operations. You just have to be careful when you’re trying to cut metals.
Which one Should you Use?
An angle grinder and a multi-tool are both beneficial power tools that will help you get the job done. If you’re still on the fence about which one to choose, consider the following points to help you decide.
Types of Jobs to Undertake
The smartest way to finally decide which among the two should you pick is to consider the type of job that you usually do. Whether it’s for construction, fabrication or demolition purposes because those two have their fair share of benefits.
If your job requires you to have precise cuts, sanding, polishing and scraping any type of material, then your best bet should be the angle grinder.
Angle grinders are known to give powerful cuts even through various tough materials. It will really be an all around option for you.
Area of the Project
If you think that you usually need to work in tight spaces, then an oscillating tool should be your choice. It is more maneuverable compared to angle grinders.
They can work even in small tight spaces without giving you so much discomfort. While angle grinders really need to be used in areas that have bigger spaces. One could not risk using it in an awkward position because doing so might lead to danger and damage.
When you usually work outdoors or in a different job site and you need to carry your tool often, angle grinders are indeed a great option for you. It will be very convenient to carry.
You won’t need to carry too many attachments. Meanwhile, an oscillating tool can inconveniently hassle to carry due to its numerous attachments.
If you are on a tight budget or you want to save some money, an oscillating tool is what is best for you. They are often cheaper with their price ranging from $100 to $180. They are also cheaper to maintain because of their cheaper attachments.
Angle grinders are a little costlier with a price anywhere between $180 to $500. However, it will save you money in the long run because angle grinders will last longer compared with oscillating tools.
Angle Grinder Uses
As its name implies, angle grinders are designed primarily to grind down materials. They function to smooth out surfaces.
However, its usability doesn’t end there. It has a wide variety of uses which will be very beneficial for any construction and fabrication work.
Angle grinders come in a variety of abrasive blades such as aluminum, carbide, diamond and others to grind down any kind of surface.
Whatever type of surface that you will need to cut, with the use of the right blade, that can be possible.
Another very common daily use of angle grinders is cutting out any material. Whether it’s metal, masonry, ceramics, plastic or wood, you name it!
Those would be very easy for an angle grinder. You just have to use those cut off discs and your cutting job will surely be done in a speed of time
If you want to remove the unwanted look and rough feel of your surface, smoothing it out can be achieved by sandpaper pads or flapper wheels.
They will definitely leave a smooth and clean finish. You can also use them to round out your edges and blend angles for a curve.
Similar to smoothing, polishing can be done in the same manner but with the use of pads or wheels that have softer material such as cotton.
A paste with a fine particle is also used to fully clean up the surface
With the use of plastic stripping discs that are made from a soft nylon webbed material, angle grinders are ideal for removing paint.
They also can be used to remove lacquer or any coating that is not fused to the metal.
Not most people know this but angle grinders can actually be used as drillers. Just fasten a drill bit into the chunk and you can easily drill out holes into your project’s surface.
Angle grinders can also be a great option when sharpening your single-edge or double-sided rough tools.
They might not be the best way but they can do the roughing out stage and lessen your manual sharpening labor.
Multi-Tool/Oscillating Tool Uses
A multi tool which is also called an oscillating tool is another popular name to DIYers and even to tradesmen.
This machine has always been compared to an angle grinder due to its design and use. However, it also has its own unique features.
From the name itself, an oscillating tool works in an oscillating vibrating motion that makes the task possible.
So, what certain jobs can you use this tool for?
Making Plunge Cuts
With the help of an oscillating tool, making a surgical cut along anywhere on any surface is possible especially with baseboard and any trim surface.
Simply attach a punch cutting blade and use it to make a cut out in plasterboard, plywood or weatherboard. You can also use this for cutting out damaged sections of the wall.
Undercutting Door Jambs
When you need to install a floating floor, you will need to trim the base of your door jambs.
Slide in a segment blade to trim the door jamb, positioning a floor offcut underneath the blade to align it at the correct height.
Sliding Through Fasteners
You may encounter nails or screws that are impossible to remove when replacing your weatherboards or trim.
Insert a metal cutting attachment behind the trim and cut them loose, protecting the wall surface with a sheet metal offcut.
When you want to cut out and change the grout in your bath area to renew the look, simply fit your oscillating tool with a carbide grit segment blade.
Use it to quickly remove the grout between the tiles. It’s way faster than using a handheld grout saw.
Scraping away Adhesives
With a scraper attachment, an oscillating tool can be used to remove dried adhesives from hard surfaces like concrete garage floors.
You can also use it to remove silicone sealant or to scrape away small concrete splashes after a masonry job.
With the use of a triangular sanding pad, you can easily smooth out surfaces such as doors, shutters and any furniture that has narrow edges.
1. Can you Use a Multi Tool as a Grinder?
As long as you have the right electric multi tool, you can definitely grind down and cut through a variety of materials such as wood, metal, mortar, drywall, fiberglass and plastic. You can always use your oscillating tool as a grinder when used with a correct attachment.
2. Is there any task the angle grinder can perform better than the oscillating multi- tool?
Both the angle grinder and a multi tool are used for almost the same kinds of tasks and they can somehow replace each other at some point. However, there are still differences in their power and effectiveness.
Angle grinders are better when it comes to cutting strength and sharpness of its blades. It will give you a better and more precise finish job when we talk about grinding and finishing.
3. Can a multi tool cut brick?
A multi-tool offers you a vast variety of blade options designed to be used for a specific type of material. When it comes to bricks, your multi tool can easily cut this type of material when used with the appropriate oscillating blade.
It is of utmost importance to choose the right tool for your needs. It will determine the precision, comfort, and speed that you will have as you work on the jobs you have at hand.
Angle grinders are more precise and powerful when it comes to tough materials. Oscillating tools are best for uncomfortable positions and small areas.
Both have their fair share of benefits but it will still depend on what jobs they will undertake and what you need them for.
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